2020 SHN Architecture & Design Awards Information

The 2020 SHN Architecture & Design Awards will begin accepting submissions June 1st and close at 5:00 pm Central Standard Time on October 31, 2020. Winners will be announced in December 2020.

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 1, 2019 to present day. Prior submissions should not be resubmitted from previous years.

Projects completed after October 1, 2020, that do not have photographs, site plans, or floor plans, please consider applying to the 2021 Architecture & Design Awards.


  • 55+ Master Plan Communities
  • Active Adult
  • 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?

The following are required to complete your submission to the Senior Housing News Architecture & Design Awards:

  1. Fill out the Professional Form to describe the project
  2. Complete a powerpoint presentation (click here for blank submission template). We ask that you please submit your powerpoint presentation in a .pptx format, and not a PDF format
  3. Provide up to 24 high resolution photos or architectural renderings in JPG format. For renovation projects, please include 12 before and 12 after photographs clearly labeled to demonstrate changes in a before/after type format.
  4. Photos should be at least 72dpi (resolution) and sized to fit inside a space that is 1540px in width and 760px in height. *Photos must be no more than 760px tall. Landscape orientation photos are preferred. But please note that portrait orientation photos can be resized to 760px H with white space added on either side to create the 1540px width needed. (See illustrated  example below)
  5. Provide floor plans and site plans in PDF format (considered separate from the 24 photos/renderings allotted per entry). Please submit only those documents and not an entire set of architectural documents.

All materials can be submitted through the Professional Form or sent via dropbox or other file sharing service to [email protected]. Any entries that do not include all of the above will be considered incomplete. 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?

When purchased before September 30, each early bird submission is $450 and after September 30, each submission is $550. Submissions can be paid using any major credit card through our entry 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.

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?

  • Powerpoint in .ppt or .pptx format
  • 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.

2019 Assisted Living Winner: The Village at White River Junction

2019 Independent Living Winner: Warwick Woodlands

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 December 2020 on Senior Housing News and later promoted and displayed on our website. Senior Housing News will issue a press release that can be used by entrants for the competition.

When do nominations close?

Early-bird entries close September 30, 2020. Final entry deadline closes October 31, 2020 at 5:00 pm Central Standard Time.

Other questions?

Contact us at [email protected]

Can you crop/edit/produce the video for me?

We do not offer any type of video editing services.

Can I send you the video to host on Vimeo?

No, we will not accept videos to be uploaded or hosted by Aging Media or its publications.

Do I need to use Vimeo?

Yes, we do not accept links or videos hosted on other platforms. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Can I submit a video to be included in our submission?

Yes, you will need to send us a video with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a finished size of 920 x 518. You must send us a link from Vimeo in order for it to be showcased with the other photos from your submission.