Burying a shipping container for an underground shelter, bunker or storage unit sounds like a good idea on the surface, but it can be dangerous and go wrong quickly if it's not done properly. First off, we don't advise that digging a hole and dropping in a shipping container. As we've displayed before in the article, "What Happens When You Bury a Shipping Container", the sides of a container aren't designed to support any type of weight and can collapse when any load is pressed against them. However, if you are going to do it there are a couple of ways to make it safer. In a previous article we discussed building a frame around the container out of Gabion baskets. While this is a decent, inexpensive idea, it's very labor intensive in that you need to source a large number of rocks. Another alternative that was presented to us recently was that of angle irons welded sides of the container, and we'll go into that idea in a little detail in the following paragraphs. Remember, it's always best to consult a local engineer to make sure the design is able to withstand the long term pressure.
|The primary flaw when it comes to burying a shipping container is that the sides aren't designed to carry any type of weight; so the obvious way around this is to build up the weakest area and make sure it can carry a heavier load. The wildcard in this equation is how much weight the container walls must carry, and some of those factors include ground water and drainage, soil composition, traffic (people, cars, commercial traffic, etc.), and how deep you plan to bury the container. Assuming you've calculated these variables into the equation, you can determine how much additional support is required.|
Welding a single length of heavy duty angle iron to each side of the container, spanning from corner post to corner post, then spot welding it every couple of feet will provide an additional ribbed support around the container. The number of runs of angle iron on each side will completely depend on the variables listed above, but personally I'd start with at least two an all five sides of the container (including the top).
|Before you rush you and purchase angle iron and rent a back hoe, you'll want to make sure you completely prepare your container for life underneath the ground. Shipping containers weren't designed to be buried, so you'll want to clean any rust and repaint the container with a heavy duty paint or foundation sealant. Without going into too much detail on this topic, it's best to explain what you are planning on doing to a paint expert.|
While the sellers on ContainerAuction.com probably can't help you bury a shipping container, they can help you buy one. To find the best deal on a shipping container in your area, start by searching for shipping containers for sale locally to you. If you don't see any, just fill out the form and a container reseller will contact you with the inventory that's closest to you, and any costs that might be associated with delivery.