Can Sculpture of State Capitol Building Wins People’s Choice Award in Local Competition

Lancaster, Pa. – RETTEW, a comprehensive engineering, planning and environmental consulting firm serving the mid-Atlantic region, recently won the People’s Choice Award for the firm’s model of the Pa. State Capitol Building in Central Pa.’s 2nd Annual Canstruction® Competition. RETTEW received the award at a Society for Marketing of Professional Services (SMPS) meeting held recently in Lititz, Pa.

“This year’s Canstruction® Competition resulted in some awesome designs,” said Terri DiBacco, chair, Central Pa. Canstruction® Competition and president, SMPS. “The votes revealed, however, that the Capitol Building was truly a crowd-pleaser.” RETTEW’s design received approximately 25 percent of total votes, which were cast by individuals attending the Pa. Home Show, host to central Pa.’s Canstruction® Competition for the second year running.

RETTEW’s structure, titled “A Capitol CANtribution,” used approximately 4,000 cans and required 13 hours and a team of nine volunteers to build. Organic black beans, light and dark kidney beans, garbanzo beans, green beans, peas and corn composed the structure’s walls, while cans of tuna made up the rotunda. RETTEW’s design also incorporated canned fruit to simulate windows and cans of asparagus to mimic the columns underneath the rotunda. In addition to receiving the People’s Choice Award, RETTEW also received the Award for Best Use of Labels, which was presented to the firm in February. Last year, RETTEW’s design of the Star Barn also won the Award for Best Use of Labels. Giant brand cans were used for both designs.

“The Canstruction® Competition is a perfect of example of how engineers and designers can use their skills outside of the office to benefit the community,” said Mark P. Lauriello, PE, president, RETTEW. “I’m proud of our employees who put forth such a tremendous effort to support this cause.” 

In total, this year’s Canstruction® Competition donated approximately 30,000 cans of food to Project S.H.A.R.E., who distributed them to 188 pantries located in Dauphin, Cumberland, Lancaster, York and Lycoming Counties. The pantries report feeding a collective total of more than 3,000 families per month. An additional $13,000 was distributed to the food banks.

SMPS Central Pa. Chapter sponsors the local design/build competition in conjunction with the American Institute of Architects, Society of Design Administration, and Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Harrisburg. The competition brings together teams of architects, builders and contractors, who design and build structures made entirely from canned goods, which are later donated to local food banks and food pantries. The Canstruction® Competition is an “event held within an event,” concurring with the Pa. Home Show at the Pa. Farm Show Complex and Expo Center, Harrisburg, Pa. 

Ranked among Engineering News Record’s (ENR) list of top 500 design firms in the country, RETTEW provides engineering, land development, planning, surveying and environmental consulting services. Beginning in 1969 as a single-person office, today RETTEW has 250 employees and offices located in Camp Hill, Chambersburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster, Nazareth, and Schuylkill Haven, Pa.; and Liberty and Margaretville, N.Y. For more information on any of RETTEW’s services, please call 1-800-RETTEW-5 or e-mail