Shipping Container forum discussions

Self Service Science – ABC Science Online Forum

Well what materials and designs would be best
for building a fire storm resistant house?

Would a cellar or underground room need to be part of the plan.

How can people build houses to have the best type of fire plans built in to their situation?

Self Service Science – ABC Science Online Forum

The wombat hole story.. shows that all that really is required is a couple of bolt holes with good doors and sound enough structure to remain ready for use at any given instant over at least two decades.. With that extra bolt hole most of the dead could have been alive now.

also

Why build bunkers?
Why not be a hobbit if one wants to live in the forest shire?
Build the whole house underground and keep the top well greened with fire retarding species.

Underground fireproof bunkers – Aussie Stock Forums

With what has happened in Vic, this thread might be relevant.

I personally own a remote rural block, surrounded by State forest.

I only have minimal structures at present, partially due to bushfire risk!

Does anyone have any knowledge or opinions about underground fireproof bunkers?

My idea would be to excavate a pit, waterproof and concrete surround, with a fairly thick earth roof ( at ground level), with a small fireproof trapdoor.

Ventilation would be by above ground steel flue pipe.

I am fairly sure that heat would not be a problem, but air quality may be.

I am almost certain that survive-abilty would be much higher than any other option, if you are trapped from escaping by fire.

When I build a permanent house, it will be rendered concrete block, steel, and gal roof, but I know gal roofs cannot withstand a really serious blaze,
( as evidenced by the footage from Vic).

I intend to do some research on the topic, so any tips would be good.

I believe many lives could have been saved if they had such an escape.

does anyone know what happened to persons in Dresden etc during firestorms, as they seemed to retreat to underground bunkers during bombing

Underground fireproof bunkers – Aussie Stock Forums

A lot of people just put a shipping container underground

Underground fireproof bunkers – Aussie Stock Forums


The bunker, dug into an earth embankment with 15-centimetre concrete walls and a $1000 fireproof door, saved their lives and that of their son, Raphael, 14 months. “It was like a firestorm, it was like a raging inferno. It’s a cliche, but that is what it was like,” Ms Berry said.

When flames engulfed their home they wrapped themselves in wet towels and sprinted to the bunker. “We couldn’t shut the door of the bunker, it was that buckled and warped,” Mr Berry said. “The embers were coming through the gap, it was like the fire was coming to get us.”

Underground fireproof bunkers – Aussie Stock Forums

I reckon fire bunkers will start to become mandatory in certain areas.
Somebody might start up a business and make fire bunker kits.
They might start making them under water tanks too!

Life saver | Herald Sun Andrew Bolt Blog

Keith Crews is a professor of structural engineering at the school of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Technology in Sydney. Professor Crews … says that underground bunkers could be the answer to protecting people from fires like those Victoria has just witnessed.

“You would need something that is essentially underground because of the insulating quality of the earth,” he said. “Obviously you would need something over the top of that that’s quite well protected.

“The next issue that I think you would have to consider is oxygen or air because when you get a fire storm like that it’s got a tendency to suck up all the air that’s there… The earth is a great insulator. Obviously you would have to give consideration to groundwater and all those issues, but I would assume that something like two to 2.5 metres, so essentially it was like a basement,” he said…

Professor Ross also believes the design of underground car parks could be enhanced to offer communities a safe place to wait out bushfires in larger groups. He says building fire bunkers could be something that becomes mandatory in parts of Australia.

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32 Comments

Filed under bushfire

32 responses to “Shipping Container forum discussions

  1. Patricia

    Thankyou for opening up the discussion, I have 50 acres mostly forest and am trying to find out about bunkers. Please pass any information on Regards

  2. I am getting many people – designers and architects – to give me ideas. Which I will then post here. Some of the architects have offered pro bono consultation time. So if you want to chat to someone let me know and I can pass on your details.

  3. i am preparing a container to go underground . It must be reinforced internally as you need to put 50mm aggy around it to take water away and the container walls bow in if you dont. it must also have a reinforced roof that slopes to keep water from settling on top. we are also bitumnising it to stop rust. We are building an airlock in front with a firedoor and heatshield. and in the airlock you can put in a window from an old firebox to see if the fire has past. the total cost if you do the work is 6000.00

  4. Sounds great DH. I would loved to put up photos and sketches on this blog. That is if you are happy to share the information around.

  5. yep, taking photos of progress. At the moment I only have the container and the ideas.

  6. Kathryn Quinn

    Very interesting topic – looking forward to working on it. A neighbour has an existing shipping container set-up but with obvious design errors. It will be important to fully resolve all design details before people start to install their fire bunkers so that they don’t become ineffective fire traps instead of saving lives.

  7. Hi All,

    We’re a central vic company, who with experts in teh structal engineering, pre fab concrete, steel & fire protection services are in the developing stages of a Fire Bunker / Emergency Shelter.
    As your comment:
    ” Some of the architects have offered pro bono consultation time. So if you want to chat to someone let me know and I can pass on your details.”
    We would be very interested in passing on our details.

    The research undertaken is that, prefab underground shelters, would best serve this purpose. The raident heat a container would be subjected to, would create nothing more than an oven?..

  8. radiant heat only travels in a straight line and penetrates downward 100 to 200 mm this is why trees survive in bushfires. Australian gums have roots close to the surface and survive well. If you have seen an uprooted gum you will see how close to the surface they really are. Unfortunately that is why they come down so regularly in high winds. If the container is in the ground 500mm it will not be affected. It also has a sloping corrogated iron roof with a gap in between to create a heat shield just in case. Visit some american websites where they prepare containers for bomb attack. We need to think outside the norm on this one and do a lot of homework and help each other out so everyone can have a cost effective solution to a terrible problem of living in the bush. I have a friend who is digging a hole in the ground and putting logs over it and covering it in dirt. That is all he can afford. It will eventually come down to cause and effect or karma as it is often called. I will help him dig the hole if he asks. I dont think this is a forum for promoting your product.

  9. Yes this is a not forum for promoting products.

    Last night I met someone who has been to this discussion and is following it – to get some ideas on making a refuge. The bunker is one kind of refuge – and there are others. So do keep the ideas coming. I am kicking off some work to come up with options. But that will only be posted here by April or so.

  10. norbert KRAFT

    A bunker design incorporating an airtight fireproof door in a frame that can be fitted to a vertical concrete slab [ presumably poured in situ] may solve the problem of oxygen withdrawal during a fire. Presumably the seals required to achieve this may only serve one severe event, but that would still justify the ex-pense of using them. For the rest of an underground structure, bare earth of sufficient depth may suffice, I do recall seeing several earthern undeground bushland bunkers in my youth and I’m surprised that they are not still used.

  11. Thank you for the links. Much much appreciated.

  12. Hi guys,
    You probably dont know i live just outside of Daylesford and just helped a mate put out his backyard, which was on fire. Anyway it was annoying looking at all the materials (above ground unfortunately) for my bunker but will have it done by next fire season. I agree Norbert, the airlock door must be sealed. We intend to have a steel door and use kiln fi bre to create the seal, put that door behind a concrete wall and have the container door sealed also for backup. should be enough air in the container for the firefront to pass if not you can open the container door and use the air in the airlock. We also plan to have a large bottle of compressed air , just in case. If you can imagine it, the container will be completely in the ground and the airlock to get into the container will be in front and in the open , but completely attached but still sealed. have plans drawn but dont know how to attach them. Sorry i am a builder not a computer techy.

  13. Ian Pullar

    I am writing a very long article about fire bunkers which may be of interest to you. My Fire Bunker article can be found at: http://home.iprimus.com.au/ianpullar/firebunkers.htm Feedback welcomed. Regards – Ian Pullar

  14. Eddie Charman

    http://www.trilite.com.au
    We can provide a internal and external fire board to build houses and bunkers giving you 30 – 240 minute rating.

  15. We have finally put the container in the ground and it has exceeded my expectations. The temperature in the container is 15 degrees cooler than outside temp. It is a must to reinforce the sides and if we didnt it would have crushed. I will give a full story and post progress pictures as soon as i find out how.

  16. impaggelp

    I’m the only one in this world. Can please someone join me in this life? Or maybe death…

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  18. Hey there!
    Just wanting to say hi to everyone since i’m new in this community!

  19. I’ve been lurking here awhile before registering, trying to learn as much as I can. Places online like this have
    been a good distraction from the economy for me. I hope to contribute in the future

  20. Shipping Container Homes

    Placing a container under ground is extremely unsafe, it should not be done.

    There are many “myths” about shipping containers as used in construction projects and this is one of the MOST dangerous.

    1, The walls of a shipping conatiner are manufactured from 1.6 mm pressed steel plate, they are designed to withstand very prescriptive loading forces and lateral side wall loading in NOT one of them.

    2, Eventually the container will rust – its corten A steel, that means corrosion resistant NOT it does not rust.

    Please read a little from the experts in this space
    before you do attempt this

    http://www.containerhome.info

    Shipping Containers are NOT to be used as underground bunkers without significant structural modifications – at which time it would be cheaper and easier to use reinforced concrete or another process.

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  22. Rudy

    I have this 40 foot shipping container dream home in mind, yet every American county I submit it to, says it is not acceptable. Why is this country so opposed to a man living in a container? otherwise, they have all these regulations that boggle the mind. It is as if the U.S. is against people having a home.

    -Rudy

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  24. Allcargo has a fleet of heavy cranes (Crawler Crane, Telescopic Crane, Truck Lattice Crane) and all terrain Cranes to operate in the most demanding work sites.
    Allcargo has multi-axle trailers that are Low Bed, Semi Low Bed and High Bed and various categories of trailers that can carry 20, 40 feet and high cube containers.

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  26. Cristopher Monkhouse

    Great information :)

  27. I personally tend to agree with everything that was in fact posted throughout “Shipping Container forum discussions | Faint Voice”.
    Thanks a lot for all the actual information.Many thanks,Quentin

  28. Jim

    The advantages of using shipping containers as your construction building blocks include:

    They are inexpensive. A used container will cost between $800 and $6000 each, depending on size, age, condition and distance from the building site. Each 40 foot container gives you 320 square feet. .

    Energy concerns. It takes far less energy to reuse shipping containers in a building than to melt them down and reform then into steel beams. Add solar panels and even the ongoing energy use will be green.

    Examples of plans can be found HERE- goo.gl/Es8rYu

  29. The shipping containers can be used for underground construction as well. the steel boxes are very strong and made to withstand the elements, joined together and you can have a very large underground living space.

    The advantages of using shipping containers as your construction building blocks include:

    They are inexpensive. A used container will cost between $800 and $6000 each, depending on size, age, condition and distance from the building site. Each 40 foot container gives you 320 square feet. .

    Energy concerns. It takes far less energy to reuse shipping containers in a building than to melt them down and reform then into steel beams. Add solar panels and even the ongoing energy use will be green.

    Examples of plans can be found HERE- http://goo.gl/Es8rYu

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