Awards Criteria

The awards will favor projects that can demonstrate the full breadth of their process, including images of design and community engagement meetings, draft diagrams, early design development, and post-occupancy collateral.


Entries will be evaluated on a scale of 1 to 10 for individual merit under each of the 10 categories described below in “Categories + Metrics.” The following categories will be weighted by a factor of 2:

  • Engagement Process + Integrative Design
  • Local + Regional Site Response
  • Passive before Active
  • Water Conservation

In addition, entries will be evaluated for the following, also weighted by a factor of 2: 


For each of the ten categories listed below, in “Categories + Metrics,” provide a narrative for describing how each has been addressed by the project. The maximum word count for each item is 200 words. All items should include mention of lessons learned and innovations in team process, design intention, construction detailing, and operational practices, as applicable. Please submit process drawing, informational diagrams, and final images for all items that describe the full range of collaboration and implementation as described in submittal documents


Provide a project summary that describes a general overview of the project, program, site, client, goals, and design team priorities. Provide overall project imagery and drawings (plans, sections, elevations, wall sections) as described in submittal documents.


The following categories are influenced by the National AIA COTE Top Ten Awards, but have been customized for urban environments. Several criteria ask for specific metrics, to be input directly into fields on the project registration page. Further guidance on the categories and metrics can be found in this Guidance Document.