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Hexayurt Frame TUE Research Outline

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The Hexayurt is a design pattern for making simple six sided shelters which are like the Mongolian Yurt from a variety of common industrial materials. Two basic families of Hexayurts exist - those made from panel materials, and those made from beams. The design is simple enough that construction close to or even in disaster areas seems likely. This creates the possibility of large scale shelter construction using materials common in the industrial supply chain. The Hexayurt has been field tested by the US Department of Defense, and the American and Netherlands Red Cross have show strong interest in the design.

This research examines a hexayurt with a metal frame for use in hurricane risk areas. It builds on existing work at Technical University of Eindhoven on a metal frame for a hurricane resistant building.

The frame hexayurt shape is interesting to this research because it allows for a building which is entirely made of triangles, possibly giving very good strength. Additionally there is no need for additional tension elements to hold the building in shape, and standard steel stock can be used efficiently with little need for cutting or welding.

The geometry of the frame hexayurt is simple. It comprises 24 long and 6 short tubes arranged in a shape similar to the top part of an icosahedron but with six sides rather than five. The six short pipes form the the tension ring of the building, and their length is chosen such that the walls are vertical. (see diagram)


This research should give all of the technical information required for technical decision-makers in NGOs, governments and industry to decide whether or not a hexayurt of this design is appropriate for their climate and application. This includes three phases.

  1. Desk analysis of the frame hexayurt
  2. Design and prototyping of a frame hexayurt, including materials selection
  3. If resources allow, physical testing of a prototype to prove the desk analysis

Technical Description

  • pictures / drawing

Research Agenda

There are five primary areas of analysis needed for this design. They are:

  1. Wind load analysis
  2. Snow load analysis
  3. Thermal analysis
  4. Analysis of water handling
  5. Costing and materials logistics, including quantities of raw materials available in a crisis. For guidance, 10000 units would be used in a small deployment.

Structural Calculations

Building Physics

Building Technology

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