Entries for ENR's Best Projects 2012 Competition have surpassed the 500 mark, an indication the program is gaining greater industry support in several regions of the nation.

Many regions, including the Midwest, Northwest, Mid-Atlantic, California and Texas & Louisiana continue to actively solicit entries for the two-tiered program, which honors excellence in 18 categories ranging from office, health care and cultural/worship to industrial, landscaping and transportation.

Projects first compete in one of nine regional contests, with expert panels of design and construction professionals evaluating projects on the basis of five criteria, including teamwork, safety and innovation. This fall, winning projects in each of the 18 categories will be profiled in regional editions of ENR. The panel also will name one of the 18 winning projects Project of the Year, with the winning project receiving extensive feature coverage in the same issue.

Next, winners of regional competitions will compete against one another in ENR's national Best of the Best Projects 2012 competition, with winners profiled in a 2013 edition of ENR. Once again, projects will be evaluated by an expert panel of judges. A Grand Prize winner will be the subject of a full-length feature in the same issue.

This year, the Best Projects program also is inaugurating a Best Projects Safety Award, with judges honoring projects that demonstrate the best overall safety record in consideration of the project's size and scope, as well as the challenges team members confronted in executing it.

Midwest Best Project entries are due August 3. California, Northwest, Mid-Atlantic and Texas & Louisiana are due August 10.

Best Project entries are free, even for multiple submissions. To learn more about ENR's Best Project Competition or to submit an entry, click here. To view winners of last year's national competition, click here.