[Non-Profit Collaboration/Paid] - ICF Designer



Who are you? ( show us those pearly whites — to start, just one photo if you please )

Paul & Jennifer Hedges, Boardmembers, Helping Hedges

What is your industry and profession?

Paul is a Computer Scientist working in the Cyber-Defense field currently. With a history of IT and governance in the corporate world, a background of structure from his time in the military. As a side profession Paul has picked up general construction, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, and drafting on an apprentice level.

Jenni is a Laboratory Scientist working for a non-profit hospital. She has a history in laboratory sciences and work. After meeting Paul, they shortly began remodel work on a home in a year long project. During this time Jenni has expanded her familiarity to an apprentice level in carpentry, plumbing, general construction and design.

Together they started a Washington based Non-Profit Corporation, Helping Hedges, focused on low cost structures for homeless individuals. Our aim is to construct low-cost affordable housing to reduce homelessness in the Olympia area, while employing local builders and upping the skill trade for the younger generation. In addition to this we’re looking to eventually expand to Commercial/Apartment structures.

Where do you use SketchUp? Personally/professionally?

We had used Sketch-Up Pro personally to design our renovation ideas prior to beginning the non-profit. Our builders are familiar with the product but no member of our team is talented enough to create regular sketches.

We would like to transition to use Sketch-Up more professionally to provide options to our low-cost construction designs.

Why do you use SketchUp and what is your favorite thing about it? (Besides using it to impress the babes/bros…)

The UI I find easily to interface with. It was my first experience with a 3D design product. The integration with Trello seems like it would be helpful.

How proficient are you in SketchUp? Beginner, intermediate, advanced?


Have you gone to a SketchUp 3DBasecamp?


What is your current set up? [Computer type, SketchUp version…etc.] (Your lake house and Ferrari don’t count)

I have a SOHO Server that is used to run the majority of the corporation’s collaboration tools and conduct current design projects. As integration of the tool expands, we will more than likely move this to a more powerful laptop to be used on site.

Do you have a 3D Warehouse page with your models, Extensions, or a website you would like to link to or show off to us?

No, but the HelpingHedges.Org website is being stood up currently.

Anything else you would like to tell us? (e.g., you once saw a UFO & tried to model it in SketchUp to get a prototype 3D printed…)

Helping Hedges was created out of an idea that we weren’t doing enough to make the world a better place. Encouraging the altruistic lifestyle in those around us. We began down the path of starting a non-profit in the state of Washington to better put our traits/talents and those around us to work improving the community.

Our goal is to take designs created by the individual(s) in question to be hosted on our website as potential projects for investors/donators/contributors. Using these designs with an accepted familiarity from our construction team and our corporate governance/financial structure we’re attempting to begin expanding the low-cost home pool. We’re looking to build predominantly ICF construction with Foam Core metal roofs. This type of build-technology is what we’re looking to be focused on. Small teams with self sufficient structures and a more modern look.

What is your favorite Emoji?

Winkey-Face with Tongue. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Do you enjoy long walks on the beach…?

I enjoy the cold, on the west coast of America the Pacific Coast is always cold. It is enjoyable to walk and look out, as long as you’re dressed in a sweater.

And onto The Project…

What is it you need?

Building Plan Design Consultant -or- Building Plan Design(s) specializing in Insulated Concrete Forms & Insulated Metal Roofing

Why do you need it?

Helping Hedges is in the process or organizing the aspects of our business from small business model(s) of individuals working on their own; to fit the corporate business model. Currently we have interested builders with experience of remodel and new construction, however we have mostly informal design pitches and submissions. As we migrate to the corporate model of oversite from outside sources and interest. I’m looking to expand the aspects of a building project to be more repeatable and demonstratable.

By taking a plan from a rough design, to a more interactive and presentable format-we can better articulate what we WANT to design, so that we can better build what it is we have designed. Model photos will be hosted on the website for potential projects.

How would it work?

3D construction models would be designed in tandem with builder/re-modelers and myself as a technology/business coordinator helping the process or providing the interface for specific information.

Designs can be submitted without site specific information for new construction as these models will be presented to the builders as model of construction to follow.

If working in a collaborative environment with myself as a design consultant would be the easiest method. This is certainly an option to bring an idea to life.

But what does it pay? (Collaboration/Paid)

That really relies on you-Depending on cost, the entire non-profit is currently being organized and all financing has come from myself. I will purchase designs ad-hoc for each project as needed. Hire at an hourly rate for design projects. Pay by interest of donators in the form of re-imbursement for services rendered.

We can discuss contribution work submitted on behalf of individuals for free in terms of deductible market rate. The 501c3 status is pending for Helping Hedges, however the IRS indicates if your submission is accepted all donations are retroactively tax deductible for the previous 17 months.

Depending on the amount of interest, there could be a permanent paid position for designs in the future.

As this is a non-profit in the organizational stages of its creation. There are multiple positions available at the corporation to be occupied if you share the mission and vision of the Helping Hedges corporation. Feel free to reach out to myself at PaulHedges@helpinghedges.org to get more information about the mission and the Org structure we’re creating!

------This is not an attempt at soliciting donations as they’re not available to be accepted at this time, Helping Hedges is currently looking for like-minded individuals looking to bring an end to Homelessness any way we can------


Here’s my opinion. “Typical new U.S. homes cost $60 -100 per square foot. Building walls of ICFs adds $1.00-$4.00 to this figure.” This 3D printed house costed only $15 per square foot or $10,000 for 650 sq.ft. And if they switched the filament to soil cement, then I imagine they could lower costs even more. If you used 7 parts dirt from the site and mixed it with 1 part cement, then you could save a ton on concrete. I assume they fill the concrete form with insulation like spray foam or something, but I honestly have no idea… If you could work the price down to $1-$2 per sq. ft. while maintaining the houses functionalities and comfort, then the homeless would probably be able to afford it and they’d be ecstatic about living there too. Anyways, I wish your company Helping Hedges great success in building low-cost homeless housing. You’re all working for an honorable cause.


Fascinating idea, however at least for the top Company they aren’t doing partnerships except for their associated non-profit New Story. I have however reached out to see if they’re interested in branching to a new market.

That will all be wonderful if one of these companies starts allowing others to incorporate their advanced technology.

Until then I’d still like to focus on ICF designs on a smaller scale. Even ADU style as we’re looking to formulate an “Ambassador” program where people can have ADUs built on their property for low-income individuals.


Yeah, their 3D printed house technology is amazing! I can’t wait until their houses are made widely available. I think even wealthy people would appreciate how cheap 3D printed houses are. Even though it’s a cheap construction method, you can still make some beautiful modern houses with it. Hopefully, they are able to work together with you. Either way, small-scale ICF designs and ADUs would be a huge help to the homeless community and I applaud your companies’ mission. Another way to reduce costs is dividing the lot of land into many tiny houses, so each homeowner could divide the costs of land together. If you build vertical, then you can fit more houses per lot. And 2 story complexes are cheaper than single story homes because they share the same roof and foundation, rather than each needing their own. And if the homeless housing could house multiple people in one bedroom, then they could divide the costs even more. In Japan, they have capsule beds. If you used those in your design, then you could fit upwards of 10-20 homeless people per bedroom which would greatly reduce the cost per person. Also, the more homeless people you can help get off the streets, the better! And crime gets reported faster in highly populated areas, so it might be safer to have that many people per room. The criminals would get weeded out to correctional facilities very fast because all it takes is one homeless person (out of 10-20 room mates) with a phone to report any crime. There could be 10-20 homeless people per house all sharing a bathroom (with multiple bathroom stalls, showers, and some washing machines & dryers) and a kitchen/living/dining combo room (with lockers to store their personal possessions). That would satisfy their basic needs and lower costs. If designed right, then it could be a pleasant place for the homeless to live.

@PaulHedges I sketched up an idea for homeless housing to house the entire Olympia area’s homeless population. These buildings can comfortably shelter 1,080 homeless people each. The bedrooms don’t need windows (darkness helps sleep), so you can pack the capsule beds very densely in the middle of the building, then they all converge into the living room which has window walls. And on the opposite side is a bathroom.

Homeless Shelter.skp (347.5 KB)

P.S. The type of 3D printer shown printing the houses wouldn’t work for such a large shelter, but if you built your own 3D printing crane on wheels then it could drive around in circles and print it with the crane arm.


I find this interesting. I think the responses you’ve gotten are well intentioned. I don’t think anyone want’s to placed in a capsul. I also think your vision is for a more intermingled arrangement of units in a community setting verses a concentration of units that starts to look and feel like a government project.
I’m not going to enumerated all the problems with these types of arrangements.

What your proposing looks more like a Habitat for Humanity Model to me. The subject of ADU’s is interesting. Some communities embrace them and others forbid them. It really depends on where the land is. ADU’s can provide a benefit to both the owner and the occupant. Income streams from ADU’s can actually help owners cover expenses and sublment incomes while remaining affordable. I can’t stress enough how important the character and trustworthiness of the people occupying the ADU’s will effect the ultimate success of this type of arrangement.

Any architect with a solid background in residential design should be able to come up with what you are looking for. Also adapting to a specific type of construction like ICF does not represent a great challenge. There are some remarkable things being done with steel framed homes that are super insulated and net zero energy footprints. And they can be made into kit’s to be ordered from a catalog.

Anyway I like the idea of making small affordable options for people who are less fortunate.


Haha quite brilliant!

I don’t think we’re able to operate on such a scale at this point, though to dream is wonderful. I like your idea of pod-style sleeping that can be stacked for “emergency” situations. This way I can transform places into and out of shelter form if needed by adding more “sleeping pods” on top of each other as needed and then re-distributing furniture to create a more cohesive layout for a common room style.

I think I’d love to take all these ideas and bundle them under a rapid rehousing project. Something that can redefined as needed to meet accommodations. This way we can still focus on smaller 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom homes to get individuals in but use this structure as a transitional housing until the numbers are down, redefining it to a new use when the population has subsided.


You’re correct, it has one part that adopts the SHOP style housing that Habitat for Humanity does. My issue with HFH is that they’re do not specify income levels or anything like this, so their housing solely goes to anyone who has enough individuals to help them design/build their home… Most of these people are on the street because of a lack of a support system.

I am finding that I’m going to need to find an architect to volunteer or package our ideas and bring them to one for a fee.

I’d like to incorporate all avenues that have been mentioned, ADUs for increased revenue stream for individuals and the company, a larger shelter to assist transitional housing, and smaller 1 bedroom 2 bedroom homes using ICF construction that wont go anywhere (though like you said, steel beam kits might be a good option) I know that the majority of ICF work is low intensive labor which we have a number of individuals who can help with that, we can then get the construction crews to handle the heavy labor.

I’m sort of leaning towards a self designed kit, something to the extent of the same, tankless WH, sets of W/D, heat pumps, and then the rest of the accents all in the same family but different styles. Water resistant laminate, concrete accents where possible, and areas of artificial grass/bedrooms to increase visual appearance and require little to no input from residents to keep the visual appeal.

I have a lot of ideas but putting those to paper and designing them into the styles needed to execute or get buy off from investors is going to be the hardest part.