2013 ICF Builder Award Competition Projects Demonstrate Innovation, Efficiency
The Builder Awards competition is an annual event designed to showcase the innovation, quality, and energy-efficiency of ICF construction, and promote them as a sustainable, durable and attractive building material.
Industry-Wide "Project of the Year" Competition Will be Best Yet
The ICF Builder Awards are back again. The ICF Builder Awards are open to anyone involved with ICFs, without restriction on form type, brand, or number of entries, and is the largest, oldest, and most prestigious ICF competition in existence.
The 2012 contest received dozens of top projects, and over 200 people witnessing the award presentation at an evening reception. This year's contest promises to be even better than last year’s highly successful event. To maximize your project's chances of winning see "Secrets of Winning Entries" below.
Contractors, distributors, and ICF manufacturers are encouraged to submit projects for consideration. Simply download the Entry Form or call the magazine at 877-229-9174 to request a notebook.
"It's gotten us a lot of mileage in the press," say one winner
Submitting an Entry Notebook to the ICF Builder Awards can be a time-consuming process, but past winners unanimously agree it's worth the effort.
In addition to the coverage they receive in this magazine and on the website, most have received coverage from major media outlets as well.
"Just thought we would update you on the impact of receiving the ICF House of the Year Award for 2009," writes Barry Oberpriller, one of last year's winners. "So far we have been featured in 5 newspapers and one magazine… Casa Del Sol was given a 12 page feature article in their July issue… We never would have received all of this coverage without the award and it has been a source of potential business as well as giving much needed press to the ICF Building industry."
"I want to say THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! for all the great work you've done with both the awards themselves and this follow-up!" says James Plagmann, who won Best Overall Project in 2007. "And the website is fantastic!"
"That award has been a very positive thing for us," says Beverly Stevenart, another winner. "It certainly has gotten a lot of mileage in the way of press for us. The People's Choice award [from the regional Parade of Homes] was such a welcome surprise, but your award has elevated our project to another level!... We sincerely appreciate what your publication has given us and will continue to spread the word with advertising."
Louis Lemoine, who earned Best Residential Development 2005 for an innovative all-ICF neighborhood in Halifax, says, "We continue to use the award in our ads. I certainly would apply again."
Several changes to this year’s contest will help open the competition to even more ICF builders. Based on feedback we received from last year's event, residential entries will now compete in three categories:
Small Residential is for homes under 3,000 sq. ft.
Large Residential will cover homes between 3,000 and 6,000 sq. ft, and
Unlimited Residential covers projects larger than that size.
“We recognize that as ICFs become more popular, many outstanding custom homes are closer to average size. We want to give these entries a chance to compete against similarly sized projects,” says Craig Shorts, one of the contest organizers.
Judging will be based on a project’s difficulty, architecture, and how well it serves to advance the industry and draw positive attention to ICFs. The judging criteria has been modified to favor project creativity and significance more heavily than in years past.
Competition rules remain unchanged, although judges now require at least 4 construction and 3 finished photos. The complete rules and judging criteria are printed below
There is no prohibition against re-submitting a project from past years that did not receive an award. With the revised categories and improved judging criteria
All entries must be received no later than Friday, Oct. 25, 2013. Winners will be announced at an evening event at World of Concrete 2014, held in Las Vegas. We look forward to seeing you there!
Complete Rules 2013 Competition
Entry Notebooks: Notebooks can downloaded from the World Wide Web here. They can also be ordered by phoning, mailing or faxing a request to ICF Builder magazine.
Entry Fees: Cost is $90 (U.S.) for the first Entry Notebook submitted. The entry fee for additional Notebooks is $50 (U.S.) each)
Deadline - Entry Notebooks must be postmarked no later than Friday, October 25, 2013. No notebooks will be accepted after this date. Entry Notebooks without payment will not be considered.
Competition Categories – Projects must use Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) as the primary construction method. Awards will be given in the following categories.
Light Commercial: This category encompasses all commercial construction projects with a total cost of less than $5 million (USD). Typical projects in this category would include car washes, warehouse space, restaurants, gas stations, churches, and small retail and office, and complexes.
Heavy Commercial: This category is for commercial construction costing more than $5 million (USD) to construct. This would include most cinema multiplexes, and large office and retail buildings, Most apartment complexes and condominiums would also fall into this category.
Multifamily: This category is for developers of multi-family housing, such as
apartment complexes, condominiums, retirement homes, and similar projects.
Small Residential: Single-family residential buildings totaling 3,000 sq. ft. or less
Large Residential: Single-family residential buildings between 3,001 and 6,000 sq. ft.
Unlimited Residential: Single-family residences larger than 6,000 sq. ft.
We retain the right to re-assign a project’s category if specifications show the project is inappropriate for the category in which it is competing.
Restrictions – Projects must be completed by the entry deadline. There is no restriction on project start date.
Additionally, the competition is open to any type or brand of ICF, and projects may be submitted by anyone associated with the project in any way,
Photography Requirements - A minimum of 7 and a maximum of 20 photographs shall be submitted with each entry. At least 4 photos must be of the project under construction, and 3 must be of the finished project. Both interior and exterior photos are encouraged. Photos should be 300 dpi or better if digital.
Additional Information: If you have questions or need additional information, email Clark Ricks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Note on Photography: Photos should illustrate the project’s ability to address each of the judging criteria mentioned above. Photos can be print, slide, or digital; if digital images must be at least 5 x 7 in size at 300 dpi or be (digital is encouraged; see below). Larger images are accepted.
Digital photographs are convenient, easy to duplicate, and can be distributed to the judging committee with very little hassle. However, it is only acceptable when the size and resolution of the image is sufficient.
It is essential that images are provided in high resolution format: 300 dpi (dots per inch) at 5 x 7 inch size. Use a high quality (low compression) mode if stored as a jpeg file (minimum quality 8). Unless you are confident that your digital camera is adequate, stick with a traditional film camera for your submission. Prints and slides from film can always be scanned and modified to meet the needed resolution.
All digital photography should be sent on CD or DVD to the attention of Clark Ricks, Editorial Director of ICF Builder magazine at the address below. Prints and slides will be returned only if accompanied with a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
A panel of judges ranks each entry on a scale of 1-10 on each of the following criteria, which are weighted to reflect their importance. This criteria has been revised from last year, so previous finalists that did not place may wish to consider resubmitting their projects.
Be sure that the entry notebook and photographs illustrate why the project should score highly on the criteria below.
Complexity and Creativity: 20% Complexity relates to difficulty of construction. A project with many angles, wall thicknesses, or other construction considerations scores higher than a simple rectangular footprint. Creativity refers to how the designer and contractor used ICFs to find innovative solutions to construction challenges and advance the industry.
Percentage ICFs: 15% Exterior ICF walls will get some points, but projects that used ICFs for interior walls, or for EPS floors and/or roof will score even higher.
Architecture: 15% Winning project illustrate that ICF projects are more than bunkers or simple boxes. Aesthetics and architecture are important factors in advancing the industry.
Construction and Site Considerations: 15% Overcoming construction challenges, like tight schedules, difficult lots, wet springs, cold winters, new crews, costs less than frame construction, hit by a hurricane with minimal damage, etc. show the advantages ICFs can bring to the table.
Significance/Visibility/Advances the Industry: 15% So-called "milestone projects" that advance the industry by setting new standards, opening new construction segments or markets, attracting attention from major homebuilding firms, and so forth are significant for the entire industry, and should be considered by the judges.
Size: 10% Bigger projects are usually more visible, and more difficult. Note that all ICF aspects of the project, such as a detached garage or shop, retaining walls, swimming pool, etc. made from ICFs should be included in the total sq. footage of ICFs used.
Sustainability: 10% Daylighting, site use, insulation, heating systems, recycled content, water use and other factors are considered.
Complete project profiles of the 2007 previous award winners (2006, 2005) are available for review as well.
Secrets of Winning Entries
The ICF Builder Awards represents the best-of-the best in the industry. All projects submitted are noteworthy, and getting your project to score highly requires understanding how the judging process works.
Clark Ricks, editor of ICF Builder magazine, has been one of the judges for the past several years, and offers the following tips to maximize your chance of winning:
Every project submitted to the competition is built with ICFs, and the judges are already familiar with ICF technology. You should explain what makes your entry different from other ICF projects, not how it differs from traditional wood construction.
Make sure the Entry Notebook contains all the relevant information and photographs that judges need to make a decision. Judges will not give a project “the benefit of the doubt” if a question is left blank.
Special emphasis should be given to the project’s significance, complexity and construction challenges. Together, these categories make up 50% of the total score.
Note that Sustainability is only 10% of the score. It is a contributing, but not determining, factor is coming out on top.
Review the judging criteria carefully and evaluate how the project measures up in each area. It may be helpful to download the judges score sheet and score your own project against past winners in your category.
Don’t overwhelm the judging panel with dozens and dozens of photos. Select between 7 and 20 photos that illustrate key characteristics of the building. Be sure to include views of the interior and exterior, as well as views during construction and after completion
Finally, make sure that the information provided is accurate.
Award Ceremony and Deadlines
All entries must be received no later than Friday, Oct. 25, 2013. Winners will be announced at an evening event at World of Concrete 2014. We look forward to seeing you there!
Limited Sponsorship Opportunities Available
The ICF Builder Awards are supported, in part, through generous sponsors. As in years past, limited sponsorship opportunities are available.
Sponsors' logos are featured prominently on all award signage and literature, and are featured prominently at the evening awards presentation.
If your company or organization wants to be a sponsor of the premier ICF award competition, contact Craig Shorts at 877-229-9174 ext. 1.
As in past years, the ICF Builder Awards are made possible through the support of generous sponsors. A limited number of opportunities are still available for the 2013 event.
If your company or organization wants to be a part of the premier ICF event in North America, contact Craig Shorts at 877-229-9174 or via email at email@example.com.