The American Institute of Architects Richmond was founded in 1976.

Call for Entries: 2024 Design Awards

AIA Richmond invites your participation in the 2024 Design Awards Program. The Honors & Awards Committee encourages every chapter member to enter as many projects as possible.

Entries are due by 5 p.m., Aug. 9, 2024.


All entries must be the work of AIA Richmond members (either AIA members or Associate AIA members) who are currently members in good standing of the Chapter. All design entries shall be projects executed by firms located in AIA Richmond.  Any entry that is not the sole design responsibility of the submitter must be properly credited. Associate members must clearly identify their role in the design process, as they cannot be listed as the “architect of record.”

Location of the projects is not restricted, but any built works submitted for consideration must have been completed after Jan. 1, 2018. Un-built works of which design work was completed after Jan. 1, 2018 will be considered for recognition as well. Un-built projects must be work commissioned by a client, as opposed to hypothetical works completed in the mode of research or academic training. Projects that have previously won awards, other than from AIA Richmond, are eligible for recognition.

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.

Entries shall meet a minimum of 3 of the 10 measures with a short description not to exceed 150 words for each measure of how the project meet those measures. The submitter can choose which 3 or more of the 10 the project fulfills. If the submitter would like to apply more than 3 measures to the project that is encouraged as well.

  1. Design for Integration: What is the big idea behind this project and how did sustainability inform the design concept?
  2. Design for Equitable Communities: How does this project contribute to creating a walkable, human-scaled community inside and outside the property lines?
  3. Design for Ecology: In what ways does the design respond to the ecology of its place?
  4. Design for Water: How does the project relate to the regional watershed?
  5. Design for Economy: How does the project efficiently meet the program and design challenges and provide “more with less”?
  6. Design for Energy: Is the project energy-efficient and sustainable while improving building performance, function, comfort, and enjoyment?
  7. Design for Wellness: How does the design promote the health of the occupants?
  8. Design for Resources: How did the design team optimize the amount and makeup of material used on the project?
  9. Design for Change: Is the building resilient, and able to easily accommodate other uses in 50-100 years?
  10. Design for Discovery: What lessons for better design have been learned through the process of project design, construction, and occupancy, and how have these been incorporated in subsequent projects?


Applicants shall select one category under which to submit each entry.

Contextual Design: The Award for Contextual Design will recognize architecture that reflects the history, culture, social and physical environment of the place of which it inhabits.

Residential Design: Aesthetic appeal and functionality are two long-established criteria for home design. More frequently, especially in the last several years, families have also been looking for affordability and resource efficiency. The jury will focus on the issues of:

  • Design that suits the needs of the homeowner or resident, regardless of any particular style, and is easily maintained, filled with adequate natural light and fresh air, energy and water efficient, and is universally accessible.
  • Community building, in that the residence is well-sited with respect to views and amenities such as transit, shopping, recreation, and congregation.

Architecture: Designers may submit projects of all types (including residential) for consideration in the Architecture category. Jury considerations will include aesthetics, adherence to the client program, proven and projected building performance, and concept development.

Historic Preservation: The Historic Preservation category focuses on excellence in strategies, tactics, and technologies that advance the art, craft, and science of preserving historically significant buildings and sites. The jury will also take into consideration adherence to local, state, and national criteria for historic preservation.

Interiors: Interior architecture projects of distinction will evince mastery of composition, functionality, material and color palettes, and well-integrated adherence to the highest levels of accessibility, health and safety, environmental, and occupant-comfort considerations, standards, and regulations.

This program is not a competition but recognition of projects that a jury appointed by the Chapter Honors Committee deems to have achieved excellence in architecture; therefore, there are no submittal classifications, number of awards to be given, nor detailed criteria in the Chapter’s intent. The jurors are free to move in any direction and confer as many awards as they see fit. The firm or organization of record and owner of each winning entry will each receive a certificate of the award. Awards will be presented at the AIA Richmond Honors and Awards Program, which will be presented on Oct. 17, 2024.

All materials must be submitted through an online submission form. All electronic materials shall be submitted in PDF files in an 8 1/2″ x 11″ page size format and not exceeding 8 MB. Each submittal shall contain two PDF documents with the following, in the order given below:

First PDF (File Name to be “Concealed Identification File”)

Shall contain a 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet listing the following information:

  • Name of project
  • Name, address, email address and phone number of entering member
  • Names of project team responsible for the design and name(s) of firm(s) or organization(s) of record
  • Names identifying each discipline and address of all project consultants
  • Name, address, email address of general contractor or builder
  • Name, address, email address and phone number of owner and their project representative
  • Name of photographer (required for publication)

Second PDF (File Name to be “Title of Project.pdf”)

  • WILL NOT EXCEED 8 MB and be 8.5×11 in SIZE
  • MAXIMUM of 10 Pages
  • Page 1 shall include:
    • A concise, one page project information sheet stating project name, project address, date of completion, building type, owner’s program, site description including any other significant physical parameters, a description of no more than 150 words on how the entry meets the category it is being submitted in, project budget, and final cost.
    • A Narrative Describing how the project meets at least 3 of the 10 measures of the Framework for Design Excellence, with a short description (Not to exceed 150 words for each measure) of how the project meet those measures. 
    • Do not include the design firm’s name or logo. 
  • Pages 2-10: 8 1/2″ x 11″ drawings (which may be freehand) and photographs:
    • Site Plan
    • Floor Plans of all Principal Floors
    • Building Sections and/or details (where informative)
    • Photographs showing all exterior elevations which may reasonably be seen by a viewer circumnavigating the project.
    • Concept Sketches
    • Interior Photographs

NOTE: No indication of the aforementioned information may appear on any of the submitted materials in the PDF (“Project File”) and shall be identified only in the PDF “Concealed Identification File”.

Format for the electronic submission shall be in electronic PDF format (to be compatible with PC) and submitted through the online submission form.

Each entrant shall provide a registration fee of $50.00 for each project to be entered, payable by credit card, when the project is submitted. This fee, which provides partial support for the AIA Richmond’s Awards Program, is non-refundable.

All completed online submissions must be received by the Chapter no later than 5 p.m., Aug. 9, 2024. Entries received after that hour and date will not be eligible for

Entry Form


Winners shall provide high-resolution images of their projects within two weeks of notification.
By submitting a project for award consideration, each entrant unequivocally clears the project and all images and content submitted for reproduction and publication with all copyright permission to AIA Richmond, a chapter of the American Institute of Architects, for use in promotion and public awareness of the Honors and Awards Program. Owner’s restrictions, if any, must be noted on the “Concealed Identification File.”


Share on