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Exterior view of The Heights School in Arlington, Virginia

Sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction, the Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel (IDEAS²) Award program recognizes projects that illustrate the exciting possibilities of building with structural steel. The IDEAS² awards showcase the innovative use of structural steel in:

  • The accomplishment of the structure’s program
  • The expression of architectural intent
  • The application of innovative design approaches to the structural system
  • Leveraging productivity-enhancing construction methods

Submission Requirements

  • Information and a contact person for all of the companies that made a substantive contribution to the design’s innovation, including the owner, architect, structural engineer, general contractor, steel fabricator, steel detailer, bender/roller (if applicable), steel erector, and other key consultants.
  • Description of what makes your project an example of innovative design and construction excellence. 
  • 3-20 print-quality images that show off the project and its most exciting features. AISC recommends a selection of interior, exterior, and construction shots as well as technical drawings and renderings. Images must include photo credit information and should be jpg, tiff, or eps files that are at least four inches wide at 300 dpi.

Eligibility

  • Any member of a project’s team can submit it for an IDEAS² award. However, a fabricator, erector, detailer, or other firm eligible for AISC Full or Associate membership submitting a project themselves must be an AISC member in good standing at the time of entry.
  • New buildings, expansions, and renovation projects (major retrofits and rehabilitations) are eligible.
  • Building projects in the 2022 competition must be located in the U.S. and must be completed (either occupied or ready for occupancy) between Jan. 1, 2019, and Sept. 8, 2021.
  • At least 50% of the structural steel for the project must have been produced and fabricated in the U.S. by a company eligible for AISC full membership, or a unique or distinctive feature of the project must have been fabricated by a company eligible for AISC full membership, in a facility located in the U.S.
  • A significant portion of the framing system of a building must be wide-flange or hollow structural steel sections (HSS).
  • Pedestrian bridges entered in the competition must be an intrinsic part of a building and not stand-alone structures.
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