Entries to the 2022 Design Awards program are now being accepted. AIA Virginia’s Awards for Excellence in Architecture (also known as the Design Awards) recognize outstanding design, built and unbuilt, from the past seven years. The program is juried by a team of esteemed practitioners from outside of the region.

Each entry will be judged on how successful the project is in meeting its individual requirements. Consideration is given to aesthetics, social impact, innovation, context, performance, and stewardship of the natural environment — with particular emphasis on the Framework for Design Excellence.

Each entry must include a completed Framework for Design Excellence Project Information Form as page one of their submission. Note: Entrants should not feel obligated to respond to every measure within the Framework — only those that apply to the project being submitted. It is understood that every project is different and may not respond to each measure within the Framework. The jury will consider each design holistically and within context.

No specific number of awards is set, and the program is open to all categories of building as well as interiors projects. The location of projects is not restricted, but any built works submitted for consideration must have been completed on or after Jan. 1, 2015. Enter online.

What’s new in 2022? In response to feedback from entrants and jurors, we’ve launched an Unbuilt Architecture category and clarified the description of the Design for Context category.

Awards Categories include:

  • Architecture;
  • Design for Context;
  • Unbuilt Architecture
  • Extended Use;
    • Historic Preservation
    • Adaptive or Continued Use
  • Interiors;
  • Residential; and
  • Small Projects
    • Up to $150K in construction cost
    • Up to $500K in construction cost
    • Under 5,000 square feet

Check out the complete descriptions of each of the awards categories, and review the regulations, eligibility requirements, and frequently asked questions for more information.

Entries are due by 5 p.m. on June 28, 2022. Note: You should be prepared to submit your concealed ID and project submission upon entry.

Entry fees

AIA Virginia Members:
$190 for the first project
$160 for each additional project
The Small Projects Category has a reduced entry fee of $100
Note: The entrant must be a member of AIA Virginia to be eligible to receive the member discount. The submitting AIA Virginia member must be a contributor to the design team.

Non-members of the AIAVA (must have an office located in Virginia):
$245 for the first project
$220 for each additional project
The Small Projects Category has a reduced entry fee of $200

Not an AIA Virginia member? Apply for unassigned membership.

About the Framework for Design Excellence

Developed by members of the AIA, the Framework for Design Excellence, represents the defining principles of good design in the 21st century. It’s intended to be accessible and relevant for every architect, every client, and every project — regardless of size, typology, or aspiration.

The 10 measures that make up the Framework are intended to inspire progress toward a zero-carbon, equitable, resilient, and healthy built environment. They represent standards of excellence as defined by members of the AIA. These measures align with the AIA’s core values which are collectively defined by members across the country.

The completed Framework for Design Excellence Project Information Form is required and shall be page 1 of each submission. The remaining 6 pages of each submission may be designed and defined by the entrant.

Use the Project Narrative section to describe how the design aligns with the Framework for Design Excellence. Entrants are encouraged to address all applicable measures.

We recognize every project is different and may not respond to every measure within the Framework. The jury will consider the design holistically and within context.

Data may not be available for some metrics on the form, or the client may prefer to keep certain metrics confidential. If this is the case, space is provided on the form to provide an explanation.

Entrants are encouraged to call out extraordinary responses to specific measures in the remaining 6 pages of their submission as well.