Canstruction U, Can Do: Fun Ways to Give Back


Canstruction U, Can Do: Fun Ways to Give Back

This past weekend, BRP competed in Canstruction U, hosted by Drury University’s Hammons School of Architecture in partnership with AIA Springfield. The competition challenges design firms to create and build a structure made entirely of cans. This year, BRP took home the win for Structural Ingenuity and Juror’s Favorite. Three Springfield architecture firms and Drury architecture students teamed up to challenge their design and structural engineering skills.


Each design is still up for the People’s Choice Award. You have until 8pm on August 29th to vote online. Every dollar donated is a vote for your favorite team and a meal for someone in need in the Ozarks. Vote here!


Our design, a Route 66 sign and highway, was chosen because, “we wanted to represent Springfield’s culture during the past, present and future. The Route 66 sign is a symbol that culturally ties the city and region together,” Layne Hunton, BRP Architect explains.

BR&P Canstruction Team

The BRP Canstruction Team: Back Row (L-R) Nicole Shaul, Amber Summers, Jacob Nentrup, Ben VanEps, Layne Hunton, Front Row (L-R): Laura Daugherty, Sean Arkin, Nick Banner, Nate Hay


Designing the structure proved to be an interesting process. “We used modern-day architectural computer programs to break down the design into floor plans and elevations. It’s kind of neat to think that you can take a common everyday item like a can of beans and add design and structural values to it. It makes you wonder what else could be used to build structures and even potentially buildings that people could use,” says Nick Banner, BRP Intern Architect.


The competition is also a great way to explore and learn about other aspects of construction. “Even on such a small scale, this competition definitely helps me understand structural engineering better.  For example, while doing a test build of our sign, we discovered that we needed a bit more structural support to get it exactly right,” says Nicole Shaul, BRP Intern Architect.

Canstruction U Build Day

Nate Hay, who coordinated our efforts, explains “Just like architecture, it’s a lot of coordinating and organizing. You have to work with different groups and as a team similar to that in architecture. Some of the things we had to do included getting donations, going to grocery stores to find the right can sizes, coordinating the design with structure, building mock-ups and transporting the cans to the final build location.”


Consisting of 1,100 cans, the sign took around two hours and 45 minutes to construct. After a week of being on display to the public, all cans will be donated to Ozarks Food Harvest, a food bank committed to fighting the issue of hunger and providing meals to those in need across southwest Missouri.


Route 66 Structure Fast Facts:


Route 66 Structure:

  • 6’-3” Tall

  • 12” Wide

Materials Used:

  • 16 bags of rice

  • 1,100 food cans

  • Roughly 895 lbs of food

  • (2) 6’ threaded rods

  • (3) 4x8x1/4” Plywood sheets