WASHINGTON, D.C. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Inside a butterfly house, you can get an up close look at these delicate creatures. There are many challenges when it comes to designing a home just for butterflies
You need Flash Player 8 or higher to view video content with the ROO Flash Player.
Click here to download and install it.
One butterfly house, at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. holds some of the world’s most beautiful butterflies. But building a home for butterflies to live year-round had its challenges.
“Basically, we wanted, or needed to create an outdoor environment in an indoor space,” structural engineer Stephanie Cheng, Ph.D., told Ivanhoe.
Structural engineers and entomologists joined forces and designed a cocoon-like structure with special features like low ceilings to keep butterflies down around visitor level
“We wanted to make it an experience where the butterflies were actually flying around you,” Dr. Cheng explained.
Large screens prevent butterflies from getting sucked into ventilation systems that maintain perfect heat and humidity. Also, there are no right angles where insects can get trapped.
“Whereas with a curve they just kind of bounce off of it and don’t get struck which is one thing we wanted to prevent,” Nate Erwin, exhibit manager at the Smithsonian Institution told Ivanhoe.
The civil engineering behind the design may go un-noticed by visitors, but it helped build a happy home for the butterfly’s that call it home.
“So far the reaction to visitors here at the museum to our butterfly pavilion is just really positive, many visitors don’t get a chance to see butterflies up close that often,” Erwin said.
A perfect place to visit and watch nature come alive.
The American Society of Civil Engineers contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.