Eric Penner de Waal talks about building a home out of 80 per cent recycled materials during the 2012 Green and Sustainable Energy Housing Forum and Fair at SIAST Palliser Campus on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012.
Building a house for $35,000 and using 80 per cent recycled materials is a task that not only can happen, but in fact has in Regina.
Eric Penner de Waal, owner of Waalnut Construction, said his business is concerned with “Earth-conscious building” and it’s a goal requiring versatility and imagination.
“Green building isn’t just a set of rules,” he told the audience during a Saturday morning session of the 2012 Green and Sustainable Energy Housing Forum and Fair at SIAST Palliser Campus.
As an expression of his ideals, last year de Waal set out on a mission — to build a usable and efficient house with 80 per cent recycled materials. This required some scavenging.
“So we started collecting garbage,” he said, adding about 2-3 of his staff spent five days looking for spare building items it garbage bins and construction sites. de Waal said he was able to use the Habitat for Humanity ReStore as a source for project volunteers.
Signs played an important role in the homes construction, quite literally. According to de Waal, 90 per cent of the outside wall was sheeted with plywood from used signs, which he was able to collect from local sign companies.
“We took all this signage they had and took it to the ReStore.”
The goal was to erect the home, a small modular cottage, within just a few days in August. Because of the unique nature of the project, CBC filmed the operation. These were all new experiences for de Waal.
“I never built a house in three days before, nor have I tried to do it out of recycled materials, and it turns out it works.”
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.