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For several weeks this summer, nearly a dozen judges read scores of project nominations from across Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Oklahoma to decide the winners of ENR Texas & Louisiana’s annual Best Projects competition. The task wasn’t quick or easy as 2023 proved a banner year for submissions with more than 100 entries submitted for projects located in the region.

Nominations were divided into 17 main categories, and awards were also given for Excellence in Sustainability and Excellence in Safety. The judges had the option of selecting a Best Project winner or an award of merit winner in each category.

In the end, and after considerable debate, this year's team of judges decided that the Carrollton New Orleans project was deserving of ENR Texas & Louisiana’s 2023 Project of the Year award. The building has a rich history of serving as a parish courthouse, then various schools, before sitting vacant for years. After an extensive renovation, it is now a senior living facility.

During Zoom meetings, judges discussed various aspects of construction and engineering, focusing on many elements of each project, including overcoming challenges, teamwork, safety, innovation and contribution to the community and construction quality and craftsmanship.

This year’s contest featured a diverse judging panel, with each bringing their knowledge and experience to the discussion and final decision. Main category judges included:

  • Michelle Alvarez, water/wastewater engineer, Hanson Professional Services
  • Dana Birkes, CEO, AECorn Consulting LLC
  • Grecia Diaz, roadway designer, Hanson Professional Services
  • Hachem Domloj, founder and CEO, CIVE
  • Eric Groat, division manager, Robins & Morton
  • Britini Martin, marketing manager, Sundt Construction
  • Natalie Pagano, director of marketing and communications, Manhattan Construction Group
  • Steven Taylor, director, infrastructure business development, Fluor Corp.
  • Jason Weeks, regional vice president and division manager, Brasfield & Gorrie

Also, Mikel Wilkins, senior associate and director of sustainability for landscaping design firm TBG Partners served as our sustainability judge, reprising a role he has served for several years. Read on to learn more about this year’s winning projects.

The Projects