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.