EP3258021A1 - Construction module and modular construction system comprising one or more of said construction modules - Google Patents

Construction module and modular construction system comprising one or more of said construction modules Download PDF

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Publication number
EP3258021A1
EP3258021A1 EP16175031.0A EP16175031A EP3258021A1 EP 3258021 A1 EP3258021 A1 EP 3258021A1 EP 16175031 A EP16175031 A EP 16175031A EP 3258021 A1 EP3258021 A1 EP 3258021A1
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EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
prefab
concrete slab
reinforced concrete
construction module
construction
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
EP16175031.0A
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German (de)
French (fr)
Inventor
Patricia DECEUNINCK
Danny VANDEMOORTELE
Tibo VANDEMOORTELE
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Amenagement Renovation Electricite SA
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Amenagement Renovation Electricite SA
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
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Publication date
Application filed by Amenagement Renovation Electricite SA filed Critical Amenagement Renovation Electricite SA
Priority to EP16175031.0A priority Critical patent/EP3258021A1/en
Publication of EP3258021A1 publication Critical patent/EP3258021A1/en
Withdrawn legal-status Critical Current

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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04BGENERAL BUILDING CONSTRUCTIONS; WALLS, e.g. PARTITIONS; ROOFS; FLOORS; CEILINGS; INSULATION OR OTHER PROTECTION OF BUILDINGS
    • E04B1/00Constructions in general; Structures which are not restricted either to walls, e.g. partitions, or floors or ceilings or roofs
    • E04B1/348Structures composed of units comprising at least considerable parts of two sides of a room, e.g. box-like or cell-like units closed or in skeleton form
    • E04B1/34815Elements not integrated in a skeleton
    • E04B1/3483Elements not integrated in a skeleton the supporting structure consisting of metal

Abstract

The invention relates to a transportable prefab construction module and a modular construction system comprising one or more such construction modules, in which the transportable prefab construction module comprises: (a) a base or foundation component comprising a reinforced concrete slab provided with at least 4 coupling elements which are configured for coupling a column to the foundation component; and (b) a structural frame, comprising (i) at least four metal supporting columns which are positioned (in the fitted position) at right angles with respect to the foundation component and which are coupled at a first end of the supporting column to the reinforced concrete slab by the coupling element; (ii) a top supporting element comprising several metal rods attached (in the fitted position) to a second end of the supporting columns parallel to the bottom supporting element; and (iii) at least one roof element, in which the roof element (in the fitted position) is positioned between and attached to the metal rods of the top supporting element, bridging the space between the rods of the top supporting element.

Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The invention relates to a prefab construction module and a modular construction system comprising one or more such prefab construction modules, more specifically a prefab construction module consisting of a metal structural frame and a reinforced concrete slab. The invention also relates to a method of manufacturing such a prefab construction module and modular construction system.
  • TECHNOLOGICAL BRACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The traditional construction of a building structure, such as a dwelling, is a long and time-consuming process. It requires a substantial amount of material and man-hours and may be subject to delays, inter alia as a result of inclement weather or problems with the supply of material.
  • By using prefab construction elements, it is possible to erect a building structure in a shorter amount of time. According to the prior art, the prefab building structures can roughly be divided into two groups, namely (quick) construction kits and container structures.
  • Construction kits consisting of more or less finished construction elements can be built relatively quickly at the location of the site, but require significant preparatory works to take place beforehand (e.g. foundation works). In addition, a significant amount of time may still be lost on the site as a result of actual assembly and construction of the structure. As a result thereof, the final finishing (such as e.g. installing windows and internal woodworking, insulation, interior decoration, such as kitchen and sanitary fittings, carpets and the like) can only be carried out after the kit has been assembled.
  • As a result thereof, the total time required to finish such a building structure is still relatively long. In addition, these construction kits usually consist of lightweight materials (wood, Gyproc/plasterboard on a wooden or metal frame) to render transportation and construction easier. They therefore require a support structure which carries the actual load of the structure in order to be able to withstand extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain and high winds, or when building upwards, as is the case with a structure consisting of several floors.
  • Container structures are often used as temporary structures and are thus often limited with regard to the comfort, insulation, size and degree of finish. The dimensions of a prefab container are often chosen so as to transport and install them in as short a time as possible. Often, holes are provided in the walls and/or floor of the containers for discharge pipes and utilities, which is a drawback for, inter alia, the insulation of the container. Further finishing or connecting to other container structures is also made more difficult by the fact that the strength of a container depends completely on the walls, due to which the strength of the entire container structure is compromised if a wall in a container is partly or completely removed.
  • In addition, the most significant drawback of current prefab building structures is often a lack of stability due to the fact that only limited foundation elements, if any, are provided. A foundation consisting of, for example, a concrete slab may still be cast at the location of the site before the prefab building structure is positioned, but this additional step is labour-intense and time-consuming. In addition, such an external foundation remains foundationally separate from the prefab building structure: The stability and strength of the prefab building structure is thus far from optimal, so that the current prefab structures are less suitable for regions with a higher risk of extreme conditions (e.g. floods, landslides, earthquakes).
  • In addition, there is a significant amount of interest in prefab building structures which are able to offer the same level of comfort and flexibility (with regard to utilities & finish) as a house of traditional construction. Non-conventional requirements, such as a green roof, solar panels, glass sliding doors, etcetera, are often more expensive or not compatible with the current prefab construction elements.
  • There is therefore a need for a prefab construction module and/or a modular construction system comprising one or more such prefab construction modules which offers a solution for one or more of the above problems.
  • SUMMARY
  • It is an object of the present invention and the preferred embodiments thereof to offer a solution for one or more of the above and other drawbacks.
    To this end, the current invention relates to a transportable prefab construction module or a modular construction system comprising such transportable prefab construction modules, in which case this transportable prefab construction module in its most general form comprises a metal structural frame coupled to a foundation slab consisting of a concrete slab made of reinforced concrete. Surprisingly, the inventors have discovered that such modules and modular systems or preferred embodiments thereof, result in very secure prefab building structures, which do not require any prior foundation works at the building site and which offer optimum comfort and provision of utilities without additional loss of space and without restrictions with respect to façade covering or selection of material in order to blend the building into the surroundings.
  • In a first aspect, the invention relates to a transportable prefab construction module (100), comprising
  1. (A) a foundation component (200), comprising a reinforced concrete slab (210) configured as a foundation for the prefab construction module (100) and comprising a concrete slab with a metal, preferably steel, reinforcement mesh, in which the reinforced concrete slab is provided with at least four coupling elements (250) configured for coupling a column (325) to the reinforced concrete slab (210), in which these coupling elements are preferably connected to the reinforcement mesh of the reinforced concrete slab (210). Preferably, the coupling elements (250) are placed near an edge or in a corner of the reinforced concrete slab (210); and
  2. (B) a structural frame (300), comprising (i) at least four metal, preferably steel, columns (325) which, in the fitted position, are placed at right angles with respect to the foundation component (200) and in which a first end of each column is attached to the reinforced concrete slab (210) by the coupling element (250); (ii) a top supporting element (360) comprising several metal, preferably steel, rods which are attached, in the fitted position, to a second end of neighbouring columns (325) parallel to the reinforced concrete slab (210), preferably forming a rectangular top supporting element; (iii) at least one roof element (370), in which the roof element (370), in the fitted position, is positioned between and attached to the metal, preferably steel, rods of the top supporting element (360), bridging the space between the rods of the top supporting element. Preferably, each column (325) is coupled to the foundation component (200) by means of at least one bolt anchor, concrete screw, threaded rod and/or reinforcing steel (reinforcing iron).
  • In particular embodiments of the prefab construction module contemplated herein, a surface area ratio (SAR) may be defined as described further below, with the SAR varying between 0.9 and 2.0; preferably between 0.95 and 1.5; more preferably between approximately 1 and 1.2; with the SAR most preferably being approximately 1. In particular embodiments of the prefab construction module contemplated herein, the foundation component (200), in particular the reinforced concrete slab, comprises one or more recesses or shaped or manufactured passages for utilities or as sanitary ducts.
  • In particular embodiments, the prefab construction module contemplated herein furthermore comprises one or more of the following elements:
    • at least one and preferably a plurality of wall panels (315), positioned between and attached to the reinforced concrete slab (210) and the top supporting element (360) between two neighbouring columns (325) to form an at least partly and preferably completely closed side wall;
    • at least one and preferably a plurality of roof panels (375), supported by a roof element (370) and positioned between the metal rods of the top supporting element (360) to form a closed roof structure;
    Preferably, an insulating material is fitted to one or more wall panels (315), one or more roof panels (375) and/or to the reinforced concrete slab (210).
    In particular embodiments of the prefab construction module contemplated herein, the structural frame (300) is bar-shaped and comprises a basic area (or the surface defined by the rectangular top supporting element) having a length of at least 4 m, preferably having a length of between 4 and 16 m; more preferably between 6 m and 12 m or between 7 and 10 m; and most preferably is approximately 8 m; a basic area having a width of at least 2 m or 3 m, preferably having a width of between 2 m and 10 m; more preferably between 2.5 m and 8 m or between 3 to 6 m; most preferably between approximately 4 and 5 m or is approximately 4 or 5 m; and/or a height of at least 2 m, preferably of between 2 m and 10 m; more preferably between 2 m to 8 m or between 2m and 5 m; most preferably between 2.5 m and 3 or 4 m; and/or in which the reinforced concrete slab has a height of at least 20 or 25 cm, preferably has a height of between 25 cm and 60 cm; more preferably between 30 cm and 50 cm or between 30 cm or 40 cm, and most preferably is approximately 35 cm; has a surface having a length of at least 4 m, preferably having a length of between 4 and 16 m; more preferably of between 6 m and 12 m or between 7 and 10 m; and most preferably is approximately 8 m; and has a surface having a width of at least 2 m or 3 m, preferably having a width of between 2 m and 10 m; more preferably of between 2.5 m and 8 m or between 3 to 6 m; most preferably between approximately 4 and 5 m or is approximately 4 or 5 m.
    In particular embodiments, the prefab construction module contemplated herein furthermore comprises a transport element or lifting element (390) configured for displacing and/or lifting the prefab construction module (100); such as one or more hooks, rings, lifting eyes, anchors, wheels, or a combination thereof.
  • In a second aspect, the invention relates to a modular construction system (400), comprising at least two transportable construction modules (100) according to a first aspect of the invention, in which a first and a second prefab construction module (100) are fastened to each other by means of a fastening means. In particular embodiments, the first and the second prefab construction module are fastened to each other by one or more fastening means, in which:
    • the reinforced concrete slab (210) and/or the top supporting element (360) of a first and second prefab construction module (100) are configured to be laterally fastened to each other; and/or
    • the modular construction system (400) contains a lateral fastening means (420), configured for fastening two prefab construction modules (100); and/or
    • the modular construction system (400) contains a central fastening means (430), configured for fastening four prefab construction modules (100); and/or
    • the modular construction system (400) furthermore contains a beam (410), preferably a U-shaped beam, attached to a column (325) of a first prefab construction module (100) and to a column (325) of a second prefab construction module (100), in which this beam (410) is configured for absorbing stress or pressure.
    In particular embodiments, the modular construction system (400) contemplated herein furthermore comprises a patio module (500) consisting of a second reinforced concrete slab configured for connecting to a first reinforced concrete slab (210) of at least one prefab construction module (100) and positioned parallel to, preferably in line with, the reinforced concrete slab (210) of the adjacent prefab construction module.
  • In particular embodiments, the modular construction system (400) contemplated herein furthermore comprises a plurality of piles (450) which, in the fitted position, are positioned in the ground and attached to the construction module (100) of the modular construction system (400), with the piles (450) together being configured to completely support the prefab construction module (100) or the modular construction system (400).
  • In a third aspect, the invention relates to a method of manufacturing a prefab construction module contemplated herein or a modular construction system contemplated herein, preferably comprising the following steps: (i) providing or producing a reinforced concrete slab as described herein, provided with at least four coupling elements; (ii) fitting of the structural frame and fastening of the structural frame to the reinforced concrete slab by means of the columns of the frame to the coupling elements; (iii) installing the wall panels and the roof panels so as to form side walls and the roof structure and (iv) in case of producing the modular construction system, installing different prefab construction modules, preferably by means of one or more fastening means as described herein, so as to form the modular construction system. Steps (i) and (ii) may be performed in series or parallel.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
  • In order to show the features of the invention more clearly, some preferred embodiments of the prefab construction modules and modular construction systems comprising such modules according to the current invention are described in the attached figures as non-limiting examples. The numerical references are explained in more detail below with reference to examples 1 and 2.
    • FIG. 1 : shows a cross section of a transportable prefab construction module (100) according to a particular embodiment of the invention.
    • FIG. 2 : is a side view of a transportable prefab construction module (100) according to a particular embodiment of the invention.
    • FIG. 3 : is a side view of a transportable prefab construction module (100) according to a particular embodiment of the invention.
    • FIG. 4 : is a side view of a transportable prefab construction module (100) according to a particular embodiment of the invention.
    • FIG. 5A is a side view of a modular construction system (400) according to a particular embodiment of the invention, consisting of two transportable prefab construction modules (100) according to an embodiment of the invention. Fig 5B is a bottom view of a modular construction system (400) according to a preferred embodiment of the invention, consisting of two transportable prefab construction modules (100) according to an embodiment of the invention. FIG. 5C is a top view of a modular construction system (400) according to a preferred embodiment of the invention, consisting of two transportable prefab construction modules (100) according to an embodiment of the invention. Fig 5D is a detail of a lateral fastening means on the structural frame (300) as described further below. Fig 5E is a detail of a lateral fastening means on the foundation component (200) as described further below. Fig 5F is a detail of a cross section of two adjacent columns (viewed along a column) of a lateral fastening means for the lateral fastening of the structural frame.
    • FIG. 6A is a bottom view of a modular construction system (400) according to a preferred embodiment of the invention, consisting of four transportable prefab construction modules (100) according to an embodiment of the invention. FIG. 6B is a top view of a modular construction system (400) according to a preferred embodiment of the invention, consisting of four transportable prefab construction modules (100) according to an embodiment according to the invention.
    • FIG. 7A is a schematic illustration in top view of a modular construction system (400) according to a preferred embodiment of the current invention, where the roof element (370) has been removed for the illustration. FIG. 7B is a schematic illustration in side view of a modular construction system (400) according to a preferred embodiment of the invention.
    • FIG. 8A is a schematic illustration in top view of a modular construction system according to a further preferred embodiment of the present invention (400), where the roof element (370) has been removed for the illustration. FIG. 8B is a schematic illustration in side view of a modular construction system (400) according to a further preferred embodiment of the current invention.
    • FIG. 9 : is a side view of a transportable prefab construction module (100) according to a particular embodiment of the current invention.
    • FIG. 10 : is a side view of a transportable prefab construction module (100) according to a particular embodiment of the invention.
    • FIG. 11 : is a side view of a modular construction system (400) according to a certain preferred embodiment of the current invention.
    • FIG. 12 : is a side view of a transportable prefab construction module (100) according to a particular embodiment of the current invention.
    Key to the figures:
  • (100) transportable prefab construction module; (200) foundation component; (210) reinforced concrete slab; (215) floor panel; (250) coupling element; (260) recess in/under the reinforced concrete slab; (300) structural frame; (325) column; (310) bottom supporting element; (315) wall panel; (350) roof component; (360) top supporting element; (370) roof element; (375) roof panel; (400) modular construction system; (410) (U-shaped) side beam; (420) lateral fastening means; (430) central fastening means; (440) insulation; (460) sealing means; (510) pillar; (520) stairs; (530) patio module.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • As used below in this text, the singular forms "a", "an", "the" include both the singular and the plural, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
    The terms "comprise", "comprises" as used below are synonymous with "including", "include" or "contain", "contains" and are inclusive or open and do not exclude additional unmentioned parts, elements or method steps. Where this description refers to a product or process which "comprises" specific features, parts or steps, this refers to the possibility that other features, parts or steps may also be present, but may also refer to embodiments which only contain the listed features, parts or steps.
    The enumeration of numeric values by means of ranges of figures comprises all values and fractions in these ranges, as well as the cited end points.
    The term "approximately" as used when referring to a measurable value, such as a parameter, an amount, a time period, and the like, is intended to include variations of +/- 10% or less, preferably +/-5% or less, more preferably +/-1% or less, and still more preferably +/-0.1% or less, of and from the specified value, in so far as the variations apply to the invention disclosed herein. It should be understood that the value to which the term "approximately" refers per se has also been disclosed.
    All references cited in this description are hereby deemed to be incorporated in their entirety by way of reference.
    Unless defined otherwise, all terms disclosed in the invention, including technical and scientific terms, have the meaning which a person skilled in the art usually gives them.
    For further guidance, definitions are included to further explain terms which are used in the description of the invention.
  • In its most general form, the invention relates to a transportable prefab construction module and a modular construction system comprising one or more prefab construction modules, as well as methods of manufacturing a transportable prefab construction module, in which such modules of modular construction systems may be used for constructing dwellings or holiday homes, apartments, offices, garages, working spaces, studios, garden pavilions, bathhouses, etc. With the modular construction system according to the current invention, a first construction module according to the invention may furthermore be combined/expanded with a basically unlimited number of further prefab construction modules, which are connected to this first prefab construction module in a lateral, transverse, adjacent or stacked manner. Depending on the ultimate purpose and arrangement of the modular construction system, the number of prefab construction modules, as well as the external and internal form with regard to the finish, components and elements will differ. As a result thereof, the number of embodiments of the current invention is effectively unlimited. An additional advantage is the fact that the prefab construction module and modular construction system contemplated herein can be finished in its entirety in a workshop (both with regard to the interior decoration and the external finish). This allows the manufacturer, architect, the client or prospective occupant to carry out an extensive check (quality, finish, etc.) of the structure before the building structure is transported to the destination location. Each finished module can then easily be transported by means of standard transport vehicles, such as trucks, and positioned using standard construction vehicles, such as cranes.
  • In a first aspect, the invention relates to a transportable prefab construction module comprising a foundation component and a structural frame, in which:
    1. (A) the foundation component comprises a reinforced concrete slab, which is provided with at least 4 coupling elements configured for coupling a column to the reinforced concrete slab, more specifically for coupling the structural frame to the reinforced concrete slab by means of columns; and
    2. (B) the structural frame comprises:
      1. (i) at least four metal columns, each coupled at right angles to a first end of the column by means of a coupling element on the reinforced concrete slab;
      2. (ii) a top supporting element comprising several metal rods supported by neighbouring columns and bonded to a second end of the columns; and
      3. (iii) at least one roof element, in which the roof element is positioned between and attached to the metal rods of the top supporting element, bridging the space between the rods of the top supporting element.
  • The main advantage of the prefab construction module contemplated herein is the stability. The combination of a foundation component comprising a concrete slab made of reinforced concrete, and a structural frame made of metal (steel) which is securely anchored in the reinforced concrete slab gives the current transportable prefab construction module greater stability compared to other prefab construction kits or containers which require an external foundation, which results in additional work, costs and time on the site. The connection between the reinforcement of the foundation component and the structural frame by means of the coupling element improves the stability still further. The great stability of the structure is also an advantage during transportation of the construction module from the production site to the site where the building structure is ultimately positioned and reduces the risk of damage during transport, for example in extreme weather conditions or when the transport vehicle is involved in a collision. In addition, the materials used are not flammable and readily and freely available in different sizes.
  • The foundation component contemplated herein, in particular the reinforced concrete slab, is made from a combination of metal and concrete, preferably made from steel and concrete, such as reinforced concrete. The reinforced concrete slab is provided with a metal mesh, preferably a steel mesh, which prevents or greatly reduces crack formation and improves the strength and stability. The reinforced concrete slab contemplated herein is configured in such a way that it allows the foundation component to be used as foundation or base slab for the prefab construction module. The advantage thereof is, inter alia, that no separate foundation has to be provided, and therefore no foundation works have to be carried out, at the site where the prefab construction module or the modular construction system is ultimately positioned, which may result in a significant time saving.
  • In a particular embodiment, the reinforced concrete slab comprises concrete of a concrete density of at least 1500 kg/m3 or 2000 kg/m3; preferably between 2000 kg/m3 and 3000 kg/m3; most preferably approximately 2400 or 2500 kg/m3.
    An additional advantage of concrete is the waterproofing and the lack of condensation formation. This makes a prefab construction module suitable for use in moist regions with possible waterlogging, such as flood areas. In addition, a higher concrete density of the concrete slab increases the degree of waterproofing of the foundation component.
    In certain preferred embodiments, the underside of the reinforced concrete slab comprises one or more hollowings, recesses or slots. This has the advantage of limiting the weight without sacrificing strength and stability, and makes it possible, in particular embodiments, to easily connect different prefab construction modules to each other by means of a steel rod, preferably with threaded connections, by means of a detachable connection, in which case the metal rod connects a hollowing in the concrete slab of a first construction module to a hollowing in the concrete slab of a second construction module and is fixed using nuts. In addition, such a recess in the concrete slab may provide space for supply and discharge lines, utility cables and the like. Such a recess may comprise at least 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%, 70%, preferably approximately 2/3 to 3/4 of the surface of the concrete slab.
  • The coupling element contemplated herein is preferably a coupling element which is compatible with both steel and concrete. The coupling element makes it possible to couple a column of the structural frame to the reinforced concrete slab of the foundation component. Preferably, at least one coupling element is provided for each column. Since the frame as described herein preferably comprises at least four columns, preferably there are also at least four coupling elements provided. Preferably, each coupling element is situated in the reinforced concrete slab and is integrated in, connected or anchored to the reinforcement of the reinforced concrete slab, such as e.g. by welding the coupling element to the reinforcement. Preferably, the coupling element is near the edge of the reinforced concrete slab, such as preferably at less than 50 cm, 40 cm, 30 cm or 20 cm from an edge of the reinforced concrete slab. Preferably, at least one coupling element is positioned near one or more corners of the reinforced concrete slab, such as preferably at least than 50 cm, 40 cm, 30 cm or 20 cm from a corner of the reinforced concrete slab. In a specific embodiment, each corner of the reinforced concrete slab is provided with a coupling element. By situating the coupling elements near or on the corners of the reinforced concrete slab and integrating them with the reinforcement thereof, a stability of the structural frame contemplated herein, and by extension, of the entire prefab construction module is achieved which is highly suitable for the purposes of the invention. As a result thereof, the reinforced concrete slab is able to absorb any pressure or external stress factor on the frame to the greatest possible extent without limiting the internal residential volume (which corresponds to the volume determined by the structural frame). The person skilled in the art will understand that the positioning of each coupling element depends on the individual embodiment of the invention.
    Coupling elements or coupling systems by means of which a column can be coupled or anchored to a reinforced concrete slab (via a first end) are known. In specific preferred embodiments, the coupling element comprises a bolt anchor, a concrete screw, a threaded rod or reinforcing steel (reinforcing iron), in which case the latter protrudes from the reinforced concrete slab and can be attached to a column. The coupling element may also be removable or repeatedly fittable. Preferably, the coupling element is permanently anchored to the foundation component.
  • The structural frame contemplated herein comprises at least four columns. Each column is made of metal, preferably steel. When installed, each column is coupled at right angles to the foundation component, in particular the reinforced concrete slab, preferably in/on the corners of the reinforced concrete slab, by means of a coupling element, as a result of which consequently the structural frame is also anchored to the foundation component by means of the columns, preferably to the reinforcement mesh of the reinforced concrete slab.
    Optionally, additional columns may be provided, such as near the edges of the reinforced concrete slab, which increases the stability and the strength. Some of these optional columns may be removable: in some embodiments, such optional columns may be installed during manufacturing and finishing of a modular construction system consisting of the prefab construction modules contemplated herein in order to improve the stability, assembly, finish and transportation, in which case, not all columns may still be required or desired after transportation to the site where the modular building structure is ultimately positioned, because they may possibly limit the available living space. When several prefab construction modules are attached to one another, one or more columns may be removed, in particular the columns which are situated in the centre of the modular building structure, without limiting the stability of the modular construction system.
    A column is preferably positioned near a corner and/or near the edge of the reinforced concrete slab. As the columns are anchored to the reinforced concrete slab by means of a coupling element, the installation of a coupling element and the advantages thereof described above also apply to the installation of the columns.
  • The structural frame contemplated herein furthermore comprises a top supporting element. The top supporting element is made from metal; preferably steel. The top supporting element is composed of one or more long bar-shaped elements, such as metal rods, beams or bars, such as e.g. having an I-shaped profile, which are supported by the columns and are bonded to a second end of the columns, parallel to the foundation component. In some embodiments, the metal rod has a U-shaped profile facing the foundation component for the installation of further finishing or sealing elements, such as wall panels. The top supporting element connects at least two neighbouring columns. Preferably, the top supporting element is rectangular in shape, with all columns of the structural frame being connected.
  • The transportable prefab construction module contemplated herein furthermore comprises at least one roof element which forms part of the roof component. Typically, a roof element is a supporting element, such as a rod or beam, positioned between and attached to the metal rods of the top supporting element, bridging the space between the rods of the top supporting element. The advantage of additional supporting elements is that this results in increased stability and pressure absorption for the prefab construction module, in particular the roof component, and makes it possible to support and attach roof panels. Preferably, the roof element is made from metal; most preferably steel.
  • Optionally, the structural frame contemplated herein may furthermore comprise a bottom supporting element. The bottom supporting element is made from metal, preferably steel. The bottom supporting element is composed of one or more long linear elements, such as metal rods, beams or bars, which adjoin the reinforced concrete slab and are positioned between at least two neighbouring columns, and attached to the reinforced concrete slab and/or one or more columns. In specific embodiments, the metal rod has a groove or an L-shaped or U-shaped profile facing away from the foundation component for installation of further finishing or sealing elements, such as wall panels or sliding doors. In some embodiments, prefab finishing elements, such as cassettes, wall panels, windows and/or (glass) sliding doors, can easily be fitted between the top and the bottom supporting element by means of a bottom supporting element. This offers additional stability as such finishing elements are in this way fully connected to the structural frame. The person skilled in the art will understand that the choice of the embodiment of the bottom supporting element contemplated herein depends on the embodiment of the prefab construction module, in particular the embodiment of the modular construction system comprising several construction modules. Preferably, the rods which form the bottom supporting element are only positioned on the outer edges of the modular construction system composed of the construction modules.
  • In a particular embodiment, the structural frame has a bar-shaped structure, in which the basic area, such as determined by a rectangle with the four columns as corners, is approximately equal to the top surface, such as determined by the top supporting element of the roof component. Ways and means to fasten the various steel elements which form the (optional) bottom and top supporting element to the columns of the roof elements are known. The metal components may be connected to each other, for example by means of welding, bolting or a combination thereof, in such a way that a stable structure is produced which makes it possible to support the prefab construction module and which, in addition, is also able to resist external stress factors, such as wind load or earthquakes.
  • In a particular embodiment, the structural frame furthermore comprises one or more cross or X-shaped bracing systems between adjacent columns. Such bracing systems may be permanent or temporary and improve the stability of a prefab construction module, in particular during transport or when combining different construction modules to form a modular construction system.
  • In particular embodiments, the metal components, in particular steel components, of the structural frame and/or roof or wall panels, preferably those portions of the structural frame of the roof or wall panels which are situated on the outside of the module after manufacture, have undergone one or more surface treatments, in particular to make them more resistant to ambient influences and/or for aesthetic reasons, such as e.g. a surface treatment according to C3 (ISO12944) which makes it possible to protect the steel structure against corrosion, coating with a primer and painting, etc. The person skilled in the art will understand that the metal parts which are directed inwards do preferably not require treatment due to the presence of insulation and/or further coating.
  • In a particular embodiment, both the structural frame and the reinforced concrete slab are a bar-shaped structure, characterized by a basic area, having a length and a width, and by a height. The term "length" and "width" of a prefab construction module or concrete slab as used herein corresponds to the longest dimension and shortest dimension, respectively, of the basic surface, defined by the concrete slab and/or the structural frame. The length and width of the structural frame corresponds to the longest and shortest distance, respectively, between two neighbouring columns or the longest and shortest dimension, respectively, of the surface defined by the top supporting element, optionally including the width or diameter of the columns themselves. The term "height" of a prefab construction module, as used herein, corresponds with the height or thickness of the concrete slab augmented by the length of a column, optionally augmented by the thickness of the roof component and/or top supporting element. The height of the structural frame is typically the length of a column, optionally augmented by the height or thickness of the top supporting element or the roof component.
    In a particular embodiment, the structural frame comprises a bar-shaped structure having a length of at least 4 m, preferably having a length between 4 and 16 m; more preferably between 6 m and 12 m or between 7 and 10 m; and most preferably is approximately 8 m.
    In a particular embodiment, the structural frame comprises a bar-shaped structure having a width of at least 2 m of 3 m, preferably having a width between 2 m and 10 m; more preferably between 2.5 m and 8 m or between 3 to 6 m; most preferably between approximately 4 and 5 m or is approximately 4 or 5 m.
    In a particular embodiment, the structural frame comprises a bar-shaped structure having a height of at least 2 m, preferably between 2 m and 10 m; more preferably between 2 m to 8 m or between 2 m and 5 m; most preferably between 2.5 m and 3 m or between 2.5 m and 3.5 m or 4 m.
    In a particular embodiment, the reinforced concrete slab is a bar-shaped structure having dimensions similar to those of the structural frame as described above and having a maximum height or thickness of at least 20 or 25 cm, preferably has a height between 25 cm and 60 cm; more preferably between 30 cm and 50 cm or between 30 cm or 40 cm, and most preferably is approximately 35 cm. In case the reinforced concrete slab comprises recesses on its underside, as described above, the thickness of the concrete slab in the recess is at least 10 cm, preferably between 10 cm and 30 cm or between 10 cm and 25 cm, more preferably between 10 cm and 20 cm or between 10 cm and 15 cm.
  • In a particular embodiment, the prefab construction module furthermore comprises one or more transport elements or lifting elements to make lifting and/or displacing the assembled construction module possible, such as one or more hooks, rings, lifting eyes or anchors, which are attached, for example, to the top supporting element or the roof component, or wheels, which are attached to the underside of the foundation component, such as in one or more of the recesses contemplated herein of the reinforced concrete slab, or a combination thereof.
  • In a particular embodiment, the prefab construction module furthermore has a surface area ratio (SAR) defined as the ratio between a surface area defined by the top surface of the foundation component, in particular the surface of the reinforced concrete slab, to a surface area defined by the (rectangular) base of the structural frame. The SAR varies between at least 0.8 to at most 2.0. Preferably, the SAR varies between at least 0.85 and at most 1.5. More preferably, the SAR varies between at least 0.9 and at most 1.1. Most preferably, the SAR is approximately 1.0, or in other words, the surface of the reinforced concrete slab is approximately equal to the basic area of the structural frame. This has advantages with regard to stability, transportation, finishing and combining several construction modules to form a modular construction system according to the current invention.
  • In a preferred embodiment, the reinforced concrete slab furthermore comprises one or more recesses or preformed or produced passages for one or more utility cables, for the supply and discharge of the water and sanitary fittings, for gas supply and/or for the heating installation (comprising one or more heating elements). The term utilities is typically understood to mean electricity, telephone, television, internet and the like.
    The duct contemplated herein may be formed in various ways. In a particular embodiment, the central part of the reinforced concrete slab is partly hollow or locally reduced in thickness, as a result of which a recess is formed on the underside of the concrete slab, the hollow space of the recess making it possible to secure one or more ducts. In some embodiments, the ducts are positioned or formed at the same time as manufacturing of the reinforced concrete slab is effected, thus improving the speed of production and finishing. Preferably, the reinforcement is configured in such a way that the presence of such recesses or ducts is possible. An advantage of these embodiments is the fact that cables of the utilities and/or various lines of utilities, sanitary fittings, heating and the like can very easily be incorporated into the construction module, without additional installation material and without the cables or lines being visible from the outside.
    Due to the fact that the formed or produced ducts are provided in the prefab construction module before the construction module is being transported and positioned, the time for finishing and positioning can be limited significantly. In addition, this also has advantages for transportation, since fewer components have to be transported separately and there is also a reduced risk of damage to the components, such as the cabling or sanitary fittings.
  • In a particular embodiment, the prefab construction module furthermore comprises at least one and preferably a plurality of wall panels positioned between the foundation component/the reinforced concrete slab and the top supporting element and between at least two columns, in order to completely or partly close off one or more sides of the prefab construction module contemplated herein.
    Such wall panels may be made of metal, glass, plastic, concrete, wood, sandwich panels, or any other suitable material metal or combinations thereof, optionally combined with insulating material. In specific embodiments, the wall panels consist of metal or glass. Metal wall panels have the advantage that they further improve the stability. Furthermore, windows and doors may also be incorporated in the wall panels. Such an embodiment has the advantage that it allows free positioning of the windows in a self-supporting façade structure. In addition, such wall panels may also subdivide the interior space into rooms or spaces.
    In some embodiments, such a wall panel is a prefab cassette, as is known by the person skilled in the art and is used, for example, in wood skeleton construction. An advantage of prefab cassettes is the fact that they do not have to be made to measure, but are supplied in a standard format. When installing the prefab construction module, the prefab cassettes are adjusted in such a way that they can easily be fitted between the (optional) bottom and top supporting element. This has advantages with regard to manufacturing costs and installation time.
  • In a specific embodiment, the roof component, in addition to at least one roof element, also comprises one or more roof panels which form a closed roof structure and which are supported by the roof elements and/or the top supporting element.
    In some embodiments, a flat roof structure is formed. The roof component, in particular the roof panels, may consist of several materials, as is known to the person skilled in the art, including plastic, metal, wood, glass, roofing, fibre cement panels, bituminous materials or combinations thereof. Furthermore, attic windows or skylights may be incorporated in a roof panel. In addition, the prefab construction module contemplated herein is sufficiently strong to support specific roof structures, such as a green roof, the installation of solar panels, or as a fitness room.
  • In a particular embodiment, the prefab construction module furthermore comprises an insulating material adjoining one or more wall panels, one or more roof panels and/or the reinforced concrete slab, to insulate the prefab construction module against external temperatures (heat/cold) or prevent thermal bridges.
    In a preferred embodiment, the insulating material is positioned between two layers of wall panels; for example a wall panel adjacent to the outer side and a wall panel adjacent to the inner side of the prefab construction module. In a preferred embodiment, the insulating material is positioned between two layers of roof panels; for example a roof panel adjacent to the outer side and a wall panel roof panel on the inner side of the prefab construction module. As a result thereof, the prefab construction module may be fully insulated without limiting the comfort of the module.
    There is a large range of insulating materials available and the person skilled in the art will understand that the choice of material depends on the embodiment of the prefab construction module. In a particular embodiment, the insulating material is selected from synthetic material, such as polyurethane (PUR) - polyisocyanurate (PIR), phenolic foam (PF), expanded polystyrene (EPS), extruded polystyrene (XPS), and the like. In a particular embodiment, the insulating material is selected from mineral materials, such as mineral wool (MW) glass wool, rock wool, cellular glass (CG), expanded perlite (EPB), and the like. In a particular embodiment, the insulating material is selected from vegetable materials, such as flax, wood fibre, cellulose (paper, wood fibre), sheep's wool, hemp, straw and reed, cork and the like. Preferably, synthetic materials are used, because these can be supplied in the form of a prefab cassette or be sprayed directly onto a prefab cassette panel. This has advantages with regard to the installation time and simplicity of a prefab construction module. In addition, these materials often have a good fire behaviour which improves the fire resistance of a prefab construction module; which is important for prefab construction modules which are intended for areas with an increased fire risk, for example near wooded areas or in dry regions.
    In a particular embodiment, the insulating material is a polyurethane foam (PU foam or PUR foam) which is sprayed onto the inner side of a wall panel or into the space between two wall panels.
  • In a second aspect, the current invention relates to a modular construction system consisting of at least two prefab construction modules according to the present invention, in which the at least two construction modules are attached to one another.
  • The at least two construction modules may be positioned laterally next to each other or on top of each other. In the case of relatively large numbers of construction modules, these may be both positioned laterally and stacked.
    In a certain preferred embodiment, the modular construction system comprises at least two construction modules according to the present invention, and at least one fastening means, configured to attach two or several of the construction modules contemplated herein; in which the at least two construction modules are fastened to each other by the fastening means. In some embodiments, the at least two construction modules according to the current invention are positioned laterally adjacent to each other. In some embodiments, the at least two construction modules as described herein are stacked on top of one another, in which, alternately, a structural frame is separated by a foundation component. This has the advantage that the modular construction system retains its strength and stability even if the bottom first construction module has to support one or more other construction modules.
    The function of the fastening means is to provide additional stability and strength to a modular construction system which comprises at least two prefab construction modules. In principle, the fastening means may be any structure which is capable of connecting construction modules and attaching them to each other; such as an anchor, hook, plate, bar, rod, and the like. Preferably, the fastening means is a structure which connects and/or partly of completely overlaps the adjacent edges or lateral surfaces of at least a first and a second construction module. The fastening means may be made of metal; preferably steel.
    In the case of lateral attachment, preferably both the foundation component and the structural frame and the roof element or top supporting element of two adjacent prefab construction modules according to the current invention are attached to each other, as is schematically illustrated in Fig. 5A. In a preferred embodiment, the reinforced concrete slabs of at least one first and one second construction module are configured to be laterally attached to each other, as is schematically illustrated in Fig 5B. In an example of such a preferred embodiment, as illustrated in Fig. 5E, each concrete slab is provided with one or more hollowings or recesses on its underside and the adjacent lateral surfaces of the at least one first and one second concrete slab are provided with holes which are aligned with each other and thus make it possible for a lateral fastening means as described herein, e.g. a metal rod, to be placed in the holes of the first and second concrete slab. In particular, the preferably threaded metal rod connects the hollowing of the concrete slab of the first module to the hollowing of the concrete slab of the second module by means of the aligned holes and the rod can be detachably secured by means of a nut in order to attach the first and second concrete slab/construction module. The advantage of this embodiment is that the modular construction system which is finished in a workshop can easily be disassembled into its individual prefab construction modules and be transported, in order to be reassembled and reattached to each other at the site where it is ultimately positioned.
    In some embodiments, the reinforced concrete slab of at least one prefab construction module comprises at least one rod which protrudes laterally from this reinforced concrete slab and the reinforced concrete slab of at least one second prefab construction module comprises a hole for each protruding rod, with the diameter of each hole approximately corresponding to the diameter of the protruding rod which is aligned with the hole during installation of the modular construction system, in which case this protruding rod is positioned in this corresponding hole and acts as lateral fastening means.
    In a preferred embodiment, the modular construction system furthermore comprises at least one lateral fastening means for the lateral attachment of the structural frame.
    Preferably, such a lateral fastening means for the structural frame of a first and a second construction module according to the current invention comprises at least one beam (also referred to as side beam herein) which is configured to absorb stress or pressure and which is positioned between and attached to the structural frame of the at least two adjacent prefab construction modules according to the current invention. In a preferred embodiment, such a beam is a U-shaped beam which is configured to absorb stress or pressure. In a particular embodiment, such a beam, in particular such a U-shaped beam, is fitted between at least two adjacent columns of at least two mutually attached construction modules, in which one side of the beam, in particular a U-shaped beam, is fitted to a first column of a first prefab construction module and the other side of the beam, in particular a U-shaped beam, is fitted to a second column of a second prefab construction module, as is illustrated in Fig. 5F. Such beams, in particular U-shaped beams, make it possible to absorb the external stress or pressure factors.
    Preferably, the side beam is configured in such a way that it prevents the foundation components of two adjacent construction modules from touching each other and forms a joint or gap between the two adjacent construction modules. The advantage of these embodiments is that such beams, in particular U-shaped beams, increase the stability and resistance of the modular construction system further, inter alia by preventing the structural frames of various adjacent construction modules to move with respect to each other or to collide with each other due to external factors (wind, earthquakes), in which such motion could, in addition, also cause structural damage to the foundation.
  • In a preferred embodiment, the modular construction system furthermore comprises at least one lateral fastening means for the lateral attachment of the roof component. In a preferred embodiment, the roof components or top supporting elements of at least one first and one second construction module are configured to be laterally attached to each other, as is schematically illustrated in Fig 5C. In an example such a preferred embodiment, as illustrated in Fig. 5D, the roof component of top supporting element comprises a protruding edge and the mutually adjacent lateral surfaces of the at least one first and one second roof component/top supporting element are provided with holes which are aligned with each other and thus make it possible for a lateral fastening means as described herein, e.g. a metal rod, to be positioned in the holes of the first and second roof element/supporting element. Preferably, the metal rod is threaded and can be releasably secured by means of a nut in order to attach the first and second construction module. The advantage of this embodiment is that the modular construction system which is finished in a workshop can easily be disassembled into its individual prefab construction modules and be transported, in order to be reassembled and reattached to each other at the site where it is ultimately positioned.
    In order to prevent water from seeping in via two mutually adjacent construction modules, a sealing means is preferably provided between adjacent roof components of different prefab construction modules. Such sealing means are known to the person skilled in the art and comprise, for example, a layer of covering rubber (such as EPDM rubber), which may be additionally protected by a metal cover.
  • In a particular embodiment, the modular construction system furthermore comprises at least one central fastening means for the central attachment of at least three or four prefab construction modules according to the current invention. The central fastening means may be made of metal; preferably steel. The central fastening means may, in principle, be any structure which is capable of connecting and fastening three or four construction modules to each other; such as an anchor, plate, bar, rod, and the like. Preferably, the central fastening means is a cross or X-shaped structure which connects and/or partly of completely overlaps the adjacent columns of four construction modules. In a preferred embodiment, at least two or three cross-shaped structures are positioned between the adjacent columns of four construction modules at different height.
    The main advantage of a central fastening means is the additional stability which is achieved compared to the modular construction system by connecting the columns which are positioned centrally in the modular construction system. In addition, the central fastening means makes it possible for the foundation components of the at least three or four construction modules to not contact each other as a result of internal or external pressure while forming a joint or gap between adjacent reinforced concrete slabs. Contact between reinforced concrete slabs could cause structural damage to a reinforced concrete slab. In addition, the central fastening means ensures that each of the at least three or four construction modules can be positioned or pushed to the desired position in a correct and simple manner. In this case, the central fastening means fulfils an additional role as adjustment aid which ensures that the modular construction system can be installed in the same way at the site where it is ultimately positioned after it was disassembled for transportation.
  • The present prefab construction module and the modular construction system comprising several such prefab construction modules may furthermore contain additional devices and/or components:
    • In a particular embodiment the modular construction system according to the present invention furthermore comprises a patio module consisting of a second reinforced concrete slab configured to be connected to a first reinforced concrete slab of at least one prefab construction module and, in the fitted position, parallel to the top surface of the first reinforced concrete slab. Such a patio module typically forms an external structure adjacent to the modular construction system. Preferably, the patio module extends the top surface of the adjacent reinforced concrete slab, so that no stairs or steps have to be provided. Preferably, the patio module is attached to a prefab construction module by means of a fastening means, such as the above-described fastening means, which make it possible to attach the concrete slabs of adjacent construction modules to each other. The person skilled in the art will understand that the patio module may be finished with elements make it possible to increase the security (e.g. by means of a fence), comfort or aesthetics of the patio module.
    • In a particular embodiment, the modular construction system according to the present invention comprises a plurality of piles which, in the fitted position, are secured in the ground and attached to the construction module of the modular construction system, in which case the piles together are configured to completely support the prefab construction module of the modular construction system. The advantage of this embodiment makes it possible to position the building structure on non-level ground or in areas with a greater flood risk, or to place the building structure on a higher level, so that the space under the prefab building structure is available for other functions, e.g. a parking space. Such piles may be made from metal, concrete or wood or a combination thereof, or any other material which is suitable and has sufficient structural strength to support the prefab construction module contemplated herein and/or modular construction system contemplated herein.
    The piles may be made from metal, concrete, wood, or a composite material or a combination thereof; preferably steel. The plurality of piles is configured to completely support the modular construction system; to this end it has to be made of materials which have a structural strength sufficient to cope with the weight of the modular construction system, depending on the embodiment. The person skilled in the art will understand that the plurality of piles may be positioned in such a manner that they diffuse the weight load in an optimum manner, so that each pillar has to resist an approximately similar amount of pressure.
    • In a particular embodiment, in particular when there is a difference in height between the ground level of the terrain on which the building structure is ultimately positioned and the basic surface of a prefab construction module, the modular construction system and/or prefab construction module according to the present invention comprises at least one stair which, in the fitted position, is attached to at least one construction module, preferably to the reinforced concrete slab thereof.
    • In a particular embodiment of the modular construction system contemplated herein, the joint or gap between adjacent concrete slabs is sealed by means of an expanding sealant, such as a hydro-expansive swellseal mastic.
  • In a third aspect, the invention relates to a method for manufacturing a prefab construction module contemplated herein or a modular construction system contemplated herein.
    In particular embodiments, the method according to present invention comprises the following steps:
    • providing or manufacturing a reinforced concrete slab as described herein, provided with several coupling elements;
    • constructing the structural frame and attaching the structural frame to the reinforced concrete slab by means of the coupling elements, preferably in a workshop, such as a factory or hangar;
    • installing the wall panels and the roof panels to form side walls and the roof structure.
    This method makes it possible, on the one hand, to provide or manufacture a reinforced concrete slab and, on the other hand, to install the structural frame and optionally to install the wall panels and the roof panels in series or in parallel. By performing several steps in parallel, it is possible to achieve an enormous time saving compared to traditional construction systems, in which case the method has to be carried out in a stepped manner.
    When manufacturing the modular construction system, the present method furthermore comprises the step of installing various prefab construction modules, preferably by means of one or more fastening means as described herein, to form the modular construction system.
    In a preferred embodiment, the prefab construction module or the modular construction system is furthermore finished entirely in the workshop, both with regard to the external structure and façade covering (brick, wood and the like), and internal decoration (including, but not limited to woodwork, sanitary fittings, floor covering, wall covering, electricity, heating, and the like). In principle, the type of materials used or the design for such a finish are not limited. Thus, the material for the façade may for example be chosen to improve integration of the building structure at the construction site or with regard to the reinforced concrete slab.
    In a preferred embodiment, the construction module contemplated herein is prepared for transportation after it has been assembled and finished and then transported to the construction site.
    Transportation of the present modular construction system means that, after the modular construction system has been assembled and finished, the construction system first has to be disassembled into its individual construction modules, which are subsequently transported to the construction site, where the individual construction modules are reassembled to form the modular construction system. As a result of the individual construction modules having been finished in its entirety beforehand in a workshop, only the zones where individual construction modules adjoin in the modular construction system have to be finished, which results in a significant time saving.
    The method contemplated herein has the advantage that a building structure consisting of at least one prefab construction module as contemplated herein may be manufactured and finished in its entirety in a workshop, for example a factory or a hangar, independent from weather conditions. In addition, the entire quality control of the prefab construction module may be carried out in the workshop, for example with regard to the stability, strength and watertightness. Such quality inspections are often difficult to carry out in situ and, in addition, the data of a poor result are often available too late. In addition, the finished prefab construction module or modular construction system may be seen and checked with a view to the degree of finish.
    After transportation of the preferably finished prefab construction module, the building structure can be positioned quickly and simply at the construction site, including the optional assembly of different modules to form a modular construction system, which results in a significant time saving with respect to known prefab construction systems of the traditional house construction. The actual positioning of the construction module or modular construction system at the construction site can thus be limited to a minimum, such as only one day to a few days or a week, depending on the finishing work that still has to be carried out in situ. As a result thereof, the prefab construction modules can also be installed at locations where the construction options are very limited, for example due to adverse weather or environmental conditions, or due to the limitations in the environment, for example near busy roads or in densely populated cities.
  • It will be clear that the prefab construction module and modular construction system contemplated herein are very flexible with regard to the finish and design of the interior, and also with regard to the finish of the façades and roofs. In principle, there is no limitation regarding the choice of material. Optionally, the present prefab construction module may comprise one and preferably a plurality of floor panels, which cover the reinforced concrete slab at least partly. Floor panels are known to the person skilled in the art and may be made of, inter alia, plastic, ceramic, wood, glass, textile or combinations thereof. Examples thereof are laminate, parquet, tiles, carpet, etc.
  • Below, some preferred embodiments are explained in more detail with reference to the attached figures in order to illustrate the properties, advantages and particulars of the present invention further. It will be clear that such an explanation can by no means be interpreted as a limitation of the scope of the invention as such, and in particular as defined in the following claims.
  • EXAMPLES Example 1: Prefab construction module (100)
  • A prefab construction module (100) as illustrated in Figs 1, 2, 3 and 4 has a bar-shaped structure. The prefab construction module (100) comprises a bar-shaped foundation component (200) having a length of 8.0 m, a width of 4.0 m and a height of 35 cm. The surface area defined by the top surface of the foundation component (200) is 32 m2.
  • The foundation comprises a reinforced concrete slab (210) made of reinforced concrete with a density of approximately 2500 kg/m3 and reinforced with a steel structure. The foundation furthermore comprises four coupling elements (250), each coupling element (250) of which is positioned on one of the four corners of the rectangular top surface of the bar-shaped foundation (200); as is illustrated in Fig. 2.
  • The prefab construction module (100) furthermore comprises a bar-shaped structural frame (300) having a length of 8.0 m, a width of 4.0 m and a height of 3.0 m. The surface area defined by the basic surface of the structural frame (300) is 32 m2, which leads to a surface area ratio (SAR) of about 1. The structural frame (300) is made up of four steel columns (325), each of which is coupled to a coupling element (250), in a corner of the reinforced concrete slab, such as e.g. by means of four bolt anchors in the reinforced concrete slab (210), at right angles with respect to the foundation component (200). Optionally, the structural frame (300) may contain one or more steel rods or elements which form a bottom supporting element (310). Such rods are fitted to the reinforced concrete slab (210) and/or attached to a column (325). The structural frame (300) furthermore comprises a top supporting element (360), comprising several steel rods, with dimensions similar to those of the concrete slab (210), attached to the top side of the columns (325) and parallel to the foundation component (200); in which a rectangular top surface of the structural frame (300) is formed with a surface area of approximately 32 m2. The structural frame (300) furthermore also comprises a steel roof element (370), positioned between and attached to the top supporting element (360), bridging the space between the rods of the top supporting element (360).
  • The prefab construction module (100) furthermore comprises a plurality of panels and insulating materials; as is illustrated in Figs 4, 9 & 10. The walls of the prefab construction module (100) are formed by wall panels (315), substantially consisting of steel, positioned between and attached to the bottom supporting element (310) of the reinforced concrete slab (210) and the top supporting element (360) between two neighbouring columns (325). A layer of PU foam is provided as insulating material on the inner side of the wall panels. The roof component (350) of the prefab construction module (100) is formed by a roof element (370) with a plurality of roof panels (375) thereon. In this case as well, an insulating material is provided on the inner side of the roof panels, e.g. a layer of mineral rock wool.
  • Figs 9 and 10 show a prefab construction module in different stages of construction, with several wall panels and roof panels having been positioned to form side walls and the roof.
  • The floor of the prefab construction module (100) is formed by a plurality of floor panels (215) positioned on the foundation component (200). The majority of the floor panels (215) is made from wood for warmth, comfort and aesthetics. Underfloor heating may be installed and/or insulating material may be fitted between the reinforced concrete slab (200) and the floor panels (215). In addition, the foundation component (200) has a manufactured duct (220) to which water supply or discharge and sanitary fittings may be connected, or in which the utility cables may be fitted; as is illustrated in Fig. 3.
  • Example 2: modular construction system comprising several modular construction modules
  • A modular construction system (400) may also consist of several prefab construction modules and may therefore consist of different materials, sizes and embodiments.
  • Figs. 5A, 5B and 5C show a modular construction system (400) consisting of two prefab construction modules (100) which are positioned so as to adjoin each other laterally by their longitudinal direction. The reinforced concrete slab (210) of each construction module comprises two large rectangular recesses (260) which constitute approximately 75% of the surface of the concrete slab. The foundation component and the roof component of the adjacent construction modules (100) are attached to each other by means of a steel lateral fastening means (420). Fig. 5D shows a preferred fastening means for the roof component in which a threaded steel rod is positioned between two projections in the roof component of the two different construction modules through aligned holes provided in each projection and fixed using nuts. The adjacent roof components are made watertight by means of a covering rubber and metal cap (460) which cover the projections of the adjacent modules. Fig. 5E shows a preferred fastening means in which a threaded steel rod is positioned between two recesses (260) in the reinforced concrete slab of the two different construction modules through aligned holes provided in each reinforced concrete slab (210) and fixed with nuts. Two such lateral fastening means may be provided every 4m. Furthermore, two U-shaped steel supporting beams (410) are fitted between the two adjacent columns (325) of the two adjacent construction modules (100), on both sides, as is illustrated in Fig 5F. Based upon the dimensions of the preferred embodiment of the prefab construction module (100) from Example 1, a modular construction system (400) having a total surface area of approximately 64 m2 is obtained.
  • Figs. 6A and 6B show a modular construction system (400) comprising four prefab construction modules (100). The foundation components of the adjacent construction modules (100) are attached to one another by means of lateral fastening means (420), in which each construction module (100) is laterally connected to two other construction modules (100), as described for Fig. 5, and a central cross-shaped steel fastening means (430), positioned between the 4 adjacent columns, which centrally connects the four prefab construction modules at different heights. Furthermore, four U-shaped steel beams (410) are fitted between the two adjacent columns (325) of two adjacent construction modules (100), on one side. Based on the dimensions of the preferred embodiment of the prefab construction module (100) from Example 1, a modular construction system (400) having a surface area of approximately 128 m2 is obtained.
  • Figs. 7A and 7B represent an assembled modular construction system (400) comprising four prefab construction modules (100) and show how an assembled modular construction system (400) offers a plurality of living spaces after finishing, including a living room, dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a toilet and an entrance, and shows an example of a façade finish consisting of wooden slats and windows. Fig. 11 shows an external view of a finished modular construction system, in which the façade materials are selected in connection with the concrete slab and the visible steel columns and roof component.
  • Figs. 8A, 8B and Fig 12 show a variant of the modular construction system from Fig. 7, in which the assembled modular construction system (400) is supported by piles and furthermore comprises a patio module (530). The piles may be driven into the underground up to a depth of approximately 5 to 10 metres, inter alia depending on the slope of the topsoil. Subsequently, the modular construction system (400) is fully assembled, with each prefab construction module (100) resting on six piles. The modular construction system according to Figs 8A and 8B furthermore comprise a fifth prefab construction module (100) for an additional living space, and a staircase (520). Such assembled modular construction systems (400) are highly suitable for use in a flooded area or on sloping ground; as is illustrated in Fig. 8B.
  • Claims (15)

    1. Transportable prefab construction module (100), comprising
      - a foundation component (200), comprising:
      o a reinforced concrete slab (210), configured as a foundation for the prefab construction module and comprising a concrete slab with a metal, preferably steel, reinforcement mesh;
      o at least four coupling elements (250), in which the coupling elements are configured and positioned in the reinforced concrete slab (210) for coupling a column (325) to the foundation component (200);
      - a structural frame (300), comprising:
      o at least four metal, preferably steel, columns (325) which are positioned at right angles with respect to the reinforced concrete slab (210) and in which a first end of each column is attached to the reinforced concrete slab (210) by the coupling element (250);
      o a top supporting element (360) comprising several metal, preferably steel, rods attached to a second end of neighbouring columns (325) parallel to the reinforced concrete slab (210), forming a rectangular top supporting element (360);
      o at least one roof element (370), in which the roof element (370) is positioned between and attached to the metal, preferably steel, rods of the top supporting element (360), bridging the space between the rods of the top supporting element (360).
    2. Prefab construction module (100) according to Claim 1, in which the structural frame (300) is directly connected with the reinforcement mesh of the reinforced concrete slab (210) by means of the at least four coupling elements (250).
    3. Prefab construction module (100) according to Claim 1 or 2, in which the reinforced concrete slab (210) comprises a recess (260) or a formed or manufactured duct (220) on the underside for utilities and sanitary pipes.
    4. Prefab construction module (100) according to one of the preceding claims, in which a surface area ratio (SAR) is defined as the ratio of a surface defined by the top surface of the foundation component (200) to a surface defined by the rectangular basic surface of the structural frame (300) and in which the SAR varies between 0.9 and 2.0; preferably between 0.95 and 1.5; more preferably between approximately 1 and 1.2; and most preferably the SAR is approximately 1.
    5. Prefab construction module (100) according to one of the preceding claims, furthermore comprising one or more of following elements:
      - at least one and preferably a plurality of wall panels (315) positioned between and attached to the reinforced concrete slab (210) and the top supporting element (360) between two neighbouring columns (325) to form an at least partly and preferably completely closed side wall;
      - at least one and preferably a plurality of roof panels (375), which form part of the roof element (370) and are positioned between the metal rods of the top supporting element (360) to form a closed roof structure;
    6. Prefab construction module (100) according to Claim 4 or 5, furthermore comprising an insulating material adjacent to one or more wall panels (315), one or more roof panels (375) and/or to the reinforced concrete slab (210).
    7. Prefab construction module (100) according to one of the preceding claims, in which the structural frame (300) is bar-shaped and comprising:
      - a basic area having a length of at least 4 m, preferably having a length between 4 and 16 m; more preferably between 6 m and 12 m of between 7 and 10 m; and most preferably is approximately 8 m;
      - a basic area having a width of at least 2 m or 3 m, preferably having a width of between 2 m and 10 m; more preferably between 2.5 m and 8 m of between 3 to 6 m; most preferably between approximately 4 and 5 m of approximately 4 of 5 m is;
      - a height of at least 2 m, preferably of between 2 m and 10 m; more preferably between 2 m to 8 m or between 2 m and 5 m; most preferably between 2.5 m and 4 m or between 2.5 m and 3 m;
      and/or in which the reinforced concrete slab
      - has a height of at least 25 cm, preferably has a height of between 25 cm and 60 cm; more preferably between 30 cm and 50 cm or between 30 cm of 40 cm, and most preferably is approximately 35 cm;
      - has a surface having a length of at least 4 m, preferably having a length of between 4 and 16 m; more preferably between 6 m and 12 m or between 7 and 10 m; most preferably is approximately 8 m; and
      - has a surface having a width of at least 2 m or 3 m, preferably having a width of between 2 m and 10 m; more preferably between 2.5 m and 8 m or between 3 to 6 m; most preferably between approximately 4 and 5 m or is approximately 4 or 5 m.
    8. Prefab construction module (100) according to one of the preceding claims, in which the first end of each column (325) is coupled to the foundation component (200) by at least one bolt anchor, concrete screw, threaded rod and/or reinforcing steel (reinforcing iron).
    9. Prefab construction module (100) according to one of the preceding claims, furthermore comprising a transport element or lifting element (390) configured for displacing the prefab construction module (100); such as one or more hooks, rings, lifting eyes, anchors, wheels, or a combination thereof.
    10. Prefab construction module (100) according to one of the preceding claims, in which the reinforced concrete slab (210) has a concrete density of between 2000 kg/m3 and 3000 kg/m3; preferably between 2300 and 2500 kg/m3.
    11. Modular construction system (400), comprising at least two construction modules (100) according to one of Claims 1-10, in which a first and a second prefab construction module (100) are attached to one another by means of a fastening means.
    12. Modular construction system (400) according to Claim 11, in which the first and the second prefab construction module are attached to one another by one or more fastening means, in which:
      - the reinforced concrete slab (210) and/or the top supporting element (360) of a first and second prefab construction module (100) are configured to be laterally fastened to each other; and/or
      - the modular construction system (400) contains a lateral fastening means (420), configured for fastening two prefab construction modules (100); and/or
      - the modular construction system (400) contains a central fastening means (430), configured for fastening four prefab construction modules (100); and/or
      - the modular construction system (400) furthermore contains a beam (410), preferably a U-shaped beam, attached to a column (325) of a first prefab construction module (100) and to a column (325) of a second prefab construction module (100), in which this beam (410) is configured for absorbing stress or pressure.
    13. Modular construction system (400) according to one of Claims 11 or 12, furthermore comprising a patio module (500) consisting of a second reinforced concrete slab configured for connecting to a first reinforced concrete slab (210) of at least one prefab construction module (100) and positioned parallel to, preferably in line with, the reinforced concrete slab (210) of the adjacent prefab construction module.
    14. Prefab construction module (100) according to one of claims 1 to 10 or the modular construction system (400) according to one of Claims 11 to 13, furthermore comprising a plurality of piles (450) which, in the fitted position, are positioned in the ground and attached to the construction module (100) of the modular construction system (400), with the piles (450) together being configured to completely support the prefab construction module (100) or the modular construction system (400).
    15. Method for manufacturing a prefab construction module according to one of Claims 1 to 10 or the modular construction system (400) according to one of Claims 11 to 13 comprising the following steps:
      (i) providing or manufacturing a reinforced concrete slab (210) as described herein, provided with several coupling elements (250);
      (ii) installing the structural frame and attaching the structural frame (300) to the reinforced concrete slab (210) by means of the coupling elements (250);
      (iii) installing the wall panels (315) and the roof panels (370) to form side walls and the roof structure; and
      (iv) when manufacturing the modular construction system (400), installing various prefab construction modules (100), preferably by means of one or more fastening means (420), to form the modular construction system (400).
    EP16175031.0A 2016-06-17 2016-06-17 Construction module and modular construction system comprising one or more of said construction modules Withdrawn EP3258021A1 (en)

    Priority Applications (1)

    Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
    EP16175031.0A EP3258021A1 (en) 2016-06-17 2016-06-17 Construction module and modular construction system comprising one or more of said construction modules

    Applications Claiming Priority (1)

    Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
    EP16175031.0A EP3258021A1 (en) 2016-06-17 2016-06-17 Construction module and modular construction system comprising one or more of said construction modules

    Publications (1)

    Publication Number Publication Date
    EP3258021A1 true EP3258021A1 (en) 2017-12-20

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    Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
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    Cited By (4)

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    Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
    RU191530U1 (en) * 2018-12-31 2019-08-12 Олеся Алексеевна Бакман MOBILE BUILDING MODULE
    CN112681851A (en) * 2020-12-18 2021-04-20 宁波市电力设计院有限公司 Prefabricated unit assembly structure of large-volume underground structure
    CN112922173A (en) * 2021-04-01 2021-06-08 中建二局第一建筑工程有限公司 Assembly type steel structure building assembly and assembly method
    CN113356364A (en) * 2021-05-20 2021-09-07 郑州工业应用技术学院 Rapid turnover assembly type steel structure and construction method thereof

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    CA1176865A (en) * 1980-10-28 1984-10-30 Bevan J. Riekie Concrete slab
    US6101779A (en) * 1998-05-20 2000-08-15 Space Master Building Systems, Llc Construction unit for a modular building
    WO2006122372A1 (en) * 2005-05-19 2006-11-23 Makulbek Pty Ltd Modular building frame
    EP1826327A1 (en) * 2006-02-28 2007-08-29 Algeco Building structure

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    US4065905A (en) * 1972-08-21 1978-01-03 Lely Cornelis V D Prefabricated building sections or room units and methods for the manufacture of such sections or units
    CA1176865A (en) * 1980-10-28 1984-10-30 Bevan J. Riekie Concrete slab
    US6101779A (en) * 1998-05-20 2000-08-15 Space Master Building Systems, Llc Construction unit for a modular building
    WO2006122372A1 (en) * 2005-05-19 2006-11-23 Makulbek Pty Ltd Modular building frame
    EP1826327A1 (en) * 2006-02-28 2007-08-29 Algeco Building structure

    Cited By (5)

    * Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
    Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
    RU191530U1 (en) * 2018-12-31 2019-08-12 Олеся Алексеевна Бакман MOBILE BUILDING MODULE
    CN112681851A (en) * 2020-12-18 2021-04-20 宁波市电力设计院有限公司 Prefabricated unit assembly structure of large-volume underground structure
    CN112922173A (en) * 2021-04-01 2021-06-08 中建二局第一建筑工程有限公司 Assembly type steel structure building assembly and assembly method
    CN112922173B (en) * 2021-04-01 2022-07-15 中建二局第一建筑工程有限公司 Assembly type steel structure building assembly and assembly method
    CN113356364A (en) * 2021-05-20 2021-09-07 郑州工业应用技术学院 Rapid turnover assembly type steel structure and construction method thereof

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