The Council initiated this program in 2001, with the creation of the Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award, later adding the Fazlur R. Khan Medal in 2004. It began recognizing the team achievement in tall building projects by issuing Best Tall Building awards in 2007.
Celebration of the award winning projects is recognized through the annual Tall + Urban Innovation Conference, where Award of Excellence Winners in each award category present their projects to an international audience and live juries. Overall Category Winners are then selected during the event and awards are conferred at the Dinner & Ceremony held at the close of the event. Projects are judged by live juries during the event itself.