The 2020 Best Projects competition in the Mountain States featured more than 135 entries, second highest in the competition’s history, despite the challenges of a pandemic year. Projects were judged on design and construction quality, contribution to the community and the industry and how they overcame unusual challenges through teamwork and innovation.

To be eligible, projects had to be located in any of the seven states comprising the Mountain States region: Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota and South Dakota. Projects with a construction-related fatality on the jobsite were ineligible for consideration.

This year’s Best Projects judges were Michele Decker, 4240 Architecture; Brandon Fenton, Stanley Consultants; Joshua Greene, Method Studio; Tony Illia, Nevada Dept. of Transportation; Benny Lujan, CTL|Thompson; Lauren Martinez, Flintco LLC; Ashlee Oceguera, FCI Constructors Inc.; Kevin Tone, JVA Inc.; Wendy Van Duyne, Stantec; Rebekah Wagoner, Gensler; and Sarah Zarzecki, Stanley Consultants.

To evaluate the more than 75 safety award entries, the 2020 safety judges were all veterans from previous years’ panels: Tim Batz, IMA Inc.; Rick Zellen, Zurich North America; and Matt Ogle, JE Dunn Construction.

In addition to the category winners, judges chose by consensus one project from the Colorado, Wyoming and Dakotas side and one from the Intermountain area (Utah, Idaho and Montana) to stand as Projects of the Year—entries that clearly outdistanced the other winners. This year, those honors went to the Water Efficiency Research Center in Layton, Utah, and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs.

Project of the Year finalists, which were also honored, included Tammen Hall Apartments in Denver and Williston Basin International Airport in Williston, N.D., on the Colorado, Wyoming and Dakotas side.

Finalists for the Intermountain area were Adobe Corporate Campus, Phase 2, Lehi, Utah, and Dixie State University Human Performance Center in St. George, Utah.