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The Big Build

A Hands-on Family Festival of Tools, Trucks, and Construction


Big Build 2013 Postcard

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Check out highlights from the Big Build 2013:

Be a builder for the day at the Big Build festival! Amateur builders young and old can discover what it’s like to build a brick wall, carve stone, hammer nails, and much more as they work side by side with designers, builders, and artisans demonstrating their skills. Meet plumbers, electricians, ironworkers, landscape architects, woodworkers, and experts in many other fields to learn about their professions and hobbies. At this year’s Big Build festival you can:

  • Climb aboard cranes and tractors
  • Build a brick wall
  • Construct a log cabin
  • Plant a tree and autumn plants
  • Carve stone
  • Imagine living in a tiny 500-square-foot house
  • Compete in a nail driving contest
  • Create a hardware wind chime to take home


New This Year

The Big Build Scavenger Hunt
Kids can pick up a construction hard hat from the Association of General Contractor’s table and collect stickers or signatures on their hat from the demonstrations and activities they participate in. Collect five and receive a prize!

Sidewalk Chalk City
What type of building or feature would you contribute to a cityscape? City streets will be marked on the G Street sidewalk just waiting for your chalk creation.

Getulio! A children’s play
Meet Getulio, the youngest of the Piccirilli brothers who carved the Abraham Lincoln Memorial. It’s a daunting task trying to carve the 19 foot statue on his own. Lend a hand and it just might get done.

Book Reading and Signing by author Isabel Hill
Isabel Hill will read her new book, Urban Animals of Washington, D.C. Join her to find the great architectural details that exist in our own neighborhoods. A book signing will follow the reading.

The Big Build goes green
This year, the Big Build festival goes green, celebrating the Green Schools exhibition with activities and demonstrations that explore how the construction industry helps preserve our resources. New exhibitors include Perkins+Will, Forbo Flooring, Love & Carrots, Little Main Street Playhouses, and Ideaventions. Check out some green resources below:

Green Schools Green Schools
Green Schools Green Schools Resources
Learn How to Build Your Own Green Roof! How to Make a Green Roof
The Green House 10 Tips to Go Green
Green Communitites Classroom Kit Green Community Teaching Kit


Thank you to the 2013 participants: American Institute of Architects (AIA) Foundation; American Society of Interior Designers; American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA); D.C. Association of Land Surveyors; The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC); Blacksmiths' Guild of the Potomac; The Children's Science Center; Clark Construction Group, LLC; COTEdc: D.C. Committee on the Environment, American Institute of Architects; Jeff DiMeglio: Stone Carving; The Electrical Alliance and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 26; International Masonry Institute; International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Local 1 MD, VA & DC; Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT); Lafarge; Love & Carrots; Metropolitan Washington Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors; Miller and Long; National Capital Art Glass Guild; Natural Edge; Perkins + Will; Potomac Valley Brick and Supply Co.; Salvagewrights Ltd., Architectural Antiquities; Andy Seferlis: Stone Carving; Tiny House Co-op; Wagner Roofing; and Washington Woodworkers Guild.


The Big Build: A Hands-on Family Festival of Tools, Trucks, and Construction is generously sponsored by The Associated General Contractors of America; International Masonry Institute; International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers; International Union of Elevator Constructors; Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust; The Electrical Alliance; Independent Electrical Contractors, Inc.; with special thanks an anonymous donor. Washington Parent is the exclusive parenting media sponsor of The Big Build.

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