Sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction, the Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel (IDEAS2) recognizes projects where structural steel has been utilized in an innovative manner. The innovative use of structural steel may be in:

  • the accomplishment of the structure's program
  • the expression of architectural intent
  • the application of innovative design approaches to the structural system
  • the utilization of productivity enhancing construction methods


A panel of design and construction industry professionals will judge the entries in three categories according to constructed value in US dollars: Less than $15 million; $15 million to $75 million; and Greater than $75 million. There is also a category for sculptures, art installations and non-building structures.

National and Merit awards, recognition for sculptures/art installations/non-building structures, and the Presidential Award of Excellence are bestowed at the judges' discretion. Projects selected for recognition will be announced at the 2019 NASCC: The Steel Conference in St. Louis, April 3-5. Awards will be presented at the project sites in speial presentations to which the project team and local dignitaries will be invited. Winning projects will also be featured in the May 2019 issue of Modern Steel Construction magazine.


The design and construction industry is growing in recognition of the value of coordination, collaboration and teamwork in the successful accomplishment of a project's program. In active support of this trend, AISC has brought together previously separate architectural and structural engineering award programs that focused on a single aspect of the building project into a single program designed to recognize excellence and innovation in the use of structural steel on a comprehensive, project basis. Awards will be made to the project recognizing and awarding all members of the project's team involved with the structural framing system: architectural firm, structural engineering firm of record, general contractor, detailer, fabricator, erector as well as the project owner. Specialty consultants and contractors will be recognized at the discretion of the architect and structural engineer of record. Any member of the project team may submit a project for consideration.


A significant portion of the framing system of the project must be wide-flange or hollow structural steel sections (HSS). Pedestrian bridges entered in the competition must be an intrinsic part of a building; not stand-alone structures. New buildings and renovations are eligible. At least 50% of the structural steel for the project must have been fabricated by a company eligible for AISC full membership, or a unique or distinctive feature of the project must have been fabricated by a company eligible for AISC full membership. Projects must have been completed in the U.S. between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2018.