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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 and past projects concerning the yurt click here: Appropriate Technology SALIRAJA Yurt Project

Literature Review[edit]

This is a review of the available literature pertinent to the a specific project.

Past Project History and Nearby Terrain[edit]

The following includes an examination of the most recent renovation of the yurt roof at CCAT and the surrounding terrain. It’s important to examine the following for reflection about appropriate technology, potential impacts stemming from the terrain, and the educational inputs.

Website Review 1 & 2:

1. The SALIRAJA Yurt Project is the most recent major renovation project for the CCAT yurt roof, and the team provided a helpful page on The teams conclusion section is especially useful in explaining: how effective the implementation of lighting changes the atmosphere of the interior, the task of cutting wood boards took a great deal of time and required careful installation, and they mention the challenge of securing material to the beams due to the steepness of the hill where the yurt sits (paraphrased). [1]

Near by Terrain:

2.The yurt is located on a hillside surrounded by a herb garden, an over story, and a nearby retaining wall. There may be a requirement to assess the retaining wall as it is within three feet of the yurt. We are considering the aesthetics of the surrounding terrain, and must educate ourselves about the potential impact; as well if the yurt may be more welcoming if a small space was cleared all around the yurt.

The CCAT Yurt Retaining Wall project website provides several details concerning the construction as well clear photos to view the details of their work. It appears that the wall structure is extensive, and includes a major line of logs which provided extensive height and stability;thus the team decided not to work on the grade or slope of the terrain. We will be meeting with facilities management soon, and the meeting will cover an assessment of the surrounding terrain.


Potential Aesthetics Through Design[edit]


When considering the aesthetics and durability of roofing materials there is the option of such items as layers of felt, tarps, waterproofed canvas, or even upcycled sails. Traditionally yurts were designed for a region with high winds, cold temperatures, and nomadic lifestyles. The CCAT yurt roof will be a non-traditional design for our location in Arcata, CA. In the following source, I have focused on a canvas covering which can be removed which is a part of the aesthetic and functional use for future cleaning maintenance. The canvas can also be painted an ochre color if necessary per campus requirements, or we can expand on the aesthetics and paint it to resemble the nearby foliage.

Book One: The design for the roof would be strips of canvas, this could be adopted for other materials, sewn together into “...a pie shape minus one large slice (85).” The canvas would be fitted over the beams, measured, and then sewn into a cone shape. For more lighting and aesthetics, we could add a window which the book suggest using mosquito netting and a sheet of plastic. The window would be sewn flush to the rest of the canvas. Though this would require us to cut into the wood boards so the light could shine through. According to the book, the skylight would have to be in place or designed prior to the canvas roof being installed. In this book the design overview for the roof is laid out clearly, provides sewing techniques, and presents itself as an affordable aesthetically pleasing option. [3]

Book Two: In order to maintain the aesthetics and functionality of the roof it will need to be treated for waterproofing. The following books provides guidelines on waterproofing, but we would replace the recommended water sealant with lime or another environmentally friendly sealant.

The book suggest saturating the canvas in the sealant, and if the canvas is on its frame a long-handled roller may be used to coat the canvas. Depending on the smell of the sealant, the author suggest waiting to use the yurt for 36-48 hours. There are great details in the roofing design which provide an outline for the construction of the skylight hole and covering. Instead of replacing the glass bottles, we may include a window on the canvas or include a structure inside the yurt which would be placed below the skylight to reflect the entering light. [4]

Peer Reviewed Article:

In reviewing the aesthetics of yurt design there is the potential to educate about the original designs of a traditional yurt to learn how it can be adapted for non-traditional design; and to review the environmentally friendly design potential.

The following peer reviewed article Study on Mongolian Yurt Features and Its Environmentally Friendly Design provides a strong outline of traditional Mongolian housing which often features ‘biologic materials;’ and it speaks of it’s appropriate structure for its environment which is a concept housed within our appropriate technology studies. A review of the article educates the designer, user of the yurt, and informs the project purpose of building and modeling environmentally friendly community spaces.


Types of composting[edit]

Short introduction to types of composting. [6]

Type 1[edit]

Type 1 composting is a system that utilizes..... Make sure to include description [7], advantages and disadvantages, and/or have a comparison matrix.

Type 2[edit]

Type 2 composting is a system that utilizes..... Make sure to include description, advantages and disadvantages, and/or have a comparison matrix. [6]

Type 3[edit]

Type 3 composting is a system that utilizes..... Make sure to include description, advantages and disadvantages, and/or have a comparison matrix.

Designing interpretive materials[edit]

According to ______ interpretive materials for composting should include....


  1. Hopmans, T., McCain, R., Pastel, L., & Segin, S. “SALIRAJA Yurt Project.” Appropedia, <> (Feb. 20, 2019).
  2. Diankov, I. & Kato, A. “CCAT Yurt Retaining Wall.” Appropedia, <> (Feb. 20, 2019).
  3. Star, Blue Evening. (1995). Tipis & Yurts: Authentic Designs for Circular Shelters. Lark Books, Asheville, North Carolina.
  4. Kuehn, Dan Frank. (2006). Mongolian Cloud Houses: How to Make a Yurt and Live Comfortably. Shelter Publications, Inc, Bolinas, California.
  5. ZHANG, Xin-Hong, and B. A. I. Yu-Tong. "Study on Mongolian yurt features and its environmentally friendly design." DEStech Transactions on Materials Science and Engineeringicmsea_mce (2017). <> (Feb. 20. 2019).
  6. 6.0 6.1 This is an example of a named reference. You can use these named references to repeat citation content throughout the document.
  7. This is a third example of a plain footnote.

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