For $10,000, Dan Phillips is able to build affordable, attractive homes for low-income people. And to top it all off, they are energy efficient, green homes! They have tight insulation, solar hot water and even a rainwater catchment system.
Most builders purchase their materials, which consists of piles of wood, sheet rock, nails, bricks, tiles etc. After they are used in construction they discard the waste by taking it to the dump. Dan Phillips, salvages the left over materials, takes them from the trash or even the side of the road and uses them to build or remodel homes. Phillips keeps the landfills shallow by using leftover building materials such as timber, tile and granite. He hires unskilled workers, teaches them marketable construction skills and then helps them find jobs when they have finished the project.
He says that he is only doing what people have been doing for years--using whatever they can find to build a shelter. Locals even give him their old fixtures and doors when they remodel. Dan Phillips keeps a warehouse and distributes free to low-income and needy organizations. His material warehouse has even inspired a spin-off in the Houston area, which in 2009 diverted 200 tons of building materials.
"He is saving costs, but he is also saving Mother Earth"
SOURCE: TED TALKS and AOL REAL ESTATE