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Canstruction® is a special public relations event aimed at putting a spotlight on the design/construction industry doing something tangible to help in the fight against hunger by combining the competitive spirit of a design/build competition with a unique way to help those in need.  Canstruction, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded by SDA in 1992.  

The late Cheri Melillo, a member of the Society of Design Administration (SDA), conceived and held the first Canstruction event in New York City in 1992. During Cheri's tenure as the SDA's National Public Relations Chair, she developed Canstruction with the vision to unite the design and construction community in a series of friendly competitions that also improved the lives of the underprivileged and underserved.   Cheri served as volunteer President and Executive Director for 17 years before her passing in December 2009 of brain cancer. 

Canstruction has grown to become one of the largest contributors to food banks in the world. Since its humble beginning in 1992, Canstruction has held design/build competitions in over 140 cities world-wide donating over 20 million pounds of canned food to alleviate the scourge of hunger and malnutrition.

In addition to the "fill the need” nature of Canstruction, its impact on SDA’s chapters and its members who undertake this event is also significant.

  • As a community outreach event, it is an opportunity for SDA to work with local AIA, SMPS, and engineering societies. It also includes younger professionals and fulfills the need to give back.
  • With the Canstruct-a-Member membership opportunity, it increases chapter membership.
  • It increases the chapter’s database for events by including (potentially) non-member firms
  • As a firm team-building project, it is an opportunity for the back and front offices to work together and build camaraderie, ultimately enhancing the working relationship.
  • It provides event-planning, organizational, and leadership training for those organizing the event as well as each firm’s team.  

SDA chapters participating in this competition include: 



Atlanta  Baton Rouge Boston Cincinnati
Dallas  Houston New York
Orange County
 San Antonio  Toronto


To search for a competition near you, click here.

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