US20070068091A1 - Connector for modular building system - Google Patents

Connector for modular building system Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070068091A1
US20070068091A1 US11/527,264 US52726406A US2007068091A1 US 20070068091 A1 US20070068091 A1 US 20070068091A1 US 52726406 A US52726406 A US 52726406A US 2007068091 A1 US2007068091 A1 US 2007068091A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
connector
primary portion
flange
perforations
hand
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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.)
Abandoned
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US11/527,264
Inventor
Jerry Toney
Verla Toney
Phillip Burdick
Original Assignee
Toney Jerry L
Toney Verla A
Burdick Phillip A
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US72012405P priority Critical
Application filed by Toney Jerry L, Toney Verla A, Burdick Phillip A filed Critical Toney Jerry L
Priority to US11/527,264 priority patent/US20070068091A1/en
Publication of US20070068091A1 publication Critical patent/US20070068091A1/en
Abandoned 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
    • E04B1/18Structures comprising elongated load-supporting parts, e.g. columns, girders, skeletons
    • E04B1/26Structures comprising elongated load-supporting parts, e.g. columns, girders, skeletons the supporting parts consisting of wood
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04BGENERAL BUILDING CONSTRUCTIONS; WALLS, e.g. PARTITIONS; ROOFS; FLOORS; CEILINGS; INSULATION OR OTHER PROTECTION OF BUILDINGS
    • E04B7/00Roofs; Roof construction with regard to insulation
    • E04B7/02Roofs; Roof construction with regard to insulation with plane sloping surfaces, e.g. saddle roofs
    • E04B7/022Roofs; Roof construction with regard to insulation with plane sloping surfaces, e.g. saddle roofs consisting of a plurality of parallel similar trusses or portal frames
    • E04B7/024Roofs; Roof construction with regard to insulation with plane sloping surfaces, e.g. saddle roofs consisting of a plurality of parallel similar trusses or portal frames the trusses or frames supporting load-bearing purlins, e.g. braced purlins
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04BGENERAL BUILDING CONSTRUCTIONS; WALLS, e.g. PARTITIONS; ROOFS; FLOORS; CEILINGS; INSULATION OR OTHER PROTECTION OF BUILDINGS
    • E04B7/00Roofs; Roof construction with regard to insulation
    • E04B7/02Roofs; Roof construction with regard to insulation with plane sloping surfaces, e.g. saddle roofs
    • E04B7/04Roofs; Roof construction with regard to insulation with plane sloping surfaces, e.g. saddle roofs supported by horizontal beams or the equivalent resting on the walls
    • E04B7/045Roofs; Roof construction with regard to insulation with plane sloping surfaces, e.g. saddle roofs supported by horizontal beams or the equivalent resting on the walls with connectors made of sheet metal for connecting the roof structure to the supporting wall
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04CSTRUCTURAL ELEMENTS; BUILDING MATERIALS
    • E04C3/00Structural elongated elements designed for load-supporting
    • E04C3/02Joists; Girders, trusses, or trusslike structures, e.g. prefabricated; Lintels; Transoms; Braces
    • E04C3/12Joists; Girders, trusses, or trusslike structures, e.g. prefabricated; Lintels; Transoms; Braces of wood, e.g. with reinforcements, with tensioning members
    • E04C3/17Joists; Girders, trusses, or trusslike structures, e.g. prefabricated; Lintels; Transoms; Braces of wood, e.g. with reinforcements, with tensioning members with non-parallel upper and lower edges, e.g. roof trusses
    • 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
    • E04B1/18Structures comprising elongated load-supporting parts, e.g. columns, girders, skeletons
    • E04B1/26Structures comprising elongated load-supporting parts, e.g. columns, girders, skeletons the supporting parts consisting of wood
    • E04B1/2604Connections specially adapted therefor
    • E04B1/2608Connectors made from folded sheet metal
    • 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
    • E04B1/18Structures comprising elongated load-supporting parts, e.g. columns, girders, skeletons
    • E04B1/26Structures comprising elongated load-supporting parts, e.g. columns, girders, skeletons the supporting parts consisting of wood
    • E04B1/2604Connections specially adapted therefor
    • E04B2001/268Connection to foundations
    • 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
    • E04B1/18Structures comprising elongated load-supporting parts, e.g. columns, girders, skeletons
    • E04B1/26Structures comprising elongated load-supporting parts, e.g. columns, girders, skeletons the supporting parts consisting of wood
    • E04B1/2604Connections specially adapted therefor
    • E04B2001/268Connection to foundations
    • E04B2001/2684Connection to foundations with metal connectors

Abstract

A connector for use in joining structural members is disclosed herein. The connector comprises a planar sheet having a primary portion and a flange. Said sheet contains a series of perforations between the primary portion and the flange, the perforations of configurations and dimensions sufficient to allow a user to bend the flange relative to the primary portion by hand. Bending by hand may be done manually, using one's bare hands, hand tools, a combination of both hand tools and one's bare hands, or another mechanical device to assist one in bending after shipping.

Description

    PRIORITY OF INVENTION
  • This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. 119(c) from U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/720124, filed Sep. 23, 2005, which application is incorporated herein by reference.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Conventional building practice for residential and commercial buildings relies primarily on frame construction in which the frame is constructed on site from pieces which are individually cut to fit. It is a labor-intensive process and demands considerable skill from skilled workers.
  • Prefabricated building systems have become popular for many reasons, including (nonexclusively) ease and speed of assembly, beneficial strength characteristics, material selection, longevity of the finished structure, and cost. These prefabricated systems provide clear benefits over the conventional construction method of creating components and assembling a structure piece-by-piece at a construction site, as this conventional method requires a skilled crew and expensive equipment. Both of these requirements significantly add to cost of the structure and construction time. However, prefabricated (or “modular”) building systems typically have increased transport and shipping costs due to their typically cumbersome configurations and the fact that shipping costs are generally predicated on the volume of the materials shipped, rather than their weight. Further, modular building systems (especially those made of light gauge metal) generally do not provide rounded comers, though rounded comers may provide both structural and aesthetic benefits.
  • The parts of a steel frame building are typically built to order in accordance with architectural plans, then trucked to the building site and assembled piece-by-piece with the use of a truck-mounted crane. This type of construction has many advantages, but it is expensive because of the skilled crew and expensive equipment needed to assemble the building.
  • Some builders have reduced their material and labor costs by using light-weight steel channels in sizes equal or close to wood standards. This method permits the use of standard building components such as interior and exterior sheathing, insulation, doors, windows, stairs and similar components. Innovation has been responsible for an increased number of patents issued on modular building systems and components used in such systems. For example, many patents have been issued on building trusses. Sheppard, U.S. Pat. No. 4,616,453, discloses a light gauge steel building system and truss design. Wormser, U.S. Pat. No. 3,462,895, discloses a symmetrical shelter truss. Davenport, U.S. Pat. No. 4,435,940 discloses a metal building truss employing top and bottom cords made of channel steel material. Funk, U.S. Pat. No. Des. 297,864, discloses a bolt-together truss assembly employing channel steel members. Dividoff, U.S. Pat. No. 4,748,784, discloses a triangulated roof truss structure.
  • Many building systems employ specialized brackets for establishing connective joints between standardized, dimensional structural members. Brackets formed from sheet metal are popular for joining dimensional wood lumber. Such brackets are disclosed in Gilb, U.S. Pat. No. 5,372,448 and Southerland, U.S. Pat. No. 4,335,555. Two patents issued to Fritz, U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,9041,496 and 4,930,268, disclose building brackets. The former is a two-piece roof peak bracket and the latter, a two-piece post-to-roof beam bracket. Andrews, U.S. Pat. No. 4,773,192, discloses brackets used to connect structural members with interlocking or indexing shapes. Dufour, U.S. Pat. No. 4,974,387, discloses a prefabricated joint used to join steel trusses and dimensional steel members. McElhoe, U.S. Pat. No. 4,041,659, discloses a metal building structure employing tabs and brackets for securing structural steel members. Hale, U.S. Pat. No. 4,809,480 discloses a set of brackets used to join rafters, at the peak, to the columns and the columns to a supporting surface. Brown, U.S. Pat. No. 3,717,964, discloses a modular building frame system employing indexing tabs and stops to facilitate assembly. Gibson, U.S. Pat. No. 6,047,513 describes a steel construction system that purports to minimize parts through the use of connectors with variable geometry.
  • The patent art for building systems consists in large part of prefabricated systems. Trusses and frames are manufactured at a central site and shipped to the construction site. For example, Hays, U.S. Pat. No. 5,983,577, discloses a method for forming a modular building system using only nine prefabricated members and three multipurpose connectors, wherein the trusses and frames are prefabricated for later erection in the field. While saving costs by prefabrication, the cost of erecting the buildings is then significantly affected by the cost of transporting the prefabricated building components to the site. This cost is often relatively high because building fabrications, such as trusses, are typically cumbersome to transport and shipping costs are usually predicated on the volume of the materials shipped, rather than their weight. Prefabrication also limits the use of steel framing to producing multiple copies of one design and is generally not applicable to single applications of a specific architectural design.
  • SUMMARY
  • A connector is disclosed for use in a building system. The three-dimensional aspect of the present invention's connectors offers an exceptional advantage over existing flat or two-dimensional connectors. For example, the connectors of the present invention can be used to connect to structural members or channel members. Generally the connectors attach to three sides of dimensional lumber and to all three sides, both flanges and the web, of the channel members, for example C-channels. As a result, the connectors offer additional connective strength and rigidity. Trusses using these unique three-dimensional connectors can be used in light-gauge construction for both commercial and residential purposes.
  • In a preferred embodiment, the connector comprises a sheet having a primary portion and a plurality of flanges. The sheet defines a perforation between the primary portion and the flange so that the flange may be bent relative to the primary portion, preferably hand, which may be done manually, using one's bare hands, hand tools, a combination of both hand tools and one's bare hands, or another mechanical device to assist one in bending after shipping.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 shows various connectors incorporated in a modular system, according to a preferred embodiment.
  • FIG. 2 a shows various connectors incorporated in a modular system, according to a preferred embodiment.
  • FIG. 2 b shows a T connector in use in FIG. 2 a.
  • FIG. 3 shows a cornice connector according to a preferred embodiment.
  • FIG. 4 shows a strap connector in an example of operation.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • A connector 100 for use in a modular system 10 may be configured as a T connector 100 a (as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2), a Y connector, an L connector, a cornice connector 100 b (as shown in FIGS. 1-3), a strap connector 100 c (as shown in FIGS. 1 and 4), or a connector having any other useful shape. The connector 100 is preferably constructed of a light gauge steel, though other suitable materials may be used.
  • The connector 100 may be manufactured as a two-dimensional sheet with a primary portion 102 and one or more flanges 104, as shown in FIG. 3. The flange 104 may either be bent relative to the primary portion 102 as part of the manufacturing process, or the connector 100 may be shipped as a two-dimensional sheet and the flange 104 may be bent later to facilitate shipping. The connector 100 may include perforations 106 of configuration and dimensions to enable the flange 104 to be easily bent, and preferably to be bent by hand. The perforations 106 are preferably located at the point where the primary portion 102 meets the flange 104, as shown in FIG. 3, and the perforations 106 are of dimensions and configurations such that they do not materially weaken the strength of the connector 100. A channel 110 results when opposing flanges 104 are bent relative to the primary portion 102 (FIG. 1). Predefined holes or dimples 107 may be included to facilitate fastening.
  • As shown in FIG. 1, the cornice connector 100 b may include a plurality of weather strips or tie down straps 108 extending downwardly from the primary portion 102 so that the cornice connector 100 b may be securely fastened to the member 12 (i.e., exterior stud). The weather strips or tie down straps 108 and the primary portion 102 are constructed as one continuous piece.
  • In an example of operation, a plurality of connectors 100 may be delivered to a construction site as planar sheets, thereby minimizing shipping costs, and the flanges 104 may then be selectively bent in relation to the primary portions 102 to form three-dimensional connectors 100 having channels 110. The perforations 106 allow the flanges 104 to be bent by hand. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, the strap connector 100 c may be embedded in a poured foundation 16 and connected to the floor plate 14 and member 12 using fasteners 15 such as screws, bolts and nuts, rivets, pneumatically driven fasteners, or powder actuated fasteners, or by crimping, clinching, or welding. Screws may or may not be self drilling and self tapping. The members 12 (i.e., I-beams, C-beams, beams with rectangular cross-sections) may be inserted in the channels 110 of the T connectors 110 a and the cornice connectors 100 b and connected to the T connectors 100 a and cornice connectors 100 b, respectively, with fasteners as described above.
  • As shown in FIG. 1, The channels 110 may ensure that the members 12 are correctly positioned, and the channels 110 may ensure that a truss 11 in the system 10 maintains a desired pitch. As shown in FIG. 3, the cornice connector 100 b may include a cutout 105 adjacent an internal flange 104 a so that when the flange 104 is folded in relation to the primary portion 102, the internal flange 104 a acts as a stop for the adjacent member 12, ensuring that the adjacent member 12 is positioned at the appropriate location.
  • As shown in FIG. 4, the connector may be configured with openings or holes, as shown in FIG. 1 14. These openings allow the primary portion of the connector to be embedded in a poured foundation. Once the primary portion is embedded in the foundation, the strap may be connected to a structural member outside the foundation using fasteners, as shown in FIG. 4.
  • As shown in FIG. 3, the cornice connectors 100 b may then be connected to exterior studs 12 (illustrated by arrows 2) by utilizing the straps 108 and fasteners. The exterior studs 12 may be attached to the strap 14, as illustrated by arrows 4 (FIGS. 1. and 4). As shown in FIGS. 2 a and 2 b, battens 13 may also be fastened to and/or supported by connectors 100, creating a 3-dimensional structure. As shown in FIG. 3, the cornice connector 100 b may have a rounded end 120, which may reduce the upward force that may be applied by wind and also provide aesthetic benefits.
  • T connectors 100 a and cornice connectors 100 b having angles configured to result in a truss 11 having a predetermined length and pitch may be combined into a set, and other T connectors 100 a and cornice connectors 100 b having angles configured to result in trusses having different predetermined lengths and pitches may be combined into different sets. A builder may then choose a set appropriate for the desired use.
  • The invention herein describes connector for use in joining structural members in erecting a building. The connector comprises a planar sheet having a primary portion and a flange. Said sheet contains a series of perforations between the primary portion and the flange the perforations of configurations and dimensions sufficient to allow a user to bend the flange relative to the primary portion by hand. Bending by hand may be done manually, using one's bare hands, hand tools, a combination of both hand tools and one's bare hands, or another mechanical device to assist one in bending after shipping.
  • Those skilled in the art appreciate that variations from the specified embodiments disclosed above are contemplated herein. The description should not be restricted to the above embodiments, but should be measured by the following claims.

Claims (13)

1. A connector for use in joining structural members in erecting a building, the connector comprising a planar sheet having a primary portion and a flange, the sheet defining a series of perforations between the primary portion and the flange, the perforations of configurations and dimensions sufficient to allow a user to bend the flange relative to the primary portion by hand.
2. A connector according to claim 1, wherein said series of perforations define a plurality of flanges, such that the flanges may be bent by hand in either the same direction or opposite directions of each other from the planar sheet.
3. A connector according to claim 1, wherein said connector is a T connector.
4. A connector according to claim 1, wherein said connector is a Y connector.
5. A connector according to claim 1, wherein said connector is an L connector.
6. A connector according to claim 1, wherein said connector is a cornice connector.
7. A connector according to claim 6, wherein said connector comprises a plurality of straps extending from the primary portion of the connector.
8. A connector according to claim 7, wherein said connector comprises a plurality of straps extending from the primary portion of the connector, where said straps are configured to be fastened to the member.
9. A connector according to claim 1, wherein said connector is a strap connector.
10. A connector according to claim 9, wherein said connector is configured with openings in the primary portion of the connector allowing said portion of the connector to be embedded in a poured foundation and wherein the strap is configured for connecting to a structural member using fasteners selected from a group consisting of screws, bolts and nuts, rivets, pneumatically driven fasteners, powder actuated fasteners, crimping, clinching, and welding.
11. A method for joining structural members in erecting a building comprising the steps of:
providing a connector comprising a planar sheet having a primary portion and a flange, the sheet defining a series of perforations between the primary portion and the flange the perforations of configurations and dimensions sufficient to allow a user to bend the flange relative to the primary portion by hand;
selectively bending said flange by hand in relation to primary portion to form a three dimensional connector having channels; and
securing the connector to the structural member.
12. The method of claim 11, wherein the step of providing a connector comprising a planar sheet having a primary portion and a flange, the sheet defining a series of perforations between the primary portion and the flange the perforations of configurations and dimensions sufficient to allow a user to bend the flange relative to the primary portion by hand, includes providing a T-connector.
13. The method of claim 11, wherein the step of providing a connector comprising a planar sheet having a primary portion and a flange, the sheet defining a series of perforations between the primary portion and the flange the perforations of configurations and dimensions sufficient to allow a user to bend the flange relative to the primary portion by hand, includes providing a cornice connector.
US11/527,264 2005-09-23 2006-09-25 Connector for modular building system Abandoned US20070068091A1 (en)

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Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20100132302A1 (en) * 2008-12-03 2010-06-03 Byam Jr Edward T Construction layout guide
WO2018169510A1 (en) * 2017-03-13 2018-09-20 Janabi Majid Zaydan Khalaf Reproducible building structure with integrated solar energy system

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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
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US20100132302A1 (en) * 2008-12-03 2010-06-03 Byam Jr Edward T Construction layout guide
WO2018169510A1 (en) * 2017-03-13 2018-09-20 Janabi Majid Zaydan Khalaf Reproducible building structure with integrated solar energy system

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