ESD Construction and Design Awards

50th Annual ESD Construction and Design Awards

Call for Entries Deadline: February 29, 2024

About the Program

The Engineering Society of Detroit’s Construction and Design Awards are among the premier recognitions awarded to members of the construction industry and their projects. These awards are unique in that they honor the three primary members of the building team—owners, designers, and constructors—and recognize outstanding achievement and innovative use of technology. The awards were conceived 50 years ago to encourage elevation of the standard of practice in the construction industry.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Submissions are accepted from project teams of owner, designer, and constructor. At least one of the primary members of the project team must be a member in good standing of The Engineering Society of Detroit. 
  2. All projects must have been completed after January 1, 2022 to qualify for nomination. 
  3. Entries may be submitted for:
    • a. New buildings or significant construction.
    • b. Renovations and additions.c. Significant engineered systems, e.g. infrastructure, transportation,
    • bridges, tunnels, processing facilities, etc.
    • d. Significant restoration, redesign and renovation of historical structures and engineered systems in Michigan. All original structures must be at least 50 years old at the time of submission. 

Submission Criteria

Begin your submission with an overview of the project, including background on the project and owner. Include information that you consider important to your project that does not fit into the criteria, including notable issues, unique aspects and obstacles that were overcome. Information on how the project and team was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic is welcome. Submissions should address the criteria from all three viewpoints: owner, designer, and constructor; not just the submitter. Submissions MUST address each of the following criteria in the order listed below. Failure to do so may affect the judges’ scoring or disqualify the entry. Each of the five criteria is of equal importance in the judging process. 

  1. Effective teaming between the owner, designer & constructor.In addition to a general description, include detailed information on budget, schedule, and safety by addressing each of the following criteria separately and in the order listed._
    • a. Budget – Include the cost of the project, whether it was on budget and the systems and methods the team used to develop and control the budget as well as how the budget was amended during the process.
    • b. Schedule – Include whether the project was within the owner’s schedule and the systems and methods the team used to control the schedule. Address if the schedule was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic or other challenges and what innovative strategies were implemented as a result.
    • c. Safety – Include the total number of project man-hours, DART, lost time incident rate and precautions implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • d. Teaming – Explain how the team was formed and any special attributes of the team.
    • e. Lessons Learned – Explain any issues that arose which provided an opportunity for learning as well as include any innovations that helped in making your project successful.
  2. Quality of the overall design and construction. Include particular items of significance to the design and/or construction, e.g., level of finishes, care given to restoration, attention to detail, etc. Include information on why the project was built and why the site was chosen as well as any challenges that occurred during development (i.e. material shortages, zoning, funding issues).
  3. Unique or innovative engineering solutions and construction techniques. _
  4. Sustainable design. Address each of the following criteria separately and in the order listed. If a criterion does not apply to your project, please explain why.
    • a. Sustainable design for the future. Was your project design future focused? Did you follow a prescriptive plan? Include information on what sustainable methods you used and where the project went beyond code requirements (i.e. LEED, codes). Address what others can learn from your approach.
    • b. Environmental consciousness. Include information on any environmental challenges, construction waste stream management and the degree of carbon neutrality for your project.
    • c. Sensitive land use. Include information on how the project is being designed for the benefit of future generations.
  5. Future Focus. Explain the benefits your project will bring to the community and how it will drive economic growth and improve education and/or quality of life for the community. Indicate how many new jobs will be generated.

Entry Procedures

  1. Entries must be received by 4 p.m., Thursday, February 29, 2024. Submissions MUST address all required criteria. 
  2. A registration fee of $500 is required for each project, with checks made payable to The Engineering Society of Detroit. Payment must accompany the submission and is non-refundable. Fees can be paid by credit card by contacting Leslie Smith, CMP at  
  3. The owner, designer and constructor must each sign the entry form to confirm that they concur with the submission, that the project team worked well together and that the resulting structure met or exceeded the owner’s expectations. Entries not signed by all of the nominees will not be judged. Electronic signatures are acceptable. 
  4. Nominators are solely responsible for identifying other significant participants in their projects. For example, if there are two major designers and three major constructors on the project, all must be listed on—and all must sign—the entry form. This information must be included at the time of submittal. 
  5. A list of major consultants, sub-contractors and material suppliers must be attached to the nomination essay. Clearly describe each participant’s role and include their contact information.
  6. A maximum of 16 single-sided pages (in addition to pages required for #5 above), in type no smaller than 10 points will be accepted. This includes one title page and 15 pages of descriptive text, floor plans, site plans, photographs (clearly labeled) and illustrations. The entry form and list of major consultants is not included in the 16-page maximum. Please note that additional graphic material may be required if your entry is selected as a winner. All entries become the property of ESD and will not be returned. 
  7. All entries must be submitted to ESD in a standard three-ring binder or other form of binding with the name of the project on the cover. Entries submitted electronically via email should be in a PDF format. 
  8. Include a USB drive or download link with at least ten high-resolutions digital images of your project. Photos should be of large format, 300 dpi or better resolution, and in JPG or TIFF format. At least one photo should be approximately 9×12 in. or larger, with a vertical (portrait) orientation. (Winning projects will be published in TechCentury magazine.) 
  9. Be sure to list the name of the project and the company name of the owner, designer, and constructor as you wish them to appear on the award plaques and promotional materials. Any changes made after the production of the awards will be at the expense of the submitter.

Entry Form


After You Have Submitted An Entry

Judging: Submissions are evaluated by an impartial panel of industry judges, representing owners, designers, and constructors. Projects are judged in competition with each other on their merit relative to the contest criteria. Awards are based on the inherent qualities of each project as perceived by the judges. Winners will be notified by email. All notifications will be sent to the “submitter” listed on the entry form. 

Awards: Awards will be presented at a the ESD Annual Dinner to be scheduled in June 2024. The owner, designer and constructor will each receive a plaque. Additional plaques are available at a cost.

Publicity: ESD provides publicity for all the winning projects. Photographs, illustrations and text will be used for unrestricted online, newspaper and magazine coverage. All winners will be included in a feature in TechCentury magazine. Winning projects may be selected to be featured in the following year’s Call for Entries brochure.

More Info

Nominations due February 29, 2024