If you agree that good things do indeed come in small packages, why not transfer that thought to your small projects.

ENR California’s Best Projects 2011 contest is open to projects of all sizes, from mega-hospitals to renovated retail shops, airport terminals to chapels. Plus, the submission deadline has recently been extended, once again, to Sept. 1, so we’re encouraging our readers to take advantage of the extra time and submit your best projects, big or small.

Speaking of small, last year in the California Construction magazine’s Best of 2010 contest, there were 55 total winners in the state and a quarter of those winners (14) were projects under $10 million. These projects included the Crissy Field Environmental Education Center in San Francisco, winner of the Green Building category with a construction cost of $1.05 million; the James Perse Retail Store in Malibu, winner of the Retail category with a cost of $1.3 million; The Aerospace Corp. Pedestrian Bridge in El Segundo, winner of an award of merit in the Transportation category, at $6.5 million; and the Ladera Oaks Swim & Tennis Club in Menlo Park, winner of the Sports/Recreation category, also at $6.5 million.

There were also several projects submitted that came in under $1 million, including the AC Transit Central Maintenance Facility Spray Booths (which won an award of merit in the industrial category) and the San Lorenzo Path project.

As my colleague Scott Blair, editor of ENR Southwest, reports, the judges of Best Projects 2011 examine universal factors in determining which projects deserve recognition. Teamwork, workmanship, quality of design and positive impact to the community are just a few examples. None of these characteristics are reliant upon project size or scope, but it’s important that each submitter addresses these criteria in the entry form. Judges will always admire safety and on-time/on-budget (or better) delivery, regardless of the project’s budget.

And these small projects don’t just succeed regionally – they also move on to win top honors in ENR’s national Best of the Best Projects competition, too. For example, at just $3.1 million, the diminutive Saint Bartholomew’s Chapel on the Rincon Indian Reservation in Valley Center, Calif., wowed national judges in the Worship category last year with excellent safety and teamwork, innovative design and lofty sustainability goals.

So, if you haven’t already submitted, take this opportunity and do it today. Since the ENR regional publications are opening this year’s contest to projects from all 50 states, check the entry website to see which region your state falls in.