ABOUT TOPPING OUT
To celebrate outstanding built environments, while raising money for educational opportunities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area which foster the development of our future leaders.
WHAT IS TOPPING OUT
Topping Out is a DFW Metroplex annual networking event and awards program in the Architecture / Engineering / Construction (A/E/C) and allied fields that recognizes the:
TOP TEN Projects and TOP AWARD – as selected by a prestigious group of jury members. Anyone involved in bringing the project to reality is eligible to submit entries including owner, developer, architect, engineer, contractor, sub-contractor, consultant, etc. regardless of project size, budget, style or building type.
A/E/C Favorite Award - as selected by peers at the event. The A/E/C Favorite award is presented to the entered project receiving the most votes of those in attendance at the annual Topping Out Networking Event and Awards Program.
WHAT OTHER PROJECTS OR PEOPLE DOES TOPPING OUT RECOGNIZE
M/WBE Community Impact Award - as selected by the Topping Out Steering Committee.
Topping Out and the Construction Industry Outreach Advisory Council (CIOAC) unite to recognize and
honor a private sector team that positively impacted the community through significant engagement of Minority/Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) contractors on a project where there were no substantial
Topping Out Visionary and Vision Award
Topping Out’s vision and visionary awards are bestowed thoughtfully and selectively by the Topping Out committee. Visionary awards are presented to distinguished individuals, businesses or organizations and vision awards are presented to projects that have fostered the spirit of Topping Out through teamwork, innovation, and of course, vision. The recipients of the visionary and vision awards have taken their ideas and not only brought them to fruition; but have positively impacted the community they serve and beyond, and will continue to do so long in the future. It is through extraordinary vision, strong leadership and pioneering actions of these individuals, businesses and projects that have paved the way for future growth and sparked inspiration for others to see the endless possibilities of their own visions.
Visionary Award Winners:
2019: Michael Bennett
2019: Jerry Merriman
2019: Dan Noble
2019: Scott Ruch
2018: Shawn Todd
2017: John Crawford
2017: Joseph "Jody" Grant
2016: Jack Matthews
Vision Award Winners:
2015: KDC, accepted by Steven Van Amburgh
2014: Edward P. Bass
2013: Mary Suhm
2013: Jeff Fegan
2013: Klyde Warren Park
2012: Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge
2010: Cowboys Stadium
WHY IS TOPPING OUT IMPORTANT?
Topping Out raises funds to educate our future leaders as well as grow and prepare necessary talent for the A/E/C industry and allied fields. Proceeds from Topping Out benefit:
The Architecture Chapter of the University of Texas at Arlington Alumni Association, a non-profit, to fund UTA College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs (CAPPA) student scholarships and programs.
TOPPING OUT PAST HONORARY CHAIRS
2019: Robert Wilonsky
2018: Robert Wilonsky
2017: Robert Wilonsky
2016: Jack Matthews
2015: Mayor Maher Maso
2014: Emmitt Smith
2013: Peter Beck
2012: Phil Romano
2011: Tom Leppert
2010: Roger Staubach; w/ special guest Jerry Jones
2008: Jerry Jones
2019 Honorary Chair
HISTORY OF TOPPING OUT
Topping Out started in 2003, by then HKS Architects’ Chairman Ralph Hawkins and William Vidaud, Principal of VAI Architects. This friendly competition was designed to recognize, strengthen, and award the teamwork aspect of the multi-million dollar projects that transform our cities and our lives, one building at a time.
Ever the proud alumnus of the UT Arlington School of Architecture, Ralph also wanted to provide additional revenue to the school for educational and charitable causes, thus guaranteeing a continuing stream of well-trained design and construction professionals. In addition, both Ralph and William wanted to support the exceptional work of The Arc. Thus, Topping Out was created.
Today, Topping Out continues its dedication in supporting charitable based education programs at the local level which foster the development of our future leaders. Proceeds from Topping Out benefit the UT Arlington Alumni Association for scholarships and educational programs. In addition, the Architecture Chapter of the UT Arlington Alumni Association continues its commitment to the growth of Topping Out by overseeing the committee, providing administrative support, and managing the Topping Out brand.
HOW IS TOPPING OUT DIFFERENT?
Topping Out is unlike any other A/E/C Industry award event because:
It honors the entire construction team by celebrating the building team’s ability to confront tough issues and work together toward a successful project completion.
It provides a unique networking opportunity with peers from all disciplines.
It provides the opportunity to give back to education and the A/E/C community with a tax-deductible contribution.
HOW IS TOPPING OUT MANAGED AND WHO IS THE LEADERSHIP
Co-chairs & Committee
Volunteers come together each year to manage the award process and event. The committee meets monthly and is made up of:
Project Submissions & Jury Committee
UTA Architecture Chapter of the UT Arlington Alumni Association
EventLink International provides overall event management services and supports committee year-round – visit them at: http://www.eventlinkintl.com
HOW ARE THE PROJECTS SELECTED?
A jury of well-respected professionals and community leaders are chosen by the Director, UTA College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs (CAPPA) with input from members of the Architecture Chapter of the University of Texas at Arlington Alumni Association, and Topping Out co-chairs. The criteria in which projects are judged evolve with each jury and the projects submitted. Judging is based on each submitted project’s:
Notable team contributions and how the collaboration positively impacted the project.
The positive impact to the community through creative development, innovation and/or technical challenges.
The economic impact, as well as the, environmental and community impact.
Successful coordination of complex projects.
Overall project contribution to the quality of life in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area.
Director - School of Architecture
College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs, University of Texas at Arlington
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO SUBMIT?
Anyone involved in bringing the project to reality including owner, developer, architect, engineer, contractor, sub-contractor, consultant, etc. is eligible to submit entries regardless of project size, budget, style or building type. One submittal per project represents the entire project team. Two or more companies may jointly submit a project for competition.
WHAT TYPE OF PROJECTS COULD BE SUBMITTED FOR 2019 TOPPING OUT?
New projects, additions, or renovations completed between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2018; or a project that was topped out in 2018 but has not been completed.
Projects within a 75-mile radius of either Dallas or Fort Worth that have a minimum of (1) team member with an office in the Dallas or Fort Worth locale.
Previous Topping Out Top 10 and Top Winning projects are not eligible.
WHAT DOES THE TOPPING OUT NAME & TREE SIGNIFY?
In building construction, topping out is a builders’ rite traditionally held when the last beam (or its equivalent) is placed atop a structure during its erection. The practice of “topping out” a new building can be traced to ancient Scandinavia. It migrated initially to England and Northern Europe, then to the Americas. Historically a tree or leafy branch (today a fir, spruce or pine) was placed on the topmost wood or iron beam, often with flags and streamers tied to it. A toast was made and sometimes workers were treated to a meal. The practice remains common in the many countries including the United States.