Photo By Steve Hill
Current and former Cornell University students accept the award for Schoolhouse South Africa from Editor Scott Blair (right) at ENR's inaugural Global Best Projects awards.

As the end the year approaches, it's a good time to reflect on the achievements made throughout the construction industry in 2013. In this spirit, ENR is launching its second annual Global Best Projects awards program this month. The contest expands upon ENR's successful U.S. competition by inviting world-wide participation.

Entries are being accepted now through Jan. 31, 2014, for the competition that honors the best global construction projects and the companies that designed and built them. The awards focus on the challenges, risks and rewards of designing and constructing in foreign lands. For an entry to be eligible, at least one project-team member firm must be working outside of their home country.

What types of projects are potential winners? The answer is as diverse as the types of work being performed around the world. Bob Prietto, senior vice president of Fluor, New York City, and a judge in last year's competition, was impressed by the quality of projects and the range of industries represented by the submissions. "It wasn't always the biggest projects that made the biggest impact," Prietto notes.

In fact, the diminutive 6,000-sq-ft Schoolhouse South Africa was one of two projects earning top honors last year (London's Shard was the other). The all-volunteer schoolhouse project team showcased the use of innovative building systems in low-income communities.

"The schoolhouse project talks to what's possible even at a small scale in terms of really making a difference," Prietto says. All the winning projects last year "speak volumes not only to the strength of the industry but the character of the industry in being able to turn out quality projects of both scale and importance anywhere in the world."

Entries to this year's competition will compete in 20 specialized categories, including airports, education, cultural and water-wastewater.

The winners will be honored in the pages of ENR and at an awards ceremony to be held on May 13, coinciding with the ENR 2014 Global Construction Summit on May 13-14, 2014, in New York City.

Entries may be submitted by any of the project firms. Visit for more information. Remember, you can't win if you don't enter!