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Yurt / Ger Diary

written by Rene K. Mueller, Copyright (c) 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, last updated Sat, January 3, 2015

16. 12. 2005: Winter Storm with Rain

The afternoon a winter storm from the west began, and I left for home early from Zurich to Oberduernten so I had the chance to take care of the young yurt. Until 19:00 the wind was moderate, after 21:00 stronger and the wind began to push the entire yurt, deformed the circular wall, and a few roof poles fell to the floor, also part of the outer rain-canvas began to get loose. I tightened the cords, and readjusted the circular form of the wall. I definitely require to fixate the entire wall and the door specially so the wind cannot push it from the wooden floor away. In a traditional setup the yurt is put direct on the ground and provide rather good stability. In order to withstand a stronger wind or even storm I require to use ropes to fixate the entire yurt to the ground, and two crossed ropes reaching over the roof and fixate it from drifting.

Additionally, the last days have been cold (-7C apprx.at night) and the ground was frozen, today it began to rain at 3-5 C and the rain did not seep into the ground, and so much more rain actually remained on the concrete - unfortunate. Also, due to the wind and the push on the walls the outer rain canvas slipped over the planks, which resulted in that the rain poured on the planks inside the yurt, not much, but surely something to pay close attention from now on to have the walls fixated to the ground and/or the floor.

It's 21:15 now, and it's raining vividly, wind still strong and I assume this night I won't able to sleep a lot but remain awake to take care of the yurt.

1. 12. 2005: Cold Nights

Tonight the temperature fell below -6 Celsius, interesting enough it's getting cooler between 5AM and 8AM than the night as it seems, and just before the sun rises and shines unto my place it's quite cold. I was heating the yurt but the roof icecrystals did not melt as before; I have a hard time to get the yurt heated, I just reach apprx. 12, which is ok, but given the amount of wood I'm burning this is not good.

25. 11. 2005: Winter Arrived

Winter Time
I was away the night 24/25 and it snowed 10cm all over, also on the yurt and the snow did not slide down but remained, also on the clear PVC roof cover, fortunatly it didn't break it or disformed it. The roof poles are little bent, but it holds, I'm glad to see the yurt withstanding that amount of snow, I assume more snow, especially more heavy and wet snow will slide down the roof. I will keep the snow on the roof as insulator; I started the stove and see if my current insulation is affecting the snow on the roof, if it does, then I know my insulation isn't good enough.

I tried to get rid of the snow on the roof cover, but the snow is apprx. 10cm high so it fell through the opening inside the yurt, so I hope it melts or slides from the roof cover at least so I have a clear skylight again . . .

2005/11/25 13:37
2005/11/25 13:38
2005/11/25 13:39
2005/11/25 13:40
Wireless net-connection antenna
2005/11/25 13:40
Snow covered roof, darker inside
2005/11/25 13:36
Snow covered roof-cover
2005/11/25 13:36

Warm Feet
I removed part of the snow from the skylight, and the interior gets much brighter now, the sun came out but I also heated with the stove and the water is running beneath the snow on the cover - a clear sign that the insulation is not good and warms up the roof . . .

It's a beautiful sight to see the yurt and also my tipi in the snow. I planned to take down the tipi this weekend, but now that there is snow I have to wait.

23. 11. 2005: Fixed Roof Cover

New Roof Cover Installed
Finished the replacement of the roof cover, double clear PVC cover with a frame. Also attached two cords to bind to the roof poles so the cover isn't thrown away at heavy storm, might need to reenforce some of the frame at a next generation of the cover as 1.7cm thickness and 3.5cm height the frame isn't as stable as desired; the PVC provides additional stability, but that's not good as it will break if under tention, e.g. falling on the ground. Anyway, using clear PVC flat cone roof cover is far more cost-effective than a plexiglas skylight which here costs over CHF 600 (1.2m diameter), whereas the clear PVC costs apprx. CHF 60 and 6 hours work.

Preparing clear PVC
2005/11/22 15:39
Clear PVC cut-out, to form a cone
2005/11/23 12:00
Roof cover frame segments
2005/11/22 15:39
22.5° angle for 8 segment polygon frame
2005/11/22 15:56
Reenforcement to screw segments together
2005/11/22 16:07
2005/11/22 16:23
2005/11/22 17:26
Clear PVC patched, and laid over frame
2005/11/23 12:13
Attaching clear PVC
2005/11/23 13:09
2005/11/23 13:09
Outer clear PVC layer attached
2005/11/23 14:12
Taped frame
2005/11/23 14:35
Two layers: one inside, and outside reaching over the frame
2005/11/23 15:49
Attaching cord to fixate roof cover to roof
2005/11/23 15:49

22. 11. 2005: Stormy Night

Broken clear PVC of the roof-cover
The evening of 21. 11. strong wind started, and around 1:30AM the roof cover was loose, and half of it folded open, and I saw the clear sky between the roof poles - I jumped up and began to fix the covers again, each layer. I didn't fixate the roof cover, which in the morning I was missing, open roof - and 20m away the roof cover with broken clear PVC, inner and outer layer; so I need to build another roof cover, with frame and everything. I started the new cover with metal enforced edges. Tommorow finished the new cover and add some fixation mechanism, and may it be just a few cords to bind it.

I knew of the problematic, but thought until there is strong wind I won't need to fix all things - wrong.

The last days I used plenty of dried wood to heat the yurt, during the day with sunlight the yurt heats itself to apprx. 15 Celsius, but once the sun has set it cools off quickly, very quickly and stove needs to heat the interior.

I also got some more rope which I used to tie it partially over the roof, so the roof cover doesn't lift as easy anymore as before. For heavy storm I need to fixate the entire yurt, e.g. on the ground, but since I put it on concrete this is might be difficult, so I need to stretch it further to have rope anchors reaching the grass and soft ground.

17. 11. 2005: First Night Below Zero Celsius

Well, it's not really the first night, but tonight it rained first, drops remained on the clear PVC skylight, in the morning all were frozen - now in the morning til 10 AM the sun came out again, melting away the frozen drops. The raincover PE in white doesn't warm up itself, if I had chosen another color it would be quite different, but then I wouldn't have the advantage of bright interior during the day. The next days will show how the PE cover does with freezing water - so far heavy rain was ok and no leaks. I'm also considering to add another two layers of insulation; I heat the stove and after 90min or so the warm is gone; and dry wood burn too fast, and the stove doesn't allow me to burn it slowly and have steady heat source, so I consider to get "brickets" which supposidly should burn slower.

15. 11. 2005: Moving Stuff

I put up another 2nd layer insulation, and the wall cotton canvas as well. Additonally I moved bed, desk and chairs into the yurt.

2005/11/15 12:58
Moving my stuff into the yurt
2005/11/15 13:02
2005/11/16 16:50
2005/11/16 16:50

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