Canstruction: AEC Rallies to Feed Hungry

What do Gilbane, Arup, and Thorton Tomasetti have in common? Yes, they’re all in the AEC industry, but they also all participated in this year’s Chicago Canstruction competition, hosted by the Greater Chicago Food Depository. With the cans used to build structures like “BB-Ate” and “Can Gogh’s Bedroom”, over 100,000 lbs of food will be used to feed families in the Greater Chicago area. The cans donated during last year’s competition made up one-sixth of the entire food donated to the food pantry in 2015.

But that’s just Chicago. The international executive director and president of Canstruction, Carrie Kirk, said over 300 cities have hosted Canstruction events with more than 45 million lbs of canned food donated to local food banks, since inception in 1992.

The non-profit food charity reaches more people each year. Since 2012, 15 countries hosted Canstruction builds for the first time. Braga, Portugal held its inaugural event in 2013, and won that year’s People’s Choice award in the international competition. Just two years later, they were second runner-up for the same award, donating over 107,000 lbs of food — the fourth most of any city in 2015.

What I think is really neat is it’s an event [specific] to the AEC industry,” said Canstruction Chicago’s 2016 co-chair Matt Dvorak (director of marketing at Primera). “The fact that each of these architects, engineers, and construction firms get to use their skill set to donate all this product to the hungry … is amazing.”

Who were the 2016 Chicago Canstruction winners? 

Watch the video to find out!