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Submitting a construction project for an industry award is a great way to create positive recognition for your company and team members, win new work, and attract talent. Taking the time to select the best award program and project, gather information, and craft an engaging submission is very important. Continue reading to learn more about how to submit a construction project for an industry award!  

Choosing the Industry Association and Award

There are many opportunities for general contractors, architects, and other building partners to submit for an industry award in the DC Metro region. When looking for an industry award, start by investigating industry organizations where you are already a member.

Many national construction industry associations have local chapter awards for construction, design, real estate, and more. Locally recognized awards programs that Forrester Construction participates in include the Associated Builders and Contractors of Metro Washington and Northern VA Excellence in Construction Awards, Associated General Contractors of DC Washington Contractor Awards, the Best of NAIOP Northern VA, and several more.

Read through all the instructions and the entire application before deciding to apply for an award to ensure your organization has projects that meet the criteria and requirements.

Forrester Construction’s Award Winning Corpus Christi Catholic Church Project

Choosing the Right Construction Project 

When choosing which projects to submit for industry awards, read the submission guidelines and criteria thoroughly. Ensure the project fits into a category, is completed within the appropriate time frame, and was built within the assigned region.

A winning project will stand out to the judges! Things judges tend to look for include:

  • Unique/interesting features
  • High-quality finishes
  • Exemplary design
  • Technical excellence
  • Overcoming obstacles/challenges
  • Excellence in project management
  • Timeliness
  • Sustainability and LEED Certification (if applicable)
  • Community Engagement
  • Historic 
  • Safety 

Industry award programs judge submissions differently. Selecting a project based on the specified award criteria for that program is critical.

Gathering Information

The person responsible for turning in the award submission may not always be the person who worked on the project. If not, the submitter must communicate with the project team who completed the job to gather all the information needed to craft a winning award submission. 

Most industry awards criteria describe in detail what the judges want to know and what they will be evaluating on each project. Use these criteria to develop targeted questions to ask the project team. Be sure to ask follow-up questions to be able to expand on interesting features or scopes, describe the project in-depth, and put together an engaging submission! 

In addition, it is advantageous to try to gather information from your building partners. Speaking with your architect, engineer, or subcontractor partner could help you gain valuable insight into unique project elements such as the design, any unique installation challenges, quality of craftsmanship, historic elements or modern technology used, and more, all of which can be great additions to your awards submission.

Photo of Construction Progress at Forrester Construction’s Sunrise Senior Living Vienna Project in Virginia


While some awards programs send judges in person, other programs base their decision solely on the submitted package. In cases where the judges do not see projects in person, it is crucial to have good photographs of the project.

Some industry organizations who ask for photos generally like to see both progress photos and completed photos of the project. If you know which projects you may want to submit for awards early on, it’s beneficial to plan and gather information and photos while the project is still under construction.

If your organization has a budget to hire a professional construction photographer, utilizing professional photography ensures high-quality, well-positioned images that will help sell your submission to the judges.

Standing Out with Additional Attachments 

Some award programs will allow you to submit additional attachments with your submission package. Including articles, videos, client letters, or other content that can help your company stand out. Footage or press releases related to your project, such as news clippings, drone videos, or time-lapses, are great to include if the submission allows. These bonus attachments provide the judges with additional information about your project and make your submission package more engaging overall.

Look out for Grammar and Spelling Mistakes 

While most industry associations are focusing their evaluations on the project’s impact, the difficulty of the build, the design, or some other aspect of the project itself, it is still critical to read over all award submissions to ensure that your spelling and grammar are correct. Proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation make your company look more professional and make your award submission easier to read and understand for judging. 

Take Advantage of Available Resources

Some industry associations have resources with helpful tips on how to make your award submission stand out. For example, The Associated Builders and Contractors has a page dedicated to Creating a Successful Entry. The page outlines how to achieve a higher score, what parts of the application to focus on, and reminders about required attachments. 

Make sure to research whether the organization you are submitting an award with has any events, webinars, web pages, or videos that can provide more insight into how to pull together the submission to score the highest possible points. 


Submitting your construction project for industry awards is an excellent way to promote and celebrate your company and team. Make sure to plan and compile as much information and content as possible to craft an engaging, thoughtful, and hopefully winning award submission!

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