While the COVID-19 pandemic slowed life and business across the world in 2020, it didn’t hinder the construction industry’s creativity, innovation and teamwork, as evidenced by the nearly 100 entries for ENR’s annual Regional Best Projects competition in California.

This year’s entries showcase a wide range of project types. From Project of the Year winners—the CalPlant Rice Straw-Based MDF Manufacturing Plant and the AES Alamitos Battery Energy Storage System—to the many winners in individual categories, the competition features several first-of-a-kind projects. 

Thanks to the large number of entries, the region—which consists of California and Hawaii—was divided into two smaller areas: Northern California and Southern California. Projects in Hawaii could fall into either area.

ENR California assembled a group of judges with varying specialties and expertise in the construction industry to review, score and determine the winners. The judges independently reviewed the entries, scored each project on specific criteria and then convened virtually with fellow judges to finalize their choices for Best Projects and awards of merit. Judges were asked to recuse themselves in cases of conflict of interest.

ENR thanks this year’s panel for their expertise and hard work. The judges, in alphabetical order by first name, were: 

  • Aaron Yohnke, vice president and district manager – Los Angeles, PCL Construction Services Inc.
  • Angie Kung, associate | environmental section manager, HDR Inc.
  • Beatriz Kim, engineering team lead, Rosendin
  • Caleigh Raymer, vice president, director of operations, Lendlease
  • Donald Kahn, project executive, Largo Concrete Inc.
  • Doug Conrath, principal, CRB
  • Greg Nelson, principal, Altitude Design Office
  • Kim Scott, vice president, business development and marketing, Blach Construction
  • Victor Nuñez, business development manager, Turner Construction Co.

This year, ENR introduced a separate Excellence in Sustainability award in addition to the regional safety awards. Separate panels of judges considered projects based on best practices and innovation in reducing the industry’s impact on the environment and on a project’s safety plan and record.
This year’s independent safety experts were:

  • Ted Boyce, director of safety, quality and organizational development, Hathaway Dinwiddie
  • Alan Hayes, safety director for California, JTM Construction Group Inc. 
  • This year’s independent sustainability experts were:
  • Sara Neff, head of sustainability for Americas region, Lendlease
  • Jenelle Shapiro, sustainability director, Webcor

ENR California will present honorees with their awards in person at our Regional Best Projects Awards events, scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 13, in Los Angeles, and Friday, Oct. 15, in San Francisco. Please go the events section of enr.com for more details and registration.