2017 Key Dates

Stage 1

Call for SubmissionsOctober 2017
Submission Deadline15 December 2017
First Round Judging PeriodJanuary 2018
Regional Best Tall Building, Urban Habitat & Innovation Finalists AnnouncedFebruary 2018
Lifetime Achievement, 10 Year & Performance Winners AnnouncedMarch 2018

Stage 2

Chicago Conference, Dinner & Ceremony
(Regional Best Tall Building, Urban Habitat & Innovation winners determined, from finalists)
May 2018
CTBUH Annual Conference
(Overall Best Tall Building Worldwide determined, from the four Regional Winners)
October 2018
Production of Awards BookFebruary – April 2018

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. 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


Note: The awards process and timeline changed in 2017 to accommodate a more robust judging process and larger-scale event.

The Council initiates its Call for Awards in October each year, however, there is an open submission period such that companies can submit their projects for consideration via the online submission portal at any time during the year. There are no entry fees associated with the CTBUH Awards. The submission period closes in mid-December at which point Stage 1 judging occurs, in which the regional Best Tall Building, Urban Habitat, and Innovation Finalists are selected, as well as the Lifetime Achievement, 10 Year, and Performance Winners (for more details see “Judging” section below). These results are typically announced in February.

The Finalists present their projects during Stage 2 of the judging process at the two-day Chicago Conference held in May. Following the presentations, the Jury deliberates and selects the winners in each category. The winners are announced and awards conferred at the Ceremony & Dinner, which concludes the two-day event. This gala dinner is attended by leaders in the tall building industry from around the world.

The four regional winners in the Best Tall Building category announced at the ceremony then move on to compete for the title of “Best Tall Building Worldwide”. They present their projects during a special session at the CTBUH International Conference, which takes place in October of the same year. Based on these presentations, the Jury determines the overall Best Tall Building Worldwide which is announced at the conference, and promoted internationally.

All projects participating in the awards program are eligible to be featured in CTBUH’s annual Awards Book, which is published in conjunction with a major publisher and distributed internationally each year. The content of the book is driven by the awards submissions and is typically published in late summer following the Chicago event.


The judging responsibilities are as follows:

  • Main Jury: Responsible for selecting the Best Tall Building regional finalists and the four regional winners (and from those four winners, ultimately the overall Worldwide winner).
  • Technical Jury: Responsible for selecting the Innovation Award and the Performance Award finalists and winners. This jury also provides technical insight on regional Best Tall Building Award candidates, to assist the Main Jury in choosing the regional finalists.
  • Urban Habitat Jury: Responsible for selecting the Urban Habitat Award finalists and winner. This jury also provides urban insights on regional Best Tall Building Award candidates, to assist the Main Jury in choosing the regional finalists.
  • CTBUH Board of TrusteesResponsible for selecting both Lifetime Achievement winners, the 10 Year Award winner, and any CTBUH Fellows for that year. The Trustees are also responsible for possibly 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 and Finalists: CTBUH Expectations

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

  • Finalists are expected to attend and present at the two-day Chicago Conference on their project. These presentations will be the basis for the jury’s selection of winners.
  • Winners and Finalists are expected to attend the annual Awards Ceremony & Dinner at the close of the Chicago Conference, and in the event that the project is named a Winner, collect the awards and give a short acceptance speech.
  • Additional and comprehensive material must be provided for inclusion in the awards book publication which will feature and promote the project in detail.
  • Occasionally, winners may be invited to sit on the Awards Jury the following year.