In selecting ENR Texas & Louisiana's Best Projects of 2011, our independent jury found achievement in the face of adversity. Despite a difficult economy, the 27 projects featured here—completed over the past year in Texas and Louisiana—demonstrated innovation, exceptional quality and an ability to find creative solutions to daunting challenges.

Photo courtesy Perkins+Will
The University of Texas at Dallas Student Services Building earned an award of merit in the green building category.

From the reconstruction of critical infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Katrina to cutting edge health and research facilities in Houston, this year's winning projects represent a broad selection of development in the region.

To select the region's best, ENR Texas & Louisiana recruited an independent jury of industry professionals, representing diverse fields of expertise. The jury pored over more than 100 entries for this year's awards program. They judged entries based on: overcoming challenges/teamwork; safety record; innovation and contribution to the industry/community; construction quality and craftsmanship; and design function and aesthetic quality. Jurors recused themselves from any project with which they were affiliated or ones that otherwise represented a conflict of interest.

This year's judges included:

Wayne Crew, director, Construction Industry Institute, Austin, Texas; Dr. Charles W. Graham, Dean, College of Architecture, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Okla.; John J. McCutchen II, vice president of business development, Hunt Construction Group, Dallas; Raleigh Roussell, president and CEO, TEXO, Dallas; Dr. James C. Smith, Professor, Dept. of Construction Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; and Wendell Welch, director of marketing, James Construction, Baton Rouge, La.

Read on to find out more about the projects that are setting the bar high in Texas and Louisiana.


Best Project: The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Albert B. and Margaret M. Alkek Expansion, Houston, Texas



Best Project: Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Floodwall, New Orleans, La.

Award of Merit: Lake Pontchartrain & Vicinity (LPV) 149 Caernarvon Floodwall, St. Bernard Parish (Braithwaite), La.



Best Project: Cathedral of Hope Interfaith Peace Chapel, Dallas, Texas

Award of Merit: Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church - Renovations and Shrine Addition, Houston, Texas



Best Project: Irving Convention Center, Irving, Texas


Green Project

Best Project: Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT), Fort Worth, Texas

Award of Merit: Texas State Technical College University Center, Harlingen, Texas

Award of Merit: University of Texas at Dallas - Student Services Building, Richardson, Texas


Health Care

Best Project: The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Albert B. and Margaret M. Alkek Expansion, Houston, Texas

Award of Merit: Methodist West Houston Hospital, Houston, Texas

Award of Merit: Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center, Dallas, Texas


Higher Education/Research

Best Project: Texas Childrens Hospital Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, Houston, Texas

Award of Merit: Texas A&M University Agriculture Headquarters Building, College Station, Texas



Best Project: ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston Delhi Processing, Delhi, La.


Interior Design/Tenant Improvement

Best Project: MD Anderson Cancer Center Pickens Tower and Faculty Center Tenant Build Out, Houston, Texas

Award of Merit: Ultra Electronics, Austin, Texas



Best Project: Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Collegiate Academy, Dallas, Texas

Award of Merit: Chalmette Cultural Arts Center, Chalmette, La.


Landscape/Hardscape/Urban Development

Best Project: Houston Zoo African Forest Exhibit, Houston, Texas


Multi-Family Residential/Hospitality

Best Project: Deloitte University and Social Venue, Westlake, Texas



Best Project: Denbury Resources, Dallas, Texas



Best Project: Jackson Barracks Historical Renovation, New Orleans, La.

Award of Merit: US Custom House - Tenant Improvements, New Orleans, La.


Small Project (Under $10 Million)

Best Project: St. Mary's Catholic Church Expansion and Addition, Plantersville, Texas


Specialty Contracting

Best Project: Texas State Capitol Dome & Roof Repairs & Repainting Project, Austin, Texas



Best Project: Terminal C Interior and Exterior Renovations, George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, Texas

Award of Merit: San Antonio International Airport - Terminal B, San Antonio, Texas