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SUBMISSION DEADLINE:  October 24, 2022 by 11:58 PST



There is a non-refundable registration fee of $125 per each entry per category; for Non-AIA Architects the fee is $175 per each entry. Student / AIAVC Associate entry fee is $0. 

The fee must be paid online prior to time of submission.  Go to to register and pay registration fee.  After payment the payee will receive an email with directions on uploading the submittal.

Refunds will not be given for entries that are disqualified, late, or incomplete; credits will not be given for future submissions.



  • AIA Ventura County Chapter Architects in good standing may submit built projects located outside of Ventura County, CA.

  • Licensed California AIA Architects and non-AIA Architects may only submit built and / or unbuilt projects located in Ventura County, CA.

  • Submissions must be built projects completed on or after June 1, 2012.

  • Projects previously awarded by the AIAVC Design Awards program are not eligible.



Each completed submission package must follow these guidelines. The entry will be disqualified if it does not contain the required elements:

  • Complete Project Portfolio (see “Portfolio Guidelines’ below)

  • Completed Common App (see “AIA Design Excellence Framework / Common App” below)

  • Do Not Reveal Firm Name or Architect 


Entrants should carefully consider selecting the most appropriate category for their submission. Projects may be entered in more than one category. To enter in more than one category entrants must register the project separately in each desired category for an additional fee (as an additional entry). Once submitted, entries cannot change categories.

Honor, and Merit, may be recognized in the following categories:

1.   Commercial Buildings

Excellence of design in projects of commercial, institutional or industrial uses, including new buildings, substantial remodels and additions.

Commercial Interiors shall be submitted under Category 6 below. 

2.   Single Family Residential

Excellence of design and construction in single family homes, including new buildings and extensive remodels and / or additions (greater than 60% of the original building), also Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) projects, if the main residence is part of the score of work.

Residential Interiors shall be submitted under Category 6 below. 

3.   Mixed Use and Multi-Family Residential

Excellence of design and construction in structures containing two or more dwelling units, including mixed use buildings containing both residential and non-residential uses.

Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) project shall be submitted under Category 5 below. 

4.  Adaptive Reuse, Renovation or Historic Preservation

Renovations of existing buildings, renovations or preservations of existing buildings, historic preservation of building with a historic background, or buildings where the original intent has been transformed for a new purpose.  Structures are required to be a minimum of fifty years old. New buildings may be included which are part of a project that includes a historic structure as long as the historic structure is part of the scope of work.

5.  Small Projects: Single Family Residential Additions, Remodels or Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU's)

Projects may include residential additions, remodels (area of work less than 60% of original building) and Accessory Dwelling Units. Small Projects up to 1,200 SF with a construction cost not to exceed $500,000.

6.  Commercial / Residential Interiors

Excellence of design and construction in commercial / residential interior architecture and design. This category only includes interiors that have minor exterior scope of work; i.e., exterior window alterations or treatments to enhance the interior displays. 

7.   Proposed / Unbuilt Project

There are many projects that get left on the drawing board and are not constructed for various reasons. These projects often can be compelling and innovative. Projects submitted in this category can be of any type, scale, or location as long as the lead design firm is located in Ventura County and the project has not since been constructed and there are no plans for construction.

8.   Student Project / AIAVC Associate


Submitted in PowerPoint format, landscape orientation; no more than 50 Megabytes and a maximum of 12 slides. No firm / individual identification shall be visible within the PowerPoint file.

  • Page 1: Submission Category, 36-word statement what is unique and why project should be awarded, 250-word project description, up to 4 thumbnail images may be included that illustrate the project description.

  • Page 2: A readable site plan with North arrow clearly indicated.

  • Page 3: At least one floor plan, but no more than two. 

  • Page 4: Project sections and elevations.

  • Page 5: Include at least 1 sustainable design strategy diagram with a brief description of strategies used.

  • Pages 6 – 12: Project Photographs

    • Must be clear and concise, with a high-resolution.

    • Limit of four (4) photos per page.

    • No renderings or concepts (except for the Proposed / Unbuilt Project & Student category).

    • Include at least one picture of the project within the surrounding area (for context).

    • For the Adaptive Reuse / Historic Preservation category: must include a minimum of one before and one after picture (preferably side by side on one page)

    • For the Interior Architecture category: must include at least one exterior picture (for context).



AIA Ventura County is aligned with AIA’s Framework for Design Excellence with the integration of 10 key principles into the award program requirements. The Framework identifies specific metrics to evaluate buildings that illustrate progress toward a zero carbon, equitable, resilient and healthy built environment. AIA Ventura County Design Awards follows AIA’s Design Excellence criteria using the Common App. Submittals are encouraged to highlight project performance through narratives and metrics in the Common App. 


The submission should demonstrate the following measures of excellence:

  • Inspiration

Does the project tell a story about innovative architectural design that is relevant and inspiring? Is the design well-resolved, given the stated project program? Do the materials presented articulate the ambitions of the design?


Common Application: Measure 1 Design for Integration. Measure 7 Design for Wellbeing. Measure 10 Design for Discovery.

  • Creative Problem-Solving

What unique problems was the project asked to address regarding: site, budget, program, materials, collaboration or context? Did it address these requirements successfully? Is the relevance and value of design thinking evident in the submission? Do the presentation materials clearly depict the program, context and organizing principles influencing the design?


Common Application: Measure 5 Design for Economy.

  • Environmental Sensitivity

Does the project exhibit serious intent to minimize negative environmental impacts and enhance the natural environment? Are metrics, narratives, diagrams, sketches or other clear evidence provided of both modeled and actual performance? This may also include project submissions in response to the COVID Pandemic.


Common Application: Measure 3 Design for Ecosystems. Measure 4 Design for Water. Measure 6 Design for Energy. Measure 8 Design for Resources.

  • Social Transformation/Response

How does the project respond to its social, historical and physical context? Is it sensitive to its physical, social and historical context? Does the project improve the community in which it is situated? Does it exemplify a commitment to enhancing livable communities?


Common Application: Measure 2 Design for Equitable Communities. Measure 9 Design for change.  



  1. Prior to the time of submission, the registration fee, per submission, will be paid.  After the fee has been received, the payee will receive an email with directions for uploading the submission – 1 upload per submission.

  2. Entries shall be uploaded no later than October 24, 2022, 11:59 PM, PDT

  3. Submissions will be reviewed for compliance with the requirements in this packet.

  4. Submissions shall be organized for the Jury review.

  5. Jury review of submissions.

  6. Jury selection of Awards

  7. Design Awards Ceremony, December 1, 2022 – See for details.  “PLEASE COME”!!!!



The Jury (see AIAVC Website, for more information on the Jury members) has the discretion to recognize all projects with an honor or merit award.    

  • David Intner, AIA, Southern California Edison

  • Michelle Sullivan, LA, Michelle Sullivan-LA

  • Kenneth Mineau, AIA, Appleton Partners LLP

2022 Design Awards Overview

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