It was the year when just about all building stopped.

Then it started again — slowly at first, but Pittsburgh kept building during the pandemic.

The architects had their say about the year’s best new buildings in Pittsburgh with the AIA Pittsburgh Design Awards 2020. Now the builders get to pick their favorites.

The nominees for the annual Master Builders’ Association of Western Pennsylvania’s MBA Building Excellence Awards have been announced, ranging from AHN’s new Academic Cancer Center at Allegheny General Hospital on the North Side to Facebook Reality Labs’ new digs in the Strip District.

“We received 40 project submissions for 2020,” says Eric Starkowicz, director of industry relations for the Master Builders’ Association of Western Pennsylvania (MBA). “Our panel of five judges meticulously reviewed massive 3-ring binders filled with the submissions. Each project was evaluated on their project description/executive summary, project teamwork, their ability to meet difficult challenges, special project characteristics, safety, and client satisfaction. The MBA Building Excellence Awards have become the highest and most sought-after commercial construction industry awards in our region and our members are extremely competitive.”

Last year’s awards, which were held this past February at the Heinz Field East Club, brought together 1,400 people representing every aspect of construction in Pittsburgh.

“Little did we know, at the time, that this would be the last time that most of us would see one another face-to-face for quite some time,” says Starkowicz. “And that a mere two weeks later we would enter into a lockdown that would (temporarily) shut down most construction in the state. While we were able to get our job sites back up and running, the effects of COVID-19 are certain to remain with us for the foreseeable future.”

This year, the event will be moved online due to the pandemic.

The winners will be announced at the Construction Industry Evening of Excellence, which will be streamed live on Thursday, February 25, 2021.

Here are the nominees:

New Construction over $25 million

Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute and Academic Center at Allegheny General Hospital. Photo courtesy of the Master Builders’ Association.

Project: TCS Hall, Carnegie Mellon University

Contractor: Mascaro Construction Company, LP

Project: AHN Allegheny General Hospital Academic Cancer Center, North Side

Contractor: Massaro Corporation

New Construction between $10-25 million

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney offices. Photo courtesy of the Master Builders’ Association.

Project: Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, Downtown

Contractor: A. Martini & Co.

Facebook Reality Labs in the Strip District. Photo courtesy of the Master Builders’ Association.

Project: Facebook Reality Labs (District 15), Strip District

Contractor: Burchick Construction Company, Inc.

New Construction under $10 million

Wabtec headquarters. Photo courtesy of the Master Builders’ Association.

Project: Wabtec Headquarters, North Side

Contractor: A. Martini & Co.

New addition at the offices of Desmone Architects in Doughboy Square. Photo courtesy of the Master Builders’ Association.

Project: Office Extension Two Doughboy Square, Lawrenceville

Contractor: Jendoco Construction Corporation

Renovation Construction over $10 million

Terminal 21 Apartments. Photo courtesy of the Master Builders’ Association.

Project: Terminal 21 Apartments, Downtown

Contractor: Shannon Construction Company

Waterfront Tech Center. Photo courtesy of the Master Builders’ Association.

Project: Waterfront Tech Center Shell and Commonwealth Charter Academy, Homestead

Contractor: Shannon Construction Company

Renovation Construction between $5-$10 million

Project: Interior Renovations to the Clifford E. Barbour Library, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, East Liberty

Contractor: PJ Dick Incorporated

IRMC Cancer Center. Photo courtesy of the Master Builders’ Association.

Project: IRMC UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Renovation, Indiana

Contractor: Volpatt Construction Corporation

Renovation Construction under $5 million

UPMC Mercy. Photo courtesy of the Master Builders’ Association.

Project: UPMC Mercy Neuro-Interventional Radiology, Uptown

Contractor: AIMS Construction

St. Paul of the Cross Monastery. Photo courtesy of the Master Builders’ Association.

Project: St. Paul of the Cross Monastery Church Renovation, South Side

Contractor: Mascaro Construction Company, LP

Excellence in Craftsmanship

Allegheny County Courthouse. Photo courtesy of the Master Builders’ Association.

Project: Allegheny County Courthouse Phase II, Downtown

Contractor: Cuddy Roofing Company, Inc.

Produce Terminal exterior. Photo courtesy of the Master Builders’ Association.

Project: Produce Terminal Exterior Work, Strip District

Contractor: PJ Dick Incorporated