What Constitutes an Award-Winning Project?

Oct. 1, 2007
Why certain buildings are selected by the judging committee in Buildings' project awards programs

By Linda K. Monroe 

Last year, when the editorial staff undertook a new venture - the Project Innovations program (by which readers would review even more of North America's most prestigious projects) - we received support and also curiosity about this extension of our long-standing project awards programs. This October 2007 issue spotlights 19 Project Innovations recipients and 13 additional projects that went beyond "Project Innovations" status to receive either a Citation of Excellence or Grand Prize in four project award competitions: Buildings Interiors® Design, Greener Facilities (a new recognition this year), Modernization, and New Construction. Aesthetics, function, performance, sustainability, and more were ranked on a scorecard; once the preliminary judging committee selected the year's Project Innovations, the submittals were then forwarded to a final judging committee of industry professionals who applied even more stringent standards to select projects for the next step in the program.

The question remains, however: What constitutes an award-winning project? Following are just a few comments from this year's judging committee (which consisted of two construction/facilities management professionals, an architect, two interior designers, and the editorial staff). Their specific comments on Grand Prize and Citation of Excellence projects are also highlighted.

  • Buildings Interiors® Design Awards: "The degree of sophistication [for this project] is considerable; subtle details are translated from floor to floor without losing the [building's] initial integrity. ... The skillful layout, different on each level but following a common thread, sets a level of expectation and continuity."
  • Greener Facilities Award: "The types of mechanical systems found within this building provide direction for the future. This will become ever more necessary as our buildings become more sophisticated. The trick is to ensure that, through multiple remodeling, the designer's intent is not destroyed."
  • Modernization Awards: "The constraints imposed by the old structure should be embraced and used as a starting point. We should carefully consider [building] challenges and rise to the occasion rather than shrinking and taking the easy option [of] demolition. The building continues to provide a stable reminder to the community that its values remain unaltered."
  • New Construction Awards: "A very sophisticated example [of a residential tower], the use of glass illustrates that this medium can be used very expressively. The form of the building beautifully fulfills its function."

Is there anything here that inspires you to have your project evaluated by a committee of your industry peers? If so, let us know today about your interest in participating in the 2008 Project Innovations program. 

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