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How to Write a Winning Project Award Application: Tips from our Judges and FAQs

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

Before you start writing your Project Award Application, be sure to check out the informational video below. Created by three of our experienced awards judges and members of our Market Leadership Advisory Board, this video walks you step-by-step through the application and judging process. It includes a peek at the judges' scorecards, as well as valuable tips regarding what our judges found compelling in the applications of past winners.

In addition, check out the Frequently Asked Questions we've compiled over the past few years, including from our recent info session. Have ideas for questions that need to be added? Please let us know.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do you have any examples of past winners?

A: Yes, you can see past winners on our A Midsummer Night's Green website. Select "Awards" from the menu at the top, and the drop-down will have links to winners from 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016.

Q: How do I know which category to apply under?

A: In most cases, your LEED certification will tell you which category to apply under. For example, if you certified under the LEED for Interior Design and Construction rating system, you should apply under the "Interiors" category. Projects certified under the LEED for Building Design and Construction is an exception, as those projects may apply under the New Construction, Schools or Residential categories. Please carefully read each category description. If you have questions as to whether your project qualifies under a particular category, please contact us.

Q: Can I nominate a project that is still under construction?

For most categories, projects must have been awarded certification within the designated qualification period for that award year. For Neighborhood Development projects, planned projects must have been submitted for municipal review or approval within the designated qualification period. Responsible design projects, which do not require a LEED certification, must have completed construction within the designated qualification period.

Q: The application asks for a project narrative that can be a maximum of 4 pages? What is the page size, and do photos count towards the length? Do the requested LEED or WELL scorecards count towards the narrative page length?

A: Please do adhere to the maximum page limit - our judges have lots of reading to do! The page size should be a standard 8.5x11. Photos do NOT count towards the page length. If you embed photos in your narrative, you can go over 4 pages to compensate for the space the photos took. Scorecards also do not count towards the page maximum.

Q: How should we structure the project narrative? Is the executive summary separate from the project narrative, or should it be a component of the narrative?

A: The executive summary should be included in the project narrative, which can be a maximum of 4-pages. As long as you stay within the page limit, it is up to you how you structure your narrative. We encourage you to look at the Project Awards Judging Criteria and make sure your narrative addresses each one.

Q: Is it true that only LEED Platinum projects have a chance of winning an award?

A: No, it is not true that only LEED Platinum projects win. If you look at our Project Awards Judging Criteria, LEED Certification Level is one of the criteria, but the judges also take into consideration other criteria like "Innovation Beyond Certification," "Degree of Difficulty," and "Community Engagement." Check out our descriptions of past award winners to see the diversity of projects that have won (visit our A Midsummer Night's Green website, select "Awards" from the menu at the top, and the drop-down will have links to winners from 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016).

Q: How many applications do you typically get for the project awards in each category?

A: The number of applications we get in a particular category can vary from year to year. Often, it depends on how many projects were certified in that category, and then on how many of those projects that were certified decide to apply.

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