2021 DBIA National Design-Build Award Winners Impress and Inspire

The 2021 Awards jury meeting in Washington DC

Each summer a seasoned group of design-build pros meet over two full days to judge DBIA’s National Design-Build Project/Team Awards submissions. It’s always a lively event as jurors bring their unique experiences and expertise together to compare and contrast the merits of an increasingly impressive group of design-build projects. Dr. Barbara Jackson is the chair of DBIA’s Awards jury:

“Where we were 10 years ago and where we are today in terms of the quality of the submissions, which means the quality of the project and the project performance is elevated beyond belief. We’ve gone from just using words like ‘Well, we collaborate and communicate’ to the deeper nuances of how you actually do that. How do you select and evaluate, plus all the pre-planning that goes into picking a team and what are the criteria and metrics by which you want to measure the team’s performance? Because it’s no longer just budget, schedule, quality and safety, it’s so much more than that” … Barbara J. Jackson, PhD, FDBIA, Chair Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management, University of Denver

The 2021 Awards jury has chosen 30 Design-Build Merit Award winners in 10 categories. The projects are diverse as they are impressive. You can see their full project descriptions here.


LAX Midfield Satellite Concourse
Los Angeles, CA

Nashville International Airport Concourse D and Terminal Wings
Nashville, TN

San Francisco International Airport Long Term Garage 2
San Francisco, CA


Chula Vista Fire Station 3 & 5
Chula Vista, CA

Kalanihookaha Community Learning Center
Nanakuli, Oahu, HI

Southwest Neighborhood Library
Washington, DC

Commercial/Office Building

Hyatt Regency Portland at the Oregon Convention Center
Portland, OR

Educational Facilities

University of California, San Diego Nuevo West Graduate Student Housing
La Jolla, CA

UC Merced 2020 Expansion
Merced, CA

University of Washington Hans Rosling Center for Population Health
Seattle, WA


Boynton Beach City Hall and Library
Boynton Beach, FL

Navy General Administration Facility
San Diego, CA

WYMD General Instruction Building
Camp Guernsey, WY

Healthcare Facilities

High Desert Mental Health Urgent Care Center
Lancaster, CA

Modoc Medical Center Replacement Facility
Alturas, CA

UCSF Wayne and Gladys Valley Center for Vision
San Francisco, CA

Industrial/Process/Research Facilities

Caltech Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Neuroscience Research Building
Pasadena, CA

New FOX Factory Headquarters
Gainesville, Georgia

United Airlines Catering Operations Kitchen
Newark, NJ


The Candler Hotel
Atlanta, GA

Robert A. Young Federal Building
St. Louis, MO

University of Washington Parrington Hall
Seattle, WA


Crosstown Parkway Extension
Port St. Lucie, FL

I-15; Lehi Main to S.R. 92, Technology Corridor
Lehi, UT

I-435 South Loop Link Design-Build Project
Kansas City, MO

RFK Bridge Ramp to the Northbound Harlem River Drive
New York, NY

US 15 over Indian Field Swamp Bridge Replacement Project
Dorchester County, SC


Cogeneration Facility at the San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility
San Jose, CA

Cutter Lateral Reach 21 Water Treatment Plant and Associated Items
Bloomfield, NM

Northwest Regional Water Reclamation Facility Expansion
Tampa, FL

Each Merit Award Winner will now compete to be an Excellence Winner (the top project in their category) and DBIA’s Project of the Year. There are also a number of special categories including:

Best in Design – Engineering

Best in Design-Architecture

Best in Process

Best in Teaming

Best in Technology

Best Small Project

Chairman’s Award

As teams take Design-Build Done Right® best practices to newer heights of project delivery, the jury pointed to one common element in this year’s winners—engaged Owners. Dr. Jackson described it this way:

“We (the jury) talked a lot about Owners showing an impressive amount of growth and how important it is for the Owner to really be ready to do this and embrace collaboration. You can’t say I’m just doing design-build but then really not giving over any control whatsoever. This year we saw significant growth in Owners’ openness to letting the process actually work at its highest level. For a number of Owners, this was their first design-build project and many of them had tremendous success. Quite frankly, they were surprised and elated, as well. What teams face now is more challenging to achieve, they’ve got a limited budget or tight time constraints, difficult regulations or whatever and they don’t know how they can achieve their goals. Owners are now learning that by becoming a partner with your design and construction team, you can do it.”

DBIA will honor our 2021 National Design-Build Merit Award winners and announce the Excellence, Best of and Project of the Year winners at our Awards celebration November 2nd at the annual Design-Build Conference & Expo. Registration is now open.