intermodal containers

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by wy0mn, Sep 23, 2003.

  1. wy0mn

    wy0mn Transplanted RedNeck

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    I've been planning my future homestead around burying intermodal containers for housing. Has anyone done this yet, and if so what problems have they encountered? I've contacted one supplier. They said that they can be buried but require internal bracing, (would the internal wall partitions be sufficient?) and are rated at 60,000 pounds vertical loading. Good used ones go for $1600, they measure 8'x'40'. Four of them would exceed the square footage of my current home.
     
  2. bumpus

    bumpus Well-Known Member

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    :D What about rust :?:
     

  3. xbeeman412

    xbeeman412 Well-Known Member

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    We ust them for storage but not living quarters. How well they will hold up underground would be a good question.

    Just a thought if cheep living area is the goal:How would a clearspan metal building work? I built a 40x60 metal building that later was converted to a 2 bedroom apt with 20x40 storage in one end.

    How the plumbing would be installed in the containers is another thought too. A 40 x 60 building with slab and insulated shouldnt run more than 20k and thats hireing it done.

    Hope I havent muddied the water for You.

    God Bless.
     
  4. wy0mn

    wy0mn Transplanted RedNeck

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    Rust: The soil is alkaline, not acidic, the containers will outlive me, I don't think I'd even bother coating them except with a fresh layer of paint. The area I've selected gets less than 8" of total annual precipitation anyway. And it takes what, ten inches of snow to equal an inch of rain?
    Plumbing/wiring: these things are fairly tall on the inside. I'd thought of having raised floors and running the plumbing and conduit under them. I like the free insulation of being underground.
     
  5. bumpus

    bumpus Well-Known Member

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    ______________________

    Here are some places you might look at
    for underground housing, click on these.



    http://web.gmtcom.com/~mit/mitrental.html


    http://www.escapeartist.com/efam16/Nomadic_Housing2000.html


    http://waltonfeed.com/old/cellar3.html
     
  6. JWH123

    JWH123 Well-Known Member

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    wy0mn-

    Just a minor technicality, but just because you're burying them in the ground doesn't mean your heating/cooling troubles are solved with "free insulation". Maybe you meant something else, and/or maybe I am misunderstanding or not explaining my thoughts clearly, but all burying your boxes in the ground does is allows your containers to be more close to the annual average ground temperature (In Tennessee, that might be maybe 55-60 degrees?) In winter, you need to heat your box from 55 degrees up to 70 degrees. In summer, you need to heat your box from maybe 60 degrees, up to 70 degrees. And no, drawing warm outside air probably won't work in the summer, doe to humidity and condensation. Look on the outside of your iced tea glass. Now envision that being the walls of your home. Certainly only needing to heat your inside air from 55 degrees to 70 degrees is better than whatever temperature it might be outside in the dead of winter, but having to do it 365 days a year isn't free.

    If I'm nitpicking on something you understand and just chose the wrong words for, I apologize. If I'm not stating my case properly, again I apologize. Just the words "free insulation" threw up a red flag for me. That's all.

    Good luck!
    John
     
  7. newlifeintx60

    newlifeintx60 Member

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    Hi All: I tried to post this before but it looks like the posting did not make it. Site error.


    I have also considered doing this, maybe for the next house.... My thought was to connect them side by side up to six containers and have them on a heavy pier and perimeter foundation. that way you could run the electrical and plumbing and HVAC ducting under the units, Then spray foam insulate the whole structure, after that pour a concrete slab over the top and shotcreat the sides. To finish earth berm the sides. you could then use the roof as part of a rain water catchments system.

    Some points containers are 20 or 40 foot x 9 wide and 9.6 high. To create a room wider then any one container you will need to cut the sides out or all of your rooms will be narrow and long..... There is enough vertical space in each to pour a concert slab as a floor (use expansion breaks) and still have a least a 12 inch drop ceiling to use for duct work and electrical.


    Andrew.
     
  8. MCk

    MCk New Member

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  9. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    I know someone who just did it without any problems.They pre-fit the units on a concrete slab then bolted them together on a slab in the pit. Sprayed the exteror with high density foam and raised the floor for utilties. They did all the sealing and stuff above ground. also put 1 unit 4 steps down for utilties and such.

    mikell
     
  10. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    Just curious, as I am always daydreaming about earth-bermed and other underground type housing....what will you do for natural light? Personally one set of windows on the end you enter wouldn't be enough for me.
     
  11. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    xbeeman412 has a good alternate idea. My 20' 30' Steelmaster did better in Hurricane Charley than the house did. Supposedly this brand was also the one that survived Hurricane Andrew down in Homestead. I get claustrophobia just thinking about going underground. I taught at that type of school once and found it very depressing.