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.


Tall Building Systems 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.

The Tall Building Systems Award, formerly known as the MEP Engineering Award, recognizes projects that have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of Systems engineering in tall buildings, and that take the technical solutions and possibilities for tall buildings to the next level. These “systems” are those generally regarded as being within the realm of MEP Engineering, and embrace the following (non-exhaustive) list; mechanical; electrical; plumbing; vertical transportation; systems to improve sustainability; energy generation and storage; indoor environmental quality and several others (NOTE: Life Safety is its own standalone category within the CTBUH awards program). Submissions for the Systems Award can be for any single system, as outlined above, or for a combination of systems acting holistically, right up to the MEP design of the project overall.

The criteria for submission are outlined below. It is important to note that, with the exception of the two points regarding completion date eligibility and tall building definitions, a project does not necessarily need to meet every listed criterion. Submissions should demonstrate strengths in areas that are applicable.

  1. The project advances innovative systems engineering, perhaps in a configuration that has not been attempted, or achieved, before.
  2. The engineering solutions are efficient, cost-effective, robust, and replicable to other projects.
  3. The system exhibits sustainable qualities at a broad level, minimizing effects on the natural environment.
  4. The project achieves a high standard of excellence and quality in its realization.
  5. The project must be completed (topped out structurally and architecturally, fully clad, and at least partially occupiable) within a 60-month eligibility window: for the 2022 awards, a project must have a completion date between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2021. It should be noted that this five-year eligibility window is two years longer than most other CTBUH awards categories, and is extended specifically to encourage performance data around the particular systems in operation. This is thus not a design award – is for the proven performance of systems in place in a building under an extended period of operation.
  6. There is potential confusion between the CTBUH Tall Building Systems and separate “Tall Building Innovation” award. For the avoidance of doubt, the Innovation award is intended primarily for a “product scale” innovation that should have been thoroughly physically tested but might not yet have been fully implemented in a building. The CTBUH Tall Building Systems award is for a full and complete system that has been fully implemented and evaluated in a building over a several-year period. To learn more in the Innovation Award, see here.
  7. It should also be noted that, though materials should be sufficient to inform and inspire the jury in making their decision on “Awards of Excellence” winners, supplementary, final photography and other materials can be submitted prior to the final category judging at the conference event.
  8. Projects submitted to all CTBUH awards must meet generally with the ethos around “tall,” as described in the CTBUH Height Criteria Generally speaking, if a project is less than 14 stories, or less than 50 meters, it is unlikely to qualify. Please contact if you are unsure if your specific project will qualify.
  9. The contributions of the project should be generally consistent with the values and mission of the CTBUH.

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.