Steel Industry's Top Design Award Seeks Outstanding Buildings

May 20, 2022


CHICAGO - The American Institute of Steel Construction's flagship competition for buildings is now accepting entries for the 2023 IDEAS2 Awards.

AISC's Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel (IDEAS2) Awards recognize outstanding projects that illustrate the exciting possibilities of structural steel. They are the industry's most prestigious design honor.

The winners will get a prime-time spotlight at NASCC: The Steel Conference in Charlotte, N.C. next April, and the May 2023 issue of Modern Steel Construction magazine will feature them. In addition to substantial press support and publicity through AISC's own print and online media, winning teams have the unique opportunity to present their projects to the AEC community during special webinars or live events throughout the year. If possible, AISC will conduct an on-site award presentation during 2023.

"Innovators in the AEC community create amazing steel structures every day," said AISC President Charles J. Carter, SE, PE, PhD. "These inspiring structures represent the best of design and construction with American steel, and AISC is honored to recognize the project teams that bring these visions to life."

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

IDEAS2 Awards don't only go to high-profile projects. In recent years, AISC has honored everything from public transit projects to monumental stairs to jaw-dropping high-rises. We're looking for innovation and imaginative design in all its forms!

Entries are due by Sept. 30, 2022. AISC will announce the winners in early 2023.

Visit for more information and to enter.

Eligibility requirements

  • New buildings, expansions, and renovation projects (major retrofits and rehabilitations) are eligible. There is also a category for sculptures, art installations, and non-building structures.
  • Building projects in the 2023 competition must be located in the U.S. and must be completed between Jan. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2022.
  • A significant portion of the framing system of a building must be wide-flange or hollow structural steel sections (HSS).
  • The majority of the steel used in the project must be domestically produced.
  • The project must have been fabricated by a company eligible for AISC full membership. Projects with a unique or distinctive feature fabricated by a company eligible for AISC full membership will also be considered.
  • Pedestrian bridges entered in the competition must be an intrinsic part of a building and not stand-alone structures. We encourage members of project teams for standalone bridges to enter the 2024 National Steel Bridge Alliance's Prize Bridge Awards.

History of the program

AISC's award programs have celebrated landmark structures built with structural steel since 1960. These architectural icons span generations and stand the test of time. AISC recognizes and promotes these projects in recognition of their impact in terms of structural innovation, advances in safety, benefit to the local community, and environmental consciousness.

The prestigious list of winners includes such enduring landmarks as:

  • One World Trade Center, New York
  • The Gateway Arch, St. Louis
  • Willis Tower, Chicago
  • The National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington
  • The PanAm Passenger Terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York

In 2022, nine projects around the country won IDEAS2 Awards in six categories:

Less than $15 Million:

  • Merit Award: 2Life Communities Administrative Offices, Brighton, Mass.

$15 Million to $75 Million:

  • Merit Award: L. Gale Lemerand Student Center at Daytona State College, Daytona Beach, Fla.
  • Merit Award: United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum, Colorado Springs, Colo.

$75 Million to $200 Million:

  • National Award: Allianz Field, St. Paul, Minn.
  • National Award: The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences, Lubbock, Texas
  • Merit Award: International Spy Museum, Washington

Greater than $200 Million:

  • Merit Award: One Vanderbilt, New York

Sculpture/Art Installation/Non-building Structure:

  • Merit Award: Ascension of the Celestial Maiden, New York

Presidential Award for Excellence in Structural Design:

  • Rainier Square, Seattle


For more information contact:

Dani Friedland
Director of Marketing Communications

American Institute of Steel Construction

The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a non-partisan, not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC's mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, market development, and advocacy. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information. 

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