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The 2021

The World's Best Building Products
As Chosen By Architects

A+Product Categories

Great buildings rely upon both cutting-edge technology and materials that stand up to the test of time, so the A+Product Awards celebrate both. The following award categories speak to the design solutions that matter most to architects, including their most trusted products and the newest industry innovations. Categories are divided into three main groups:

The Best in Product Type categories

Celebrate the world’s best products across every vertical, each of which are pivotal in creating amazing architecture and inspiring spaces. The product type categories include categories for building systems, façades, finishes, flooring, kitchen & bath, furnishings, lighting and openings. Submissions in these categories must be available to market by January 1, 2022 to qualify.

NEW for 2021 The Best in Specialization categories

Dedicated to products that excel in a specialized area, leading the field in their classification. There are awards for sustainable design, innovation, new materials, designer collaboration, flexible design, unbuilt (prototype) design and branding. Submissions in these categories must be available to market by January 1, 2022 to qualify, with the exception of the Conceptual Design category.

NEW for 2021 Best in Project Type categories

Celebrate the world’s best products and materials designed for use in a specific architectural setting. Both realized and conceptual products of all types are eligible for submission. There are awards for the best products in residential, commercial, health, education, hospitality, cultural, transportation and landscape projects. There is no market launch date requirement for these categories.

Products can be entered into multiple categories across all 3 of the above groups.


The Product Type Categories

Building Systems

  • Smart BuildingProducts with integrated technological elements, including smart devices. Entries can include smart home systems, lighting and sensors, AV equipment, home security, energy systems and building envelope technologies.
  • Building SystemsProducts relating to the inner workings of a building, including but not limited to HVAC systems, elevators, escalators, ducts, photovoltaics, water recycling systems and M&E systems.

Façades

  • Building Envelopes, Cladding, & RoofingStructural and non-structural exterior wall products, cladding, roofing, and rainscreen panels made from any material, including but not limited to metal, wood, stone, masonry, concrete, terracotta, fiber cement and plastics.
  • Glass & GlazingAll architectural, low-e, birdsafe and switchable/dynamic glass, as well as framing systems, supports and fittings for curtain walls, structural glazing, storefronts and interior walls.

Finishes

  • Commercial Walls & Wall CoveringsWall coverings for commercial applications, including but not limited to wall panels and panel systems, acoustic panels and tiles, green or living walls, wallpaper, paints and coatings.
  • Residential Walls & Wall CoveringsWall coverings for residential applications, including but not limited to wallpaper, paints, panels and panel systems, green or living walls, coatings and acoustical coverings.
  • Hard SurfacingAll finishes that utilize hard materials, including solid surface products, metal, wood, plastics, resins and recycled materials.
  • AcousticsAll types of architectural acoustic panels and sound insulating products, including freestanding partitions, baffles, panels integrated into walls and ceilings, furniture with sound-absorbing properties, and decorative art-based panels.
  • CeilingsIncludes whole ceiling systems, ceiling tiles and clouds for either commercial or residential settings.
  • Tiles and Stone - NEWAll small and large format tiles and slabs, including ceramic, porcelain, stone and other materials. Interior and exterior products for use on floors, walls, façades and roofs are eligible.

Flooring

  • Hard FlooringWood or engineered wood, LVT, resilient, terrazzo, regular and large-format tile with appropriate slip resistance for flooring applications, floor pavers, quartz composite, natural or engineered stone, metal.
  • Commercial CarpetCarpets designed for commercial applications, including but not limited to modular carpet tile and plank, broadloom, area rugs and hybrid woven products are all acceptable.
  • Residential CarpetCarpets designed for residential applications, including but not limited to modular carpet tile and plank, broadloom, area rugs and hybrid woven products.

Kitchen & Bath

  • Fixtures & Fittings - KitchenFixtures and fittings for kitchen applications, such as faucets, taps and pot fillers, sinks, garbage disposals, water filtration systems, kitchen furniture and accessories.
  • Fixtures & Fittings - BathFixtures and fittings for bathroom applications, such as sink faucets and taps, tub spouts, faucet and tub filler handles and controls, sanitaryware including toilets, urinals, sinks and bathtubs; built-in elements such as shower bases and doors/enclosures. (Please submit lavatory sink cabinets into the Cabinetry & Millwork category.)
  • Cabinetry & MillworkAll built-in cabinetry for kitchen and bath settings including vanity cabinets, cook island cabinets and medicine/mirrored cabinets. This category also includes entire kitchen furniture systems.
  • AppliancesIncluding major household appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, washing machines and dishwashers, as well as small countertop appliances like coffee makers, toaster ovens and microwaves.

Furnishings

  • Contract Fabric & Textiles - NEWFabric and textile products for commercial applications, including upholstery and drapery textiles, window shade fabric, outdoor and awning textiles, tensile structure textiles and room/space division textiles (such as hanging felt panels and screens).
  • Residential Fabric & Textiles - NEWFabric and textile products for residential applications, including upholstery and drapery textiles, window shade fabric, and room/space division textiles (such as hanging felt panels and screens).
  • Outdoor Fabric & Textiles - NEWFabric and textile products for commercial applications, including but not limited to awning textiles, tensile structure textiles and fabric designed for outdoor furnishings.
  • Contract SeatingCommercial grade seating for use in corporate, hospitality and public settings, including chairs, sofas, stools, workplace/office chairs and benches for both interior and exterior uses.
  • Contract FurnitureCommercial grade furniture for use in corporate, hospitality and public settings, including individual and communal tables, desks, signage, case goods, mobile carts, shelves and other storage.
  • Contract Furniture Systems - NEWCommercial grade systems, interior structures and furniture sets for use in corporate, hospitality and public settings, including but not limited to partition walls and wall panels, dividers, multi-functional and modular furniture systems, large scale shelving systems, kiosks and meeting booths.
  • Residential SeatingNon-commercial grade seating suited to residential settings, including dining chairs, sofas, armchairs, recliners, loveseats, accent chairs, chaise longues, lounge and club chairs, home office chairs, benches and stools.
  • Residential FurnitureNon-commercial grade furniture suited to residential settings, including tables, case goods, beds and dining pieces, and home office furniture including desks and storage.
  • Residential Furniture Systems - NEWNon-commercial grade systems, interior structures and furniture sets suited to residential settings, including but not limited to partition walls and wall panels, dividers, multi-functional and modular furniture systems, storage and shelving systems.
  • Healthcare Furniture - NEWContract furniture suited to healthcare settings, including seating of all kinds, individual and communal tables, desks, workplace/office systems, waiting room furnishings, partition walls and dividers, kiosks, signage, case goods, mobile carts, shelves and other storage.
  • Educational Furniture - NEWContract furniture suited to educational settings, including seating of all kinds, individual and communal tables, desks, classroom furnishings, partition walls and dividers, children’s furnishings and play structures, signage, case goods, mobile carts, shelves and other storage.
  • Outdoor FurnitureFurniture and systems rated for outdoor use in all public and private settings, including benches, deck and lounge chairs, dining tables, arbors, pergolas, trellises, playground structures, planters, bins, signage, umbrellas, cabanas, outdoor kitchens, fountains and fire pits.
  • AccessoriesProducts that lend functional and decorative details to an architectural environment. Includes bath and tabletop accessories, soft goods such as pillows and throws, table and bed linens, stemware and dishware, wall art, frames and other decorative objects.

Lighting

  • Contract Pendant Lighting - NEWCommercial interior lighting in suspended form, including multi-light, inverted, downlight, drum-shade and linear pendant lights.
  • Contract Recessed Lighting - NEWCommercial interior lighting in recessed form, including troffers, recessed LED or OLED panels, recessed lighting with baffle, reflector or wall washed trims, and recessed lighting products designed for ceilings, walls and floors.
  • Contract Surface Mounted Lighting - NEWCommercial interior lighting in mounted form, including sconces and other wall mounted fixtures, surface mounted ceiling lights, and track mounted lighting.
  • Decorative & Freestanding LightingDecorative luminaires of any scale, from distinctive wall sconces and table lamps to chandeliers and pendant clusters. Lighting for both residential and commercial uses are eligible. The diffusers, shades, housing or composition of these lights should be design objects that add to the built project.
  • Exterior Lighting - NEWCommercial and residential lighting designed for outdoor uses, including step lights, path and street lamps, landscape spotlights, external façade lights, in-ground lights and utility lights such as motion-activated parking structure lights.

Openings

  • Doors & Door HardwareOpenings for entrance and egress including doors of all styles and door hardware including latches, handles, locks, hinges and pivots.
  • Windows & SkylightsOpenings including windows, roof windows/hatches and skylights (both fixed and operable); window and skylight hardware including latches, handles, locks, cranks, hinges and pivots.
  • ShadingAll shading systems and products, including both passive and active systems for regulating sunlight and solar heat gain. Exterior and interior products are eligible, including fixed and adjustable louvers, fins, baguettes, blinds and canopies. Please submit window-shade textiles into one of the Fabric & Textiles categories.

Best in Specialization

  • Sustainable Design - NEWThe Sustainable Design Award celebrates products that are among the most sustainable in their field. This includes but is not limited to products that minimize or actively help reduce carbon emissions, highly energy efficient products, products that facilitate passive heating and cooling, products with a sustainable “cradle to grave” lifecycle and products that utilize locally sourced materials.
  • Innovation - NEWThe Innovation Award is dedicated to products that are among the most innovative in their field. Contenders for the Innovation Award should be groundbreaking, pioneering products that set a precedent in their industry, breaking away from the conventions of their product type. Products that set a new benchmark for design and quality within their vertical stand the best chance of success in this category.
  • New Materials - NEWThe New Materials Award celebrates products that harness emerging or unconventional materials to form a new exemplar in their field. Eligible products include but are not limited to: products made from technologically advanced materials and/or processes, products made from recycled or organic materials, products that cleverly repurpose salvaged materials, and products that use traditional materials in new and innovative ways.
  • Designer Collaboration - NEWThe Designer Collaboration Award is dedicated to products that have been designed, developed and made a reality by a team of creative players. Eligible products include but are not limited to: collaborations between brands and architecture firms, collaborations between brands and interior designers, collaborations between brands and environmental experts, and countless other combinations.
  • Flexible Design - NEWThe Flexible Design Award celebrates products whose primary quality is adjustability, flexibility or modularity. This category is open to products of all types that have a flexible element, including but not limited to: modular furniture, flexible seating, customizable wall or acoustic panels, flexible façade and glazing systems, modular storage, and customizable or modular lighting.
  • Conceptual Design - NEWThe Concept Design Award celebrates all building products, furniture and materials that are in the conceptual phase, including any product that has not yet been launched to the public. Eligible products include purely conceptual works (that are not planned for realization) and under-development products that are set to be unveiled to the market in the future. Submission materials for this category may include renderings, drawings, models (digital and physical) and any other visual that communicates the design of the product.
  • Branding - NEWThe Branding Award is dedicated to products that are designed to promote, celebrate or enhance a company’s brand in any way. Eligible products include but are not limited to: branded signage, façade elements, walls and wall panels, partitions, paint and coatings, glazing, flooring, furniture, lighting, fabric, textiles and accessories.

Best in Project Type

  • Residential - NEWThe Residential Award celebrates the world’s best products and materials used in residential applications. This includes both realized and conceptual products of all types, including building products, furnishings and materials that are designed for use in buildings such as:
    • Private residences
    • Multi unit residences
    • Apartments
    • Ancillary structures such as garden studios and sheds
    • Residential interiors
  • Commercial - NEWThe Commercial Award is dedicated to the world’s best products and materials used in commercial applications. This includes both realized and conceptual products of all types, including building products, furnishings and materials that are designed for use in buildings such as:
    • Office buildings
    • Office interiors
    • Coworking spaces
    • Retail
    • Shopping centers
    • Pop ups & temporary commercial structures
    • Mixed use buildings
    • Factories & warehouses
    • Showrooms
  • Healthcare - NEWThe Healthcare Award celebrates the world’s best products and materials used in a healthcare setting. This includes both realized and conceptual products of all types, including building products, furnishings and materials that are designed for use in buildings such as:
    • Hospitals
    • Clinics
    • Medical centers
    • Mobile or temporary healthcare facilities
  • Education - NEWThe Education Award is dedicated to the world’s best products and materials used in an educational setting. This includes both realized and conceptual products of all types, including building products, furnishings and materials that are designed for use in buildings such as:
    • Kindergartens
    • Primary & high schools
    • Colleges & universities
    • Libraries
    • Research facilities
  • Hospitality - NEWThe Hospitality Award is dedicated to the world’s best products and materials used in a hospitality setting. This includes both realized and conceptual products of all types, including building products, furnishings and materials that are designed for use in buildings such as:
    • Hotels & resorts
    • Restaurants
    • Bars & nightclubs
    • Spa & wellness
  • Landscape - NEWThe Landscape Award celebrates the world’s best products and materials used in landscape architecture and outdoor spaces. This includes both realized and conceptual products of all types, including building products, furnishings and materials that are designed for use in spaces such as:
    • Public outdoor spaces
    • Private gardens
    • Courtyards
    • Landscape master plans
    • Streetscapes
  • Culture - NEWThe Culture Award is dedicated to the world’s best products and materials used in a cultural setting. This includes both realized and conceptual products of all types, including building products, furnishings and materials that are designed for use in buildings such as:
    • Museums
    • Gallery & exhibition spaces
    • Halls & theaters
    • Sports & recreational facilities
    • Pavilions
    • Religious buildings & memorials
  • Transportation - NEWThe Transportation Award is dedicated to the world’s best products and materials used in a transportation setting. This includes both realized and conceptual products of all types, including building products, furnishings and materials that are designed for use in buildings such as:
    • Airports
    • Bus stations & terminals
    • Train stations, light rail & monorail terminals
    • Parking structures
    • Bridges & other infrastructure
    • Products related to transit-oriented development

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