After a hiatus due to the pandemic, nominations are now open for the 2021 Saltire Society Housing Design Awards guest chaired by Arts Consultant Ginnie Atkinson. 

The Saltire Housing Design Awards celebrate the diversity of the best in new housing in Scotland. It recognises the contribution it makes to social and cultural conversations. 

Rewarding innovation and advocating Scottish house building and place making for longer than any other design award in Scotland, the Awards work to encourage good, affordable, adaptable and environmentally sustainable housing in Scotland. At its best, housing can improve a community, its health and wellbeing, adding positively to not only Scotland’s architectural landscape but its social landscape. 

Open to entries from Owners, Clients, Architects, Housebuilders and Housing Developers of all shapes and sizes across Scotland, the Awards seek projects that add positively to Scotland’s architectural and social landscape. The 2021 Awards have expanded the project eligibility timeframe to include all projects completed since the previous Awards in 2019. 

To ensure the safety of the Awards’ entrants, judges and housing residents the traditional tour of shortlisted projects by our judges will not take place. Following government guidelines in place at the time, a socially distanced visit by a representative of the panel will take place alongside an online meeting with members of the judging panel, the applicant and a resident of the shortlisted project. Any visits and interviews will be undertaken in full compliance with government guidelines. 

Entering the Awards

Step One:

Projects can be entered if occupied no earlier than 1 March 2015 and no later than 28 February 2021You can find all the information you will need for this process here. Please read all three documents carefully. 

Step Two:

Complete this form (including uploading the project images and PowerPoint slides) - Saltire Society Housing Design Awards Entry Form 2021

You must use the templates provided and they can be found here.

Step 3

Pay the entry fee here

For single entry: £90.
For all additional submissions : £30 (if submitted by same entrant)

The Saltire Society Housing Design Awards 

Assessment Process [March 2021] 


[1] Roles and Responsibilities 

Housing Awards Panel. This is a panel who appraises and judges the work. It provides a broad based of recognised expertise in design, procurement and management. They will use their skills and experience to determine the value of each entry in relation to the award criteria. The panel is composed of a range of disciplines and expertise across the broad field of housing design and procurement in Scotland.  

The disciplines included in the Housing Awards panel should include Architects, Engineering [either structural or building services], Landscape Architecture, Housing Management, Surveying, Housing Developers and user representatives. The maximum number of members on panel is 14.  

Nominations to the panel are made and determined by the existing panel. Membership of the panel is limited to five years. 

Housing Awards Convenor. The convenor is a member of the panel who acts as a spokesperson and co-ordinator for the awards process. 

Housing Awards Guest Chair. The panel is joined by an external chair, notable in their own field who oversees and guides the awards process. 

The Saltire Society. The awards are administered by the Saltire Society, who hold the entries, organise visits, meetings and award announcements. 


[2Award Criteria. 

The following are the criteria by which each entry will be assessed by the panel. It is recognised that the diversity of projects means that not all of the criteria will be relevant to a particular project. Submitted entries do not need to meet all of the criteria to be eligible for recognition.  

The Award Criteria are: 

  • Contribution to Sustainable Development 
  • Contribution to Society and Wellbeing 
  • Contribution to Place 
  • Contribution to Craft 
  • A Contribution of Joy and Delight 


[3] Award Categories 

We encourage as wide as possible range of entries that reflect the diversity of housing we see in Scotland. We have two categories to help organise the awards.  

Multiple Housing: 

This applies to projects of two or more dwellings. We welcome entries from private developers, mass housebuilders and social landlords. The work should be ambitious for good design, and generous in making a strong contribution to a sense of place. Smaller schemes may make a positive impact in our smaller towns and villages. We also see new innovation in tenure type and solutions for supportive living at all ages. Entries that advocate sustainable approaches to energy and resource consumption are strongly encouraged. 


Single Housing 

Single houses often have compelling stories to tell about ingenuity and creativity often through a close working relationship between client, design team and builder. Single houses innovate in sustainable design, the craft of building or the deft use of limited financial resource. We also welcome entries that demonstrate a special connection to its surrounding landscape or urban context.  


[4Appraisal Criteria 

In determining an award, panel members will look to identify work that is exceptional in one or more category, or excellent across a range of categories. The assessment of work is based on the skill and experience of the panel membershipIn considering the work, the panel may consider the following interpretation of the terms: 



May mean some or all of the following 

[1] Work that changes our conventional understanding of the field.  

[2] Work that demonstrates a fully convincing command of the field.  

[3] Work that has significance fully deserving of exposure to a wide audience. 


May mean some or all of the following 

[1] Work that challenges and tests our conventional understanding of the field 

[2] Work that demonstrates the best of practice in the field. 

[3] Work that makes a significant contribution, worthy of recognition in the field. 


May mean some or all of the following 

[1] Work that is a valuable contribution to the field 

[2] Work to a high standard in the field. 

[3] Work that is noteworthy in the field  


Any submission for the awards with serious shortcomings in any area irrespective of merit elsewhere in the work will not be considered for an award. 


[5] Award Outcomes 

  • Shortlisting 
    Work for shortlisting should be considered if the work is deemed to have potential for an award. Panel members should therefore agree that some elements of the entry have the potential to be excellent or exceptional 


  • Commendation.  
    Commendation is made for work that shows excellence in some of our judging criteria or is exceptional in a particular way. The number of commendations made is determined by the panel during the judging process.  Recipients receive an award certificate.  


  • Award.  
    An Award is made for work that is excellent across a broad range of our judging criteria or is exceptional in a significant way. The number of commendations made is determined by the panel during the judging process.   Award recipients receive a building plaque and award certificate. 


  • The Saltire Medal.  
    This is a single award made solely by the guest chair to a single entry. The recipient receives a cast commemorative medal and a cash prize of £1500. 


 [6] Award Meetings 

Shortlisting Meeting.  

  • This is held following the closing date for the award. All entries are considered by the panel. The panel can view the work independently prior to the meeting. At the meeting, all entries are presented and discussed by the panel. The meeting is run by the Guest Chair. If they are unavailable, then the panel convenor will deputise. 
  • The intention of this meeting is always to determine shortlisted meetings through discussion and reaching a consensus view. If this is not possible then a majority vote will determine the outcome. 
  • All shortlisted entries to go forward for an award assessment. As part of this, additional evidence will be sought by the panel. This will consist of the following:  
  • A visit by a representative of the panel to the project to further visually document the entry. Such a visit would include a recorded interview with a building resident.  
  • A recorded online meeting with members of the panel and the applicant and a resident of the shortlisted project. 

In the case of online sessions, the number of panel members and interviewees should be broadly comparable. 

Online sessions should be recorded for viewing by all panel members. Applicants and interviewees must be able to undertake this as a condition of entry.  

It is a condition of entry that applicants agree to some or all of these means of collecting additional evidence. 


Award Meeting 

  • Following the cycle of building visits an award meeting is held, run by the Guest Chair. 
  • Each shortlisted entry organised by award category will be considered against the Award Criteria and the Appraisal Criteria. Additional evidence collected after the shortlisting should be able to be viewed by all panel members in advance of the award meeting. 
  • The panel will agree for each of the entries the following outcome: 
  • Entry remains shortlisted 
  • Entry given commendation 
  • Entry given award 
  • For each entry a record will be kept of the grounds for the determination for each shortlisted entry in relation to the award and appraisal criteria. This should be  
  • The intention of this meeting is always to determine shortlisted meetings through discussion and reaching a consensus view. If this is not possible then a majority vote will determine the outcome. 


[7Conflict of Interest. 

Panel members must declare any potential conflict of interest when entries have been gathered if they have a conflict of interest in regard to any of the entries. Where a panel member has a direct association with any party in an application, then the panel member will not take part in the judging process for the category in which the project has been entered. Panel members can participate in building visits irrespective of any conflict of interest.   


[8] Confidentiality 

All parties to judging must keep the deliberations and outcomes of the process confidential. The Saltire Society will follow relevant data protection legislation.  





Appendix 1 

Sample of record of judging process. 







Contribution to sustainable development 





Contribution to Society [or community?] 





Contribution to Place 





Contribution to Design[?] 





A Contribution to Joy and Delight 












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