Waldenmar Alameda and son Waldie.
At first, I did not notice the all-access design of the NextGen Experience
house. But then I spotted Waldemar Alameda, a 39-year-old father of two. He was
using a walker to navigate the crowded house.
Sometimes, hardship brings out the best in people. Despite
the exceedingly tough conditions in the housing market, construction pros reached
out to help a family in need last week in Orlando.
One of the staples of the International Builders Show (IBS)
is visiting the NextGen Experience House. For the last nine years, it has been
built outdoors in the days leading up to the show. The NextGen house is one of
a collection of site-built structures that showcase the latest and most
innovative products used by the homebuilding industry.
This year Champion Homes
assembled a modular
house that demonstrated barrier-free, ADA-compliant systems. Many generous
companies donated expertise, labor and products to create living conditions
that are highly functional, energy-efficient, and eye-catching.
Special access features include ramps, ADA-compliant
appliances and plumbing, a stair lift, and an overhead lift system that allows
the user to move from the bedroom to the bath with minimal effort.
While the home has many great features, it wasn’t overbuilt
like you often see on well-meaning TV shows. The main floor is 1,100 square
feet, with 700 square feet on the second story. The house was compact and
Best of all, when the dust settles on IBS, it won’t mean the
end of the NextGen house. It is being donated to the Alameda family thanks to some great
coordination by Rebuilding Together of Tampa
Following 17 years of service to his country, Alameda became permanently disabled when an IED explosion blew
up his convoy in Afghanistan.
Several vertebrae are “messed up”, he said.
At the end of the evening, several speakers shared details
about the planning and execution that went into this year’s NextGen house. As
each person finished their greeting, they turned and hugged Alameda in a manner that said, without words,
“we know what you did on behalf of our country and we care about you and your
wife Wanda, 13-year-old son Waldie, and 11-year-old daughter Maria soon will have
a very special place to live. The house will be dismantled, shipped to Tampa, and reassembled,
where it will transform from a house to a home.
Thanks, Mr. Alameda, for your selfless service to our
country. And thanks, building pros, for your willingness to help a hero.