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Architects Smith Metzger
Des Moines, IA


Story Construction Co.
Ames, IA

This 2,500 SF Butterfly House is designed to look like a butterfly in flight and houses exotic butterflies from six continents. The custom-designed framing system features an intricate steel truss and expansive units.


The steel roof truss gusset plates had to be field-modified when the original plates were found to be too large. It was determined that each roof truss gusset plate would require an individual elliptical notch that would allow the gusset and the glazing units to interface.


The craftsmen on this project worked with the Architect to achieve a revised design by using AutoCAD and physical templates prior to modification. After the new templates were made, the craftsmen, with a plasma-cutting torch, cut all the roof gusset plates by hand within days.


AWS was the recipient of the 2003 AIA Excellence in Craft Award for this project.

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