BNIM Receives Top Placement in ARCHITECT 50 Annual National Firm Rankings

BNIM Receives Top Placement in ARCHITECT 50 Annual National Firm Rankings

Kansas City, MO (November 8, 2019) — ARCHITECT Magazine released their annual firm rankings on Friday, prominently featuring Kansas City-based BNIM among the top-ranked firms.

First launched in 2009, ARCHITECT 50 has employed a rigorous application process and methodology each year to evaluate national architecture firms in four categories: Design, Sustainability, Business, and Overall. This year, of the 182 qualifying firms, BNIM ranked No. 2 in Design, No. 1 in Sustainability, and No. 2 Overall. The firm’s 2019 standings mark the first time in the ranking’s history that a single firm has secured top-two positions in three or more categories.

The firm attributes this year’s high rankings to BNIM’s focus on outcomes.

“Last year we launched an outcomes-based Action Plan that furthers our commitment to enhancing the human condition through Human-Purposed Integrated Design,” said Steve McDowell, President and CEO of BNIM. “This commitment has changed the way we design. It has made us hyper aware of how our buildings and spaces impact human health and wellbeing. It has made us push harder to contribute to more vital and regenerative ecological systems. It has informed our approach to support the mission of each client. It has made us more creative in how we connect people to nature. Our Action Plan will hold us accountable for continuing to elevate the quality of our work in measurable and inherently sustainable ways.”

BNIM submitted a strong design and sustainability portfolio for evaluation this year, which included Lutheran Church of Hope – Grimes in Grimes, Iowa; College of Nursing Building Modifications at the University of Iowa; the Maintenance and Operations Complex at Palomar Community College District in San Marcos, California; the Fine Arts + Design Studios building at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas; and Asilong Christian High School in Pokot, Kenya. The last project – a net-zero girl’s school campus in rural Africa and a 2019 AIA COTE Top Ten Award recipient – was highlighted in the ARCHITECT 50 jury’s comments as “a wonderful project” and is featured in the November ARCHITECT issue.

The Architect 50 analysis identified another area of growth for BNIM, listing the firm among the “Biggest Movers in % Minority Designers” with a 60% increase in 2018.


BNIM’s core purpose is: “We deliver beautiful, integrated, living environments that inspire change and enhance the human condition.” The services we provide—architecture, interior design, landscape design, sustainability leadership and consulting, graphic design, and planning—are guided by this mission. BNIM has been recognized with more than 500 awards for exceptional design and thought leadership—including the 2011 AIA National Architecture Firm Award—and the firm has emerged nationally as a leading resource for established methodologies, innovative technologies, and cutting-edge research in architecture, planning, and landscape design. Through a process of integrated design, which is both an organized collaboration between disciplines and an interweaving and interconnectivity of building systems, our team creates designs that are both environmentally responsible and achieve the highest level of design excellence. For more information, visit