Skylar Van Soest accepts an award on behalf of Landau Building Company.

Master Builders’ Associates of Western Pennsylvania (MBA) hosts its annual Building Excellence Awards to spotlight the hard work of not just contractors but the entire web of people who make building possible in Pittsburgh: owners, architects, engineers, subcontractors, suppliers and craftspeople.

More than 1,000 industry professionals converged on Heinz Field East Club last evening for the awards ceremony.

Tim Laffey of Ferry Electric Company worked on the University of Pittsburgh’s Nordenberg Hall, a building general contractor PJ Dick Incorporated submitted for the category of new construction over $25 million and subsequently won.

“It’s gratifying to have other people see [your work] and acknowledge it,” says Laffey. “It’s a freshmen dorm, all the freshman are fighting to get it.”

The awards are not only the industry’s mark of excellence, but represent a year or more of hard work, says Jon O’Brien, MBA’s director of communications. Skylar Van Soest, project manager with Landau Building Company, agreed. With the corner of his suit jacket he was polishing one of the two awards Landau took for renovation: construction over $10 million and renovation construction under $10 million.

“A lot of people put in a lot of hours on both of these projects. A lot of actual blood, sweat and tears,” he says. “It’s pretty great to be recognized after wanting to scream a whole lot of times, wanting to give up a whole lot of times.”

From hospital buildings to movie theaters to schools, award recipients change the face of the region and are proud of it, says O’Brien.

Kevin Foster of PJ Dick was in charge of the Mellon Square Fountain Rehabilitation, helping to revive a central part of the city’s history. “It was the most unique concrete job I’ve ever done,” he says. “I can’t wait to take my kids down there.”

Here are the winners of MBA Building Excellence Awards for 2015:

Renovation Construction Over $10 million: Jefferson Oncology & Women’s Health Centers by Landau Building Company

Renovation Construction Under $10 million: Mario Lemieux Center for Blood Cancers by Landau Building Company

New Construction Under $10 million: Southwestern Pennsylvania World War II Memorial by Mascaro Construction Company, L.P.

New Construction Between $10 and $25 million: Cinemark Monroeville Mall & XD by Rycon Construction, Inc.

New Construction Over $25 million: University of Pittsburgh Nordenberg Hall by PJ Dick Incorporated

Excellence in Craftsmanship, General Contractor: Mellon Square Fountain Rehabilitation by PJ Dick Incorporated

Excellence in Craftsmanship, Associate member: Mylan Inc. Corporate Headquarters by Giffin Interior & Fixture, Inc.

MBA comprises 200 members responsible for roughly eighty percent of the area’s commercial construction.

Each October, members submit projects in several categories. A five-person jury evaluates submissions in seven areas: safety, construction craftsmanship, sustainable solutions, teamwork, owner satisfaction, innovation and meeting difficult challenges.

Margaret J. Krauss is a writer, radio producer, and researcher. If not biking Pittsburgh's streets or swimming its rivers, she is likely geeking out about a really good story.