We hope the following answers should solve any questions you may have about entering schemes into the Housing Design Awards.

If you can’t find an answer in our FAQs and still need help, please email info@hdawards.org.  If you have not received a response within 3 working days, you can ring us on 020 3301 3857

When can I enter?
As a general rule, you will be able to enter the awards from the beginning to the end of February. Sign up for our email newsletter service to be kept informed of the exact dates.

What format should I submit my board in?
Your board needs to be submitted as a high resolution PDF file (250mb MAX) created from InDesign or Illustrator. Click here to download the A1 board artwork templates for the awards (available in Quark, InDesign and Illustrator). PDFs need to be uploaded via our FTP (file transfer) site, log in details for board upload will be supplied once payment has been made for your entry.

Are there any PDF layout requirements?
Yes, please follow the guidelines below.

  • PDF files should be 300dpi (minimum) ‘Press Quality’, CMYK and set up to full size (A1)
  • Maximum file size to be uploaded online is 200mb
  • All images and fonts should be embedded within the PDF
  • You can follow the grid structure when laying out your board, however the exact layout is down to you.
  • The templates contain all the required headings in the correct size and typeface.

Please do not change the heading content, fonts, line spacing and background of these templates as it may jeopardise your entry being selected for exhibition.

What content should be included?

  • Location plan showing the site in relation to its surroundings
  • Layout plan with North point and scale clearly marked and showing the relationship of the proposed building to any others on the site. The extent of the project itself should be outlined in red.
  • Typical dwelling plans and elevations with the scale clearly marked
  • In conversion and improvement projects, photographs of the existing buildings. In other cases, photographs of the site and/or adjacent developments
  • In the case of schemes involving more than 100 homes where the majority of dwellings are houses, a second high resolution PDF should be submitted (increased entry fee)
  • Details of community consultation: Describe any measures taken to explain and consult on your development with the neighbouring community during the planning process, including anything you did to manage fears and expectations (in not more than 200 words).

Scheme Description
To allow easy comparison, we recommend you structure it as bullet points against the 12 Building For Life criteria, available here . These cover most criteria with the exception of information about dwellings.

Do I need to send a hard copy of my board?
No, you do not need to send a hard copy of your board. The PDF you upload to the FTP site is suitable for submission into the awards.

Do I need to send a separate electronic copy of my board?
You should not need to send a separate electronic copy of your board. However, should a fault occur during the online upload process, you may need to email a low resolution copy. In the event of this, please contact us on info@hdawards.org.

Do I need to submit my plans and drawings as separate elements?
You do not need to submit your plans and drawings as separate elements when entering the awards at the initial stage. However, should your scheme be shortlisted, you may be contacted and asked to provide these elements and any additional information required.

What do I do if I can’t pay online?
If you are unable to pay for your submission online you can email us at info@hdawards.org and we will provide further instructions on how to pay.

When can I submit my payment online?
Online payment facilities will be available from 2 February – create an account, choose the number of schemes you would like to pay for and pay with a credit or debit card. If you are entering more than one scheme and wish to pay via Bacs, we can cater for this, please contact us on info@hdawards.org.

When is the submission deadline for the boards?
Board artwork, entry form and payment must be received by 16th March 2018, by 5PM.

Can I amend my entry after I have submitted it?
No, once your entry has been submitted the information cannot be amended. Please ensure that all details are correct before you submit your entry.

When/where is the awards ceremony held?
The 2018 awards ceremony will be on 2nd July, the venue is still to be announced.

Developments may consist of houses, bungalows, maisonettes, or flats, or any combination of these. Schemes including non-residential uses may be entered, provided housing constitutes the main element. Entries should be submitted for either a Project or Completed award. Schemes can include either new build or conversion/improvement, or a combination of both.

To be eligible, Projects must have detailed planning approval (by committee, but not necessarily discharge of planning conditions) by 1 March 2018.

Completed Schemes
Fully or partly occupied since January 2018 may be submitted for a Completed scheme award. Any submission for a Completed award which has previously won a Project award will be automatically shortlisted.

Each scheme entered must identify key contacts from all parties involved, including the details of representatives from the local planning authority. Each award is made jointly to developer, contractor, architect and planning authority and a representative from each will be invited to the ceremony, if shortlisted.

Awards Ceremony and Exhibition
The 2018 Awards will be announced at a ceremony provisionally planned for the afternoon and evening of Monday 2nd July in London. Winners will be drawn from a shortlist published in April. An online gallery will promote shortlisted schemes both in London and the rest of England in an exhibition which stays online indefinitely in the Housing Design Awards archive

The 2018 judges can be found here
The judges consider:

  • Relationship to surroundings and neighbourhood
  • Response to site constraints and opportunities
  • Layout, grouping and landscaping
  • Planning of roads and footpaths
  • Handling of garages and car parking
  • Attention to safety, security and accessibility
  • External appearance and internal planning
  • Sustainability in construction and maintenance
  • Finishes, detailing and workmanship
  • Dwelling size and storage
  • Entrants are asked to provide information of Building for Life assessments or use the numbered questions to structure your entry. You will not be penalized for not having previously had a Building for Life assessment. Judges aim to interview residents during site visits to selected schemes to assess how schemes are received.

Special Awards

Schemes will also be considered for recognition as examples of:

  • Best design of sustainable higher density development in London.
  • Best design of new homes for private rent.
  • Best development for housing our ageing population. This is an award promoted by the Department of Communities and Local Government championing recommendations made in the December 2009 HAPPI report on improving design for the over 55s and supported by Housing Learning and Improvement Network.
  • The Richard Feilden Award for Affordable Housing. This award, for best development by a ‘registered provider’, tends to go a development that shows how to build more inclusively.
  • The Graham Pye Award. This award commemorates the past chairman of the Housing Design Awards, Graham Pye, who prioritised the importance of a workable plan responsive to how we live.
  • Rural Housing Award. 2017 saw the addition of a new award promoted by DEFRA, to recognise the importance of context, notably how a design fits into its surroundings. Judges are likely to consider its relationship with landscape and how this is delivered, evidence of community engagement in developing the outcome, and the scheme’s economic and social contribution to its location.
  • Supreme Award. There will be an overall award made for the most outstanding scheme winner among Completed Award winners. This Award will be presented by the Housing Minister.
    Schemes with dwellings in more than one category will be considered for each of these.
  • NHS 70 Award.  In 2018 NHS England announced its support for a special award to celebrate its 70th birthday and links to the Housing Design Awards. The NHS70 Award will focus on the planning and design of healthy homes to reflect its Healthy New Towns programme (although eligible schemes do not need to be from the pilot projects).

Shortlisted schemes
In the event of your scheme being shortlisted in April, you may be asked to provide additional separate files to explain them on the Housing Design Awards website. Additional information sometimes required:

  • Text files – Microsoft Word (.doc), PowerPoint (.ppt), InDesign (.indd)
  • Image files – Preferred file format is eps, tiff or jpeg. All images should be saved in a CMYK format at a resolution of 300dpi at full size
  • Location plans, plans and elevations – Autocad, Vectorworks and Illustrator files all accepted. Please export as either dwg, dxf or eps files

How to Enter

1. Pay for your scheme entry online
Entry fees for 2018 Awards:
A single A1 board for any scheme of 4 or more units OUTSIDE London’s 33 boroughs costs £250 plus VAT (£300 total);
A single A1 board for any scheme of 4 or more units INSIDE one of London’s 33 boroughs costs £330 plus VAT (£396 total);
We recommend any scheme of more than 100 units (where the majority are houses) adds a second A1 board because information is otherwise too congested. The price of the additional A1 board is £83.33 plus VAT (£100 total).

2. Complete the entry form online

Fill out all mandatory questions. Review, save and revisit scheme entry information as necessary. Once a scheme has been submitted no amends can be made. Please ensure all information is correct before pressing submit. Ensure entries are submitted online by 14 March 2018.