Meet a Modern Yurt: Ed Ryan’s circHouse

Special thanks to Ed Ryan, developer of the circhouse, for providing GBE with this guest post.

cH sunset

The circHouse is a durable, easily constructed, multi-use building which has been designed to serve many functions, among them, humanitarian and relief housing, offices for medical facilities, storage and logistics applications, and recreational, resort and lifestyle uses.

The basic design is round and similar to a yurt but made with modern materials and CAD engineering. Buckminster Fuller said, “To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” The circHouse is built for the 21st century, not for the tenth century.

For humanitarian post disaster needs, the circHouse offers immediate durability in the challenging and difficult environments found after disasters. This is particularly true in refugee camps.

The interior and exterior wall materials vary depending on performance and price requirements with one or more clear polycarbonate sliding windows with screens for cross ventilation and insect protection. A water collection and storage system is available with low cost purification and solar heating options. The unit can be put up on fields, parking lots or sand/gravel surfaces. All the parts have a useful life expectancy. The purpose is to keep the family unit together in a secure, safe and healthy structure. Much of the fabrication and sub assembly can be performed on-site with local labor.


The circHouse for the recreational setting takes advantage of the full view floor to ceiling picture window and sliding window capabilities.  We use wood panels where desired to create a more “natural” feel to the structure.

Polycarbonate greenhouse roof panels can be used to let in natural light and warmth. A simple photovoltaic system, wood stove and solar water heating system can provide the comforts of home in an off-grid and remote location. You can start putting the circHouse up in the morning and have lunch in your new getaway vacation home.

cH Taos

The circHouse steel frame and interchangeable wall panel construction also allows for the building to be used as a greenhouse with all clear plexiglass, polycarbonate or any combination of clear and colored panels.  The materials are UV protected and as rugged as necessary.  Our built in solar panel for hot air and water along with thermal mass storage can provide low cost heat in cold weather climates.

The circHouse is 19.5 feet in diameter with approximately 300 square feet of interior space. Depending on materials it weighs between 1,500 and 2,000 lbs and is shipped on a 4’x10’ pallet. The unit can withstand high winds and has insulation options for extreme cold weather and multiple units can easily be connected.

Depending on applications and materials, humanitarian pricing starts at $5,000, recreational pricing at $10,000.