CANstruction Moves to Dimond Center Mall – Structure Goes Boldly where no Man has Gone Before

October 12, 2017

R&M spent the afternoon of October 6 at the Dimond Center Mall building an out-of-this-world starship made entirely of canned foods for the 2017 CANstruction competition, an annual fundraiser for the Food Bank of Alaska. This is the first year the competition was held at the Dimond Center.

During CANstruction, architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) firms design and build structures made from canned food. Teams build their canstructures within a 10’ x 10’ x 8’ area and all structures must be completed between noon and midnight on build-out day. All of the cans used in construction go to the Food Bank at the end of the competition to help provide food for hunger relief programs throughout Alaska. An average of 38,000 pounds of food are donated each year by the participating teams.

This year’s theme was Science Fiction. R&M wanted to go with something fun and unique, so the team decided to “set phasers to stun” and build the USS Enterprise from Star Trek.

“Star Trek has been a part of popular culture since R&M was founded in the late 1960s and the adventurous spirt “to boldly go where no man has gone before” resonates with the multi-generational staff at R&M,” said Taryn Oleson, Planner and member of the R&M CANstruction team. “CANstruction is a favorite community engagement event around the office because it not only provides large donations to the Food Bank of Alaska, but allows our engineers to flex their design muscles in a different kind of challenge.”

The structure was made out of macaroni and cheese, pasta boxes, tuna and V8 Fusion, totaling more than 2,000 cans. Staff Engineer Joe Horazdovsky, EIT, with the help of Project Engineer Ryan Goenztel, PE, designed the Enterprise and Marketing Coordinator Sarah Hall handled team logistics and the can order. The structure took approximately seven hours to build with a 10-person team made up of staff engineers, project engineers, materials laboratory technicians and marketing staff.

“It was extremely rewarding to work with such an awesome team towards a meaningful goal,” said Joe Horozdovsky. “The general public seemed very positive towards CANstruction and its cause during the assembly of the structures. Hopefully having it hosted by such a well-traveled venue as the Dimond Center will help gather lots of additional food donations from passersby.”

R&M has participated in CANstruction since 2009. Structures R&M has created in the past include a Mine Shaft Trolley; the Kraken Sea Monster; Moose’s Tooth pizza slice and beer glass; a DNA strand; and the Very Hungry Caterpillar. An average of 2,150 cans were used to create each structure.

Structures will be available to view at the Dimond Center through October 15. Bring cans to cast your vote for the People’s Choice award! Each canstructure will have a bin where you can drop your donations off.

Thanks to the R&M CANstruction Team for all their hard work – Joe Horazdovsky, Ryan Goentzel, Taryn Oleson, Dave Carlson, Morgan Welch, Len Story, Jean Cumlat, Van Le, Katie Chan, Sarah Hall, Christine White, Terry Gryting, Jai Chang, Mike Fefelov and Quincy Smith (Dimond High School).