By: Megan Danner, Senior Forensic Specialist
Builders scrambled during the last 10 minutes of the Plastic Fantastic competition to swap out LEGOs for that one perfect piece, or find a place to put odd LEGOs that didn’t fit anywhere. For SBSA’s two teams, it was a blur of pink and black as Team Beauvallon and team The Others raced to finish their fantastic plastic creations. Within moments, towers were standing tall, roofs were completed, and one car made its way onto the lego street.
Habitat for Humanity hosted the Plastic Fantastic LEGO Build competition on October 9, 2010, as a fundraiser to benefit their Women Build Home that is currently under construction on the west side of Denver for future first-time homeowner, Christie Halliburton. For this first-ever event, SBSA entered two teams at the professional level, a category reserved for design firms, giving SBSA’s ladies a chance to display their engineering and architecture acumen. Each team in the professional category was allowed 90 minutes to build a Denver landmark of their choosing using 1,000 Legos. All legos had to be used in the design, which made for some down to the wire heavy duty structural reinforcement for Team Beauvallon.
SBSA takes construction seriously, whether building homes for human occupants, or constructing lego mansions. For this event, there was no lack of planning. The two teams were decked out in coordinated team outfits, conducted preconstruction meetings, developed schedules to monitor the progress of construction, and perfected an RFL process (Request for Lego). During the competition, teams were allowed to swap out lego pieces from a lego hodgepodge, and purchase more legos if they needed additional construction materials.
At the end of the 90 minutes, SBSA’s teams had garnered first and second place wins with their lego buildings, albeit in a narrow field. The first place team’s creative engineering shined through with their street scene from the intersection of 16th Street and SOMETHING, which included the Tabor Center and the Daniels & Fisher Clock Tower. The second place team created a model of the Beauvallon building located at 9th and Lincoln Street in Denver, a building that SBSA helped repair after a construction defect litigation settlement. Christie was one of the judges for the competition along with Deputy Manager Molly Urbina, from the Community Planning and Development of the City and County of Denver; and Michael Sizemore, Inspection Services Manager, City and County of Denver. In addition to the professional category, six teams competed in the amateur bracket, which required design of a single family home. The first place amateur team stole the show with a modern home complete with wind turbines, photovoltaic panels and an operable garage door. Winning teams received trophies made of legos, as well as gift certificates to local restaurants. SBSA’s trophy is currently on display in the reception area of our office. SBSA also received an opportunity to have the corporate logo displayed on the sign of a future build, which the staff will also volunteer to help construct on a build day.
Christie’s home is built solely by female volunteers from framing all the way through landscaping. SBSA provided a donation for two teams to participate in the fundraiser which supports Habitat’s mission to build decent and affordable housing. The Plastic Fantastic event helped HFHMD raise $1,200, which will go towards the construction costs of Christie’s future home.
Supporting the mission of Habitat in a fun and competitive way was a great experience for the SBSA women. Their enthusiasm did not go unnoticed by the HFHMD staff, as Jeanne Fischetti, Volunteer Program Manager noted, “SBSA brought Plastic Fantastic to a whole other level! The costumes, LEGO designs and the energy of both teams were beyond anything Habitat expected for a first time event. We hope to see SBSA teams come back and defend their championship title next year!”