2019 SHN Architecture & Design Awards Information

The 2019 SHN Architecture & Design Awards will begin accepting submissions July 1st and close at 5:00 pm Central Standard Time on October 31, 2019. Winners will be announced in December 2019.

Click here to join the SHN Architecture & Design Awards Mailing List.

Who can apply?

Any senior living community that fits into one of the categories below that was constructed/renovated and completed from January 1st 2018 to present day. Prior submissions should not be resubmitted from previous years.

Projects completed after October 1, 2019 that do not have photographs, site plans, or floor plans, please consider applying to the 2020 Architecture & Design Awards.


  • 55+ Master Plan Communities
  • Affordable Housing
  • Assisted Living
  • Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)
  • Hospice
  • Independent Living
  • International
  • Renovation / Repositioning
  • Skilled Nursing / Post Acute Care
  • Stand Alone Memory Care

Why should we apply?

The SHN Architecture Awards is a competition and marketing event that positions senior living communities against their peers and is judged by experienced industry professionals. The competition draws entries from across the United States and internationally that showcase the latest trends in senior living architecture and design. Entrants may get featured as nominees in announcements and stories that run on Senior Housing News bringing recognition to the project and firms that helped bring the project to life.

All applicants will receive an SHN Awards Nominee Badge, recognition on Senior Housing News and our email distribution, as well as a mention in a press release that will be submitted nationally. In addition, all nominees and their pictures will be featured on the SHN Awards website for the remainder of the year.

SHN is recognized as one the best of the best in business publishing and information for senior housing and senior living.

In addition, winners will receive the following:

  • One feature story about each community and the team behind the development.
  • Recognition on Senior Housing News website and email.
  • Engraved Trophy for your community or company.
  • Exclusive online badge that can be displayed on your website.

What information do I need to submit?

Fill out our form to describe the project and submit up to 24 high resolution photos or architectural renderings. Floor plans and site plans considered as separate documents from the 24 photos allotted per entry. If there are other items you’d like to submit, please contact us at [email protected]

Who will choose the winners?

The winners will be chosen by our expert team of judges. Please note that any judge who was involved with a project submitted will not be able to cast a vote for that particular project and a representative from SHN will take their place.

How much does it cost to submit my project?

Each submission is $450 and is paid using any major credit card through our form.

What is the judging criteria?

The SHN Awards for Architecture and Design will be awarded to the communities based upon the following criteria:

Design & Aesthetics – Judges will evaluate the functionality of the community looking at features that are critical to the property type such as universal design techniques as well as design elements such as color, light, landscape architecture and overall creativity of the community’s design vision and sustainable features

Community Integration – Judges will evaluate the effectiveness of how the community is positioned within the overall community with focus on features that promote access to transportation and other community based services. Entries should highlight:

  • Nearby / walkable amenities
  • Design features are a good with with neighborhood & community
  • Discussion of how community discussed input with local area
  • How the community encourages or invites the broader community to its location
  • Showcase of how the property is an infill location or unique redevelopment of shopping malls, hotel or school as examples
  • Accessibility to local area resources and ease of in/out access
  • Invitations to community & groups to offer programming on campus

** some of the community integration factors may not be as relevant in entries for standalone memory care.

Amenities & Lifestyle – Judges will evaluate the community’s features that incorporate a healthy lifestyle that provides residents access to products and services that make their lives easier.

How will the projects be judged?

The projects will be judged by our group of expert panelists on the design and functionality of the buildings. The most innovative communities will be chosen as the winners and receive recognition throughout the industry using SHN. More details on process below.

What is the maximum amount of photos & site/floor plans to include?

24 photos maximum per project. For renovation projects, this would be 12 before and 12 after. For site and floor plans, please submit only those documents and not an entire set of architectural documents.

Will more photos and site/floor plans help?

More does not always mean better. Your submission should be clear and concise with the right amount of information to let a professional evaluate the community.

What is the minimum acceptable submission?

  • 2 External Photos
  • 4 Internal Photos
  • Site Plan
  • Floor plan for each level

For the renovation awards, how many photos should I submit?

If you are submitting for the renovation awards, you should include a before and after picture accordingly.

For the renovation awards, Do I need to address how much the project cost and the budget?

If your firm or project partners do not want to include financial data (costs and/or budget), it is acceptable to not include it but preferred if possible.

Can I see a sample of a winning project submission?

Yes, you can see these sample PDFs of previously submitted projects as a good example of what judges are looking for overall.  Entrants have the option (not required) of putting a PDF/PPT presentation summary of the project based upon the individual components as part of the submission to present that entry in a cohesive manner.

2018 Affordable Winner: Garden Spot Village

2018 Skilled Nursing / Post Acute Winner: Premier Place Health and Rehab Center at the Glenview

What do I receive after I submit my project?

You will receive an email from us confirming your submission as well as SHN Design Awards Nominee Badges that can be used for your website and other marketing collateral.

When will the winners be announced?

The winners will be announced in early December 2019 on Senior Housing News and later displayed on Senior Housing Design Awards and promoted on all the sites. Senior Housing News will issue a press release that can be used by entrants for the competition.

When do nominations close?

All nominations must be submitted by October 31 at 5:00 pm Central Standard Time.

Other questions?

Contact us at [email protected]