2017-2018 Steel Competition


The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) is pleased to announce the 18th Annual Steel Design Student Competition for the 2017-2018 academic year. Administered by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the program is intended to challenge students, working individually or in teams, to explore a variety of design issues related to the use of steel in design and construction. Steel must be used as the primary structural material and contain at least one space that requires long-span steel structure, with special emphasis placed on innovation in steel design.

The 2017-2018 Steel Design Student Competition will offer architecture students the opportunity to compete in two separate categories:

Challenges architecture students to design AFFORDABLE HOUSING in an urban context of the student’s and sponsoring faculty’s selection.

Category II OPEN
Offers architecture students the opportunity to select a site and building program using steel as the primary material. This competition category permits the greatest amount of flexibility for any building type.

Students may not enter both categories of the competition.

The competition allows students to explore the many varied functional and aesthetic uses for steel as a building material. Steel is an ideal material for multi-story housing because it offers the greatest strength to weight ratio and can be designed systematically as a kit of parts or prefabricated to allow for quicker construction times and less labor, thus reducing the cost of construction. Housing built with steel is potentially more flexible and adaptable to allow for diversity of family structures and changing family needs over time.

Structural steel offers a number of benefits in building design including the capacity to bear great loads in tension and compression, high resiliency and performance under harsh and difficult conditions, (e.g., earthquakes and hurricanes) and the ability to span great distances with minimum material. Steel can be shaped by many processes, ranging from standard rolled sections to custom castings and digitally generated components. It can be prefabricated and delivered for site assembly, and it can be erected quickly under almost any weather condition to meet tight construction schedules. Similarly, steel’s wide use for building cladding highlights its durability, technical capabilities and aesthetic versatility.

March 28, 2018           Registration Deadline (free registration)
May 23, 2018              Submission Deadline
Summer 2018             Winners Announced
Fall 2018                     Publication of Summary Book

The design jury will meet in Summer 2018 to select winning projects and honorable mentions. Winners and their faculty sponsors will be notified of the competition results directly. A list of winning projects will be posted on the ACSA web site at www.acsa‑arch.org and the AISC web site at www.aisc.org.

Winning students and their faculty sponsors will receive cash prizes totaling $14,000 with distribution as follows:

          Category I AFFORDABLE HOUSING          Category II OPEN 
  First Prize    First Prize 
  Student                       $2,500    Student                       $2,500 
  Faculty Sponsor          $1,000    Faculty Sponsor          $1,000 
  Second Prize    Second Prize 
  Student                       $1,500    Student                       $1,500 
  Faculty Sponsor          $750    Faculty Sponsor          $750 
  Third Prize    Third Prize 
  Student                       $750    Student                       $750 
  Faculty Sponsor          $500    Faculty Sponsor          $500 

A limited number of honorable mentions may also be awarded at the jury's discretion. Prize‑winning submissions will be exhibited at the 2019 ACSA Annual Meeting and the 2019 AIA National Convention as well as published in a competition summary publication.

Because the support of AISC is largely derived from steel companies whose markets are mainly in the U.S., the competition is open to students from ACSA Full and Candidate Member Schools from the U.S. and Canada, as well as ACSA Affiliate Members Schools from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico only.

The competition is open to upper level students (third year or above, including graduate students). All student entrants are required to work under the direction of a faculty sponsor. Entries will be accepted for individuals as well as teams. Teams must be limited to a maximum of five students. Submissions should be principally the product of work in a design studio or related class.

    Margaret Griffin, Griffin Enright Architects & Southern California Institute of Architecture
    Hans C. Herrmann, Mississippi State University
    Joanna Zhang, ‎Skidmore Owings & Merrill

Category II OPEN
    Diogo Burnay, Dalhousie University
    Ming Hu, University of Maryland
    Elizabeth Martin-Malikian, Kennesaw State University

Program updates, including information on jury members as they are confirmed, may be found on the ACSA web site at www.acsa-arch.org/competitions. Additional questions on the competition program and submissions should be addressed to:

Allison Smith
Programs Manager

Eric Wayne Ellis
Director of Operations and Programs

+ 2017-2018 Steel Competition
+ Category II OPEN
+ Guidelines & Registration
+ Resources
+ Steel Video Resources
+ Competition Organizers

+ 2017-2018 Steel Design Student Competition Program (PDF)