Submissions Open for the 2023 Architectural Excellence Design & COTE Awards

Each year, AIA Pennsylvania celebrates the great work that Pennsylvania’s architects are doing to affect positive social, environmental, and economic outcomes for their clients and communities in the Commonwealth and beyond.

The 2023 AIA Pennsylvania Architectural Excellence Design & COTE Awards submission deadline has been extended through Monday, August 7, 2023, at 11:59 pm EST.

The AIA Pennsylvania Architectural Excellence Design Awards celebrate the exemplary design achievements of members and the impact of architecture regardless of budget, size, style, or type. Projects selected for COTE honors will have exhibited excellence in the AIA Framework for Design Excellence measures that indicate how buildings perform for the health and wellness of the occupants, communities, and the environment they serve.

Download and review the 2023 Architectural Excellence Design & COTE Awards Call for Submissions before starting your submission(s) for complete details, including the submission process and required and optional submission fields and file uploads. Visit the awards submission platform to create an account or log in to an existing account.

visit the submission platform >


The 2023 Design Awards Jury

In 2023, the Design Awards jury will be chaired by Sebastian Schmaling, AIA, LEED AP, Founding Partner, Johnsen Schmaling Architects. Sebastian will be joined by fellow Milwaukee-based architects, both practitioners and educators, Mo Zell, ACSA, AIA, and Allen Washatko, AIA. Learn more about the jurors and what they seek in this year’s submissions.

The 2023 COTE Awards Jury

This year’s COTE Awards jury is a panel of architects and industry professionals with credentials and experience in sustainable, resilient, and inclusive design based in Wisconsin and active with AIA Wisconsin’s COTE Committee – Kimberly Reddin AIA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP; Dan Kalkman, AIA, WELL AP, LFA; and Emily Neal, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP ID+C.



All submissions will be featured in the 2023 Architectural Excellence Design & COTE Award Gallery. Finalists will be notified in October. View 2022’s submissions, finalists, and recipients.

The 2023 Architectural Excellence Design & COTE Awards will be celebrated during the 2023 Architectural Excellence Awards Broadcast and Viewing Parties set for Thursday, November 16, 2023. Recap the honors from last year with a replay of the 2022 broadcast.


Here are some opportunities that may influence your firm’s decision to enter work in the 2023 AIA Pennsylvania Architectural Excellence Design & COTE Awards.

Re-submit Past Projects | If you’ve entered a project(s) in the AIA Pennsylvania Architectural Excellence Design & COTE Awards in recent years (2020-2022) and are still eligible for submission, you are encouraged to consider resubmitting a project(s) through the submission platform. Log in with your existing applicant account using the unique resubmission link. More details on the process for the population of past submissions to the current program are found on page 3 of the 2023 Architectural Excellence Design & COTE Awards Call for Submissions.

Project Timeline Eligibility | Lacking recently completed projects in your portfolio that rise to your standard for entry in the awards program? Use this opportunity to take stock of your body of work going back five (5) years or repurpose and refine past submissions. Projects that meet the criteria outlined in the call for submissions documentation and have been completed (occupied) or commissioned (unbuilt category) after January 1, 2018, are eligible for entry.

Project Credit Eligibility | Partner on a project with another architecture firm? Projects entered by the submitting firm, as Architect of Record and/or Design Architect, must have at least one Principal that is a current AIA Pennsylvania architect member.

Repurpose Submission Compilations | Flexible minimum and maximum page count for the “Digital Project Binder” upload give applicants greater ease and the opportunity to repurpose for local chapter award submissions. The Digital Project Binder (PDF) must include a minimum of nine (9) pages and a maximum of twenty (20) pages (11 x 8.5 inches letter OR 13.33​​ x 7.5 inch​es​ widescreen) at 25 MB max. Entries in the “Small Project” category are the exception and may include a minimum of (5) pages.

COTE Awards Opt-In  | The COTE Awards remains an opt-in program with a separate jury review and assessment. To be eligible for the Architectural Excellence COTE Awards, a project(s) must meet the eligibility criteria for the 2023 Architectural Excellence Design Awards and must be submitted to the 2023 Architectural Excellence Design Awards program. If you intend to submit your projects to the Architectural Excellence COTE Awards, you must opt to do so simultaneously with submission to the Architectural Excellence Design Awards.

The Framework for Design Excellence Assessment, the criteria for the awards program, is based on the AIA’s Framework for Design Excellence. As in years past, the assessment criteria are identical to AIA Philadelphia Design Awards “Framework to Design Excellence/Sustainability Form,” required for the AIA Philadelphia Design Awards. If your firm intends to participate in Philadelphia’s Design Awards in 2023, we strongly encourage you to complete the state chapter assessment to familiarize yourself with Philadelphia’s required assessment criteria. Reference the call for submissions documentation for full details on project eligibility and the process for opting-in to the COTE Awards.


Showcase Your Work | All project submissions will be featured in the public-facing 2023 Architectural Excellence Design & COTE Award Gallery, raising the visibility and profile of your work while highlighting the membership’s collective impact.

Refine and Repurpose the Pitch | Submitting your project is a great way to refine how you communicate about your work and use your project’s narrative in other elements of your marketing, communications, and business development.

Boost Employee, Team, and Client Morale | Participation in awards programs recognize and celebrate your team’s hard work, boosting employee morale as well as client and partner/consultant relationships.

Benchmark Project Performance | Participation in the opt-in COTE Awards, a separately juried program and opportunity for recognition, is an opportunity to get acquainted with AIA’s Framework for Design Excellence, a holistic approach to assess technical building performance metrics and how your designs address interdependence among people, buildings, infrastructure, and the environment.

Celebrate with the Local and Regional Community | AIA Pennsylvania and local chapter and firm partners will be hosting the awards broadcast debut and accompanying local viewing parties this November, providing several opportunities for our design community and industry professionals to gather to celebrate and foster knowledge, collaboration, partnerships, and project opportunities.


Our generous sponsors and partners make the Architectural Excellence Design Awards possible. Join us in thanking them for their support of the chapter and the profession!

Interested in aligning your product, service, or organization with architectural excellence? Contact Susan Frear at for opportunities to support the profession and the chapter. Don’t miss this opportunity to reach architects, design professionals, and key built industry decision-makers with a reputation for excellence throughout Pennsylvania.

Project & Image Credit
Orange Crush by ISA | 2022 Silver Medal Recipient
Photography by Sam Oberter