The Modern Yurt
Acclaimed by Architectural Digest as an “architectural wonder,” yurts are among the strongest and most efficient structures ever created.
Modern yurts, based on the ancient Mongolian Ger and Turkic Üy, improve upon the circular structures with smart and beautiful design.
Yurt design uses tension and compression to create a stable and sturdy structure. As the rafters push down and out, the tension cable (which circles the top of the lattice) resists the forces. The low profile, pitch of the roof, and circular shape keep the yurt standing strong in high winds.
Rainier Yurts are engineered to meet or exceed International Building Codes, and we use the strongest materials we can get our hands on to add extra protection against the elements.
Our lattice is the strongest available, and we use an aircraft cable tension band that sits on top of the lattice wall. The roof uses premium structural fabrics and walls are made with premium grade fabrics with superior coatings and warranties. Our cinch-seal offers Kevlar removable jib hanks to securely integrate the ceiling, wall, and deck.
Many people are attracted to yurts because of their minimal impact on the environment.
Yurts are built on a platform, instead of a permanent foundation, so when the yurt is moved there is no lasting impact to the area it rested on.
The materials used to build a yurt are all sustainable and recyclable.
The round shape of a yurt leaves less surface area for heat to escape, and along with it’s durable wall fabric, this makes yurts very efficient to heat.
Raising Your Yurt
Rainier Yurts arrive as a do-it-yourself kit with detailed instructions to make the process as simple as possible.
The time spent to install your yurt will vary depending on your site, weather conditions, the number of people you have to help and which options you’ve chosen to customize your yurt. Assuming the deck is in place, a smaller yurt can set up in a day, while a large yurt may take a couple days.
Watch this video to get an idea of what it takes to raise a yurt!
Customize Your Interior
Depending on your preferences, the interior of your yurt can be customized to the comfort levels of even the most high-maintenance glampers. We’ve seen everything from kitchens and interior bathrooms to cozy wooden lofts (that’s right, with our tall Eagle walls your yurt can actually have two stories!)
Typically, electrical wiring in a yurt is fed through the deck platform (floor) by a licensed electrician. Outlets can be flush mounted in the floor of the yurt or on support posts around the perimeter of the wall. If interior partition walls are added to the yurt, electrical wiring can easily be run into these walls where outlets and switches can be mounted.
If electrical service is not available at your site, consider photovoltaic (solar) systems or propane systems such as lights, refrigeration, heating, cook stoves, etc.
Virtually any type of lighting can be used in a yurt. Customers have installed track lighting on the rafters, overhead lights to the center ring, floor or table lamps and propane lights, among other things. Many prefer the safety of low voltage lighting in their yurts.
Please contact local lighting professionals or your Rainier representative for ideas.
Plumbing can easily be brought up through the floor of the yurt, or you may install plumbing in interior walls after it is brought through the floor. If your site has plumbing and septic hookups, you can use standard fixtures.
In remote areas, people often use composting toilets and alternative gray water systems. Consult with a licensed plumber for more information.
Heating and Cooling
If you use central heating or a heat pump, ductwork can be professionally installed under the floor of the yurt.
When using a stove, it should be vented through the sidewall of the yurt, not through the roof. There are many benefits to venting through the wall, which include easy access to the chimney for regular cleaning, having the chimney away from the yurt’s roof (to minimize the soot that falls onto the roof) and keeping an open floor plan. (Note that if you put the stove pipe through the roof you will void the roof warranty.) When venting through the side wall, proper wall penetration must be followed to prevent heat damage – contact Rainier for additional information.
In hot, sunny climates you will want to choose the full insulation package (which does a great job of keeping the heat out), the tinted dome option (which reduces the solar gain significantly), along with installing fans or an air conditioner. Rainier Yurts can be upgraded with an opening dome with a screen. We also feature windows that open with screens for excellent ventilation. Some of our customers have used swamp coolers and even heat pumps to cool their yurts.
Kitchens have been added to yurts in a variety of fashions, usually with standard cabinets and counters. If you wish to have a custom curved counter along the wall of the yurt, you can usually utilize smaller standard cabinets set at slight angles. Customers who have framed a bathroom into the yurt will often put the kitchen against one of these interior walls so the plumbing can be installed into the partition wall and shared between the kitchen and bathroom.
You can use off-the-shelf cabinets, sinks, refrigerators and stoves. If you would like to vent your cook stove we recommend a Jenn-Air style stove that vents through the floor. Many people choose to cook on a propane stove. Keep in mind that a by-product of burning propane is water vapor and remember to open windows and the skylight in your yurt to minimize any build-up of moist air. If you are off the grid, there are excellent on-demand hot water heaters, propane refrigerators, propane stoves and more.
Many people with larger yurts choose to build a bathroom inside their yurt. This could be done (after the yurt is installed) in much the same manner as in a conventional site-built structure and is typically done by a local licensed contractor. The plumbing would be brought up through the floor of the yurt into the bathroom.
Venting from the bathroom can be accomplished with downdraft vents through the floor or through the wall of the yurt using a flashing kit. Proper ventilation will reduce moisture inside the yurt and prevent condensation.
Alternatively, many customers choose to build a separate bathhouse for their shower, toilet, tub and laundry and add a covered walkway, breezeway or enclosed hallway between the yurt and the bathhouse.
Lofts are a great way to maximize space inside larger yurts. The Eagle’s tall walls allow for a second story. Over the years, we have seen customers build lofts of all different shapes, sizes and heights in their yurts. Lofts should be freestanding structures built into the yurt after it is erected and not attached to the roof rafters of the yurt. They can create private space below for a bathroom or bedroom or simply be left open.
Rooms & Partitions
Interior partition walls are often added to provide separate bathrooms, bedrooms or kitchen areas. You can easily build these walls into the yurt after it has been erected.
The partition walls should be freestanding or attach to the floor; you cannot attach anything that is load-bearing to the rafters or the lattice wall.
Looking for ideas? Check out our yurt floor plans!