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CCAT yurt roof 2019

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Engr305 Appropriate Technology page in progress
This page is a project in progress by students in Engr305 Appropriate Technology. Please do not make edits unless you are a member of the team working on this page, but feel free to make comments on the discussion page. Check back for the finished version on May 23, 2019.


The purpose of our team is to design and apply our solutions for the renovation of the yurt roof which is located at CCAT, Campus Center for Appropriate Technology, on Humboldt State University campus. For more information about CCAT:CCAT’s webpage

Team Members: Students enrolled in the Spring 2019 Engineering Appropriate Technology Class 305.

The yurt is a permanent structure at CCAT open to community and students, and it houses several features for comfort and education of appropriate technology. Our goal is to design and build the yurt roof in eco-harmony with the least amount of impact on the environment including the community and Mother Earth. Generations of students and community will be welcomed to use and enhance the space.

Problem statement[edit]

We will come together to successfully design, build and test an appropriate technology solution that will have a lasting impact within our local and broader communities. Our goal is to not only to build a functioning roof, but also to educate other students and to better ourselves in the process. Also, we will learn how to budget for such a project, consider what kind of future maintenance the roof may need, and determine what is aesthetically appropriate for the location.

From the Team Members[edit]

We are looking forward to this project, and recommend others in our community to stop by CCAT. If you are not in our area we look forward to your insights and stories. Thank you. For more information about Appropriate Technology click here: Appropriate Technology SALIRAJA Yurt Project

The following photo is an image of the yurt prior to any of the renovations. Image credit: A.R.Shearer


Literature Review[edit]



Building Materials/Design[edit]


The concept of the yurt was created by the Mongolian people, who had created it to be portable. It was essentially a round tent that was made out of wood and covered in wool or furs. The yurt was built this way because at the time of its creation the Mongols were nomadic people, and the design of this structure fit their lifestyle well because it was very portable and could be setup and taken down in a quick manner. Over time, cultures began to adapt the yurt to be more stationary, using heavier woods and making the roofs and coverings more permanent, by using materials such as metal for the roofs. Since the yurt was first introduced to the modern United States in the 1960s[2], they have become increasing popular not only as temporary and portable living spaces, but also as more permanent places for people to live[3]. Because yurts are designed originally to be portable and not very invasive to the surrounding area[4], we have set our sights on some possible materials we could use that would allow for simple maintenance of the yurt roof, as well as being portable and removable as well. We feel that fabrics that are weatherproofed would serve well as a roof for the CCAT yurt, such as fabrics that are used in yurts that are setup at campsites. These fabrics are very thick and are good at keeping heat in while keeping the weather outside. But, since the yurt at CCAT is more "stationary" than a Mongolian style yurt, we also have looked into materials that would be suited for long term that are also durable and easy to maintain and clean. For example, large pieces of metal sheet that can be formed and shaped might serve well as a roof, seeing as how the wholeness of it would decrease the existence of cracks and spaces between shingling in the roof, as well as being simpler to take down as one whole piece rather than pulling up multiple, smaller pieces of metal in order to clean or repair only one part. The large pieces of metal can also be painted to abide by Facilities Management's preference of having a red roof. However, a lot of campsites in California use the fabric yurts in this way, setting them up on wooden decks and throwing the fabric/tarp over a wooden skeleton, and taking them down to wash and repair all without jeopardizing the structure and soundness of the building itself.[5]




“The analysis showed that on the characters of masteration on structure and material of conventional Mongolian yurt,we can take advantage of the Green Design theory to guide our designation.Thus,our living environment can be preserved properly and sustainable development can be realized.“ [6]

Project History[edit]

  1. “Yurt Notes & Calculator.” Helix Zome,
  2. Gunther, Shea. "Yurts: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask." MNN - Mother Nature Network. May 31, 2017. Accessed February 21, 2019.
  3. Apak, Kerimcan. "Modernization of The ‘Yurt’ Tensile Structures." International Conference on Adaptable Building Structures, July 03, 2006. Accessed February 19, 2019.
  4. Róna-Tas, A. "BodunundElim Frühmittelalter." Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 56, no. 1 (2003): 57-79. doi:10.1556/aorient.56.2003.1.4.
  5. Xin-Hong ZHANG, Yu-Tong BAI. "Study on Mongolian Yurt Features and Its Environmentally Friendly Design." DEStech Transactions on Social Science, Education and Human Science. 2017. Accessed February 21, 2019.