A butterfly is a V-shaped roof constructed of two tandem pieces which are angled up on the outside. The midsection is angled downward where the two pieces meet into a valley. The overall effect is of a butterfly’s wings in flight.
The butterfly roof is popular for modern, Eco-friendly and tropical home designs.
Pros: The upper angle of the outer edges allows larger windows to be used. This gives the home more natural light, lower heating bills in the winter and brings an open feel to the design.
The valley in the midsection of the butterfly roof allows rainwater to be collected, making it beneficial for high drought areas. A downspout attached to a rain barrel or other type of water reservoir is usually installed for this purpose.
The butterfly roof lends itself to an environmentally friendly home design, as PV solar panels, water collection systems and natural light can all be easily incorporated.
Cons: The complexity of the design makes the butterfly roof more expensive. Not only are the upfront costs higher than with conventional roofs, but the maintenance will also be more expensive.
Ensuring the butterfly roof is waterproofed is essential. Drainage systems can get clogged, causing water to pool or leak. This will weaken the pillars over time, which can cause the roof to collapse.
The open design and tall windows can make it more difficult to regulate the temperature throughout the home. Some areas may be much warmer than others.
Suggested Materials: Using a solid, continuous membrane with no seams is the key to keeping a butterfly roof watertight. Other options are to use metal, organic materials or solar panels.
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