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Builder of the Year 2010 is Tiit Joosti


Merko Ehitus’s Tiit Joosti was unanimously selected the winner of the Builder of the Year award for 2010. All of the judges on the panel saw it the same way this year: the construction of Ämari Air Base, led by Joosti, beat out the other nominees due to its impeccable construction quality, the extraordinary nature of the base, and its scale and relevance to society. Tiit Joosti works for Merko Ehitus.

According to Indrek Peterson, head of the panel of judges and the managing director of the Estonian Association of Construction Entrepreneurs, consensus was extraordinarily strong this year with regard to choosing the best construction project manager. “Without exception, all of the judges found that the construction work on Ämari Air Base, led by Joosti, was a cut above the other nominees due to impeccable construction quality, the one of a kind nature of the object, the size of the undertaking and its relevance to society,” said Peterson.

In determining the builder of the year from the candidates, the panel took into account ratings given by various parties (quality of work, teamwork, work ethic on the site, adherence to deadlines), size of the object and technical complexity as well as the social relevance, budget, deadline and the nominee’s previous construction projects.

“Although it was quite complicated to evaluate sites on different scales, purposes of use and contracting entities (public procurements vs. private sector contracting entities), there was no question about the winner. There were other large-scale and well-constructed sites in the competition, but the judges found that the construction on the Ämari Air Base infrastructure deserved the grand prize,” said Peterson.

“The variety of special requirements for security and other aspects was emphasized, along with the need to engage in international cooperation and organize extensive logistics, which all made the project manager’s work undoubtedly more difficult and challenging. The panel deemed the environmentally friendly approach to the recovery of construction materials to be extremely praiseworthy. The concrete surface of the existing runway became the crushed stone in the substructure,” said Peterson.

Compared to previous year, a minor difference in this year’s competition was the new category of construction site managers of projects with a budget of 10 million kroons and under, which encouraged project managers of smaller sites to take part as well. In this category, there was only one nominee – Kalvi Krass, who renovated the Rapla stone bridge and was in charge of pedestrian and cycle path bridge construction.

“Even though the competition rules would have allowed two special prizes to be awarded, the panel decided not to do so this year, because of the lack of suitable candidates. Due to what was essentially a lack of competition, it was decided not to hand out an award in the category of projects with an under 10 million kroon budget. Still, it was hoped that such objects would be entered in the competition as well,” added Peterson.

He stressed that the Builder of the Year competition was not only intended for “big players,” but that all companies in the construction sector were invited to take part. “Besides the big ones, I would encourage more small and medium-sized construction companies to take part, as everyone who qualifies as a nominee has an equal opportunity to become the Builder of the Year. Sometimes a detached home due to its multifaceted nature can pose even a greater and more complicated technical challenge for builders than a standard office building.

Just like last year, seven nominees, all construction project managers, were named for Builder of the Year. “Builder of the Year 2009” was Tarmo Pohlak, who was in charge of the construction of the Tallink office building.

The goal of the Builder of the Year competition 2010 announced by the Estonian Association of Construction Entrepreneurs was to select the construction project manager whose work has been recognized by the contracting entity as well as by the architect, structural engineer and person in charge of construction supervision. The aim of the initiative is to promote the profession and recognize the best in the field.

Held for the second time this year, the competition was public and candidates could be nominated by the members of the association as well as non-member companies and the contracting entities that commissioned the works. Project managers were eligible if their project was completed last year or before 1 September of this year and if they had a higher education and previous work experience in their speciality. Project managers at both the prime contractor and subcontractor level could be nominated.

1. Aivar Tagasaar – Kaamos Ehitus AS, Tammsaare Ärikeskus (business centre) and parking garage
2. Tiit Joosti – Merko Ehitus AS, Ämari Air Base infrastructure
3. Margus Simson – NCC Ehitus AS, Estonian Forensic Science Institute building
4. Silver Neemelo – NCC Ehitus AS, Rannarootsi Ärikeskus (business centre)
5. Kalvi Krass – Skanska EMV AS, construction work on two pedestrian bridges on Tallinna Street in the city of Rapla and restoration of Rapla’s stone bridge
6. Olev Moldau – Oma Ehitaja AS, shopping centre in Narva (Prisma Peremarket)
7. Indrek Muhhin – EF Rand&Tuulberg AS, Ida Street apartment buildings in Tartu

Indrek Peterson, managing director of the Estonian Association of Construction Entrepreneurs, chairman of the panel of judges
Ilmar Link, member of the management board of the Estonian Association of Construction Entrepreneurs
Lembit Makstin, member of the management board of the Estonian Association of Construction Entrepreneurs
Enno Rebane, managing director of the Estonian Association of Building Material Producers
Tõnis Tarbe, chairman of the board of the Estonian Association of Architectural and Consulting Engineering Companies
Igor Gerasenkov, Riigi Kinnisvara AS (State Real Estate Ltd or RKAS), head of department
Eva Kiisler, editor in chief of Ehitaja magazine