IT YOURSELF...Partial Burial Example
and Concerns (Ongoing)
FIND A SITE AND EXCAVATE FOR A PARTIAL BURIAL
site was chosen below the top of a fairly steep hillside well above
the valley below. It is situated in a spot that is protected from
the wind but away from possible flood areas. The site elevation
is 3800ft. It faces a Southern exposure to maximize solar heating
potential. Using an excavator is recommended so
it can also be used to chain up and drop in a 20ft container.
40ft containers require a crane to drop in which could get expensive.
The solution is to dig a trench that the truck can back into and
drop off in place.
DEPTH IS MEASURED AND BOTTOM IS LEVELED
Hole depth is dug about 12ft at it's deepest point
to allow for about 3-4 ft of coverage.
CONTAINER IS DELIVERED
The area to be delivered should have enough room
to turn the truck around. Usually around 100ft of cleared area.
If the truck gets stuck the excavator will be able to push the truck
out of any sticky situation. (First hand experience)
PREPARATION FOR DROP IN
This container was delivered with 4 10ft railroad
ties included and dropped in the hole by the excavator. The ties
were leveled with a sight level and marker pole, piling up dirt
under the ties to level them.
Container is chained up on the 4 corner lugs. Chains
will need to be adjusted for equal tension. The chains are hooked
to the back lug on the excavator's bucket. A rope is used to adjust
the swing and placement.
VIEW FROM THE TOP PRIOR TO ASSEMBLY
Modifications include a welded security lock box,
two flanged 4" vent pipes pre-fitted and assembled on site.
They each include an interior flange, o-ring and bolt set that is
sandwiched on the skin and bolted on the inside. As an easy modification
example, I installed one of the ceiling vent pipes in the corner
so it could double as a wood stove chimney. I found a small wood
stove in a catalog for about a $70.00
Pipes are bolted on and sealant is applied. I used
a heavy duty tarp to cover the entire container. It is important
to note that depending on the climate will determine your waterproofing
needs. This particular area is very dry, 8"-12" of rain
per year so waterproofing is not a big concern. However, great care
should be taken in your waterproofing strategy. A coating of rubberized
asphalt over the entire container could be required.
In extremely wet areas a refrigerated
container (right) may be the way to
go. They are aluminum skinned so they won't corrode, insulated and
have stainless steel interior walls. They are a tougher construction
but harder to modify. Aluminum does not weld too easily, and stainless
steel is harder to cut and weld. Reinforcement with timbers screwed
to the walls may be easier.
Backfill must be done carefully to avoid large rocks
getting too close to the container. Depending on budget, 1/2"
gravel can be used under and around for drainage and safety. But
if the container is modified correctly, you should be able to just
cover it up with relatively clean fill.
DEPTH OF FILL
Depending on the strength of the roof supports will
determine how deep you want to cover. This one will handle 3ft of
earth at the deepest point. The roof and sides are supported with
3/8" welded steel angles every 3ft. In addition to steel supports,
I chose to add a 4x6 wood beam running lengthwise supported by 3
4x4 timbers in the middle. This takes up a little more real estate
but it will support a lot of earth.
Ideally if you have the budget, the way to go is 4 to 6 inch 3/8"
thick square tube steel welded to the edges and carefully spot welded
to the skin in a mineshaft configuration ribbed every 2-3ft. This
configuration should be good for full burial as well.
The area over the container was covered with erosion
control netting and seeded with rye grass.
- In order
to be able to seal yourself in, a secondary wall must be built behind
the outside bay doors with an inward opening hatch(see below).
NEW! NEW! NEW! Since the original writing of this web site
I have found a new vendor that offers containers with a patented locking
system that allows for locking/unlocking from the inside!
- Ship hatches and cargo doors are available. Pricing runs about $300
to $500 depending on availability and condition.
These will need to be framed in with welded steel angles.
PLANS AND DIAGRAMS (Ongoing)
- My dream design...too expensive
so I had to settle for a bare bones version. Download.pdf
(Needs Acrobat Reader)
- Reinforcement examples using 3"x3"x1/2" steel angles
spanning every 22" on walls and ceiling.
- Excavation Example
More coming soon...
[DO IT YOURSELF] [HAVE
US DO IT] [CONTACT US]