‘NEXT Coalition’ of leading U.S. engineering, construction firms wins Construction Dive magazine’s coveted top innovation prize | Black & Veatch

‘NEXT Coalition’ of leading U.S. engineering, construction firms wins Construction Dive magazine’s coveted top innovation prize

‘Innovator of the Year’ award recognizes alliance’s push for enhanced construction safety during COVID-19 pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic deepened, leading U.S. engineering and construction firms joined forces in May, leveraging their deep safety expertise and best practices in a campaign to ensure the well-being of crews and office teams facing the outbreak’scomplex challenges.

Now for that push with pilot projects already in play, the NEXT Coalition is being honored, winning Construction Dive magazine’s coveted “Innovator of the Year” award.

That “Dive Award” for Innovator of the Year, one of several handed out each year by Construction Dive and its stable of trade publications that also cover utilities and other sectors, affirms the vision of the NEXT Coalition founded by peer companies Black & Veatch, DPR Construction, Haskell and McCarthy Building Companies. Swinerton, Truebeck Construction and Alabama Power have since joined the group, which from its outset has been committed to addressing the need for tools to help the industry adjust to the “next normal.” 

Rather than each coalition member trying to solve the same problem, “these companies – top construction firms that are normally competitors – came together in the spirit of combatting the virus and fostering safety,” said Jenn Goodman, Construction Dive’s senior editor. “They worked together to develop solutions to help keep workers healthy and jobsites open.”

In announcing this year’s recipients of its “Construction Dive Awards,” the publication noted that “these are the firms and people leading the way for change in the construction industry.”

"2020 was no ordinary year for business,” said Davide Savenije, Industry Dive’s Editor-in-Chief. “After reporting on how people and companies adapted to the new normal this year, we decided our annual Dive Awards needed to recognize leadership in a time of unprecedented crisis. The Dive Awards for 2020 highlight the stories of the organizations and leaders who met the moment by showing empathy for the human condition, agility amid uncertainty and disruption, and resilience in the face of adversity."

As part of its “Construction Safety Challenge,” the coalition announced in September its selection of five pilot projects meant to protect crews against the coronavirus’ challenges. Those projects – chosen from 97 applications and products from 87 companies and startups who responded to a call for coronavirus solutions – include wearable technology for contact tracing and social distancing, digital pre-screening of workers, and smart video monitoring for health and safety. Dozens of other potential products are being vetted by the coalition, and additional submissions are being welcomed.

“Since its launch months ago, our ‘Construction Safety Challenge’ has been focused on pushing the envelope, finding innovations that help safeguard construction crews and team members during this unique, complex challenge, and the Construction Dive’s recognition validates that we’re making a difference,” the coalition said in a joint statement. “We proudly accept the award as additional motivation for us to continue our rapid, unified effort to search out new ways to enhance the safety of our workforce, our clients and our communities, now and in the future.”

Expecting that the resiliency of our nation’s infrastructure and construction environment will be tested by pandemics and other disruptions, the NEXT Coalition intends to continue collaborating on leveraging its members’ safety expertise, share best practices, and search out and pilot new products and services.


Editor’s Notes: 

  • To read Construction Dive’s story about the NEXT Coalition and the innovator award, click here.
  • To learn more about the NEXT Coalition’s Construction Safety Challenge, visit nextcoalition.co.
  • Requests for interviews or more details should be sent to media@nextcoalition.co.


About the NEXT Coalition
Launched in early 2020, the NEXT Coalition comprised of leading U.S. and global engineering and construction firms has been dedicated to safeguarding the industry by protecting the lives of its workers and the communities their work impacts from threats including but not limited to COVID-19. The coalition’s “Construction Safety Challenge” has pursued safer, healthier and more sustainable approaches to construction by seeking companies and startups with emerging technology solutions that can be quickly deployed to address current and future problems in the field and office.

Media Contact Information:

JIM SUHR | +1 913-458-6995 P | +1 314-422-6927 M | SuhrJ@BV.com

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