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.