CTBUH conferred a new "Global icon award" on 25 October 2010, the first recipient of this award was Burj Khalifa.
CTBUH conferred a new "Tall Building Innovation Award" in 2012, the first recipient of this award was Al Bahar Towers.
CTBUH conferred a new "10 Year Award" in 2013, the first recipient of this award was 30 St Mary Axe.
The awards committee selects awards from each category, while the Best Tall Building Overall is selected from the four regional winners. Initially only the special awards such as The Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award, and Fazlur Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal were given. In 2007 the CTBUH started awarding the skyscraper awards and in 2012 added a new award (Innovation Award). In 2013 a new 10 Year Award was added.
The CTBUH uses the following award criteria for skyscrapers.
The project must be completed and occupied (topped out architecturally, fully clad, and at least partially occupied), no earlier than the 1st of January of the previous year, and no later than the 1st of October of the current awards year.
The project advanced architectural form, structure, building systems, sustainable design strategies, and provides life safety for its occupants.
The project must exhibited sustainable qualities at a broadest level.
The project must have achieved a high standard of excellence and quality.
The site planning and response to its immediate context must ensure rich and meaningful urban environments.
The contributions of the project should be generally consistent with the values and mission of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urabn Habitat (CTBUH).
Must have been completed between 10–12 years since the current award year (In the inaugural year submissions of buildings completed between 10–15 years since the current award year will be considered).
The criteria for The Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award:
The award recognizes an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of tall building and the urban environment during his or her professional career.
The candidate may be from any area of specialization, including, but not limited to: architecture, structure, building systems, construction, academia, planning, development or management.
The contributions of the award recipient should be generally consistent with the values and mission of the CTBUH and its founder, Dr. Lynn S. Beedle.
The award is not intended to be awarded posthumously, although it may be so awarded in some cases.
The criteria for Fazlur Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal:
The award recognizes an individual for his/her demonstrated excellence in technical design and/or research that has made a significant contribution to a discipline for the design of tall buildings and the built urban environment.
The candidate may or may not be a member of the Council.
The personal attributes of the award recipient should be of high professional integrity and individual’s contributions generally be consistent with the mission of the CTBUH.
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat bestowed a new award for Burj Khalifa at its annual “Best Tall Buildings Awards Ceremony” on 25 October 2010 when Burj Khalifa honored as first recipient of CTBUH’s new Tall Building “Global Icon” Award. According to CTBUH the new “Global Icon” award recognizes those very special supertall skyscrapers that make a profound impact, not only on the local or regional context, but on the genre of tall buildings globally. Which is innovative in planning, design and execution, the building must have influenced and re-shaped the field of tall building architecture, engineering, and urban planning. It is intended that the award will only be conferred on an occasional basis, when merited by an exceptional project perhaps every ten or fifteen years.
CTBUH Awards Chair Gordon Gill, of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture said:
"There was discussion amongst members of the jury that the existing ‘Best Tall Building of the Year’ award was not really appropriate for the Burj khalifa. We are talking about a building here that has changed the landscape of what is possible in architecture a building that became internationally recognized as an icon long before it was even completed. ‘Building of the Century’ was thought a more appropriate title for it."