Categories and Eligibility

Eligibility Requirements for All Categories

The project or home(s) must have been completed or first model opened between Jan. 1, 2020, and Aug. 31, 2022. Communities or project phases for larger communities must have at least 50% of the building units and 50% of the infrastructure completed by Aug. 31, 2022. The same project may be entered for awards in multiple categories. Gold-winning projects previously entered are not eligible to submit again for the same category. Silver-winning projects may enter again if they meet the criteria for the current year's program. Any home owned or occupied by a staff member of NAHB shall be disqualified.

Should the need arise, the judges reserve the right to subdivide or reassign any category or create a new category as appropriate in an effort to provide fairer competition.

Site and Floor Plan Requirements for Eligible Categories

File should contain all floor plans and relevant elevations that are representative of what you are submitting. Furnished, marketing-style floor plans and elevations are encouraged. Submissions should not be longer than six pages if submitting a pdf. If this is a repurposed, repositioned or remodeling submission, please include “before” plan(s), if possible.

Photography Requirements for All Categories

It is highly recommended that for all categories that are not strictly interior architecture or design, marketing or individual that sufficient exterior photography be submitted to demonstrate the design characteristics of the home, residential building or community. Entries without sufficient exterior photography, if applicable, may be removed from consideration.

Repositioning, Repurposing or Remodeling applicants should include sufficient “before” and “after” photography that showcases the transformation and final product.

Additional eligibility requirements by category are below.

55+ Community Design Awards

(Apartment or Independent Living Community, Assisted Living or Memory Care Community) (Categories 1 through 2)

Category 1: Apartment or 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.

Category 2: Assisted Living or Memory Care 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.
Memory Care refers to provisions of special care to address Alzheimer's or other dementia, sight or hearing impairment and/or HIV or AIDS.

55+ Single-Family Design

(Detached Home, Attached Home)(Categories 3 through 4)

Category 3: Detached Home up to 2,000 sq. ft., 2,001-2,500 sq. ft., 2,501-3,000 sq. ft., over 3,000 sq. ft.
Home types include single-family detached homes, as well as manufactured homes on fee simple or leased lots.

Category 4: Attached Home up to 1,700 sq. ft., over 1,700 sq. ft.
Home types include single-family 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.

55+ Specialty Program or Design

(Community Amenity, Interior Merchandising)(Categories 5 through 6)

Category 5: Community Amenity
The community amenity category applies to a single amenity built for the use of residents, or events organized to engage the residents. Indoor or outdoor amenity, a community health and wellness feature, or a clubhouse would qualify. Includes community centers, recreation centers, clubhouses, wellness/fitness centers, educational centers, and amenity or activity centers for any type of 55+ lifestyle community, a feature that contributes to the resident's overall health and wellness. Examples could include air and water purification, biophilic design farm to table feature or unique exercise and fitness amenity.

Other suggestions could be café, theatre, package lockers, garden area, library nook, barbeque and grill areas, terraces, fire pit and outdoor lounge areas, water features, community or neighborhood parks, dog parks, court games, miniature putting courses and children’s play areas.

Category 6: Interior Merchandising of a Model up to 2,000 sq. ft., 2,001-2,500, 2,501-3,000 sq. ft., over 3,000 sq. ft
Interior Merchandising is the interior design of a model home and/or common area using color, textures, furnishing and accessories as it relates to their target market and how it complements the interior unit’s space.


(Integrated Marketing Strategy or Campaign, Print, Digital)(Categories 7-9)

The Marketing categories are reserved for marketing and sales activities that pertain to age-qualified or age-preferred communities catering to the 55+ Consumer or Lifestyle. Websites must be live at the time of application submission.

Category 7: Integrated Marketing Strategy or Campaign
This category includes a specific marketing effort that integrates online and offline marketing elements to attract potential 55+ residents.

Category 8: Print
Includes all elements of print marketing, such as a single direct-mail piece or a direct-mail series (e.g., letters, self-mailers or mailed sales promotions intended for 55+ consumers); a printed brochure of any length or composition that is intended to attract potential 55+ residents; a single black-and-white or color advertisement created to promote 55+ lifestyle and housing of any type to potential residents (e.g., flyers and inserts).

Category 9: Digital
This category includes promoting a specific, web-driven marketing strategy using new marketing channels and methodologies to 55+ potential residents. Creative use of marketing elements may include a website for a 55+ individual project, 55+ residential community or 55+ company, online advertising, banners, landing pages, videos, e-newsletters, blogs and social networking campaigns.


Category 10: 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.

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). (*MUST be a NAHB 55+ Housing Industry Council Member.)