Ends on June 4, 2019

Multiple price options


The AIACA Design Awards Program and Urban Design Awards Program strive to recognize projects that represent the best of California architecture; projects that are exemplary for their thoughtful, sustainable, innovative, and well-crafted design.

With juries composed of highly-qualified professionals offering diverse perspectives and expertise, all submissions are reviewed in the context of the project team’s goals and evaluated for thoughtfully designed resolution of those goals.


Call for Entries: April 1, 2019

Registration Deadline: May 10, 2019

Submittal Deadline: June 3, 2019


A non-refundable entry fee must be paid online at the time of registration. No entry fee will be refunded for entries that are disqualified, late, or incomplete.






  • All licensed California AIA architects may submit built projects located anywhere in the world.
  • AIA Architects licensed in other states and non-AIA members may only submit built projects located in California.
  • All entries must be submitted by an architect licensed in the United States.
  • Entries in all categories (apart from Urban Design) must be built projects completed on or after January 1, 2011.


Each completed submission package must follow these guidelines:

  • Submitted in PDF format
  • The Concealed ID forms submitted as a Word Document
  • A completed Performance Data Worksheet (California or Outside California)
  • PDFs in landscape layout,12 inches wide by 8.5 inches high
  • Not exceed 8MB and 20 pages. The Concealed ID forms do not count 
  • Font 12 point or larger  
  • Do not reveal firm/project name, (except for the Maybeck Award submissions)


Page 1

The first page should have a two-sentence summary of the project which illustrates a concise and sharp picture through imaginative verbiage. Follow the summary with one clear graphic that best represents the project. Conclude Page 1 with the project information which should include: category/subcategory (select from categories below), type of project, completion date, budget (if available), and location.

Pages 2 - 3

The next two pages should cover the project narrative and sustainability objectives. This is basic information provided to the jury about your project and should not exceed the two pages.

  1. Describe your project as succinctly as possible. Avoid elaborating on features already made clear by the photographs and drawings.
  2. Incorporate information about project intentions, program requirements, sustainable design goals, cost data, and distinguishing aspects of their resolution. Include the context, program/scope, special challenges/unusual characteristics, and the      solution/design of the project.
  3. Include a clear description of exemplary sustainable design integration and the inclusion of related building performance metrics.
  4. Explain all design achievement that demonstrates  exemplary skill and creativity in the resolution and integration of formal, functional, and technical requirements. 
  5. Projects should reflect a strong sense of place,  ecology, resource efficiency, history, and purpose as an integral part of demonstrated design excellence.
  6. For preservation/restoration projects provide the jury with pertinent information to differentiate between the original architects’ work and the newly altered, preserved, or restored work.

Pages 4 - 6

The next three pages should include the completed Performance Data Worksheet. Please note there are two Performance Data Worksheets - one for projects within California and one for projects outside of California.

Page 7

This page should cover the sustainable design strategies which must be illustrated in an annotated diagram or section. You may choose to design your illustration in any way that thoroughly displays the project’s sustainable design strategies. See examples from 2018 submission winners here.

Image Requirements:

  • Photos must be clear with a suggested image resolution of 125 to 150 DPI. 
  • Include both interior and exterior photographs that illustrate the complete project, including its relationship to its surroundings.
  • You may include composite images, but numerous composites throughout the submission are discouraged.
  • Site Plans may be drawn at any scale in any medium, but the scale and north arrow must be indicated clearly.
  • Floor Plans must clearly explain the solution.
  • Historic Preservation/Restoration Projects must include a side-by-side before and after photo.
  • Interior Architecture projects are required to include one exterior photo to give context to the project’s surroundings.

Pages 8 - 20

The final pages of your submission should include supporting images, photos, diagrams, site plans, floor plans, and elevations. Here are a few examples of 2018 Honor Award submissions:


Small Projects

Submissions must be fully constructed projects of all program and building types. Renderings or concepts will not be accepted. Projects may include new or renovation projects, or elements of built works. If applicable, include the Performance Data Worksheet.

The Maybeck Award

Include clear images of completed projects that represent a breadth of experience and a range of building types. You may produce composite images. We recommend that this be done in such a way that individual details and characteristics are not lost. In the Project Narrative section (pages 2-3), provide comprehensive information describing the nominee and their selected projects. Address issues as strengths, challenges, management, social concerns, community involvement, and other issues of topical relevance. You may include project names and types in the project description and the year the projects were completed. 

Urban Design Award 

Work(s) may be projects, designs, plans, papers, and publications. Describe the important urban design and landscape architecture concepts, including those supporting sustainability and resilience. Submissions cannot include public relations materials. Submissions must include an aerial photograph or site plan with a clear depiction of the area of the work, a north arrow, and a scale. The time period(s) of the project must be clearly stated. Submissions must include a brief statistical summary of areas.