From a $1.3-billion water treatment plant to a $5.6-million highway interchange, the winners of this year's Best Projects competition were not limited by value or scope of work. Spanning the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut region, the winners caught the judges' attention because they stood out among peers for overall qualities such as craftsmanship, innovation and/or safety.
The judges reviewed 67 projects, completed between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013, and chose 18 to take home the top prize for a specific category and 21 others to claim awards of merit. Two of the seven judges are safety experts and they reviewed 27 projects entered in the separate safety portion of the contest.
Judges had two weeks to score each entry on a scale of 1 to 10. Once their scores were tallied, they met in New York to defend their positions on which of the highest-scoring projects was the best in a specific category and which, if any, deserved an award of merit.
The debates were especially long and intense over the four contenders for the region's Best Project of the Year—the $1-billion Barclays Center; the $1.3-billion Catskill/Delaware UV Light Disinfection Facility; the $18.8-million Daylighting of the Saw Mill River at Larkin Plaza; and the $365-million NanoFab Xtension. The judges eventually came to a unanimous decision to award the title to Barclays Center.
Separately, the safety judges looked for a project that stood above the rest in this portion of the competition. They said that several projects did a "good job" on managing risk but there was only one—the New York State Capitol Building Restoration, Contract C—that they believed went far beyond that. That project, one judge said, had "great multiple and significant risk exposures," but the team used design, pre-planning and an approach to safety that "wasn't compliance driven; it was risk-driven."
Meanwhile, for each of the top category winners, the competition is not yet finished. They will face a new round of review for possible selection as Engineering News-Record's Best of the Best Projects. The results of that contest are set to be announced in ENR early next year.
This Year's Winners Are:
Best Project of 2013: Barclays Center
Best Airports/Transit: Infrastructure Improvements to Barclays Arena
Award of Merit, Airports/Tansit: Delta Terminal 4 Headhouse at JFK International Airport
Award of Merit, Airports/Tansit: Rehabilitation of the St. George Staten Island Ferry Terminal Ramps
Best Cultural/Worship: St. Brigid's Church Restoration
Best Government/Public Building: New York State Capitol Building Restoration
Award of Merit, Government/Public Building: FMS SANDPRFAB Contract No. 1 - New Prefabricated Modular Building Units
Award of Merit, Government/Public Building: New Britain Police Station
Award of Merit, Government/Public Building: Brookhaven National Laboratory - Laboratory Office Buildings
Award of Merit, Government/Public Building: 121st Police Precinct
Award of Merit, Government/Public Building: New York State Police Troop G Headquarters
Best Green Project- RIT Golisano Institute for Sustainability
Award of Merit, Green Project: Arbor House
Best Higher Education/Research: NanoFab Xtension
Award of Merit, Higher Education/Research: Connecticut College, New London Hall Life Science Building
Award of Merit, Higher Education/Research: Fordham University Gabelli School of Business - Hughes Hall Renovation
Best Highways/Bridges: Bronx-Whitestone Bridge Rehabilitation
Award of Merit, Highways/Bridges: I-590 and Winton Road Diverging Diamond Interchange Project
Award of Merit, Highways/Bridges: Route 206 Bypass
Best Interiors/Tenant Improvement: Adaptive Reuse and Renovation for Avenues: The World School
Award of Merit, Interiors/Tenant Improvement: New York University Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
Best K-12 Education: Spring Creek Educational Campus
Award of Merit, K-12 Education: Alternative School for Math & Science Expansion
Best Landscape/Hardscape/Urban Development: Daylighting of Saw Mill Rover at Larkin Plaza
Award of Merit, Landscape/Hardscape/Urban Development: FDR Four Freedoms Park
Best Office/Retail/Mixed-Use: 800 Scudders Mill Road
Best Renovation/Restoration: Elmira College Cowles Hall Stabilization & Restoration
Award of Merit, Renovation/Restoration: New York City Hall Rehabilitation
Best Residential/Hospitality: NYC Rapid Repairs Program
Best Small Project (Under $10 Million): University of Connecticut - McMahon Dining Hall Renovation
Award of Merit, Small Project (Under $10 Million): New York Presbyterian Hospital 68th Street Entrance
Best Specialty Contracting: Judd Foundation
Award of Merit, Specialty Contracting: Coler Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility
Best Sports/Entertainment: Barclays Center
Award of Merit, Sports/Entertainment: New York Aquarium Aquatheater
Best Water/Environment: Catskill/Delaware Ultraviolet Light Disinfection Facility