55+ Housing Awards Category Descriptions
These are meant to be brief descriptions or characteristics used to identify projects in each category. Please note that the descriptions are kept short due to the creativity and variability across the 55+ industry.
55+ ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN AWARDS
The building design categories are reserved for age-qualified projects and communities catering to the 55+ Lifestyle completed between Jan. 1, 2017 and Aug. 16, 2019.
Community Design CATEGORIES
Best 55+ Independent Living Community
Independent living communities are commonly apartments, which may be rental, for-sale, cooperatives or mix of types. Some communities may also offer cottages, condominiums, and single-family homes. Residents do not require assistance with daily activities or 24/7 skilled nursing but may benefit from convenient services, senior-friendly surroundings, and increased social opportunities.
Best 55+ Life Plan Community
A life plan community, formerly known as a CCRC, generally offers multiple living choices and continuum-of-care services, including independent living homes or apartments, assisted living residences, special needs or memory care residences and/or nursing care. Provision for onsite care for residents with services such as meals, housekeeping, wellness amenities, health care or supportive services and/or 24-hour staffing are available in the community.
Best 55+ Assisted Living or Special Needs Community
Communities may be rental, for-sale, cooperatives or a mix of types in a standalone building or part of a larger community with continuum-of-care services. Assisted living communities may include adult daycare, may be part of a larger life plan community, or be a fee-for-service, non-licensed or licensed community. These communities provide services such as meals, housekeeping, wellness amenities, health care or supportive services and/or 24-hour staffing.
Assisted Living Communities provide assistance with daily living and health care services for residents and/or residents with special needs.
Special Needs refers to provisions of special care to address Alzheimer's or other dementia, sight or hearing impairment and/or HIV or AIDS.
Best 55+ Market-Rate Rental Community
A market-rate rental community typically includes apartments, which are privately financed and where residents pay market-rate or above market-rate rents. Some communities may also offer cottages, duplexes, condominiums, and single-family homes.
Best 55+ Affordable Rental Community
Affordable rental communities are generally made up of apartments that primarily accommodate persons 55+ of low- to moderate-income. Construction or rental costs are typically subsidized by the local, state, or federal government.
Best 55+ For-Sale Community up to 200 homes
Best 55+ For-Sale Community over 200 homes
A for-sale community may be 55+ age-qualified, designed with features that appeal to 55+ buyers or multi-generational. It may offer common amenities and facilities that are designed as integral components to promote a healthy and active 55+ lifestyle. While typically single-family homes, some communities also offer cottages, duplexes, condominiums and villas.
Single-Family Design CATEGORIES
Best 55+ Detached Home up to 2,000 sq. ft.
Best 55+ Detached 2,001-2,500 sq. ft.
Best 55+ Detached Home 2,501-3,000 sq. ft.
Best 55+ Detached Home over 3,000 sq. ft.
Best 55+ Attached Home up to 1,700 sq. ft.
Best 55+ Attached Home over 1,700 sq. ft.
Home types include single-family detached and attached homes, as well as manufactured homes on fee simple or leased lots.
Detached refers to a home that is free of any shared walls and stands alone.
Attached means that a home shares a common party wall often on both sides of the property.
Square footage is defined as all living spaces as measured to the interior face of the exterior walls and does not include garages, unfinished basements, attics, covered patios and porches.
Specialty Design CATEGORIES
Best 55+ Repositioned or Repurposed Project
This category includes existing planned communities or single projects that have been transformed or reinvented to address new opportunities not planned in the original design. This includes adaptive reuse projects, which serve a new function in an existing structure. Examples may include changing or repurposing building types, altering the design or updating amenities to an existing property.
Repositioning refers to looking for assets where the owner or property manager has successfully changed the position of the property in the marketplace; this is also often linked to adding value to the project.
Repurposing refers to the process by which a project with one use value is transformed with an alternative use value.
Best Universal Design for 55+ New Construction
This category is for new construction designed and built and specifically to enhance the lifestyle or ease of daily living. The home's features may be permanent or adaptable as constructed, including adjustable and convertible design, and should accommodate persons of differing ages, sizes, needs, strengths and abilities.
Universal Design refers to designs and features that make housing usable by persons with a broad range of needs. It is inclusionary design that applies to spaces, features, and products to maximize the number of people who can function independently in a particular environment.
Best Green Home for 55+ New Construction
This category is for new construction designed and built and specifically incorporates green building concepts. Green building concepts refers to both the structure and the use of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's or home life cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and demolition. Green building concepts often earn certifications such as National Green Building Standard (NGBS) or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
Best 55+ Clubhouse or Amenity Center under 200 homes
Best 55+ Clubhouse or Amenity Center over 200 homes
Includes community centers, recreation centers, clubhouses, wellness/fitness centers, educational centers, and amenity or activity centers for any type of 55+ lifestyle community.
Best 55+ Welcome Center for under 200 homes community
Best 55+ Welcome Center for over 200 homes community
Any building or space specifically designed as the main sales area. This is to encompass, where applicable, architecture, interior design, landscape design, and sales displays.
Best 55+ Design Center
Any building or space specifically designed with the buyer in mind as the main "design" area in the home buying process. Emphasis on the theme, function, display concept, creativity, and design used in the space, as well as quality of product presentation, continuity within the space and continuity with the builders branding.
Best 55+ Indoor Common or Amenity Space
Indoor common or amenity space is considered space with one use with coordinated architectural and interior design. It is built for regular and ongoing use by residents. The emphasis is on the spatial harmony, ambience, creativity and unique design appeal of the room or space. Common-use and gathering spaces may occur in any community or residential building, including multifamily or individual homes. Common-use or amenity spaces in community buildings may include entry spaces, great rooms or other indoor amenity areas such as sunrooms or verandas.
Best 55+ Landscape
This category is reserved for the exterior landscaped community and amenity areas harmoniously designed to accentuate the natural elements and features of the community. They may include integration of natural landscape features, walking paths and nature trails, community gardens, outdoor recreation spaces, water features, fishing piers, entry features and/or community parks.
55+ INTERIOR DESIGN CATEGORIES
The Interior Design categories are reserved for the Interior Merchandising of a Model that pertain to age-qualified or age-preferred communities catering to the 55+ lifestyle completed and in use between Jan. 1, 2017 and Aug. 16, 2019.
Best 55+ Interior Merchandising of a Model up to 2,000 sq. ft.
Best 55+ Interior Merchandising of a Model 2,001-2,500 sq. ft.
Best 55+ Interior Merchandising of a Model 2,501-3,000 sq. ft.
Best 55+ Interior Merchandising of a Model over 3,000 sq. ft.
Interior Merchandising is the interior design of a model home using color, textures, furnishing and accessories as it relates to their target market and how it complements the interior unit’s space.
55+ ON THE BOARDS DESIGN CATEGORIES
The building design categories are reserved for age-qualified projects and communities catering to the 55+ lifestyle designed on or after Jan. 1, 2017. On the Boards category descriptions are the same as the Architectural Design category. Please refer to those for a description.
Best 55+ Service Enriched Community (Independent, Life Plan, Assisted, Special Needs)
Best 55+ Market-Rate Rental Community
Best 55+ Affordable Rental Community
Best 55+ For-Sale Community
Best 55+ Clubhouse or Amenity Center
55+ MARKETING AWARDS
The Marketing categories are reserved for marketing and sales activities that pertain to age-qualified or age-preferred communities catering to the 55+ Lifestyle completed and in-use between Jan. 1, 2017 and Aug. 16, 2019. Websites must be live at the time of application submission.
Marketing Campaign CATEGORIES
Best 55+ Integrated Marketing Strategy or Campaign
This category includes a specific marketing effort that integrates online and offline marketing elements to attract potential 55+ residents.
Best 55+ Direct Mail Piece or Campaign
Includes all elements of a single direct-mail piece or a direct-mail series. Examples might include letters, self-mailers or mailed sales promotions intended for 55+ consumers.
Best 55+ Online Marketing Campaign
This category is for promoting a specific, web-driven marketing strategy using new marketing channels and methodologies to 55+ potential residents. Creative use of marketing elements may include online advertising, banners, landing pages, videos, e-newsletters, blogs and social networking campaigns.
Marketing Specialty CATEGORIES
Best 55+ Sales or Marketing Event
This category is reserved for a single sales or marketing event hosted to promote interest and/ or visitation among prospective residents ages 55+.
Best 55+ Brochure
A printed brochure of any length or composition that is intended to attract potential 55+ residents.
Best 55+ Print Ad
A single black-and-white or color advertisement created to promote 55+ lifestyle and housing of any type to potential residents. Includes flyers and inserts.
Best 55+ Websites
A website for a 55+ individual project, 55+ residential community or 55+ company. (*Judges have been known to award multiple golds based on type of website projects submitted.)
55+ LIFESTYLE AWARDS
Lifestyle is a key component of the 55+ housing experience. The Lifestyle Awards categories are for any 55+ new or existing age-designed or age-qualified community catering to the 55+ lifestyle and delivers benefits primarily to benefit current residents. They can address any of the following lifestyle pillars: social, entertainment, spiritual, physical, occupational, cultural, educational, intellectual and/or environmental. Judges will consider how these elements come together to enhance resident satisfaction and quality of life.
Best 55+ Lifestyle Program
This category is reserved for a lifestyle-oriented resident program that is scheduled on an ongoing basis or over multiple dates. Examples might include cultural programs, lifelong-learning programs, wellness, art and enrichment programs, a social or recreational event series, community partnerships, craft shows, farmers markets or intergenerational programs.
Best 55+ Outdoor Lifestyle Amenity
The outdoor lifestyle amenity category applies to single exterior landscaped community amenities built for the use of residents, or events organized to engage the residents. They may include barbeque and grill areas, terraces, fire pit and outdoor lounge areas, pavilions, community entry features, water features, community or neighborhood parks, dog parks, court games, miniature putting courses and children’s play areas.
55+ INDIVIDUAL AWARDS
Judging for Lifestyle Director will evaluate an individual’s performance and advances the lifestyle pillars for the current residents and community (refer to the Pillars under Lifestyle categories.) One to Watch of the Year (*MUST be a NAHB 55+ Housing Industry Council Member). Builder and Associate of the Year identify the best firms in the 55+ industry, who build exceptional projects or support the building industry with exceptional service.
Best 55+ Lifestyle Director of the Year
Nominee must be an onsite lifestyle director employed by a builder, developer or associate. Director has achieved success through implementing programs and events advancing the lifestyle pillars for the current residents and community.
Best 55+ One to Watch of the Year
This category is to recognize members (under 40) for their accomplishments and involvement in the home building industry. The "One to Watch" is a horizontal awards category that will recognize emerging young professionals across all sectors of NAHB. Ten NAHB groups are participating, and each group will administer a "One to Watch" for each respective awards program.
Best 55+ Builder of the Year
An active NAHB 55+ Housing Industry Council member company who is building exceptional projects, has achieved success through innovation, development practices, financial success and leadership.
Best 55+ Associate of the Year
An active NAHB 55+ Housing Industry Council member company who supports the building industry with exceptional service and/or a quality product; has achieved success through innovation, financial success and integrity.
55+ COMMUNITY OF THE YEAR
This award recognizes a 55+ community that is well-rounded and demonstrates excellence in innovative design and construction and brings attention to details that signal a superior 55+ community that benefits its residents and inspires the entire 55+ housing industry as well.
The Gold winners in the 55+ Community Design Awards (categories 1-7) are automatically nominated for the 55+ Community of the Year Award—the NAHB Best of 55+ Housing Awards’ top honor—providing the 55+ community meets the criteria.
To qualify for this prestigious award, you must also enter your community design project into a 55+ Marketing and a 55+ Lifestyle category.