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September is Associates Appreciation Month

We are very happy and proud to have within our ranks a fine caliber of Associate members to compliment our Builders and Remodelers.  Since September is National Associates Appreciation Month, we thought we’d advance share a story NAHB will be featuring about the Ramp Program by our Associates Council. THANK YOU ASSOCIATE COUNCIL AND ASSOCIATE MEMBERS!:

The Ramp Design and Construction Program was originally conceived by our Associates Council (AC) back in January as a means to work with high school design, drafting, and carpentry students, and assist an older adult in the community.  We recognized the need to work with the younger students as they represent our future workforce.

As a design project with Hodgson Vo-Tech High School in Delaware, AC members John Johnson and Debra Young met with the students and completed a presentation on ramp design, illuminating how each of the ramp features impacts use by persons of different age and ability levels.  The concept of Aging-in-Place and the difference between ADA/accessible design and Universal Design were also presented.  The ramp project case study, building an entry/exit ramp within the garage of a homeowner, was also presented to the students.    The purpose of the ramp is to assist a 92 year old resident who uses a power scooter to enter and exit the home to safely age-in-place.  The project also took into consideration the safe entrance and exit of the home by the resident’s many friends who visit her on weekly basis for group games, who also use canes and walkers due to mobility challenges.    Because of the sensitivity needed for ease of access, Debra, an occupational therapist and Owner of EmpowerAbility LLC worked closely with the drafting students so they could understand how the design of a space impacts a person’s safety and functional performance of daily activities.  In this case, how the design features of the ramp such as slope,  handrail location, turning radius, and the like, may impact the use of the ramp by the homeowners and their visitors, all of varying ages and levels of ability.

As a Professional Land Surveyor, John, a Principal with Karins and Associates Engineering also worked with the students including site visits to obtain measurements and trouble shoot potential obstacles.

After completion of the design, other HBADE members helped the project by walking it through the permitting process, organizing the build, securing donated materials, assisting that day with construction supervision, and documentation of the build.

In late July, the Associates Council Ramp Build was held in Academy Hills in Newark.  The scope was to construct and build a ramp inside the garage of an existing home to assist the older adult resident with safe access into and out of the home with a power scooter as she was increasingly becoming unable to safely navigate the steps.

All of this ramp work was done by volunteers and sponsors.  Although a few minor details of the ramp still remain to be finalized, the core ramp construction is complete and has passed final permit inspection.  A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held soon at the site to celebrate the completion and the successful results from the synergy between our Associate Council members, other HBADE members, the local high school instructors and students, and County officials

A sampling of pictures here show students Jerry and Ivy in action, along with our Associates Council members Debra Young, John Johnson, and Mike Janis.  We were helped greatly by member Brian Rickards of Benchmark Builders who oversaw the build and instructed us all along the way.  All of our members took time from their work day to help the build.  Associate Vice President and HBADE Life Director Jim McCulley served as photographer for the event.

HBADE member firms that helped included:

Associates Council:

John Johnson, Karins and Associates Engineering

Debra Young, EmpowerAbility LLC

Jim McCulley, Watershed Eco LLC

Mike Janis, RCI Printing and Graphics

HBADE Members Helping in the Project:

Matt Egan, Cornell Homes, Obtaining Building Permit

Brian Rickards, Benchmark Builders, Ramp Construction Management

Jon Long, LC Homes, Materials Donation

John Shone, Shone Lumber, Materials Donation




About HBA of Delaware

HBA/DE has been an integral part of the growth and economic development of the State of Delaware since 1947. HBA/DE was founded as a non-profit state affiliate of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) representing home builders and other businesses directly related to Delaware's Home Building Industry. Consisting of Builders, Remodelers and a group of diversified associate members, the Home Builders Association of Delaware strives to protect and preserve housing as a symbol of America.


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