- Name: SWeidner
- Location: Elk Point, South Dakota, United States
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Steve's random ramblings and technical notes
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Shipping Containers as structural components
Shipping Containers seem like they would be a great tornado shelter or storage room if buried under a garage floor.
The basic idea for an attached garage is to dig a hole beside the basement wall, drop a container in and build a doorway between them. The door would have to open in (toward the container) in case of a tornado depositing debris by the doorway. Finally, back-fill to the proper grade and pour the concrete for your garage floor. The container structure should support the weight of the concrete while it cures, then the concrete protects everything below from mother nature.
In fact, with the proper footings poured, an entire basement could be built from shipping containers. Doorways would be cut with a torch, sheetrock added for a wallcovering, drop ceilings installed, carpeting added, etc... Large open areas could be created by cutting 8, 10 or 12' openings between two containers.
Waterproofing - I'm still debating the method that would be best for keeping ground water out (and away from the wooden floor). It would be easy enough to coat the whole thing with a liquid sealer that's used for basement walls, but would it seal the bottom of the floor?
Another idea - this time for a detached garage - would be to bury the container behind the structure and build a ramp (covered by a steel plate) down to the container for underground car storage. (okay, the link is pointint to a storm shelter - if it took you to a picture, I could hardly call it my idea)
As shown below, the containers could be used for general purpose construction, but try to get your zoning board to approve that one for a home. Instead, the same containers could be (and have been) used for construction then covered with more traditional siding.