MINNEAPOLIS, November 1, 2021 — AIA Minnesota is pleased to announce LHB, Inc. as the 2021 AIA Minnesota Firm Award recipient. Given biennially, this prestigious award is the highest honor bestowed by the association, recognizing an AIA Minnesota member firm that has made outstanding contributions to the advancement of the profession of architecture.


With 254 professionals working across a variety of disciplines and in offices in Duluth, Cambridge, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, as well as Superior, Wisconsin, the 55-year-old firm has advanced sustainable design in our state and around the country through its design work and research.


“LHB exemplifies AIA Minnesota’s mission and values and has made outstanding contributions to the architecture profession,” said nominator Jim Douglas, vice president at Willdan Group, Inc. “They create sustainable communities through high-quality design with a focus on public projects and serving underserved populations in Minnesota and the surrounding region.”


The AIA Minnesota Firm Award selection committee, comprised of AIA Minnesota board members and leadership, agreed that LHB met or exceeded all criteria for selection. Criteria include demonstrated depth and breadth of work impacting the profession in Minnesota; produced work that is a product of a collaborative environment; work that transcends specific areas of expertise; and work that is known by the profession and outside it for its quality.

  • LHB designs many types and scales of spaces of the highest quality, most with sustainability as a top priority in the design and execution.
  • The contributions of LHB to addressing the affordable housing crisis in the state are significant.
  • LHB staff have dedicated themselves to the advancement of sustainable design throughout the profession and the building industry, working with partners across sectors and helping governments develop sustainability standards to improve communities.
  • Many LHB architects are engaged in the work of AIA Minnesota and of educating future generations of the profession.


Duluth Mayor Emily Larson noted LHB employees’ commitment to service in the community, as well as noting the many public projects designed by LHB that have improved Duluth. USGBC president Mahesh Ramanujam noted LHB’s contributions to advancing sustainability nation-wide. “Through their willingness to share their expertise with the next generation of green building professionals, LHB continues to showcase its dedication to improving the world we live in and the lives of those who live in it,” he said.


Jurors noted the great depth and breadth of the work of their studio, and that their work in sustainability over the course of decades has significantly impacted the profession on a broad scale. The jury also noted that the presence of engineering professionals within the firm significantly strengthens their portfolio, and that the research practice within the firm is making significant contributions to the architecture practice of today and tomorrow.


The architects of LHB are very active in AIA Minnesota and have won many AIA Minnesota and AIA national awards. LHB architects serve on AIA Minnesota, Minneapolis, and Northern Minnesota boards, and are active in many AIA Minnesota committees, knowledge communities, and other endeavors.


“We are both humbled and honored by receiving this award. As a firm with engineering roots, it is especially rewarding to be only the second Minnesota firm to win both the AIA Minnesota Firm Award and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Minnesota Firm Award recognizing our Architectural and Engineering achievements,” said CEO Rick Carter, FAIA. “This award is a great acknowledgment of the efforts and accomplishments of all the staff at LHB”.


LHB will be honored at the AIA Minnesota Virtual Awards Celebration on December 3, 2021. Learn more about the Firm Award here.


The American Institute of Architects Minnesota, founded in 1892, is dedicated to strengthening our communities, improving our built environment and providing exceptional design. For more information on the organization and Minnesota architectural firms, reference our website, visit our Facebook page and subscribe to ENTER, our digital weekly that explores building a better built environment in Minnesota.