ENR Northwest’s Best Projects competition highlights the region’s most notable construction projects. This year’s winners exhibit a common thread of providing community enhancements in cities and towns throughout Oregon, Washington and Alaska.
For example, contractors in Salcha, Alaska, built the first phase of the Northern Rail Extension, thereby uniting remote towns with military facilities. In Seattle, the Block 44 project promises to innovate Western high-rise concepts. In Brinnon, Wash., contractors built a 14,000-sq-ft dining hall at Camp Parsons, the oldest Boy Scout camp west of the Mississippi River.
Arguably, though, the most memorable community service-oriented project was this year’s best small project award winner in Oso, Wash. There, a group of constructors—including a superintendent who lived in the area since birth—cleared the debris resulting from a disastrous mudslide that swallowed a highway and claimed 43 lives.
This year’s panel of judges selected the removal of the Glines Canyon and Elwha dams as the Project of the Year.
The three judges reviewed more than 40 projects that were completed between June 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015. They were asked to participate based upon several factors, including their familiarity with the Northwest market, expertise and reputation. The panel included: Paula Hammond, senior vice president, national transportation market leader, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Seattle; J. Mark Ludtka, leader workplace studio, DLR Group, Seattle; and John Schaufelberger, dean, College of Built Environments, and chair, department of construction management, University of Washington, Seattle.
The judges reviewed the entries via an online interface and assigned 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 experienced a construction-related fatality were automatically disqualified.
Judges then choose a category winner, where applicable, and one or more awards of merit. Also, it should be noted that judges were not employed by, or did any work on the projects being considered.
To determine the Project of the Year, judges debated their favorites before making a unanimous decision.
The winners are revealed on the following pages.
Also highlighted on the following pages are the results of the Excellence In Safety award as well as an award of merit for the safety category. For this, ENR Northwest asked the following safety experts to determine the winners: Jon Wickizer, director of corporate safety, Brahma Group; and Dennis Burks, safety director, associate vice president, enterprise risk management, HNTB Corp.
Projects nominated for the safety category were considered based upon their OSHA incident rates, lost-time accidents, total man-hours and the quality of the project’s safety programs.
Dam Removal Project Restores a National Park
Best Project Government/Public Building: Bethel School District Transportation Center And Central Kitchen
Best Project Airport/Transit: Northern Rail Extension
Award Of Merit Energy/Industrial: Blue Lake Expansion Project
Award Of Merit Renovation/Restoration: 1101 Second Avenue Renovation