Re: Low-cost Spaceframe Housing Concept Proposal

Skip Trantow

Hi Aisha,
Yes, if we look at 'raised' platforms, then there is an ADA accessibility problem as these would need a stairway.  However, I think the sweet spot for siting platforms would be over sloped property that is near a road or pedestrian pathway.  In this case you basically protrude a platform out from the road and connect the two with a flat walkway, similar to what is shown in the Pearce Ecohouse design.  Here, you would thus have flat access all the way to the living hut.

On Sun, May 2, 2021 at 7:40 PM Aisha Musa <draymusa@...> wrote:
Dear Skip,
Thank you for sharing this. However, I see that you are missing what is ALWAYS missing from these kinds of plans and that is any consideration of disabled people. There are wheelchair users living in tents on the sidewalks who cannot move to safer alternatives because the alternatives were constructed WITHOUT ANY thought given to accessibility. The ADA was passed more than 30 years ago (after decades of protests by the disabled community) and planning still excludes any consideration of accessibility ALL. THE. TIME.

Dr. Aisha Y. Musa
AYM Education and Consulting, LLC

On Sun, May 2, 2021 at 7:28 PM Skip Trantow <skiptrantow@...> wrote:

Hello All,

I have been closely following the progression of the homeless situation in Portland for some time. I understand this is a complex and difficult situation and do not fault anyone at the Joint Office of Homeless Services or other housing agencies.  There is certainly good work being done, yet I also think there is room for evolving the approach to finding solutions.  

As a retired software engineer, as a hands-on person who has built and/or remodeled several of my own homes and understands all aspects of construction (e.g., structural, electrical, plumbing), and as a life-long student of Geometry (per, it is painful to see Portland devote huge sums of money to large capital low-income apartment projects that seem to house a relatively small number of people for the level of investment.  The problem is outpacing that approach. The recent adoption of the S2HC package that allows more modes of housing is progress. Yet, we ultimately need to get to where permanent tiny-home villages are normal and abundant throughout the urban area. That is the gist of my proposal, Low-Cost Spaceframe Housing Concept, found at , I hope this forum can discuss.  I would like to see Portland’s JOHS do a feasibility study on this concept, and ideally, fund a small proof-of-concept project.  If that works out, go full-steam ahead and fund full-scale projects.  

The proposal builds on the work of architect Peter Pearce whom I met several years ago when he talked about the design of his Spaceframe EcoHouse. I have since devoured his books on design.  Peter is an immense talent who brings a different way of thinking about physical structure and how the theoretical can be formed into practical solutions.  I believe Portland would be wise to harness Peter’s thinking.

To paraphrase Albert Einstein who stated: We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. 

As I see it: We cannot solve our housing problem relying solely on the same construction methodologies that contributed to the dearth of truly affordable housing in the first place.


Skip Trantow





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