AIA Awards Use of Technology in Design

On April 29, the AIA Technology in Architectural Practice Knowledge Community will recognize use of technology in building design when it bestows five award citations and six honorable mentions during its fifth Annual 2009 BIM Awards Program in San Francisco. From a submission field of 34 entries, the standout award was the Cooper Union Advancement of Science and Art Building by Morphosis, which won in both the Creating Stellar Architecture using BIM and the Jury’s Choice categories.This is the fifth year that AIA’s TAP community has conducted its award program for use of building information modeling. In the view of many of the jury members, the program continues to provide valuable insight and an emerging snapshot of the state of practice as well as use of new building information modeling and integrated project delivery technologies and processes. The submissions are evaluated in six categories. In addition to Stellar Architecture, those include:•    Design/Delivery Process Innovation•    Outstanding Design for Fabrication•    Outstanding Sustainable Design•    Support for Human Use and Innovative Program Requirements•    Academic Program or Curriculum Development The Stellar Architecture category has been one of the most interesting, with engineering firm Arup winning in 2005 for the Beijing National Swimming Centre and construction firm Mortenson winning in 2006 for its extensive and imaginative use of building information modeling on the Denver Art Museum. In 2007, Kieran Timberlake proved that Stellar Architecture and building information modeling were not confined to major institutiona project types or large corporate scale, winning with the single-family Loblolly House.  Stellar Architecture winners, in fact, have dominated the program for the past few years, winning awards for other projects as well. Morphosis, for example, won awards for the San Francisco Federal Building in 2005, as well as the Stellar Architecture award in 2008 for the Wayne L. Morse U.S. Courthouse in Eugene, Ore. Kieran Timberlake again in 2009 won the Design for Fabrication category with the installation of the Cellophane House at an exhibit on pre-fabricated architecture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.  And Mortenson had two honorable mentions in 2009, with projects in Colorado designed by Fentress Architects and Antoine Predock and Anderson Mason Dale Architects.The portfolio of BIM Awards projects can be viewed at and are beginning to comprise a growing knowledge base of best practices and excellence in integrating BIM technology, IPD process and creative architecture in surprisingly innovative ways.Stephen Hagan, FAIA, is the director of the Project Knowledge Center of the U.S. General Services Administration’s Public Building Service. He is also a member of the American Institute of Architects Technology in Architectural Practice Knowledge Community Advisory Group.