2021 Award Categories

There are 11 categories at the AJ100 Awards 2021. Some of the category winners will be decided from results directly derived from the survey; others will be categories that practices specifically choose to enter and may require a presentation to an AJ100 judging panel.

The winners will be announced at the AJ100 awards ceremony in September.

More details on the criteria for each category, along with how the shortlist and winners will be decided, follows below. 

BEST USE OF TECHNOLOGY AWARD
The practice that wins this award will have used technology to transform the way it does business. For example, the practice may have invested in technology such as 3-D printing, nano/bio-technology or new materials to improve the quality of its architecture. It may have invested in computer software to drive efficiencies in its business.

Entry is through specific questions in the survey. The winner is chosen by a judging panel.

BUILDING OF THE YEAR AWARD

The Building of the Year category is awarded to a building completed in 2020 that is judged exemplary in its design – functionally, materially and spatially – and in its delivery and performance. In particular, it should demonstrate a carefully considered approach to sustainability (for example in terms of whole-life carbon, flexibility and reuse). It should also demonstrate client satisfaction, quality of user experience, and contribution to its wider environment.  

Entry is through specific questions in the survey, with site visits taking place in July 2021 (if Covid-19 restrictions allow). The winner is chosen by a judging panel.

CLIENT OF THE YEAR
This can be awarded to any client who has worked with one of the top AJ100 practices. Each practice will need to provide reasons why its chosen client should win.

Nominations are made through specific questions in the survey and decided by the AJ editorial team.

COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR AWARD
The Collaboration of the Year Award is awarded to the most successful collaboration on a project or initiative over the past 12 months. The collaborator can be another architect or a firm in another sector such as engineering, quantity surveying, contracting, project management and development or a client or stakeholder. Entries could also include an exceptional collaboration in 2020 between a design architect and an executive architect.

Each practice will need to explain how the partnership came about and what made it an outstanding success. For example, how the collaboration made significant strides in sustainability, improved design quality, made cost savings or added value in some other way on a project. Please provide contact details for the collaborator.

Entry is through specific questions in the survey. The winner is chosen by a judging panel.

COMMUNITY IMPACT OF THE YEAR AWARD 
The Community Impact of the Year Award is awarded to a project that demonstrates both a deep engagement with the local community and an exceptional and sustainable outcome for all stakeholders. Judges will be looking for evidence of constructive consultation and significant benefits for the community post-completion.

Entry is through specific questions in the survey, with site visits to shortlisted projects made by a panel of judges in May 2021 (if Covid-19 restrictions allow). 

CONTRIBUTION TO THE PROFESSION
Practices are asked to nominate an individual who has contributed something of outstanding importance to the industry.

Nominations are made through specific questions in the survey and the Enhanced Industry Survey and decided by the AJ editorial team.

EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR AWARD
This award recognises the best practice for employees and is judged on HR issues such as staff satisfaction, workplace culture, benefits and staff turnover in 2020. Practices also need to demonstrate what initiatives have been put in place to help motivate, train, and support their staff and to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. This year we are particularly interested in how practices have responded to the challenges of Covid-19, including the impact of both remote working and the pandemic in general on staff wellbeing.  

Entry is through the main survey and the Enhanced Industry survey, , with site visits to shortlisted projects made by a panel of judges in May 2021 (if Covid-19 restrictions allow). 

NEW MEMBER OF THE YEAR AWARD
The New Member of the Year title is awarded to the practice which entered the AJ100 for the first time. or for the first time after a period of at least five years. The award is judged on business success and quality of work.

The shortlist is decided through data drawn from the survey and the winner is selected by the AJ editorial team.

PRACTICE OF THE YEAR
The Practice of the Year Award is judged on key business data from both the main AJ100 survey and the employee survey along with quality of design and approach to sustainability during 2020. Judges will also consider how practices promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

The shortlist is drawn up by the AJ Editorial team. Shortlisted practices will be invited to present to a panel of judges.

SUSTAINABILITY CHAMPION OF THE YEAR AWARD
The Sustainability Champion of the Year Award will be given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the sustainable design agenda in the calendar year 2020. This could be either someone working within an architectural practice or within the wider built environment.

Entry is through specific questions in the survey. Shortlisted nominees will be invited to present to a panel of judges.

SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR AWARD
To be considered for this award, practices will need to submit an initiative that demonstrates the practice’s exemplary/innovative approach to sustainability. This must have been delivered in the calendar year 2020.

For example, the initiative could be a specific project that demonstrates an exemplary aspect of sustainability, or a piece of research or pro bono work that showcases sustainability or furthers sustainable practice. It could also be a significant change in the way the practice is run that promotes sustainability (such as embedding sustainability in project delivery or staff training).

Entry is by specific questions in the AJ100 survey. Shortlisted practices will be invited to present to a panel of judges.

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