A residential tower featuring a first-of-its-kind car elevator that travels the building’s 60 stories at 800 ft per minute. A project that lifted an entire South Florida neighborhood to higher ground. Two projects—one in Alabama, another in Florida—built to support the mission of human space flight. An ultra-challenging museum project featuring a 500,000-gallon saltwater aquarium that’s viewable from underneath. These and dozens of other impressive projects comprise this year’s Southeast Best Projects award winners.

Rising above even those stellar accomplishments, according to our judges, is this year’s Southeast Project of the Year: SunTrust Park. The $500-million home of Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves, the ballpark marks not simply the latest major sports facility to be erected. Instead of standing as a potential spur to future development, SunTrust stands as the centerpiece of an economic revitalization that includes the Atlanta Braves’ concurrent development of an adjacent mixed-use complex. Even so, our judges decided that SunTrust Park stood alone for the challenges faced and the results achieved.

As we do each year, ENR Southeast assembles an independent group of judges to review, score and determine final winners. First, judges rated entries on these criteria: overcoming challenges and teamwork; safety; innovation and contribution to the industry/community; construction quality; and function and aesthetic quality of the design. They then met to discuss the projects and to come to a consensus on awards.

On behalf of this year’s award-winning projects, ENR Southeast extends its gratitude for a job well done to this year’s judges. Our main judging panel included: Sean Buck of JE Dunn Construction, Nashville; Brent Darnell, Brent Darnell International, Atlanta; Keith Douglas, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., Atlanta; Ken Gerrard, T.A. Loving Co.; Ray Riddle, Holder Construction Co.; and Kim Shinn, TLC Engineering for Architecture. Additionally, a panel of safety professionals assisted with the judging for our Excellence in Safety awards. These judges included: Jeffrey Ruebesam, vice president-health, safety and environment for Fluor, Greenville, S.C.; and Ken Umstead Jr., safety director with IMC Construction

ENR Southeast invites its readers to check out all of the Best Projects award winners in the following pages.