Key Dates

Stage 1

Call for Submissions9 July 2020
Submission Deadline4 September 2020
First Round Judging PeriodSeptember 2020
“Award of Excellence” Winners Notified October 2020

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

Stage 2

Tall + Urban Innovation Conference / Awards Ceremony & Dinner (“Award of Excellence” winners present and compete for Overall Winner status within each category) 19–20 April 2021
Production of Awards BookDecember 2020–February 2021
Calatrava_1Santiago Calatrava presents at the 2015 Awards Symposium.


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. Overall Category Winners are then selected during the event and awards are conferred at the Dinner & Ceremony held at the close of the event. Projects are judged by live juries during the event itself.


The Council initiates its Call for Awards in the fall each year. There are no entry fees associated with the CTBUH Awards. The submission period closes in September, at which point Stage 1 judging occurs, in which “Award of Excellence” winners are selected, as well as the Lifetime Achievement Winners (for more details see “Judging” section below).

The “Award of Excellence” winners go on to present their projects during Stage 2 of the judging process at the Tall + Urban Innovation Conference held in April. Following the presentations, the Jury deliberates and selects the Overall Winner for each category. All Winners are announced and awards conferred at the Ceremony & Dinner, which concludes the three-day event. This gala dinner is attended by leaders in the tall building industry from around the world.

The Overall Category Winners of the Best Tall Building categories announced at the ceremony are also judged against one another to compete for the title of “Best Tall Building Worldwide” which is announced at the close of the Ceremony & Dinner, and promoted internationally.

All projects participating in the awards program are featured in the CTBUH’s annual Skyscrapers Book, a global overview of tall building construction annually. The book is published by CTBUH and distributed internationally each year thus providing excellent promotion for the submitted projects and companies involved. The content of the book is driven by the awards submissions and launched at the Tall + Urban Innovation Conference.

Dakis Joannou (left), Nice Day Developments, and Jean Nouvel, Ateliers Jean Nouvel, present on Best Tall Building 2016 Europe winner The White Walls


There are multiple juries made up of experts in their respective fields who judge the various award categories. See further details on the Juries page. Each jury reviews the submissions for their category against the listed criteria and determines a number of “Award of Excellence” winners (there is no fixed number, and will vary by the strength of the submissions in each category). An “Award of Excellence” designation from the Jury is a recognition of the strength and achievement of the project at the highest level.

At the Tall + Urban Innovation Conference, the juries will consider live presentations by the “Award of Excellence” winners, and further deliberate to determine one Overall Winner for each category.

Ole Scheeren and Tiang Wah Eng accept the 2014 Urban Habitat Award for The Interlace, Singapore, from 2014 Awards Jury Chair, Jeanne Gang

“Award of Excellence” Winners: CTBUH Expectations

“Award of Excellence” winners are expected to comply with the following responsibilities:

  • Representatives of the project (for Best Tall Building, Urban Habitat, 10 Year, Interior Design, and Renovation categories this must be both the owner/developer and design architect/urban planner/interior architect) must present at the Innovation Conference for consideration of also winning the category overall, with all speakers representing the project needing to be CTBUH organizational members. These presentations will form the basis for the jury’s selection of Overall Category Winners.
  • Attend the annual Awards Ceremony & Dinner at the close of the Innovation Conference to collect the award(s).
  • Support the Council, who do not charge any fees to administer the awards program, by all speakers paying the subsidized speaker registration rate at the Conference.


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 vs. 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.

Lynn Beedle receives the inaugural CTBUH Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002