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Phoenix Commotion: Affordable, Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Housing Solutions

As I told my new friend Sheila Blake about my visit to Brad Kitell’s Tiny Texas (salvage) Houses last summer (story and photos HERE), she urged me to get to know Dan and Marsha Phillips of Phoenix Commotion.  I reached out and they graciously welcomed Mario and I into their home this week for a visit.

Phoenix Commotion uses unskilled labor and salvaged recycled building materials to create affordable housing with a viable place in the building industry.   Dan created this model from a passion to build help more families be able to afford to own homes while also teaching unskilled workers and reducing waste.  Of course, Dan explains it best so I will let him do so in his TED talk and you’ll get a taste of his intelligence, creativity, wit, and passion:

Dan was quick to point out during our visit that humans worldwide are using 6% more materials each year than our planet can renew.  We cannot go on like this, which is precisely why his projects use 65% – 85% recycled materials.  Dan and Marsha use discarded and donated materials and find other treasures for their projects (which include their own home…whenever time permits) at the local antique mall.  Conveniently Marsha works there part-time while also helping Dan in important ways behind the scenes with Phoenix Commotion.  She is his brainstorming partner and he tells us how much he values knowing he can ask her opinion about any idea and know he will get a completely honest response.  As one of the rare couples these days to approach their golden wedding anniversary, I am moved by their deep love, authenticity, and commitment.

Dan has traveled around the world sharing his projects and presentations on environmentally-friendly building to comply with local building codes and HOA/POA deed restrictions. These solutions are of particular interest to regions devastated by disasters as a way to affordably rebuild using materials from the devastation. During the twenty years Phoenix Commotion has existed, Dan and Marsha have met many other individuals and organizations working to create affordable housing, increased gardening, reduced waste and a lifestyle that is more harmonious with our planet and resources. Aside from numerous homes, their projects also include TJ Burdett & Sons Recycling (story and photos HERE) in Huntsville, Smither Park in Houston, the Last Organic Outpost community garden and an upcoming mosaic wall for the Lowman Student Center at Sam Houston State University.  Visit their website to view more of their projects HERE.



We were excited to visit one of their current renovation projects in Huntsville, the “Hat House” right next door to his recently completed renovation project, the “Boot House“.  Both measure 900 square feet in full compliance with subdivision deed restrictions.  As I entered the home, I immediately fell in love with the central spiral staircase.  I was surprised to learn it is made of native Bois d’arc trees because of their strength and durability, and equally amused to consider how readily available those would be as property owners dislike their thorns and the “apples” they discard.  A colorfully tiled floor provides beauty and continuity throughout the home’s individually themed rooms.  Overall, the place has so much character and creative practicality!  Upon completion, indoor climate will be managed with energy-efficient heat pumps to pull heat in during the winter and draw it out during summer.

Below are pictures I took during our walk-through and I encourage you to check back on their website in a few weeks for clearer images after the project is completed. Our deepest thanks to Dan and Marsha for their hospitality and time. LISTEN TO MY INTERVIEW WITH DAN PHILLIPS this summer:  July 8, 2018 on Exploring Possibilities which can be heard on Journey of Possibilities website, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Google Play.

With love and gratitude,
Sheryl Sitts, MPA, BA, Holistic Spiritual Speaker, Coach & Practitioner
Founder, Journey of Possibilities ~ Exploring possibilities & shifting perspectives in holistic, spiritual ways







Here’s a picture of the Boot House taken through a window at the Hat House!

Sheryl’s Blog


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