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 a focus on features that promote access to transportation and other community-based services. Entries should highlight:

  • Multi-generational
  • 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 for entries in Stand-alone Memory Care, Dining Renovation, or Wellness: Health & Fitness.



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 following 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 the 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