The “biggest” project doesn’t always carry the day in ENR Southeast’s annual Best Projects contest. True, a project’s sizable scope can easily impress, but mostly it’s a design and construction team’s outstanding management, execution and attention to detail that capture the attention of judges as they hand out the major awards.

A case in point is this year’s Project of the Year, the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention in Gainesville, Fla. After earning a Best Projects award in the small project category, the complex facility went on to beat out other, larger projects for this year’s top prize. The achievement marks the first time that a small project has gone on to claim the Project of the Year prize.

And while relatively “small” in size, the project’s challenges were daunting. From the project’s location on a brownfield site to the museum’s unusual shape and layout, this year’s judges were impressed with the details of how the Oelrich Construction-led team managed to meet the demands that the Cade Museum presented.

Beyond the Project of the Year, impressive construction and design achievements abound. One of the most impressive achievements was delivered by the Kiewit-led team that built the Allen Combined-Cycle Plant—a project that’s on the other end of the size scale from Cade. In addition to winning in the energy/industrial category, the project also took home the Excellence in Safety award. The massive project logged more than 2.7 million work-hours without a single lost-time incident—an achievement that is definitely worthy of industry recognition.

ENR Southeast would like to offer its sincere thanks to this year’s judges, who included: Jamie Breme with Fluor Corp.; Keith Douglas of Whiting-Turner; Baker Glasgow, Clancy Theys Construction; Pam Little, Pond & Co.; Ray Riddle, Holder Construction; and Daniel Whiteman, Coastal Construction. Additionally, a separate panel of safety experts reviewed projects nominated for our safety award. These judges included Jeffrey Ruebesam of Fluor and Deborah Hampton of Odebrecht.

The following pages offer details from all Best Projects and award of merit winners.