What’s a Yurt?

From Ger to Modern Yurt

For the Mongolian herdsmen on the grassland steppes of central Asia yurts, or gers, have been the primary shelter for centuries. Even now, the day to day existence of many pastoral families on the Asian plateau centers on the rhythm of nature, the seasons, and life in a yurt home. Once exotic and unknown in the Americas, today yurt living continues to grow in popularity for people seeking an eco-friendly structure that provides, comfort, durability and a light footprint.

How a Yurt Works

The structural integrity of a yurt is based on compression and tension working together to form a freestanding, clear span structure. At the top of the yurt, the hub or compression ring is under pressure from the rafters, which radiate out from it. The rafters span out and down from the ring at a thirty-degree angle, and hook onto the main cable— which is under tension. The main cable is a continuous loop, preset to the exact circumference of the yurt. It is supported by the lattice wall and doorjamb, which bolt together to form a continuous circular wall. The roof material, the fabric walls, the dome and the door enclose the yurt framework.


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