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How To Spread Stresses Across Dome, Keep It In Place?

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Old 12-28-2021, 05:48 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2021
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Default How to spread stresses across dome, keep it in place?

Just signed up here (and just pitched my yurt in August!) and didn't find anything in the past few years to help me.

The situation: we had a major wind event, gusts in the area in excess of 100mph, and despite the yurt doing just fine, the acrylic

dome

was ripped off, flew at least 100', and shattered into a hundred pieces.

It's in a remote place and thank goodness it hasn't snowed in yet so I can access with a 4WD and get a new one installed before the yurt fills with snow for the winter. But I sure don't want to lose another

dome

during the winter months.

Mine is a CO Yurt co model and they use eye bolts with rubber-backed washers on the dome (x6), and stretch a spring (stiff enough to be a nightmare to install) between those eye bolts and eye lags screwed into the ring. I also had a lifter on it, and it was closed. The lifter mechanism was at the windward side of this storm. From the damage it looks like at least the following happened:
- the lifter screw somehow "backed out" almost completely and then bent and snapped (can the wind "work open" a lifter?)
- at least one eye bolt pulled its washers and nut through the acrylic
- one of the springs was stretched out almost completely
- two safety wires attached between the eyes closest to the lifter were snapped

I may or may not be interested in reinstalling a new lifter, but I definitely don't want to lose domes. Clearly some stresses concentrated at an eye bolt penetration. Does anyone have any tricks to distribute the stress at the eye bolts more broadly across the acrylic? I was thinking of trying larger washers with thicker rubber washers contacting the acrylic.

How about tying the eyes together? Springs allow movement. I was thinking multiple wraps of paracord or hooks and turnbuckles but I also don't know if the springs are necessary to allow movements with temperature cycling and I don't want to ADD stresses.

Appreciate any/all ideas from experienced yurt dwellers, especially those who fight the wind.

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Old 12-31-2021, 06:33 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: NH
Posts: 103
Default Re: How to spread stresses across dome, keep it in place?

Skihuskster. Welcome! And sorry for your dome loss. I think increasing wind is something we all have to consider given the crazy weather. Anything one does may be the best

insurance

Securing the platform is something I keep beefing up. Have also taken down many trees close to my yurt.

I also have a similar (maybe exact) dome set up. Though my lifter is opposite the windward side. This year for the first time, during one intense storm, wind was getting under the closed dome and puffing it up. Luckily everything held. Later I went up and (lightly, medium-ly? pushed in a 5/8” continuous “caulk-saver” foam bead in the gap. It seems to have helped, but guessing not a great answer.

All you mentioned might be good. I think others will weigh in. But you might want to consider criss crossed straps outside over the whole yurt - if winds like that are common in your area. It’s been discussed several times on this forum. Though not sure how many actually have done it outside of Bob who’s whole, small, handmade yurt actually flew off. And those sorts of tie downs would not allow the dome to open - unless you had a way to easily loosen and tighten the straps as needed.

I’d love to see folks here brain storm how yurt owners might best beef up their dome attachments. As well as what everyone has done to make their yurts more secure from intense weather. Part of the problem is everyone’s situation is different. So what might be critical for one yurt on a particular piece of land, in a particular part of the country, is unnecessary for another. There aren’t decades of the experience of millions and millions of yurts to decide the “best way” to do things. Like is true for stick built homes.

Think my next move is to secure my platform to the ground in 4 or 5 spots with curved, buried rebar and chain. I’ll probably also buy enough strapping to criss cross over the yurt, with a system to quickly and securely attach it if a storm was coming. But not have the strapping on all the time. As the sun will degrade even good strapping. A system for getting the strapping in place quickly is the part I haven’t yet worked out.

Anyone? Maybe a light rope that does stay in place. Or some sort of way to shoot a guide string over the yurt to then pull the strapping in place. Maybe have the strapping sewn together to make a big X. Where the sewn X then is centered over the dome. And the straps able to quickly attach to the chain and/or rebar. Happy 2022 Everyone!
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Old 12-31-2021, 10:47 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to spread stresses across dome, keep it in place?

I don't know squat about domes. Good luck.

To anchor my 16' yurt, before I built the platform, I made a roof harness from old 11mm climbing rope. I made a loop the circumference of the rafters just above mid span, and formed five small anchor loops equidistant on the main loop. Making that was a real trip. Do, undo, adjust, redo, undo, adjust, redo. Anchor ropes were attached to each small loop. Those were tied off to a cable surrounding the base of the yurt wall.

Flinging that up on the roof was not easy. Total rube goldberg engineering. No pro yurt company would even begin to consider that system. It's goofy. BUT it worked. If there was a storm brewing it would have been a HUGE pita flinging that sucker up there. I suggest if you go with a homebrew roof harness you get it installed and go ahead and anchor it.

Happy New Year ya'll!
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Last edited by Bob Rowlands; 12-31-2021 at 11:04 PM.
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