A Great Year for Midwestern Innovation
A supertall building on a super-narrow foundation wins project of the year
ENR Midwest’s annual Best Projects competition once again showcases the region’s construction and design innovation. There were more than 100 entries, so it was no small task to whittle that list down to 35 award winners that included construction hurdles of every sort, from weather-impacted schedules to extremely challenging site conditions, and even one community that took rebuilding into its own hands.
The lineup of winning projects is an impressive one. A high-rise office tower with a 47-ft-wide foundation built near five active rail lines on one side and the Chicago River on the other took home this year’s Project of the Year honors. But many others impressed this year’s judges. The meticulous restoration of a state capitol building on the National Register of Historic Places, for instance, along with multiple rail projects that brought service to underserved downtowns in large cities, a manufacturing facility that’s bringing jobs to the Rust Belt, one of the largest LEED Platinum corporate offices in the U.S., a stunning university art building that seamlessly blends classic and modern art, a lakefront community that stepped up to fund repairs to an overtopped dam as well as retrofits to aging coal-fired plants that brought them into environmental compliance.
An independent group of judges evaluated, scored and determined final winners over a period of weeks. After an initial scoring, the judges—separated into two panels—met via teleconference to discuss the projects and come to a consensus on awards. Judges could select any combination of Best Project-level category winners and award of merit honorees. It wasn’t an easy task to narrow down the entries. This year’s judges deserve praise for bringing professionalism to the task.
A special thanks goes out to our judges: Randy Bredar, senior vice president at JE Dunn Construction; Renato Gilberti, senior architectural designer at BKV Group; Greg Douglas, vice president of construction innovation at Miron Construction Co.; Sam Mishelow, chief strategy officer at Meyer Najem Construction; Shawn Anderton, vice president at Graycor Industrial Constructors; and Peter Nielsen, senior project manager at IHC Construction. Jeff Emrick, director of safety and compliance at Ozinga Bros., led our judging for safety awards.
All winners will be honored at ENR Midwest’s November 29th annual Best Projects Awards event at the Westin River North in Chicago. ENR Midwest will recognize the Owner, Design Firm, Contractor and Specialty Contractor of the Year as well as the Legacy Award winner. All are welcome to join in celebrating a great year in Midwest design and construction.
- Best Project Office/Retail/Mixed-Use and ENR Midwest Project of The Year – 150 N. Riverside
- Award of Merit – Highways and Bridges: Adams Street Viaduct and Bridge Repair
- Award of Merit – Culture/Worship: Chicago Botanic Garden Regenstein Learning Campus
- Best Project – Landscape/Hardscape/Urban Design: Chicago Riverwalk
- Best Project – Cultural/Worship: Church of the Resurrection Sanctuary
- Award of Merit - Airport/Transit: Cincinnati Streetcar/Bell Connector
- Award of Merit – Office/Retail/Mixed-Use: Cerner Innovations Campus
- Award of Merit – Airport/Transit: Detroit M1 Rail Streetcar
- Award of Merit – Office/Retail/Mixed-Use: Downtown East Minneapolis
- Best Project Energy/Industrial – DSI and ACI Installation for MATS Compliance
- Award of Merit – Highways and Bridges – Hennepin County Franklin Avenue Bridge Restoration
- Award of Merit – Residential/Hospitality: Hilton Cleveland Downtown
- Award of Merit – Sports/Entertainment – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
- Award of Merit – Green Projects – Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center
- Award of Merit Renovation/Restoration – Eleven 25 at Pabst
- Best Project – Renovation/Restoration – The Lofts at River East
- Best Project – Water/Environment – Lake Delhi Dam Reconstruction
- Award of Merit – Healthcare – Lake Forest Replacement Hospital
- Best Project – K12 Education – Legacy Charter School
- Best Project – Highways and Bridges – Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project, East End Crossing
- Best Project – Airport/Transit – Milwaukee Intermodal Train Shed and Platforms
- Best Government/Public Building – Minnesota State Capitol Repairs, Restoration and Preservation
- Award of Merit – Education/Research – Ohio State North Residential District Transformation
- Best Project – Manufacturing – Riddell North Ridgeville
- Award of Merit – Healthcare – Shirley Ryan Ability Lab
- Best Project – Sports/Entertainment – Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall
- Award of Merit – Small Projects (under $10 million) Southwest Wet-Weather Control Facility
- Award of Merit – Excellence in Safety – U.S. 69 Missouri River Bridge
- Best Project Health Care AND Best Project Safety Award – The University of Chicago Medicine Center for Care and Discovery
- Best Project – Residential/Hospitality – University of Chicago Campus North Residential Commons
- Best Project – Higher Education/Research — University of Iowa Visual Arts Building
- Best Project – Specialty Construction – Water Jet Peening Crane
- Best Project – Small Projects (under $10 million) – West River Parkway Landslide Slope
- Best Project – Green Projects – Zurich North America Headquarters