The CTBUH Annual Awards program recognizes projects and individuals that have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of tall buildings and the urban environment, and that achieve sustainability at the highest and broadest level. The objective is to deliver a comprehensive and sophisticated view of these important buildings, spaces, and technologies, while advocating for improvements in every aspect of their performance, especially those that have the greatest impact on the people who use them each day. This means that the buildings highlighted are often not the tallest in a given year, but represent the best qualities and innovations in the typology.

Celebration of the award winning projects is recognized through the annual Tall + Urban Innovation Conference, where Award of Excellence winners in each award category present their projects to an international audience and live juries. All winners will be recognized throughout and at the close of the conference. Projects are judged by live juries during the event itself.


The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat initiated its awards program in 2002, with the creation of the Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award, later adding the Fazlur R. Khan Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. It began recognizing the team achievement in tall building projects by issuing Best Tall Building awards in 2007. 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), Urban Habitat Award (2014), and Construction Award (2017). In 2019, the awards program was significantly expanded and reformatted: new awards to recognize the achievements in engineering and other fields were added: Structural, MEP, Geotechnical, Façade, Fire & Risk, Interior Space, and Renovation; the Urban Habitat award was also split into two categories to recognize building scale versus district/masterplan scale; and the Best Tall Building awards were categorized by height, function, and regional categories in order to make the judging of projects facing similar challenges fairer. The Audience Award was introduced at the 2021 Tall + Urban Innovation Conference.

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