A broad array of innovative projects were on display in this year’s ENR California’s Best Projects competition. Projects ranged from state-of-the-art medical research facilities to dynamic renovation efforts to wildfire recovery operations. The winners grappled with pandemic-related safety measures and supply chain issues to find innovative solutions and produce exemplary examples of construction expertise.
See the Projects
This year’s ENR California’s Best Projects are divided into two regions, Northern California and Southern California (which includes Hawaii). A total of almost 100 projects were submitted for judging in this year’s competition. From those, the independent panel of judges selected 55 for recognition—28 Best Projects and 27 awards of merit across 18 categories.
Judges from all corners of the AEC community spent a month reviewing entries for achievement in five areas: project challenges and solutions, safety programs, innovative design and construction solutions, contribution to the construction industry and the community as well as design quality and craftsmanship. Projects were ineligible for an award if they had a construction-related death.
The Port of Long Beach Fire Dept.’s Fireboat Station No. 15 features an 11,200-sq-ft covered fireboat bay enclosure. It won a Best Project in the specialty construction category.
Photo by Matt Fukushima
Entries from each California region—Northern and Southern—were evaluated by separate panels of judges. Over a course of a month, they independently reviewed the entries, scored each project on specific criteria and then convened virtually with fellow judges to finalize their choices for Best Projects, awards of merit and Projects of the Year. Judges were asked to recuse themselves in cases of conflict of interest.
Special thanks go out to this year’s team of Northern and Southern California judges:
- Priscilla Chavez, manager, business development, PCL
- Doug Conrath, principal, CRB
- Jonathan Holloway, West Coast regional director, JTM Construction Group
- Eric Huff, vice president/environmental manager, VRX
- Donald Kahn, project executive, Largo Concrete
- Beatriz Kim, engineering team lead, Rosendin
- Angie Kung, associate, environmental, HDR
- Caleigh Raymer, director of operations, Lendlease
- David Mori, engineering manager, city of Anaheim Public Works
- Victor Nuñez, business development manager, Turner Construction.
Best Project-level winners for each California region will now advance to the national contest, where they will compete with the winners from nine other regions for ENR’s Best of the Best awards. Judging for the national contest will begin later this year, and the results will be announced in early 2023.
This year’s contest also features two special awards for each California region: Excellence in Safety, which has been a part of the competition for a decade, and Excellence in Sustainability, which is in its second year. The judges recognized four safety winners and three sustainability winners between the two regions.
Two more independent panels selected the winners of the two special awards for sustainability and safety for both of the California regions.
Safety judges were Ted Boyce, director of safety, quality and organizational development at Hathaway Dinwiddie, and Alan Hayes, safety director, California at JTM Construction Group. Angie Kung and Eric Huff, who were judges in the main competition, also served as sustainability judges.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) Harvey Milk Terminal 1 BAB, a Best Project winner in the airport/transit category, features an almost 620,000-sq-ft concourse that was designated the world’s first LEED Platinum v4 terminal.
Photo courtesy Austin Commercial
In addition to selecting category winners, judges for the main competition also chose three projects from each California region for consideration as Project of the Year, the regional contest’s highest honor.
For Northern California, the finalists were Frame House (Best Project in the small project category) and Southern Heights Boulevard Bridge Replacement (Best Project for highway/bridge). Northern California Project of the Year honors went to the Natural Resources Headquarters (Best Project for government/public building).
For Southern California, the finalists were the Audrey Irmas Pavilion at Wilshire Boulevard Temple (Best Project for cultural/worship) and One Westside (Best Project for office/retail/mixed-use). The Southern California Project of the Year honors went to the Herald Examiner Building Restoration & ASU Build-Out (Best Project for renovation/restoration).
The winning project teams for Northern California will be celebrated in San Francisco on Oct. 18 at the Julia Morgan Ballroom in the Merchants Exchange Building. The winning project teams for Southern California will be honored on Oct. 21 in Los Angeles at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza.
- Project of the Year (NorCal) Best Government/Public Building: New Natural Resources Headquarters
- Project of the Year (SoCal) Best Renovation/Restoration: Herald Examiner Building Restoration & ASU Build-Out
- Best Airport/Transit: SFO Terminal 1 BAB
- Award of Merit – Airport/Transit: San Jose Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Facility
- Best Health Care: Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital Expansion
- Award of Merit - Health Care: Gilead Sciences WellBeing Center
- Award of Merit - Health Care: Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Office Building
- Award of Merit – Government/Public Building: Clifford L. Allenby Building
- Best Higher Education/Research: The WELL Expansion and Renovation at Sacramento State
- Award of Merit - Higher Education/Research: The Green at West Village
- Project of the Year Finalist: Southern Heights Blvd Bridge Replacement
- Best Interior/Tenant Improvement Project: BART Headquarters
- Award of Merit – Interior/Tenant Improvement: SmartLabs, North Tower Lab & Office TI at 2 Tower Place
- Best K-12 Education: San Francisco Day School
- Award of Merit – K-12 Education: Fremont High School Transformation
- Best Landscape/Urban Development: Francisco Park
- Best Manufacturing: Biotech Manufacturing
- Award of Merit – Manufacturing: RiCloud Data Center
- Best Office/Retail/Mixed-Use: 415 Natoma
- Award of Merit – Office/Retail/Mixed-Use Award of Merit — Excellence in Sustainability: 1 De Haro
- Best Renovation/Restoration: SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity
- Award of Merit – Renovation/Restoration: Pier 70 Building 12
- Best Residential/Hospitality: One Steuart Lane
- Award of Merit – Residential/Hospitality: Trinity Place – 1177 Market Street
- Excellence in Safety Award – Northern California: Bel Marin Levee Construction
- Project of the Year Finalist, Best Small Project (under $10 million): Frame House
- Best Water/Environment: Manteca TCP Project
- Award of Merit – Water/Environment: 2020 Northern Branch Fire Debris and Hazardous Tree Removal
- Best Airport/ Transit, Best Project, Excellence in Safety: Regional Connector Transit Project
- Award of Merit – Airport/Transit: Mid-Coast Extension of the UC San Diego Blue Line Trolley
- Project of the Year Finalist, Best Cultural/Worship: Audrey Irmas Pavilion at Wilshire Boulevard Temple
- Award of Merit – Cultural/Worship: MCASD La Jolla Expansion
- Best Energy/Industrial Project: Lockheed Martin’s Palmdale 24MW Solar PV Farm Expansion
- Best Government/Public Building, Best Project, Excellence in Sustainability, Award of Merit, Excellence in Safety: Dept. of General Services California Air Resources Board – Mary D. Nichols Campus
- Award of Merit – Government/Public Building: Riverside Main Library
- Best Health Care: Loma Linda University Medical Center Campus Transformation
- Award of Merit - Health Care: Scripps Mercy MD Anderson Prebys Cancer Center
- Best Higher Education/Research: CSU Long Beach Anna W. Ngai Alumni Center
- Award of Merit - Higher Education/Research: UC Riverside, Student Success Center
- Best Interior/Tenant Improvement: Confidential Client
- Award of Merit – Interior/Tenant Improvement: The Tennis Channel
- Best K-12 Education: Santa Monica High School (Samohi) Discovery Building
- Award of Merit – Landscape/Urban Development: Confluence Park
- Award of Merit – Landscape/Urban Development: Taylor Yard Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge
- Best Manufacturing: Theragent CDMO Facility
- Project of the Year Finalist, Best Office/Retail/Mixed-Use: One Westside
- Award of Merit – Office/Retail/Mixed-Use: Lilia Waikiki
- Award of Merit – Renovation/Restoration: Tower Theater
- Best Residential/Hospitality: Landmark Los Angeles
- Award of Merit – Residential/Hospitality: Catherine Santa Monica - Phase II
- Award of Merit – Residential/Hospitality: Angeles House
- Best Small Project (under $10 million): Wilcox Medical Center Emergency Generator Replacement
- Best Specialty Construction: Port of Long Beach Fireboat Station No. 15 at Pier F
- Best Sports/Entertainment: Rady Shell at Jacobs Park
- Best Water/Environment: Moosa Creek Riparian Restoration Project
- Award of Merit – Water/Environment: Los Angeles Reservoir Ultraviolet Disinfection Plant (LARUV)