PrintSF is a first printing resource available on the 50,000 client base
It's CEO and originator is a forty years old whiz who already made a fortune by reinventing how real estate is sold in California.  Mark Cira was he young executive behind the real estate software that allows for 'paperless transactions' was a hit in Southern California. Now active in another venture with similar 'paperless' goals for the corporate printing, he nevertheless took the time to become a pilot an owner, founding SkyDiego two years ago. A generous man whose altruistic streak knows no borders, Mark was instrumental in advising as well as coming up with a founding donation of $2000.

After more than ten years in the custom stair building business Stairframe Systems Inc. started steel framing staircases in 1999 with custom designed 16 gauge welded steel stringers for builders across North America.
Today, under the new management and ownership of Von Arx Tool & Die Inc, Stairframe (91245365 Québec) Inc. manufactures and distributes a small yet highly versatile inventory of modular welded steel stair stringers of predetermined riser heights, the combinations of which when mix and matching the stringers leading to and from a landing (framed by the builder) create different combinations for any floor-to floor height. 21 SKUs in all, designed to make the distributors’ and the stair builders’ job simpler and better.
The generous CEO Claude Ranger has revolutionized the modular staircase concept. His products have a definite future in some of our two-story concepts; their labor-saving and price advantage, plus the security they provide when we work with untrained crews.
Since we are dedicated at providing safe earthquake resisitive 2-story houses, his concepts will fit perfectly.
This major quality tent manufacturers already serves the refugee tent market very well. As a donor for our institute he will be first to profit from our new geometrical designs, more easily clusterable tents with no guy wires to trip little kids. We intend to develop the prototypes with their research branch.


Most tsunamis have a 'run up' of no more than 1.5 m. Building our shelter on stilts takes care of those easily, especially if the columnar supports dont have permanent walls or other obstacles attached to them. Stairs and other light artifacts can be swept away with no strain of the building itself, although we recommend at least one self buttressing set of concrete stairs to allow beach uccupants to climb up to safety. The entire shelter is surrounded by a circular set of steel railing both to allow endangered people to hang on and climb aboard, and for protection of the building itself against floating debris. There are six entry points all around the structure to allow admission of these people, with 3 doors and 6 windows.
As with the Archimede beach resorts,
these structures are much appreciated since they do no block the views nor the access to the beach. Instead they provide shade and interesting paths to the beach itself.
Although the statistical approach is still very imperfect, the probabilities for a bigger tsunami are very real, one for instance that could generate a few run-ups of over 3 meters. In such a case, the shelter is still quite valid since the pressures expected on the shell are well handled by properties that have been known for almost thirty years. The behavior of the steel connectors and panels is entirely predictable in a symetrical arrangement of dodecahedral modules.
Also known is the fact that the 100-year tsunami could have a run-up of over 3 meters, one that would pressure the structure to the point of endangering its columns and their connection to ground or building. In such an occurence, a powerful upsurge on those connectors would allow the entire building to float up thanks to sliding cylinders inserted into a sleeve cast into the concrete columns. Since the building itself has know flotation properties we can safely calculate that a crowd of 200 people can ride up the bigger waves with the building, the latter ajusting to the surge to a height of 3.5 to 4 meters.
In the highly unlikely tsunamis that could heave the building beyond the reach if it's cylinders, The shelter would simply detach itself and float inland harmlessly, giving it a chance to pick-up more people in danger. Since the outflow of a tsunami of that size is loaded with debris, the building would need to resist these pressure. The circular 'bumper7handrail' system will help deflect these problematic floating objects.
On the other hand, since the building is truly unsinkable because of the rigid foam in its panels, a worse case scenario would involve perforation of the shell, floating out at sea and a panicking crowd that would collect all on one side, tilting the structure dramatically. This is why additional flotation is provided in the form of plastic drums set under the floor, creating a counter force to the asymetrical loading of the floor. This is also the reason why a second floor is helpful as in such a case water would harmlessly flood part of the ground floor. Nervous occupants could safely go upstairs or even on the roof, awaiting help. It is know that again in the worse case scenario the building would never be far at sea, would be essentially undamaged and could be craned to its former site after inspection of the column system. If high capacity cranes ( 2 x 25-ton+ cap. each) were not available, again the worse case scenario would involve essentially unbolting 60 panels and re-attaching them by hand over the columns, essentially tightening 60 high capacity bolts with box wrenches. Of course in a case like this all the joints would have to be re-sprayed with urethane foam, an operation costing $2000 that can be carried out in one day. It would seem that there would be a lot of grateful volunteers for a job like this, repairing 'mama' after she took care of 200 people!


To reach us, send email to Jacques at

Contact Nikki at

Jobs applicants: 
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Contact Jacques through Skype: jimpoir


Our mission is to use our diverse pool of experience to improve the design, the production and thus the availability of:
  • Cyclone shelters for hurricane prone areas.
  • Refugee and medical shelters for harsh environments.
  • Temporary housing serving vastly diverse clienteles.
  • Low-cost social-housing in difficult physical or social environments.
  • Rebuilding programs for disaster zones, flooded areas, tsunami, earthquake and hurricane victim zones. These programs include everything from low-cost social housing to high-end beach resorts.
  • Mobile or temporary housing units for health, security and logistic workers.
  • Fully equiped headquarters for NGOs and emergency management groups.
  • Individual housing for special needs in special contexts (More later).
Our aim is to help alleviate the worldwide shortages of these special construction projects. Our basic aim is to use all our skills and experience to make these more economical to produce while infinitely more reliable. To do all of this on a fast-track procurement , design, testing, manufacturing and delivery schedule is our ultimate goal. Ours is a non-profit organization and all of our past and future development ideas are and will be of public domain. To that end our patents will be licensed free of charge to all developing or disaster afflicted nations.

  • We will always choose the most expedient and economical methods for our clients to reach their goals, forming their construction professionals, training their building crews, teaching their industrialist to produce our solutions locally.
  • To that end, after a design is accepted, we create a few prototypes for testing purposes, but also to give the representatives of the client a chance to learn the methods hands-on, living with us for a few weeks until he feels ready to duplicate our tooling and methods in his own country.
  • When the budget allows, our own multi-skill and multilingual building crews will travel to the client's country to build prototypes while training local construction workers with our techniques.
Our most sincere wish is to see a tenfold increase of the number of available cyclone shelters worldwide before 2012. This is entirely possible if we do it together. As a side benefit, the technology will seep through regular construction worldwide, helping produce a 10,000-fold increase in houses that ARE protected against hurricanes (or typhoons or cylcones). This could actually reduce the number of shelters required for an enlarging population. Before 2020? That's as good a target as any, don't you agree?

Jacques B. Poirier, Director
The Archimede Institute
Cantamar MX


Azerbajan Tent Villages

Pakistani Earthquake of 2005

Iraqui-Jordan Refugees

Collapsed tents, taken down by the U.N. refugee agency because of high winds and the dust storms , line an empty refugee camp on a cold, wind-swept plain near the far eastern Jordanian town of Al-Ruweishid, 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the Jordanian-Iraqi border Wednesday, March 26, 2003. This refugee camp is ready to receive thousands of fleeing Iraqis because of the US-led strike against Saddam Hussein 's regime, but so far, there isn't a single one. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Typical Refugee Tent Catalog

GOOGLE MAP- For A Satellite View of Some of our Projects






Ground shaking lasting sometimes for just a few seconds to up to over one minute affect construction that is not capable of handling the sway induced by these lateral vibrations. Mostly rigid structures with high center of gravity are subject to huge stresses at connector areas.Masonry construction is the first victim whereas lightweight steel of wood construction with adequate connector reinforcement can handle these exceptional stresses quite well.
Archimede systems has 3 great assets for earthquakes, whether on high columns or on a ground slab:
  1. A system of shear walls oriented in three axis vs only two, as with orthogonal construction with right angle wall intersections.
  2. Lightweight rigid construction where stresses and strains are distributed throughout the entire envelope.
  3. Steel or concrete columns long enough to absorb most of the horizontal sway, thus protecting the shell held above (valid for stilt construction Archimede solutions).




Quite obviously the raised Archimede houses can take on any flood. Even when the flood rises beyond the shell's lower edges, the tightness of the envelope will keep the water out. In cases where the water level is expected to rise much higher, we recommend a style of stilts developed to extend out, allowing floatation to take over. For tsunami shelters, a breakaway system allows the entire house to float away, tethered to a chain anchored to the ground. In this manner, the house is more capable of dealing with the floating debris that could  impact the shelter negatively if it was fixed in one place.






  • Pat Faley's company designs and builds drones for the US armed forces. These pilotless aircrafts are used with deadly purpose in Afghanistan, but also for surveillance over the US southern border with Mexico. This ex-fighter pilot is a brillant adviser on automation and other assembly line technologies.
  • Pierre Caouette, Regen Nautic founder and CEO is also an ex commercial pilot who recently developed digital technology to manage the electrical systems of 'green'  yatchs and cruisers. More than a consulted friend and industrialist, Pierre is also a generous donor to the Institute. He also represents us occasionally in Florida where Regen Nautic is located.




Space-Filling (tessalation) Housing Modules That Allow Expansion In several direction (Poirier- 1979)
  • Over 1000 houses in 12 countries built using this system

Wedge Action Panel Press (Poirier- 1980)
  • A-Frame double-dide press platens riding on rails and acting like 'easels' to receive facings and other sandwich panel components like doors and windows.
  • Fixed A-frame outer press receives the platens that are then wedged tightly into it by floor mounted hydraulics








Obviously it is well worth living 10-15 ft above ground when the purpose is to sleep better, knowing that



A Little Background Info

J. Poirier fell in love with this geometry and gave most of his adult life to it. But first, back in the early seventies, he designed 25 different snowmobiles for 3 companies . Then he designed cross-country skis in Finland and Canada, acquiring expertise in injected urethane foams and their production machinery. Later he applied this knowledge to the design of camping trailers, then motor homes, then mobile homes, all embodying rigid foam stressed skin panels. He later worked for a year on a concept of housing based on identical panels bolted together in each corner. This effort culminated in developing the machinery and building a plant called Archimede. Rhombododecahedral housing was born, made up of only two format of panels, both parallelograms of roughly 100 inches on all sides. He did have a short carreer in commercial architecture, but the simplicity of those 'space filling' shapes seemed to have gotten Poirier hypnotized till today, this time focusing on the benefits to the planet that are possible through the Archimede Institute he recently founded.


Will be disclosed by mid-April.


In northern Mexico we are creating a super-high earthquake zone house of two stories. We expect it to withstand an over 7.2 close range earthquake with no structural damage. It will be tested in sections on the UCSD facilities's test bench. Click here for front view


  • We are very much involved with Mission Africa Smiles, a team of Quebec doctors and medical specialists who perform facial reconstruction in West Africa. Their advice is precious forthe design of our field hospitals, our heliported operating rooms and other medically oriented buildings.
  • We are involved with ABC network and Dan Harris, the weekend news anchor and star reporter whose work in Haiti got much noticed. We are counting on their help to raise awareness of our services worldwide.