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We would like to gently remind Entrants that all recipients of events@iidarmc.org  emails are volunteers of IIDA RMC. We are excited by your interest in the IIDA RMC BEST Awards and make our best effort to provide responses to questions within a 24 hour period. However, IIDA RMC cannot guarantee that a response will be provided prior to the deadline if the email is received on the final call for entry or final submission dates. Entrants are strongly encouraged to begin the submission process early, as it is the Entrant's responsibility to provide a complete submission by the final deadline to be eligible for an award. Incomplete submissions with paid registration fees will not be refunded.


Judges reserve the right to abstain from awarding a category if they feel the entries are not exemplary. Judges and IIDA RMC reserves the right to re-classify a project into a different category if deemed necessary (including too few submissions in one category). Refunds will not be given to projects within a category that was not awarded nor will refunds be given to projects that have been recategorized. 

Entry materials will not be returned. All entries and materials become the property of the IIDA Rocky Mountain Chapter. Photography and images submitted in the Entry Kit can be used by the IIDA Rocky Mountain Chapter for the exhibition, publication, and promotional purposes. 

Entries must include all required information and submittals for entry submissions. Read descriptions carefully. Submissions that do not meet the required criteria will not be considered. Projects can only be entered in one category. Previously entered projects cannot be submitted. 

To be eligible for this year's DEI award, entrants must select the project(s) they would like to be considered.  An additional 400 word statement will be required for the submission. 

ALL winning entries will be considered by the judges for the highest honor of “BEST of the Best.” 

Entrants must submit a separate Call for Entries application form for each project. 


Entry Kit Submissions for judging are paperless! The submissions include narrative responses and project images which will be submitted on the OpenWater website for judging. 

Each entry in the 2023 BESTawards program will be judged on the success with which it has met its individual requirements. Entries will be weighed individually, and not in competition with others. Jury decisions will be based solely on the materials submitted. 

Judging criteria will include: 

  • Design concept & description 
  • Innovation 
  • Originality of the design solution 
  • Design Details 
  • Sustainability 
  • DEI
  • Finish Palette 
  • Project photography and support of the descriptions (a min. of 3 project images are required) 
  • Process photos/sketches/materials 
  • The authorship of each project will remain concealed throughout the deliberations of the jury. If the authorship is revealed on any of the submission submittals (i.e.: jpgʼs, narratives) in the Entry Kit, the jury may choose to disqualify the entry. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Feel free to contact events@iidarmc.org with any questions not listed below.

Q: Are there any changes to the Design Awards in 2024?
A: We've added new award categories this year. Please reach out to us with questions pertaining to which category or categories your project qualifies for.

Q: What is the call for entry process? 
A: The call for entry is to register your project and pay for the registration fees.  Final submission of project images and documentation are not due with the call for entry.  Call for entry closes on February 16th, 2024.  Final project submissions are due March 15th, 2024.

Q: What is the submission process? 
A: Select 'SUBMIT ENTRY' from the top menu options or the selection button on the Event Information page. Create an account (new users) or login with your previous Open Water account information. Register the project with Project Name, Firm Information, Entry Contact and Project Category (registration information is not viewable by Judges, only Submission Materials). You must complete registration and pay the submission fee before entering the project details information and uploading images and floorplans. All entries may be saved and returned to at a later date for completion, so early registration is encouraged even if you don't finalize the submission materials until just before the deadline.

Q: Can you extend the deadline for me?
A: To be fair to all entrants, the deadline is firm.  There will be no extensions like in years prior for project submissions.

Q: Who decides the winners?
A: A jury panel of respected designers from outside the Rocky Mountain Chapter select the winners. All jurors are professional members of the built environment.  Judges remain anonymous until after the judging period is complete and all project scores are tallied to maintain fairness.

Q: What happens if I accidentally leave the name of the firm in the project description or title block?
A: The BEST Awards Co-Chairs and committee reviews entries and if discovered, will remove the firm names from the text. However, if the text is not discovered and goes to the jury, they will disqualify the entry.

Q: What is the difference between 'Design Team Members' and 'Project Team Partners'? 
A: Design Team members refer to the designers and/or architects that are employees of the submitting firm who substantially worked on the project. Project Team Partners refers to any and all individuals and additional firms who helped contribute to the project's success (for example, but not limited to: contractors, engineers, furniture dealers, furniture manufacturers, consultants, etc). All Design Team Members and Project Team Partners may or not be used in social media or website posts for the winners.

Q: Does someone on my team need to be a member of IIDA? Can I include subcontractors such as engineers or lighting designers on my team list?
A: If submitting a project under the Member pricing category, then at least one member of the design team must be an active IIDA Rocky Mountain Chapter member. Non-Member entries are available at a higher submission cost. Subcontractors may be listed under 'Project Team Partners'. 

Q: What if I don't know the IIDA number of the design team member?
A: You can get it from IIDA headquarters; their phone number is 1 888 799 4432. 

Q: How Do I join IIDA?
A: You can join here.

Q: Can we enter multiple projects? Can we enter multiple projects in the same category?
A: Yes, a firm may submit as many projects as they wish.  However, they can only submit one project in one category and not multiple categories.

Q: Can you tell me if my entry won?
A: Winners are held strictly confidential until announced at The BEST Awards and after the event the information will be posted on the IIDA RMC website. Tickets for the BEST Awards will be announced on social media and our website.

Q: Do you have any suggestions for a better entry?
A: The best assurance for a successful entry is to start early. Open Water allows entrants to save and return to the submission as often as needed before submitting. Use this capability to prepare the written descriptions away from the computer screen and only return to Open Water to enter the information. Triple check the submission to ensure there is no reference to your company name in the submission

Q: Does my entry include a ticket to the awards show?
A: No your entry does not include a ticket to the awards show.  We will notify you when tickets go live on eventbrite.