Project Awards

Award Call for Submittals Electronic Submittal Deadline Awarded
Pinnacle Award September 1 January 17, 2023 Regional

Pinnacle Award

Registration and Entry Fee


Fees are as follows per project, to be paid at the time of registration:

$350 USD for projects registered

$450 USD for projects registered

Online registration, payment, and identification of the following must be done prior to submitting the project dossier for judging:
  • Identify project (Name, location, district, configuration, etc.)
  • Identify key firms/individuals of the process.

For any questions or issues regarding online registration or payment, please contact the Member Care Manager listed below in the Contacts section.

2023 Schedule
Call for Submittals September 1, 2022
Award Program document available, registration site available for payment
Electronic Submittal Deadline January 17, 2023
Display Boards Due April 18, 2023 – Hyatt Regency Vancouver
Award Announcements PNW Regional Conference – April 19-21, 2023


Member Care Manager: Donna Robinson, [email protected]

Description: The Pinnacle Award Program recognizes outstanding educational facilities in the Pacific Northwest Region. The program follows criteria from the Association’s Planning & Design Awards Program, so as to encourage regional projects to also compete at the international level.

This program recognizes learning projects which positively impact teaching and learning and result from a sound planning process reflecting the needs and expectations of the community.

Eligible Projects: Built preK-12 learning environment projects which were completed in the last 4 years in Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Saskatchewan and Washington are eligible. These include learning environments designed for early childhood learning, elementary, middle/junior high and high schools, alternative schools (e.g. charter schools, magnet schools), and other innovative learning environments (e.g. museums, outdoor education facilities).

Award Type: Trophy for Pinnacle Award. Paper Certificates for Projects of Distinction and Honorable Mention.

Award Categories:
  • Pinnacle Award – Awarded to the single most distinctive project, which best satisfies the criteria; one winner.
  • Project of Distinction – These awards recognize exceptional projects that were not the Pinnacle Award winner, but are deserving of recognition according to the criteria. Number of awards is at the Jury’s discretion, if any.
  • Honorable Mention – Given at the discretion of the jury for some outstanding and compelling component of the project.

Scoring Criteria: The following criteria will be applied to all categories of the Pinnacle Award Program entries.

  • The overall success of the planning process. The application fully demonstrates the value, results, and positive impact of a comprehensive planning process that engages all stakeholders and address the educational goals and community values.
  • The planning process engages the community in which it serves. The community is defined within geographic, social, educational, and/or other relevant contexts and the planning addresses the multiple communities. Topics/Areas to address:
    • ­Assets available within the community
    • Community use/joint-use/partnerships
    • Avenue to economic development/community redevelopment
    • Reflects the unique needs of the community and local workforce
    • Celebrates the unique attributes of the community
    • Serves as a center of the community
    • Connects students to their community.
  • Pre-design planning is comprehensive. Evidence of in-depth conversations, discussion, and/or planning about the educational vision and program prior to the physical design discussions. Please include and/or address the visioning process, the educational specifications, design guidelines, program of requirements, etc.
  • The planning process achieved the goals and vision for the project, district, and community. Identify the goals and demonstrate achievement and results of the planning throughout the process.
  • The planning process and learning environment have impacted and elevated teaching and learning. Demonstrate and provide evidence of the value of the process, which can be done through, testimonial, research, test scores and attendance records, etc.
  • The learning environment is flexible and adaptable to multiple teaching/learning models.
  • Describe how the learning environment:
    • ­Reflects and responds to the desired learning program
    • ­Supports a variety of learning styles and methods for delivering instruction
    • ­Supports a "learning anytime, anywhere" philosophy
    • ­Enables all learners to be successful
    • ­Supports future changes in educational delivery systems.
  • Site development is integral to the vision and goals of the community. Please include a site plan.
  • The project models sustainability in its physical form (components, systems, attributes) and its educational program.

Project Dossier
To address the criteria and illustrate the successful story of your project, please assemble a PDF document of no more than 20-pages in length and no larger than 15 MB. Include as many photographs, diagrams and/or images as necessary to illustrate and describe the process and overall project.

Please avoid identification of any particular brand, firm, or owner involved in the project.

The dossier should include the following sections:

  • Executive Summary—describe the overall goals and outcomes of the project
  • Scope of Work and Budget
  • School & Community Engagement
    • Describe the Community
    • Identify stakeholders
    • Name challenges
    • Describe available assets
    • Describe value of process and project to community at large
  • Educational Environment
    • Explain the educational vision and goals of the school.
    • Describe & illustrate how the environment supports the curriculum.
    • Describe & illustrate how the environment supports a variety of learning and teaching styles.
    • Describe & illustrate how the environment is adaptable and flexible.
  • Physical Environment
    • Describe & illustrate the physical attributes of the environment.
    • Describe & illustrate how the facility fits within the larger context of the community.
    • Describe & illustrate how the project inspires and motivates.
  • Results of the Process & Project
    • Explain how the project achieves educational goals and objectives.
    • Explain how the project achieves school district goals.
    • Explain how the project achieves community goals.
    • Explain any unintended results and achievements of the process & project.

Project Dossier
All dossier files should be in PDF format and not to exceed 15 MB and 20 pages. Files exceeding these limits will not be submitted to the jury.

Please use the name of the project as the file name. For example: Meadowlark Elementary School; Johnson Middle School-Major Addition; Big Brothers/Big Sisters Learning Center.

Please insert electronic tabs for each section of the dossier so jurors can easily navigate through the information.

Either portrait or landscape layout can be used. Please consider that many jurors will review the material in electronic format.

Avoid using firm names and references from the descriptions.

Confidential Data Sheet
Include the Confidential Data Sheet as a separate PDF with the project dossier.

Photo Release Form
Please complete, sign, and include the photo release form in the submittal transmission. One release per project. Include as a separate PDF with the project dossier.

Optional Materials—not necessarily included in the dossier
All should be in electronic format and labeled by the project name and description of content for each file.

  • Additional Images: No more than 5 additional images not to exceed 1MB each (floor plans, site plans, images of your choice to be used for promotion and marketing of the award).
  • Firm name may not appear on photos.

Electronic File Submission
Please submit all electronic files as PDF files via:

  • Email (if less than 10 MB per file and/or per email) to the Member Care Manager ([email protected]) listed in the Contacts section.
  • OR, electronic file sharing platforms to Member Care Manager ([email protected]) listed in the Contacts section. If you are submitting more than one project, please create a sub-folder of ZIP file for each project.

Note that projects will be judged on the Project Dossier and other electronic files submitted in advance of the deadline for the awards program, by the jury in accordance with the stated criteria. Awards are per the jury’s sole discretion and the jury’s decisions are final.

Display boards will be mounted for the exhibition at the PNW Regional Conference for viewing by conference attendees, but will not be used in judging.

A distinguished jury representing both design and educational professionals will review entries. The Jury will have sole discretion in selecting entries that best represent exemplary practice in educational facilities design and planning. All awards or other special recognition will be awarded at their discretion. All decisions are final. 

Display Boards
Print and mount display boards on landscape-format 20” X 40” eco-board or other suitable rigid, light-weight material, with each project presented on one board. Boards will be mounted using “Velcro” attachments to exhibit frames. Please attach (or include in package) sticky-backed Velcro strips in 2” lengths (hook side only) for each corner of each panel. Text on Presentation Boards should be large enough for exhibit viewing and kept simple.

The display boards should meet the following criteria:

Board Content
Project Data with the following minimum information:

  • Clearly indicate the Owner, Architect, Project Name, and location of project.
  • Building area and construction cost for the entire project. Provide all site work/development costs (note separated out or inclusive to building costs). Remodel projects should appropriately describe separate areas and costs for additions and modernized spaces.
  • Names of consultants including educational consultants, architects, engineers, and specialty consultants, and project management personnel
  • Name of general contractor
  • Names of major material suppliers (in particular A4LE industry partners)

Teams are encouraged to submit boards for the exhibit that most accurately represent the project. The following are suggested for inclusion:

  • Illustrative Floor Plan(s) and/or site plan(s) that accurately convey program intent and elements
  • Images (photograph, perspective rendering, or sectional drawing) which convey the spatial relationships of the education program space(s)
  • Project Narrative that complements the images and drawings. Topics which are suggested for the narrative include:
    • The clients’ educational vision and goals for the project. Describe how the learning environment supports the planned curricula, as well the ability to adapt and flex to a variety of learning & teaching styles
    • The project’s “community.” Identify stakeholders, describe how the community was engaged in the planning, design, and construction process. Describe how the project contributed and responded to the unique nature the community.
    • How the physical form of the learning environment inspires and motivates. Describe how the design integrates and responds to the educational program, how the site contributes, and how the overall project incorporates sustainability values.
    • Educational results and achievements. How the project has influenced the district and community, including any unintended results and impacts of the process & project.

Packing & Shipping
Completed boards are to be submitted to between April 17-19, 2023 or hand delivered to the conference site by 11:00 am on April 19, 2023. If you ship boards, the packaging is to be durable and constructed of suitable rigid material. Shipping information will be provided closer to the event.

If you plan to hand deliver your boards, please send written e-mail notification to Joe Echeverri ([email protected]) two weeks in advance of the conference.

Supervision & Services
Conference planners reserve the right to assign exhibit space and to withhold from exhibition entries deemed to be unsuitable for display. Adequate general illumination will be provided. No special lighting system will be provided or permitted.

Collection and Disposal of Materials
Exhibitors are responsible for collecting their submittal boards at the end of the conference. Any boards not collected may be disposed of. For special arrangements, contact the Member Care Manager listed in the Contacts section.

Participant Notice
Exhibitors are reminded that these are exhibitions of school architecture and not a commercial display. Personal solicitation or distribution of literature in conjunction with the Design Exhibit is prohibited.

Additional Information
If you have any questions, please contact the individuals listed in the Contacts section.
Become a Member


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Online Awards


Visit our showcase of past online entry submissions


LearningSCAPES 2022 Conference


October 5-9, 2022
Marriott Rivercenter, San Antonio, TX