Utilihab is intended to support many kinds of roofing but favors simpler flat or shed forms and the use of self-supporting alloy panel based roofing for the sake of ease in assembly, reduction in materials overhead (by virtue of reduced surface area and more direct integration with upper Primary framing), and the use of integral roof decking and Green Roof systems.
Roofing is one area where modular building systems have typically faced the greatest challenge because of the difficulty in designing modest-sized component elements that are both waterproof and demountable. Roof support framing is readily made in a modular fashion. But cladding -the actually roof surface- is more problematic. And so, using currently off-the-shelf products and materials, we can at best support a limited modularity where roof cladding has free expandability/changeability along one planar axis, less so along the opposing axis. An example of this is corrugated metal panel roofing where panels are continuous along one axis and set in side-by-side series along the opposing axis. One can readily add or remove panels side-to-side, but extending the other axis requires replacement by longer panels and they cannot join end-to-end and the individual panel, though usually relatively light, is very long, cumbersome, and difficult to ship. The same is true of roof support framing when using ridged roofing. One can usually readily extend or shorten a ridged roof parallel to the ridge axis but increasing its width requires a replacement of the entire roof structure. As Utilihab develops, much research will be focussed on this basic problem in order to find means of equally ready modularity along both planar axes.