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What are the Built Environment Awards?

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 Built Environment Awards have been suspended - for further information please email

The awards raise community awareness of design, landscape and heritage issues and publicly acknowledge architects and designers who have positively contributed to the city's built environment.

All members of the general community as well as building design professionals are encouraged to nominate a property.

The awards are open to both residential and commercial properties. Awards are made from on-street view except for Best Sustainable Building Award.

Design categories

Most creative design

Recognises buildings that exhibit distinctive design and landmark qualities, generated by new ideas and innovative use of form, materials, colours and technology.

Best new building

Recognises the best overall contribution to the local environment across a diverse range of design criteria including architectural excellence, reflection of community aspirations, positive integration into the local context, affordability, durability, creativity, environmental sensitivity and innovative use of technology.

Best medium-density housing

Recognises outstanding achievement in the provision of medium-density housing that integrates harmoniously into its setting, achieves a high level of domestic amenity and contributes positively to the local urban character.

Best renovation or extension

Acknowledges the careful design required to successfully add new elements to an existing building in a manner, which is complementary, respectful or challenging, yet enriches both the host building and the local urban setting.

Best heritage renovation or restoration

Celebrates the design that underpins the creative and respectful renovation, extension and creative adaptation of heritage places to extend their useful lives and enable new uses while retaining essential heritage integrity.

Best commercial building

Recognises commercial development that goes beyond accepted norms, to provide excellence in design that complements context, creates new forms, challenges preconceptions and responds to emerging economic, social and environmental trends. 

Sustainable design category

Best Sustainable Building Award

Recognises outstanding response to the Climate Emergency and the growing need to demonstrate leadership through sustainable development, setting a standard for others to follow. 

Submissions will be assessed for their excellence in the following 10 key sustainable design categories:

  • Indoor environment quality (IEQ)
  • Energy efficiency
  • Water efficiency
  • Stormwater management
  • Transport
  • Waste management
  • Urban ecology
  • Building materials
  • Innovation
  • Construction and building management


The Built Environment Awards promote awareness of outstanding urban design within the municipality.

The judging process for awards is carried out by a panel of independent individuals considered experts in their field and nominated Bayside councillors.

After the closing date for nominations, the judging panel review all submissions and create a short list of finalists.

Criteria includes responsiveness to the Climate Emergency, neighbourhood character, streetscape quality, local identity, heritage, public places and the natural environment.