US20070245640A1 - Building Structure and Modular Construction - Google Patents

Building Structure and Modular Construction Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070245640A1
US20070245640A1 US11739585 US73958507A US2007245640A1 US 20070245640 A1 US20070245640 A1 US 20070245640A1 US 11739585 US11739585 US 11739585 US 73958507 A US73958507 A US 73958507A US 2007245640 A1 US2007245640 A1 US 2007245640A1
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Prior art keywords
frameless
load bearing
wall
panels
panel
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.)
Abandoned
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US11739585
Inventor
Tonny Bergqvist
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Euretech International Pty Ltd
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Euretech International Pty Ltd
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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04CSTRUCTURAL ELEMENTS; BUILDING MATERIALS
    • E04C2/00Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels
    • E04C2/02Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by specified materials
    • E04C2/26Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by specified materials composed of materials covered by two or more of groups E04C2/04, E04C2/08, E04C2/10 or of materials covered by one of these groups with a material not specified in one of the groups
    • E04C2/284Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by specified materials composed of materials covered by two or more of groups E04C2/04, E04C2/08, E04C2/10 or of materials covered by one of these groups with a material not specified in one of the groups at least one of the materials being insulating
    • E04C2/288Building elements of relatively thin form for the construction of parts of buildings, e.g. sheet materials, slabs, or panels characterised by specified materials composed of materials covered by two or more of groups E04C2/04, E04C2/08, E04C2/10 or of materials covered by one of these groups with a material not specified in one of the groups at least one of the materials being insulating composed of insulating material and concrete, stone or stone-like material
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
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    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B13/00Layered products comprising a a layer of water-setting substance, e.g. concrete, plaster, asbestos cement, or like builders' material
    • B32B13/02Layered products comprising a a layer of water-setting substance, e.g. concrete, plaster, asbestos cement, or like builders' material with fibres or particles being present as additives in the layer
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
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    • B32B13/00Layered products comprising a a layer of water-setting substance, e.g. concrete, plaster, asbestos cement, or like builders' material
    • B32B13/04Layered products comprising a a layer of water-setting substance, e.g. concrete, plaster, asbestos cement, or like builders' material comprising such water setting substance as the main or only constituent of a layer, which is next to another layer of the same or of a different material
    • B32B13/045Layered products comprising a a layer of water-setting substance, e.g. concrete, plaster, asbestos cement, or like builders' material comprising such water setting substance as the main or only constituent of a layer, which is next to another layer of the same or of a different material of foam
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
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    • B32B13/00Layered products comprising a a layer of water-setting substance, e.g. concrete, plaster, asbestos cement, or like builders' material
    • B32B13/04Layered products comprising a a layer of water-setting substance, e.g. concrete, plaster, asbestos cement, or like builders' material comprising such water setting substance as the main or only constituent of a layer, which is next to another layer of the same or of a different material
    • B32B13/06Layered products comprising a a layer of water-setting substance, e.g. concrete, plaster, asbestos cement, or like builders' material comprising such water setting substance as the main or only constituent of a layer, which is next to another layer of the same or of a different material of metal
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
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    • B32B15/00Layered products comprising a layer of metal
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    • B32B21/00Layered products comprising a layer of wood, e.g. wood board, veneer, wood particle board
    • B32B21/14Layered products comprising a layer of wood, e.g. wood board, veneer, wood particle board comprising wood board or veneer
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
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    • B32B3/00Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form
    • B32B3/02Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form characterised by features of form at particular places, e.g. in edge regions
    • B32B3/06Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form characterised by features of form at particular places, e.g. in edge regions for securing layers together; for attaching the product to another member, e.g. to a support, or to another product, e.g. groove/tongue, interlocking
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
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    • B32B3/02Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form characterised by features of form at particular places, e.g. in edge regions
    • B32B3/08Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form characterised by features of form at particular places, e.g. in edge regions characterised by added members at particular parts
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B3/00Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form
    • B32B3/26Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form characterised by a particular shape of the outline of the cross-section of a continuous layer; characterised by a layer with cavities or internal voids ; characterised by an apertured layer
    • B32B3/30Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form characterised by a particular shape of the outline of the cross-section of a continuous layer; characterised by a layer with cavities or internal voids ; characterised by an apertured layer characterised by a layer formed with recesses or projections, e.g. hollows, grooves, protuberances, ribs
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B5/00Layered products characterised by the non- homogeneity or physical structure, i.e. comprising a fibrous, filamentary, particulate or foam layer; Layered products characterised by having a layer differing constitutionally or physically in different parts
    • B32B5/18Layered products characterised by the non- homogeneity or physical structure, i.e. comprising a fibrous, filamentary, particulate or foam layer; Layered products characterised by having a layer differing constitutionally or physically in different parts characterised by features of a layer of foamed material
    • B32B5/20Layered products characterised by the non- homogeneity or physical structure, i.e. comprising a fibrous, filamentary, particulate or foam layer; Layered products characterised by having a layer differing constitutionally or physically in different parts characterised by features of a layer of foamed material foamed in situ
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B7/00Layered products characterised by the relation between layers, i.e. products comprising layers having different physical properties and products characterised by the interconnection of layers
    • B32B7/04Layered products characterised by the relation between layers, i.e. products comprising layers having different physical properties and products characterised by the interconnection of layers characterised by the connection of layers
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B7/00Layered products characterised by the relation between layers, i.e. products comprising layers having different physical properties and products characterised by the interconnection of layers
    • B32B7/04Layered products characterised by the relation between layers, i.e. products comprising layers having different physical properties and products characterised by the interconnection of layers characterised by the connection of layers
    • B32B7/08Layered products characterised by the relation between layers, i.e. products comprising layers having different physical properties and products characterised by the interconnection of layers characterised by the connection of layers by mechanical connection, e.g. stitching
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B7/00Layered products characterised by the relation between layers, i.e. products comprising layers having different physical properties and products characterised by the interconnection of layers
    • B32B7/04Layered products characterised by the relation between layers, i.e. products comprising layers having different physical properties and products characterised by the interconnection of layers characterised by the connection of layers
    • B32B7/12Layered products characterised by the relation between layers, i.e. products comprising layers having different physical properties and products characterised by the interconnection of layers characterised by the connection of layers using an adhesive, i.e. any interposed material having adhesive or bonding properties
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E02HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING; FOUNDATIONS; SOIL SHIFTING
    • E02DFOUNDATIONS; EXCAVATIONS; EMBANKMENTS; UNDERGROUND OR UNDERWATER STRUCTURES
    • E02D27/00Foundations as substructures
    • E02D27/10Deep foundations
    • E02D27/12Pile foundations
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E02HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING; FOUNDATIONS; SOIL SHIFTING
    • E02DFOUNDATIONS; EXCAVATIONS; EMBANKMENTS; UNDERGROUND OR UNDERWATER STRUCTURES
    • E02D5/00Bulkheads, piles, or other structural elements specially adapted to foundation engineering
    • E02D5/22Piles
    • E02D5/56Screw piles
    • 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
    • E04B1/02Structures consisting primarily of load-supporting, block-shaped, or slab-shaped elements
    • E04B1/14Structures consisting primarily of load-supporting, block-shaped, or slab-shaped elements the elements being composed of two or more materials
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2250/00Layers arrangement
    • B32B2250/033 layers
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2250/00Layers arrangement
    • B32B2250/40Symmetrical or sandwich layers, e.g. ABA, ABCBA, ABCCBA
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2260/00Impregnation or embedding of a layer; Bonding a fibrous, filamentary or particulate layer by using a binder
    • B32B2260/02Composition of the impregnated, bonded or embedded layer
    • B32B2260/021Fibrous or filamentary layer
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2260/00Impregnation or embedding of a layer; Bonding a fibrous, filamentary or particulate layer by using a binder
    • B32B2260/04Impregnation material
    • B32B2260/044Water-setting substance, e.g. concrete, plaster
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2266/00Composition of foam
    • B32B2266/02Organic
    • B32B2266/0214Materials belonging to B32B27/00
    • B32B2266/0278Polyurethane
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2307/00Properties of the layers or laminate
    • B32B2307/50Properties of the layers or laminate having particular mechanical properties
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2307/00Properties of the layers or laminate
    • B32B2307/70Other properties
    • B32B2307/732Dimensional properties
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    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
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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
    • E04B1/35Extraordinary methods of construction, e.g. lift-slab, jack-block
    • E04B2001/3583Extraordinary methods of construction, e.g. lift-slab, jack-block using permanent tensioning means, e.g. cables or rods, to assemble or rigidify structures (not pre- or poststressing concrete), e.g. by tying them around the structure

Abstract

Among other things, a load bearing wall structure for a building is disclosed. The load bearing wall structure includes frameless modular wall panels with each frameless wall panel having spaced skins of fiber reinforced cement sheet separated by a core of expanded in situ high density polyurethane foam bonded to inner faces of the spaced skins. Each frameless wall panel also has formed in upright edges a recessed channel forming, together with a recessed channel of an edge-abutting wall panel, a hollow aperture extending between top and bottom surfaces of the abutting frameless wall panels. A lower panel edge locating channel member securable to a building support base is also included. Further included is an upper panel edge locating channel member and a tensionable element extending via each hollow aperture between an anchor member secured to the base and the upper panel edge locating channel member.

Description

    CLAIM OF PRIORITY
  • This is a Continuation-In-Part application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/473,913, filed on Oct. 5, 2003, the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The following disclosure relates to building structures. In particular, the disclosure relates to building structures employing modular frameless load bearing structural panels and also to an improved construction system for assembling such modular panels to form a load bearing structure.
  • BACKGROUND
  • The prior art is replete with modular building structures and associated construction methods, many of which suffer from a variety of problems. Amongst such problems are included the complexity and labour intensity of assembling elaborate framing systems to which modular panels are attached, the inconvenience attendant the use of plural individual fasteners to fix structural panels to one another, and the inferior load bearing capacity of many modular structures.
  • An example of a prior art modular construction arrangement which employs a plurality of fasteners is U.S. Pat. No. 4,858,398 which discloses a structure using proportionally sized panels secured together by turn-lock fasteners inserted through aligned openings in adjacent sides of panels.
  • A further exemplary prior art construction arrangement is that disclosed in French Patent Document Number 2 389 724. This document discloses a modular building using panels having adjacent vertical sides of complementary shapes. The panels are joined together by screws and are reinforced with metal plates at the location of the joints.
  • Generally speaking, modular wall construction systems incorporating interfitting or interlocking panel systems may be classified as load bearing or non-load bearing.
  • Examples of non-load bearing modular wall constructions are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,511,000; 3,512,819; 4,031,675; 5,094,053 and 6,679,021 which are limited either to internal partitioning or dividing walls or otherwise require a load bearing framework to support a roof structure or the like thereon.
  • U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,007,222 and 5,640,824 describe load bearing modular wall structures. In U.S. Pat. No. 5,007,222, there is described an energy efficient load bearing wall construction comprising foamed plastic panels having load bearing studs located between or formed integrally with upright joints between adjacent panels. U.S. Pat. No. 5,640,824 discloses a fire resistant modular wall panel having corrugated or ribbed metal sheets separated by a plurality of bridge girt assemblies in the form of elongate brace members with non-combustible, thermally insulating spacers connecting the webs of the brace members to effect a compound metal/ceramic structure wherein structural loads are borne substantially by the exterior metal rib skin. The outer skins are secured to the brace members by rows of self-drilling/self-tapping screws and the interior cavity may be an air space or it may include a mineral wool-type insulating medium.
  • Australian Patent 118357 discloses a modular building construction utilizing cored precast concrete wall panels with an upper channel to receive a horizontally tensionable member over the length of the wall. A truss-like frieze frame sits atop the wall panels.
  • Australian Patent Application No 71777/74 describes a lightweight modular panel system comprising a foamed plastics core between decorative sheet styrene skins. These panels include spaced vertical cavities within the core and recessed channel-like apertures on all edges to receive steel reinforcing rods and poured concrete to form a load bearing panel with a steel reinforced concrete framing there within.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,754,999 discloses a modular system comprising a plurality of metal framed load bearing walls fabricated from C-shaped studs and roof trusses connected by welding or self-tapping screws. Inner and outer walls may be finished with gypsum wallboard and weather resistant plywood respectively.
  • Another building system for constructing lightweight preformed wall and roof panels for small dwellings and mobile homes is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,898,779. This system incorporates interlocking panels having a high density polyurethane core between decorative skins such as styrene sheets with decorative finishes. Although the wall panels are secured under compression by tensioned tie bolts extending through spaced cast-in tubes between a contoured upper tie bar and a base structure, the load bearing capacity of the panels is contributed by the provision of flat load bearing surfaces in the upper and lower edges of the panel members.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,687,956 describes a reinforced fence and building wall construction with lightweight sandwich panels supported at their ends between spaced upright tubular posts.
  • A method and apparatus for manufacturing foamed plastics laminated panels for modular building applications is disclosed in the applicant's Australian Patent No. 620338, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference. Panels manufactured in the manner described therein are an example of those suitable for use with the present disclosure. One particular advantage of the applicant's previously disclosed method is that the panels may be conveniently fabricated at the building site.
  • SUMMARY
  • Techniques related to a building structure and modular construction method are disclosed.
  • In one aspect, a load bearing wall structure for a building includes frameless modular wall panels, with each frameless wall panel having spaced skins of fiber reinforced cement sheet separated by a core of expanded in situ high density polyurethane foam bonded to inner faces of said spaced skins. In addition, each frameless wall panel also has formed in upright edges thereof a recessed channel forming, together with a recessed channel of an edge-abutting wall panel, a hollow aperture extending between top and bottom surfaces of said abutting frameless wall panels. The load bearing wall structure also includes a lower panel edge locating channel member securable to a building support base. Further, the load bearing wall structure includes an upper panel edge locating channel member and a tensionable element extending via each hollow aperture between an anchor member secured to said base and said upper panel edge locating channel member whereby, in use, vertical loads applied to said wall structure are distributed substantially evenly through said spaced skins of said frameless modular wall panels.
  • Implementations can optionally include one or more of the following features. The upper panel edge locating channel member can include a load transfer member. Also, the load transfer member can also include the upper panel edge locating channel member and a compression member, in use, acting in unison. In addition, one or more of the frameless wall panels can each include an elongate hollow aperture extending between upper and lower edges of said one or more frameless panels intermediate side edges thereof. Further, the elongate hollow aperture can extend adjacent a normally upright edge of the one or more frameless wall panels to accommodate a tensionable element. Also, the load bearing wall structure can further include a ribbed edge locating member securable to a face of a frameless wall panel to engage a recessed channel of a further frameless wall panel to form a 90° junction between the frameless wall panel and the further frameless wall panel. The ribbed edge locating member can include a channel-like recess behind a projecting rib extending longitudinally of the ribbed edge locating member, the channel-like recess, in use, being adapted to accommodate a tensionable element therein. Also, the ribbed edge locating member can include a mounting flange extending longitudinally thereof. Further, in use, a roof structure can be secured directly to the upper panel edge locating channel member to form an integrally coupled building structure.
  • According to another aspect of the invention there is provided a building structure incorporating the load bearing wall structure as hereinbefore described, the building structure having a roof structure mechanically coupled to said base via said tensionable elements.
  • The subject matter described in this specification provides many advantages. For example, a building structure employing load bearing frameless modular panels which overcomes or ameliorates at least some of the problems associated with the prior art are provided.
  • Other features, objects, and advantages will be evident from the following description, drawings and from the claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1A is a front elevation view of an exemplary building structure;
  • FIG. 1B is an end elevation view of the building structure of FIG. 1A;
  • FIG. 1C is a schematic plan view of the building structure of FIGS. 1A and 1B showing the arrangement of frameless modular panels comprising the walls;
  • FIG. 2A is an enlarged partial sectional view of a base structure showing the junction of the floor structure with an outer wall;
  • FIG. 2B is an enlarged sectional view of the portion of FIG. 2A in the circle;
  • FIG. 3A is an exploded isometric view illustrating the erection of frameless, modular panels to form a wall, wherein the top load transfer member is an upper panel edge locating member;
  • FIG. 3B is an exploded isometric view illustrating the erection of frameless modular panels to form a wall, wherein the top load transfer member comprises an upper panel edge locating member and a compression member;
  • FIG. 3C is an enlarged detail view of an optional arrangement for locating the bottom edges of the frameless modular panels;
  • FIGS. 4A and 4B are enlarged sectional plan views of the aligned panels showing the configuration of the positive positioning profiles on the frameless modular panels;
  • FIG. 5 is an enlarged partial sectional view of the roof area showing an arrangement of the fascia;
  • FIG. 6A is an end elevation of a modular roof panel;
  • FIG. 6B is an enlarged detailed view of the showing the positioning profiles on the roof panels; and
  • FIG. 7 is an exploded isometric view showing the arrangement of corner junctions and tee-junctions of the walls.
  • Like reference symbols and designations in the various drawings indicate like elements.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • In general, FIG. 1 shows a building structure 1 in the nature of a small dwelling which may be constructed. The structure includes a base 2, a number of walls 3 and a roof 4. The walls, whether external or entirely internal, are composed of modular panels 5. The modular panels are fabricated to a typical module size of 900 mm wide by 3.0 m high. In some situations larger panels may be used, particularly to accommodate the pitch of a roof. The modular panels are secured to the base by tensionable tie rods (described later) which are disposed along the walls at 900 mm centres 6. Additional tie rods are disposed at the sides of openings in the walls 7 and at the corners 8 of the building structure.
  • The wall panels may be erected on a concrete slab or timber floor structure or, as illustrated in FIG. 2A, on a floor structure comprising a panel support frame supported by screw-in foundations. In the latter arrangement, the walls 3 are supported in locating channels 12 by an inverted T-shaped frame member 10 mounted on screw-in foundations 11.
  • Floor panels 9 are also mounted on the inverted T-shaped member 10 and the floor panels 9 are generally attached via screws 17A extending into a transverse support flange of member 10.
  • FIG. 2B is an enlarged view of the region of wall support encircled in FIG. 2A and shows a lower panel edge locating channel 12, in the form of a C section member, mounted on the outer support flange of the inverted T-shaped member 10 with the modular wall panels 5 located therein. Threaded studs 13, for securing respective tie rods 14, are fastened to the horizontal face of the outer flange of the inverted T-shaped member 10 by welding, screwing or the like and protrude via apertures 17 through the wall locating channel 12 into an upright hollow aperture 16 formed at the abutting edge junctions of adjacent panels 5 for engagement with a nut 15 fastened to the end of each tensionable tie rod 14.
  • The overall arrangement of the load bearing wall structure may be better understood by reference to the exploded views shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B. Individual wall panels 5 are erected and aligned such that abutting recessed panel edge channels 16 a together define hollow apertures 16 which align with studs 13 and co-operating apertures 17 in the wall locating channel 12.
  • Each tie rod 14 with attached joining nut 15 is inserted into a respective longitudinal aperture 16 and engaged with a respective stud 13 anchored in base 2. A top member in the form of an inverted channel 19 locates the upper portions of panels 5 in edge to edge alignment and also functions as a load transfer member for vertically applied loads. Apertures 22 in the top member 19, are sized to accommodate the shaft of the tie rods 14 and are spaced so as to correspond to the spacing of studs 13 whereby the upper ends of the rods 14 protrude through apertures 22 in the top member 19 when it is positioned over the modular wall panels. The upper end of the tie rods 14 is screw-threaded and engageable with a nut 23 to facilitate the tensioning thereof. The nuts 23 are engaged with the rods and tightened against the top member 19 to place the wall structure into compression to a desired degree.
  • FIG. 3B illustrates the partial completion of a wall, similar to that of FIG. 3A, but wherein the top member comprises, in combination, an upper panel edge locating channel 20 and a compression member 21. The compression member 21 is located over channel member 20. Apertures 22 and 22A in both the channel member 20 and compression member 21 respectively, are sized to accommodate the shaft of the tie rods 14 and are spaced so as to correspond to the studs 13.
  • As with the embodiment of FIG. 3A, nuts 23 are engaged with the rods and tightened against the compression member 21 whereby the channel member 20 and the compression member 21 act in unison to impart a predetermined degree of compression into the wall structure.
  • FIG. 3C is an enlarged view of the manner in which panel edge channel 16 a is aligned with aperture 17 in the lower panel edge locating channel 12 to allow the tie rods 14 to be anchored to the base 2 via studs 13 (not shown). In an alternative embodiment (not illustrated), the tie rods are externally screw threaded at both lower and upper ends thereof. The lower end engages with an internally screw threaded stud adapted, for example, for friction fitting in holes drilled into a concrete slab floor.
  • For ease of description, the subsequent embodiments will describe the top member comprising an upper panel edge locating member and a compression member although it should be understood that the top channel-shaped member 19 will function alone as a load bearing member.
  • The use of tie rods, preferably of high tensile strength, can overcome problems with fasteners, such as screws or the like, being pulled out of the modular panels in high wind load conditions.
  • The capacity of wall structures arises by the ability of the wall panels to distribute vertical loads substantially evenly throughout the panel skins spaced by the foam polyurethane core. While cementitious products such as fibre reinforced cement sheeting show superior strength in compression, they exhibit poor tensile and flexural load capacity. When a relatively thin sheet of fibre reinforced cement of about 4 mm to 6 mm in thickness is subjected to a compressive load via opposed edges, it rapidly fractures due to a buckling mode of failure whereby as it buckles, one face of the sheet resists a compressive load but the other face is unable to resist a tensile load. By forming the core within a closed mould containing the spaced sheet skins, the liquid polyurethane is able to partially penetrate the porous sheet material as it undergoes foaming under pressure whereby the bond between the core material and the skins is maximized. The panel structure is thus analogous to an I-beam in that the fully supported but otherwise fragile outer skins are separated by a “web” of foam material which resists buckling of the outer skins when vertical compression loads are applied and also resists lateral deformation under load.
  • Vertical static loads tests conducted on a 75 mm thick×900 mm wide panel with outer skins of 6 mm thick fibre reinforced cement sheeting and a cast in mould core of high density polyurethane having a density of 50 kg per metre3 showed the panels easily supporting a load of 10 tonnes distributed over the width of the panel. Compression failures were noted at about 15 tonnes or greater. For 100 mm thick panels having 6 mm thick outer skins, a safe compressive load of 25 tonnes was achieved with about a 50% safety margin.
  • Compared with low density foamed plastics panels wherein the outer skins are secured to the foam core by adhesives, the panels utilized have a load capacity of 4-5 times that of the laminated low density panels having a core density typically of about 15 kg metre3.
  • The load bearing wall structures are thus readily able to resist both vertical and lateral wind loads due to the combination of the panel structure and the manner in which the wall structures are anchored to the base under compression via the upper load transfer members which act together in a unitary structure.
  • FIG. 4A shows in plan, a schematic view of one form of the upright edge abutment of frameless wall panels 5 having recessed channels 16 a formed in the upright edge faces of panels 5. The core 25 is typically 65-85 mm thick whilst the skins are between 4.5 mm and 6 mm in thickness. At the butt join between adjacent panels 5, a hollow aperture 16 is formed from the two recessed channels 16 a in the facing edges of the panels.
  • When the panels are abutted, see FIG. 4B, an upright hollow aperture 16 is formed to accommodate tensionable tie rod 14. If required, additional hollow apertures or recesses (not shown) may be provided immediately under the panel skins for accommodating building services such as electrical wiring.
  • As shown in FIG. 4B, the upright joint between adjacent panels 5 may be enhanced by the location within hollow aperture 16 of a thin rectangular section steel or plastics tube 18 which not only assists in maintaining edge to edge alignment of wall panels from top to bottom but also provides additional reinforcement against lateral wind loads. Typically, the abutting ends of wall panels 5 will be coated with a gap filling flexible polymeric adhesive to maximise the insulating properties of the wall structure and otherwise to accommodate any minor movement due to thermal expansion and contraction of the panels. Where the rectangular tube 18 is located in the hollow aperture 16 between adjoining panels, it too may be secured with adhesive but it need not extend completely between the upper and lower channels 12,20 as it is not needed as a structural load bearing member, rather a key to maintain channels 16 a in alignment. It readily will be apparent to a skilled addressee that the panel edge joints, whether reinforced with tube 18 or not are thermally efficient as there is no conductivity path from one side of a wall structure to the other.
  • A first embodiment of a roof for the building structure is illustrated in FIG. 5. In this embodiment the roof 4 has a minimum pitch, typically of from 3 to 10 degrees, and is supported directly by the external load bearing walls 30 and by the internal load bearing walls 31. The roof may also be comprised of modular panels as discussed in more detail below in relation to FIG. 6A.
  • The roof panels 33 are secured at one end to the external walls 30 by screws 34 which pass through the roof panels 33, compression member 21 and upper panel edge locating channel member 20 before terminating inside the core of modular wall panel 5. In this manner, the roof panels are mechanically coupled via the engagement between screws 34 and the combination load transfer member 20, 21 and thence via the rods 14 to base 2 to form a unitary structure.
  • At the other end of the roof panel, near the ridge, the screws 34 securing the roof panels engage with the load transfer members atop internal walls 31 in the same manner as with the external walls 30. The peak portion of the roof panels is covered by ridge capping 36 which extends over the roof panel securing screws 34, which capping is secured to the roof panels by further screws 36A.
  • As shown in FIG. 6A, the modular roof panels 33 in this embodiment include a 0.42 mm ribbed steel outer skin 37 and an injected polyurethane foam core 38 which has a 0.42 mm ribbed steel inner skin 39, the panel is typically 100 mm thick, The underside of the roof panel is lined (39A). The roof lining (39A) may be 4.5 mm fibre-cement board, 10 mm plasterboard, random grooved ply or a timber ceiling screwed directly onto the ribbed steel inner skin. Suitably the roofing panel is hi-tensile sheet ribbed roofing profile. Wooden support blocks 40 are embedded in the core at spaced locations along one end and one side of the roof panel to provide mounting points for the fascia panel 41, shown in FIG. 5.
  • The floor panels described in FIG. 2 may also be made of a similar panel construction as the roof panels described above and in reference with FIG. 6. The floor panels are also formed from hi-tensile ribbed steel decking and may be lined with either composite flooring, waterproof ply or a timber floor applied directly onto the sheeting by screws or gluing.
  • The use of hi-tensile ribbed steel decking for roof and floor panels has the advantage of having high strength, light weight, and being able to span up to 7 metres, thereby providing ease of construction whilst reinforcing the building strength without the need for roof trusses, bearer and joist floor constructions or the like.
  • The enlarged detail view of the roof panel joint in FIG. 6B shows the arrangement of a projection 42 and cooperating recess 43 formed in the sides of the foam core 38 of a roof panel 33. The enlargement shows a ridge 37A of the outer roof skin extending laterally past the core such that, when two cooperating roof panels are engaged, the extended ridge 37A clips over the ridge nearest the side of an abutting roof panel. The core may also be undercut in the vicinity of the projection so as to produce a longitudinal cavity 44 when the roof panels are clipped together. This cavity may accommodate building services in the same manner as the subsidiary cavities provided in the wall panels.
  • Returning to FIG. 5, the outer roof skin is turned-up 45 at the peak end edge thereof to minimise any leakage. The roof skin also extends past the foam core 38 and coplanar embedded wooden blocks 40, so as to overhang the guttering 46 at the fascia end 47. The wood or metal fascia panel 41 is suspended under the valleys of the overhung roof skin by screws 48 and attached to the embedded support blocks 40 by a further series of screws 49. The screws which are sunk into the fascia support blocks also pass through gutter brackets 50 which brackets in turn support the guttering 46.
  • FIG. 5 is also generally illustrative of one way of forming a multi-story building structure. Instead of securing roof panels 33 over the tops of wall panels 30 as shown, floor panels 9 (FIG. 2) as described above may be secured over the tops of wall panels 30 with threaded ends of tie bolts 14 protruding there through. Additional base locating channels 12 are then aligned on the upper face of the floor panels 9 over tie bolts 14 and further wall panels may then be erected thereon as if the floor panels 9 together form a base 2 equivalent to that shown in FIG. 1A. Upper edge locating channels are then secured over the upper edges of the upper wall structure and tensionable tie bolts 14 are inserted into the apertures 16 formed between adjacent wall panels 30 to tie the top and bottom walls to the base 2 via the tie bolts 14. Typically, a ground floor wall panel will be 100 mm thick while an upper floor panel is 75 mm thick. Additional rigidity is given to the building structure by the lateral bracing by the floor panels mounted between the upper and lower wall panels as well as a roof structure secured to upper load bearing channels secured over the upper edges of the upper wall panels.
  • FIG. 7 shows the arrangement of the corners and tee-junctions of walls, in particular, the alternative arrangements of the upper edge locating channels and compression members at these junctions. A completed outer wall 30 is shown in place upon the base 2, with an upper channel member 20 and compression member 21 on the top side thereof engaged by tie rod nuts 22. The wall junctions commonly include positioning profile members 51 which are attached upright to the completed wall 30 at selected positions by screws 52. Lower panel edge locating channels 12 are fixed upon the floor surface or base 2 to locate the modular panels making up the walls.
  • An outer wall panel 53 is shown ready to be positioned at the corner of the structure, whereby the recess 53A in the upright side of the outer wall panel cooperates with the rib 51A of the positioning profile member. At a corner the upper edge locating channel 20 will have about 75 mm removed from the inner flange of the C channelling. The remaining web and outer flange of the C channelling member then run to the outer edge of the corner. The upper edge locating channel 20 on the joining wall simply adjoins or overlaps the other upper edge locating channel with a flange partially removed. The compression members 21 at the corner joint are machined to half thickness for the length of the corner joint, thus forming half thickness tongues. These half thickness tongues are arranged so that the compression members interlace or overlap, resulting in an even thickness of the compression members at the corner. One of the frameless modular panels forming the corner join has an additional longitudinal hollow aperture, capable of receiving a tie rod 14. This additional longitudinal cavity is located so as to be at the centre of the corner join. Apertures 55 and 55A are provided on the upper edge locating channels 20 and compression members 21 to facilitate fixing the members together and corresponding to the additional longitudinal cavity of the modular panel, thereby contributing to the structural integrity of the building.
  • FIG. 7 also shows the tee-junction arrangement of an internal wall where a tie rod in an intersecting wall is not in immediate proximity, but is provided at the intersecting end of the internal wall. The internal wall panel 57 (shown in fragmentary form) engages with the respective positioning profile member 51 thereby defining a longitudinal hollow aperture behind rib 51A. The upper edge locating channel 58 and compression member 59 include apertures 60 & 60A at their extremities. The upper edge locating channel 58 and compression member 59 are then disposed on the top side of the internal wall comprised of like panels 57. The tie rod 14, provided for the end of the internal wall, may then be inserted through the apertures 60 and 60A and down into the cavity for securing the internal wall 57.
  • Throughout this specification and claims which follow, unless the context requires otherwise, the word “comprise”, and variations such as “comprises” or “comprising”, will be understood to imply the inclusion of a stated integer or group of integers or steps but not the exclusion of any other integer or group of integers.

Claims (11)

  1. 1. A load bearing wall structure for a building, said load bearing wall structure comprising:
    a plurality of frameless modular wall panels, each said frameless wall panel having spaced skins of fibre reinforced cement sheet separated by a core of expanded in situ high density polyurethane foam bonded to inner faces of said spaced skins, each said frameless wall panel also having formed in upright edges thereof a recessed channel forming, together with a recessed channel of an edge-abutting wall panel, a hollow aperture extending between top and bottom surfaces of said abutting frameless wall panels;
    a lower panel edge locating channel member securable to a building support base;
    an upper panel edge locating channel member; and,
    a tensionable element extending via each hollow aperture between an anchor member secured to said base and said upper panel edge locating channel member whereby, in use, vertical loads applied to said wall structure are distributed substantially evenly through said spaced skins of said frameless modular wall panels.
  2. 2. The load bearing wall structure of claim 1, wherein the upper panel edge locating channel member is a load transfer member.
  3. 3. The load bearing wall structure of claim 2, wherein the load transfer member comprises said upper panel edge locating channel member and a compression member, in use, acting in unison.
  4. 4. The load bearing wall structure of claim 1 wherein one or more of said frameless wall panels each include an elongate hollow aperture extending between upper and lower edges of said one or more frameless panels intermediate side edges thereof.
  5. 5. The load bearing wall structure of claim 4 wherein said elongate hollow aperture extends adjacent a normally upright edge of said one or more frameless wall panels to accommodate a tensionable element.
  6. 6. The load bearing wall structure of claim 1 further including a ribbed edge locating member securable to a face of a said frameless wall panel to engage a recessed channel of a further frameless wall panel to form a 90° junction between said frameless wall panel and said further frameless wall panel.
  7. 7. The load bearing wall structure of claim 6 wherein said ribbed edge locating member comprises a channel-like recess behind a projecting rib extending longitudinally of said ribbed edge locating member, said channel-like recess, in use, being adapted to accommodate a said tensionable element therein.
  8. 8. The load bearing wall structure of claim 6 wherein said ribbed edge locating member includes a mounting flange extending longitudinally thereof.
  9. 9. The load bearing wall structure of claim 1 wherein, in use, a roof structure is secured directly to said upper panel edge locating channel member to form an integrally coupled building structure.
  10. 10. A building structure incorporating the load bearing wall structure of claim 1.
  11. 11. A building structure incorporating the load bearing wall structure of claim 9 wherein said roof structure is mechanically coupled to said base via said tensionable elements.
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