Bird creek yurts
16 foot yurt with cotton canvas cover. This one is in progress! The roof will fit tight to the walls when finished.
We build portable style yurts by hand near Nelson, BC. We design them to be as close in style to traditional Mongolian yurts as we can, while making adjustments that fit our climate in the West Kootenays. We value low impact building practices and thus do as much as we can with hand tools, human power and local resources. When we use power tools and lights to work by, the electricity comes from our micro-hydro dam, hence the water of Bird Creek powers our tools and our humans!
Yurts can be used for a studio, gazebo, meditation or yoga retreat centre, a classroom wherever you need one, a guest house in your back yard or at a family cottage. Some use them for a permanent home and we are happy to talk about what this would entail for extra building needs (like an insulated floor).
When you decide to purchase a yurt, we will sit down with you and design it specific to your needs. It is best to do this in the Summer or Fall, as we harvest roof poles and build through the winter. Your yurt would be ready for you in the Spring.
Details of our yurt building style:
- The lattice walls are hand milled at our family saw mill, dried, steam bent, planed, routered, sanded and stained by us. They are hand tied and bolted together over several days. We use Douglas Fir or Larch that is free of knots for strong walls.
- The roof is made of birch or maple, harvested by hand saw from the forest on our property. They are tied into bundles of nine and packed out of the bush on foot then cut to size, hand peeled, seasoned for over a year, sanded, and stained. We shave a square mortise on one end with a draw knife and hand plane. The other end is notched with a japanese pull saw to fit the tension cable.
- The centre ring is laminated or steam-bent to curve around a steel ring. We then drill holes at appropriate intervals and burn these into a square with a red hot iron. This makes for an extremely strong mortise and tenon fit between the roof poles and centre ring.
- The covering varies depending on the intended use of the yurt. In dry climates, or for summer months we use a treated canvas. For use in wet climates we use acrylic coated polyester fabric. Talk to us about fabric choices and insulation options and we can pick what will work best for you.
- For a 4 season yurt, the fabric walls include 3 layers: inner layer is cotton canvas, middle insulation layer is reflective bubble wrap (though we would like to move to felted insulation), and the outer layer is acrylic coated polyester, as we have seen this to be a waterproof material that can truly stand up to the West Kootenay wet climate, with minimal maintenance.