It’s amazing what you can create with some time, ingenuity, and perfectly usable materials that no one else wants. These houses may be built with style in mind, but they’re also helping keep vast amounts of items from ever reaching the landfill.
A short video on Dan Phillips and the Phoenix Commotion, a construction company located in Huntsville, TX, focused on building homes made out of recycled and discarded materials. Mr. Phillips was the original inspiration for starting this blog. If recycled housing ever makes it up to the Metroplex, Mr. Phillips will be a big reason why.
Less than a year ago, I was a run-of-the-mill college grad in a new city with a steady-paying job. And like so many people these days, most of my news came from the internet. Much of the time it was sports-related, other times I read up on politics and special interest stories. If an article ever intrigued me more than usual, I made a habit of saving it for later. Nothing more. But a New York Times article on the Phoenix Commotion, an organization that builds homes out of recycled materials, had me fascinated from the start.
Beautiful, creatively constructed houses, made primarily out of what would otherwise be considered trash. Not only are they wondrous to look at, but they’re affordable as well, offering low-income individuals the opportunity to live in a home that they built with their own hands.
Wait a minute… built with their own hands? Aren’t we talking about so-called unskilled workers? How is it possible? Dan Phillips, the man behind the Phoenix Commotion, operates on materials donations, a shoestring budget, and the help of the future homeowners, teaching them the skills necessary to not only build their own house but also enter the job market with their newfound abilities.
So where is this operation taking place? Perhaps the West Coast, where green living is often an everyday habit? Nope. Or maybe a well-educated city in New England? Not quite. No, the site of Mr. Phillips’ operation is none other than Huntsville, Texas, a city more famous for its prison than for housing innovations.
My initial reaction to learning of the Phoenix Commotion’s city of operation baffled me, especially as a native Austinite. Austin is practically trademarked as the Texas city most receptive to environmental initiatives. Why, then, does it not also have its own Phoenix Commotion-esque organization? Outside of Texas, why aren’t there other organizations touting affordable, recycled houses throughout the nation? And if they do exist, why hasn’t anyone heard of them? Not finding any answers to my liking, I decided to take matters into my own hands. And what better place to start than where I currently live, one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country?
Welcome to this site.
This blog is dedicated to bringing the mission of building homes out of recycled materials to the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area. Through my budding involvement with the Phoenix Commotion, I hope to spread the organization’s purpose into the Metroplex— and, ultimately, beyond. I hesitate to use the term “blueprint,” but if there ever was the right opportunity to use it, then what the Phoenix Commotion has accomplished is it. After all, if the 65 year old Mr. Phillips can accomplish the things he has in the small town of Huntsville, then certainly recycled housing could gain some sort of footing in an area as large as DFW. Here’s hoping!
More updates of all kinds are to come in the near future. Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. Thanks for visiting, and spread the word!