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Old 08-29-2018, 07:02 AM
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Default Fallout Bunker Home



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So we're working on an underground home at the current BOL. 2 1/2 stories. Underground for a lot of reasons. Heating/cooling being a big part of it, low footprint, low observability, but it'll also be pretty much indestructible by anything but a massive earthquake under it, and we're not close enough to any fault lines for that.

It'll function like a fallout bunker, but it'll also be a completely normal fully inhabited home inside. Construction is spray concrete on a steel and rebar dome. It's all underground by 2 to 3 feet except a walk-out door with a buried airlock room, and a top hatch that exits into a cupola which will basically look like a small hunting cabin. In addition to the main building being protected, there's an additional dome buried deeper into the hillside branching off from the main home which should have a massive protection factor.

Ventilation is a hooded horizontal access on the walk-out section that will have a HEPA filter inserted when needed and provides circulation via temperature exchange. There will be a wood stove for heat which would add strength to the circulation as it draws in air and expels it out the chimney when open. Backup ventilation if needed is through the hatch into the cupola which is an enclosed building with a filtered vent itself.

Plans are being designed now, though it's not finalized. See any errors or room for improvement? Questions?

Cupola will look something about like this:



Here's the preliminary plans:

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Old 08-29-2018, 09:38 AM
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Like the idea and interested to see response and finished product. But really digging the cupola that's what I've envisioned for my mini fire-tower style cabin.
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Old 08-29-2018, 09:45 AM
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I'm curious on how the dome is built. Over an inflated balloon and rebar cage? How thick? How much rebar? What sort of footing on the exterior?

It's hard to see in the pic, but looks like the upper dome part, is 30ft tall.

My 3 story garage is 30ft tall and it's way up there. Looks like a neat project!
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Old 08-29-2018, 02:00 PM
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Colt, I am not sure if you have seen or read my many posts on prepper homes and shelters. I am attaching the latest version, which includes information on self-reliance and self-sufficiency. It was written in response to another thread on another forum about the subjects. But I included pretty much everything in my old article about prepper homes.

There is some duplication, and some of it does not apply to the housing aspect, but you might find it interesting. And it might give you some ideas. It is not dome specific, and the house that is described is above ground with basement. But the general information still applies, I think.

Ignore the parts that do not apply, and extract anything that does that interests you. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

As to the direct question in the OP, here are some of my thoughts:
I cannot quite tell how thick the air lock entry walls are, or the type of doors. Unless much thicker walls and blast doors, I would suggest a barrier wall in front of the entrance, or some type of right angle turn in the entry to eliminate a direct path for radiation to enter the dome through the walk-out section.

I think you probably have some provision to get to the cupola from inside the dome. I am curious what it is, as that is a long way up, even from the floor below it.

You do not mention a specific escape tunnel or route, though the two domes will be connected. I would suggest at least one or more that are not part of the buildings. One might be similar to, or an actual, basement escape window. The outside hidden or camouflaged, of course. Another could be a vertical or sloped shaft built outside the dome footprint, either with a concealed/camouflaged hatch or a gazebo like structure similar to the cupola. A third could be a culvert type tunnel under the dome, installed when the drain field is put in before the foundation and floor is poured. It could go under the walk out part, but extend much further, or it could go a different direction and exit somewhere some distance away.

You did not mention insulation, but I would highly recommend it. Being underground will moderate the temperature changes, but it is likely that you will want an inside temperature that is different than the ambient ground temperature. Having the place insulated will allow doing that with much lower losses.

I would go ahead and incorporate rough ins for future options you are already considering, as well as some general ones for things that might become available later. Extra conduits of several sizes going from various locations inside to various locations outside. Additional sewer, water, and ground water drain possibilities. A 'sun tube' or two installed to likely positions outside where reflectors and mirrors can be used to direct concentrated light beams into the structure, to diffusers to provide daylight inside the dome.

I mentioned the drain field in passing above. You did not mention one, but if you have not considered it, I highly recommend laying down a gravel drain bed under the dome, extending at least a couple of feet beyond the footprint. With perforated pipe in the gravel, leading outside, there should not be a problem with water incursion. Especially if a layer of pea gravel against the water proofing on the outside of the dome is added as the back filling takes place.

I would incorporate a couple of physical periscopes, as well as OP/LP electronic surveillance points outside. Grounded metallic conduit, all metal Faraday sensor/pick-up enclosure, and EMP protection on the incoming wiring. Or use fiber optics.

I have many other ideas and questions, but most of them are addressed in the attached article.

I look forward to your progress reports.

Thank you for starting this thread.

Just my opinion.
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Old 08-29-2018, 03:46 PM
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So what happens if there is a hundred tons (or more) of rock falling on top of the cabin? The cabin should be made from reinforced concrete, in my opinion. Also, how is it possible to have HORIZONTAL air system? What happen if there is several feet of snow, volcanic ash (or whatever) on top of the ground?
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Old 08-29-2018, 04:12 PM
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..eh?

..Just kidding, Awesome Project, interesting design.. We're thinking of something - much smaller - as a 'wildfire hide' - for our BOL, and am still gathering data / ideas, so.. Will keep tuned to progress...

jd
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Old 08-29-2018, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OliverR. View Post
I'm curious on how the dome is built. Over an inflated balloon and rebar cage? How thick? How much rebar? What sort of footing on the exterior?

It's hard to see in the pic, but looks like the upper dome part, is 30ft tall.

My 3 story garage is 30ft tall and it's way up there. Looks like a neat project!
10' 10" at the highest point for the second part. About 20' total. I think the 2nd floor is about a foot thick. Remember the walls will slope so there will be a little dead space around the edge for storage.

It's typical shotcrete construction. According to the preliminary it's about 1' thick. Not sure on the details here until we have actual blueprints from the engineer. It goes on a concrete slab which connects up through the rest of the dome with beams.
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Old 08-29-2018, 07:43 PM
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Default Fallout Bunker Home

Remember your fallout protection will depend on the amount of soil overhead and around the side walls. The cellar area should provide very good protection... if you were to set the inner walls back 3’ so you have 3’ of soil between the inner wall and the outer wall, you’d have even better protection.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:42 PM
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Remember your fallout protection will depend on the amount of soil overhead and around the side walls. The cellar area should provide very good protection... if you were to set the inner walls back 3’ so you have 3’ of soil between the inner wall and the outer wall, you’d have even better protection.
The whole thing will be under about 3' of soil. Radiation should have 3' of soil plus 1' of concrete, or 1.5' of concrete plus whatever materials I keep stocked in the airlock. Should be about 15 halvings of radiation in the house and practically none making it to the cellar/shelter portion.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:46 PM
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So what happens if there is a hundred tons (or more) of rock falling on top of the cabin? The cabin should be made from reinforced concrete, in my opinion. Also, how is it possible to have HORIZONTAL air system? What happen if there is several feet of snow, volcanic ash (or whatever) on top of the ground?


The cupola is in an open field almost to the top of a ridge. There's nothing to fall on it. There will be 2 ways in or out in case one gets blocked for any reason. No more blockable than the doors on your above ground house.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:49 PM
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You know when you start this build you will have to have progress photos. Without them it didn't really happen. Great plan. I hope it goes smooth!
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Old 08-29-2018, 09:54 PM
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We'll do pictures. It should be a quick build once we get the plans and excavate. Probably start in the spring when the ground thaws and dries a bit. The interior walls and such with take significantly longer.

Oh, forgot. Cupola will have a spiral staircase that also provides access between the 1st and 2nd floors.
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Old 08-29-2018, 10:51 PM
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What kind of budget are you expecting for this?

And how will you make "tunnels"?
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:57 AM
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What kind of budget are you expecting for this?

And how will you make "tunnels"?
The ground will be dug out, the structure built, and then the dirt will be put back on top of the structure. There won't be any tunnels. It's structurally and financially unrealistic. You can't just cut holes in a dome structure with a couple tons of dirt on top of it at will. The entire home will be one continuous object with the only 2 holes in the structure opening to the outside.

A top and side exit are sufficient. After that you're just asking for problems in a bunch of ways. Especially not with attaching various tubes and other things that cause joints, openings, and breaks in the structure under the ground that will eventually rust/collapse/leak. The intention is for this to be a viable daily life home for many generations. Even trying to attach offshoots and stuff will add way more cost than it's worth. It's not just a buried shipping container with a little dirt over it. It's got to deal with a lot of stresses or it'll become dangerous, and that's accomplished with keeping it simple and sticking to solid pressure resistant engineering patterns like domes and arches.

Probably $150k once all the interior work is done.
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:48 AM
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The whole thing will be under about 3' of soil. Radiation should have 3' of soil plus 1' of concrete, or 1.5' of concrete plus whatever materials I keep stocked in the airlock. Should be about 15 halvings of radiation in the house and practically none making it to the cellar/shelter portion.
When I looked at it on my tablet, I couldn't see the scale properly. Looks pretty good to me. You'll get some air-scatter and roof dose through the copula, but you can always retreat back into the cellar if your shelter dose-rate is higher than you like.

I'm jealous. I was going to say put a gray-water floor drain in the airlock... but really what you should do is put a grey-water drain on a patio outside the main entrance if you can drain it properly. That'll get the contaminated runoff away from the home. If necessary, do your gross decon there... not in the airlock area. If you really wanted to get crazy, build a sink and shower into the airlock area kinda like some farm houses have. Outside on the pad, build an awning or have one of those collapsable party tents you can set up outside if you want to shelter your decon corridor from the elements. With fallout, you likely won't need to do much other than hose your boots off unless you're out cutting down trees or doing stuff that'll really kick up a lot of dust.
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Old 08-30-2018, 08:23 PM
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If you are planning on an excavation of the depth you say, it would be wise to do a survey on your soil strata,or other wise put, a survey of what kind of soils you have at what depths..if you have solid rock past 10ft down its gonna take a whole lot more horsepower to dig that than straight dirt. This will be a major excavation and site security,perimeter mesh fence should be allowed to control access..Im sure you'll taper your cuts to prevent soil caves-at 30ft down its gonna be a big hole..do you have plans for soil containment,as in where the overburden is gonna go? runoff can contaiminate nearby waters,streams,etc..that could cause issues..any permits in your locality necessary? FWIW
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Old 08-30-2018, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by WImountainMan View Post
When I looked at it on my tablet, I couldn't see the scale properly. Looks pretty good to me. You'll get some air-scatter and roof dose through the copula, but you can always retreat back into the cellar if your shelter dose-rate is higher than you like.

I'm jealous. I was going to say put a gray-water floor drain in the airlock... but really what you should do is put a grey-water drain on a patio outside the main entrance if you can drain it properly. That'll get the contaminated runoff away from the home. If necessary, do your gross decon there... not in the airlock area. If you really wanted to get crazy, build a sink and shower into the airlock area kinda like some farm houses have. Outside on the pad, build an awning or have one of those collapsable party tents you can set up outside if you want to shelter your decon corridor from the elements. With fallout, you likely won't need to do much other than hose your boots off unless you're out cutting down trees or doing stuff that'll really kick up a lot of dust.
Radiation through the cupola should run straight down the stairwell hitting the steps and such. We'd be avoiding that area until it was rad free and stick to the bottom floor, bunkering in the cellar and coming out to get supplies and access things like the kitchen and bathroom to keep even low doses limited. Shouldn't really disrupt us much even.

Should be good for stuff other than radiation too. Grass fires, tornadoes, quarantine, etc, shouldn't bother us either. Especially if we go with a more durable material for the cupola. And I just found out the cupola is going to be included by the builder so it'll actually be another shockcrete dome continous with the rest.

The walk-out door will have a patio in front of it with a drain. Eventually a greenhouse on top of the patio so it'll be pretty much covered. The whole topography is just below the crest of a ridge so most water will be flowing down the other side of the ridge. Then on our side it's a slope down to a creek and the retaining wall will direct the water around the entrance so drainage shouldn't be an issue.

Airlock will function as a mud room. The dogs will live there when inside and then it'll have the laundry room and a sink/step-in shower for decon. Mud and other farm mess decon in normal times. A preliminary hose-down outside might be a good idea in bad times though. This is where the boots and other farm clothes will live. Then some firewood and other supplies in the free space.
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Old 08-30-2018, 09:48 PM
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If you are planning on an excavation of the depth you say, it would be wise to do a survey on your soil strata,or other wise put, a survey of what kind of soils you have at what depths..if you have solid rock past 10ft down its gonna take a whole lot more horsepower to dig that than straight dirt. This will be a major excavation and site security,perimeter mesh fence should be allowed to control access..Im sure you'll taper your cuts to prevent soil caves-at 30ft down its gonna be a big hole..do you have plans for soil containment,as in where the overburden is gonna go? runoff can contaiminate nearby waters,streams,etc..that could cause issues..any permits in your locality necessary? FWIW
Excavation is going to be done by an excavation company so they're used to these things. It's essentially the same as a making a pond. The soil is heavy clay. Bedrock is 50 to 100ft down.

It's in a fenced field. Hole should be 20ft. Dirt will be used to build a lagoon, maybe another pond, and to raise the ridge and then just pushed back down the ridge to cover the building and smooth out the slope. The creek below is a flood creek. It doesn't really go anywhere. During heavy rains all the farms drain into this same spread out creek system where it's held and then it all evaporates from there and the creeks are dry again until the next heavy rain.

It's in a rural county. No permits needed. Part of why we picked it.
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Old 08-31-2018, 01:15 AM
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Awesome project. Looking forward to seeing how it goes.
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colt View Post
Radiation through the cupola should run straight down the stairwell hitting the steps and such. We'd be avoiding that area until it was rad free and stick to the bottom floor, bunkering in the cellar and coming out to get supplies and access things like the kitchen and bathroom to keep even low doses limited. Shouldn't really disrupt us much even.
You've obviously done your homework, and I agree that it probably won't significantly increase your dose. Especially if you're going to use the cellar. I'm more or less using this as a teachable moment for others who may not understand scatter or skyshine and why it's an important consideration when designing shelter. Scatter through the copula will work something like these pictures.





Gamma photons that strike atoms in the atmosphere can be scattered downward through the copula. So even with perfect shielding on 5 sides and assuming no fallout on a roof, you'll still receive an exposure through skyshine.

Looking forward to seeing the pictures!
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