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Any Yurts That Met Code In NYS?

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Old 10-21-2020, 09:28 AM   #1
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Default Any yurts that met code in NYS?

We're looking to live in a yurt in upstate New York and are struggling to get it to meet building code. We'll have access to septic and electricity. Our main issue is meeting the energy efficiency standards since the yurt we want (a 21-foot Yurta) wouldn't meet the requirements (R-25 wall and R-49 ceiling). But our code enforcer said there may be other ways to meet the energy code requirements (e.g., an engineering study that addresses its total energy consumption) and said it would be helpful if we were able to find anyone else who has gotten a yurt approved as a permanent residential dwelling in the past 3 years - we could then pursue a similar code path to what they did.

So has anyone been able to get their yurt to be approved as a permanent residential dwelling in NYS within the past 3 years? (I ask about the past 3 years because apparently there were big changes to energy code in NYS in 2017.)

Thanks everyone!
Matt

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Old 10-21-2020, 06:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: Any yurts that met code in NYS?

How you will meet that requirement in a yurt is totally beyond me. Specs on R values for conventional framing is:

2x4 wall is R11 with conventional fiberglass batts. 2x6 wall with fiberglass batts/or blown fiberglass

insulation

, is R19. 12" of fiberglass batts/or blown fiberglass in ceiling is R38. To get to R24 in a wall would require additional 1" (?) foam panel

insulation

applied to the exterior. The ceiling is merely increase the thickness to 16", which of course only works in a trussed roof. 2x12 thickness equivalent is well short of R49.

I can tell you it is gonna be a very tough row to hoe to increase those numbers in a tent. The deck is totally stacked against tents as houses, and folks insisting on living in a yurt, in a strict code area, are gonna be butting their head against a wall. This is why I have repeatedly said on this forum that folks desiring their residence in strict code enforced jurisdiction is WAY better off going ahead and just getting the financing and building a house, and then getting on with life.

However, that said, if someone knows of a way to get around this kind of code, or knows of a way to actually meet that R value requirement, THAT I am looking forward to seeing.
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Old 10-22-2020, 07:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: Any yurts that met code in NYS?

OK here's an idea, but it will double the cost of the yurt/home. Erect two yurts, one inside the other. The inner yurt would need to be a minimum of a foot smaller in diameter so you could get batts that meet the r24 requirement between the two. Also the wall height of the inner yurt would need to be 16" shorter than the outer yurt, so you could meet the r49 ceiling requirement. Obviously matching window openings, door openings, and rings would be tricky. But this idea would certainly meet the code for r value, yet be substantially cheaper than any conventionally framed house. In addition finding a yurt company to get on board with this concept may result in a few laughs.

Last edited by Bob Rowlands; 10-22-2020 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 10-23-2020, 10:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Any yurts that met code in NYS?

that two tent Idea is great, but you know if you go off grid then you would not have to worry about it , is that and option

Last edited by James; 10-23-2020 at 10:11 AM. Reason: more info
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Old 10-23-2020, 11:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: Any yurts that met code in NYS?

Not yurt but for reference.

The double exterior wall 'superinsulated' house has been around since at least the late 1970s when I first read about them being built in Canada. The exterior walls are 2-2x4 framed walls, spaced about four inches apart. The stud layout on the two walls is staggered so the fiberglass batts that fill the void can be reversed, and
stapled to the inner face of the exterior wall studs. 3-R11 batts in total, so R33 walls. Both walls are layed out so the door and window openings line up.

The fiberglass roof insulation required three to four foot wide cardboard baffles be stapled to the bottom of the trusses at the exterior plate line, to keep the ocean of insulation from blocking the drafting of the soffit vents through the roof vents. This is important because venting attic

moisture

is critical in superinsulated homes. If ceiling drywall gets mushy from

moisture

it gonna drop on yuh. ha

Additionally, superinsulated homes had air to air heat exchanger so little heat was lost to the outside. Also, the furnace had an exterior air supply, just as some wood stove installs do.

The downside to all this 'energy efficiency' is obviously all the extra cost that takes decades of fuel savings to recover. But boy howdy we are savin the planet. ha

Getting moist air out of a house that is so tight it doesn't breathe adds condensation problems. From what I read, there were moisture issues with these homes. I believe it. Here in our home, in dry CO, we have to run the ceiling fans in the bathrooms during the winter to dump warm moist air outside, or the paint will lift, and moisture condense and pool on the window jams. Side note* We have a clear finish on all our trim. I hand painted all of our wood window and door jambs with three coats of oil based spar urethane. Condensation is no issue. Plus they look great.

At any rate doubling yurts is one crazy idea. Could it be done? In my opinion it could, if you throw enough money and skill at it. It certainly would solve R value code. Is it a good idea? Or a wise idea? Beats me. I doubt it has ever been done let alone documented. People go for yurts because they are affordable. Buying two, and getting the details worked out would take guts, real money, and creative carpentry.

Last edited by Bob Rowlands; 10-23-2020 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 10-26-2020, 02:10 AM   #6
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Lightbulb Re: Any yurts that met code in NYS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Rowlands View Post
Erect two yurts, one inside the other.
I would try it a little bit different:

Build a greenhouse and set the Yurt into this greenhouse. With such a solution you will have a lot of positive effects additional.....
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Old 10-27-2020, 09:56 AM   #7
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Default Re: Any yurts that met code in NYS?

I have been in a few houses that have a sunroom on the south side. These are essentially greenhouses attached to the south side of a standard ranch house. The air heated by concrete/masonry mass passes through one or two sets of double glass doors into the main living area, LR, DIN, KIT. It can be very effective and pleasant. It is controlled by simply opening or closing the doors.

The fanciest system I personally saw had a thermostat controlled insulated duct system with fans drawing sunroom air and distributing it to the bedrooms. This was main level only, and ranch house with flat ceiling.

Of course none of that directly addresses R24 R49 insulation code. I assure you engineering plus construction costs of a sunroom- or greenhouse large enough to house a yurt, would FAR exceed the budget of folks interested in a yurt.

Note that my opinions on this subject are based on the common sense built over 47 years of being a residential carpenter. This R24 R49 building code is easily solved in conventional fashion. No guessing, no brain storming, no hoops, no gnashing of teeth, lol. Get financing (at mind blowing low 3% money is almost free) and build a small conventional ranch house that meets the R24 R49 code.

Every new residence has to meet it, rightfully or not. The majority of construction companies do not have the slightest interest in fiddly farting around reinventing the wheel. They are in it to make money, just as every business is. This means get it built draw your pay and move on to the next project.

Last edited by Bob Rowlands; 10-27-2020 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 10-28-2020, 07:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Any yurts that met code in NYS?

I beleive you can fight them and win, I have done, doing it now, the city did not even show up, but anyway if he is not going to use it for a business then he can come out from admrial law and get back under constitution law, and remeber sign all official document with U.C.C. 1-308 any contract tickets what ever put you back under constitioun, any way just use wool instead of all that super stuff, interesting but does sound expensive, but I would like to hear more about the green house, have you done that or seen it done TSRALEX
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Old 10-29-2020, 10:52 AM   #9
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Default Re: Any yurts that met code in NYS?

i am a retired building official from the upstate NYS region. The code used to have a NYS provision that allowed structures to be built without power, plumbing, electric, heat etc. This allowed the Amish to construct their homes per the religious beliefs. It also allowed for hunting camps that were built without power or plumbing. Not sure if they are still in the newer versions of the NYS codes but worth a question to your local code official.
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Old 10-29-2020, 12:37 PM   #10
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Default Re: Any yurts that met code in NYS?

Thanks for the info.
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