Southwest Contractor's 11th annual Best of Awards recognizes construction and design excellence in separate award ceremonies for Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico. Over 650 entries were received in the Southwest region for Best of 2008, with 260 representing Arizona projects.

An independent jury comprised of industry experts selected winning projects based on design excellence, craftsmanship, innovation, teamwork and the project's contribution to the community and construction industry.

This year's Arizona panel of judges included: Linnea O'Dowd, LEED AP with Drewett + Brenden Architecture; Daniel Perez, IAIA with Leo A. Daly; Gary Worthy, AIA, ASLA from DLR Group; Ken Schacherbauer of Perini Building Co.; Brent Leif with Hunt Construction Group; Thomas Rogers with Northern Arizona University; Julie Stanton with Stanton Consulting; Richard B. Usher with Hill & Usher; David Beer with Sun Valley Masonry; Jay Graef with Graef Construction; and Ryan Eberle, P.E. with Kleinfelder.

Landscape/Urban Design/Residential

Optima at Camelview Village

This modernist-inspired architectural mixed-use project is a myriad of interconnected buildings and lush oasis roof terraces. Over 17 acres of landscaped green roofs on each level and rooftop aid in reduction of ambient temperature and energy consumption. The overall landscaping design is based on line of sight, leaping from one unit to the next. The cascading plants on the terraces and rooftop provide screening for each patio. The entire project is watered and fertilized by a computer-generated, two-wire irrigation controller. Photovoltaic panels have been incorporated into the rooftop gardens. With over 700 urban dwelling units, the six- and seven-story structures also include retail, resort-style amenities and below-grade parking.