Even if you could get everyone to live in tents, housing them would still cost the earth. You have to take up space.
The only way out is up.
Every architect has a mile high skyscraper in his porfolio. He shows it to people to demonstrate how clever he is. He doesn’t expect it to ever be built.
It will never be built because these things are way too expensive.
The most expensive part of any building grows faster than the building itself so it’s cheaper to build many small than to build one big, except that it takes up land and that’s back to the top of this page.
Other difficulties with tall buildings are psychological. Folks don’t like to live in them. We don’t like to share lifts with strangers. We don’t care to walk down cave-like corridors that we share with people we don’t know. We don’t enjoy smells that we can’t identify. Hearing thumps in the ceiling, muffled voices and strange music keeps our minds and bodies in a constant state of stress. Can’t help it, we evolved that way.
If we can manage it, we buy a place of our own in the suburbs which we get to in our expensive car driving over expensive roads. All created by destroying productive farmland and natural space. Which leads back to the top of this page.
The most expensive part of any building is not the land or the building materials or the labour. It’s the MONEY. Before you can build, you have to get someone to give you a lot of money and after you have built, you have to give it back. Often many times more than you borrowed. I often say that I paid $14,000 for the house that I live in (it was a long time ago and it's not much of a house) but, in fact, I paid many times that.
A new construction method.
Instead of building flats ON TOP of a foundation, attach them to the SIDE. Start with one flat attached to a frame only sturdy enough to hold it. Then start collecting the rent.
With the rent collected, make more flats and attach them to the sides. And so on.
How to do that.
Drive four pilings in a square where the length of the sides is the width of the flat plus something for the lift and stairs. Make a frame on these as high as the flat. Make the flat as a steel box unit construction with windows on one side. Opposite the windows, make arms sticking out so that there will be space to work and to keep things like pipes and wires and such.
The key part.
Atttach the flat to the side of the frame using long screws. By slowly backing the screws out, you can add to the frame as you go. All the while not disturbing the tea inside. Then you can add more flats. Driving more pilings and adding to the frame grows the building upward and outward.
There are no floors in the usual sense. No corridors, no strange smells, no strangers.
Since the flats don’t physically touch each other, there are no thumps, no strange voices, no music. One mans ceiling is not another mans floor.
The flats don’t have to be made in situ. Much cheaper to have a factory on the ground and lift the flats into place.
You can make as many lifts as you need so that you never have to share one. Also, since there are no floors, no one can force your door since no one can get to your door without the key to your flat telling the lift to stop there.
The lifts don’t use cables. Since the building is made to grow continuously upward, it would be difficult to use the usual lifting machinery on top since the top keeps moving. Instead, each lift is self-contained and runs attached to a rail like a tram set on its side. Power comes through sliding contacts on the way up and goes back to the rail on the way down.
If you’re fond of your car, you have a problem. You may have to live somewhere else since there’s no easy way to accomodate it without making the lifts big enough to take your car and your flat big enough to have a garage. Big fire hazard anyway so save the environment and walk.
A green building.
Although each flat is made of steel for fire proofing, the frame itself can be made of wood. The frame ends up being a thick block of a wall as material is added and that can be made fireproof. Wood requires much less energy to produce than any other material. In fact, it reduces the amount of carbon in the atmosphere instead of adding to it.
Why this will never be built.
The inventor of this method won’t bother to patent it since patents cost money and there’s no possibility that this could be built. We live in a capitalist economy and the whole point to the exercise is to save money by eliminating the capitalist part. If you started one or more of these in any city, you would instantly gain control of that citys housing cost, this being much less costly than any other method of housing. The housing industry is too important to our economy to be threatened this way.
Those who get upset at the government for refusing to house the homeless don’t understand how critical a part the homeless play in our economy. Simple economics. If you housed everyone, the vacancy rate must rise so the rents must fall.
Next time you see a homeless person, have something for his cup. His sacrifice is what helps our economy to enjoy higher housing costs. Remember that money doesn’t disappear--one mans cost is anothers profit. His profit is where campaign contributions come from. Elected officials issue building permits.
Every architect has a mile high skyscraper in his portfolio. He shows it to people to show how clever he is. He doesn’t expect it to be built.