Derived from the traditional Mongolian moveable shelter, the modern yurt is for many an economical, creative, durable, and versatile form of housing. The yurt can work as a home, a temporary shelter or creative work space. Consisting of a few elemental parts, we will build a simple yurt that includes the lattice wall, tension cable, doorway, roof rafters, roof ring, dome and fabric covering. With minimal woodworking skills, a home of complex and magical beauty can be made at modest cost. As the group saws, drills, glues, nails, and assembles the parts together that comprise the yurt framework, then cuts and joins materials for the covering, you will gain the experience that will allow you to make your own yurt to suit any need from year-round home to a room of one's own.

Course start time: Friday, 7pm
Course end time: Sunday, 5pm

  • Competency Level: All Levels
  • Sterling College credits: 1 Continuing Education Unit ($130 additional)
  • AIA credits: 14 HSW Learning Units

Course Objectives

  • Traditions and designs behind building a simple, yet durable, sustainable yurt
  • Skills required to use basic hand and power woodworking tools
  • Experience the power of lattice under tension that shape the walls
  • Experience the magic of raising a roof ring and attaching rafters
  • Experience the covering of the framework that partners with light
  • Acquire a knowledge that supports a free and independent building of a simple yurt

Suggested Reading

King, Paul. The Complete Yurt Handbook. Eco-Logic Books,
Mulberry House. Maple Grove, Bath BA2 3AF, UK, 2007

Kuehn, Dan Frank, Mongolian Cloud Houses: How to Make a Yurt and Live
. Shelter Publications, PO Box 279, Bolinas, California 94924, 2006

Lokey, Charles. Practical Mathematics in Yurt Design; A Detailed Discussion Following
Project GRAD Kenai Peninsula, Summer Learning Institute,, 2004

Sargent, Bruce W. For the Love of Yurts, Building an Ultra Simple Yurt Home for Under
a $1000
, Shires Press, 2009

Coperthwaite, Wm. S., A Handmade Life: In Search of Simplicity. Chelsea Green Publishing Co., White River Junction, Vermont, 2002

Kemery, Becky, Yurts: Living in the Round. Gibbs Smith Publishing, 2006

Stronach, David. On the Antiquity of the Yurt: Evidence from Arjan and Elsewhere. University of California, Berkeley.

Materials to Bring

• Hearing protection

• Safety goggles

• Toe enclosing shoes

• Dust mask

• Tape measure

• Knife

• Leather gloves

• Pencil


Course Outline

Friday Evening

• Discussion of yurt design, traditions, construction schedule, math for independent designs and project safety

Saturday Morning

• Cutting and shaping rafters

• Cutting, drilling, and shaping lattice for wall

• Create wall to door frame straps

• Creating door frame

• Starting roof ring

Saturday Afternoon

• Cutting and shaping rafters

• Cutting and assembling roof ring and dome

• Assembling lattice sections and installing tension cable

• Grommeting sidewall material

Sunday Morning

• Layout of fabric for roof

• Gluing and cutting roof fabric

• Raising the roof ring and installing rafters

Sunday Afternoon

• Applying roof fabric

• Hanging sidewall

• Final adjustments

• Photographic opportunities, reflection, group sharing and course evaluation



Start Date: July 15, 2016
Duration: 2 Days
Tuition: $350