The Building Industry Association of Southern California (BIASC) on August 11 unveiled the design for its float that will appear in the 2023 Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif. The concept for the float was designed by members of the Junior Builders program, a program formed by BIASC in 2019 that engages 10-15-year-old future builders. The float design depicts the past, present and future of homes, while celebrating the BIASC’s 100th year anniversary in 2023. 

“We have to look at the future of home building and we thought the best people to enlist to help us on future home building was the next generation,” said Jeff Montejano, CEO of BIASC. “It’s important to get them involved at a younger age and the creativity that they bring is something that we were looking for, so since BIA turns 100 on the day of the Rose Parade, we decided to turn over the design concept to the Junior Builders.” 

The BIASC float, estimated to cost about $500,000, will debut at the 134th Rose Parade on January 2, 2023 in Pasadena. Participation in the parade requires every inch of floats to be covered with flowers or other natural materials, such as leaves, seeds or bark. The Jr. Builders’ rose float design will feature three homes, one from the past, one from the present and one from the future. BIASC says this is meant to demonstrate its leadership in the transition to the next generation of home building. 

The home representing the “present” will be hydrogen-powered, with rooftop solar panels, a battery, an electrolyzer to convert solar energy to hydrogen and a fuel cell to supply electricity for the home. The demonstration model that will appear on the float is inspired by SoCalGas’ [H2] Hydrogen Innovative Experience currently being built in the Downey, Calif., which will be the first home in the country to showcase how carbon-free gas made from renewable electricity can be used in pure form or as a blend to fuel clean energy systems of the future.

This year’s leading sponsor of the float, SoCalGas, announced a $100,000 donation to support the expansion of the Junior Builders program to provide sponsorship opportunities for children from under-resourced communities to participate in the program and help construct the float.

The Jr. Builder program was the idea of Montejano’s 15-year-old daughter Mia, who says she got involved with home design and building while visiting her dad at work. “I fell in love with design and it is now a passion of mine,” she says. She created Jr. Builders with the help of her dad and BIASC to give other kids a chance to share in her passion for building.  

Jr. Builders gives interested kids the opportunity to learn about the building industry with online home design contests and interaction with industry leaders. Due to the COVID pandemic, the program was stalled shortly after being formed and remained dormant until the opportunity arose to assist with the upcoming Rose Parade. 

This will be the first time in Rose Parade history where children have had complete control over a float's design. At an event last month hosted by BIASC and national homebuilder Brookfield Residential, Jr. Builders watched an interactive slide show of past Rose Parade floats for design inspiration and then began a brainstorming and designing session with the help of professional float designers.