From dramatic restorations to unique applications of emerging construction techniques, ENR New England’s 2015 Best Projects showcase the traditional strengths of the region’s design and construction firms as well as a willingness to innovate.
This year’s Project of the Year, the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building in Boston, married a delicate restoration of three historic facades with a contemporary design that embraces sustainability. Virtual design and construction techniques were used extensively during the project to promote collaboration and meet milestones.
The Yale Nave project at Sterling Memorial Library in New Haven restored the 1920s Gothic Revival building to its original glory while accommodating rapid changes in library use. The team’s ability to make the old and new indistinguishable helped earn it Best Project honors in the cultural/worship category.
Innovative bridge techniques emerged as award winners in this year’s competition. The team on the Brookfield Floating Bridge in Brookfield, Vt.—which won in the highway/bridge category—applied a unique application of fiber-reinforced polymer pontoons with no published codes or documented examples to guide the design. Our award of merit winner in the small projects category—a replacement bridge over the Housatonic Railroad in Sheffield, Mass.—is the first bridge in Massachusetts built using Geosynthetic ReInforced Soil-Integrated Bridge System technology.
An independent jury named 16 projects in 10 categories as award winners. Nine projects were awarded the high honor of Best Project in their respective categories. Those projects will advance to the national competition to be considered for a Best of the Best national award. Three projects were also recognized with Excellence in Safety awards.
Projects were selected from entries submitted to ENR. Eligible projects were located in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island or Vermont and had to be completed between June 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015.