High-end looks for student and affordable housing, green and energy-efficient building systems and contemporary design are the hallmarks of this year's finalists for the 2013 Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Awards, which honor superior achievement in apartment and condominium development, design, marketing and management and are sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

"A wave of new multifamily communities helped bring the housing industry out of the recession, and this group of finalists exemplifies what's new and exciting in residential construction," said W. Dean Henry, CEO of Legacy Partners Residential in Foster City, Calif., and chairman of NAHB's Multifamily Leadership Board. "This year's finalists have gone above and beyond what residents need and desire from an apartment or condo in today's marketplace."

Judges found that many of the finalists in the affordable housing and student housing categories didn't compromise on the look and feel of the design and amenities, noting that many of the communities have the look of market-rate apartment buildings. It was also noted that green and energy-efficient features continue to be popular as consumers continue to mindful of the benefits of "going green," such as passive solar orientation, green roofs and high-performance insulation. Finally, many of the finalists seemed to incorporate contemporary design into their properties, especially when the primary audience is "Gen Y."

Judges also found that many of the finalists seamlessly integrated their design of the buildings with their surrounding neighborhoods, whether it's colonial hamlets that demonstrate Southern charm or an eclectic and funky apartment building that speaks the language of an urban environment. The use of color and multiple textures on building facades also were important factors for the judges when scoring the entries.

A panel of nine multifamily development and design experts selected 79 finalists in 26 categories ranging from excellence in building and marketing to individual and corporate achievement.

The winners will be announced Oct. 3, in an online presentation at www.nahb.org/pillarsawards.