Call For Entries

AIA Northern Virginia Design Awards 

The AIA Northern Virginia Chapter Design Awards Program recognizes and celebrates our members’ achievements in design of the built environment and their commitment to design excellence in various practice groups. These prestigious chapter awards demonstrate to the clients and the public the value of good design while identifying local firms and individuals dedicated to providing outstanding architectural design and service.

Submit Now

Design Award Categories*

*NOTE:  The AIA Northern Virginia awards program does not maintain a separate category for Urban Design and Master Planning projects – however, planning projects are welcome to be submitted for consideration under the category most appropriate to the specific project.


Each submission is eligible to receive one of four awards:


Award of Excellence

Award of Excellence – is the top honor in a category and is awarded to projects that exemplify many of the 10 principles of the AIA Framework for Design Excellence and excel in their design.

Award of Merit

Award of Merit – is awarded to projects that excel in their category for overall good design.

Jurors’ Citation

Jurors’ Citation – is awarded to projects that either lie outside of the base categories or include an exceptional aspect or detail that the jury feels represents excellence which deserves specific honor.
The Laurel Center Freight Station Café

Jurors’ Citation for...

Jurors’ Citation for Responsible Design – is awarded to projects that highlight principles of the AIA Framework for Design Excellence.
Awards of Excellence, Awards of Merit, Jurors’ Citations and Juror's Citation for Responsible Design may be given to as many submissions in each category as the jury believes appropriate, although jurors are required to award at least one Award of Excellence and one Award of Merit in each category that has at least six entries. Categories with five or less entries have no required minimum number of award winners.


Any licensed AIA Architect member of the Northern Virginia Chapter may enter a project for which the entrant has had significant responsibility for design authorship of the project submitted. All submitted work must have been completed after June 1, 2019. A project can be entered in only one category per year. Projects previously honored with an award in this program are not eligible for additional awards and should not be resubmitted for other categories. Members may resubmit any eligible projects that have not previously received an award.

Entry Fee

The fee to submit an entry for the AIA Northern Virginia Design Awards is $200 per project.

Judging Criteria

AIA Northern Virginia Design Awards program recognizes the best design work submitted regardless of scope, budget, and size. These outstanding projects elevate the appreciation of design excellence within the profession and the communities we serve.


The AIA Northern Virginia Design Awards Committee will select a jury of distinguished architects from outside the Northern Virginia region and is selected with the assistance of another AIA component. The jurors are asked to be aware of and consider the AIA Framework for Design Excellence during deliberation. The jury may decide to award multiple awards in a particular category and/or not award any project in a category. The jury’s decisions are final.

Additional Local Awards

Eligible projects can be forwarded to the Fairfax County James M. Scott Exceptional Design Awards (annually) and the DESIGNArlington Awards (biennially). While completing the application form, be sure to indicate your preference. Projects entered into the Conceptual/Unbuilt category are not accepted by the county programs.

Winning Entries

Winners will be notified on or before June 28 and awards will be presented during the annual Design Awards Celebration on August 22, 2024.

One certificate will be provided to the winning architect. Additional award certificates can be ordered for $50 each online.

See Project Board Requirements

Submission Process

Read entirely prior to beginning your submission.

  • Each entry shall include project and authorship information, a Jury PDF, five JPG image files and be submitted electronically.
  • This submittal template, Jury PDF Instruction Sheet, and Jury PDF Page 1 Template will provide you with the information you should collect and assemble in advance.
  • You must enter each project submission in one session. There is not a SAVE & RETURN function this year.
  • Do NOT use your browser's 'Back' or 'Refresh' buttons as they will cause you to lose your work.
  • DO use the navigation buttons at the bottom of the page.
  • All required information must be entered before you can move on to the next section.
  • All project photographs must credit the photographer and have rights and permissions cleared to allow for use by the Chapter.
  • Payment is made online as part of the submittal process. Credit card payments are preferred and are collected through PayPal, but you do not need a PayPal account; you may continue as a guest to complete payment. Please contact AIA Northern Virginia Staff, [email protected], if you wish to pay by check.
  • You will receive an email confirmation when your submittal has been successfully received.
  • View the Frequently Asked Questions.
The Chapter encourages input from our members regarding the AIA Northern Virginia Design Awards program. Comments and questions may be directed to the Executive Director, Jaclyn S. Toole, at [email protected].