JavaScript Menu by North House Folk School - Courses, Classes, Workshops  
North House Folk School
North House Folk School

Fundamentals of Yurt Construction

Explore centuries-old yurt construction techniques to assess sensible living styles adapted to "living in the round" and sustainability. In a group setting, students turn architect-builders as they design and construct a portable yurt suited to living sensibly - assessing spatial living needs, exploring building materials, interior design and lifestyles adapted to living in a circular space. This course will provide you with the skills to pursue your own yurt construction project – from the wooden lattice woodwork that makes the yurt adaptable and portability possible, to the sewing skills required for precision and durability. Discussions will also explore the history and craft of yurt construction, including the acquisition of and alternative materials available to make yurt construction affordable and accessible. At the conclusion of this course, a complete set of drawings and materials list to construct your own yurt will be available to interested students.

The micro-yurt is unique in its designs and construction materials. Unlike commercially available yurts on the market made primarily of vinyl and plastic wrap insulation, the material selected for these yurts, inspired by traditional shelters, are designed ‘to breathe,’ allowing excess moisture to escape during the cold months. Cotton and wool fibers provide this important transfer of moisture, thereby providing a warmer and drier environment.

These 10’, 12’ and 14’ diameter projects are smaller than communally built yurts ranging from 20’-30’ in size, allowing for greater portability and more efficient and affordable shelter considerations. The smaller yurt has been examined closely and field tested in bitter cold temperatures and weather extremes of northern Ontario. It is proven to be a warm, comfortable and efficient shelter option that requires little energy to heat. The portability of a smaller micro-yurt has a great advantage as it can be transported with a smaller vehicle or trailer and set up and taken down in less than an hour.

The emphasis of the yurt construction project is largely experimental in terms of fabrics, insulation, flooring, windows, heating, venting and related furniture projects. Each consideration is made with a close investigation of the essential uses of space related to the needs of the inhabitants and locale for the project.

The micro-yurt also reduces material and heating costs, making it affordable and accessible to a wider variety of markets including green and sustainable home owners, first time or new property owners, low-income buyers, campers and outdoor enthusiasts.

The class project includes options for solar hot water installation, solar photovoltaic, electric wiring and lighting, composting toilets and a custom trailer for transportation.


No classes currently scheduled

Course Details

Length in days:


$450.00 per student (Regular rate)


Beginner to Advanced

Making it happen:
  • When should I enroll?
  • Do you take last minute registrations?
  • When will new course dates be posted?

All required tools/materials are provided by your instructor and North House and will be available once the course begins.

Once registered, students will receive a confirmation packet in the mail that may offer additional optional tool recommendations and suggested reading.

Mark Hansen Mark Hansen

Mark was introduced to the craft of wooden ski making after meeting Marvin Salo, whose father was a master ski maker trained in the old Saami school of ski construction, over two decades ago.  Since then, he has collaborated with ski historians, researchers, and builders, to learn about the wooden ski’s origin, design variations, cultural functions and construction methods. From his findings, Mark has been teaching students from around the globe about wooden ski construction.  His investigations into the wooden ski have also led him to a number of exhibitions, commissions and presentation on the subject. Mark’s interest in traditional methods of transportation throughout northern cultures also include wooden work boat construction, from birch bark canoes to Norse prams, toboggan and sled construction, northern clothing, and traditional shelter designs, including the yurt. Mark was instrumental in the founding of the North House Folk School, a Minnesota-based educational organization committed to teaching traditional northern crafts. He operates his own business Hansen Boat Works and was recently nominated to receive an invitation for the Bush Foundation’s Enduring Vision Award.


More about Mark Hansen
Fundamentals of Yurt Construction

Fundamentals of Yurt Construction

Fundamentals of Yurt Construction