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2023 Design Awards: What Submitters need to know Q+A

**BSA Design Awards Submission Deadline Extended to Friday, September 29, 2023 | 11:59 PM**

Q: Are slides and a recording available for today’s webinar?
Yes. You can find the video here and slides here.

Q: How does the previous Healthcare Facilities carry over to the new category structure?
A: Very similar to previous years! You will enter a project in Built Design Excellence or Small Firms (if eligible). First, you will select “Institutional Facilities”, then you may select Healthcare Facilities. Healthcare Facilities projects will be reviewed within this type, and not against Life Sciences, or other categories.

Q: Will the jury be announced?
A: As soon as we have juries confirmed, we’ll try to share these! In years past, it can take a while for people to confirm. There are a number of factors from bandwidth to availability for collective meetings.

The Technical and Design Jury will be comprised of other AIA chapter members. The Unbuilt Jury will be comprised of BSA members and community partners. Feel free to send us juror recommendations at [email protected]

Q: Do you encourage resubmissions of past entries that did not win, so long as they still meet the eligibility requirements?
A: Yes! We fully encourage you to resubmit if you have not won a BSA Award. This is your opportunity to fine-tune the portfolio, demonstrate progress, and narrate the impact of the project – as it relates to the specific category or project type.

Q: If we submit using the other category for say, "Life Sciences," and no other firms submit with Other and enter Life Sciences the project, will still be considered under something else, like commercial?
A: No, a project will not be moved to another category, such as Commercial if it is an Institutional project (for example).

Q: What happens after projects are reviewed against projects in their own category? will they then be reviewed against each other?
A: The review process is very similar to our past awards jury process: projects within project types will be reviewed within their types. However, the juries will make the final decision on the number of awards within a category or type – or if any projects merit an award.

Q: Are sub-categories judged separately from those in a larger umbrella category? For example, Higher Ed and K-12 projects since they since they're both within educational facilities?
A: Yes. The larger umbrella categories are more for initial grouping. Higher Ed projects will be reviewed separately from K-12. Another example: Housing. Residential projects will be reviewed separately from Multi-Family.

Q: Would a private school for instance not quality for the MAAB recognition if it's new construction?
A: Yes, it would be eligible if it adheres to Massachusetts statute 521 CMR.

Criteria includes entire facilities or site-specific solutions, which might include exteriors (ramps, signage, campuses, landscape); interiors (entries, bathrooms, hardware, lifts, details); or buildings.

Q: Is there a size recommendation for the Build & Small Firms boards?
A: For Built Design Excellence and Small Firms – your portfolio should be formatted for digital: 16:9, 8.5” x 11”, or 11” x 17”. The portfolio may be vertical or horizontal, submitted as a pdf.

For Unbuilt projects: Three (3) 20” x 20” boards, vertical or horizontal, submitted as a pdf.

Q: Can there be more than 1 image per page for the digital portfolio?
A: Yes, at your discretion you may create composite images. But, we also recommend minimal text in captions. Remember that if any materials to be reviewed by the jury identify your firm, the submission will be disqualified.

Q: If it's a commercial project, often the name is the name of the company - Staples Headquarters, or something, should we use something generic? 10 Main Street Office"...?
A: When possible, title your project (and submission materials) something generic, such as “Office Supply Headquarters” or “10 Main St. Office”. Should the project win an award, you will be given the opportunity to rename this accordingly, such a “Staples Headquarters”. Another example: “Boston University Admissions Building” would be submitted as “University Admissions Building,”

Q: What if the client name is on the side of the building?
A: Sometimes a generic naming is unavoidable, where a name or well-recognized branding is on the exterior or interior. It would not be a good design practice to redact this in images. In this case, the name may be included, such as “3M Headquarters”.

Q: Can projects that relate to Urban Design be submitted in Unbuilt - like a housing study done in support of a comp plan.
A: Yes. If this is a study that may be part of a larger plan, you may submit to the Unbuilt and Planning category.

If you project is larger comprehensive plan, already initiated and where a significant portion has been completed, implemented, or adopted, by a local jurisdiction, authority, institution, or private client – you should submit to either the Built Design Excellence or Small Firms categories.

Q: Does the Unbuilt category also include projects that are in process and WILL be completed, as opposed to initiated but incomplete?
A: If a project has been initiated and either will be completed or is incomplete, you may submit the Unbuilt Planning category.

This category is more for studies, smaller plans (such as housing within a larger plan), or resources and tools.

For Campus and/or Urban Planning scope of work, you should submit to wither the Built Design Excellence or Small Firms.

Q: If an unbuilt design is submitted (and wins an award) and then the built version of the project is a very different design, can the built project be submitted later?
Yes and no. If this was submitted in the Planning category for Unbuilt and wins an award, the project is not eligible for resubmission as a future Built Design Excellence of Small Firms project.

However, if a final, built version has a very different conceptualization from the original plans, then yes, you can submit. For conceptual projects, there should be no intent to build.

Q: Can exhibit designs be submitted for the built work category?
A: Yes. You may submit this under “Civic & Culture”, then select “other” for type (or even Interior, if it qualifies. Juries will review categories and types, and have the discretion of placing projects if they feel that’s appropriate. This may actually help your project, if you are in doubt of a category.

Q: In the common app, are we encouraged to complete metrics for all 10 framework categories, even if we are only responding to 3/10?
A: You are encouraged to complete the metrics as thoroughly and accurately as possible – as they pertain to your project, as these will reflect in the overall assessment of the spider graph.

Reminder: Download the Common App worksheet an .xlsx file (and upload as an .xlsx file):