Tri-Pop Shelter

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Tri-Pop Shelter

Tom Marble Architecture

A kit-of-parts, easy-to-assemble shelter originally designed as an event pavilion made of speed-rail and fabric

Built Prototype Only


1 resident / 1 unit

$1,250 / resident

Medium Term (1-10 years)

2 days offsite 1 days onsite

A kit-of-parts, easy-to-assemble shelter. Originally designed as an event pavilion for a competition, the Tri-Pop was conceived as a portable shelter made of speed-rail and fabric that could be put up or taken down in a matter of hours.

  • Quoted Total Cost: $1,250
  • Planned Occupancy (1 person/bed): 1 beds
  • Estimated Cost Per Bed: $1,250
  • Quote’s Total Interior Square Footage: 160 sqft
  • Quote Includes # Units: 1 unit
  • Used for Shelter Before: No, semi-residential examples in the U.S.
  • Readiness: Built Prototype
  • In Stock / Ready to Ship Today: No
  • Manufacturer Identified and Available: N/A
  • Setup Speed: 15 days
  • Setup Difficulty: Low skill (RV, tent)
  • % Built Onsite: >75% – Majority of Structure Assembled and/or Built On-Site
  • Portability: Semi-Mobile (detachable, minor disassembly)
  • Intended Use of Shelter: Medium Term (1-10 years)
Design Advantages Small footprint, quick assembly, adaptable to varying site conditions
Manufacturer Identified Yes
Used for shelter in the U.S.? Yes
Prior use examples Originally designed as an even pavilion, it found its first application as a shade structure for a house in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Prior use comments The Client house found that not only is it good for shade during the day, but it also provides a sense of shelter and privacy at night.
Building experience comments As a Pre-Fab structure, there is not really any building as much as there is assembling.
Intended use cases It could be used as a shelter for an individual or several of them could be arranged around an open shared space to create a sense of community
R-value (insulation) 0-10
Risk Category N/A – Temporary Use
Roof Load (PSF) 0
Indoor Clearance Height (ft) 8
Waterproof? No
Professional Engineer Stamp? No
Conforms to ICC’s Temporary Structure and Uses Code This would most likely be classified as tent structure, not a building, with no foundation or permanent building envelope.
Other Structural / Safety Comments As long as it is put up correctly there should be no issues.
Sustainability / Green Building Certifications? None
Materials Used / Made of: Steel
Disassembly / Assembly Comments: You do need a ladder and it goes faster if you have someone helping you.
Ideal Mounting Surfaces Soil (Dirt/Grass), Asphalt / Parking Lot
Anchoring Process No need to anchor — the steel is heavy enough to hold it in place. But for added assurance, you could use sand bags.


Item Cost ($) Notes
Materials $1,250 $1,000 for Steel, $250 for fabric and rope.
Labor $0 Self-assembled
Delivery $100 It could all fit in the back of a pick-up truck
Budget Total $1,350
Total Per Bed $1,350
Total Per Unit $1,350
Add-on Items The Tri-Pop is essentially a frame which can be clad in a variety of materials as the user sees fit.
Check all items that are not included in your quote (i.e. would need to be quoted by outside party) Flooring, Interior walls, Foundation work, Lighting, Windows, Doors, Electrical distribution, HVAC, Toilet / Washrooms, Basic Kitchen, Delivery Charge
List outside vendors needed to execute (including any architects and engineers) Steve Shatkin, Tortoise Industries, steel fabricator
Possible Delivery Method(s) Airdrop, Flat pack module, Regular-sized trailer
Design (days) 0
Production (days) 14
Site Prep (days) 0
Delivery (days)
Total (days) 15
Amount in Inventory (#) 0
Production Capacity As needed
Production Location Los Angeles, CA, USA

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