Design Awards Categories

All entries shall be submitted in only one of the following categories. Projects will not be judged by category – for classification only. You may use this list for reference when submitting your entry. We encourage projects of all sizes to be submitted. If you have questions, please call the ALA office at 847-382-0630, or email Corda Murphy at

Renovation or restoration of a building (exterior or interior) should be submitted in the category of the project type.

The following outlines the categories and typical projects that are part of each category:

  1. Single Family Homes
  2. Multi-Family Homes
    1. Apartment Buildings
    2. Retirement Living
  3. Commercial/Industrial
    1. Shopping and Retail Centers
    2. Manufacturing Facilities
    3. Warehousing
    4. Hotels and Motels
    5. Office Buildings
    6. Free-Standing Restaurants
    7. Service Centers
  4. Mixed Use - Projects that have multiple uses, such as residences, hotels, office space, shopping, restaurants, public space, and/or cultural attractions.
  5. Institutional
    1. Primary and Secondary Schools
    2. Colleges and Universities
    3. Governmental Office and Facilities
    4. Correctional Facilities
    5. Recreational Facilities
    6. Hospitals
    7. Nursing Homes
    8. Fire and Police Stations
    9. Museums 
  6. Religious
    1. Churches, synagogues, temples, mausoleums
  7. Unbuilt Design - Projects that have been designed with little possibility of being constructed at the time of submittal.
    1. Designs prepared for competitions and scholastic assignments
    2. Alternate design concepts for projects completed in a different manner
    3. Designs prepared for projects ultimately abandoned
  8. Interior Architecture - Projects should have no design components that affect the exterior appearance or alter the structure of a building.
  9. Architectural Elements - Unique details and component parts, either interior or exterior.