ABOUT TOPPING OUT

MISSION

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 AWARDas 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

M/WBE requirements.

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

Robert Wilonsky

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:

  • Co-chairs                         

  • Project Submissions & Jury Committee

  • Planning Committee

 

Event Management

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.                                            

Brad Bell

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.