One of the most exciting things we do here at ENR Southeast is our annual Best Projects contest. Each year, a trove of outstanding construction projects—including both the well-known and the previously unheralded alike—is delivered to us for review. Certainly, not every entry earns an award. But inevitably, after our independent panel of judges completes its work each year, the group of winning projects collectively provides solid justification for some well-deserved industry pride.

We previously announced this year's Southeast Best Projects award winners, which you can view here. And we'll be providing more information about each of the projects in ENR Southeast's November issue. But in addition to the main category winners, each year we also present an additional award for the entry deemed by our judges to be the "Project of the Year." (That award was won last year by the Miami Marlins Ballpark project.)

This year's judges considered three major projects for the top prize. They are, in alphabetical order:
  • James B. Hunt Jr., Library, Raleigh - submitted by Clark Nexsen - won the top prize in the Higher Education/Research category.
  • Music City Center, Nashville - submitted by Bell/Clark, a Joint Venture - took the highest honor in the Sports/Entertainment category; and
  • Nemours Children's Hospital, Orlando - submitted by Skanska USA Building - was deemed the "best" in the Health Care category.
All three of these projects were massive in scope, and included their own set of lofty ambitions. For example, the James B. Hunt Library project, located at North Carolina State University, aimed to become nothing less than one of the world's most technologically advanced research libraries. Nashville's Music City Center features a design that uniquely evokes "Nashville." Meanwhile, builders of the Nemours Children's Hospital had the goal of delivering a facility that could provide a world-class care for children.

The "Project of the Year" will be revealed in the next issue of ENR Southeast—and will be announced at our Best Projects Awards Luncheon, to be held Nov. 8 in Orlando. For now, here's a quick "look" at the nominees.

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The James B. Hunt Jr. Library, at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, features an automated book-delivery system. The project, submitted by Clark Nexsen, won the top award in the Higher Education category. (Photo by Mark Herboth Photography)

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Music City Center, in Nashville, features a 175,000-sq-ft green roof. The project, entered by Bell/Clark, a Joint Venture, earned the top prize in the Sports/Entertainment category. (Photo by Brian Gassel Photography)

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The Nemours Children's Hospital project, Orlando, submitted by Skanska USA, earned the top award in this year's health-care category. (Photo by Jonathan Hillyer)