Do I need foundations for my shelter?


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Do I need foundations for my shelter?

Although shelters are relocatable and straightforward to move around if necessary, there are times when you definitely need them to stay in one place. Extremes of weather, especially high winds, can impact the stability and safety of a shelter, which is why foundations are often required if your shelter is to meet Australian safety standards.

The majority of container mounted shelters that are wider than six metres will require foundations or anchoring of some type. There are a few different options depending on the size and type of your shelter, and the conditions it is likely to be exposed to. Many of the foundation and anchoring options are secure and safe, while still being easy to remove if you want to relocate the shelter, while others offer a more permanent solution.

If you’re considering whether you need foundations and what type you should use, here are the main options:



These are holes that are drilled into the ground. Each hole contains a hold down bolt set into concrete. Brackets are attached to these bolts after being welded to your containers.



This type of anchoring uses a set amount of weight that is placed along the centre and inside your containers. There are a certain number of kilograms that will be needed for each metre of the shelter.


Concrete slab

This method works by pouring a concrete slab between and underneath your shelter and containers and then welding brackets to your containers. These are then bolted to the slab to ensure they are secure and stay in place.


Concrete footings

Used mostly for very large shelters, concrete footings are suitable for locations like reclaimed land where the foundations have a maximum allowable depth.


External ballast

There are two different methods of creating external ballast anchors. This can be done either by attaching steel supports to the underside of the containers that protrude out of the sides for the ballast blocks or weights to rest on, or by placing large ballast blocks or weights beside the containers and attaching them with chains up to the top corners of the containers.


Slab and piers

This is a combination of different types of foundations where the slab is poured only between the containers, with piers being used along the outside edges.

If you aren’t sure what type of footings or foundations are most appropriate for your shelter, it’s worth seeking expert advice. There are a number of factors that will determine the best type of foundation or footings for your specific shelter, and these include:

  • The size of the shelter
  • What the shelter is used for
  • The type of shelter
  • Whether it needs to be relocatable or permanent
  • The type of soil or surface the shelter is on
  • The degree of wind exposure in the area


Permanent foundations are ideal for structures that don’t need to be moved or locations where the foundations can be left in place, while temporary foundations are the perfect choice if flexibility is a priority or projects are taking place on rented land.

Contact Allshelter today to discuss your shelter needs and find the perfect shelter for your next project.


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