As ENR Southwest’s Best Projects Competition nears its second decade of recognizing the most notable construction projects and bringing them to the attention of the construction community at large, this year’s winners are almost universally led by teams that reported doing their job faster and with less overall waste than was expected.

Whether teams use all or part of lean concepts—or just seek their own paths to speed, quality and efficiency—several of this year’s winners delivered their projects before scheduled delivery and under budget. And they impressed this year’s judges.

The six judges reviewed more than 80 projects that were completed between June 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015. The panel included: Andrew Baird, project manager of Aztec Engineering; Arnold Canales, principal with ARC Consulting; Mark Harberts, architect, senior project engineer and BIM coordinator, Flintco Constructive Solutions; Kai Kaoni, assistant professor of practice at Northern Arizona University; Glen Maxwell, vice president of preconstruction with The Penta Building Group; and Kenneth Zarembski, principal/managing director at Walter P Moore Engineers.

The judges rated the projects 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 experienced a construction-related fatality were automatically disqualified.

Judges then conferred to choose a category winner and one or more awards of merit. They also selected one overall Project of the Year.

If a judge was employed by, or did any work on the projects being considered, that judge was assigned to a different category.

Also highlighted on the following pages are the results of the Excellence in Safety award. The competition was adjudicated by Jon Wickizer, director of corporate safety, Brahma Group, and Arnold Canales.

More than 30 projects were considered based upon their OSHA incident rates, lost-time accidents, total man-hours and the quality of the project’s safety programs.


Project of the Year and Excellence in Safety
Project of the Year: Small Project Makes Big Impact - Los Alamos Nature Center
Award Of Merit: Small Project Under $10 Million - Honor Health

Best Project Highway/Bridge and Excellence In Safety: US 89 Slide Reconstruction
Award of Merit: Highway/Bridge: Sacaton Bridge Replacement

Winners By Category Grouped Alphabetically
Best Project Airport/Transit: Expansion And Modernization Of The Mariposa Land Port Of Entry

Best Project Cultural/Worship: Mesa Community College Performing Arts Center

Best Project Energy/Industrial: Tucson Electric Power Company, Solar Steam Generator Project
Award Of Merit Energy/Industrial: Copper Mountain Solar 3

Award Of Merit Government/Public Building: Central & Unser — Patrick J. Baca Library
Best Project Government/Public Buildings: Hashen Kehk Community Center

Best Project Health Care: Chandler Regional Medical Center
Award Of Merit Health Care: Banner Boswell Med Center Operating Room Renovation and Hybrid Operating Room

Best Project Higher Education/Research: Arizona State University College Avenue Commons
Award Of Merit Higher Education/Research: Chandler-Gilbert Community College Coyote Center

Best Project Interior/Tenant Improvement: First National Rio Grande Headquarters
Award Of Merit Interior/Tenant Improvement: Sprouts Farmers Market Headquarters

Best Project Landscape/Urban Development: Paseo de Luces, Downtown Tolleson Redevelopment

Best Project K-12 Education: Phase IA Multipurpose/Administration/Media Center Building, RFK Charter High School

Award Of Merit Manufacturing: Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) Quail Hollow Milk Drying Plant

Best Project Office/Retail/Mixed-Use: Liberty Center At Rio Salado
Award Of Merit Office/Retail/Mixed-Use: Sun Devil Marketplace

Best Project Renovation/Restoration: Albuquerque Convention Center
Award Of Merit Renovation/Restoration: Arizona Burn Foundation Administration Building

Best Projects Residential/Hospitality: SLS Las Vegas

Best Project Specialty Contracting: Sandia Resort Casino - Parking Garage

Best Project Sports/Entertainment: University of Arizona McKale Center Renovation
Award Of Merit Sports/Entertainment: Hohokam Stadium And Lew Wolff Training Complex

Best Project Water/Environment: City of Chandler Water Reclamation Facility Phase 3