published on August 24, 2016 - 6:31 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Harris Construction has earned the coveted “Best Project” award from Engineering News-Record, the so-called “bible of the construction industry.”

This year’s winning Landscape/Urban Development project is the African Adventure exhibit at Fresno Chaffee Zoo, which took more than 286,600 man-hours to build and, since its opening last fall, has been enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors.

This regional “Best Project” award goes to the top Landscape/Urban Development project throughout California and Hawaii.

Harris and the project architect, Seattle-based The Portico Group, were judged along with 89 other high profile projects for a slate of construction and design awards. The “Best Project” is awarded based on a multitude of criteria, including that a safe work environment was maintained throughout the construction phase, the quality of the project’s design and construction, and the team’s ability to overcome design and construction challenges.

The challenges on the Zoo project included protecting as many of the existing trees as possible and combining conventional and nonconventional construction techniques into one cohesive project. Wild animals also began arriving early with no place in the existing zoo to be housed. The team at Harris Construction made special allowances so that the unanticipated animals could be safely housed within the jobsite, and yet construction could still continue around them.

“Our employees, trade union members and subcontractors are passionate about building dynamic projects like the African Adventure exhibit,” said Bill Bunch, director of construction at Harris. “The unique projects we get to build are incredibly rewarding. We know the community enjoys what we build, and will for generations. Winning this award is just the icing on the cake.”

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