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Interesting idea for a cheap shelter

Long Term/Short Term Survival Shelters. Constructions tips and ideas.

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Re: Interesting idea for a cheap shelter

Postby Alaska Rose » Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:30 pm

The insulation issue changes depending on whether you live in Arctic cold or warmer climates, LOL. The vapor barrier changes sides on warm climate or cold climate construction, also.

The fellow that built half a house here on my land would not listen, since he was an expert on construction (ex as in was, spurt - drip under pressure) now his house is a mold garden spot indoors with indoor rain every Spring during breakup. No rain outdoors, only indoors. None of the other buildings here do that, so guess he is enjoying his running water. :thumbsup:
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Re: Interesting idea for a cheap shelter

Postby woodsstalker » Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:47 am

After giving the idea some thought over night, I see no reason not to share a construction progress report with the forum. Just don't ever ask where the property is located!! That information is strictly for special people (to me).

I am leaving tonight to look at three properties in the mountains of NC/Tn., none of which are less than 50 acres. Once the property is obtained I plan to begin construction of the house and underground shelter immediately. And I think I am going with the 12' block construction.
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Re: Interesting idea for a cheap shelter

Postby TheLight » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:39 am

woodsstalker: You really should get Joel Skousen's book now to give you some more crazy ideas. :D
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Design considerations range from airlock-type entrances to security systems (this section needs an update, though), to types of doors, passive solar design ideas... It's worth the $$ now to help optimize your ideas.
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Re: Interesting idea for a cheap shelter

Postby Muzhik » Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:01 am

Here's a construction method that appeals to me:

http://www.thenaturalhome.com/drystackblock.htm

Dry stack concrete block (cinder block) is where you simply stack the concrete block on top of each other, with no mortar between layers. You have rebar set in the floor every so often, and you stack the blocks so the rebar is inside the block. When finished, you fill the concrete blocks with cement, then paint the walls with surface bonding cement (SBC). This not only seals the wall into a monolithic block with huge thermal mass, it also makes the concrete waterproof. (Although a couple of sources I've read still recommend painting the inside and outside with a couple of coats of latex paint to REALLY seal against water.) Easy to do and much faster than the typical concrete block wall.
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Re: Interesting idea for a cheap shelter

Postby Whisper » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:15 am

Muzhik wrote:Here's a construction method that appeals to me:

http://www.thenaturalhome.com/drystackblock.htm

Dry stack concrete block (cinder block) is where you simply stack the concrete block on top of each other, with no mortar between layers. You have rebar set in the floor every so often, and you stack the blocks so the rebar is inside the block. When finished, you fill the concrete blocks with cement, then paint the walls with surface bonding cement (SBC). This not only seals the wall into a monolithic block with huge thermal mass, it also makes the concrete waterproof. (Although a couple of sources I've read still recommend painting the inside and outside with a couple of coats of latex paint to REALLY seal against water.) Easy to do and much faster than the typical concrete block wall.


I agree with you. I could swear that I had a thread on this. I think that this is the way that I'm going. My thoughts, right now is to have an inner wall and and outer one and fill the center with concrete. I haven't figured the cost yet, but that's what's on my mind,
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Re: Interesting idea for a cheap shelter

Postby TheLight » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:21 am

I still like Insulated Concrete Forms myself. ICF's have all the benefits of reinforced concrete, with insulation and waterproofing, and without the annoyance of form building. The also go together like Lego blocks with rebar fill so you can do a lot of the work yourself. Still, it's hard to justify building a whole house with concrete, but I'd certainly do at least the basement and possibly the first floor in it.
In terms of house designs, I very much like the older homes where the first floor is stone and the second floor is a Tudor (or other) style. This copies the old secure farmsteads of the middle ages and lets you lock up the first floor tight and shoot down from the second. Couple that with a properly done perimeter wall and you're in a very good fighting position.
Kinda like this:
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or this:
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Re: Interesting idea for a cheap shelter

Postby Whisper » Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:11 pm

TheLight wrote:I still like Insulated Concrete Forms myself. ICF's have all the benefits of reinforced concrete, with insulation and waterproofing, and without the annoyance of form building. The also go together like Lego blocks with rebar fill so you can do a lot of the work yourself. Still, it's hard to justify building a whole house with concrete, but I'd certainly do at least the basement and possibly the first floor in it.
In terms of house designs, I very much like the older homes where the first floor is stone and the second floor is a Tudor (or other) style. This copies the old secure farmsteads of the middle ages and lets you lock up the first floor tight and shoot down from the second. Couple that with a properly done perimeter wall and you're in a very good fighting position.


I like this idea too but it's more expensive, you still have to waterproof it (above ground is different) and you still have to rip out the insulation inside afterward. But it is a concept that I am looking into.
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Re: Interesting idea for a cheap shelter

Postby TheLight » Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:28 pm

Rip out the insulation inside? That I haven't heard before. I thought you added furing strips and attached sheetrock over it. Hrm, I'll have to look into this further.
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Re: Interesting idea for a cheap shelter

Postby Whisper » Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:55 pm

TheLight wrote:Rip out the insulation inside? That I haven't heard before. I thought you added furing strips and attached sheetrock over it. Hrm, I'll have to look into this further.


I've been saying it for years. I've spoken to the Late Malcolm Wells, the father of underground homes. Underground homes or bermed homes were built off of the cold war bomb shelters. I spoke to builders that he recommended, other architects, and read almost every underground construction book. They will all tell you the same thing. If you insulate the inside, the Earth will suck all of the heat out. There was a guy that did just that. He ended up building an underground freezer. This isn't my opinion, it's a fact that I am 100% of. I even spoke to one of these companies with the foam block and it was there suggestion to tear out the inside once it cures. If you do want to find out about this, start looking in underground home books.
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Re: Interesting idea for a cheap shelter

Postby Muzhik » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:43 am

If you insulate the inside, the Earth will suck all of the heat out.


And if you insulate the outside, your basement will suck the heat out of surrounding earth. However, ICFs are insulated on BOTH sides of the concrete structure. That to me would mean that the heat gradients (ground-to-basement and basement-to-ground) would be balanced. Your structure would neither lose heat TO the surrounding earth, nor would it gain heat FROM the surrounding earth.
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Re: Interesting idea for a cheap shelter

Postby Whisper » Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:19 pm

Muzhik wrote:
If you insulate the inside, the Earth will suck all of the heat out.


And if you insulate the outside, your basement will suck the heat out of surrounding earth. However, ICFs are insulated on BOTH sides of the concrete structure. That to me would mean that the heat gradients (ground-to-basement and basement-to-ground) would be balanced. Your structure would neither lose heat TO the surrounding earth, nor would it gain heat FROM the surrounding earth.


Actually, it will hold the heat in. Same as if cooled it, it would hold that in. If it was the basement, all the heat would escape through the ceiling. Have you ever been in an underground house? There incredible. They have more light then an above ground house. I was in one where it was 10 degrees outside and it was 68 inside. He had a fire a couple of days before. No other heat source. All of his insulation was on the outside.

This is what I learned from speaking to architects that work on these homes and reading books on the subject. Everything that we thought we knew about houses with the insulation and building materials, was wrong. I am completely confident in all of of this. I spent over a decade studying this very subject.
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Re: Interesting idea for a cheap shelter

Postby woodsstalker » Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:12 pm

You got me convinced Whisper. I have decided to go with the 12 inch block with the voids filled with rebar and concrete. If I find after construction is completed the insulation is needed it can be added then.
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Re: Interesting idea for a cheap shelter

Postby Whisper » Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:56 pm

woodsstalker wrote:You got me convinced Whisper. I have decided to go with the 12 inch block with the voids filled with rebar and concrete. If I find after construction is completed the insulation is needed it can be added then.



Believe me, insulation is needed. A lot was learned from the bomb shelters from the cold war. The early architects of bermed/underground homes designed and/or built bomb shelters. They were damp and cold. By waterproofing and insulating, both on the outside, they learned that it was the best way to build a home and/or shelter. I started speaking with them about the underground homes, but always finished a long conversation about shelters. I will never claim to be the most knowledgeable about concrete or anything else. But this is one area that I know I'm right about. I will also say that I have been to most forums and dug through the shelter forums and found nobody anywhere speaking about this. That's because they didn't do their research on it. The only posts that you will find on it is probably old posts by me under a different handle.

I've also posted on them and here, if you want to make a refrigerator without electric, dig down and pour a concrete box and put your insulation on the inside. It will work. :shakeyes:

Also note, yes I am posting that I'm right on this and just because I'm a mod, doesn't mean you have to agree with me. But on this, if I'm wrong then so are all those bloody books I read and people I interviewed. It has been a serious interest of mine for a long, long, long time. Did I say Long time?
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Re: Interesting idea for a cheap shelter

Postby Vina8 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:30 pm

Whisper, how does putting insulation on the "outside" work? What kind of insulation would you use and how do you protect it from the elements?
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Re: Interesting idea for a cheap shelter

Postby Whisper » Wed Sep 01, 2010 7:29 pm

Vina8 wrote:Whisper, how does putting insulation on the "outside" work? What kind of insulation would you use and how do you protect it from the elements?


Energy, heat or cold, is stored in "Mass". The best "Mass" to hold either is concrete. There are all kinds of insulation boards on the market today. The Eco-Blocks (Brand) or other types of systems that use the insulation molds are excellent forms of insulation. But you want the "Mass" exposed to the inside to stay at a comfortable temperature. There are all kinds of water proofing systems out there today, too many to keep up with. Dri-lok won't do it. If you remember my post with pics on my old bomb shelter, the tunnel leaked during a big rain. I used multiple coats of Dri-lok and the water kept coming. I ended up patching it with hydraulic cement to stop it. There are product that are like a sheet that you can wrap the insulation with, like the stuff you can use on a roof for certain areas. In fact, you can even use that stuff. I can't remember what it's called at the moment.
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