Twelve structural steel building projects have earned national recognition in the 2015 Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel awards program (IDEAS2). The winning projects and their respective team members were recognized today during the 2015 NASCC: The Steel Conference in Nashville. Conducted annually by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the IDEAS2 awards honor excellence in steel-frame building design; the award is the highest honor bestowed on building projects by the structural steel industry in the U.S.

“The 2015 IDEAS2 winners demonstrate that innovation and creativity can be found on building projects of every size and description,” commented Roger E. Ferch, P.E., president of AISC. “Steel continues to provide excellent solutions for the entire design and construction team, from architects, engineers and developers to general contractors, fabricators and erectors. Congratulations to the award-winning teams for projects that combine creativity, economy and technical achievement through the use of structural steel.”

A panel of design and construction industry professionals identified National and Merit winners in three categories, based on total constructed value: projects less than
$15 million; projects $15 million to $75 million; and projects greater than $75 million. In addition, the panel awarded a Presidential Award of Excellence in Engineering to one project for structural engineering accomplishment. Each project was judged on its use of structural steel from both an architectural and structural engineering perspective, with an emphasis on: creative solutions to the project’s program requirements; applications of innovative design approaches in areas such as connections, gravity systems, lateral load resisting systems, fire protection and blast; aesthetic and visual impact of the project; innovative use of architecturally exposed structural steel; technical or architectural advances in the use of the steel; and the use of innovative design and construction methods.

The 12 IDEAS2 winners were chosen from nearly 100 submissions received from architectural, engineering and construction firms throughout the U.S. The 2015 award-winning projects are:

Projects Less Than $15 Million

  • National Award: Denver Union Station, Denver
  • Merit Award: Circuit of the Americas Observation Tower and Austin 360 Amphitheater, Austin, Texas
  • Merit Award: Landscape Evolution Observatory at Biosphere 2, Oracle, Ariz.
  • Merit Award: Minnesota Fallen Firefighters Memorial, St. Paul, Minn.
  • Merit Award: Hilton Columbus Downtown High Street Bridge, Columbus, Ohio

Projects $15 Million to $75 Million

  • National Award: Florida Polytechnic University Innovation Science and Technology Building, Lakeland, Fla.
  • Merit Award: University of Oregon Hatfield-Dowlin Football Performance Center, Eugene, Ore.
  • Merit Award: Pomona College, Studio Art Hall, Claremont, Calif.
  • Merit Award: Central Arizona College, Maricopa Campus, Maricopa, Ariz.

Projects Greater than $75 Million

  • National Award: The Vegas High Roller, Las Vegas
  • National Award: Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center, Anaheim, Calif.

Presidential Award of Excellence in Engineering

  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York

The program also recognizes the importance of teamwork, coordination and collaboration in fostering successful construction projects. Each year, awards for each winning project are presented to the project team members involved in the design and construction of the structural framing system, including the owner, architect, structural engineer, general contractor, and the steel detailer, fabricator, and erector.

For more information about the IDEAS2 awards, please visit