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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!

Shelter Designs 03-04-2014 04:41 PM

Re: Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
You are correct! When built by a reputable reputable builder yurts are very safe and energy efficient. We have yurts from Alaska to Maine and all points in between that people have effectively lived in during brutal winter conditions. Engineered yurts for snow and wind loading is something we have always offered, but insulation is always the sticking point when code officials get down to it. We have already upped the bar by introducing our Arctic Insulation package which combines the radiant barrier with flexible foam to add R-value to the yurt. This type of insulation works great for a quick setup, easily portable yurt that is in an area or situation where energy codes don't need to be met. If you are in a situation - residential, commercial, whatever- where this works, then stick with it!

We have tried for years to prove the effectiveness of radiant barriers to code officials, and are still working with others towards recognition of the effectiveness of the system. Many inspectors do say that a radiant barrier is a decent insulation, but they are confined by a rulebook that doesn't recognize it. At this point the long and short of it is that R values are the main factor considered in the currently adopted energy codes for residential dwellings. We are tired of seeing yurts shut down as recognized, viable dwellings because of only looking at one angle of insulation, so we decided to try to design something that met the codes. It took some innovative design work and lots of long hours at the drafting board, but we feel we have settled on a design that will work well and still keep our fabric yurts affordable, especially compared to conventional housing. This will be a game changer for the industry, make no mistake. It is very exciting!

I hope there will always be places in the world where people can make their own choices about how they live and what they live in. However, this is an increasingly regulated world, and we have had clients have to take down their yurt after trying to fly under the code radar, and it is horrible to see. We want people to be able to go into their local code office and say "yes, our yurt will meet your standards, and here is the documentation". We will update the forum as our project here in Montana goes along. Feel free to contact us with any and all questions too!

Jafo 03-04-2014 05:01 PM

Re: Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
I would love to hear how it turns out. Will your solution work on yurts from other major manufacturers as a retrofit?

djspn 03-04-2014 06:15 PM

Re: Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
Great news SD....you have rekindled my enthusiasm for a yurt as full time home in WI.
It has been waning lately because of insulation and condensation concerns.

Shelter Designs 03-04-2014 07:05 PM

Re: Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
At this point retrofitting other manufacturers could be tricky. There are lots of small details that vary between manufacturers, and this is a pretty exact kit we are designing to fit our yurt measurements. But, it could happen in the future. One step at a time!

Glad to hear this sparks your interest again djspn. I think this is going to be a great thing for certain folks. Overall we are confident the yurts are going to be wonderful. Another added benefit of the super insulation is the acoustic barrier. Your neighbors won't be able to hear you so well any more!

Kiwassa 03-16-2014 09:38 PM

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

Originally Posted by Surely Yurts - Steve (Post 3112)
VT has no zoning in rural areas and very lenient if any building codes outside of urban areas.

Most towns that I'm familiar with in Vermont do have zoning in rural areas. Some have no zoning code though.

Jafo 04-19-2014 11:17 AM

Re: Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
BTW, somebody answered this on our Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.p...=share_comment

klhandler 04-19-2014 01:29 PM

Re: Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
Thanks Jafo! I'll have to check that out. I have been looking at houses out of desperation that no one will approve our yurt. This gives me hope. Because we really DON'T want a large house and massive mortgage with high utilities. You guys are the best!

CoraJ 07-23-2018 09:19 PM

Re: Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
How did this work out? We're wanting to build a yurt in Schoharie County NY, just meet with code officer and he's open but concerned about insulation and NYS code.

Jafo 07-23-2018 09:30 PM

Re: Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
It depends. Are you planning on living in it full-time or as a camp?

CoraJ 07-24-2018 08:34 PM

Re: Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
Full time.

Surely Yurts - Steve 07-25-2018 02:49 PM

Re: Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by CoraJ (Post 8999)
Full time.

We just finished one in Greene county, NY (right next door to Schoharie). We have done a total of 7 permitted in Ulster which is also very close to you.

The building code enforcement office requires wet stamped engineered plans from a NYS licensed architect that are specific to your site. If you hire us for the project, we can take care of all that for you.

You are welcome to come and visit the recently completed yurt in the Catskills. The proud owners are very happy with the product. They are glad to show the Surely yurt plans, building permit, and fresh certificate of occupancy.

-Cheers

Steve
802.730.4519

Bob Rowlands 07-28-2018 02:32 PM

Re: Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
Now that is a nice yurt. Good job Steve.

Fiber 06-22-2019 06:37 PM

Re: Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
How do permit requirements change for temporary residences in Schoharie county? My primary residence is in Brooklyn and I'm looking at various places in the catskills for setting up a yurt for weekend camping. Totally off the grid, carrying in potable water, etc. I know there is some leniency around temporary structures up for fewer than 180 days at a time, and I could definitely see building a shed or setting down a shipping container to store the yurt in during the winter if it would lessen problems with code officials. Mostly I just want to practice permaculture gardening and go swimming in lakes bigger than the swimming pools I find in the city.

Bob Rowlands 06-23-2019 12:28 PM

Re: Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
In my view nothing says waste of tax money like 'code officials'. In many ways American Indians had life about right. Live strong tough brave free. No 'code officials' were present.

trihartsfield 06-27-2019 06:08 PM

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

Originally Posted by Shelter Designs (Post 3114)
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.

This sounds great! Keep us updated.

Are you considering manufacturing those for replacement covers?

trihartsfield 06-27-2019 06:12 PM

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

Originally Posted by klhandler (Post 3110)
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.

That is what you call a "government behemoth"!

Bob Rowlands 06-27-2019 07:18 PM

Re: Any successful New York State Code Divisions Approvals
 
IMO tax funded agencies of many-not all- stripes are pretty much staffed with folks that have been told to, 1) Follow orders and rules. 2) Don't do anything that makes big waves or you'll jeopardize your retirement. 3) Do nothing that could get your agency sued or otherwise cut the gravy train. 4) If you have surplus funds at the end of your fiscal year, spend it. Buy stuff like crazy so funding rolls in next year. And THAT my friend is the REAL truth, much of the time. In the real world of capitalist competition you gotta produce or you are out of work.


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