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Housing Awards category definitions

Whether you’re a builder, architect, sole operator or large firm, the Australian Housing Awards aim to acknowledge the hard work and innovation of all those in the housing industry.
The following award categories acknowledge the effort that all HIA member builders, designers and business partners dedicate to their projects.

Custom Built Home

An individual house, which has been designed and built on contract specifically for the site and according to the requirements and brief of a client. Where the home is built for staff, friends, a family member or is the builder’s own home, the contract price must represent the complete cost to build an identical home (including builders margins), which is the price offered to the home buying public.

Display Home

An individual house that is currently on display to the public and is intended for reproduction as displayed or with standard variations to suit the client’s needs.

The price category entered is to represent the repeatable price of the house on display at the time of judging.

Project Home

A project home is an individual house based on a display home, sales brochure or the like for a repeatable design, which has been tailored to suit the needs of the client and the site. This includes manufactured homes formed of pre‑built major elements and then assembled on site.

Renovation/Addition Project

An extension or renovation involving structural building work to an existing individual house or other residential building. To renovate and upgrade a group of apartments, villas, townhouses, etc or to convert a non-residential building into a residential building. Builders entering this category must be responsible for the total renovation.

Spec Home *

An individual house, which is not built to a client’s brief, nor is it on display to the public. It is either sold off plan or built for sale on completion or during construction.

For example:

  1. a project where the builder has purchased a block and built a house to sell. Houses may be occupied at time of judging;
  2. House and land packages from a project plan (does not include land price).

Apartment of the Year

This is awarded to an individual residential dwelling within an apartment complex. The apartment may be any dwelling within the complex including the Penthouse. Entries in this category are assessed on the quality of workmanship and design innovation within the individual apartment. Consideration is also given to the central amenities within the complex.

A residential apartment building is 2 or more storeys, not including car parking, and containing at least two self-contained dwellings. These projects must be classified as either Class 2 or 3 buildings under the National Construction Code.

Apartment Complex

Entries in this award category are residential apartment buildings. (Where other uses are within the building, the residential use must be the predominant use). In addition to the design features, the judges will assess the integration of the buildings in their context including common areas, external construction, site conditions, recreational spaces and features that contribute to livable communities.

A residential apartment building is two or more storeys, not including car parking, and containing at least two self‑contained dwellings. These projects must be classified as either Class 2 or 3 buildings under the National Construction Code.

Townhouse/Villa of the Year

This is awarded to an individual residential dwelling within a Townhouse/Villa development. Projects are assessed on quality of workmanship and design innovation within the individual townhouse/villa. These projects must be classified as Class 1a buildings under the National Construction Code.

Townhouse/Villa Development

This award recognises multiple dwelling residential projects. These projects typically include developments known as dual occupancy (two dwellings on a single allotment), villas (1 storey), townhouses (2-3 storey) and terrace housing, whether attached or detached.

These projects must be classified as Class 1a buildings under the National Construction Code. In addition to the design features, the judges will assess the external construction and site conditions. Entrants in this category should also consider entering an individual townhouse in the Townhouse/Villa category.

Specialised Housing

Housing designed and built to meet the needs of a specific group of the community such as aged persons, retirement villages, accommodation for people with disabilities, student accommodation, or the like.

Projects should demonstrate considerations in construction and/or fit out to meet the specific requirements of the group.

Outdoor Project

This award recognises the design, installation and project coordination of an outdoor building or structure that has been built in association with a residential building. The project may be built with the associated residential building(s) or may be constructed separately. The project may be attached or detached from the associated residential building and be located on either an individual home lot or within a multi-dwelling development.

Eligible projects include but are not limited to swimming pools, spas, and outdoor living areas, landscaping structures or project, recreational/sporting facilities, buildings for special interest activities or a retreat.

HIA Professional Builder/Renovator

The Professional Builder and Renovator Awards acknowledge outstanding business achievement among Australia’s home builders. Recognising quality and professionalism, the Professional Builder Awards present opportunity for home builders to demonstrate their commitment to customer service, business management and leadership. Builders of any size are capable of running a consumer-focussed, quality-driven business.

Professional Builder and Renovator Awards categories include:

  • HIA Professional Small Builder/Renovator
    builders with an annual turnover of less than $10 million
  • HIA Professional Medium Builder/Renovator
    builders with an annual turnover of between $10 million and $50 million
  • HIA Professional Major Builder
    builders with an annual turnover of $50 million or more

Business Partner

The Business Partner award recognises the vital work done by business partners in small to medium sized businesses in the housing industry. The award is open to both employees and family members, whose role may range from helping part-time with bookkeeping and accounting, innovation and change through to overseeing client liaison.

Apprentice

This award celebrates the achievements of our future tradespeople and recognises and encourages excellence. The award recognises excellent trade knowledge, quality building work, strong presentation and solid trade school results. Judges also consider attitude to work, maturity, personal development and progress throughout the Apprenticeship. This award is open to all apprentices employed by HIA Apprentices. Apprentices are nominated by their host trainer.

Kitchen of the Year

This award acknowledges quality of workmanship in the manufacture and installation of a complete single residential kitchen. Entries should also demonstrate technical and BCA compliance, innovation and design appearance.

Bathroom of the Year

This award acknowledges quality of workmanship in the manufacture and installation of a complete single residential bathroom. Entries should also demonstrate technical and BCA compliance, innovation and design appearance.

Kitchen Design

The Kitchen Design category recognises excellence in design of a renovated or new residential project. Kitchen Design entries are judged on the design, innovation and flair demonstrated by the designer. The entry must recognise the principle designer of the project.

Bathroom Design

The Bathroom Design category recognises excellence in design of a renovated or new residential project. Bathroom Design entries are judged on the design, innovation and flair demonstrated by the designer. The entry must recognise the principle designer of the project.