Featured Underground storage

Discussion in 'Other' started by Wedgetail, Nov 26, 2019.

  1. Wedgetail

    Wedgetail Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hi everyone I have been thinking about building a underground storage area for storing fruit, veg ,preserves in a cooler environment during the summer months. Has anybody built one used one or even have one in their backyard just looking for advise on how to go about it like materials to use depth to go down how to keep out water etc. Thanks for reading Dave
     
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  2. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Thats a curly one, Dave.

    The only root store I've ever seen in this country was on a cattle station owned by some poms who wanted one like they had in the home country.
    Obviously they were trying to keep the veg cool through the overwhelming heat of summer.
    I would say they had tried several options because there were a variety of holes scattered around the garden.
    In the end they settled on a huge mound of dirt about 8ft high into which they dug a hole sideways. It had a corrugated roof over the door side which was on the lee side away from prevailing weather. It probably needed a huge roof over the whole mound and extending away all around to prevent rain soaking into the ground.
    It was lined with corrugated iron on pit props, probably to strengthen the walls from erosion. There was about 4ft of dirt covering the top and on the sides.
    It went down into the ground about 4ft as well but there was a drain running away downhill from it to the river some distance away.
    In the wet season water seeped into it from all around but ran away down the drain.
    Of course in qld the wet season coincides with the hot season so the floor had bricks on it but there was mud over them.
    They had built shelves using rosewood posts so it was ok for the bottom of the posts to sit in the mud half the year.
    I don't think it was ever successful because in the hot season it would have been too moist in there due to the mud on the floor or the ground water running through.
    So the air would have been quite moist and humid and unhealthy to keep f&v in as well as other non perishable goods.

    So if you built down into the ground you would need to include a concrete sump with sump pump in it that would fire up as the sump filled. Then you would need a fan to keep the air moving incase it got moist to guard against mould.
    Your ground would need to be very stable so it didn't slump at the bottom of the walls or else use pit props from mining.
    The ground can get hot down as far as 6-10ft in hot years if it is completely exposed to the sun and take most of winter to cool down again.
    So you would need to build a pretty wide roof over the whole area or put the pit under a tree.

    An alternative might be to get a small old cold room eg 4x4ft or 4x6ft and bury it in the ground with a drain running away downhill so it doesn't float in the wet season! Make the coldroom roof at ground level with another roof over it to keep the sun off. It might end up looking a bit like a meathouse on a cattle station. You'd go in under the roof and down some steps into the coldroom in the ground.

    Or just build a meathouse like one of these below.

    quarters_0004-01.jpeg img_0514-01.jpeg 189-01.jpeg


    img_11672-01.jpeg 440px-Meat_Hous_at_Davenport_Downs_1925.-01.jpeg

    I like this last one because it has character, a reed or bladey grass roof over the corrugated iron roof and space to sit around the sides under the roof in summer. There's also now a nice vine growing over the roof.
    I've got a nice crop of bladey grass just the right age to harvest too! Ready to make stoops from.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
  3. Wedgetail

    Wedgetail Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hi ClissAT thank you for your thoughts it would be a big task I was thinking of going down about 30ft but there is so much rock here not sure if it's possible. I have done a lot of tunnel work at 30 to 40ft level when we lived on the gemfields never had water seepage and as long as you had 2 entry points for air to flow it was quite pleasant down there even in 45 degrees on the surface also the the tunnels were self surporting if you kept them around 2 to 3m wide with dome style roof any way lots to think about . Dave
     
  4. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Wow! 30-40ft deep!
    I wasn't thinking anything near that deep!
    What can I say, if tunnelling is your thing then go for it! :focus:

    Although I've never been out there, I have been told by some who have lived there that the underground houses at Coober Pedy are very cool even though only 3m below ground level for the most part.

    So I guess you really only have to go down that deep.
     
  5. Matthew Duke

    Matthew Duke Member Premium Member

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    Hey mate, I reckon you really need to place size as the primary thing to consider, because there are options like the "root cellar" [LINK]. The size will affect how deep you go, structural supports, and to a certain extent water-proofing methods as well.

    I'd also put "concealment" on the agenda too, because in the situation where you'd need this sort of thing, it might be important.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019 at 8:17 AM
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  6. Wedgetail

    Wedgetail Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hi Matthew good points. In relation to the concealment it has crossed my mind and would be something I would incorporate into the structure you just don't know what is around the corner also for emergency shelter in a cyclone, fire etc. Still reading through the link you put up its good reading thank you Regards Dave
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019 at 2:23 PM
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