CANthedral – CANstruction Chicago 2018

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ECS Chicago has teamed up for the fourth consecutive year with FitzGerald, Eriksson Engineering Associates and Power Construction to participate in CANstruction Chicago 2018.

What is CANstruction?

It is a design build event where teams comprised of AEC professionals design, fundraise and build a sculpture made entirely of non-perishable canned food. These CANsculptures are on display at The Mart through September 10th and then donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD). This the largest one-day fundraising event for the GCFD, collecting over 120,000 lbs of food each year.

Not only is this a fun way to use our professional skills to give back to the community, but it truly takes a lot of time, planning, and effort. To make things easy, our team divides and conquers by setting up different committees. Each committee has a specific job function and plays their part in successfully building the CANsculpture (This year titled CANthedral).









  • Design Committee– This group is responsible for coming up with the concept and then creatively bringing it to life. The design is drawn in Sketch Up and CADD. The group then collaborates to finalize. This is vital to figuring out how many cans are needed and placement for each layer.
  • Constructability Committee– Once we have a design, we need to determine how we are going to build it. A few years back, this group came up with the idea of using plexi boards as leveling for each layer. These plexi boards have to be laid out in CADD and then sent to a company who uses a CNC machine to precisely cut them.




  • Can Selection Committee– This group researches cans, pricing and store availability. They must also coordinate with can pick up from the store and then drop off at the practice space. Since we are purchasing high volume the cans come on pallets and we are responsible for transporting them. 
  • Sponsorship Committee– Buying 5,000+ cans is expensive. To offset the cost we must secure sponsors. This group reaches out to anyone and everyone asking for donations to help fund our effort. In return, we place the sponsor’s logo on the board next to our CANsculpture for everyone to see.
  • Communications Committee– The glue that holds the team together. There are many deadlines, forms, and logistics required to participate. This group also designs our team t-shirts and sponsorship board.

See how it all came together: