Think Best Projects entries need to be mega-projects in order to succeed? Not so!

As you may have heard, we’ve extended the deadline one final time to August 15th for the Southwest and even later for some regions (see bottom of this blog for specifics). We know that it takes time to prepare quality entries and that your marketing staffs may be stretched thin. But if you are on the fence about submitting one of your modest-sized projects, consider this: Last year in the three state competitions within the Southwest, 19 of the 65 awards went to projects costing under $10 million, and nearly half of all winners were under $20 million. Two of the projects even came in at under $1 million: the $477,000 Canyon Rim Trail Bridge in Los Alamos, N.M. and the $600,000 Maricopa County Security Building Re-Roof in Phoenix.

The Best Projects 2011 judges–industry experts from the contracting, architectural, engineering and subcontracting fields–examine universal factors in determining which projects deserve recognition. Teamwork, workmanship, quality of design, 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 how big or small it is.

And smaller projects don’t just succeed regionally – they also move on to win top honors in ENR’s national Best of the Best Projects competition. At just $3.1 million, the diminutive Saint Bartholomew’s Chapel on the Rincon Indian Reservation in California wowed judges in the Worship category with excellent safety and teamwork, innovative design and lofty sustainability goals. Or look at the LEED-Platinum Architectural Nexus Design Center, winner of best Interior Design by packing in a 22,000-sq-ft remodel and 4,000-sq-ft addition built under a very aggressive timeline for just $3 million.

Even the Schuff Perini Climber, a small museum exhibit, rose to the top and received some of the highest scores from our panel of national industry experts last year. This $1.5-million project embodied the spirit of teamwork by bringing together dozens of construction firms to donate their time and unique materials in order to provide a magical and artistic creation for children and adults to climb and interact with at the Phoenix Children’s Museum.
So take advantage of the extension and submit your best projects, big or small. You never know what might happen.

To get started on your Best Projects 2011 entry, click here. The final deadline extension (really) is August 15th for projects located in the regions covered by ENR Southwest, Mountain States, New York and Southeast, and September 1st for ENR Midwest, California and Texas & Louisiana. Projects in all 50 states are eligible – visit the entry website to see which region your state falls in.

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