2019 Design Awards Call for Entries Guidelines

The Chapter is accepting submissions for its annual juried Design Awards Competition.  The awards will be presented at the President’s Night Celebration, December 5, 2019.

All award recipients will be notified, prior to the event, that they have received some level of recognition.  The exact level will not be revealed until the actual awards celebration.  The Project Team Leader(s) will be asked to prepare brief remarks that speak to the strategies, challenges and ultimate successes achieved through the design and construction process. All award recipients are encouraged to invite their staff, families, clients, etc. to share in the celebration.

Following the awards presentations, a photograph of every 2019 entry will be displayed on the chapter website along with the firm’s name, project architect’s name, firm phone number, firm web address, project name, and project location.

Award recipients will be further highlighted on the chapter website with the jury’s written comments about the qualities of the winning projects.  The winners will also be featured in AIA Eastern Pennsylvania publications and press releases to local media outlets.

Deadlines and Costs

The Firm Entry Form with entry fee must be submitted by 4:00 pm, Friday, October 25, 2019. Cost per entry is $100. All submissions must be received no later than 4:00 pm, Friday, November 8, 2019 to be eligible for judging.    Entry submissions should be emailed to aiaepc@aiaeasternpa.org.  Label the file with the project name and make sure the email subject is awards submission.


Chapter members in good standing are eligible and encouraged to submit projects for which they are Architect of Record.  Submissions must have been completed after December 31, 2013.  There are no geographic limitations.  Projects that have previously received an AIA Eastern Pennsylvania Award are not eligible for submission.  The Project Architect must be a member of this chapter. If the Project Architect works in a firm outside of our chapter area, it must be demonstrated that he/she is the Architect of Record for that particular project.

Submission Categories

There are six design submission categories (listed below).  If an excessive quantity of entries is received in a category, it may be sub-divided based on project size, construction value, etc.  The jury may sub-divide a category at its discretion if it determines that the variety of project conditions would otherwise limit a fair and equitable evaluation.

Projects of all types, including new construction, additions to existing buildings, alterations to existing buildings, and interior architecture may be entered in one of these submission categories:

  1. Institutional / Commercial
  2. Educational
  3. Residential
  4. Eclectic (not fitting in categories 1 through 3)
  5. Special Initiatives / Un-Built Projects (planning, research, and conceptual projects)
  6. Community Service / Pro-Bono Projects

Firm Entry Form

Each company must complete a Firm Entry Form and return it with the digital submissions.  All submissions should be listed on the Firm Entry Form; you may use an additional page if all projects being submitted do not fit on the front of the Firm Entry Form.

Project Credit Form

Complete a Project Credit Form for each submission and include it with your electronic submission.  All credits in publications will be based on this information.  Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the entrant.

Project Submission Format Requirements

  1. Each Project Submission must be submitted as an 11″x8.5″ PDF file.
  2. All submissions must be completely anonymous. Any submission that identifies the design firm, project architect(s) or previous awards/publications will be immediately disqualified.
  3. Page one of the presentation should be a project narrative (minimum one paragraph, maximum two pages) that includes the following information:
    1. Project Name
    2. Date project was completed
    3. Construction costs (excluding site work, furniture, fixtures, and equipment)
    4. Key information such as program requirements, square foot area, and site issues
    5. Brief explanation of project and design concept, unique or difficult design problems and how they were resolved
  4. A minimum of two (2) and a maximum of ten (10) 8” x 10” color photos (photographer credits and caption for each photo should be included on the Project Credit Form).
  5. Complete scaled building plans of the project with north arrow indicated on all plans.
  6. Four scaled building elevations labeled by compass direction (i.e. southwest elevation).
  7. One or more scaled building sections (or interior sections / details for interior renovation projects).
  8. For projects other than interior renovations, provide scaled site plans, with north arrow, showing topography, site context and site response.
  9. For interior projects, provide floor plan(s) with furniture, fixtures, and lighting information and any other drawings necessary to fully explain the project’s use.
  10. Separate digital TIF or JPG files shall be included for use during President’s Night slideshows.

Presentation Boards

In addition to the digital submission, each entrant is required to submit a 40”x40” presentation board to be displayed at the awards celebration.  Boards may be comprised of drawings, models, photos, prints and other information to describe the projects.  Firm identification should be included on the board.  Boards should be delivered to Gary Lader, 4/4 Architecture, 414 W. Broad St., Bethlehem PA 18018

Judging Criteria / Instructions to Jurors

Each project submission will be assigned a random number to maintain anonymity.  The jury will review the submissions.  They will evaluate the qualities of each project submission, not its presentation style, when granting awards.

Projects will be considered for the following levels of recognition:

Award of Excellence – presented to projects judged to exemplify the highest design quality.

Award of Merit – presented to projects judged to illustrate a high level of design conceptualization and implementation.

Special Citation – presented to projects judged to exhibit noteworthy design attributes and/or a “best practice” in architecture.  Possibilities include, but are not limited to, sustainable design, sensitivity to site, historical preservation, or excellent detailing.

Regardless of the number of entries in each category, there are no limits to the number of Awards of Excellence or Awards of Merit the jury may grant.  In cases where at least three (3) entries have been submitted within a given category, and at the jury’s discretion, it is determined that none are worthy of an Award of Excellence or Award of Merit, then the jurors are instructed to grant at least one Special Citation within that category.  If there are two or less entries in a submission category, the jury may, but is not required to, grant an award in that category.

The jury will provide concise written comments about the qualities of each winning project following the judging.  These comments will be announced at the awards ceremony and posted on the chapter website following the awards ceremony.


AIA Eastern Pennsylvania assumes no liability for original photos and other submission materials.  AIA Eastern Pennsylvania retains the right to reproduce any of the submission materials in its publications, education programs and on our website.

By making a submission, the entrant agrees that the information is correct and complete.  The entrant will hold harmless AIA Eastern Pennsylvania for any and all damage arising out of the information contained herein.  Any errors or omissions are the complete responsibility of the entrant.

The entrant further certifies that permission has been obtained from the owner, developer, and photographer of the project to publish photographs, images, drawings and other information included in the submission.  They also release and authorize AIA Eastern Pennsylvania to use all such materials.