Industry News

Yurts: Affordable housing with an indigenous twist

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For the nomadic people of Mongolia, home is where the herd is. And home is typically a traditional dwelling called a ger. The Mongolian gers, also known as yurts (derived from the Turkic word meaning "dwelling place"), are wood-framed tentlike structures wrapped in wool felt that have housed nomads for millennia. The minimalist design, which features a central wood ring at the ceiling, a series of poles extending from the rings, and a circular wooden lattice as the wall structure, has been hailed as an architectural wonder for its ability to withstand the elements. While the structures are sturdy, they are also easy to assemble, take down and transport. And yurts are not just for herders. A substantial portion of Mongolian residents -- nomads and non-nomads alike -- live in gers, and several companies in the United States now manufacture and sell structures based on yurt engineering. Modern varieties of yurts sold in the United States feature a variety of materials for framing, insula...