Design Green Design How to Build an Underground Shelter With a Shipping Container (Video) By Kimberley Mok Writer McGill University Cornell University Kimberley Mok is a former architect who covered architecture and the arts for Treehugger since 2007. our editorial process Twitter Twitter Kimberley Mok Updated October 13, 2019 credit: Grzegorz Petrykowski/Shutterstock Share Twitter Pinterest Email Design Tiny Homes Architecture Interior Design Green Design Urban Design The abundance of shipping containers means that they've popped up as housing, as schools, funhouses, shopping malls and as emergency shelters. And now for the survivalists among us, there's the underground shipping container bunker too. Check out this video showing how one man built his: Using a 20-foot shipping container, martiwf0 explains some of the decisions he made in the construction of his bunker: For those wondering why I didn't simply pile dirt over it without pouring a concrete cap first..... These containers are mostly sheet metal. Heavy-duty as it is, the roof and sides will push inwards from the weight. Eventually, the metal will rust through and you'll be buried alive. My way will insure it is still there a few hundred years from now. Problem is, you'd better keep an eye on your sump pump. If it goes bad or loses power, you'll go in one day and find it the whole thing flooded. A surface alarm letting you know the water level is above where it should be isn't a bad idea. Putting the sump pump on a UPS [uninteruptable power supply] is also a good thing. In total, this man's do-it-yourself project cost $12,500. I'm not sure if this is cheaper than other ready-made shelters you can purchase; knowledgeable readers are invited to weigh in with any comments.