2016 Key Dates

Call for Submissions1 March 2016
Submission Deadline29 April 2016
Judging PeriodMay 2016
Winners/Finalists AnnouncedJune – July 2016
Production of Best Tall Buildings Book15 June – 31 August 2016
Awards Event Registration OpensAugust 2016
Printing & Delivery of Book1 September – 1 November 2016
Awards Symposium, Dinner & CeremonyNovember 2016

Rem Koolhaas presents at the 2013 Awards Symposium, after CCTV Headquarters, Beijing, won Best Tall Building Asia & Australasia


The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat initiated its Awards Program in 2001, with the creation of the Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award, later adding the Fazlur R. Khan Medal in 2004. It began recognizing the team achievement in tall building projects by issuing Best Tall Building awards in 2007. CTBUH issues four regional awards each year (Americas, Asia & Australasia, Europe, and Middle East & Africa), and from these regional awards, one project is awarded the honor of overall Best Tall Building Worldwide, which is announced at the Awards Ceremony. The awards program has continued to expand over the years to address specific industry developments and recognize those buildings/innovations that are pushing the typology forward: Innovation Award (2012), 10 Year Award (2013), Performance Award (2014), and Urban Habitat Award (2014).

Lynn Beedle receives the inaugural CTBUH Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002


The Council initiates its Call for Awards at the beginning of March each year. This begins an open submission period, in which companies submit their projects for consideration via the online submission portal. There are no entry fees associated with the CTBUH Awards. The submission period closes at the end of April and the award winners and finalists are selected by the Awards Juries (for more details see “Judging” section below). Winners are typically announced in June/July. All projects participating in the awards program are featured in the annual Best Tall Buildings book, which is published in conjunction with a major publisher and distributed internationally each year. The book launch coincides with the annual Awards Ceremony.

The four regional winners present their projects during the free Awards Symposium held in November at the Illinois Institute of Technology campus in Chicago. Following the presentations, the Jury deliberates and selects the overall Best Tall Building Worldwide. All awards are conferred at the annual Ceremony & Dinner, which follows the Symposium and is held in Mies van der Rohe’s landmark S.R. Crown Hall. This gala dinner is attended by 300 of the tall building industry’s leaders from around the world.


The judging responsibilities are as follows:

  • Main Jury: Responsible for selecting the four regional Best Tall Building winners (and from those, ultimately the overall Worldwide winner), and the Urban Habitat award winner.
  • Technical Jury: Responsible for selecting the Innovation Award and the Performance Award winners. This jury also provides technical insight on regional Best Tall Building Award Finalists, to assist the Main Jury in choosing the regional winners.
  • CTBUH Board of Trustees: Responsible for selecting both Lifetime Achievement winners, the 10 Year Award winner, and any CTBUH Fellows for that year. The Trustees are also responsible for designating a “Global Icon” winner, which may or may not be at the Main Jury’s suggestion (Global Icon winners are rare – only one has been issued to date: the Burj Khalifa in 2010).
Ole Scheeren and Tiang Wah Eng accept the 2014 Urban Habitat Award for The Interlace, Singapore, from 2014 Awards Jury Chair, Jeanne Gang

Winners: CTBUH Expectations

All CTBUH Award winners carry the following expectations (pertaining to the building owner/lead consultants in the case of winning buildings):

  • Winners are expected to attend the annual Awards Ceremony & Dinner in November to collect their awards and give short acceptance speeches.
  • Winners are expected to attend and present at the Awards Symposium on the winning project/lifetime’s work on the day of the Awards Ceremony & Dinner.
  • Additional and comprehensive material must be provided for inclusion in the CTBUH annual Best Tall Buildings publication.
  • Occasionally, winners may be invited to sit on the Awards Jury the following year.