2021 SHN Architecture & Design Awards Information

The 2021 SHN Architecture & Design Awards will be accepting submissions starting June 1st, and will close submissions on October 31, 2021 at 5:00pm CST. Winners will be announced in December 2021.

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

Who can apply?

Owners, operators, architecture and/or interior design firms can apply. Company and individual submitting entry confirm and consent that all requisite partners in the project, such as owner(s), operator, architecture, and/or interior design firm, have authorized use of such submitted materials.

Any senior living community that fits into one of the categories below that was constructed/renovated and completed between January 1, 2020, to October 1, 2021. Prior submissions should not be resubmitted from previous years.

For projects completed after October 1, 2021 that do not have photographs, site plans, or floor plans, please consider applying to the 2022 Architecture & Design Awards.


  • 55+ Master Plan Communities
  • Active Adult
  • Affordable Housing
  • Assisted Living
  • Behavioral Health
  • Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) and Life Plan Community (LPC)
  • CCRC/LPC Lite
  • Hospice
  • Independent Living
  • International
  • CCRC/LPC Lite
  • Renovation / Repositioning
  • Skilled Nursing / Post-Acute Care
  • Small Footprint
  • 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 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.
  • First-place winners will receive an engraved Trophy for your community or company.
  • An exclusive digital badge that can be displayed on your website.

What is the submission deadline?

Early bird entries close September 30, 2021. The final entry deadline is October 31, 2021 at 5:00pm Central Standard Time.

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.

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].

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.

2020 Renovation / Repositioning Category Winner | Bayview– A Life Plan Community

2020 Assisted Living | Village Park Milton

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.

Do I need to use Vimeo?

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

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.

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

We do not offer any type of video editing services.

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.

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.

Sample Submission Template

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

What do I receive after I submit my project?

When you submit your project, the Awards team will confirm via email that they have all required materials.

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.

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

If you are submitting a project in the renovation category, you should include before and after pictures accordingly.

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.

When will the winners be announced?

The winners will be announced in December 2021 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. Communications will be sent via email to all nominees with information.

Other questions?

Contact us at [email protected]