US20110308173A1 - Movable building structure - Google Patents

Movable building structure Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110308173A1
US20110308173A1 US12875833 US87583310A US2011308173A1 US 20110308173 A1 US20110308173 A1 US 20110308173A1 US 12875833 US12875833 US 12875833 US 87583310 A US87583310 A US 87583310A US 2011308173 A1 US2011308173 A1 US 2011308173A1
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Prior art keywords
structure
panels
roof
configured
track
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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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US12875833
Inventor
Kent H. Forsland
Mike Peters
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Forsland Kent H
Mike Peters
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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
    • E04B1/343Structures characterised by movable, separable, or collapsible parts, e.g. for transport
    • E04B1/34305Structures characterised by movable, separable, or collapsible parts, e.g. for transport telescopic
    • 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
    • E04B1/0046Loggias
    • 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
    • E04B1/343Structures characterised by movable, separable, or collapsible parts, e.g. for transport
    • E04B1/344Structures characterised by movable, separable, or collapsible parts, e.g. for transport with hinged parts
    • E04B1/3448Structures characterised by movable, separable, or collapsible parts, e.g. for transport with hinged parts with rotating shell-forming segments
    • 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
    • E04B7/16Roof structures with movable roof parts
    • E04B7/163Roof structures with movable roof parts characterised by a pivoting movement of the movable roof parts
    • 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
    • E04B7/16Roof structures with movable roof parts
    • E04B7/166Roof structures with movable roof parts characterised by a translation movement of the movable roof part, with or without additional movements

Abstract

A movable building structure is configured to selectively enclose an area. The structure includes at least one side wall and an end wall attached thereto. The side wall comprises a number of individual panels that are independently movable along a track secured to the ground. The panels are selectively collapsible such that they may travel along the track and overlap one another when in a collapsed or stowed position. The structure may be configured in any number of intermediate positions wherein the panels are partially collapsed. Roof panels may be attached to the side walls for movement therewith, or alternatively, the roof panels may operate independent of the side walls to extend and retract between an open and collapsed configuration.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/240,020, filed on Sep. 4, 2009, the entirety of which is expressly incorporated by reference herein.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates in general to the field of building structures. More particularly, the present invention relates to building structures that are selectively collapsible and/or movable. Specifically, a preferred embodiment of the present invention relates to a building structure configured to enclose an outdoor location wherein the structure is selectively collapsible for storage.
  • SUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION
  • By way of summary, the present invention is directed to a building structure that is configured for outdoor use. The structure according to the present invention preferably comprises an enclosure having a number of sides and a roof assembly extending upwardly from the sides. The sides of the structure are preferably supported on a number of rails attached to the ground. The sides of the structure are secured to the rails preferably by rollers or similar such members such that the sides are selectively movable along the rails. Each of the sides of the structure comprises a number of panels. The panels of the structure are configured to cooperate with the other panels of a particular side of the structure such that the panels may be selectively retracted so as to overlap one another and thereby collapse the structure for storage. Similarly, the roof of the structure comprises a number of roof panels that cooperate with one another such that they overlap one another when retracted. When the structure is in the closed position and the side panels and roof panels are retracted and overlap one another, a user may selectively extend the structure to a number of intermediate positions whereby the respective panels are extended to form an enclosure.
  • These and other aspects and objects of the present invention will be better appreciated and understood when considered in conjunction with the following description and the accompanying drawings. It should be understood, however, that the following description, while indicating preferred embodiments of the present invention, is given by way of illustration and not of limitation. Many changes and modifications may be made within the scope of the present invention without departing from the spirit thereof, and the invention includes all such modifications.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • A clear conception of the advantages and features constituting the present invention, and of the construction and operation of typical mechanisms provided with the present invention, will become more readily apparent by referring to the exemplary, and therefore non-limiting, embodiments illustrated in the drawings accompanying and forming a part of this specification, wherein like reference numerals designate the same elements in the several views, and in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of a building structure according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the structure according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the structure according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 4 is a perspective view of yet another embodiment of the structure according to the present invention;
  • FIGS. 5 a-5 b are perspective views of still another embodiment of the structure according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 6 a is a perspective view of another embodiment of the structure of the present invention;
  • FIG. 6 b is a partial elevation view of a portion of the structure of FIG. 6 a;
  • FIG. 7 is a perspective view of yet another embodiment of the structure of the present invention wherein the structure is attached to the exterior of a building; and
  • FIG. 8 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the structure of the present invention wherein the structure is built into an exterior of a building.
  • In describing the preferred embodiment of the invention which is illustrated in the drawings, specific terminology will be resorted to for the sake of clarity. However, it is not intended that the invention be limited to the specific terms so selected and it is to be understood that each specific term includes all technical equivalents which operate in a similar manner to accomplish a similar purpose. For example, the words “connected”, “attached”, or terms similar thereto are often used. They are not limited to direct connection but include connection through other elements where such connection is recognized as being equivalent by those skilled in the art.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • Referring now to the drawings, and initially to FIG. 1, a representative embodiment of a building structure 10 according to the present invention is illustrated. The structure 10 is configured to selectively enclose a particular area such that the area enclosed may be protected from the environment, i.e., hot or cold weather, rain, snow, etc. Alternatively, the structure 10 may be arranged such that the area enclosed is completely or partially exposed to the elements as desired.
  • The structure 10 preferably includes two ends 12 a, 12 b and a pair of sides 14 a, 14 b. Ends 12 a, 12 b are fixed in place and fixed to a pair of walls 16 a, 16 b, respectively. Walls 16 a, 16 b may be constructed from any suitable material including brick, concrete, wood, and the like. Sides 14 a, 14 b may include a number of independent side panels 18. Structure 10 includes a roof 20 preferably comprising a pair of pitched roof members 22 a, 22 b. Roof 20 is preferably angled as opposed to flat as is generally understood in the art. The angled roof prevents water, snow, debris, etc. from settling on the roof and thereby providing a relatively improved aesthetic appearance. Also, the angled roof 20 prevents the retention of debris on the roof 20 that may be capable of interfering with the operation of the structure 10 as will be explained in detail herein. Roof 20 is preferably constructed from a relatively lightweight material to facilitate movement thereof
  • The roof members 22 a, 22 b include a number of independent roof panels 24 that are individually coupled to one of each of the side panels 18. Accordingly, side panels 18 and roof panels 24 cooperate to form an enclosure wherein the panels extend vertically from a ground surface. At an upper end of each of side panels 18, the side panels 18 are attached to a corresponding roof panel 24 which is pitched so as to form a half of roof 20. Roof panel 24 is attached to side panel 18 at a first end 26. Roof panel 24 includes a second end 28 that is attached to a corresponding second end of an adjacent roof panel 24. Adjacent roof panel 24 likewise includes a first end 26 coupled to an upper portion of a side panel 18 to form one segment 30 of structure 10. Side panels 18 and roof panels 24 may be constructed from any number of materials and may be opaque, tinted, or clear. The side panels 18 and roof panels 24 may be selectively and individually openable by any number of known mechanisms. The side panels 18 and roof panels 24 may be constructed from a number of different materials including plastic and glass. Further, the side panels and roof panels may be tinted to provide a user of the structure with enhanced privacy.
  • Side panels 18 are secured at a lower end thereof to a track 32 attached to the ground. Track 32 may comprise any type of rail as is generally understood in the art. The lower ends of side panels 18 are configured to cooperate with the track 32 to ride therealong as will be described in detail herein. Lower side panels 18 may comprise any known method of cooperating with and riding along tracks 32 for movement thereon. Preferably, tracks 32 are configured such that the side panels 18 and roof panels 24 may be moved toward one or both of the ends 12 a, 12 b in an overlapping fashion such that structure 10 is collapsible or may otherwise be configured for storage thereof Side panels 18 and roof panels 24 may slide either under or over the fixed end.
  • Thus, in operation, a user may selectively retract segments 30 of structure 10 as illustrated at end 12 b of FIG. 1. Segments 30 may be coupled to a power source or may otherwise be manually movable along tracks 32. As desired, the user of structure 10 may slide one of segments 30 toward either of ends 12 a, 12 b such that each segment 30 overlaps the subsequent segments such that structure 10 may be compactly stored in a stowed position as shown at 12 b. Alternatively, a user may extend each of segments 30 so as to form a completed enclosure similar to that seen at end 12 a. Numerous configurations of the structure 10 are contemplated. That is, only part of structure 10 may be in the fully retracted position whereas the remaining part of the structure 10 may be in a fully open position as shown in FIG. 1, or, alternatively, both ends 12 a, 12 b may be fully extended to form a complete enclosure or they may be fully retracted so as to collapse the structure 10 completely. Alternatively, the structure 10 may be configured such that one or both ends of the structure 10 are only partially retracted. Structure 10 may be configured such that it is retracted into, or in coordination with, another structure such as a garage or pool house.
  • In an alternative embodiment, the side panels 18 and roof panels 24 of structure 10 may operate independent of one another. In the present embodiment, structure 10 includes a pair of tracks 32 a, 32 b. Track 32 a is fixed to the ground as in the previous embodiment and configured to allow for the movement of the side panels 18 along the track 32 a as previously discussed. Track 32 b is preferably positioned between an upper end of the side panels 18 and a lower end of the roof panels 24. Roof panels 24 are secured to track 32 b and configured for travel along the track 32 b similar to the manner in which the side panels 18 travel along track 32 a. Each of tracks 32 a, 32 b is independently controllable such that the side panels 18 and roof panels 24 may move independent of one another.
  • Referring now to FIG. 2, a first alternative embodiment of the present invention is illustrated. Structure 10, as shown, includes a number of spaced supports 34 configured to cooperate with the side panels 18 of the present embodiment. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2, side panels 18 and roof panels 24 are not joined to one another, but rather, the side panels 18 and roof panels 24 are independently retractable and extendable. In addition, structure 10 includes two pairs of end panels 36 a, 36 b on each end 12 a, 12 b. In operation, the present embodiment preferably includes three pairs of side panels 18 on either of the sides 14 a, 14 b. Side panels 18 a, 18 b are nearest end 12 a, side panels 18 c, 18 d are positioned between ends 12 a, 12 b and side panels 18 e, 18 f are positioned nearest end 12 b. Side panels 18 a, 18 b, and 18 c are configured to be selectively retractable such that side panel 18 b may be moved along tracks 32 so as to overlap side panel 18 a. Side panel 18 c is configured to move along tracks 32 to overlap side panels 18 a and 18 b to thereby partially collapse the structure and open the structure 10 for ingress and egress between an area outside and an area inside the structure 10. Similarly, side panel 18 e is configured to ride along tracks 32 to overlap 18 f and side panel 18 d is configured to ride along tracks 32 to overlap side panels 18 e and 18 f. Each of the side panels 18 a-18 f of the present embodiment is independently openable and closeable for use as a door to allow for ingress and egress. Like side panels 18 a-18 f, roof panels 24 a-24 f are configured to ride along a roof rail 38 such that roof panel 24 c overlaps roof panel 24 b and roof panel 24 a to thereby open the roof 20 of the structure 10. Similarly, roof panel 24 d is configured to ride along roof rail 38 to overlap roof panels 24 e and 24 f. As with the previous embodiment of the present invention, roof panels 24 and side panels 18 are configured such that they may be individually pivoted between an open and closed position. Further, side panels 18 and roof panels 24 are configured such that they may be partially retracted such that structure 10 partially encloses the area.
  • Referring now to FIG. 3, another alternative embodiment of structure 10 according the present invention is illustrated. Structure 10 includes segments 30 a-30 e, which are configured to ride along the track 32 secured to the ground. As illustrated, segments 30 b-30 e are configured to independently ride along the track 32 to successively overlap one another to thereby collapse the structure 10. The segments 30 a-30 e may be arranged in any number of intermediate positions as well as being fully extended to fully enclose the structure's inner area or fully retracted to completely open the area to the elements. As with previous embodiments, the individual side panels 18 and roof panels 24 are selectively openable to expose the area surrounded by the structure 10 to the elements.
  • Referring now to FIG. 4, yet another embodiment of the structure 10 according to the present invention is illustrated. The structure 10 of the present embodiment operates similarly to the structures 10 of the previous embodiments. Each of the roof panels 24 a-24 f is independently openable to expose a portion of the area surrounded by the structure 10 to the elements. For example, as shown, roof panel 24 e is shown in the open position. In the illustrated embodiment, structure 10 includes a standard door 40 at one end 12 b thereof for ingress and egress to the area surrounded by the structure 10. The structure 10 of the present embodiment is configured such that only one side 14 a of the structure is supported on tracks 32 for extension and retraction thereof. Thus, side 14 b is fixed in place. Therefore, when desired, segments 30 a-30 f are configured to be selectively moved along the rails for collapsing the structure 10 or extending it to enclose the inner area of the structure.
  • Turning now to FIGS. 5 a-5 b, another embodiment of the structure 10 according to the present invention is illustrated. The present embodiment operates similarly to the previous embodiments of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 5 a, the roof panels 24 are independently configured for selective retraction and extension to move between open and collapsed configurations. Further, each of roof panels 24 is individually openable to expose the area surrounded by the structure 10 to the elements, as desired. Likewise, the side panels 18 are independently openable and collapsible. Accordingly, the roof panels 24 may be closed and the side panels 18 open or vice versa.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 6 a-6 b, an alternative embodiment of the structure 10 according to the present invention is illustrated. In the present embodiment, the structure 10 includes sides 42 a-42 e supported by supports 44 a-44 f. The sides may be selectively opened for ingress and egress between the outside and inside of the structure 10. The structure 10 further includes a roof having roof panels 46 a-g, which may be opened and closed as shown. In the present embodiment, roof panels 46 a-g open and close in a fan-like manner. The roof panels 46 a-g are supported on a rail 48 that is secured between roof panels 46 a-g and sides 42 a-e such that the roof panels 46 a-g are independently movable along the rail 48 to overlap one another. As with the previous embodiments, the roof panels 46 a-g of the structure 10 may be positioned to be fully opened, closed, or any number of positions therebetween, as is generally understood. Referring not to FIG. 6 b in particular, the roof panels 46 and track 48 are shown in close-up detail.
  • Turning now to FIGS. 7 and 8, another embodiment of the present invention is illustrated. As shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, structure 10 may be attached to the exterior of a restaurant, showroom, or similar such building 50. The present embodiment of the structure 10 operates similarly to the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 1-5. Referring initially to FIG. 7, the structure 10 comprises a number of segments 30. Each of the segments 30 includes a side panel 18 and a roof panel 24 coupled to one another. Segments 30 are coupled to a track 32 as in the previous embodiments. Track 32 is secured to the ground, as is generally understood. End 12 a of the structure 10 includes an exit door 52 for ingress and egress between the inside and outside of the structure 10. The structure of the present embodiment is configured such that each of the segments 30 is independently movable along the track 32. This allows the segments 30 to be movable between an extended position wherein the structure 10 fully encloses an area and a collapsed position wherein the area is completely open and the structure 10 is entirely moved along the track 32 to end 12 b. As with the previous embodiments, the structure 10 may be positioned in any number of intermediate positions such that only a portion of the segments 30 is extended. Thus, the area enclosed by the structure 10 is user definable.
  • Now turning to FIG. 8, the structure 10 is attached to the exterior of a building 50 at one side thereof In the present embodiment, the structure 10 is built into the building itself and cooperates with the exterior 52 thereof As with the previous embodiments of the present invention, each of the side panels 18 is independently extendible in an open position and collapsible such that they overlap one another.
  • It is understood that a number of modifications may be made in keeping with the spirit of the structure 10 of the present invention. For example, the structure 10 may include a retracting screening system (not shown). The retracting screening system is preferably independently operable with respect to the side panels 18 and roof panels 24. The retracting screening system operates similarly to the side panels 18 and roof panels. Preferably, the retracting screening system is selectively movable from a deployed position and a collapsed position as well as a plurality of intermediate positions therebetween. As such, the operator of structure 10 may selectively screen in the area while collapsing the side panels 18 and roof panels 24 such that the area is open to the environment while keeping out insects and animals while maintaining a relatively private enclosure.
  • Further, structure 10 may be fitted with another independent auxiliary track (not shown). The auxiliary track is preferably configured for selectively moving objects within the area enclosed by structure 10. For example, the furniture, i.e., tables, seats, etc. may be coupled to the auxiliary track for movement along the track. As such, the positioning of the furniture within the structure 10 may be easily and selectively configured.
  • It is specifically intended that the present invention not be limited to the embodiments and illustrations contained herein, but include modified forms of those embodiments including portions of the embodiments and combinations of elements of different embodiments as come within the scope of the following claim.

Claims (1)

  1. 1. A movable building structure comprising:
    at least one side wall comprising at least two panels;
    at least one end wall coupled to the at least one side, wherein the at least one end wall and the at least one side wall cooperate to enclose an area; and
    a track secured to the ground and extending from the at least one end wall and running parallel to the at least one side wall, wherein the at least two panels are coupled to the track for independent movement therealong, wherein the at least two panels are movable between an open position wherein the at least two panels completely enclose the area and a collapsed position wherein the at least two panels overlap one another and wherein the area is entirely open.
US12875833 2009-09-04 2010-09-03 Movable building structure Abandoned US20110308173A1 (en)

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US24002009 true 2009-09-04 2009-09-04
US12875833 US20110308173A1 (en) 2009-09-04 2010-09-03 Movable building structure

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US12875833 US20110308173A1 (en) 2009-09-04 2010-09-03 Movable building structure
US13561774 US8707632B2 (en) 2009-09-04 2012-07-30 Structure having convertible roof and walls
US14092284 US20140157684A1 (en) 2009-09-04 2013-11-27 Convertible enclosure
US14953846 US20160215498A1 (en) 2009-09-04 2015-11-30 Convertible enclosure
US15278907 US9915062B2 (en) 2009-09-04 2016-09-28 Structure having convertible roof and walls

Related Child Applications (1)

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US13561774 Continuation US8707632B2 (en) 2009-09-04 2012-07-30 Structure having convertible roof and walls

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US13561774 Active US8707632B2 (en) 2009-09-04 2012-07-30 Structure having convertible roof and walls

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US13561774 Active US8707632B2 (en) 2009-09-04 2012-07-30 Structure having convertible roof and walls

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US20120291363A1 (en) * 2009-09-04 2012-11-22 Forsland Kent H Moveable building structure
US8381452B1 (en) 2010-03-08 2013-02-26 Cabreeco Companies Llc Structure having a convertible roof and sidewall
US8701356B2 (en) 2010-01-12 2014-04-22 Cabrio Companies Llc Structure having convertible roof and walls
US20140311052A1 (en) * 2013-04-18 2014-10-23 James Bert FARMER Portable building
US9458621B2 (en) * 2012-11-28 2016-10-04 Expanding Buildings Pty Ltd Transportable and expandable building structure
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