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Most of Asheville’s heavy snowfall had melted off Peter Belt’s yome by Monday. The structure of fabric, wood and metal sat gleaming in the sun, and even though outdoor temperatures hovered around freezing, the air inside was gentle. If he were living in this yome — a show model — he would install a small electric heater or wood stove, either of which would provide enough heat to make the place cozy, Belt explained.

Glimpsed behind houses and through trees, yomes and their better-known cousins, yurts, are part of Asheville’s sometimes mysterious alternative building culture. Unlike tiny homes and cob buildings, other manifestations of alternative building,  yurts and yomes aim for streamlined economy. If part of the design can be eliminated, it should be to create a structure that’s lightweight and affordable.

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