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Large gas tanks are recycled as shelters.

My friend Philip Greeson had invited me to come see the utility space he had made on his farm from two large salvaged gas tanks, but I was hardly prepared to see the two deluxe rooms he had created in this ultimate recycling effort. Imagine if you win, two 10[feet] x 18[feet] steel tanks connected end-to-end, buried three-fourths underground and sodded over with several feet of grass and topsoil, all connected by a 21[feet] steel access tunnel to the back of Phil's big outdoor workshop.

The access door from the workshop opens onto a gound-level, carpeted walkway 21[feet] long (made from smaller tanks) to a steel spiral staircase taking you down to the first floor of the first 10,270 gallon tank where, through an access doorway you can see straight ahead for 36[feet] to the end of the second room (tank). The floors are decked so that you have rooms about 9[feet] by 18[feet] with confortable headroom. The center section of die decking is removable to provide good dry space for hurricane shelter supplies, etc. The second room is fitted along the length with a fine workbench and shop built-ins for Phil's electronics and computer hobbies.

All wiring and antenna leads come in through waterproof armored cables and before the flooring was installed, gravity drains were put in along with fresh water plumbing. One small dehumidifier keeps the spaces beautifully dry and comfortable at a constant year-round temperature of 68 degrees. There is an emergency exit upward from the end of the second unit. This is truly the ultimate in cyclone or bomshelter, hurricane hide-a-way-and year-round highly useful living or work space that cost but a fraction of what it would have taken to build comparable space by conventional methods.

The tanks were purchased for $100 each including loading on a flatbed. Transportation cost about $200 and a welder with his own equipment and supplies cost $17 an hour. I was told that most petroleum service companies would sooner sell such tanks very cheap than go through the expensive degassing and cutting up processes required to sell them for scrap. The 10[feet] x 18[feet] tanks aren't too plentiful but service companies always have lots of small tanks.
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Copyright 1994 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Ewing, Ray
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Jan 1, 1994
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