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 community look and design features and assign one overall score that takes into consideration the following:

  • Layout
  • Universal design elements
  • Color
  • Light
  • Creativity
  • Sustainability
  • Exterior views including landscape architecture



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 fit with neighborhood & community
  • Discussion of how community discussed input with local area
  • How the project encourages or invites the broader community and general public 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 & Wellness

Judges will evaluate the community’s features that incorporate a healthy lifestyle and provides residents access to products and services that make their lives easier. Entries should consider the follow but may provide other examples of amenities, lifestyle & wellness:

  • Exercise rooms
  • Entertainment areas
  • Large community rooms
  • External gardens, paths
  • Unique dining or culinary experience locations



Overall Score

Judges will be asked to evaluate the community on a global basis that not only encompasses the first three criteria but evaluates unique features of the community, overall value to the owner/operator, residents, local area. This is meant to evaluate the entire project as a whole and should be looked at separately from the other judging criteria.


Each judge will evaluate each category on a scale of 1 -10 with 1 being lowest grade and 10 being the highest with increments of a half or quarter point (.5 or .25).


An average of each of the scores will be compiled and tabulated. In the event of a tie, the judges for the category shall re-convene and select a final winner. The top three in each category will be classified:

  • Winner
  • Second Place
  • Third Place