Since 2006, hundreds of injured military service members have taken part in Lakeshore Foundation's Lima Foxtrot program in Homewood, Alabama. The program helps severely injured veterans-those who've suffered blindness, amputation and paralysis-learn to be more active and independent. A number go on to compete in the Paralympics with Lakeshore's help. Since the program's inception, veterans have stayed in dorms on the Lakeshore campus, with room for only one friend or relative. But thanks to a campaign called Operation Lakeshore, The Cottages of Lakeshore-10 residential cottagestyle buildings-are under construction so that veterans' family members can share in the healing process. Under the guidance of Birmingham-based Capstone Development, dozens of companies are providing the building materials needed for Operation Lakeshore.
While the facilities at Lakeshore for the treatment and housing of veterans are outstanding, there is currently no on-campus housing for the veterans’ families. The families’ emotional and physical support is important to the overall growth of the participants. Capstone Development is committed to sustainability and, for The Cottages of Lakeshore, the company aims to provide exceptional comfort and attain LEED® Gold certification for all 10 units.
To gain the highest degree of comfort and efficiency, Operation Lakeshore has depended on donations. One such sustainable product that has been donated to the cause is LP® TechShield® Radiant Barrier Sheathing. LP® SmartSide® Trim, Soffit, Lap and Panel are also being used on the project. The use of LP TechShield Sheathing will help Capstone achieve its LEED goal, which is the reason the product was chosen for the project.
"We selected LP SmartSide Siding over its competitors because it had the best texture and appearance in the market," said Mike Mouron, president of Capstone Development. "We knew our installers would prefer it over other cementitious sidings since no special tools are requred to cut or install it."
The 10 residential units will provide family members and injured veterans with a private, home-like atmosphere in energy-efficient cottages. This environment will allow them to bond with other injured military members and their families experiencing similar physical challenges. As a result, both the injured veteran and his or her family will realize that the injury is not as limiting as they thought it was before coming to Lakeshore.
U.S. Army Sergeant Nathan Galloway lost his left arm above the elbow and his left leg above the knee in December 2005.
Since sustaining his injuries, he has experienced the benefits of Lakeshore's Lima Foxtrot program. "It's really good to have a place these families can come together and not only be there to support their veterans but to interact with each other," Galloway said. "It's great to bring these families together and have them grow and heal as well."
Because Operation Lakeshore is working to provide housing for these families, The Cottages will help Lakeshore expand their programs by allowing them to host small groups and families for longer, more intensive and individualized visits.
"You have these veterans who are starting to engage in things like the Paralympics, and the Lakeshore foundation is one of our nation's Paralympics training sites," Galloway explained. "One of the advantages that these cottages will serve is not only having the veterans there with their families, but they can stay there for a longer time and have these dreams of competing in the Paralympics and actually start training."
The Cottages of Lakeshore will include two three-bedroom cottages and four one-bedroom duplexes. All units will be LEED Gold certified, providing maximum efficiency and comfort. "The families of our injured veterans deserve the very best we can build, including LEED Gold energy efficiency," said Mouron. "Thanks to the innovative products being used, we expect to achieve sustainable energy savings in these homes.