What a thrill to receive the 2014 Carroll H. Dunn Award from the Construction Industry Institute! The award is CII’s highest honor, and it is inscribed: “For outstanding contributions to improving the cost effectiveness of the United States construction industry.”

I never met Carroll Dunn, but I was well aware of his work with the Construction Industry Cost Effectiveness project in the early 80s. ENR editorialized in supporting of Dunn’s idea that management needed to remove “demotivators” such as rework to improve labor productivity.

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CII’s Dunn Award Ceremony (from left): Conference Chair Rex Phillips, 2014 Chair Anna Franz, ENR’s Jan Tuchman, 2013 Dunn Winner J.J. Suarez and Executive Director Wayne Crew take the stage. 

With the founding of CII in 1983, the industry’s research capability expanded. The organization has had a profound impact on safety, planning, benchmarking and, true to Carroll Dunn’s passion, productivity and cost effectiveness. CII has a powerful formula: Bring together owners, contractors, engineers and academics to identify and research the challenges of the industry.

CII meetings always produce a story—committees work on industry problems and report about their findings.  And here is where Engineering News-Record comes in. We have helped tell the story of CII from its earliest days to the present. We help research teams get the word out to ENR’s diverse audience of construction professionals and thus  make a difference to the industry  as a whole—not just to CII members. That does matter, to members as well, because the fortunes of all firms rise on a rising tide of industry excellence.

Honored with me at CII’s annual conference in Indianapolis on July 22, was John E. Nobles, who won the Richard L. Tucker Leadership and Service Award. In accepting, Nobles, the president of Burns & McDonnell’s Process Industrial Group, pointed both to the opportunities and risks of the manufacturing renaissance in America. There are opportunities to “grow our organizations...and develop skills for larger projects,” he said. But the great risk he pointed to is "Wall Street demanding accelerated schedules, making proper planning difficult...It would be easy for us to fall back to the situations of cost overruns that formed CII in the first place,” he cautioned.

July was a big month for ENR awards. We also brought home awards for editorial excellence and design from the American Society of Business Publication Editors. ENR won three national awards: a silver for a feature series on climate adaptation, a silver for the 2013 Top 600 Specialty Contractors cover illustration and an honorable mention for best website. In addition, ENR won seven regional awards for profiles, technical articles, original research and cover design.