Live in a Well Rounded Dwelling and Build a Yurt Outside

February 11, 2009

While we are on the topic of decreasing our energy footprints in small homes, I’d like to share the simple and small round yurt design, that has been around for ages. The yurt is a type of “Green Weefab Mini-Home” and can be customized into another kind of hand-built “Earth Sheltered Housefor those on a budget.

Yes a yurt is a portable, felt-covered, wood lattice-framed dwelling structure used by the nomads in the steppes of Central Asia for centuries, and yes it is also a modern dwelling here in the west. I have often seen yurts perched on ocean side clifftops, in horse pastures for riders, and used as outdoor guest houses for those with big yards.

To build a yurt the main job is building the foundation, and the rest is simple, as most yurts come in a DIY assembly kit. There are different size yurts, treehouse style yurts, ones with extra windows, and plenty of room to customize.

Have you ever been in a yurt? Sleeping in a yurt feels really natural, because of the round shape, you feel like you are in a beautiful seashell. Most yurts have skylights, so gazing at the sky is possible. They are very affordable and energy efficient, adorable and cozy, and some nature reserves and eco-resorts have made them into yurt bungalows.

This is the perfect green project for those of you working in the ever evolving sustainable construction industry,  the frame of the yurt can be made with recycled wood, metal, and green materials, the tops can be covered in solar shingles, small scale wind, and the structure can be reworked to include compostable toilets, outdoor showers that collect rainwater (depending on location), sinks and kitchenettes. These days, as portable chargers become more sophisticated, the yurts may advance to come with their own DIY energy kits.


Above yurt images one, two and three courtesy of yurts.com and images and four and five above are in the public domain.


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