One year after the crystal anniversary of ENR Southwest's Best Projects competition, judges from throughout the Southwest were once again called upon to arbitrate the more than 100 construction projects chosen by the submitters as the best works of their firms. Contractors, engineers and other members of many development teams submitted their points of pride for consideration.

The word used most often by judges to describe the entries for this year's competition: impressive.

ENR asked the judges to participate based upon several factors, including their expertise, reputation and familiarity with the Southwest market. There were 10 judges that presided over the Best Projects competition and two judges that reviewed and selected the Excellence in Safety award for work completed between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013.

The Best Project competition was judged by: Andrew Baird, project manager, AZTEC Engineering of Phoenix; Patrick Edwards, general manager, Burns & McDonnell, Phoenix; Mark Harberts, architect, engineer, Flintco Constructive Solutions of Albuquerque; Craig Randock, HDR Architecture, Phoenix; Bill Sabatini, principal, Dekker/Perich/Sabatini of Albuquerque; Sean Stewart, executive vice president, Associated General Contractors of Las Vegas, Nevada Contractors Association; John Tomasson, project executive, Adolfson & Peterson Construction, Tempe, Ariz.; Joel Wallis, senior vice president of operations, The PENTA Building Group, Las Vegas; Brent Wright, CEO, Wright Engineers of Phoenix; and Ken Zarembski, principal/managing director, Walter P. Moore Engineers of Phoenix.

The judges were organized into two groups. Each group was assigned to judge half of the entries online and to assign a numerical ranking based on five criteria: overcoming challenges and teamwork; safety; innovation and contribution to the community; construction quality and craftsmanship; and the function and/or aesthetic quality of the design.

Projects that had a construction-related fatality were automatically disqualified.

Determining A Winner

Those results were then presented to the judges who held a conference call to argue the merits of the projects and to choose a category winner and one or more awards of merit.

Any judge who worked on a project under consideration or whose employer was a project team member was assigned to a different category.

After each group determined their choice for Project of the Year, a survey determined an overall winner. The two projects that reached the final round were the I-580 Freeway Extension near Reno and the Health Sciences Education Building in Phoenix. The winners are revealed on the following pages.

Also highlighted on the following pages are the results of the second annual safety award—which has a new name of its own, Excellence In Safety. The competition was adjudicated by Joe Molitor, regional safety director, Okland Construction Co., Tempe, Ariz., and Luis Castaneda, senior project engineer, Flintco Constructive Solutions of Albuquerque.

More than 40 projects were considered based upon their OSHA incident rates, lost-time accidents, total worker hours and the quality of the project's safety programs. The Chino Valley Solar Project in Chino Valley, Ariz., and Barry Goldwater High School in Glendale, Ariz., were selected as the top two safety projects.