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-   -   Traditional v modern (https://www.yurtforum.com/forums/buying-a-yurt-f1/traditional-v-modern-210.html)

Carrotchasing 12-05-2012 10:53 PM

Traditional v modern
My wife and I are in the preliminary stages in our Yurt search. We were wondering what people thought about the benefits of choosing a yurt made from more traditional materials v something with more industrial materials. Also style seems to be a difference between the two...windows v no windows and so on.

Jafo 12-06-2012 08:13 AM

I think much of it depends on what you plan on doing with your yurt. Are you planning on living in this full time? I know there may be those that disagree with me, but at least as it pertains to the Northeast, you are going to have a hard time permitting a traditional yurt as a residence plain and simple. Now you may be able to tinker with some local rules and declare it some kind of outbuilding and tip-toe around other rules, but in the end someone will probably want you to take it down if you are living in it.

The advantage of the architectural yurts found at some of the bigger companies is that they generally can offer your city stamped engineering plans. You will get much closer to receiving a permit that way.

Now if you are planning on this being a weekend getaway, camp, or some other non-residence, then maybe a traditional is for you. I use mine for my camp/getaway but still went with an architectural yurt. We live in the second snowiest place in the U.S. so I just wanted to make sure the thing wasn't going to collapse lol!

By the way, welcome to the forum!!

- Jeff

stephanwik 12-09-2012 06:45 PM


Originally Posted by Carrotchasing (Post 971)
benefits of choosing a yurt made from more traditional materials v something with more industrial materials.

I think the climate of the location you intend to erect your yurt is the crucial factor here. I've seen 'authentic Mongolian' yurts succumb to mould and mildew in Western Europe. The wet conditions here are the kiss of death to felt and cotton and the covers literally disintegrate. Not to mention the rather unpleasant indoor climate as the biological processes take hold.

We've decided to go with modern, US-built yurts for our next major project as we simply can't afford to deal with rotting canvas anymore.

On the other hand if you live on a dry steppe (Canada? Arizona?) traditional yurts may work a treat.

Groovyyurts 12-13-2012 11:37 PM

I think Jafo has a very good point - it really depends on the usage... I would definitley not be as extreem as Stephanwik though. Although canvas shows some limits when it comes to longevity compared to vinyl, it offers many advantages (breathing, no offgazing, cost, comfort in the sun...). We do have now a few years experience in some of the most humid areas (California, Vancouver Islands, some areas of Quebec, Ontario, NY state or the East coast for example) and I truely believe that an authentic (Mongolian at least :-) yurt can well resist humidity. There are a few tricks though to consider depending where and how the yurt is used.
Both modern and authentic yurts have their advantages. The authentic yurts have been shaped by the elements over hundreds of years in a very harsh (but fairly dry!) climate, making them extremely efficient (heating, cooling, aerodynamics and more organic materials). It is true that we had to adapt some of the original design to cope with humidity and I am now very confident with the qualities and limits of an authentic Mongolian yurt!
Always "at yurt service" for more details!

stephanwik 12-14-2012 01:35 AM


Originally Posted by Groovyyurts (Post 991)
Although canvas shows some limits when it comes to longevity compared to vinyl, it offers many advantages (breathing, no offgazing, cost, comfort in the sun...).

I would not want to use vinyl walls for this very reason. We've used both canvas and Sunbrella as they both breathe. We're getting some yurts with polyester and aluminium based insulation this time, and ventilation is something I'm going to pay a lot of attention to. Ventilation inlets in the platform for fresh air have worked well so far and I'll put them near the stove to mitigate inflow of cold air.

In one yurt we used a small ventilation heat recovery unit with excellent results, but it does need mains electrics for operation. It's very quiet.

Sansoo58 04-21-2016 10:49 PM

Re: Traditional v modern
Is there anyone living in Arizona in a yurt? that's on this forum??? Need to talk to someone to find out Wich county??? Thanks Ron

jaemox1 08-10-2016 07:37 PM

Re: Traditional v modern
I live in NH and am currently in the planning stage. I intend to live in my yurt for 6-8 years. I love the idea of all natural canvas and deplore the idea of a chemical based skin. How long can I expect my canvas to last and how much will I have to work to maintain it?

Jafo 08-10-2016 10:17 PM

Re: Traditional v modern
Well, the deplorable skin will last you at a minimum, 10 years in the worst conditions, in my estimation. Most of them are warrantied for at least that.

A cotton/felt combo? 3-6 years IMO.

Bob Rowlands 08-11-2016 09:04 AM

Re: Traditional v modern
Jafo is on the money about natural canvas cover life based on my experience. My roof cover is 17 oz. (after treatment) 100% cotton canvas. It has been on my yurt here in semi arid CO for just over three years straight. I might get three more years, maybe. It is starting to seep water at this point. If I lived in there I would either retreat the cover or paint it. However a painted cotton canvas cover is total guesswork as to livability.

Standard top manufacturer '15 year' covers are way better than 100 % cotton canvas, and also way more expensive. I might have had $250 bucks in mine, home made from a tarp. Good luck.

Pacific Yurts 08-15-2016 11:32 AM

Re: Traditional v modern
'All natural' fibers are wonderful, but tend to degrade pretty quickly outdoors without being enhanced in some way. This is why cotton canvas has to be treated with chemicals to resist mold, UV, fire, etc. By the time it is a suitable long term outdoor covering it actually may have more chemicals than synthetic fibers and still not last as long. Unfortunately the coatings also can wear off and need to be reapplied (all of which can get into the surrounding soils). High quality architectural synthetics have the inhibitors built into the base materials before they become 'fabric', so they do not wash/wear off. Many of these architectural fabrics can also be recycled at the end of their life span.

Climate, UV exposure, elevation and how well a yurt's covers are cared for (as well as how the covers are constructed) are all factors in how long those covers will last. With any material you should clean it regularly with mild soap to remove dirt and debris build-up.

kochevnik 08-22-2016 10:17 AM

Re: Traditional v modern
My 2 cents from traditional Kazakh yurt owner.
From my observation, Canadian climate (ON, SK, MB) reminds me of different weather conditions of Central Asia, where turkic yurts are used even now. I chose turkic design because it's higher, lighter and my heritage. I am still waiting to spend my first winter there.
Kazakhs told me that the use of traditional felt yurt is around 25 years, "however, you will have to change felt cover once in a while" So I am not sure what the real number is.

Another thing, why I will always chose traditional yurt is it's mobility. I see modern yurts are more of a permanent structure. I like the freedom of putting my yurt in a truck and move it somewhere beyond regulations.

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