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Yurt: the ecological house of nomads

Yurt: the ecological house of nomads


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Yurt, also called yurta or jurta, is the name that in Mongolian indicates a singular type of dwelling, at least for those who are used to living among high-rises and apartment buildings. Instead, it is "normal" for the nomadic peoples of Asia including Mongolians, Kazakhs and Uzbeks. In many areas of Mongolia, in fact, despite the progress of urbanization, they still remain present in the landscape, keeping alive a tradition that today, revised, becomes an innovation, source of inspiration also for other cultures such as our Western.

Mongolian yurt: the stable but detachable tent

The Yurt was born to be on the one hand stable, therefore a safe shelter, but on the other hand also removable, because if a people are nomads they have to move. They have always been houses built starting from a wooden skeleton e a rug cover of sheep wool felt.

The dimensions may vary according to the needs, the appearance according to the tastes, it is essential that the yurt can be taken apart, moved and then reassembled assembled in a relatively short time: therefore adapts well to a lifestyle in a short time, so as not to be left without a place to sleep for a long time.

There must be inside space for various beds, but also for furniture strictly necessary for the day: chairs, lockers, a table to eat.

In the variety of yurt models, the constant is the opening, unique and always facing south. The division of spaces usually respects a fixed scheme, but which can also be disregarded if you have special needs. The head of the family should be placed next to the living area, the sides are intended for children, the kitchen is instead at the entrance. To allow the smoke to escape, the yurt must have an opening cover, if an unexpected guest arrives, it will be placed on the north side.

Yurt in Italy: permits

In Italy it is not very practical to build one 100% Mongolian yurt, there are different materials available and it must be taken into account that the climate and needs, as well as the landscape context, are totally different.

For the urban yurts, for example, a base is required to raise the floor by at least a few cm. The flooring can also be western, to be covered with mats or rugs if you want to create an atmosphere.

The problem is not the atmosphere, however, but the legislation. In Italy there is a regulatory vacuum, the concept of yurt does not officially exist so the rules, methods and tools for self-construction construction have not yet been defined. There are actually some standards dating back to 2011 and 2008 that speak of "works done independently" but certainly are not ad hoc for entire self-built houses which are very different things.

Even the idea of "Temporary buildings" it is still only hinted at in the norms, as “structures that can be assimilated, in terms of size and functional characteristics, to building artifacts but intended for limited use over time and to satisfy needs that do not have the character of continuity. Their characteristics (materials used, ground anchoring systems, etc.) must be such as to guarantee easy removal ". This is supposed to be the yurt.

How to build a yurt

There are many different technological solutions to create yurts, it is important to understand the boundary conditions in order to choose the most suitable shapes and materials.

It starts from a frame that is made with hoops in tension and curved ribs in compression that give stiffness to the structure so that the wind is not a threat to its stability. The assembly consists in tying a frame made up of segments of crossed wood in a circular shape according to an "x" pattern, then two poles are planted in the center and other support poles connected to the lower frame are connected.

Turning to the cover of the yurt, you need felt mats and rugs to overlap taking into account that the more felt there is, the warmer it will be inside. Once covered with mats, even the floor remains furnish the rooms.

Yurt: prices

We talk about spaces and despite being removable, prices go to sqm. For a yurt of 20 square meters you pay around 3000 euros about but you can also get to the 20 thousand euros if you want 100sqm available.

Yurt in the woods: the cultural association

It is not a Mongolian tent but a cultural association based in Arona (NO), promotes socio-cultural activities for the enhancement of the natural heritage. The yurt in the woods is green and can be found online.

On the official website www.layurtanelbosco.it you can be updated on meetings, workshops, theatrical performances, artistic performances, summer camps for children aged 3 to 10 and families and on everything that this reality offers. The goal is to teach listen to nature to know it better and love it, through direct experience, leaving aside the methods that offer pre-packaged teaching.

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