Re: Low-cost Spaceframe Housing Concept Proposal

Aisha Musa

//utilize the 'un-nice' 'junky' spaces//

Yes. This is why affordable housing is so often built near such things as sewage treatment plants, railroad tracks, and toxic waste repositories. God forbid that undesirables like the poor have housing in "nice" spaces. Beggars, after all, dare not be choosers.

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

On Mon, May 3, 2021 at 11:46 AM Skip Trantow <skiptrantow@...> wrote:
I think you've stated the exact problem. Trying to site a tiny village on a nice flat urban lot will face two pressures: 1) Developers will pay a premium price for it and build market-rate housing on it for a decent profit.  A tiny-village can't compete with that investment return. 2) The nice flat urban lot will likely also have many nearby households who may not want a tiny-village there, as it risks decreasing the house values in the neighborhood, i.e., the NIMBY pressure.

That said, I think the flexibility of spaceframe solutions allows us to utilize the 'un-nice' 'junky' spaces that would be cheap to procure, no developer using conventional building methods could pencil out a project on it, and would probably be less prone to NIMBY pressure.

That's my 2c anyway.

On Sun, May 2, 2021 at 8:09 PM Emerson This <emersonthis@...> wrote:
@Skip This is my understanding of the idea: build tiny home villages on top of space-truss platforms. I hear a lot of people advocate for the idea of tiny homes as an interim solution. But it's already been very difficult to get those established on empty lots and sites that already exist. How would these ever get done if someone has to build a space-truss first?

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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