Design with Wood

Panelized Roof Systems

Cost-effective materials, fast erection and improved worker safety make panelized wood roof systems a good choice for commercial buildings, particularly low-slope roof structures such as big box stores and warehouses.

The two most common types of panelized wood roof systems used in North America are all-wood and hybrid systems.

An all-wood system consists of glued laminated (glulam) beam girders with wood purlins (glulam, I-joists or open web wood trusses), wood sub-purlins and a wood structural panel deck. Commonly seen in buildings with spans of less than 40 feet, this system is particularly well suited for applications where conveyor equipment is hung from the roof structure or in food-processing facilities that need to minimize dust from overhead joists. It is also a good choice for developers and designers who want to take advantage of wood’s aesthetic benefits for an exposed roof structure.

The hybrid system uses steel purlin and girder trusses together with wood sub-purlins and a wood structural panel deck. The long-span capability of steel framing makes this system particularly economical when spans range from 32 to 60 feet, but much larger spans can be accommodated. Wood decking allows better economy than steel, both in terms of material and installation cost. This is usually the system of choice for large warehouse and industrial structures requiring long spans.

Tools & Support

If you’re working on a panelized roof project and could use some free technical support—or you want to learn more about panelized roof construction—email , PE, WoodWorks’ technical lead for building systems.


  • Faster, Safer, Lower Cost: A panelized roof systems information sheet – WoodWorks
  • Park 277: A panelized all-wood roof is used in this large warehouse complex. – APA
  • Fred Meyer: A variety of wood roof systems meet the storage requirements of this grocery distribution center. – APA
  • Van Norman Reservoir: Engineered wood products are used in a 665,000 square foot reservoir cover that protects 90% of Los Angeles, California’s drinking water. – APA
  • TCI: A structural wood roof system was installed over steel framing in a manufacturing facility. – APA
  • REI Headquarters Store: Engineered wood products are used extensively to underscore the rustic, environmentally-conscious personality of this outdoor sports retailer. – APA
  • Pepsi Distribution Center: A panelized wood roof system is used on this large California distribution center.  – APA
  • Eastlake Design Center: Multi-Store Home Improvement Complex Benefits from Retail Therapy.  – APA