The 2019 ENR Southwest Best Projects competition recognizes more than 30 projects as the region’s best. The winners include Project of the Year Finalists, such as the new student union at Central Arizona College in Coolidge, Ariz., and Excellence in Safety winner Palace Station Casino, Las Vegas. Other Project of the Year Finalists include Kitt Recital Hall at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and Little America Hotel, also in Flagstaff.
Winners in many categories—including Project of the Year finalists and the Excellence in Safety winner—were built while the facilities were operational, with students and customers only a few feet from construction activity.
Other projects were lauded for using materials not commonly seen on construction sites. The Biomimicry Center at Arizona State University has lichens embedded into concrete walls. Canyon View High School in Waddell, Ariz., turned to bio-phase change materials to improve energy efficiency. In New Mexico, the 14,000-sq-ft Albuquerque BioPark Penguin Chill exhibit was built in the middle of an open zoo and features a 75,000-gallon water tank.
Each of the winners impressed this year’s judges in their own ways. The seven judges reviewed more than 70 projects completed between mid-2018 and mid-2019. The judging panel included: Pat Edwards, Burns & McDonnell; Kai Kaoni, Northern Arizona University; Craig Randock, Corgan; Bill Sabatini, D/P/S; Brent Wright, Wright Engineers; Dave Alben, Jokake; and Rebecca LaMotte, hardison/downey.
Judges rated entries based on the following 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. Judges were asked not to review projects in which they had a conflict of interest.
Judges for the safety awards were Jon Wickizer, chief technology officer, Acknowlogy, and Dara Lesmeister, safety manager, Caesars Entertainment.
More than 40 safety entries were evaluated based on OSHA incident rates, lost-time accidents, total work hours and the overall quality of the safety programs.
- Project of the Year/Best Higher Education: Central Arizona College Everingham Student Union
- Best Airport/Transit: Scottsdale Airport
- Best Cultural/Worship, Award of Merit Excellence in Safety: NAU Kitt Recital Hall
- Award of Merit: Cultural/Worship, Award of Merit: Excellence in Safety: JO Combs Performing Arts Center
- Best Energy/Industrial: Arizona State University Combined Heat & Power Facility Upgrade
- Award of Merit: Energy/Industrial, Award of Merit: Excellence in Safety: Merit Four Corners Clean Air Program
- Best Government/Public Building: Holloman Air Force Base Medical Clinic Replacement
- Award of Merit: Government/Public Building: CYFD Children’s Wellness Center
- Award of Merit: Green Project: Liberty Building 4
- Best Health Care: MIHS Maryvale Alternative Project
- Award of Merit: HealthCare: Banner University Medical Center Tucson BUMCT – North Campus Outpatient Center
- Award of Merit: Higher Education/Research: University Arts Building
- Best Highway/Bridge: SouthEast Connector Phase II
- Award of Merit: Highway/Bridge: 4th Street/Prater Way Bus Rapid Transit Project
- Best Interior/Tenant Improvement: Little America Hotel Multi/Phase Remodel
- Award of Merit: Interior/Tenant Improvement: The Biomimicry Center
- Best K-12 Education: Canyon View High School
- Award of Merit: K-12 Education: Jal Public Schools
- Best Landscape/Urban Development: ABQ Civic Plaza Renovation
- Best Manufacturing: Central Admixture Pharmacy Services CAPS
- Award of Merit: Manufacturing: Amazon Fulfillment Center
- Best Office/Retail/Mixed-Use: Union Tempe
- Award of Merit: Office/Retail/Mixed-Use: The Grand 2
- Best Renovation/Restoration: Palms Casino
- Award of Merit: Renovation/Restoration: Buckey O'Neill Cabin Preservation
- Best Residential/Hospitality: Phoenician Resort Renovation
- Award of Merit: Residential/Hospitality: Harrah's Ak/Chin Hotel and Casino Expansion
- Best Small Project: SUPIMA Headquarters
- Award of Merit: Small Project: Hell's Kitchen at Caesars Palace
- Best Sports/Entertainment: Albuquerque BioPark Penguin Chill Exhibit
- Award of Merit: Sports/Entertainment: Mansel Carter Oasis Park
- Best Water/Environment: Signal Butte Water Treatment Plant
- Excellence in Safety Award: Palace Station Phase 1B