How to Enter the Commonwealth Awards

Call for Entries - Project Submission Instructions

10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania invites project entries for the 2015 Commonwealth Awards. Since 2003, 10,000 Friends has honored model development projects, in both the private and public sectors, with its signature Commonwealth Awards program. The Commonwealth Awards program is the heart of 10,000 Friends’ efforts to identify and network leaders in all professional specialties related to the built environment. The Commonwealth Awards help 10,000 Friends to put smart land use and smart growth in the spotlight, increasing awareness of model projects around the Commonwealth that successfully demonstrate sound land use principles – projects that are development or redevelopment; in settings from urban to suburban to rural.

The 2015 winners of this prestigious, juried project award competition will be announced at the 2015 Commonwealth Awards program on a date and place to be determined.  Challenge yourself and your project partners to submit a great project that meets the criteria of 10,000 Friends! We look forward to learning about your project, and thank you in advance for entering it in our awards competition. Thank you.

Eligible Projects:

Eligible projects must:

  • be located in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;
  • have been built or been under construction after January 1, 2010;
  • be able to demonstrate financial viability; and
  • be model projects achieving excellence in project planning, design, land use, construction, and community impact.

Eligible Applicants:

Any organization, such as a private business, municipality, community development corporation, non-profit organization, etc., which was/is directly and actively involved in an Eligible Project, is eligible to submit that project for a Commonwealth Award.  There are no restrictions, such as residency or membership requirements, on Eligible Applicants. Each applicant must designate an individual from the project team of professionals that worked on the project to be the applicant’s Contact Person for all matters pertaining to the project submission and the Commonwealth Awards.  Note, however, that individual persons are not eligible applicants.


The projects selected for awards, the categories awarded, and the number of awards in each category is determined by an independent Jury selected by 10,000 Friends.  The Jury has discretion to award more than one award per category, or none in that category at all, and the Jury’s decision is final. Awards may be made by the Jury in up to six (6) categories: 1) Residential projects, 2) Commercial projects, 3) Mixed Use developments, 4) Community Institution projects (Education/Civic/Government facilities or uses), 5) Public Infrastructure/ Green Space projects, and 6) Land Use Plans and Planning projects.  

In addition, 10,000 Friends has five (5) unique awards that the Jury may award:

  1. Building a More Perfect Commonwealth Award—this award, given by project category, is bestowed on potentially exemplary, model projects that are currently under construction and have not yet been completed.
  2. Opportunity for All Award—this award may be given to honor completed affordable or special needs housing projects that advance community development initiatives positively impacting communities with annual household incomes below the area median. 
  3. Commonwealth Award—this award, given by project category, is bestowed on completed project(s) that meet high standards in project design and construction, positively impact their communities, and advance the objectives of 10,000 Friends. 
  4. Gold Commonwealth Award—this award, given by project category, is bestowed on a completed project that best demonstrates excellence in that project category; these projects evidence excellent project design, construction, community revitalization impact, and significantly advance the objectives of 10,000 Friends.
  5. Diamond Commonwealth Award—only one Diamond Commonwealth Award is given annually; it is bestowed on the completed project that the Jury deems “Best in Show” for the year’s competition.  The Diamond award winning project must achieve overall excellence in project design and construction, community revitalization impact, and embodiment of the principles and policy objectives of 10,000 Friends.

2015 Deadline for Project Entries:

Entries must be postmarked or received no later than Monday, October 5, 2015.

To Enter a Project:

Complete these simple steps to submit your project:

  1. Identify a team leader to coordinate the submission;
  2. Carefully identify the merits of your project and how your project fulfills the objectives of 10,000 Friends—the Jury is instructed to consider these factors carefully;
  3. Complete the Entry Submission, which must contain all of the following components:
    • A complete Project Entry Form, signed by the applicant;
    • Attachment—Required to Complete Section 3, Project Profile;
    • Attachments—Required to Complete Section 4, Project Finances, including Project Sources and Uses and Pro Forma Statements;
    • Project Images—all required images listed in Section 5, each in the proper format; 
    • Payment of the Project Entry Fee of $150.
  4. Mail your entry package - including two paper copies, one digital copy on compact disc, and a check for the entry fee made out to “10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania” to:

    2015 Commonwealth Awards
    10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania
    240 N 3rd Street, Suite 407
    Harrisburg, PA 17101

General Instructions:

  • There is no limit on the number of entries, but each entry must include a check for the Entry Fee of $150 per project submitted. No entry fees will be refunded for late or disqualified entries. 
  • Two paper copies and one digital copy on CD of the entire submission, including images and their descriptions, are required. 
  • Images must also be provided in “.jpg” or “.tif” or “.gif” format at a resolution of 300 dots per inch or better, in order to be used in printed or published materials. No faxed submissions will be accepted.
  • Multi-phase projects may be evaluated and awarded based upon the merits of a specific phase. 
  • The resubmission of projects previously submitted is welcomed and encouraged.
  • Winners will be required to provide poster boards of their projects for display/presentation at the event.
  • 10,000 Friends seeks to maintain the highest ethical standards regarding the eligibility of submissions and possible conflicts of interest. Any questions in this regard should be addressed to 10,000 Friends’ staff prior to submission. 

Jury Process for Evaluating Submissions:

Once submitted, 10,000 Friends’ staff will review your entry for completion.  When your entry has been verified as complete, you will be notified as such.  Although 10,000 Friends’ staff is happy to assist applicants, it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that their project submission package is complete.  

The Jury has the discretion to discount or disqualify incomplete submissions. Jury members represent multiple professions with real estate development expertise, including planning, design, architecture, engineering, development, construction, finance, government, and community/economic development.  All project entries are forwarded, by Award Category, to the Jury members for review and private evaluation before the first Jury meeting.  The Jury will have two meetings, including at least one meeting in person, to review and discuss all entries and select the award winners.  The winners will be announced at the 2015 10,000 Friends’ Commonwealth Awards event.

If you have questions at any point in the project submission or evaluation process, please contact 10,000 Friends at 717-234-6070 or

  • To access a printable version of the these instruction and the Project Entry Form, click on the below attachment.
2015 Commonwealth Awards_Project Call for Entries Package_2015.doc161 KB