Entries should consist of building projects that show a wide range of wood product applications and demonstrate an understanding of the special qualities of wood, such as strength, durability, beauty and cost-effectiveness. Projects whose main structural components use treelike tropical/semitropical grasses such as bamboo are not eligible for submission.

All projects completed in the period between January 1st, 2013 and November 15th, 2018 are eligible for entry [except previous winning projects of the Wood Design & Building Awards].

A jury of prominent architects from Canada and the U.S. will review all entries based on various considerations such as creativity, appropriate use of wood materials in satisfying clients’ building and site requirements and innovative design.

Projects can be submitted in the following categories:

Category 1
Non-residential – Institutional
Non-residential – Commercial Small & Large

The Non-residential Category includes offices, shopping centers, restaurants, stores, churches, motels, hotels, schools, libraries, recreational buildings, fire halls, medical clinics, hospitals, storage facilities, research laboratories, factories and warehouses.

Category 2
Residential – Single Family
Residential – Multi Family

The Residential Category includes single-family detached dwellings and multi-family projects such as duplexes, garden homes, apartments, condominiums, dormitories, low-cost housing and seniors’ residences.

Category 3
Architectural Interiors

The Architectural Interior Design Category includes the significant use of wood finishing in any type of building interior.

Category 4
Remodeled – Non Residential
Remodeled – Residential

The Remodeled Buildings Category may involve modifications to the building exterior, interior or both. Kitchen and bathroom modifications alone are not eligible, nor are single room improvements that do not include structural changes. Landscaping projects and other outdoor works are eligible, however, the use of wood should have architectural merit.

Category 5
International Building

The International Building Category includes all buildings both non-residential and residential that were built outside of North America.

Category 6
Other – Exterior Structures, Bridges etc.

Sponsorship Categories

All submitted projects will automatically be considered for Special Awards: the SFI Sponsorship Award, Real Cedar Sponsorship Award, Sansin Award and the Canadian Wood Council Award.

  • SFI Sponsorship Award – presented to a project (either residential or non-residential) that utilizes products certified to the SFI standard.
  • Real Cedar Sponsorship Award – presented to a project (either residential or non-residential) that utilizes real cedar products.
  • Sansin Award – presented to a project that utilizes Sansin products for wood finishing.



  • Canadian Wood Council Award – presented to a project that showcases excellence and innovation in wood design.


The use of wood as a primary, but not necessarily exclusive, structural material is the overriding criterion for project eligibility. All types of residential and non-residential buildings are eligible. Landscaping projects and other outdoor works are also eligible; however, the use of wood should have architectural merit. Mention should be made of all green building attributes. In remodeled structures, only the new additional or renovated portions of existing buildings require an overall wood structural component.

Projects need not include all of these applications but should demonstrate a variety of them.


Buildings should have mainly a wood structure of light frame, heavy timber or a combination that makes use of sawn lumber, and/or engineered wood such as glued-laminated timber, laminated veneer lumber, parallel strand lumber, I-joists and panels.


Wood siding, wood panel products, patterned lumber, wood shingles or shakes are preferred but not essential.  Other claddings can also be used.  Wood or clad wood windows and doors, mouldings and trim are preferred but are not essential.  Wood decks, trellises, gazebos and landscape features used to enhance a building are not in themselves eligible.


Wood doors, mouldings, paneling, flooring and cabinets that enhance the building interior will be considered, however, for the Interior Design category, project interiors must show significant use of these elements to be considered.


Honor, Merit and Citation awards will be given at the discretion of the jury. Framed Award certificates and one copy of the 2018-19 Celebrating Excellence in Wood Architecture will be distributed in the spring of 2019 to the winners.


Questions may be addressed to: Ioana Lazea,  Awards coordinator at 1 800 463-5091, ext.227; e-mail