Space Containment and Housing


Space Containment and Housing

Space Containment and Housing is a group for collecting, sharing, and brainstorming emergency, temporary, portable, and permanent housing using alternative and low-tech methods and materials.

Thanks to Michael Treehouse for the appropriate name of this group and the diagram in our heading (see

Members: 15
Latest Activity: Oct 13, 2018

The time is coming when simple, easy-to-build shelter will be an important need to be filled.

There are many of us now who need reliable, easily transported shelter, and there are some of us who have a strong understanding and background in these things.

Whyt Mountain bear has recently started a discussion about one such type of structure and Michael Treehouse has contributed greatly to that thread.

There is more detail that needs to be ironed out, so I've created this group to accommodate those discussions, and any others pertaining to our need for safe reliable structures.

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Comment by Cody George Aden on June 23, 2013 at 5:57pm

The baler is not cheap, but it is well made and should last a long time. The bales are too cute to feed to livestock. I am sure they would be marketable as lawn decorations in the fall, but then they would probably all end up in a landfill. I would rather build housing, but it requires a lot of physical labor. I have heard said that many hands make light work. Hope to find those hands. Semi permanent, nothing lasts forever, not even a sun. Might even find someone who can teach me how to load pictures onto the web. 

Comment by Michael treehouse on June 23, 2013 at 5:23pm

Sounds good, Cody.  Natural, cheap, and permanent.

I look forward to seeing the pictures.

Comment by Cody George Aden on June 23, 2013 at 11:51am

Here is my idea of real living. I have a caeb baler. Just got it . Only have made 180 bales. 200 bales+ or -. Stacked in double rows circular and staggered , four high, topped with a ceiling and a government grain bin roof. Pack the cracks with cob. Wrap with old barbed wire and stucco. Like a yurt and wickiup both. 

Comment by Michael treehouse on April 19, 2012 at 9:41am

A good resource is Lloyde Kahn's Blog, mostly about tiny homes

Comment by Wajos Awasos"Mountain Bear" on April 10, 2012 at 11:32am

  O K bug out shelter for an emergency ; Sea containers cave in , under dirt 

 Here's the cost limits a $1,000.00 to $1,500.00 or less ... Used fuel tanks 1,000 to 1,200 gallons to be large enough , to be able to stand up inside & to lay down inside ... Do not know if a junk van would work if put in ground , using rear doors as an enter/exit point . Trying to figure out a but out place on my land as a shelter ... limited materials , no time in my life 's day to day to build ; looking for a back hoe os if & when ready I can get a hole dug , found the spot . Hidden from view : found out County will tax on root cellars if they see them .An old school bus may be the thing but if anyone can think of different things to do please add idea's ...Septic tanks are out because the septic tank MFG. Co. has to report where a tank is set or delivered to anyone property . 

 By law I have to report having a hole dug , or a drainage ditch dug ; or any landscape  done ... pond ect.  So I'm looking for a private back hoe .

Comment by Old Jules on January 5, 2012 at 1:37pm

This chicken house is built entirely from salvaged materials and could have gone up in a day if I'd had help doing it.  If I get rid of my chickens I might well make a few innovative changes and move into it.  It's actually a lot more sound structure than the cabin I occupy.



The camper shell roof, the shower doors, most of the lumber, the bedsprings that form the loft beneath the camper shell were free and the lumber was mostly free.


It's not portable, but as a semi-permanent dwelling constructed before things get too bad for near-nothing cost, I'd pick it over most standardized design structures I've seen on the web.

General construction and material details are here along with more photos of it under construction:


Building A Salvage Chicken-Hilton – One Man Band

and here:

White Trash Repairs: Throwing Down the Gauntlet




Comment by Morgan on December 14, 2011 at 9:02pm

Thanks, Michael. Excellent concept!

That's definitely a keeper.

Comment by Michael treehouse on December 13, 2011 at 9:34pm

Alright, then, here's a simpler grouping  

Comment by Michael treehouse on December 13, 2011 at 8:55pm

Clustering of Triacontas

Comment by Michael treehouse on December 13, 2011 at 8:47pm

This is another way to make a simple abode in golden proportions using the principle of the 30-sided rhombic triaconta hedron.

I am planning to make one using sheets of cedar T-111 plywood, and 1 x 4's, screwed together with drywall screws using my battery-powered screw-gun.

Shown is the cut pattern for the rhombuses, being 4' wide, so there is no waste. The leftover peices will make another rhombus, with a 6" strip leftover, which can be used as flashing.

The first row of rhombuses are vertical, and a triangle is left on to make a flat bottom. The connectors are made of 1 x 4's, formed into a member of triangular cross-section, with one side being shorter, and having its edges cut on an 18 degree angle.

The inside plywood may be assembled first, or you can make finished wall panels, having two edges open and two filled with connectors.

Some panels will be made with doors and windows.

Being a fairly small building, it's easy to heat, so one may want to simply do the inside only, and throw a fabric over it , like a tent.

The resulting polyhedrons will cluster, as shown in my next post.


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