JBC Masonry Innovation Competition

Overview: 2024 Season

IMI’s JBC Masonry Innovation Competition wants your ideas for transformative masonry design. We’re challenging practicing and aspiring architects and engineers to advance the future of masonry design and construction. 

$30,000 in prizes will be awarded across 3 entry categories!

Register today and submit by July 15, 2024 for a chance to win. Get the full details below.


Designers have the power to help create resilient, healthy, just, and equitable communities. But solving global challenges to improve our world demands innovation. We want to see your bold new concepts that show how masonry can better our built environment.

We also want to see new ideas that have the potential to change the way we design and build with masonry and create growth opportunities for our industry. Whether you have a great idea that addresses how infrastructure like schools and healthcare facilities will change in a post-pandemic world, thoughts on how to address the climate crisis, insights on improving equity, or another innovative plan, we want to hear from you. Solutions can also explore innovations in materials, the construction process, new business models, or simply show a unique aesthetic and functional use of masonry.

Whatever direction you decide to take, your innovative solution should add value, usefulness, appreciation, and relevance to masonry design and construction. It can be either an improvement of an existing system or a groundbreaking proposal.

Imagined, proposed, and completed structures and systems are welcomed. The scale, size, program, and location are left up to your imagination, but your concepts should be both clear and constructible. We encourage you to model your solution in BIM and use BIM for Masonry (BIM-M) tools to make the most of your design.

Key Information

  • Registration opens: February 1, 2024
  • Submission opens: February 15, 2024
  • Submission deadline: July 15, 2024 (11:59 p.m. EST)
  • Winners notified: September 2024
  • Award ceremony/winners announced: October 2024

The competition is open to:

  • University students enrolled in a design, architecture, or engineering program
  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • Architectural and Engineering Firms

Entrants must be 18 years or older and residents of the U.S. or Canada. Residents of, and entities registered in, Quebec are not eligible to participate in this Competition.

You can download the competition brief to reference as you develop your submission. 

Access the complete Official Rules for more detailed information about the program. Upon registering for the competition, you’ll be asked to agree to comply by and be bound to the Official Rules. 

Questions may be directed to IMI at jbcaward@imiweb.org.

PRIZES and entry categories

Monetary awards will be provided to 1st place winners in each of the 3 entry categories.

Winners will also receive special publicity and promotion.  This includes being highlighted in IMI’s digital publications, presenting on IMI’s webinar series, and being honored during an awards ceremony with industry professionals.

There are 3 entry categories:

  • Students: Undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in a design, architecture, or engineering school.
  • Young Architects/Engineers: Any architects or engineers under the age of 40.
  • A/E Firms, Individual Architects/Engineers, & Cross-Category: Architecture/engineering firms, architects and engineers age 40 and over, and cross-category teams.

Multidisciplinary teams are encouraged in all categories to help facilitate a well-conceived solution, but individual entries are also permitted. There are no restrictions on team size.

Each team or individual may only submit one entry.


$5,000 to student team
$5,000 to university program



Firms AND Individual Architects / Engineers



Entries will be evaluated by a prestigious panel of renowned architects and leaders in the masonry design and construction industry.

President, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers | IMI Co-Chair

President, International Council of Employers of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers & Back Brook Masonry | IMI Co-Chair

Associate Professor in Architecture, Weitzman School of Design University of Pennsylvania | Graduate Group Chair of the PhD Program in Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania

The following criteria will be used to judge submissions:

  • Innovation (45%): The idea provides a groundbreaking proposal for positioning masonry. The idea generates added value or usefulness, improvement, or increases masonry’s relevance.
  • Execution of idea (30%): The idea is clearly communicated and understood.
  • Creativity (25%): The solution shows original thinking.


Registration is now open! The process is quick and easy: only basic contact information is collected and there’s no cost to register. 

If you’re entering as a team, please choose a team lead to register an account. After registering, you’ll receive an email asking to confirm your account by clicking the provided link. You must confirm your account to complete registration.



The online entry and submission system opens February 15, 2024. All entries must be submitted by July 15, 2024 (11:59 p.m. EST). 


During the online entry submission period, participants are required to submit the following deliverables as a part of their entry:

  • Two digital presentation boards depicting your project. Include plans, sections, details, BIM images, 3D images, and any other information needed to explain your design solution. Digital boards should be landscape-oriented at 24″(h) X 36″(w) and saved as JPEGs at 150 dpi resolution in RGB mode.
  • A project statement (1200 words max.) that explains how your concept rethinks the innovative potential of masonry and addresses program requirements outlined in the competition brief. 
  • Contact information, as requested during registration and on the entry form.
  • For Student Category Entrants Only: Proof of current enrollment in a design, architecture, or engineering program.

Participants are encouraged to submit all information they consider necessary to explain their solution above and beyond the required deliverables, including, but not limited to, video, images, written, or multimedia content.





About Joan B. Calambokidis

Joan B. Calambokidis served as President of the International Masonry Institute (IMI) from 1995-2017.

The JBC Masonry Innovation Competition was founded in 2018 to honor Joan’s legacy of masonry innovation, including groundbreaking advancements in training, education, research, and technical development.

Joan’s leadership was instrumental in creating IMI’s renowned training programs for craftworkers, contractors, and design professionals. Her vision for training has helped to bring an unprecedented level of skill, quality, and craftsmanship to masonry construction projects across the U.S. and Canada. Joan also led the development of IMI’s International Training Center, a multi-building, state-of-the-art facility in Maryland that has educated thousands of craftworkers and design professionals since its opening in 2007.

During Joan’s tenure, IMI helped curate Masonry Variations in 2003, a National Building Museum exhibit co-sponsored by the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC) and IMI. The exhibit featured innovative works by four architects, demonstrating the versatility of stone, terrazzo, brick, and autoclaved aerated concrete. The installations explored the relationship between material, technology, and collaboration.

Joan was also responsible for the creation of Masonry Camp, a nationally-recognized IMI program dedicated to building collaboration between designers and craftworkers.

Through the JBC Masonry Innovation Competition, IMI honors and carries on the tradition of innovation that Joan established in the masonry industry.


Work with our multi-disciplinary team to help you deliver high-performing projects.