Thirty projects in nine categories vied for recognition in the Design-Build Institute of America's annual Project of the Year competition. In addition to achieving budget and schedule goals and exceeding owner expectations, the 2016 winners exemplify Design-Build Done Right, a set of 10 best practices for procurement, contracting, and execution the organization has been promoting since 2014.

This slideshow covers the four public works projects, including the first water/wastewater project to be named Project of the Year.

Project of the Year: the Claude "Bud" Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant. Largest desalination facility in the Western Hemisphere; average production of 50 mgd of fresh, high-quality drinking water. Owned by Poseidon Water and completed by the design-build team of Kiewit Shea Desalination with Arcadis, IDE Technologies and Tetra Tech, it's considered a viable way to drought-proof public water supplies. The team also included specialty contractor Morrow-Meadows.

Excellence in Design (Engineering): SR-520 Evergreen Point Floating Bridge and Landings. World's longest floating bridge, creating a safer, more reliable link between Seattle and the growing high-tech cities east of Lake Washington. With HOV lanes; full shoulders for disabled vehicles; a cross-lake bicycle and pedestrian path; and the largest, heaviest, and strongest bridge pontoons ever built, the new, 1.5-mile-long floating highway dramatically improves the movement of people and freight in the Central Puget Sound region.

Excellence in Process: Spokane Central Service Center. The goal of the first design-build project for the City of Spokane, Wash., was to create operational efficiency by consolidating Fleet Maintenance and Solid Waste into a single facility. Design-build was chosen to speed construction and control costs to meet consolidation functions identified since 1983.

National Award of Excellence, Transportation: Veterans Memorial Bridge. In addition to meeting the short schedule required to qualify for federal American Recovery and Reconstruction Act funding, the Florida DOT chose design-build project delivery to achieve a lower bid, minimize cost overruns, and reduce construction time over-runs. Three organized legal challenges threatened to halt the Martin County, Fla., project: a federal injunction, National Environmental Policy Act challenges, and permitting challenges. Nevertheless, the design-builder/general contractor Archer Western Contractors LLC and engineers RS&H never gave up pursuing project acceptance, permit approvals, design, and construction. As a result, the once-controversial $67 million project is considered a resounding success.

The other winners:

  • Civic/Assembly – Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center Expansion
  • Commercial/Office Buildings – Zev Yaroslavsky Family Support Center
  • Educational Facilities – Cornish College of the Arts: Cornish Commons
  • Federal, County, State, Municipal – Wallace Creek North Bachelors Enlisted Quarters Complex
  • Healthcare Facilities – University of Arizona Cancer Center at Dignity Health St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center
  • Industrial, Process and/or Research Facilities – USCG Base Ketchikan Alaska - Fast Response Cutter (FRC) Homeport Upgrades
  • Rehabilitation, Renovation and/or Restoration – DAYTONA Rising Frontstretch Grandstand Replacement
  • Excellence in Teaming – Champion Petfoods Kentucky DogStar Kitchens, Auburn, Ky.
  • Excellence in Design (Architecture) – Gateway Plaza, Richmond, Va.