This site is about very small, one-person houses I call
What is a Basic Personal Shelter?...........A basic personal shelter is a very small house for one. I began working on small houses in the 1970s. For me, it was a desire to simplify. The architect in me wanted to design the smallest, simplest house I could. I have kept working on them all these years. The internet, cell phones, and computers have made life in a small house seem much larger. You can now be connected to the world and not restricted to life in the small house. A small house is also affordable to more people. It provides privacy that an apartment does not. I believe my interest in small houses coincides with society's simplification of clothing and food. I see simple t-shirts becoming accepted clothing. I see food bowls replacing 3 course meals. My interest in small houses has always been in simplifying and affordability. In a BPS, I see life becoming fuller because the maintence of our home is simpler and less time-consuming. It leaves us more time to explore all the other aspects of life. I now see the Basic Personal Shelter as a modern house for a modern person.
A friend and I wrote a book about my work with BPSes. It will give you some background on my ideas. The front and back cover is to the left.
I have recently had the book printed. I have posted the book proofs here. If you want a hard copy email me and I will tell you where you can buy it.
You can read the full book by clicking on the PDF symbol below.
Basic Personal Shelter (BPS) - 240 square feet - Early picture
Article 2017 about Jeff and his 240 sf BPS - Picture good, type difficult to read.
My 240 sf BPS - Recent photo
Inside the Main Room:
Kitchen is to the right.
Bathroom is behind kitchen to the left.
There is no built-in furniture. Each person sets up the main room to live in as they see fit.
This is not a "tiny house". This is a small house. The rooms are normal size. Just fewer of them.
WHAT IS NEXT?
Next for me is to build a BPS smaller than the 12 ft X 20 ft shown on this site. That size was based on the smallest size I could build at that time and still meet local building codes for a permanent house on a lot in my city. I have proven to my satisfaction that 240 sq ft is liveable and actually more than what is really needed. My next built house will likely be 12 ft x 12 ft. I believe that size is also liveable, and small enough to be affordable by many. I may have to request a code varience if it is too small to meet current building codes. We shall see.............
See my working design sketches of the 12 x 12 in the drawings below:
If you build a house based on what you see on this website,
it is your responsibility to confirm you meet all building requirements
which are applicable in the place where you are building.
What you see here might not comply with what is required in your location.
This is the site of Jeff Abrams, AIA Architect.
You can communicate with me by email: Jeff@VerySmallHouse.com
Or phone/text: 803-447-6231 USA
Would you like to send me a comment?
Please use the comment box to the right.
A Story About the Future of Housing:
I currently work at the University of South Carolina as a project manager for construction on campus. I see students all day long all over campus walking with backpacks on their backs. These are intelligent young people, not yet corrupted or burdened by the stresses of the world. They willingly keep their life on their phone. I truly believe every one of them would gladly live in a basic personal shelter if that were what followed as normal housing after graduation. In fact, I believe if they could push a button, or pull a cord, and their backpack would open up and envelope them inside their own basic personal shelter, they would sit right down where they are and spend the night..........Somewhere between that and my 12 x 20 house is the BPS I envision as the "Future of Housing".
SITE UPDATED June 17, 2018.........Counter shows visitors since September 1, 2013.