A+Product Awards

How to Win an A+Product Award: Be Essential, Be Pioneering, or Be Both

Your complete guide to the newly minted 2019 A+Product Award categories.

Paul Keskeys Paul Keskeys

The 7th Annual A+Awards — including the prestigious A+Product Awards — is open for entries! Click here to submit your product or project this week to take advantage of the early entry discount.

What makes for the perfect architectural product?

That’s the question being asked by the jurors and the general public when voting on this year’s A+Product Awards, part of Architizer’s prestigious A+Awards program for architecture and design. For Brands gunning for one of these prizes — and the global exposure that comes with it — some guidelines would undoubtedly prove useful.

The good news is, whether you are an established player in the construction industry or a nimble newcomer, there is an award for you to aim for. This is your guide to the newly minted 2019 A+Product Award categories!

Two Ways to Win

It’s hard being all things to all people, and building-product manufacturers understand this better than anyone. The most successful brands know that, in order to remain relevant, they must cater for two contrasting types of architect, each with their own, distinctive needs. First, there are those designers that appreciate well-known, trustworthy products that have an established level of quality. Then, there are those that are constantly looking for something new — something that will set their project apart and spark excitement and inspiration in their more adventurous clients.

That’s why, this year, we’ve introduced two category types for each A+Product Award: The Foundation Categories and the Innovation Categories. Here’s a quick overview of how these categories are defined, and the products they include:

A+Products Awards

Lamberts Channel Glass Wall Systems by Bendheim Wall Systems Inc., winner of a 2015 A+Product Award in the Building Products category.

The Foundation Categories

For a building to stand the test of time, it needs products that have been similarly tested. The Foundation Categories represent the fundamental products and design solutions that matter most, project after project — these are the “tried and true” building-products that every practicing architect should know. Products submitted in the Foundation Categories must have been available on the market for at least two years to qualify (before January 1, 2017).

a+product awards

“The Chameleon Collection” pearlescent metal skins by PURE + FREEFORM, winner of a 2018 A+Product Award in the Building Envelopes & Cladding category.

The Innovation Categories

The Innovation Categories celebrate the products that are radically influencing how buildings are conceived and built today. With emphasis on cutting-edge materials, new production processes, and sustainable solutions, these are the products that will set the pace for the design industry of tomorrow. Products entered in the Innovation Categories must have been introduced to market within the last two years (after January 1, 2017).

Got it? Great! Now, all you need to do is establish which product type is the best fit for your submission. For those brands with numerous products developed through the years, you can multiply your chances to win by making several submissions for both Foundation and Innovation Awards.

There are a total of 31 different product categories, 15 of which are new for 2019. From façades and furniture to plumbing and HVAC, if a product is a part of a building, it can be submitted for an A+Product Award. Here is a full rundown of eligible product types, each of which is included in both the Foundation and Innovation categories:

A+Product Awards

BIMx Pro by Graphisoft, winner of an 2016 A+Award in the Apps category.

Building Systems

Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning: All products related to HVAC systems, including commercial, industrial and residential products. Complete HVAC systems and individual appliances are eligible, including smart technology hardware and software.

Smart Building & Technology: Products 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.

Design Tools

Apps & Digital Tools: Digital tools designed to aid the workflow of architects, including both desktop and mobile apps. Software can include BIM and CAD applications, rendering packages, mobile apps and project management tools. Hardware can include laptop and desktop workstations, 3D printers, drones, VR/AR equipment and robotics.

A+Product Awards

Voronoi Tile by TURF Design, winner of a 2018 A+Product Award in the Ceilings category.


Acoustics: All 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.

Carpet: Modular carpet tile and plank, broadloom, area rugs and hybrid woven products are all acceptable.

Ceilings: Includes whole ceiling systems, ceiling tiles and clouds for either residential or commercial settings

Fabric & Textiles: 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).

Flooring: Wood 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.

Hard Surfacing: All finishes that utilize hard materials, including solid surface products, ceramics, stone, metal, wood and plastics.

Paints & Coatings: Paints and coatings used to apply color, texture and protection. Both interior and exterior products are eligible, including interior paints, exterior coatings and masonry primers, wood varnishes and sealants, and elastomeric coatings.

Walls & Wall Coverings: Wall coverings may include wallpaper, panels and panel systems and acoustical coverings

A+Product Awards

Vitrocsa Turnable Corner by Vitrocsa, winner of 2018 A+Product Award in the Glazing Systems & Façades category.


Glass & Glazing: All 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.

Building Envelopes & Cladding: Structural and non-structural exterior wall products, cladding and rainscreen panels made from any material, including but not limited to metal, wood, stone, masonry, concrete, terracotta, fiber cement and plastics.

Roofing: All manner of roofing materials including tiles, shingles, solar and waterproofing systems.

Thermal & Moisture Barriers: All thermal and moisture barrier products, including but not limited to insulation, fire resistant products, damp-proof membranes, water repellant sprays, and fluid-applied or sheet products for waterproofing.

A+Product Awards

Nora seating by Davis Furniture, winner of a 2018 A+Product Award in the Commercial Furniture category.


Accessories: Products 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.

Contract Furniture & Systems: Commercial grade furniture for use in corporate, hospitality and public settings, including tables, workplace/office systems, kiosks, lecterns, case goods, signage, mobile carts, shelves and other storage.

Contract Seating: Commercial 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.

Outdoor Furniture: Commercial site furniture from benches and arbors to playground structures, and residential or contract furniture that is rated for outdoor use such as deck chairs, umbrellas, dining tables, cabanas, outdoor kitchens and fire pits.

Residential Furniture: Non-commercial grade furniture suited to residential settings, including tables, case goods, beds, dining pieces, storage, sofas, lounge and club chairs, dining chairs, benches and stools.

Residential Seating: Non-commercial grade seating suited to residential settings, including dining chairs, sofas, lounge and club chairs, benches and stools.

A+Product Awards

Dekton Industrial Collection by Cosentino, winner of a 2018 A+Product Award in the Interior Materials & Surfaces category.

Kitchen & Bath

Appliances: Appliances including major household appliances such as refrigerators and ovens as well as small countertop appliances like coffee makers and water filters.

Fixtures & Fittings: Fixtures and fittings 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 Millwork & Cabinetry category.)

Millwork & Cabinetry: All 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.

Plumbings: All products relating to plumbing, include piping, valves, pumps, products related to pools and fountains, products related to sewage, water collection, drainage and storage systems, and gray water recycling systems.

A+Product Awards

Arrangements by FLOS, winner of a 2018 A+Product Award in the Decorative Lighting category.


Contract Lighting: Commercial interior and exterior lighting that enhances the architectural experience, functionality and comfort. These can include recessed lighting, linear and other types of suspension luminaires, troffers, LED or OLED panels, cove and plaster-in lighting, tracks, cans/cylinders, sconces and other wall fixtures, step lights, path and street lamps, landscape spots, in-ground lights and utility such as motion-activated parking structure lights. Lamping is also acceptable in this category.

Residential Lighting: Decorative luminaires of any scale, from distinctive wall sconces and table lamps to chandeliers and pendant clusters. The diffusers, shades, housing or composition of these lights should be design objects that add to the built project.

A+Product Award

Portapivot 6530 by Portapivot, winner of a double 2018 A+Product Award in the Doors category.


Doors & Door Hardware: Openings for entrance and egress including doors of all styles and door hardware including latches, handles, locks, hinges and pivots.

Sun Control: All 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.

Windows & Skylights: Openings including windows, roof windows/hatches and skylights (both fixed and operable); window and skylight hardware including latches, handles, locks, cranks, hinges and pivots. Window covering and shading hardware is also accepted in this category; however, please submit window-shade textiles into the Fabric & Textiles category.

A+Product Awards

Waves bench by Studio 34 Design & Architecture, winner of a 2017 A+Product Award in the Outdoor Furniture category.


Landscape Products: All products designed for outdoor environments, including both functional and decorative elements. Products can feature in courtyards, rooftop gardens, public and private parks and other outdoor public spaces, and include benches, planters, lighting, fountains, bins and signage.

Take Advantage of Our Early Entry Discount!

Now you know which categories are available, it’s time to submit your products. Consider whether your product fits within the Foundation or the Innovation categories — or, better still, whether you have different products for each. If you have any questions about the A+Awards or your specific submission, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at awards@architizer.com. Good luck to every manufacturer and architect that enters — here’s to a stellar 2019 for essential and innovative design!

Enter the 2019 A+Product Awards

Paul Keskeys Author: Paul Keskeys
Paul Keskeys is Editor in Chief at Architizer. An architect-trained editor, writer and content creator, Paul graduated from UCL and the University of Edinburgh, gaining an MArch in Architectural Design with distinction. Paul has spoken about the art of architecture and storytelling at many national industry events, including AIANY, NeoCon, KBIS, the Future NOW Symposium, the Young Architect Conference and NYCxDesign. As well as hundreds of editorial publications on Architizer, Paul has also had features published in Architectural Digest, PIN—UP Magazine, Archinect, Aesthetica Magazine and PUBLIC Journal.
Read more articles by Paul

8 Impossibly Dynamic Façades That Were Actually Built

These projects attest to the technological advancement and different cutting-edge trends in façade d esign.

20 Inspiring Minority Architects, Designers and Advocates for a More Diverse Profession

The “Say it Loud” exhibition shone a spotlight on the contributions of Black, Hispanic and Asian pro fessionals across the United States.