James M. Scott Exceptional Design Awards

Established in 1985, the Fairfax County Exceptional Design Awards recognize achievement in the total design of a building and its site. The awards aim to raise awareness of outstanding planning and design projects among design professionals and the general public.  The design awards program is sponsored by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and administered by the County's Department of Planning and Zoning in cooperation with the County Architectural Review Board and the Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

On May 16, 2017, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors authorized the renaming of the Fairfax County Exceptional Design Awards Program to the James M. Scott Exceptional Design Awards, in honor of the late Providence District Supervisor who held office from January 5, 1972 until December 14, 1987.  It was his vision and leadership that led to the establishment of the Exception Design Awards Program, which is now in its third decade.  Supervisor James M. Scott passed away on April 13, 2017.

James M. Scott Exceptional Design Awards
View the 2017 James M. Scott Exceptional Design Awards Winners  

Calendar of Important Dates

  • The nomination period for 2017 is now closed.
  • The winners will be recognized by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, October 17, 2017.
  • The next nomination period will open in Spring 2018.


Any project completed in Fairfax County in the past five years is eligible for nomination by anyone. Projects previously honored with an award in this program are not eligible for entry.

Selection Process and Criteria

The awards, judged by a jury, include honor awards, merit awards and honorable mentions.  All entries should meet some or all of the following criteria:
  • Exemplifies a superior work of architecture.
  • Incorporates outstanding site design and landscaping.
  • Takes into account the context of the project design in relationship to its surroundings.
  • Applies energy and water conservation, and other green building practices.

Submission Requirements and Entry Form

Submit your project according to the submission requirements. If you require assistance with your submission, please contact the Department of Planning and Zoning at 703-324-1380.  

Contact Information

Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning
Planning Division
12055 Government Center Parkway
Suite 730
Fairfax, VA 22035
703-324-1380, TTY 711


Exceptional Design Awards Winners

Interactive Story Map of 2017 Winners

About the Program


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