2015 Residential Awards

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It’s time once again to honor the best in California Residential Architects. This program highlights the places we all live, work, dream and play and we wouldn’t want you to miss the opportunity to submit your finest residential programs, but time is of the essence as the deadline is Fri., Jul. 17. CLICK HERE to register!


Everything You Need to Know:



Registration: July 17, 2015
Submission: July 31, 2015


Member Non-Member
$250 $430

A non-refundable entry fee must be paid online at time of registration. No entry fee will be refunded for entries that are disqualified, late or not completed.


Affordable Housing – Affordable Housing is a term used to describe dwelling units where federal, state or local subsidies make a project “available” to those with low or moderate incomes.

Condominiums – Condominiums are defined as residences that are individually owned while use of and access to common facilities in the building such as hallways, elevators, and exterior areas are executed under legal rights associated with the individual ownership and controlled by the association of owners who jointly represent ownership of the entire building.

Mobile Residences (including but not limited to Recreational Vehicles, Houseboats & Trailer Homes) – A mobile residence is not fixed at a stationary point, but has the ability to move and transport itself.

Multi-family Residences – Multi-family residences are defined as multiple separate housing units for residential inhabitants contained within one building or several buildings within one complex.

Single-family Residences – Single-family residences are defined as detached homes, meaning the home is a stand-alone structure with its own lot.

Entrants may submit up to two unbuilt projects in any of the above categories.

Unbuilt architectural designs of the specified residential project type are eligible, including purely theoretical projects and unbuilt client-sponsored projects. Up to two entries of Unbuilt designs are accepted across the five categories of residential dwellings.


  • California projects: All architects and designers practicing within the United States are eligible to submit projects that are located in the State of California.
  • California architects: All architects and designers practicing within California are eligible to submit projects located outside the state.  If a firm has multiple offices, only projects executed by the California offices are eligible.
  • Any architect, designer, or architecture firm falling into one of the above categories may submit any number of eligible entries provided each is submitted separately with separate payments.
  • Projects that have won awards in other AIACC awards programs are ineligible.
  • Any number of projects can be entered regardless of project size, budget, style, or building type and may include remodeling or extended use projects.
  • Work by the firm of a design professional serving as a juror is ineligible.
  • For built projects, construction must have been completed after JANUARY 1, 2007.


Each entry in the AIACC Design Awards Program is judged on the success with which the project has met its individual requirements. Quality of design, stewardship, concept, and thoughtful innovation in practice and technique are all looked-at factors.


Mandatory Sustainability Worksheet

Concealed Identification Forms


You may design your entry using any software of your choice. Be sure all text (no smaller than 12 point) is legible and images are clear.

Each entry must follow these basic guidelines:

  • Your completed entry should contain two files: The entry (including the sustainability metrics) saved as a PDF, and the Concealed ID form saved as a Word Document.
  • Entry PDFs should be in landscape layout and at least 10 inches wide by 8.5 inches high.
  • Your assigned entry number must be clearly indicated on the top right of every page.
  • Each entry may not exceed 20 pages. Entries exceeding these guidelines will be disqualified. The Concealed ID forms do not count as part of the 20 page maximum.
  • All files must be named with your assigned entry number.
  • The firm name MUST NOT be mentioned on any of your entry pages, if they are, you will be disqualified



What should be on Page 1:

  • Two-sentence summary of the project. (Paint a very concise and sharp picture with words.)
  • One graphic (only one) which is clear and best represents the project.
  • Basic project information: category, building type, completion date, budget (if available), and location.

Architecture (select one)

Single Family Residential

Multi-Family Residential



PAGE 2 – 3

Project narrative, including sustainability objectives.

PAGE 4-6

Energy, Water, and Resource Efficient Design Metrics Worksheet (fill-in project information on the worksheet provided).

Page 7

Sustainable design strategies illustrated in an annotated diagram or section.

Pages 8-20

Include supporting images, photos, diagrams, site plans, floor plans, and elevations.


You are required to fill out the concealed identification forms which include:

Project/Firm Identification

Project Team

Legal Disclaimer

Unpaid Intern Declaration

Photo Release Form

The jury does not view your concealed ID forms until the final recipients have been selected.

Basic Entry Guidelines

The following guidelines apply to all categories:

Project Narrative

  • Describe your project as succinctly as possible. Avoid elaborating on features already made clear by the photographs and drawings.
  • 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.
  • Explain all design achievement that demonstrates exemplary skill and creativity in the resolution and integration of formal, functional, and technical requirements. Projects should reflect a strong sense of place, ecology, resource efficiency, history, and purpose as an integral part of demonstrated design excellence.

Image Requirements

  • Photos must be clear- however, do not use high resolution photos that will increase your file size. Use file types that allow compression to keep the file sizes low, such as .jpg or .png images. Avoid using .tif files. Suggested image resolution is 125 to 150 DPI.
  • Include both interior and exterior photographs that illustrate the complete project, including its relationship to its surroundings.
  • Historic Preservation/Restoration Projects must include a side-by-side before and after photo.
  • You may include composite images, but numerous composites throughout the entry are discouraged.
  • Site Plans may be drawn at any scale in any medium, but the scale and the north arrow must be indicated clearly.
  • Floor Plans must clearly explain the solution.


Submittal guidelines include “metrics for resource-efficiency and resilience”. This new sustainability worksheet directly supports the AIACC’s policy of Principles for Advocating Energy, Water, and Resource-Efficient Design.

Residential projects designed with CA 2010 T24, Site EUI (Energy Use Intensity), should include lighting, appliances, and photovoltaics, if possible. 2010 T24 has incorporated this approach in the form of the HERS II rating system, developed by the California Energy Commission. The HERS II rating is the EUI of the proposed design divided by the EUI of Reference Design (2008 T24 compliant).

If you project was designed with CA 2010 T24, please include your HERS II score (0 – 100) based on your Title 24 compliance model. (If you do not have actual performance numbers for lighting and appliances, use the default values.)


(Illustrated in an annotated diagram or section)

In addition to the required sustainability worksheet, sustainable design strategies must be illustrated in an annotated diagram or section. Two examples are provided below. You may design your illustration in any way that thoroughly explains the project’s sustainable design strategies.


  • You may include up to 10 supporting images, diagrams, site plans, floor plans, and elevations. Use file types that allow compression to keep the file sizes low, such as .jpg or .png images.
  • You may include composite images, but numerous composites are discouraged.
  • Site Plans may be drawn at any scale in any medium, but the scale must be indicated clear


File Preparation and Uploading

Your entry should be saved as a .PDF, and the Concealed ID forms as a Word Document. Remember do not include any information regarding the firm or those affiliated with the project.

CLICK HERE to view an example of an award winning submittal from last year.

This year we are using a new platform provided by Cadmium. You will not be assigned an entry number as in the past. Once you register, you will receive an email with your registration information. A link also will be provided should you want to update your submission.   Please CLICK HERE for instructions on how to register.

To download the submittal guidelines and registration instructions CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE to register!



The AIACC represents the interests of more than 11,000 architects and allied professionals in California. Founded in 1944, The AIACC's mission supports architects in their endeavors to improve the quality of life for all Californians by creating more livable communities, sustainable designs and quality work environments. Today, The AIACC is the largest component of the National AIA organization.

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