A design for small, low-cost demountable homes with full facilities (cooking, washing, shower and toilet).
© Plateau Group
This H4H design is available to any volunteer groups for non-commercial use, but please make a formal request.
The H4H Project
The Original Concept
The idea for these small demountable homes (we may get sentimental and call them "Cosy Cabins") grew out of a much larger and more elaborate project following many years of erratic discussion by old investigative journalists (some from overseas) who decided to try to take some practical action, rather than just criticising the efforts of others.
This irregular cohort of discussant used the name "Plateau Group" because it was advocating a new method of engineering urban centres. We only met on-line and we shared ideas and information ... mainly about science corruption in the earliest period. A few of the group have since died, and others have retired or are now involved with many other projects. The final dimensions and potential faults can be shafted home to the Convenor, Stewart Fist.
One fact that emerged from these Plateau Group discussions was that any form of social housing built and owned in the conventional way will always be considered by about half the voters as a costly burden on society and by many speculators as a source of revenues. While it may get a few government grants, it will achieve very little in solving the nation's housing problems, and it won't be long before one government or the other will privatise it and sell the company off to their favourite property developers.
This is a regular problem in Australia. The size of our cities; the myth that we need to be "Big Australia", and the home-associated family life-style we all aspire to, will always be putting pressure on housing costs. So now that they have inflated to ridiculous levels, a totally new approach is needed.
Demountables: Hence the idea of demountables -- homes that can be flat-packed and mass-produced by unskilled labour. They will be cheap in terms of materials; owned by a non-profit; and can be located in almost any vacant lot. When not used, they can be moved, stored so as to be available for emergencies, and erected and functioning with only a few hours of a disaster.
There is another side to demountable housing. When a housing unit can be flat-packed for transport, you are essentially dealing with six flat panels, and these can be fabricated in some sort of a very basic "factory", using pre-cut materials, requiring the use only of standard home-handyman tools like an electric drill, screwdriver, a hammer (occasionally) and a handsaw (not an electric saw).
Anyone willing to volunteer can contribute to such construction, since everything is done at waist-height, and in such a small unit, all physical work is done within arms reach. We envisage having only two people working on each panel, with possibly a more experienced "supervisor" available when required.
This web-site is an attempt to provide detailed printable guides and instructive explanations for each of the main panels and components.
Mass production is therefore possible without needing to set up assembly-lines and large organisations with high capital requirements. This is the house that volunteers including the homeless themselves can build in any underground car park.
This was the H4H program's initial inspiration.
It is not a "shelter". It aspires to be a liveable home with cooking, washing, shower, and toilet facilities. It therefore needs plumbing, sewerage service connections and electrical feeds. But with a bit of thought, these utilities are all possible without the expense of needing tradesmen on assembly sites.
If you find faults, or miscalculations, please contact the Convenor,