Design Awards Call for Submissions


Chapter members are encouraged to submit projects for the AIA Eastern PA Design Awards in any geographical location that meets the following criteria:

  1. The project’s “Architect of Record” is a current member of AIA Eastern PA.
  2. The project was completed within the past five (5) years – December 31, 2017.
  3. The project has not previously received an AIA Eastern PA Award.

Firm Entry Form & Fee’s

Each company must complete the Firm Entry Form by the date listed below.  All intended Project Submissions are to be included on the  Firm Entry Form.  Please note all entry fee’s are non-refundable. Payment for each Project Submission is due at the completion of the Firm Entry Form  via PayPal (preferred) or check:

AIA Eastern PA
1836 North Cedar Crest Blvd. #200
Allentown, PA 18104

Entry – $100 per Project Submission
The Firm Entry Form must be completed and submitted along with entry fee and Project Submission Form by TBD.  

Project Submission Form

A Project Submission Form must be completed for each project by TBD.  All credits in publications will be based on the information provided – any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the entrant.

Project Submission Form Checklist:

  • Firm Name
  • Email
  • Project Name
  • Location
  • Client’s Name
  • Award Category
  • Project Architect Name & AIA Member #
  • Architect of Record
  • Project Team Members
  • Principle Consultants, Contractors & Suppliers
  • Photographer Credits & Photo Captions

Project Submission Upload Checklist:

Each Project Submission must be submitted as an 11″x8.5″ PDF file.  All submissions must be completely anonymous. Any submission that identifies the design firm, project architect(s) or previous awards/publications will be immediately disqualified. If you are submitting more than one project, please fill out a Project Submission Form for each project.

  • Cover Page: Project Narrative (minimum one paragraph, maximum two pages) that includes the following information:
    • Project Name
    • Date project was completed
    • Construction costs (excluding site work, furniture, fixtures, and equipment)
    • Key information such as program requirements, square foot area, and site issues
    • Brief explanation of project and design concept, unique or difficult design problems and how they were resolved
    • *New this year* Brief explanation what Framework of Design Excellence principles relate to the project.  Refer to Award categories below and/or refer to the principles here for more information.
  • A minimum of two (2) and a maximum of twelve (12) color photos (photographer credits and captions for each photo should be included on the Project Credit Form)
  • Building plans of the project with a north arrow indicated on all plans
  • Building elevations labeled by compass direction (i.e. southwest elevation)
  • One or more building sections (or interior sections / details for interior renovation projects)
  • For projects other than interior renovations, provide scaled site plans, with north arrow, showing topography, site context and site response
  • 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

Image Upload:

Provide 1-3 digital JPG or PNG files (max 200 MB) to be included during President’s Night slideshows

Presentation Boards

In addition to the digital submission, each entrant is encouraged to submit a 36”x48” (landscape or portrait) presentation board to be displayed at the awards celebration and entered into the People’s Choice Award.  Boards may comprise drawings, models, photos, prints and other information to describe the projects.  Firm identification should be included on the board.  Boards should be delivered to Megan Henry-Moser, MKSD Architects, 1209 Hausman Road, Allentown, PA 18104 by TBD.

Award Categories / Instructions to Jurors

Inspired by the value’s set forth by AIA National, AIA PA, and AIA Eastern PA, there are a total of eight (8) categories available to be awarded.  If an excessive quantity of entries is received in a specific award category, it may be subdivided based on project size, construction value, etc.  The jury may subdivide an award category at its discretion if it determines that the variety of project conditions would otherwise limit a fair and equitable evaluation.  Each project is eligible to receive only (1) award max with the exception of the Overall Award of Excellence. 

Also new this year, we will be hosting the “People’s Choice Award” live at President’s Night.  Each project submission will be available for viewing during the Design Awards Program. All guests will receive a ticket to vote for their favorite project.  The winner will be announced at the conclusion of the Design Awards program!

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.  The jury will reference the AIA’s Framework for Design Excellence as a guideline. 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.  Projects will be considered for the following awards:

Sustainable Design

The Sustainable Design Award recognizes projects that demonstrate a commitment to sustainable design and/or achieving recognition through programs such as LEED, WELL Building Standard, Living Building Challenge, or others. FDE Criteria: Design for Ecosystems, Design for Water, Design for Energy, Design for Well-being, Design for Resources

Impactful Design

The Impactful Design Award recognizes projects that demonstrate a commitment to occupant/ stakeholder engagement, EDI (equity, diversity, and inclusion), resilience and access within communities, and more. FDE Criteria: Design for Equitable Communities, Design for Integration, Design for Discovery

Historic Preservation/ Adaptive Reuse 

The Historic Preservation/Adaptive Reuse Award recognizes projects that demonstrate a commitment to flexibility, adaptability, and resiliency. FDE Criteria: Design for Change, Design for Economy

Small Project

This Small Project Award recognizes projects that demonstrate design excellence regardless of the limitations of size and budget.  Projects must meet one or more of the criteria below:

  • Less than 5,000 SF
  • Less than $1,000,000 in construction costs
  • 3 out of 10 Framework for Design Excellence principles

Interior Architecture 

The Interior Architecture Award recognizes projects that have transformed interior spaces and can demonstrate use of 3 out of 10 Framework for Design Excellence principles.

Residential Architecture

The Residential Architecture Award recognizes single and multi-family residential design that addresses affordable housing, mixed-use connectivity, community engagement, and universal design.

Distinctive Details

The Distinctive Detail Award recognizes projects that demonstrate experimentation and innovation in the use of materials, processes, and/or technology.

Overall Award of Design Excellence

The Overall Award of Design Excellence is awarded to any project, regardless if that project has already received one of the awards listed above, that demonstrates use of 5 out of 10 Framework for Design Excellence principles.  This project is selected by the jury as a project that exemplifies all-around excellence in design.


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.