The curious, beautifully decorated circular yurt is synonymous with the steppes of central Asia.
Although today, we see these yurts around the world in a variety of permutations and sizes, constructed of modern materials.
But what makes these unusual dwellings so timeless is the ingenuity of their construction that stretches back more than 3000 years.
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A 3000-year Old Tradition
Mentioned by the Greek historian, Herodotus, the yurt or Ger as it is named in Mongolia, was the primary residential structure of the hardy nomadic tribes that roamed the steppes for thousands of years.
Traditionally covered in animal skins or felt, the yurt can withstand the widely fluctuating temperatures and strong winds that sweep the barren landscapes of central Asia.
This lightweight and easily transportable structure can still be seen throughout the central plains of Asia and since the mid-1900s in the United States of America.
Introduced into America in the 1960s
Yurts of America have, for the past 30 years, spent a considerable amount of time designing and innovating the yurt to bring it in line with the modern building codes required for certification and approval by local authorities.
As a supplier to some of the most prominent companies and individuals involved in eco-friendly alternative accommodations, Yurts of America craft some of the most sought-after yurts available. Only the highest quality materials are used to create these truly timeless investment homes and guest facilities.
Popular now in many national parks, yurts provide a getaway that is as close to nature as one can get without actually sleeping outside, with all the modern conveniences.
Modern Materials for an Ancient Dwelling
Yurts are built as permanent or portable structures and are constructed of modern building materials like waterproof vinyl canvas and steel cable.
Interiors are basic but outfitted in furniture-grade woods to provide an elegant yet traditional product.
Should you require a more modern finish and amenities such as water, electricity, sewerage, or gas appliances, professional craftsmen are available to fit these within the rounded walls. There is even an optional stove kit to simplify the process.
Available as kits as well as completed structures, yurts maintain the same basic structure as the originals with their circular walls and conical rooves that guard against high winds and rain.
When Were Yurts Invented?
It is difficult to tell when exactly the yurt first entered service as a portable home, but it has been around at least 3000 years and most probably quite a bit longer than that.
Yurts have been used as the permanent residence of the Mongolian people as far back as they can remember. Being portable, as their herds of livestock moved, so did their yurts.
How Yurts Are Constructed
Traditionally, yurts consist of a circular base foundation which can either be constructed on the ground or lifted onto a wooden platform or a cement foundation.
It is a popular choice of accommodation for the modern craze of glamping in national parks and forests.
But more and more people are recognizing the eco-friendly nature of this alternative housing structure and many off-grid and rural families enjoy the natural beauty of living in a yurt.
The walls are made of a lattice of light wooden battens, held together with twine or some more modern fixings.
A trellis covers the floor, providing a frame to support rugs and mats.
Bent poles support the roof and a door frame provides the structure to support a door. Light is allowed in and the smoke out, by a central ring or crown. The roof poles are then held together with a compression ring.
Ventilation is achieved by a gap in the dome with a central fire heating the interior. Traditionally, depending on how cold the weather was, the walls and roof were covered with multiple layers of animal fur or felt.
Nowadays, multiple layers of modern insulation materials provide a barrier to preserve heat with reflective layers used to further keep heat in.
Canvas or another waterproof material is draped over the structure and secured to provide a weatherproof outer skin.
To provide further protection from the rain, channels are dug around the yurt to drain water away from the interior. This is especially necessary where there is no foundation to raise the floor off the ground.
Modern Construction Techniques
To meet the ever more stringent building codes, high-quality timber or cement foundations and waterproof canvas materials are used in modern structures.
Huge amounts of time and effort go into the types of structures that Yurts of America build for their clients.
This ensures that every structure meets its stringent quality standards and further contributes to the investment quality of yurts throughout the United States.
How Yurts Work in Practically Any Climate
Yurts are available in a variety of sizes ranging from 12’ to 32’. This provides a stable platform that is both durable and strong.
Yurts of America products can handle extreme weather conditions due to their highly engineered components and design. There are optional wind and snow kits available that provide industry-beating quality upgrades in harsher climates.
Correctly maintained, your yurt can last as long as a traditional house.
To meet fire-code requirements, a fire-retardant canvas is used and warranties of 10 -15 years are the norm.
Yurts of America provide the kits to construct your yurt but do not provide the base or foundation. As the requirements for construction approval vary from location to location, they provide advice and blueprints for wooden and cement foundations but customers will have to construct these themselves.
It goes without saying, that the company that provides your yurt should be available to assist you throughout the build process and Yurts of America are well-known for their after-sales service and support.
All of these innovations make living in a yurt a viable and comfortable option in even the most rugged, back-country regions.
As a long-term investment, yurts have proven themselves to be a stable product for over 30 years. Whether you require a temporary structure for holiday accommodation or a permanent off-grid home, a yurt can provide you with a 3000-year-old solution to a modern problem.