Composite Roof Panel System

panel-construction.pngAn innovative composite roof panel system was developed and tested at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center laboratories.  The prefabricated panels incorporate wood I-joist framing, OSB sheathing, insulation and ventilation into a single product to be used in light-frame construction applications. 

Panels are manufactured in a controlled environment and shipped to the job site, reducing site assembly time and labor costs. 

Once on-site, the four-foot wide panels are placed by small crane and interlock on the roof by an overlap of sheathing and a single row of nails or screws along the panel length. 

Structural tests conducted at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center indicate significant gains in strength and stiffness due to the composite nature of the panel design.  Therefore, panels can span longer distances while preserving an open, cathedral-type ceiling.  When you combine all the features-long spans, high insulation properties, and overall ease of construction-the composite roof panel system is a profitable option for designers and contractors.   


Two buildings have incorporated the panelized roof system during construction:  In 2005, the UMaine Child Study Center built a 600sf roof addition in 6 hours with a 4-person crew using the panelized system.  In 2007, the UMaine Foster Student Innovation Center constructed its 60'x110' roof using 58 prefabricated panels.




Product Benefits are both architectural and economical:


  • Incorporates interior and exterior sheathing, framing and insulation

  • Reduces roof system cost per usable space for most designs

  • More economical cathedral ceiling design

  • Composite product is lightweight, efficient and affordable

  • Prefabrication provides construction, engineering and client benefits

           -Reduced on-site erection time

           -Reduced skill labor requirements

           -Improved insulation

           -Design optimization capabilities with manufacturing software



Research Partner

Center Contact

Graduate Students

  • Derek Rancourt