When a major natural disaster or nuclear war strikes, survival will be the main priority for most us. For some, though, the biggest problem will be deciding whether to watch a movie or go for a swim. Residents at the luxury Survival Condo resort will be safe, secure and not short of entertainment.
For those with adequately burgeoning bank accounts, there is no small selection of survival shelters from which to choose. Indeed, such is demand that the Vivos Group is building an entire networks of underground survival shelters. Although not yet operating on that scale, Survival Condos already has completed and fully booked one shelter, with work on a second in progress.
The US-based condos are built in former Atlas missile silos. Having been retired, the silos became available for other uses. According to the Survival Condos website, the hardened structures, with 9 ft (2.7 m)-thick concrete walls, were originally designed to stand up to a direct nuclear strike. In addition, the large dome that tops the shelters can apparently withstand winds of up to 500 mph (805 km/h). These features make them ideal for use as survival shelters.
"By starting our project with a Formerly Used Defense Site, we have a US$120 million dollar head start," writes Survival Condos owner Larry Hall on the company website. "A competitor has to spend that much just to catch up, we can go dollar for dollar from that point on, but that is one heck of a head start on the value proposition."
Hall explained to Gizmag that he came to the idea amid concerns following 9/11. Converting them and fitting them out with all the necessary facilities is a project in itself. "These are large complex structures," he said. "The best analogy is that it is like trying to build a ship in a bottle. It takes a lot of planning and engineering coupled with skilled workers."
The stated aim of the shelters, first and foremost, is to provide residents with safety from what lurks outside. Beyond that, they're also designed to provide comfort and luxury. Each has its own set of redundant electricity sources and a redundant water supply with a minimum 75,000 gal (341,000 l) reserve tank. Filtration systems, meanwhile, clear the air of nuclear, biological and chemical agents and there is an on-site medical center. Food is also produced on-site via organic hydroponic and aquaculture setups.
Beyond those necessities, the converted silos each have a command and control center, and a communications center with on-site internet subset access. A digital weather station provides information from outside. Other facilities include a pool, spa and gym, a library, a classroom, a movie theater and even a general store.
The silos themselves can house up to 70 people, with residential space split into condos that house either 6-10 people with a full-floor layout or 3-5 people with a half-floor layout. The condos each come with a 5-year supply of freeze-dried and dehydrated food per person and are fitted with "high-end stainless appliances" and LED lighting throughout. Amongst the other features included are 50-inch TVs, home automation systems, jacuzzi baths and "simulated view" windows to give the sense of above-ground normality.
The first silo was completed in 2012, with the second due to be completed by the end of 2016. For those who fancy the peace of mind, a full-floor condo suite will set you back $3 million, with a half-floor suite costing $1.5 million.
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