posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 01:37 AM
I suggest looking into "green" homebuilding techniques for the desert environment. I don't remember any of the titles, but i've read several
books on such construction methods.
What kind of shelter are you considering?
Also think about this, if you dig a trench through a mound, it'll be easy to roof off, and won't require tunnelling, but will require a LOT of
Look into using sandbags to build a bunker/emergency shelter. If you're looking for something more livable, look at some of thr "rammed earth"
homes for ideas.
I know that there's people usinmg around 75% AZ calichi (the kittylitter-like stuff that covers most of AZ desert and scrublands) and 25% quickcrete
to make "super-adobe" bricks using forms. You could also use newspaper and concrete if you've got a GOOD papercrete mixer.
The papercrete mixer is like a HUGE heavy duty blender, usually built from a wrecked vehicle, attaching a set of cutting blades (think lawnmower
blades stacked up) to the transaxle, and paper, water and concrete are added in ratio. The slurry that comes out is poured into forms like adobe and
once set, weigh something like 20% of what a pure concrete brick would weigh, as well as having an added insualtion factor. There's a few
papercrete houses around the valley.
My suggestion is to look at all the different green building techniques, moist utilizing natural materials and lots of labor, and once you know what
kind of things are being done, you'll probably have a better idea of what you want to do.