The CTBUH Awards celebrate tall buildings in their every dimension. From project conception through the various design and engineering awards to project realization with the construction and renovation awards, the program recognizes the interconnected disciplines involved in these complex projects. In addition, projects vie for distinction within a specific height band, and in context as urban habitat. Lastly, 10-year awards commend time-proven projects.

See project category criteria and submission requirements below. Please note: all known building data fields from the CTBUH tall building database will automatically populate the award submission form, reducing the number of required fields for each submission. Submitters retain the ability to add additional building information and amend any of the existing fields, where appropriate.


Best Tall Non-building Award Criteria

Note: Projects are considered for two levels of recognition: (1) “Award of Excellence” winners, based on the online submission and Phase 1 judging, (2) all “Award of Excellence” winners then go forward to live presentation judging at the annual conference, for determination of the Overall Category winner and Audience Award winner in each category.

This award recognizes projects that have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of tall structures as distinctive landmarks with a significant impact on the surrounding context, yet do not satisfy the formal CTBUH definition of a “building” according to the CTBUH Tall Building Criteria.

  1. The project must not qualify as a building according to CTBUH Tall Building Criteria. To be considered a building, at least 50 of its heigh must be occupiable in conditioned space which is designed to be safely and legally occupied by residents, workers, or other building users on a consistent basis.
  2. The project must exhibit a quality of “tallness” as defined in the CTBUH Tall Building Criteria. If a structure can be considered as subjectively relevant to one or more of the below categories, then it can be considered “tall.”
    • Height Relative to Context: A 50-meter structure may not be considered ‘tall’ in a high-rise city such as Chicago or Hong Kong, but in a provincial European city or a suburb this may be distinctly taller than the urban norm.
    • Proportion: There are numerous structures that are not particularly high but are slender enough to give the appearance of ‘tallness.’ Conversely, there are numerous big/large-footprint structures that are quite high, but their width/site area rules them out of being classed as ‘tall.’
    • Embracing Technologies Relevant to ‘Tallness’: A structure containing technologies which may be attributed as being a product of “tall” (e.g., damping technologies, structural wind bracing as a product of height, etc.).
  3. For the 2022 and 2023 awards, the project must be completed (topped out structurally and architecturally, fully clad, and at least partially occupiable) within the past 60 months (1 Jan 2018 – 31 Dec 2022 for the 2022 award, and 1 Jan 2019 – 31 December 2022 for the 2023 award). For the 2024 awards, the eligibility window is the preceding 36 months, as with other CTBUH awards. In some cases, a project may be “complete” according to CTBUH completion criteria, but the presence of a crane/hoist for ongoing interior fit-out work may prevent final photography and thus submission to the current year’s awards. In such cases, a one-year grace period to the above date criteria may be granted.
  4. It should also be noted that, though materials should be sufficient to inform and inspire the jury in making their decision on “Award of Excellence” winners, supplementary, final photography and other materials can be submitted prior to the final category judging at the conference event. If photography showing the project’s construction as substantially complete, both exterior and interior, is not available by the submission deadline, it is strongly advised to hold your submission until the following year.
  5. The contributions of the project should be generally consistent with the values and mission of the CTBUH. While these projects do not need to include all of the previous qualities, they should exhibit environmental, social, and economic sustainability and/or should highlight remarkable technical skills and innovations in design, engineering, construction, etc.

Additional Notes:

  • A project is only eligible for consideration of a CTBUH award in a specific category once, and cannot be submitted in a consecutive year’s awards program for the same category regardless of whether it may still meet the completion date criteria.
  • A single project can submit for consideration across multiple award categories, in the same or consecutive year, though each submission needs to be crafted differently, according to the specifics of the particular awards category criteria.
  • Awards in some categories may not be conferred on an annual basis if the criteria cannot be clearly met or demonstrated.
  • If a juror is connected with a nominated project, he/she will not be involved in the judging of that project.
  • Jury selections for all winners must be ratified by the CTBUH Board of Trustees.
  • All projects entered to the CTBUH Awards will also be eligible for inclusion in the CTBUH Tall Buildings + Urban Habitat publication which features a global overview of tall building completion annually. The book is published by CTBUH and distributed globally, thus providing excellent promotion for the submitted projects and companies involved. While it is typical that most submissions are included in the publication, CTBUH reserves the right to determine that a project will not be included for reasons that include, but are not limited to: a project does not meet the eligibility requirements for inclusion; appropriate, high resolution images were not provided in the submission; the project was submitted for multiple award categories and will only be included in the book once, etc.
  • “Award of Excellence” winners are expected to comply with the following responsibilities:
    • In order to be considered for winning the category overall and audience awards, a representative from the project must present at the conference. For the Best Tall Building, Urban Habitat, 10 Year, Interior Design and Renovation categories, both the owner/developer and design architect/urban planner/interior architect must present. All speakers who represent the project need to be CTBUH organizational members. These presentations will form the basis for the jury’s selection of overall category winners and audience awards.
    • Attend the annual Awards Ceremony & Dinner at the close of the conference to collect the award(s).
    • Support the Council, which does not charge any fees to administer the awards program, by way of all speakers paying the subsidized speaker registration rate at the Conference.