Choosing Glamping Units to Suit the British Climate.
Rainfall in the UK is high, glamping units at many times in their lives are going to get soaked. We can either design this fact in, or in the case of some units on the market, totally forget in the UK we average 133 days of rain or snow, totalling 885 millimetres (33.7 inches). The timbatipi has the advantage of a solid, steeply sloping roof to shed the water, with a large overhang keeping the dripping rain away from the structure. The other main ‘nomadic-culture-style’ glamping unit we see here; the yurt, has a much flatter slope to the roofline. This means it is not ideal for British weather at all, and as such it is common for the canvas-outer to hold the water, becoming discoloured and heavy with damp. The way some manufacturers get around this is to make a plastick-y outer layer that looks a bit gawdy.
Checkpoint 1. Check roof slope angle – will it hold or shed UK rain?
The wind is south westerly in the UK; if you are on a farm you will no doubt have a fair amount of wind blowing across your land. We know how fences can blow down in the wind, being flat faced, whereas a circular structure will deflect wind around it. Displacing the force on the unit.
Check point 2. If I am siting my units in a windy area, will I be fixing roof and wall panels after storms?
Next to consider is internal heat. We all love a high ceiling, the problem can be that when the heat rises it leaves the folk underneath cold. With a tipi the roof cone shape means the actual area above the heat source is minimal due to the decreasing area with each foot up it rises, whilst still giving that lovely feeling of openess and height. The insulation in our Timbatipi will top any padded canvas structure of almost the same price in some cases!
Muddy boots – we have had cream canvas zip entrances – with all good intentions from your customers; muddy boots get kicked across the entrance flaps of beautiful cream bell tents.
Also consider the sun. How does a unit stay cool in the summer? A unit needs two sources of open access to the air outside in order to create a through draft or your guests will be sleeping in a stuffy box at night. We have one window at the back and the heart in the door keeping a permanent flow of fresh air through your timbatipi. We have also chosen breathable membranes and natural materials where possible.
A solar panel can be placed on the roof of your timbatipi after you site the unit, so you can establish the best angle to catch photovoltaic power for an internal light and phone charger per unit.
As a qualified permaculture designer, I always consider the effects of Nature, when placing any element into our landscape design here at the farm. Permaculture design can also be applied to buildings too. When choosing and installing a unit always think about how the sun, the rain, ground water, water flows, frost pockets, predominant wind, wind funnels, slope, average rainfall for your area, will affect the choice and siting of your units.