In this year’s Best Projects competition, the panel of industry judges rewarded projects that boosted efficiency through new technology and collaborative pre-planning and that provided essential spaces for the community. Many of the projects also received top marks for maintaining and promoting safety.

Judges evaluated 116 projects located in California and Hawaii. 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 included Linda Clifford, chief financial officer at C.C. Myers Inc.; Matt Grubb, a project executive with R.D. Olson Construction; Craig Halvorson, senior vice president, ARCADIS U.S. Inc.; Steve Mincey, principal and CEO at DES Architects + Engineers; Paul Moran, vice president of operations for Level 10 Construction; Mark Quattrocchi, partner and founder of Quattrocchi Kwok Architects; Michael Schwager, vice president at Schwager Davis Inc.; Brian Staton, president and CEO of HMC Architects; Brian Thomas, vice president of operations for Skanska USA Building; Mike Warriner, vice president and construction services operations manager at Carollo Engineers Inc.; and Jody James Watkins, president and CEO of Watkins Landmark Construction.

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 Dave Flynn, safety manager in the San Diego region for DPR Construction, and Rand Magee, group director of safety for Kiewit.

Winning project teams will be honored at two awards banquets, one in Los Angeles on Dec. 1, and one in San Francisco on Dec. 3. Visit for more information.