Finalists Announced: 2018 AEC Excellence Awards for Infrastructure, Design, and Construction

October 19, 2018 Sarah Brown




Autodesk, along with co-sponsors Construction Dive, HP, and Smart Cities Dive, is proud to announce the AEC Excellence Awards 2018 Finalists!

Now in its sixth year, the AEC Excellence Awards highlights the innovators behind some of the most stunning infrastructure and building projects from all over the world.

These bold visionaries have integrated Connected BIM into their workflows, in addition to emerging technologies like generative design and industrialized construction.

The categories of Infrastructure Design, Building Design, and Construction recognize small, medium, and large size projects. Debuting this year, the new “Innovator of the Year” award recognizes a person who is transforming the design and construction industry through the use of construction technology, collaboration, evangelism, and innovation. 

The finalists in this list rose from a field of 256 entries with submittals from 40 countries.  Autodesk is especially proud that these awards spotlight innovation on a global scale. The winners will be announced at the AEC Customer Showcase Celebration breakfast at Autodesk University Las Vegas on November 13th.

Without further ado, the finalists in the Construction category:


1. Clonee Facebook Data Centre


The Clonee Facebook Data Centre in Ireland is in the Large Project category. It has been an exercise in learning and developing integrative building practices for Mace Group in Ireland, who posted impressive safety and efficiency numbers while building one of the most advanced and energy efficient data centers in the world.

Their emphasis on quality and efficiency led them to develop a digital workflow using a number of tools from Autodesk, complimented by other innovative technologies such as drones in construction, Laser Scanning and Data Analytics to bring their construction teams up to speed with the new technology, with a particular emphasis on off-site modularization.

They were also able to integrate the BIM data into the O&M (Operations & Management) documents they handed off to the client, which was tagged and tracked on site using controls such as QR Codes. Some workflows introduced on this project are now being standardized across the Clients global portfolio as they pursue the lean principle of continuous improvement in order to improve efficiency and productivity.

“The outcomes are clear. Using Autodesk to digitise our onsite process at Clonee has improved quality exponentially, and made us smarter and faster in delivery.”

- Matt Gough, Director of Innovation at Mace Group


2. Zhengzhou Olympic Sport Center


The project of Zhengzhou Olympic Sport Center, another Large Project finalist, is located in the west area of Zhengzhou Central Culture District.

This ambitious project is large and complex, requiring multiple construction disciplines and a high degree of quality while working under a tight deadline and a budget with little margin for error. Compound those basic challenges with the on-site reality of upskilling various contractors into a digital workflow and bringing their understanding of the plans into alignment with the designers' vision, and this project becomes a feat of not only engineering, but also professional development. The goal of the designers was to strive for the Luban Prize, the most prestigious construction prizes in the construction industry.

Various digital tools were vital to the completion of this complex project. 3D visualization and design, clash detection, and modeling for multiple components helped the project leads keep costs down and communicate with everyone in the construction teams. Both safety and quality were brought to new levels through the integration to a digital workflow, while 3D visualization helped to communicate this innovative design to project stakeholders.


3. Chongqing Raffles City Project


The Project is situated on a challenging build-site, being at the confluence of two waterways in the core of Chongqing.

In addition to the aquatic challenges, the construction site is narrow, leading to constrained construction activities.

The designers unique vision and ambitious design for this multi-use facility called for ultra-modern building techniques and pinpoint coordination of many teams of specialists during the construction process.

Autodesk tools were used throughout the project, from model integration and clash detection during the design phase, to 3D visualization and contractor communication and management during construction.

Efficiency and construction safety were the primary goals during construction, but the digital tools also created many opportunities for QA/QC, as well as facilitating the pre-construction of many MEP components.

“With the help of BIM, we solve the drawing issues before the construction, improve the construction quality, shorten the duration, save the cost, elevate the construction main contract management capability, enhance the management quality, and increase the synergy effect of all parties.”

- Chen Bin, Project Manager, China Construction Eighth Engineering Division

4. University of Virginia Hospital Expansion


In the Medium Project category, the UVA University Hospital Expansion stands out as a thoroughly modern design in a renovation/expansion project. Once complete, it will deliver a future capacity of 180 beds and 80 treatment positions in the Emergency Department, as well as medical imaging facilities which include radiography, CT and ultrasound rooms.

Skanska USA has been providing preconstruction, design-assist and construction management services for this multi-phase project. The project, an expansion and renovation of a busy medical center, on an active urban campus, adjacent to critical hospital functions, has required great care and coordination, and Skanska relies on multiple Autodesk tools to see that it’s done right. The main project is a 444,000-SF, ground level through rooftop heliport expansion including emergency and interventional departments.


5. ISM Raceway


Also in the Medium Project category, the new ISM Raceway by Okland Construction has three main components to it.

The 1st was renovating the existing stands with new entryways, concession stands, and modern VIP suites.

The 2nd is constructing additional stands, VIP suites, and constructing 17 new buildings in the middle of the racetrack.

The 3rd aspect is to renovate aspects of the property including new lighting, new asphalt in the parking lots, a new race leader board, and a helicopter pad. The main challenge of this build was getting all this done around the owner's event schedule, and Okland credits a strong commitment to a digital workflow in facilitating this feat.

"You can use BIM to address the problem now, or you can wait until it is causing delays in the field."

- Jordan Coe, Senior Integrated Construction Coordinator, Okland Construction

6. Dairy Farmers of America New Milk Powder Drying Facility


In undertaking the Dairy Farmers of America New Milk Powder Drying Facility , the team at Shambaugh & Son L.P. knew that Integrated BIM was going to be crucial to delivering a first-rate product. Their highly automated design helps the plant conserve resources through highly efficient energy and water use. The design garnered the “Sustainable Plant of the Year” nod from Food Engineering magazine, which recognized the plant for innovative sustainability through engineering features that surpass industry standards.

The 156-acre Garden City site is North America’s largest whole and skim milk powder drying facility. The 267,000 sq/ft footprint production facility includes milk receiving and cream load-out, raw milk processing, pasteurized processing, milk evaporation and drying, filling and packaging, dry warehousing, shipping, office space and employee wellness areas and its own wastewater treatment facility to reclaim water for irrigation.

“The importance of BIM and 3D modeling can not be overstated. Without it, the customer would not have visual buy in. Without it, prefabrication would not happen. Without it, jobsite coordination would not happen. Without it, the schedule could not be maintained. With BIM, the project was a success.”

- Eric Borror, Planning and Modeling Manager, Shambaugh & Son L.P.

7. Baptist Health MD Anderson Cancer Center


Baptist Health, which serves North Florida and South Georgia partnered with MD Anderson, the largest freestanding cancer center in the world, in 2015 to create a new joint cancer program in North Florida, the Baptist Health MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The new 330,000-sq.-ft. freestanding building and associated parking structure, situated across the street from the Baptist’s existing facility, will increase their capacity to deliver cutting edge cancer treatment to those in the Jacksonville area and beyond. Miller Electric Company developed a digital approach to project management and implementation for this project, and it changed the way they’re doing things forever.

“By using the latest technology from Autodesk and Schneider Electric, we were able to reinvent traditional workflow, which helped us get on the job site sooner; vastly improving safety and efficiency. And now looking back at the completed project with a 100 percent success rate, we know that this approach will only set up our company and our industry for future success.”

- Alan Creel, Vice President of Preconstruction, Miller Electric Company

8. Jilin Beishan Four Seasons Cross Country Skiing Project


Located in Jilin Beishan’s Scenic Area, this small project will be a training base for Winter Olympics competitors. It includes indoor and an outdoor ski slopes, with a built-in capacity to make snow on site.

The timely completion of this project depended on several Autodesk products to assist with design, planning, and construction processes, particularly for the innovative indoor slope, which is the only one of its kind in the world. 3D visualization and clash detection were also vital in helping manage waste, avoid errors and delays, and keep communication flowing smoothly.

The project is actually renovation and expanded of an air-raid shelter built circa 1965. The designers wanted to maximize the build-efficiency of the center, greatly reducing the energy consumption and environmental destruction often caused in new-built projects. They also wanted to reflect a greener cultural attitude in the site's operation, adding several features specifically aimed at sustainability.


9. Incity Tower


The Incity Tower, in Lyon (France), is the 3rd highest skyscraper in France. Part of a revitalization of the city center, it is an office building composed of 39 floors, offering 44,000 square meters of commercial space.

Before they broke ground, Caisse d'Epargne Rhône-Alpes (CERA), the owner of the tower, knew they wanted to develop innovations promoting the quality of life at work. ENGIE Cofely was tasked with the operations of the tower and adopted a digital process for the purpose of serving this complex, high-efficiency structure, integrating BIM in their management solution.

We at Autodesk want to congratulate all the 2018 AEC Awards Finalists!

Join us at Autodesk University in Las Vegas and watch live as we announce the winners from this field of inspiring projects at the AEC Customer Showcase Celebration breakfast on Tuesday, November 13 at 8:00 AM.


Want to see the winners announced live?

Join us in Las Vegas for Autodesk University 2018!

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