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klhandler 03-04-2014 10:21 AM

Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
I am looking into the possibility of building a yurt in Rensselaer County, NY. The code enforcement agent was kind enough to not laugh off my idea (as my friends and family have done) and said the insulation would be a problem BUT he appreciates reflective insulation and will consider it, with more information. We have not even looked into financing, etc because I wanted to be sure its allowed in any propspective town. Code enforcement said he will be using NY State Code Division to find any successful appeals to make this possible. We are planning on adding Pacific Yurts Snow and Wind Kit with Perimeter Blocking to meet IBC. But the insulation and foundation remain an issue. SOOO does anyone know of any successful year round yurts that were granted appeals through NY State Code Divisions? :confused:

Jafo 03-04-2014 10:24 AM

Re: Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
Do you mean as a full time residence or something else?

klhandler 03-04-2014 10:57 AM

Re: Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
Full time, all year round. The propsective sites all have no wells, perc tests, septic, etc. so we would need to provide all of that as well. Too big a job??
We would have this as our only and primary residence, mailing address, etc.

Jafo 03-04-2014 11:19 AM

Re: Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
For the site itself, it will be just like building any other home, same costs.

I have a hard time seeing you getting a residential permit without adequate insulation. It is easy to get the wall insulation up to code, but the roof insulation is much more of a challenge. The main problem being, how to vent moisture without losing heat. Unless you come up with a satisfactory answer to that, I just don't see them signing off on it.

I really think the big manufacturers need to get this figured out if they ever want to seriously make inroads in residential structures in the Northeast.

klhandler 03-04-2014 11:32 AM

Re: Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
Thanks for the input. It is so frustrating meeting all these challenges. I thought the yurt was the perfect solution to the affordable housing crisis, while being ecologically sound as well. Now it seems like the system will not allow such a structure. It boggles my mind- I can buy a 200 year old mold infested, radon leaking, lead paint covered, asbestos filled, energy inefficient house and move right in. But I try to build a safe, energy efficient, clean, affordable home- and I'm blocked. Sorry to gripe, I just wish there was more of a liberal viewpoint on allowing people to live in the dwelling of their choosing, thats not a 2,000 square foot behemoth that comes with a 30 year ball-and-chain mortgage.

Jafo 03-04-2014 11:37 AM

Re: Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
I hear you. The same policies that try to make things more efficient, have unintended consequences in other green areas.

Surely Yurts - Steve 03-04-2014 12:38 PM

Re: Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by klhandler (Post 3108)
Full time, all year round. The propsective sites all have no wells, perc tests, septic, etc. so we would need to provide all of that as well. Too big a job??
We would have this as our only and primary residence, mailing address, etc.

If you want to 'DIY' have you considered building in Vermont on the eastern border of Rensselaer County? VT has no zoning in rural areas and very lenient if any building codes outside of urban areas. Many folks happily living in yurts here including some of our past clients.

We do have clients in Ulster County, NY on your southern border currently living in our yurts full time as a primary residence (with kids). All legal with building permit and after the yurt installation they passed building inspection.

As with any new construction the cost of heating, drilling a well, plumbing and electric systems may well be more expensive than the actual shelter itself. If you use composting toilet combined with an approved grey water system no need to dig septic (this saves money and water).

The person handling things with the codes officer has to be familiar with the NYS codes and have all the answers for the agency (not questions), otherwise they will assume you don't know what you are doing. After all it is their job to keep people safe.

Have you considered hiring an experienced professional contractor to design/build the platform and consult on these issues for you? The codes officer may be more comfortable with someone who speaks their language.

klhandler 03-04-2014 01:00 PM

Re: Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
That's an excellent idea- building in Vermont. I will need to consider that of NY proves to be too resistent. Although the success in Ulster County is something of a buoy. The code officer in our new prospective town has invited me to flood him with information on other successful yurts in the area. He is very open to the idea, as long as it can be proven to conform.

Shelter Designs 03-04-2014 02:29 PM

Re: Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
The insulation codes have been a major roadblock for many prospective yurt buyers in the past looking to be "above board" and get a residential permit issued. We have seen it too many times and agree with Jafo, it is time manufacturers do something about it. We have taken the bull by the horns and are currently working with a local building department here in Montana to get three yurts fully permitted for residential use. We have designed a fabric yurts that meets the insulation codes (R49 roof, R21 walls and R30 walls), has a full ventilation system between the exterior fabric roof and insulation, meets flame spread ratings, and meets all snow and wind loading requirements. (75 lb ground snow load and 90 mph Exp C winds) The engineering analysis is being run now, and full drawings will be submitted very soon. After many meetings with the local inspector we are very positive that the project will go through and be approved.

Our client is ready and willing to do the full site plan, install a septic system and well, and basically jump through all of the hoops. The overall project will be expensive, but with our design the actual cost of the "codebreaker yurts" are not that much more expensive than yurts insulated with the radiant barrier. We are really excited about this development, it is past time that we figure out how to not have our clients hide or move somewhere that has less enforcement.

This is a pilot project of Shelter Designs and is still unfolding. Rest assured though, Shelter Designs is committed to solving the code dilemma and taking fabric yurts to the next level for those who want to go there. We will keep you all up to date as we move forward.

klhandler 03-04-2014 02:55 PM

Re: Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
That's encouraging to hear. The code enforcement agent suggested I go to any prospective yurt company and ask for these engineering specs, regarding insulation and wind/snow load. I understand his point- it's his job to keep us safe. But based on my research- yurts are safe and energy efficient and well insulated! I look forward to your updates!


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