“ The extraordinary Life and Times of Strawberry” has over 1 million views on YouTube. After watching this two minutes video, you would agree that sometimes we neglect the intangible energy, resource and effort we put in our daily life.

A box of strawberry has a best-use-by date, however, many of products and materials can be used well beyond it’s normal or typical life cycle. As a result, we find more and more people inspired by living sustainable and using recycled and reused materials.

Houses built with reclaimed material such as shipping containers, airplane parts even beer bottles attract attention from people’s eyes. It is no doubt that recycling and reusing save more money than they cost, but how can we do that?

Here is what we did.  During the months prior to construction, we collected used materials such as windows, wood, metals and stones. Windows were salvaged from local office building, hard wood flooring were reclaimed from a school gym,  metal beams were re-purposed from old warehouse facilities and stones were saved from local museum expansion project.  In order to collect quality building materials, we would go around town in an effort to find anything available on the local commercial construction sites. Of course, consulting with your architect or designer will be a great first start to find out what kind of materials are worth to save.

Ultimately,  the architect or designer complement their  final designs with all the reclaimed materials.  To me, this process, although labor intensive, saves used construction materials from going to land field, instead,  builds something to inspire more people like you. Read more about this home.