It's Earth Day in Texas, as it is elsewhere, but here's a story about an unconventional builder whose primary mission is as much about environmental management as it is about construction. From Zillow:

“Our primary goal is to keep things out of the landfill,” says Dan Phillips, owner of building company The Phoenix Commotion in Huntsville, TX. “It doesn’t take any more time to go to the junk yard than it does the lumberyard.”

Among the items he keeps out of the landfill are corks, framing samples, CDs, broken mirrors, damaged musical instruments, and even bones from ranchers’ boneyards. Using these unique materials, Phillips and his crew build homes for under-served populations. They focus on constructing creative living spaces for those who would otherwise be unable to afford a home.

The Phoenix Commotion has built more than two dozen structures over the past 17 years. They haven’t all been homes; the projects have included studios, a tree house, a public restroom, a church, an education center, an office building, a park, and a town gazebo. All the structures were built in run-down neighborhoods, because that’s where the need was.

“Building in deteriorated neighborhoods is both a choice and a necessity,” says Phillips. “There are no deed restrictions, the lots are cheaper, and there’s a need for affordable housing. I’ve rescued three neighborhoods this way.”

He targets three under-served populations: single parents, low-income families and artists.

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