Each year the National Building Museum (NBM) in Washington, D.C., recognizes individuals or organizations within the design and building industry that have made vital contributions to the nation's building heritage and built environment. For its 24th annual Honor Awards program, the NBM focused on leaders who have demonstrated a long-standing commitment to improving the civic and social space through the built environment in a variety of ways. Three organizations have been selected, and they will be recognized at the 2010 Honor Awards Gala on May 11.

"Education is a leading contribution for all of our 2010 honorees, as well as design and community practice," says Bryna Lipper, NBM's vice president of marketing and communications. "All our honorees are involved in sustainable development, which means a lot of different things—not just green design and building, but how the communities that they design, live, and work in will have a strong, robust, and lasting positive impact."

Global architecture and interdisciplinary design firm Perkins+Will is the first such organization to be recognized with an Honor Award in the program's history. The firm will be honored for its legacy of design that promotes human well-being and its focus on educating its practitioners in locally harmonious design. Phil Harrison, Perkins+Will's president and CEO, will attend the awards gala.

The founders of the New Orleans Habitat Musicians' Village—Harry Connick Jr., Branford Marsalis, Ann Marie Wilkins, and Jim Pate—will be honored for their efforts to sustain local culture and address low-income housing rebuilding in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans. Together, these individuals created a multi-generational village for musicians, restoring and revitalizing the Upper 9th Ward while preserving and promoting much of New Orleans' unique cultural heritage.

NBM also will recognize the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon for its substantial contribution to the education of the next generation of architects, engineers, and designers, as well as the program's impact on research and development in renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, and innovative materials.

The 2010 Honor Awards Gala program, which will be held in the museum's Great Hall, includes both a VIP and general reception, a dinner, presentations by each honoree, a tribute to each honoree, and a showing of a documentary on honorees' work and achievements. Tickets are required; purchase tickets here.