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A project, located in any geographical location, may be submitted to the Design Pittsburgh Awards program provided it adheres to the following criteria:

1. The project’s “Architect of Record”* is a current member of AIA Pittsburgh or;

2. The architecture firm recorded as the project’s “Architect of Record” has at least one principal owner that is a current AIA Pittsburgh architect member and the respective firm can demonstrate substantial design authorship of the project;

3. In the case of multi-office firms, eligible projects are limited to work done primarily by the Pittsburgh based firm, and;

4. All eligible projects in any of the built categories, the completion date must not be more than five (5) years ago.

5. A project that previously received an AIA Pittsburgh Design Award is not eligible for re-submission.

* The AIA National Ethics Council typically views the Architect of Record as the legal entity that has contracted for and completed the work in question. It can be a corporation, partnership or an individual architect.



Each year AIA Pittsburgh engages a notable AIA chapter to assemble a diverse jury of peers.  Architecture Award entries will be judged by measuring the architect's performance against each project’s potential and not in competition with each other. Thus, projects of any type or budget can receive an award based on the architect's skill in realizing the design opportunity.

Award Criteria:

  • Concept for the project
  • Detailing and execution of the design concept
  • Achievement of difficult or unusual program goals or constraints
  • Originality of design
  • Sustainability of project


Projects may only be submitted in one category. Please use your discretion to submit the project in the category that you feel best represents the project. The jury has the discretion to re-categorize projects if they deem the project more worthy of assessment or recognition in another category.

  • Architecture Small (< 5,000 SF)
  • Architecture Medium (5,000 – 50,000 SF)
  • Architecture Large (> 50,000 SF)
  • Architecture / Unbuilt  (Not for projects expected to be constructed)


  • Silver Medal - AIA Pittsburgh's highest award celebrates an extraordinary work of architecture.  The decision to bestow or not bestow this award in any given year rests solely with the jury.
  • Honor Award - To honor the best of the submitted projects. The jury may elect to choose one or more projects for this award.
  • Certificate of Merit - To reward a particular design aspect of a submitted project. The jury may elect to choose one or more projects for this award.
  • People's Choice Award - This category reflects the public’s popular vote for a favorite project.  Votes will be collected online at AIA Pittsburgh's digitial exhibit.
  • Social Impact in Design - This award challenges architects to address issues of equity & social benefit.  All projects are eligible for consideration with no special submission requirements other than explaining the social impact of the work in your narrative.  Framework for Design Excellence measures, such as Design for Equitable Communities, Ecosystems, and Well-being, offer ways to describe the social impact of a project. 


 I will be submitting three projects. Should I complete three registration forms?  Yes, you will need to complete three separate entry applications.

  Can I include the project name in the Digital Project Presentation PDF (for Jury use)?  Yes, you can—just make sure you don’t identify the submitting firm or designer.  Submissions are to remain anonymous.

  What happens if I exceed the 25MB file size limit?  You will be asked to reduce the size of the file and resubmit your project.

  How will I know my submission has been received?  Upon submitting your entry, you will receive a confirmation e-mail message containing your submission details.

 What should I do if I did not receive a confirmation e-mail containing my submission details?  First, check your junk mail folder - the most likely problem is that your spam filter sent the e-mail there.  If you don't find it in your junk mail folder, please contact Jessica Pfauth jpfauth@aiapgh.org for assistance.

 Do I have to start and finish my submission in one session?  No. You can start your submission and come back to finish it before the deadline on Sunday, August 21 by 11:59pm EDT.

 Can I revise my submission after I've hit the "Save and Finalize" button?  Yes, but you must contact the program's administrator to request access to make changes through the portal and the deadline must not have passed.

 Can we submit a few days late?  No. In the interest of fairness to all participants, no late entries will be accepted.

 How will our PDF be viewed?  Jurors will view projects on both small (laptops) and large screens. As long as your images are web-ready (150 dpi), there will be no loss of fidelity.



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