Butterfly roofs


I'd love to hear from designers and builders who have built butterfly roofs at least 5 years ago and how they've held up & resisted leaks or water infiltration issues. I instinctually cringe just a little when I see 2 roofs sloped toward each other. 

Dec 9, 22 2:48 pm

Internal Roof drains.  Not sure what your issue is.

Dec 9, 22 5:11 pm  · 
3  · 

There is a principle that shedding water away from a building is generally a better idea.... but in reality anyone who has done commercial architecture probably just shrugs at this. Though the materials, construction, and expectations are different.

Dec 11, 22 12:43 am  · 
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Wood Guy

Architects are rarely the ones called when their designs fail. Butterfly roofs are never a good idea. 

Dec 10, 22 9:49 am  · 
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"Architects are rarely the ones called when their designs fail" ... and with good reason because the architect's design was perfect. It's the execution of the design by the contractor that was the problem.

I'm being annoying here for the sake of the joke. You're point is good WG and I'd generally agree. I'll also point out that the materials and details exist that can make butterfly roofs watertight if constructed and maintained properly.

Dec 11, 22 1:21 pm  · 
3  · 
Wood Guy

On large commercial buildings, and/or buildings in warm climates, sure. I’ve seen and personally repaired the results of too many failed roofs to say that directing storm water into a home’s interior is ever a good idea in places where water freezes. I realize the question wasn’t about homes; that’s my bias showing.

Dec 12, 22 7:58 am  · 
2  · 

The assembly of a butterfly roof is not any different that a flat roof. I detailed a school with 2 butterfly roof over 10 years ago and there have been no issues. Use the insulation to slope to an internal roof drain which takes the water away. No need to avoid them.

Dec 12, 22 11:03 am  · 
1  · 

Entrance view

Dec 12, 22 11:05 am  · 

WG, I think that's a distinction that isn't usually made when simply discussing form (i.e. butterfly roof) ... there's a big difference between residential and commercial construction (materials, scale, profit margins) and the companies that do each. You can make it work on residential (even in cold climates), but you'll need to pay for it (and many times that means convincing your GC that their typical roofer isn't who they should hire).

Of course, much of the same can be said between residential and commercial architects ... but that's probably a good topic for another thread.

Dec 12, 22 1:52 pm  · 
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I've designed butterfly roofs in northern MN. After 15 years they haven't leaked or fallen down.

Dec 12, 22 1:59 pm  · 
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Cricket or saddle. 

Dec 10, 22 4:34 pm  · 
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If done right , such a beautiful form .

Dec 11, 22 10:02 pm  · 
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Practically the whole town of Davos, Switzerland, has butterfly roofs that look almost flat. This goes back to when the town was founded as a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients and they thought the roof design would let more sunlight in the buildings. Also they would channel the snow melt down the center for other uses in the sanatoriums. The practice became part of the city building code.

Not a big fan of butterfly roofs but since they apparently work with the heavy snow loads in the Alps do you really need a steeply gabled roof for snow shedding on a house anywhere? 

Dec 13, 22 10:53 am  · 
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​is there really a butterfly roof in there ^^^ ?

Dec 13, 22 11:22 am  · 
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Foreign countries regularly build lots of nice things that you have to be careful about attempting in the USA.

Dec 13, 22 11:52 am  · 
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Thanks all. Yes, it sounds like, as with many things, it comes down to how much you'll want to spend for your roof system. I suppose it's safe to say that butterfly roofs would be hard to incorporate into "affordable housing," at least with small residential. Apartment buildings maybe.

Thanks for your responses everyone.

Jan 13, 23 9:51 am  · 

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