This year's Best Projects competition was tougher than ever—ENR California received nearly 140 entries, a 40% jump over the previous year.

Photo courtesy of Turner Construction Co.
Category winners, which included the Riverside Convention Center, will move on to compete in ENR's national Best of the Best Projects competition.

That meant that our panel of industry judges had to delve even deeper than usual to identify the accomplishments that set the winning projects apart. Judging criteria included collaboration and teamwork, ability to overcome challenges, safety performance and use of innovative design or construction solutions. The panel also considered the contribution to the construction industry and/or community, design quality and construction craftsmanship. Entries were not accepted for projects that had a construction-related death.

If a judge worked for a firm directly involved in a submitted project, that panelist was assigned to a different category and did not participate in the scoring of any competing firms' entries.

This year's judges were: Lee Abramson, executive vice president, Hatch Mott MacDonald; Mark Bartlett, a project executive, Skanska USA Building; Matt Clafton, vice president and general manager, Alston Construction; Greg Eckstrom, vice president, California Drywall; Matt Grubb, project executive with R.D. Olson Construction Co.; Daniel E. Himick, chairman and CEO of C.C. Myers Inc.; Randall Martinez, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Cordoba Corp.; Erin McConahey, a principal, Arup; Mark Roddy, vice president and design principal, SmithGroupJJR; Adam Spillane, division manager–San Francisco, Cupertino Electric; and John Williams, senior associate, Architekton.

Two safety specialists reviewed more than 75 entries for the Excellence in Safety Award, considering factors such as the project's lost-time accidents, total worker hours and the quality of the contractor's safety program. Panelists were: Mark Godfrey, safety manager, Plant Construction Co. LP, and Mike Stelmasek, safety director, Bernards.

Winning-project teams will be honored at two awards banquets, one in San Francisco on Dec. 2 and the other in Long Beach on Dec. 4.