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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.
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.
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 robust.
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 family”.
Alameda’s 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.