A Wing-Roofed Hangar from Sukup Steel Buildings Takes Off

An innovative winged roof that has taken off at airports is helping propel rapid growth by a relative newcomer to the steel buildings manufacturing industry, Sukup Steel Buildings.

The Project: Ames, Iowa, municipal airport hangar

  • Building system: Sukup Steel Buildings, Sheffield, Iowa
  • Builder: Story Construction, Ames, Iowa
  • Size: 11,400-square-feet hangar, 120 feet wide by 95 feet long
  • Wall Panels: 26-gauge polar white-painted MSP panels. Bright red wainscot with a yellow accent band were used to match colors of Iowa State University, which is a primary client of the hangar.PF-Sukup_MAIN-FOTO
  • Roof Panels: 24-gauge Galvalume panels. Roof panels were rolled and radiused on-site using a portable standing-seam roof panel shaping machine. It saved time and money for the builder and ensured a more accurate fit.
  • Uses: Besides planes used by visitors to the research park, the hangar will shelter aircraft of sports teams playing against the ISU Cyclones, and those used by entertainers and local business travelers.
  • Funding partners: Story County, the City of Ames, the Ames Economic Development Commission, ISU, and private businesses

PF-Sukup_9211-croppedThe Sukup Winged Roof featured on the new Ames (Iowa) Municipal Airport hangar uses two barrel-vault sections, each sheltering half the area of the building. The offset wings “meet” over the center of the structure, connected by specially-designed trapezoidal supports. Between the supports there are large areas for windows. The 4-foot-tall “step rafters” enable a sturdy clerestory connection of the roof sections and provide lots of space for windows.

The winged roof design was first developed for use on an airport hangar at the Mason City (Iowa) Municipal Airport. It was the brainchild of Sukup Manufacturing Co. Chief Financial Officer Steve Sukup and his wife, Vicki.

PF-Sukup_9205“The wings idea just seemed a natural for use on an airplane hangar,” Steve Sukup said, crediting Vicki with having an eye for great design.

The recent hangar projects, among others, help showcase the commercial building design capabilities of Sukup Steel Buildings, which started off mainly as a manufacturer of farm storage buildings. Both in 2015 and 2016, the number of commercial buildings surpassed the number of ag buildings.

“We have a rapidly-expanding and talented staff who can design buildings to meet most any need,” said Jeremy Woodland, department manager.

PF-Sukup_9188-croppedAlso, the company has some of the newest and most sophisticated metal fabricating equipment available, said sales and service rep Jim Shipley, a 25-year veteran of the metal buildings industry. A PHI submerged arc pull-through welder can run widths ranging from 8- to 72-inches with flanges ranging from 5- to 16-inches. There are Peddinghaus saws for cutting and drilling plate and angle steel, and two Peddinghaus beam lines for sawing and drilling beams. The newer of the two can also cut slots, drill threads and scribe part numbers into beams.

The ASC purlin mill can produce C- and Z-shaped purlins and girts from 4- to 16-inches wide and switch profiles in just minutes, Shipley said, and the Jorns Eco-TwinMatic is the newest and most technologically-advanced trim folder in the industry.

The Sukup Winged Roof has proven to be an attractive option in a wide variety of industries, said Bill Mossie, the Sukup Steel Buildings engineer who designed supports for the Winged Roof. Besides airplane hangars, the Sukup Winged Roof was used on a Hamilton, Michigan, office/warehouse for an agricultural equipment dealer, on a fairgrounds building in Wisconsin, and has drawn interest from others seeking an eye-catching form.

Form meets function with the Winged Roof design, providing more natural lighting than available on traditional roofing.

The new hangar is one of two physical components of an Ames airport modernization project. Another will be a new terminal.

The design of the building ties into that of a building in the university’s nearby research park, which is a destination for many of the airport users, Culhane said.

Since there are currently no de-icing capabilities at the airport, having a heated hangar will help keep winter departures on schedule, said Sukup’s Nadine Wreghitt, who coordinated manufacturing of the building materials.



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