February 8, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATLANTA - To help celebrate the 25 th Anniversary of Habitat for Humanity International, the Copper Development Association Inc. (CDA) joined with home builders and building product manufacturers from across the United States to construct five houses in one week at the 2002 International Builders' Show.
The houses were built in the parking lot outside the Georgia World Congress Center, the site of this year's annual gathering of the National Association of Home Builders. Many of the estimated 70,000 industry professionals are expected to view and visit the homes while attending the convention.
Although all of the houses are designed to be efficient, low-cost structures, the materials used to build them meet the same construction, health and quality standards as most homes. All of the copper plumbing tube and fittings were donated to the project by member companies of CDA. The homes also contain up-to-date copper electrical wiring systems.
Employees of participating sponsors worked as volunteers through the week to help build the five houses in time for the Show's opening ceremony. Among them was the father-son team of CDA president Andy Kireta, Sr., and CDA national program manager Andy, Jr., both of whom formerly worked in plumbing and related trades. The Kiretas, as well as a number of other CDA staffers, swapped their ties and jackets for work belts and boots, then put their trade skills to good use sweating pipe joints and running water lines to complete the project on time.
"This is real work, but it's the kind of work we're happy to do," said the younger Kireta at the end of one long day on the job. "If everyone volunteered just a little of their time, imagine what you could accomplish. This is for people who don't have the means to do it themselves."
The senior Kireta concurred, adding "We're here because we, as a building industry association, strongly agree with the Habitat ideal that everyone-regardless of their income, status, education or whatever-deserves to live in a comfortable home of their own."
When completed, all of the houses will be partially disassembled, moved off their temporary foundations in the parking lot and made available to qualifying families through habitat. In addition to the houses themselves, Habitat officials announced earlier that $16 million has been donated to the organization from the home building community in conjunction with the Show.