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Deltec Takes on Extreme Weather and Yurt-Dominated Mongolian Market

August 28, 2014
Deltec Ships prefab home to Mongolia

Deltec Homes delivered their first home to the yurt’s country of origin, Mongolia. “Yurts are the traditional homes in Mongolia, so we’ve seen the benefits of living in a round structure firsthand,” said new Deltec homeowner Agar Batkhuyag of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. “I think keeping the traditional round shape in a modern house is a cool idea.”

Yurts have been a primary source of housing in Central Asia for over 3,000 years. Known for their tent-like material, round structure, durability and portability, they are still widely used throughout Mongolia.

Though many describe Deltec’s homes as “yurt-like”, there are several distinctions.

“Our homes are similar to the traditional yurt in that they’re round, but they’re actually very different,” said Joseph Schlenk, director of sales and marketing for Deltec. “Deltec homes are placed on a permanent foundation and built using standard construction practices, making them stronger. Also, since the walls can be insulated, they’re typically more energy efficient.”

When Batkhuyag contacted Deltec to build one of their flagship round homes, Deltec was eager to enter the Mongolian market.

“Not only are we excited to break the housing standard with what we believe to be a better alternative to yurts, but because Ulaanbaatar endures some of the harshest weather on the planet, it’s a whole new challenge for us,” said Schlenk.

According to professional geographer Matt Rosenbur, Ulaanbaatar is the coldest capital city in the world, with an average annual temperature of 29.7 degrees. In the winter, temperatures can drop as low as 40 degrees below.

Because of the weather, an energy efficient home is crucial for Batkhuyag. The home features Deltec’s Energy Wall, an advanced wall system that maximizes insulation and ensures air tightness, among other high performance elements.

The weather wasn’t the only challenge the company faced. Colorado-based Deltec field consultant, Jeff Torr, traveled to Mongolia to assist with construction.

“The biggest challenge was communicating,” said Torr. “Luckily I had a translator who was by my side at all times. They were a great crew to work with, very hardworking.”

The home shipped on April 28 and arrived in Ulaanbaatar at the end of July. Once delivered, it took 6 days to assemble the round portion.

Next up in Mongolia? Another Deltec is arriving now, and yet another is scheduled to be shipped by year’s end, both in Ulaanbaatar.

Photos from the left: A Deltec and a yurt, side by side. The homeowners are living in the yurt during construction. Center: The building crew in Mongolia, with Deltec Building Consultant Jeff Torr, fourth from right, and the newlywed homeowners, second and third from right. Right: Elevation of the home.