Underground bunkers?

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Taijibum created the topic: Underground bunkers?

I plan on building an underground bunker style hermitage/retreat but I want to be totally off the grid. The one issue is doing it on the cheap and I also want plumbing and no chance of flooding without a sump pump. I have been searching for ideas and would love any input or ideas. I am not builder Bob but my builder Bob brother has agreed to help me with the backhoe and hard stuff.

Any resources or ideas you guys can point me to?
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Re: Underground bunkers?

A website devoted to 'off the grid' living -- it does try to cover the pros and cons... of this type of living.... AND, the potential hassles you may get from local/county/state agencies as you get permits for land use, construction, etc.

Off-Grid World article (Off Grid Living is Illegal (sort of))


Modern Survival Online is kind of the 'everything you ever wanted to read about preparing for the zombie apokolypse' website. Tons of articles on how to prepare/survive just about any natural or man-made disaster.

Modern Survival Online cornucopia


Just for 'fun', I add this one more since you never know where you are going to find help or tips. Ready Nutrition is a 'general store' for goods. Like walking into yea old general store in some wild west town... you need it, they got it. What they also 'got' is a whole section on "preparedness"... with articles on -- Reserve Supplies, Emergency Checklists, Prepping Calculators, Inventory Management, Evacuation, Storage, Potable Water, Are You Ready. and Survival Food -- and sell the 'stuff' that goes with each category. Okay, you can shop around but at least you can get a 'good idea' of what you are looking for.

Ready Nutrition - preparedness
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Jax replied the topic: Re: Underground bunkers?

Why underground?
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Taijibum replied the topic: Re: Underground bunkers?

Jax wrote: Why underground?

I want everything to be as passive as possible. Underground has a constant temperature. I wouldn't mind an earth bag dome home either.
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Jax replied the topic: Re: Underground bunkers?

Rather than full underground, I'd go with the above ground/partially below but with an earthen roof and sides. Underground home rather than a buried bunker. I just think of a missile silo when I think of that. lol

I was thinking that interconnected smaller domes would be really interesting. Personal space, more efficient with the smaller spaces (in theory).
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Taijibum replied the topic: Re: Underground bunkers?

Everything is on the table right now. Cheap is the magic number though. $1,000 for a shipping container and $300 to rent a back how to bury it is an underground bunker. I just put a bid for $10,000 for 10 acres up in the U.P. of Michigan. I really want my Yoda domes but it gets cold up there and underground seems ideal.
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Re: Underground bunkers?

While a shipping container buried is all the rage (inexpensive -- container; hole; done) I was just reading a container company site where they were speaking on the merits (and demerits) of using their containers.

They are all for using them for above ground conversions to homes but really suggest you look long and hard at using them to be buried. The metal is thin and would rust easily with the ground moisture. They are not hermetically sealed on all joints so, you have to consider doing full unit, multi layered sealing outside (bottom included) before placing it in the ground. Plus, they need structural reinforcement to not warp due to the weight of earth on top of it.

Many sites speak about buying fuel tanks since the metal is at least a 1/4 inch thick material. You would still have to coat it but, no need for further structural support -- other then around the entrance you cut into it.

Some few sites actually wonder if using the new fiberglass/resin tanks might do as well as long as you are not piling the earth too deep. Of course, I thought that, for full 'depth' you could actually get a large concrete drainage pipe and put it all inside... round is stronger and it would be the 'umbrella' the tank would be under.

Of course, you could always dig a 'half hole'. Pour a slab and secure trailer park trailer tie downs. Then strap the tank in place. (that way it would not 'float' due to any ground water swells) Then cover it so you have a 'mound' with a door down to the actual unit. (( and less of a ladder climb if you are not a spring chicken ))

I started looking at Google but then switched to their images and poked about for what looked smart as well as DIY practical. Lots to consider and I'm still looking although the ones listed below are from my own bookmarks on the subject over the years. (( and I'm not including my list of 'hobbit homes' 8) ))

undergroundhousing.com

Above ground repurposed grain elevator

Shipping Container Housing Guide

Mother Earth News has lots of 'old' articles on alternative living)

*****

NOW... if you really are looking for domes and are considering sandbags... I have the pdf file for a 'how to' from a PhD in California who presented a method to NASA and the US government for a method using sandbags (or his own 'tube' bags) and barbed wire! Once in place, they can be covered in spray sealant and/or limed and stucco'ed or rock or... your choice. From temp to very permanent.

They also used to have workshops and seminars and even some 'work study' sessions.
A very smart, easy way to make shelters -- especially in war torn areas that already have plenty of earth/sand material and barbed wire.

I do not see why you could not build it 'on a flat' and then back fill earth up around the exterior as long as it was properly sealed and good drainage was dug around the perimeter.

Cal-Earth Eco Domes
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Taijibum replied the topic: Re: Underground bunkers?

The underground containers usually are reinforced with concrete. I have seen a bunch of videos on building earth bag homes with barbed wire. I love the idea of building up the earth around it too. Can you please send me the PDF?

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Kol Drake replied the topic: Re: Underground bunkers?

No problem, I'll add it here as well.

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Not sure if it's still a part of their website -- it's changed since I last looked at it.

I do note they now sell a book on 'how to make them' -- around $35.


*****

I've been a geek about geodesic domes, dome homes, and 'alternative' homes since the 70s. This kind of stuff always fascinates me.

Here is a mini list from Popular Mechanics.
One that got me was the guy who made 'Ark 2' out of 42 stripped down school buses cobbled together and then covered in cement and soil. Imagine the wiring and plumbing for this mouse maze!!!

PM 'bomb shelter list'

*****

One of my searches came upon a hand sketch of a semi buried 'yurt-like' sandbag and pole constructed round house. Pretty cool. Biggest deal is making sure you have it prepared against ground water/drainage. Reminds me of the yurts from the old Whole Earth Catalog years ago. (( another throwback to the 60s and 70s. )) But would be pretty easy to make over a few weekends of hard work.

Emergency Yurt like Shelter
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Re: Underground bunkers?

Was doing some other late night Net surfing and came upon 'material to use in sandbags'. I mean, most I've read use sand or some mix of sand and lime and even cement mix. Then I found where some use sand and earth; small rocks, one fellow even using volcanic 'pumice' rock since it was locally abundant.

Most interesting was the person who was using bulk rice bags and rice husks. The bags were cheap (used) and it appears rice husks are fire resistant (not fireproof) and takes shape and holds well -AND- is a great insulator.

Guess why it seems interesting to me is, the eastern side of Arkansas is a big rice producing area and Riceland processes rice and millet at their factory with trains coming and going nearly all year long. I know people living in that area who farm; I might see if I can get a contact at Riceland and get info on what they do with all the rice husks. (( not that my neighbors would be happy to see a giant mound of rice husks show up in my driveway but... ))
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