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See the Projects

From a multibillion-dollar megaproject to historic church renovations, the dozens of projects honored in this year’s ENR Southeast Best Projects competition showcase the best the industry has to offer.

Judges reviewed roughly 85 projects constructed between May 1, 2022, and May 31, 2023, ultimately awarding 32 projects including Best Projects, awards of merit as well as projects recognized in ENR Southeast’s Excellence in Sustainability and Excellence in Safety contests.

The projects highlighted in the following pages navigated the rolling wake of the COVID-19 pandemic as supply chain ripples swelled into long lead times and workplace restrictions were replaced by worker shortages.

Winning projects went above and beyond in not only overcoming challenges, but in quality of work and craftsmanship and in innovative use of design and materials.

Some of the honorees include:

The AdventHealth Training Center in Orlando, where Balfour Beatty brought together cutting-edge professional basketball training facilities and community health care under one roof, shuffling scheduled work to accommodate long lead times on imaging equipment.

In Columbia, S.C., crews with Clayco constructed the largest brewery to be built in the U.S. in a quarter century, installing more than 14 miles of process piping, three miles of underground plumbing and 17 miles of utilities piping for the 1.3-million-sq-ft Mark Anthony Brewing facility.

On the Georgia coast, an Alberici-Mortenson joint venture completed the first major overhaul of one of the U.S. Navy’s largest dry docks in an unmovable 15-month window for the Kings Bay Dry Dock Recapitalization Project.

Marcel T. Duplantier, U.S. Navy Commander (ret.), called it the most complex and challenging construction project of his 21-year career, while Will Chipley, Alberici vice president and project executive, says that through the team’s strong partnering mindset and creative solutions, “we were able to make the impossible possible.”


Podium Finishers

Project of the Year finalists include the $2.8-billion, 1.8-million-sq-ft Terminal C expansion at Orlando International Airport, the 17-story Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and Emory University’s Health Sciences Research Building II, a top-tier biomedical research hub going for LEED Gold.

At the Winship Cancer Institute, crews thought outside the box, laying out each floor in cardboard in a warehouse to tweak the design for the medical staff who would use it every day. The team also used liquid nitrogen to control heat after 920 yd of concrete were continuously placed over 11 hours.

“We were able to make the impossible possible.”
—Will Chipley, Vice President/Project Executive, Alberici

Emory’s Health Sciences Research Building II required crews to tiptoe around a busy site bordered by railroad tracks and a children’s hospital. Work started in December 2019 and weathered the entire course of the pandemic through construction.

Incorporating aggressive sustainability goals while juggling the interests of multiple stakeholders was a challenge. The eight-story facility includes an array of the latest research equipment, and judges were impressed with the successful and timely procurement and installation of such a wide range of material.

At Orlando International, the massive Terminal C project’s complexity and scope left a mark on judges, who noted the project’s safety record and sustainability efforts as well as the difficulty of working within an active airport and overcoming COVID-19 impacts, which touched down at the airport in May 2020 when the project was nearing 60% completion.


Safe and Environmentally Sound

Winners of the Excellence in Safety and Excellence in Sustainability contests shone in their innovative approaches and execution of safety and sustainability strategies.

The 450,000-sq-ft Winship Cancer Institute took home this year’s Excellence in Safety Award, recording more than 2 million work hours with an OSHA recordable incident rate of 1.27 and a lost-time accident rate of 0.29.

Work was safely completed in the midst of a bustling hospital in Atlanta thanks to Batson-Cook’s safety plan that had to account for not only the construction site, but the public and traffic exposure as well.

Taking home the award of merit in the safety category is the RB Simms WTF Raw Water Improvements project in Chesnee, S.C., where workers installed 1,500 linear ft of 64-in. raw water main. In addition, the project involved permit-required confined-space work and engineering shoring requirements for a 40-ft excavation.

It may not have been the largest project in the running, but safety judge Steve Sawyer, safety operations manager for Brasfield & Gorrie, says it carried a unique set of complexities and a ton of risk.

“It was one of those that could have slipped under the radar, but they were doing a lot of things on that project to mitigate the risk, manage the safety,” he says. “It stood out to me as being a pretty complex, pretty tough job.”

Last year, there were no ENR Southeast Excellence in Sustainability honorees. For 2023, two projects stood out for sustainable practices both in construction and in operation of complex projects.

The Emory University Health Sciences Research Building II earned the Excellence in Sustainability Award, impressing judges with goals of LEED Gold certification—a tall task for a research facility. The building reduces water usage by 2.4 million gallons per year and uses half as much energy as the standard research facility, enough electricity to power 100 homes.

Judges also noted that 79% of construction waste was diverted from the landfill, 29% of the site was restored with native and adaptive vegetation and the team achieved a 13% reduction in embodied carbon, the same as taking 276 cars off the road.

The award of merit goes to the Orlando International Airport’s Terminal C project, designed to be one of the first LEED v4 airports. The facility’s design provides a 25.6% energy cost savings and includes a 360-panel solar array to produce 123 kilowatts and cut 196 tons of carbon dioxide annually, while faucets and fixtures inside the airport cut 35% of water usage.


Meet the Judges

ENR Southeast’s primary judging panels included: Keith Douglas, executive vice president, Whiting-Turner Contracting Co.; Dan Nawrocki, senior vice president, PC Construction; Ray Riddle, vice president, Holder Construction; Ron Whalen, vice president, Roger B. Kennedy Construction; Ron Osterloh, vice president and Georgia operations manager, Moffatt & Nichol; Mike Dare, senior project manager, Robins & Morton; Robbie Ferris, president/CEO, SFLA Architects; Brandon Yezbick, vice president of lean construction, Barton Malow; and Ryan Hamrick, project manager, Superior Construction.

Ferris and Yezbick served as judges for the Excellence in Sustainability contest, while Steve Sawyer, safety operations manager for Brasfield & Gorrie, judged this year’s Excellence in Safety contest.

Judges did not vote on projects in which their firms were involved or if they had any other conflict of interest.

All the winning projects as well as ENR Southeast’s 2023 firms of the year and Legacy Award honoree will be recognized in Orlando Nov. 10 at the Renaissance Orlando at Seaworld. Read on to learn more about this year’s Best Projects winners.

The Projects