National Awards Categories

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There are 16 UDIA National Excellence Awards, including our Annual President’s Award. Entry is by nomination of the state divisions of UDIA, with each division entitled to nominate one project from their state award winners into the National Awards.

Medium Density Development Award

Projects entered in the Medium Density Development category must have a maximum of 30 dwellings per site hectare and between four and eight storeys. Projects must be predominantly residential including small lot housing, villas, town houses, terrace homes, row housing, and apartment buildings and may incorporate minor commercial/retail components.

The local context (including location and market conditions) will be taken into account.

Affordable Development Award

Projects entered in the Affordable Development category must demonstrate initial affordability of the product, as well as the incorporation of ‘whole of life’ sustainable elements that provide for long term affordability for ongoing running costs.

Projects should be substantially completed incorporating design elements that make a positive contribution to housing affordability whether for owners or tenants.

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This category is open to entries of any type or residential development including subdivision, medium, and high-density projects.

Entries are encouraged from both the private and public sector and may include developments that provide social or rental housing, or those pitched at the first home buyer market.

Residential Development Award

Projects entered in the Residential Development category may comprise of low to medium density residential development primarily land sub-division including single storey, double storey attached and detached and/or small lot housing.

Projects would not include a comprehensive range of facilities within the development but should have established a satisfactory relationship and integration with facilities nearby. Developments should be substantially completed. Stages of a ‘Masterplanned Development’ are not eligible.

Environmental Excellence Award

Projects entered in the Environment Excellence category must be sufficiently completed, submitted by a developer and should be able to demonstrate how significant environmental challenges have been overcome, and where research, innovation and design or construction techniques have enabled a significant and outstanding response to a need for conservation and environmental improvement.

The response to challenges may include a mix of environmental, social and financial outcomes or focus exclusively on social, economic or environmental achievements.

Seniors’ Living Award

Projects entered in the Seniors’ Living category must present high standards of overall design, create a sense of place and have regard for energy and water efficient operations and lifestyle themes for residents aged over 55, that is, residents who have retired or approaching retirement age.

Whilst the primary purpose of the project should be residential, the project may include integrated retirement lifestyle housing (independent living dwellings) as well as aged care facilities.

Design Excellence Award

This award recognises excellence in design (predominantly residential, ie. small lot housing, villas, town houses, terrace homes, row housing, apartment buildings). There is no requirement for the project to be completed or under construction but the conceptual design/work behind it should be substantially developed, particularly in relation to solutions to a challenge or specific requirement, building structure and aesthetics.

Read more for Judging Criteria

Judging Criteria:

  • Architecture and Design
  • Innovation
  • Typologies and planning
  • Community creation and integration
  • Sustainability
  • Judges’ General Overall Impression

Women in Leadership Award

The Women in Leadership Award acknowledges and promotes the positive contribution of women to the development industry in Australia. UDIA National encourages professionals from across all disciplines of the development industry, from both the public and private sectors, to enter including developers, contractors, consultants and those involved in property services.

Read more for Eligibility and Award Criteria

The awards recognise outstanding women working at mid to senior levels within the development industry and acknowledge their achievements.

Nominees demonstrate leadership ability within an organisation or within the development industry as a whole, and during the process provide examples in which they have introduced innovations into their workplace, the industry or in relation to a specific project.

They also demonstrate how they have had a positive influence, acting as a mentor or role model for more junior professionals.


To be eligible for this Award, applicants must have a minimum of ten (10) years’ experience in the development industry or an associated industry and must be a current member of UDIA State organisation (includes company membership).

Award Criteria

Nominees must:

  1. Provide their career overview, detailing professional achievements.
  2. Provide their career development goals for the next 5 years and an identified pathway to achieve these.
  3. Give reasons why they should be chosen as the Women in Leadership Award recipient.
  4. Provide examples of their leadership qualities and indicate how they have demonstrated these qualities throughout their career.
  5. Describe how they are a role model for other professionals.
  6. Detail positive contributions and innovations that they have made to their organisation and the development industry above and beyond their job role.
  7. Provide a professional reference supporting their submission.
  8. Provide a personal reference supporting their submission.

President’s Award

A recommendation for the President’s Award is made by the judges to the President from the winners of the project categories in the National Awards program.

The recommended project should demonstrate outstanding achievement and the highest standards of practice in at least one important aspect of urban development.

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A project honoured with the President’s Award will be one that is capable of making a highly positive contribution to the public standing of contemporary development in Australia.

This award will be bestowed on “the best of the best”.

The Judges reserve the right to not award this category, should the projects not meet these criteria.