The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) announced the winners of its 2020 Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel (IDEAS²) Awards. The IDEAS² Awards are the highest honor the AISC recognizes buildings and other structures in the U.S. with.

Charles Carter, SE, PE, Ph.D., president at AISC, said, “These projects are tributes to the creativity of the designers and the skills of the constructors who collaborated to make them reality. Steel shines and soars on their talents and we celebrate the accomplishments these projects represent.”

A panel of design and construction industry professionals identified National and Merit winners in four categories defined by total project cost. A fifth category recognizes excellence in nonbuilding structures. Judges included:

  • Kari Berg, senior project manager/construction manager, UrbanWorks, Chicago
  • Cynthia Duncan, director of engineering, AISC
  • Christine Freisinger, SE, PE, associate principal, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Northbrook, Ill.
  • Christina Koch, editorial director/associate publisher, Retrofit Magazine, Durham, N.C.
  • Hollie Novoletsky, CEO, owner, Novel Iron Works Inc., Greenland, N.H.
  • Sheryl Van Anne, project executive, M.A. Mortenson Co., Milwaukee

For more information about the winners, visit

Less than $15 million:

  • National: Hinterland, Green Bay, Wis.
  • Merit: Marvin Gaye Recreation Center, Washington, D.C.

$15 million to $75 million:

  • National: Mori Hosseini Student Union – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fl.
  • Merit: Canyon View High School, Waddell, Ariz.

Greater than $200 million:

  • National: Wilshire Grand Center, Los Angeles
  • Merit: Sutter Health CPMC Van Ness Campus – Viscous Wall Dampers, San Francisco

Sculptures/Art Installations/Nonbuilding Structures:

  • National: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Modernization, Atlanta
  • Merit: Belmont Gateway Canopy – Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago
  • Merit: Little Charlotte Office Monumental Stair, Charlotte, N.C.

Judges weighed each project’s use of structural steel from both an architectural and structural engineering perspective, with an emphasis on creative solutions to the project’s program requirements; applications of innovative design approaches in areas such as connections, gravity systems, lateral load resisting systems, fire and/or blast protection; aesthetic and visual impact of the project; innovative use of architecturally exposed structural steel (AESS); technical or architectural advances in the use of the steel; and/or the use of innovative design and construction methods.

The IDEAS² Award program also recognizes the importance of teamwork, coordination and collaboration in fostering successful construction projects. Awards for each winning project will be presented to the project team members involved in the design and construction of the structural framing system at ceremonies held at each of the winning projects in 2020.

Mori Hosseini Student Union, Daytona Beach, Fla. Photo: Brad Feinknopf