Facility Award

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums, through its Facility Award, recognizes excellence in the design and construction of a facility that supports mission by an AZA Institution (US or International) or Related Facility member. This award recognizes transformative built projects that do not include animal exhibition as its primary function. These projects could include animal hospitals, education facilities, entrances, restaurants or retail, infrastructure or other projects that support the operations and goals of the zoo or aquarium. Submitted projects can be renovations but should be transformative. Only projects that were completed in calendar years 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 can be considered for the 2023 awards. Projects that were completed in 2023 must wait until 2024 to submit an application.

Awards are presented in two categories based on annual operating budget (budgets $8 million or less and budgets of more than $8 million).

If there is any question as to what constitutes an eligible project, please email Rob Vernon or call (301) 244-3352.

How to Submit an Application 

2023 application materials are available below. Applications are due June 16, 2023.
Past recipients' application materials are available below.  

All Honors and Awards applications must be submitted in electronic format ONLY and must be compiled into one PDF file. Please make sure the file name reflects both the award name and the institution.

Please upload your file to the AZA Dropbox link in the Application document below. Your file will go to the AZA Dropbox account, but you do not need to sign in, or even have a Dropbox account to use this link—when it opens, just click on the “choose files” box and upload your application.

Remember to submit a Media Release Form (DOC) with your application.

Facility Award Recipients

See the past winners' applications (member login required)


Top Honors
Monterey Bay Aquarium for Bechtel Family Center for Ocean Education and Leadership

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