NAACP Announces Architectural Design Competition

September 11, 2018

Will Your Architecture Team Be the One to Bring Our Vision of An Equity-Based, Regenerative Workspace and Community Hub to Life? 

sustainable-building-materials2 nysby8 


In actualizing our commitment to ground our operations in the principles and practices of our environmental and climate justice platform, the NAACP will establish its headquarters, currently based in Baltimore, MD, as an exemplar for an Equitable Living Building Project.  Standards we will follow include The Living Building Challenge, the LEED Platinum Certification, the WELL Building Standard, and more!  Through this effort, we will develop a replicable model of ensuring the centering of equity in all aspects of sustainable buildings, including access; affordability; cultural resonance; as well as inclusive decision-making, financing, service provision, procurement, contracting, employment, communications, monitoring and evaluation, and so much more.  

Our aim as the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization is to be a beacon of inspiration and transformation in centering equity in the sustainable building sector. In doing so, we can catalyze the building of a bigger, broader tent for the sustainable building movement, towards the betterment of the building users, the communities, the economy, and the planet.  

From our survey of our building occupants/users, combined with focus groups we’ve conducted, some of the values/attributes we want to embody in the NAACP Living Headquarters are as follows: 

  1. Healthy and Health Promoting 
  1. Safe 
  1. Beautiful 
  1. Welcoming 
  1. Accommodating for All 
  1. In Harmony with Nature/Regenerative 
  1. Fostering Happiness 
  1. Supporting Productivity 
  1. Community Centered 
  1. Culturally and Historically Rooted 

Components users/occupants are seeking in the NAACP Living Headquarters Project include the following 

  1. Community Room 
  1. Staff Break Room and Lunch Room and Full, Operational Kitchen 
  1. Exercise Room as well as Walking/Jogging Path and Bike Rack 
  1. Electric Vehicle Charging Station 
  1. Dedicated Car Pool Parking Spaces 
  1. Lactation/Breastfeeding Room 
  1. Natural Sunlight for All 
  1. Gendered and Gender-Neutral Bathrooms 
  1. Thriving Plant Life Indoors and Outdoors 
  1. Food Garden—Done in Partnership with Local Food Projects 
  1. Solar—Rooftop/Canopy 
  1. Rainwater Capture/Water Reuse 
  1. Meditation, Prayer, and Reflection Space 
  1. AND MORE…….. 



  1. Registration 
  1. All groups intending to submit must register via this link. 
  1. Submission Guidelines ** 
  1. Submissions should include: plans, sections, elevations, 3D views, design concepts, and construction budget estimate. A 500-700 word essay should be included to describe the most important concepts of the design project.  
  1. Electronic Submissions should be uploaded via Dropbox and the link should be sent to  File sizes should not exceed 15mb. 
  1. Thirty-Minute (including Q&A) Design Presentations will be given to the panel of judges via webinar 
  1. Judging 
  1. Judges Panel will consist of NAACP board members, staff, and state and local leadership, as well as community members and advisors. 
  1. Schedule 
  1. 9/Design Competition Launched 
  1. 9/14, 10/1, 11/1Informational Webinars for Registered Contenders 
  1. 11/Deadline for Registration of Intent to Compete via this link 
  1. 9/6-11/30 Information Gathering (surveys, focus groups, charrettes)  
  1. 11/30 Electronic Submissions DUE 
  1. 12/3-12/Committee Will Review Electronic Packages and Determine Semi-Finalists 
  1. 12/10 Semi-Finalists Notified and Invited to Present Via Webinar 
  1. 12/10-12/17 Webinar Presentation Preparation by Semi-Finalists 
  1. 12/18-12/21 Design Presentations via Webinar will be presented  
  1. 12/23 Finalists will be notified—Champion, 2nd Place, 3rd Place  
  1. February 2019 Awards Ceremony: Presentations by the Champion, 2ndand 3rd Place awardees  
  1. Presentation 
  1. All three finalists will present their designs at the Award Reception and the awardees will be declared. 

**No minimum education requirements. With our commitment to advancing equity in architecture, individuals/groups who are in underrepresented categories are strongly encouraged to apply. ** 


  • Grand Prize $15,000* 
  • Second Place $10,000* 
  • Third Place $ 5,000* 

*Plus travel costs for one presenter to represent each group at the awards reception. 


QUESTIONS? Please email Jacqueline Patterson