Craftsmanship Awards History

WBC is the only local organization that recognizes the skills of craftsmen through our Craftsmanship Awards Program—an annual celebration of excellent work performed in our local industry. WBC created the Craftsmanship Awards Program to honor those who individually provided exceptional workmanship on buildings throughout the Washington, DC area. Additionally, firm members benefit from the credibility that comes with having skilled workers recognized for their excellence by this highly respect professional organization. Awards are made for a wide range of skills: for elaborate and technical installation of mechanical systems, beautiful cabinet and woodwork, artistic painting, and masonry and stone work.

The WBC Craftsmanship Committee, originally headed by Arthur B. Heaton, organized the first Craftsmanship Awards in 1950; the committee then reorganized the program in 1956 to the same format which continues today. In 1992, the Craftsmanship Awards Program Chairman Darrel Rippeteau, of Rippeteau Architects, created the Star Awards. These awards are given to craftsmen who exhibit the key characteristics of all the Craftsmanship Award winners and focuses on "the essence of craftsmanship" in the following categories: Visual Excellence, Technical Excellence, and Excellence in the Face of Adversity.

As the awards have grown in prestige and the caliber of construction in the Washington, DC area has escalated, the celebration of craftsmanship has expanded. As a result, this awards program has furthered the growth and development of superior craftsmanship in the Washington area.

Craftsmanship Awards Facts and Figures

  • In 1962, the program was selected for distinguished achievement for business and public interest by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
  • The awards are divided into 10 categories and 35 subcategories.
  • In 2008, WBC established the Hall of Fame to salute craftsman who demonstrate extraordinary dedication, exceptional skill, quality craftsmanship and enduring commitment.
  • From 1956 through 2017, close to 12,000 craftsmen have been recognized on more than 3,100 winning projects.