“Billion Dollar Bunkers”, my butt…

13 Jun

Recently we’ve been deluged with requests from families about “survival shelter”.

Anyone who reads our blogs or books already knows that in our “day job”, we teach families, corporations, industries  and organizations to build affordable, sustainable housing. Most of that housing is “off-grid”, utilizing “Off The Shelf Tech” to allow the homes to operate without connection to the “outside world” at least where utility companies are concerned. That same tech also allows these homes and buildings to go to places that few have ever gone before.

In the meantime, cable TV has started talking about “Doomsday”, “Armageddon” and “Extremes”.

We find it hysterical that the subjects of these “freakshows” are usually the last people you want living anywhere near you when crisis arrives on your porch.

We have to wonder if there’s an agenda here:

“Let’s make this so outrageous, so controversial, so bizarre, that common folk dismiss it as nuts… and place their faith in those empty suits who have already insulated themselves from any impending crisis.”

After watching some of these show, it’s hard to take “hardship” seriously. These producers, in our view, are doing the citizens of this nation a great disservice.

But every once in a while, we get a look at a gem.

Four years ago, Larry Hall purchased an abandoned Atlas F missile silo in central Kansas. Today he is turning it into a doomsday survival condominium complex.

He’s spending millions of dollars, hoping to make even more. Okay, he’s a man on a mission.

Around here, we’re not “silo” kinda guys. Radon Gas, Toxic Clean-ups and other costs make silos impractical for most of us “common folk”.

However, there’s a lot to be learned from HOW he’s spending his cash.

For years, we’ve been building homes and buildings with ISBUs (shipping containers). An ISBU is just a solid steel box designed to get the crap kicked out of it and survive. Based on how they perform at sea, we’re figuring that an old Marine probably designed them.  LOL!

In fact, we have a staff of “old Marines”… You’ve been warned. :)

But before that, we were building “shockproof shelters” using prefabricated insulated concrete panels. These structures were solid as a rock and dressed up like a curvy Hawaiian hula dancer. Put a big pitched roof on top and you have one heck of a strong, spacious home.

Now, knowing all that… think about HOW you can combine both of these ideas, utilizing the really cool layouts that guys like Larry are betting their asses on, while using “Crisis Tested” steel boxes made to spit in the face of Mother nature.

See where I’m going with this?

While we hope Larry makes his goals… we’re thinking that we can do something similar for far less, at a level that will allow many families to take shelter from whatever comes in comfort, wrapped securely in a cloak of reinforced concrete and steel.

Take that “roundish” (think octagonal)  central core and then extend ISBUs off the faces, to allow extended sleeping and utility areas, in a manner that will be constructed fast, strong and energy efficient.

I’ve built several of these structures over the years. The concept is really simple;

What if I told you that you could build this entire complex in the span of a single summer?

Now, increase the scale slightly and then stack them on top of each other to form a concrete and steel tower, staring  defiantly into the face of whatever comes.

It’s not an earth sheltered bunker.

What it IS (when you stack them up on top of each other), is a concrete and steel fortress capable of cradling several families when the storm comes… for pennies compared to some of the crazy bunker schemes that we’ve seen bandied about on TV and elsewhere.

Stay tuned.

 

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5 Responses to ““Billion Dollar Bunkers”, my butt…”

  1. caribe704 June 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    I like the idea of the reinforced concrete added to the shipping containers, I have been trying to follow the inventors of the Concrete Cloth inventors from England that have a inflatable shelter that you inflate and hose down, and it is basically concrete impregnated cloth that hardens, well, how about draping over plastic sheeting draped over an ISBU? Sounds pretty cool, and hardened, and insulated, right? Ok, now go ahead, burst my bubble….why WONT that work??

  2. John Umland (@JohnUmland) June 14, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    close up the outer gaps with earth bags and you’d have some pretty sweet courtyards for gardens and playgrounds.
    God is good
    jpu

    • Renaissance Ronin June 14, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

      See? THAT’S what I’m talkin’ ’bout! :)

      I’d also reclaim some of that wasted area between the ISBUs in the corners, for sure. That zone would make dandy (do people still use that word?) interior storage areas like closets and pantries.

      Earthbags on the openings between the ISBUs would increase space cheaply and quickly. All you need is every relative you ever had, armed with buckets and shovels! Plus, after “helping” you build your house, I guarantee they’d never show up on your porch again, for fear you’d decided to add on! :)

      Add a few decks to allow for some “private space” outside each bedroom and you have a whole family of happy campers…

      …for far less than “storebought”… LOL!

      Talk about “Green Goodness”!!! :)

      Thanks for dropping by, John. Good to see you!

  3. hartofbeck June 21, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    I agree with you about some of the shows seeming to showcase the survivalist freaks. Is it to make the rest of us responsible, always-prepared folks look stupid? Maybe they just want us to do it the gov’t way but even that is confusing. I subscribe to several programs like FEMA and local agencies. If I go by the updates they’re sending me, we should be preparing for something pretty bad, like the end of the world, then when we do the media is right there to make us look stupid.

    I unplugged my cable 6 years ago.

    • Renaissance Ronin June 21, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

      I think it IS in part to make us look stupid. However, I also think it’s that “sensationalism sells”. But, at the end of the day, their corporate greed is doing this nation a great disservice.

      We ARE seeing indicators that hard times are coming. Those who adopt “common sense” and return to their “grass roots” will fare better than most.

      Thanks for your comment.

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