Our first in-depth bunker company response to “10 Cloverfield Lane” is by Brad Roberson, marketing director, of Rising S Bunkers.
Roberson gives readers a step-by-step guide why the “10 Cloverfield Lane” bunker would fail as a survival shelter.
The movie’s bunker is constructed with cinder block walls, concrete floors and sheet rock in the ceilings and walls. Common problems with materials like these are cracks and susceptibility to water damage.
Lots of areas in his bunker appear to have been re-plastered or repaired which would be expected with these materials. The shifting earth and fluctuating ground temperatures create cracks and subsequent leaks in the structure.
These problems are virtually non-existent in a Rising S bunker. The steel construction will expand and contract with ground temps allowing the shelter to essentially adjust to changing ground conditions.
In contrast, concrete and cinder blocks are rigid and will break due to their inability to flex and bend.
His bunker appears to be quite wide in the “common area”, but the walls are rounded which in turn reduces headroom and usable space nearest the walls.
The Cloverfield bunker claims that the aquaponics systems filters the air. This isn’t the best method for air filtration. It also appears that the system isn’t insulated against pressure changes.
Rising S shelters have a very different approach to this air filtration issue.
There is a point in the movie where the occupants have to access the air filtration system through series of winding air ducts. Not the case if they were inside a Rising S unit.
Our shelters have easily accessible inlets for fresh air leading to a highly efficient thee-part nuclear, biological, chemical air filtration unit.
The system takes up about as much room as small end table and it is very easy to service. They utilize a combination of HEPA filters, ULPA filters and military grade TEDA carbon.
This is the best type of air filtration system on the market. The air inlets are also protected by blast valves to protect the occupants in the bunker from sudden pressure changes on the surface.
A blast wave from an explosion on the surface creates a massive change in pressure. As it races across the ground this blast-wave can enter your bunker through the air ventilation. Because the bunker is enclosed, the pressure would not be able to dissipate and equalize subsequently crushing the internal organs of the occupants.
Rising S blast valves prevent this from happening.
The Cloverfield bunker had high voltage power throughout the bunker. His bunker would need a massive source of power to function if the main grid is unavailable.
There was actually a point where the lights flickered and they lost lights for a couple seconds. He attributed this loss of lights to “the generator.” This implies that a high voltage generator is powering the entire bunker.
Generators need fuel to run, and fuel is another finite resource, meaning it’s a bad idea.
These problems are non-existent in a Rising S bunker. We use a low voltage 12-volt power system with a battery bank that is typically re-charged by solar panels or by wind turbines.
Our bunkers can be designed to run “on the grid” using high-voltage power and the 12-volt system can be used as a back-up solution.
Traditional generators can also be installed as back-up solutions at the customer’s request but we would never engineer the bunker to run on a generator alone.
Incandescent and fluorescent lighting is very inefficient. Rising S uses LED lighting, which is one of the most energy efficient lighting methods available.
Stove: The Cloverfield bunker uses an electric stove that is very inefficient as it consumes a ton of energy. The heating coils needed for that technology are a heavy load on any power system. The Rising S solution for this is an alcohol burning cook-top stove. These stoves have odorless and soot-less flame that is safe for indoor use.
Refrigerators: The Cloverfield bunker uses an electric refrigerator. Again, this is very inefficient as it consumes a ton of energy. Refrigerators aren’t needed in real survival situations because any foods used are typically non-perishable. Excess vegetables would be canned and meats would be cured in such a way to maximize its life span.
Toilet: The Cloverfield bunker uses a traditional toilet. The main character, Howard (John Goodman) even says “Don’t flush unless you go. We can’t afford wasted flushes.”
Suffice to say, traditional toilets need a readily available source of water. Since water is possibly the most valuable resource a person can have in a survival situation, it hardly seems like a great idea to literally flush it away.
Rising S bunkers come equipped a water-less composting toilet. It requires no water and no electricity to function, and it is the best solution in a survival situation where resources are precious.
Rising S does offer an upgrade option for having a traditional wet toilet but this option is really only available for select customers that have access to a readily available source of water.
Shower: For some weird reason, the Cloverfield bunker had the toilet located in the shower. Aside of it being pretty gross to think you may need answer nature’s call in the same place you shower and wash…I can’t really explain why you’d need to design it like this. Perhaps it’s about the water evacuation solution but nevertheless, it’s a terrible design.
Rising S bunkers have a full size shower (without a toilet in it) with grey water evacuation and plumbing beneath the shower pan.
Our restrooms are large enough for the toilet and the shower to have their own respective space.
It appears the Cloverfield bunker has an entrance built from corrugated pipe with a bulkhead and blast door welded to it. There are many problems with this so I’ll touch on a few of these briefly.
He claims that it the “entrance door is never opened for their safety.” The context around this conversation is about the toxicity of the surface air, so this statement seems to imply that the door and the staircase are airtight.
- Corrugated Pipe (culvert) is NOT airtight, nor water tight. You may be surprised to learn that these pipes have a spiral seam that extends the entire length of the pipe. Seen here: the seam is CRIMPED together (not welded). This seam essentially creates a weak spot in the pipe that runs from end to end. It also means that the pipe won’t insulate the occupants from toxic air because it isn’t airtight. The only way it could be airtight is if it were buried. We’ve already discussed the stresses the ground can put on buried structures such as concrete. Burying a corrugated pipe might fix the air problem but it worsens the water problem. Shifting earth will eventually get the best of the crimped seam and compromise the integrity of the shelter. So burying the pipe is a double-edged sword.
- The entrance is highly visible from the surface attracting unwanted attention (like when the infected lady was begging to get into the bunker) and adding additional vulnerability to the security. The Cloverfield bunker has a door that sits perpendicular to the surface (like a traditional home). Although the bunker looks to have a very heavy-duty blast door guarding the entrance, because of the door’s position relative to the earth; the staircase walls are exposed and susceptible to being penetrated with saws, torches or even hand tools. Typical corrugated pipe is made from 1/8-inch steel so it’s not very thick. You could take a small hatchet and chop your way through the sides of that staircase completely negating the strength of the blast door entrance.
Rising S Solutions: We only use ¼-inch plate steel in fabrication (two times thicker than corrugated pipe) and it is welded end-to-end resulting in a watertight and airtight design.
We also bury the entire staircase so the only exposed portion of the bunker is a hatch that opens like a cellar door. Once you enter through the hatch you’ll travel down the stairs and you encounter the door to the bunker at the foot of the staircase. This entrance design attracts less attention and is a better solution all the way around.
Comfort Amenities: The Cloverfield bunker is equipped with a few creature comforts such as a traditional tube television and a full-size jukebox. These items are definitely not built with efficient energy consumption in mind. Rising S provides a low voltage 12-volt TV/DVD combo in all of our bunkers.
Beyond that, everything else is a custom modification. Although Rising S can (and often does) custom equip our bunkers to have a wide host of luxury items; those luxuries always need more power and are not included in our standard bunker inclusions because of their inefficient power consumption.
Brad Roberson is the marketing director for Rising S Bunkers, a division of Rising S Company.