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AI Specification Awards launch global search for excellence

A search for the world’s best architectural ironmongery projects and products has been launched by The Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Architects, specifiers, building contractors, clients and their architectural ironmongery advisers and suppliers are being urged to submit entries to the AI Specification Awards 2024.

These biennial awards are designed to identify and reward excellence in the specification of architectural ironmongery in the construction industry, and the design and innovation of new products.

Announcing the launch, GAI President Mario Del-Signore said: “The AI Specification Awards hold a unique and prestigious place in this industry because they consider and reward every aspect of excellence in architectural ironmongery.

“That means that when considering the effectiveness of a project’s architectural ironmongery specification, the judges are looking not just at the contribution it makes to aesthetics, functionality and longevity, but also how it enhances and assures the security, accessibility and safety of the building.

“The winners truly represent the best that architectural ironmongery has to offer, and make this a fitting celebration of the finest work in our industry.”

The AI Specification Awards comprise nine categories:

  • Public and Commercial (sponsored by ASSA Abloy);
  • Hospitality (sponsored by Dormakaba);
  • Health and Education (sponsored by FireDNA);
  • Residential (sponsored by Frank Allart);
  • International (sponsored by Norseal);
  • Product Design and Innovation – Mechanical (sponsored by CES);
  • Product Design and Innovation – Electronic (sponsored by ADSA);
  • Ethos Award (sponsored by Codelocks); and
  • Winner of Winners (sponsored by GEZE, and chosen by the judges from the previous project categories).

The Ethos Award is a new category for 2024. Celebrating ironmongery specifications which reflect the professional skill of the ironmonger in challenging circumstances, the award is designed to honour all types of projects and specified products, not purely those which may be seen as prestige or premium. Entries for the Ethos Award will be asked to demonstrate how the specification had to go the extra mile in response to challenges such as budgetary restraints or finding a bespoke solution to a unique or unusually difficult problem.

Introducing the new Ethos Award, GAI Chief Executive Simon Forrester said: “By demonstrating the skill of the architectural ironmonger or team in identifying solutions to challenging situations, the Ethos Award broadens our understanding of professional competence, excellence and best practice, making it a welcome addition to 2024’s competition.”

To be eligible for these awards, projects and products must have been either completed or released on to the market between 1 October 2021 and 30 September 2023. Nominations can be made by GAI members, RIBA members, or for any project in which a Registered Architectural Ironmonger (RegAI) was involved. Nominations open on 6 June and close on 1 December 2023.

Projects will be visited and scrutinised by experienced assessors, with judges then looking at the scope of works, the suitability of the architectural ironmongery and its fitness for purpose, its compliance with relevant regulations and standards, and its aesthetic excellence. The winners will be announced at a prestigious awards ceremony in London in April 2024.

The judging panel consists of architects, designers, specifiers and manufacturers as follows: Yohannes Bereket (Adjaye Associates); Dr Vanessa Brady OBE (The Society of British & International Interior Design); Donna Davison (Hoppe UK); Tim Dies (Allgood plc); Amanda Haley (Ian Firth Hardware Ltd); Jonathan Hall (Allford Hall Monaghan Morris); and Eryl Jones (ASSA Abloy).

Simon Forrester added: “The diversity of the judging panel reflects the increasingly collaborative nature of construction best practice.

“By recognising and celebrating the whole team, these awards highlight the importance of effective partnerships between designers, specifiers and architectural ironmongers, and the role that such collaborations play in achieving project excellence.”

For more information, and to enter the AI Specification Awards 2024, visit