Storm shelter/bunker

Discussion in 'Survival & Sustenance Living Forum' started by Gm49007, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Gm49007

    Gm49007 New Member

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    I have been wanting to build a shelter/bunker for quite some time now, and can't decide what is the best least expensive route. My main ideas is to use a steel shipping container and bury it, but have heard I might have to reinforce the side walls because they are only made to withstand vertical pressure. Does anyone have any pointers or a better idea?
     
  2. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    Good ole cement blocks (or pored concrete walls) are still the best. Long lasting and least expensive. Build in any shape or size.
     

  3. Gm49007

    Gm49007 New Member

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    Is pouring concrete cheaper than purchasing a container
     
  4. PanBaccha

    PanBaccha New Member

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  5. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    You have to go to your local concrete plant. They have many rectangle shaped concrete sections for culverts, etc. Maybe a couple of them would work for you. Look local. Or they can estimate costs for poured walls also.
     
  6. MisterMcCool

    MisterMcCool Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I heard there is a vacant bunker in Midland City. Maybe it's for sale.....
     

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  7. Gm49007

    Gm49007 New Member

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    Bahahah!!!I just laughed out loud!
     
  8. collegekid20

    collegekid20 New Member

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    Depends on the PSI of the concrete. For it to withstand anything significant you'll want at least 4,000 PSI. Also depends if your going to reinforce it with rebar. Might wanna take some measurements of what you wanna do and call around to get prices on both containers and concrete
     
  9. dango

    dango Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    (Gunite ), Portand cement and sand mixed at nozzle with water.!
    Supposed to be up to 50 times tuffer than standard concrete


    No gravel..!
     
  10. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Unless you have had experience in designing and building things from concrete- don't. No, really- don't.

    First, if this is below grade, you will need a means of controlling ground water drainage- and a LOT of dirt to move (3x3x3 of soil is about 3000 lbs). You will need to keep your excavation from collapsing while working inside it (sloping or benching the earthen sides)

    Concrete comes in different strength mixes- the 3000 lb concrete that works good for sidewalks will not cut it. You will need steel rebar for reinforcement. Design will need to support weight of concrete + weight of soil over it. Forms must be substantial and supported, or you WILL blow out a form. Concrete is HEAVY- and wet concrete is caustic- will eat the skin off you.

    There ARE prefab concrete and/or metal structures. If you can lay block you may be able to build your own structure, but again, you will need a design (and possibly building plans)


    PS- Gunite maxes at around 4,000 PSI compressive strength- usually a lot lower. Concrete can run up to 10,000, and work with some specialty stuff even higher, but $$$

    Oh- burying a shipping container- walls of container have no support against a load applied at a right angle to the sides. Walls will bow in under pressure, and then fail. Walls would need design to resist that load.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  11. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    Like these. already designed. already made.
     

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  12. dango

    dango Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I'm no engineer but the beauty of a SPHERE or HEMISPHERE with GUNITE ,
    no form is necessary , but attention to reinforcement steel and something to shoot against is critical , but no load-bearing form is needed.!

    It would take an engineer or architect with vision and understanding of basic physics and the advantages of "SHOOTING vs FORMING"..plus ventilation , strength to weight ratios , drainage,etc. !
    Just something to look at is all ?
    My experience with "Gunite" is limited , but I have demo-ed concrete and old gunite. From my perspective , trying to tear this crap out, GUNITE is more Polish than concrete.! 16 lbs. , 30 lbs. and 90 lbs. jack hammers and life was never fun when GUNITE was used.
     
  13. dragunovsks

    dragunovsks New Member

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    A container will run you around 2 to 3k for a 40 footer but as mentioned by others itll have to be heavily reinforced as only the corners are designed to carry the load. Thats why when stacked on a ship or container yard they only stack same length containers. If they stacked 20' containers on a 40 footer the weight of the smaller ones would crush or at least damage the lower units. While they are steel they are only slightly thicker than the body on your car or truck. We use containers welded to a container chassis with the roof removed to haul scrap iron and crushed cars and after being stuffed with sheet iron with a grapple claw for a couple years they bow outward pretty severly. So piling tons upon tons of dirt across the roof of a container will cause problems unless its heavily reinforced. Also unless your live in the desert itll eventuallt rust out and collapse anyways.

    Id go with concrete with rebar in it, but keep in mind concrete alone will not keep water out. You'd have to put in a sump pump or something to keep the bunker dry the same way residental basements have a sump pump. If it was me id go with a catch basin, design it so that when the water in the catch basin rises to lets say 2" itll spill over into a buried drain pipe, down a slope and out into the outside world down the hill from your bunker. That idea uses no electricity so you wont have to worry about keeping power to your bunker when not using it.
     
  14. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Consider a railroad steel container or old boxcar above ground, with berms around it.
     
  15. dango

    dango Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    In concrete and gunite , a "Latex" additive can be added to the mix and thus ,water proof..! Then is just simple cracks maintenance..! Or "ELASTO MERIC"
     
  16. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    Shipping containers are a bad idea. It doesn't take much dirt to collapse them, and as mentioned they will fail due to rust eventually, depending on your climate. For a small underground shelter you can get some of those poly septic tanks (I would steer away from the used market) as they are engineered to be buried and they are water tight. Keep in mind that you absolutely must have good ventilation and provisions for sanitation as well. These septic tanks only go up to about 1500 gallons in size which is pretty small. I have heard of people who plan on building underground gun vaults using this idea. Seems like it would work well to me.

    Right up the road there are a couple of wineries that have built their own wine caves. Its big business up in Napa and Sonoma. They get heavy mining equipment in and excavate the tunnels, then they install the rebar framework up against the walls and ceiling of the tunnel and gunite it. I toured one of them during construction, the largest gallery is 30 feet wide by 25 feet high. Total footprint is 13,000 square feet. This is one of the smaller wine caves I have seen. http://nordbywinecaves.com/Gallery.htm?who=Rhys Vineyards&type=Complete