Awards say project nations best: Future Alabaster development garners international recognition

InSite Engineering of Hoover was named one of three finalists for the civil site design category in the 2007 Bentley BE Awards of Excellence. InSite&8217;s project, the Blackhawk Estates of Alabaster residential subdivision, was the only finalist from the United States.

&8220;We were very honored to be included as a nominee and then as a finalist. [Being] the only finalist from the U.S. was a big honor,&8221; said Bryan Pate, managing member of the limited liability company.

The global competition is by invitation only. Technical staff from Bentley, which work closely with architecture and engineering firms on a regular basis, send in nominations. As a 10-employee, two-year-old firm from Alabama, Pate said he and his coworkers were just happy to be among the initial five nominees in the category. To be considered for finalist awards, InSite spent two months detailing its project plans for Blackhawk Estates and showing how they used Bentley design software and products.

&8220;They use a panel of past winners and their technical staff as the judges, and they do a pretty in-depth review,&8221; Pate said of the competition. &8220;It consists of more than just using the software; [judging] considers environmental considerations, the number of people that [the project] impacts&8212;the size of the project is considered somewhat.&8221;

Blackhawk Estates, adjacent to the Shelby County Airport, will have 664 lots on 488 acres and incorporates a 220-acre natural habitat. &8220;That was a big part of the design, protecting that habitat,&8221; Pate said. Also making their design a standout was &8220;the overall character and livability of the community, and the sheer amount of dirt that&8217;s going to have to be moved.&8221;

Pate estimates $12 million in infrastructure costs and $2 million in construction costs. At its completion, planned for April 2008, the development will house approximately 1,500 people.

The winning project was a 1,730-acre coastal resort town in South Africa. Also named as a civil site design category finalist was a design for an international airport in India