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There are many popular construction awards in the Washington metropolitan area that general contractors, subcontractors, architects, and owners can submit for and win. As there is a lot of competition within the construction industry to win work and retain talent, it’s always essential to find ways to stay ahead of the curve. 

That’s why we’ve put together this list of some of the most notable commercial construction industry awards in the DMV. These awards help recognize companies that go above and beyond in:

  • Safety
  • Commercial real estate
  • Design
  • Construction
  • Craftsmanship
  • and more. 

Continue reading to learn about some of the most popular construction awards in the DMV and how you can get your company recognized today!

Forrester Construction team members attending ABC National Excellence in Construction Awards

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)

ABC Metro Washington & Northern Virginia Excellence in Construction Award

The Excellence in Construction Awards (EIC) recognizes outstanding projects built in the Washington metropolitan area by ABC chapter members. The awards competition celebrates the workmanship of all the building partners involved by showcasing the results of their dedication. 

Project categories include:

  • Commercial 
  • Retail
  • Residential/Multi-Family 
  • Historic Renovation
  • Institutional
  • Interiors
  • Medical
  • Education
  • and more.

To qualify for an Excellence in Construction award, projects must be in one of the following areas:

  • the District of Columbia
  • the Maryland counties of Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s
  • or the Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Stafford, and the corresponding cities. 

ABC National Excellence in Construction Awards

The National Excellence in Construction award celebrates ABC Member projects from across the nation that go above and beyond, with high-quality, innovative construction as well as world-class safety, diversity, and inclusion programs. To be eligible for a National Excellence in Construction award, the project must have already won an ABC EIC award in any category at the chapter level.

ABC National Safety Excellence Award

The ABC National Safety Excellence Award recognizes construction companies with outstanding commitment to workplace safety. Companies that receive this award have safety programs that go above and beyond the average program. 

To be eligible for this prestigious award, a company must reach a STEP diamond, platinum, or gold in their local chapter. To reach a STEP diamond level or above, your company must demonstrate an evident dedication to worker safety through comprehensive policies, procedures, and training. 

Programs designed to prevent accidents, respond quickly when they occur, and promote healthy employee relations are all mandatory components of an ABC-certified company’s safety program.

View of Forrester Construction attending AGC of DC Awards Ceremony from above

Associated General Contractors (AGC)

AGC of DC Washington Contractor Awards 

The AGC of DC Washington Contractor Awards is a chapter awards program that honors exceptional general contractors and projects throughout the Washington metropolitan area. Judges evaluate many aspects of the project and project team, including:

  • Project management 
  • Safety
  • Quality of Workmanship
  • Owner Satisfaction
  • Timeliness
  • and more. 

Submissions should include a letter of recommendation from the client or architect, relevant videos or articles, and photos, as judges will not see the project in person. 

AGC of America Construction Safety and Excellence Awards (CSEA)

The Associated General Contractors of America Construction Safety and Excellence Awards (CSEA) is a prestigious industry award recognizing construction companies that excel in safety implementation. The CSEA selection criteria are comprehensive and closely examine a company’s commitment to safety, occupational health management, and risk control through evidence of:

  • Company management commitment
  • Active employee participation
  • Safety training
  • Work site hazard identification and control
  • Safety program innovation

Submissions for the AGC Construction Safety and Excellence Awards may be sent directly to AGC of America or through a local AGC chapter. 

American Institute of Architects (AIA) 

AIA DC Chapter Design Awards

The Chapter Design Awards recognize exemplary architects and projects in the Washington metropolitan area. The awards program has four categories:

  • Architecture 
  • Interior Architecture 
  • Historic Resources 
  • Urban Design/Master Planning

Companies may only submit a project in one category for consideration. 

AIA Maryland Excellence in Design Awards 

The annual AIA Maryland Excellence in Design Awards program recognizes excellence in architectural design. To be eligible for this award, the submitting party must be an AIA Maryland member or an AIA member working in Maryland.

Projects of all types and sizes, including additions, renovations, and new construction, may be entered for consideration in one of the following categories:

  • Commercial Architecture
  • Interior Architecture
  • Mixed Use Development
  • Residential Architecture
  • Unbuilt Architecture

AIA Northern Virginia Design Awards 

The AIA Northern VA Design Awards Gala is an annual celebration of great design throughout the region. AIA Northern VA members can win project awards in categories like:

  • Transportation and Infrastructure 
  •  Institutional Architecture
  • Historic Architecture
  • Commercial Interiors 
  • Conceptual / Unbuilt Architecture

AIA National Awards

The American Institute of Architects has many awards for which members can apply. All AIA Awards and Honors are on a cycle, however the Honors and Awards section of their website notes when specific award submissions will be open and closed. AIA awards celebrate the best buildings and spaces, including:

  • Educational Facility
  • Healthcare Design
  • Interior Architecture
  • Housing
  • Regional/Urban Design 
  • And more

Forrester Construction Team Members Accepting Award at NAIOP VA Awards Ceremony


NAIOP DC | MD Awards of Excellence 

The NAIOP DC|MD Awards of Excellence honor outstanding achievement in local commercial real estate. Building awards for this program include:

  • Interiors
  • Institutional Facility 
  • Life Science Facility
  • Multi-Family Project
  • Renovation
  • Retail Project
  • And more.

Best of NAIOP Northern Virginia Awards 

The Best of NAIOP Northern Virginia Awards celebrate significant contribution to the build environment by the commercial, industrial, and mixed-use industry. Award categories include:

  • Buildings
  • Interiors
  • Marketing
  • Transactions
  • Membership 
  • plus a special Judges’ Award

There are several awards that companies could win within each category. For example, companies could win for the amenity space, adaptive reuse, or another Building award. 

Engineering News Record (ENR)

ENR Mid-Atlantic Best Projects

The ENR Mid-Atlantic Best Projects recognizes outstanding projects throughout the region, including Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Categories include:

  • Cultural/Worship
  • Health Care
  • Higher Education / Research 
  • Interior 
  • Office / Tenant / Repositioning 

Submissions are evaluated on the ability to overcome challenges, contribution to the community, safety, and construction and design quality. 

American Subcontractors Association (ASA)

ASA Metro Washington Subby Awards 

The Annual Subby Awards Gala honors general contractors and subcontractor partners throughout the Washington metropolitan area. Both companies and individuals can be nominated for awards like:

  • Project Manager of the Year
  • Superintendent of the Year
  • Great Team
  • And more.

Washington Building Congress (WBC)

Craftsmanship Awards

The WBC Craftsmanship Awards celebrates quality craftsmanship by subcontractors across the DC region. With generally over 200 submissions each year throughout the ten categories, the ceremony recognizes the men and women who have shown their work to be truly outstanding this year. The Craftsmanship Awards categories include:

  • Concrete
  • Doors and Windows
  • Finishes
  • Masonry
  • Metals
  • Special Construction
  • And more.

While only subcontractors may win a craftsmanship award, general contractors or other building partners can nominate subcontractor partners who have worked on their projects.  


There are many industry awards throughout the Washington metropolitan area that companies should try to win. Awards are a great way to recognize companies designing or building exceptional safety programs, high-quality projects, and more. Submitting a project for an award allows general contractors, architects, and other building partners to recognize those involved in the project, stand out from other companies, and stay top of mind in the industry.

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