How to Find AEC Award Programs to Enter

Now that we’ve reviewed the strategic benefit to entering awards programs, let’s discuss how you can find potential programs to enter. Years ago, a few consultants would publish an annual list of the various awards programs related to the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. While it could be a bit pricey to acquire, it proved to be a handy go-to resource. With the proliferation of awards being offered and an ever-growing list of options, it’s nearly impossible to maintain an updated list. The reasons for this astronomical growth vary, but primarily involve organizations understanding the benefits of offering awards programs and technology making it easier and more cost-effective to administer.

While there is no one comprehensive source, you can start with On Target’s complimentary Partial List of AEC Industry Awards:

To find awards that fit your firm’s specific needs, we suggest you conduct Internet searches, reach out to your network, visit competitor websites, and ask your project team members, suppliers, and the client/owner for suggestions. Keep an open mind for which type of award your firm, project, staff member or client might be eligible. Consider these areas:

Architecture, civil engineering, landscape architecture, construction, environmental, etc.
Ex: American Council of Engineering Companies, American Institute of Architects, and Associated Builders and Contractors, U.S. Green Building Council), American Society of Landscape Architects

Design-build, commissioning, water/wastewater engineering, geotechnical engineering, subsurface utility engineering, etc.
Ex: Design-Build Institute of America, Association of Energy Engineers, American Public Works Association, Federal Highway Administration

Project type
Schools & universities, ports, laboratories, governmental, airports, etc.
Ex: Society for College and University Professionals, R&D magazine, American Association of Port Authorities, American Gaming Association, Municipal Association

Local, regional and national media outlets and business and industry groups
Largest, fastest growing, best office space, rising stars, women and minority business pioneers; top professionals in field, etc.
Ex: Business journals, chamber of commerce and other business groups, major newspapers, area and state economic development organizations, state-level public broadcasting

Transportation, health care, mining, hospitality, etc.
Ex: American Public Transport Association, American Society of Healthcare Engineering, American Exploration & Mining Association, American Hotel & Lodging Association

Products and materials
Carpet, flooring, stone, wood, roofing, etc.
Ex: Domotex Carpet Design Awards, Starnet Commercial Flooring Design Excellence Awards, National Roofing Contractors Association

Technology, equipment, tools, methods, project management tools, construction methods, marketing and communications
Ex: ASPIRE The Concrete Bridge Magazine, Design-Build Institute of America, Connecticut Building Congress Project Team Awards, AIA BIM Award, Project Management Institute, International Tunneling Awards, Society for Marketing Professional Services

Client industry awards
Best places to work, 40under40, rising start, professional service awards, sustainability, community redevelopment and re-use, etc.
Ex:, Municipal Association, International STEM Education Association

As you find potential awards, create a spreadsheet and update it annually to track the awarding organization, geographic coverage, types/category of award, industry, relevant search word tags, annual due date, costs, contact information, and any special notes. Then read On Target’s next blog article to help you determine which awards on this long list you may want to pursue.

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