Firehouse Ministries Shelter; Photo Credit: Building Design + Construction

As announced by, The Metal Building Contractors and Erectors Association (MBCEA) announced its 2021 Building of the Year winners at its Virtual Annual Conference, held April 28 – 30. The top award this year goes to the new Firehouse Ministries Shelter, a 28,000-square-foot facility to house homeless men in Birmingham, Alabama. The building was erected by the Dunn Building Company, headquartered in Birmingham, and manufactured by Varco Pruden Buildings of Memphis, TN.

In addition to the overall winner, Awards of Merit and Excellence were announced for buildings in four separate categories: Education and Recreation, Manufacturing and Warehouse, Reroof/Renovation/Addition and Specialty Buildings. Each of the award-winning buildings can be viewed on the Building of the Year awards video available via the MBCEA YouTube channel at

Entries are judged by an outside panel of judges based on the following criteria: Aesthetics, Unusual or Interesting Features, Quality, Complexity, and Green Building Elements. Judges for this year’s awards were Ronald Albert, AIA, RHA Architects; Jerry Gorski, PE, Gorski Engineering; and Matthew B. Jarmel, AIA, MBA, Jarmel Kizel Architects and Engineers, Inc. To be eligible, a building must have been completed in 2020.

In addition to winning MBCEA’s top award, the Firehouse Ministries Shelter also received an Honorable Mention in Building Design + Construction’s 2020 Building Team Awards. BD+C Juror Josh Greenfield praised the project team for providing an outdoor courtyard/place of respite, plenty of natural light, and a meditation space (the chapel), and recognized for having to work within a building site that touched the property line on three sides, leaving little room for laying down materials and maneuvering equipment. Deliveries had to be received and unloaded in the street; materials had to be stored out of the way of construction activities, requiring precise coordination with all trade contractors on site.

MBCEA is one of METALCON’s partner associations given their mission to continually evolve and improve the standards and procedures used by the metal construction industry. The MBCEA was formed in 1968 to serve the needs and support the interests of metal building contractors and erectors.

MBCEA will be on hand at METALCON 2021 — returning IN PERSON October 6-8 at the Tampa Convention Center in beautiful Tampa, Florida. REGISTER TODAY! Visit with representatives from MBCEA in Booth #1921.