Sand Bag Munitions Storage Structures

A reader sent us the following email about another use for sand bags.

“Militaries around the world (mainly US as it has representation in nearly every continent) use sand bags to construct barriers to prevent propagation of munitions explosion. That is, large amounts of explosives are stored in large bins (the size of classrooms) made of sand bags. There are many such bins. If the munitions in one bin explode, the walls prevent the propagation of explosion as it is an excellent isolation that can absorb the blast. Such structures were used by the US Army in Kuwait in the first Gulf War. The bags were filled with sand; no rock infill was used and no metal bars were allowed. This was done so as to prevent sharp and hard elements flying all over in case of explosion.”

Sand Bag Reinforcements
Sand Bag Reinforcements

This email provides more extremely convincing evidence of how strong earthbag structures are. I can’t think of any other building system that can match this, especially something low tech and affordable. Not every structure needs to be this strong, of course, but it is reassuring knowing your home is strong and safe. Where would you prefer to be if a tornado or hurricane hit your town? A tract home or code approved trailer made with 2x2s?

Photo credit:
Note: The photo above shows sand bags surrounding fuel tanks that feed a generator. So slightly different use, but same basic idea. If any readers have photos of sand bag munitions structures, please send them to us.
Related: Drawings of military barricades.

3 thoughts on “Sand Bag Munitions Storage Structures”

    • Most bags — standard polypropylene bags and tubes used by most earthbag builders — hold up fine for several months. It’s always best to cover the walls with tarps, and apply plaster as soon as possible.

      For extreme situations such as military use, where money is no problem, you can buy UV resistant bags.


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