The ENR Southwest Best Projects competition has been recognizing achievements in construction for nearly two decades. Some developments, such as new and improved technologies, have changed the industry during that time, allowing projects to be built better and faster.

But some things haven’t changed—namely, the need for teamwork. This year’s winners were driven by teams with a passion for working together. Almost every team, from the massive T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to the relatively small Horse Mesa Dam outside of Phoenix, cited teamwork as the most important factor for success on their projects. Whether that translated into finding ways to make more than 1,000 work as one, or a mere handful of experts finding solutions to potentially dangerous work, that kind of work impressed this year’s judges.

Eight judges reviewed more than 75 projects completed between June 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016. The panel included: Andrew Baird, project manager, Kimley-Horn; Arnold Canales, principal with ARC Consulting; Pat Edwards, principal and regional manager, Burns & McDonnell; Kai Kaoni, assistant professor of practice at Northern Arizona University; Corey Newcome, division manager, Las Vegas Paving; John Take, senior vice president, Stantec; Craig Randock, design leader, DLR Group; and Bill Sabatini, lead design principal, D/P/S.

The jury 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 a project 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 Kenneth Zarembski, principal/managing director, Walter P Moore.

More than 30 projects were considered.