US20120291369A1 - Support pedestal assembly including a stabilizing collar for stabilizing a support structure - Google Patents

Support pedestal assembly including a stabilizing collar for stabilizing a support structure Download PDF

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Publication number
US20120291369A1
US20120291369A1 US13/477,722 US201213477722A US2012291369A1 US 20120291369 A1 US20120291369 A1 US 20120291369A1 US 201213477722 A US201213477722 A US 201213477722A US 2012291369 A1 US2012291369 A1 US 2012291369A1
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Prior art keywords
support
pedestal
support pedestal
attachment
disposed
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Abandoned
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US13/477,722
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Stephen J. Knight, III
William E. Kugler
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United Construction Products Inc
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United Construction Products Inc
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Priority to US12/505,217 priority Critical patent/US8181399B2/en
Application filed by United Construction Products Inc filed Critical United Construction Products Inc
Priority to US13/477,722 priority patent/US20120291369A1/en
Assigned to UNITED CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS, INC. reassignment UNITED CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: KUGLER, WILLIAM E., KNIGHT, STEPHEN J.
Publication of US20120291369A1 publication Critical patent/US20120291369A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04GSCAFFOLDING; FORMS; SHUTTERING; BUILDING IMPLEMENTS OR OTHER BUILDING AIDS, OR THEIR USE; HANDLING BUILDING MATERIALS ON THE SITE; REPAIRING, BREAKING-UP OR OTHER WORK ON EXISTING BUILDINGS
    • E04G21/00Preparing, conveying, or working-up building materials or building elements in situ; Other devices or measures for constructional work
    • E04G21/14Conveying or assembling building elements
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04DROOF COVERINGS; SKY-LIGHTS; GUTTERS; ROOF-WORKING TOOLS
    • E04D11/00Roof covering, as far as not restricted to features covered by only one of groups E04D1/00 - E04D9/00; Roof covering in ways not provided for by groups E04D1/00 - E04D9/00, e.g. built-up roofs, elevated load-supporting roof coverings
    • E04D11/005Supports for elevated load-supporting roof coverings
    • E04D11/007Height-adjustable spacers
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F15/00Flooring
    • E04F15/02Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements
    • E04F15/02177Floor elements for use at a specific location
    • E04F15/02183Floor elements for use at a specific location for outdoor use, e.g. in decks, patios, terraces, verandas or the like
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F15/00Flooring
    • E04F15/02Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements
    • E04F15/024Sectional false floors, e.g. computer floors
    • E04F15/02447Supporting structures
    • E04F15/02464Height adjustable elements for supporting the panels or a panel-supporting framework
    • E04F15/0247Screw jacks
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F15/00Flooring
    • E04F15/02Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements
    • E04F15/02044Separate elements for fastening to an underlayer
    • E04F2015/02105Separate elements for fastening to an underlayer without load-supporting elongated furring elements between the flooring elements and the underlayer
    • E04F2015/02127Separate elements for fastening to an underlayer without load-supporting elongated furring elements between the flooring elements and the underlayer adjustable perpendicular to the underlayer

Abstract

A support structure for elevating a building surface above a fixed surface having stability bracing to provide increased stability to the structure. The support structure includes a plurality of support pedestals that are disposed in spaced-apart relation on a fixed surface. A plurality of braces are attached to adjacent support pedestals to interconnect the support pedestals. Interconnecting the support pedestals in such a manner creates a stable support structure that can be utilized in unstable environments, such as seismically active geographic areas. The support pedestals can be adjustable-height support pedestals.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/505,217, filed Jul. 17, 2009, entitled “STABILITY BRACING OF A SUPPORT STRUCTURE FOR ELEVATING A BUILDING STRUCTURE,” and now U.S. Pat. No. 8,181,399, the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • This invention relates to the field of support structures for supporting an elevated surface above a fixed surface, such as for elevated floors, decks and walkways.
  • 2. Description of Related Art
  • Elevated building surfaces such as elevated floors, decks, terraces and walkways are desirable in many environments. One common system for creating such surfaces includes a plurality of surface tiles, such as concrete tiles (pavers), stone tiles or wood tiles, and a plurality of spaced-apart support pedestals upon which the tiles are placed to be supported above a fixed surface. For example, in outdoor applications, the surface may be elevated above a fixed surface by the support pedestals to promote drainage, to provide a level structural surface for walking, and/or to prevent deterioration of or damage to the surface tiles. The pedestals can have a fixed height, or can have an adjustable height such as to accommodate variations in the contour of the fixed surface upon which the pedestals are placed, or to create desirable architectural features.
  • Although a variety of shapes are possible, in many applications the surface tiles are rectangular in shape, having four corners. In the case of a rectangular shaped tile, each of the spaced-apart support pedestals can therefore support four adjacent surface tiles at the tile corners. Stated another way, each rectangular surface tile can be supported by four pedestals that are disposed under each of the corners of the tile. Large or heavy tiles can be supported by additional pedestals at positions other than at the corners of the tiles.
  • One example of a support pedestal is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,588,264 by Buzon, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. The support pedestal disclosed by Buzon can be used in outdoor or indoor environments and is capable of supporting heavy loads applied by many types of building surfaces. The pedestal includes a threaded base member and a threaded support member that is threadably engaged with the base member to enable the height of the support pedestal to be adjusted by rotating the support member or the base member relative to the other. The support pedestal can also include a coupler member disposed between the base member and the support member for further increasing the height of the pedestal, if necessary.
  • Support pedestals are also disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,363,685 by Kugler and U.S. Patent Publication No. 2004/0261329 by Kugler et al., each of which is also incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • One problem that is associated with some support structures for elevated surfaces is that the support structures do not provide adequate structural stability in certain unstable environments. As a result, the support structures cannot be safely utilized in certain seismically active geographic areas, high wind areas or other locations that may be subject to disruptive vibrations of the fixed surface.
  • Another problem associated with some support structures for elevated surfaces is that the safely obtainable height of the support pedestals is limited due to the increasing instability of the support pedestals as the height of the pedestals, and hence the center of gravity of the pedestals, is increased. The increased height of the center of gravity further compounds the problems associated with disruptive vibrations of the underlying surface.
  • It is therefore an objective to provide a support structure for an elevated surface, where the support structure has improved structural stability. It is also an objective to provide a support structure that can enable the safe construction of an elevated surface having an increased height above the fixed surface as compared to existing support structures, particularly in areas that are prone to disruptive vibrations.
  • In one exemplary embodiment, a support structure for elevating a building surface above a fixed surface is provided. The support structure can include a plurality of support pedestals that are disposed in spaced-apart relation on a fixed surface. The support pedestals can include a base member that is adapted to be placed upon the fixed surface and a support plate disposed over the base member. A plurality of braces are each operatively attached to at least two adjacent support pedestals to interconnect the support pedestals and form a stable support structure. In this regard, a plurality of pedestal attachment elements can be disposed around a perimeter of the support pedestal, and the braces can include brace attachment elements disposed in end portions of the braces such that the brace attachment elements can be secured to the pedestal attachment elements to secure the braces to the support pedestals.
  • In one aspect, the brace attachment elements comprise attachment knobs and the pedestal attachment elements comprise apertures, wherein the attachment knobs are disposed through the apertures to secure the braces to the support pedestals. In another aspect, the brace attachment elements comprise apertures and the pedestal attachment elements comprise attachment knobs, where the attachment knobs are disposed through the apertures to secure the braces to the support pedestals.
  • The support pedestals can have a fixed height, and in one aspect the support pedestals can have an adjustable height. In another aspect, the braces can include arcuate end portions that are attached to the support pedestals. The arcuate end portions can each comprise at least one brace attachment element such as an aperture.
  • According to another aspect, one or more of the braces can have an adjustable length. Adjustable length braces can be particularly advantageous to accommodate the use of surface tiles having edge portions of different lengths, e.g., rectangular tiles that are not square.
  • According to another aspect, the pedestal attachment elements are disposed around a perimeter of the pedestal base members. For example, the pedestal attachment elements can be disposed around a base plate that forms the bottom surface of the base member. In this regard, the attachment elements can include attachment knobs that are permanently or removably affixed to the base member.
  • In another aspect, the pedestal attachment elements can be disposed on a stabilizing collar that is operatively attached to the support pedestal. For example, the stabilizing collar can be threadably attached to the support pedestal whereby the height of the stabilizing collar can be adjusted. In one aspect, the pedestal attachment elements disposed on the stabilizing collar include attachment knobs.
  • In one aspect, the support pedestals are not attached to the fixed surface. For example, the fixed surface can be natural ground or another surface that is not amenable to the attachment of the support pedestals to the fixed surface. In another aspect, the support pedestals are non-metallic support pedestals, such as plastic support pedestals that are resistant to rotting and corrosion due to exposure to outdoor environments. The braces can be fabricated from a variety of materials, preferably non-metallic materials such as plastic, wood and composite materials, e.g., fiber reinforced plastics.
  • According to another embodiment, a support structure for elevating a building surface above a fixed surface is provided. The support structure can include a plurality of height-adjustable support pedestals that are disposed in spaced-apart relation, the support pedestals including a base member that is adapted to be placed upon a fixed surface and a support plate disposed over the base member that is adapted to support a surface tile above the fixed surface. A plurality of attachment knobs are operatively disposed around the perimeter of the support pedestals and a plurality of braces are operatively attached to the support pedestals to interconnect the support pedestals. The braces can include end portions having at least one aperture, wherein the attachment knobs are disposed within the apertures to secure the braces to the support pedestals.
  • In one aspect, the attachment knobs can be disposed around the perimeter of the base member. In another aspect, the height-adjustable support pedestals can include a support member comprising a support plate, where the support member is threadably connected to the base member. In yet another aspect, the height adjustable support pedestals can include a coupling member (e.g., an extension member) operatively connecting the base member and a support member.
  • According to another aspect, the attachment knobs can be disposed on a stabilizing collar that is threadably attached to the support pedestal. In yet another aspect, the braces can have an adjustable length.
  • According to another embodiment, an elevated building surface assembly is provided. The assembly can include a plurality of support pedestals that are disposed in spaced-apart relation. The support pedestals can include a base member that is adapted to be placed upon a fixed surface and a support member that is disposed over and threadably connected to the base member. A plurality of braces can be attached to adjacent support pedestals to interconnect the support pedestals and form a stable support structure and a plurality of surface tiles can be placed upon the support members to form the elevated building surface. According to one aspect, the attachment knobs are disposed on a stabilizing collar that is threadably connected to the support pedestal. According to another aspect, the attachment knobs are disposed around a perimeter of the base member. According to yet another aspect, the braces have an adjustable length.
  • According to another embodiment, a method for constructing an elevated building surface comprising a plurality of surface tiles is provided. The method can include the steps of placing a plurality of height-adjustable support pedestals on a fixed surface in a spaced-apart relationship, the pedestals each including a base member. The support pedestals can be interconnected by attaching a brace to adjacent support pedestals. Surface tiles can be placed on the support pedestals to form the elevated building surface. According to one aspect, the fixed surface can have a sloped or otherwise uneven topography. According to another aspect, the step of attaching the brace can include placing at least one aperture in an end portion of the brace through an attachment knob that is disposed on a perimeter of the support pedestals.
  • In accordance with the foregoing embodiments and aspects, the support structure can provide increased structural stability. In one aspect, the support structure can be used to support elevated surfaces in seismically active geographic areas or in other areas where disruptive vibrations may occur, such as a train platform. Through interconnection of the support pedestals, the support pedestals can move in unison during a seismic event or other vibratory disruption to maintain the desired spacing between the support pedestals, and therefore continue to safely support surface tiles placed on the support pedestals and maintain the integrity of the building surface.
  • The support structure can have an increased structural stability, thereby enabling the use of support pedestals having an increased height without adversely affecting the stability of the elevated surface. For example, the support pedestals can have a height of greater than 24 inches and even up to about 36 inches or more.
  • The braces can be rapidly and easily attached to the support members during construction of the support structure. The braces can also be configured to prevent twisting of the support pedestals in relation to adjacent support pedestals.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a stabilized elevated building surface assembly.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a top view of a stable support structure for elevating a surface.
  • FIGS. 3 a-3 d illustrate braces that are adapted to interconnect support pedestals in a support structure for elevating a surface.
  • FIGS. 4 a-4 b illustrate an adjustable length brace that is adapted to interconnect support pedestals in a support structure for elevating a surface.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates a side view of a support pedestal that is useful in a support structure for elevating a surface.
  • FIG. 6 illustrates a cross-sectional side view of a support pedestal that is useful in a support structure for elevating a building surface.
  • FIG. 7 illustrates a perspective view of a support pedestal that is useful in a support structure for elevating a building surface.
  • FIG. 8 illustrates a perspective view of a support pedestal and interconnecting braces being placed on the support pedestal and that is useful in a support structure for elevating a building surface.
  • FIG. 9 illustrates a perspective view of a support pedestal having braces attached to the base member of the support pedestal and that is useful in a support structure for elevating a building surface.
  • FIG. 10 illustrates a perspective view of a stabilizing collar that is useful as an attachment element in a support structure for elevating a building surface.
  • FIG. 11 a illustrates a side view of a support pedestal assembly including a stabilizing collar that is useful in a support structure for elevating a building surface.
  • FIG. 11 b illustrates a side view of a support pedestal assembly including a plurality of stabilizing collars useful in a support structure for elevating a building surface.
  • FIG. 12 illustrates an adjustable length brace attached to two support pedestal assemblies having stabilizing collars in a support structure for elevating a building surface.
  • FIG. 13 illustrates a perspective view of an attachment knob that is useful as an attachment element in a support pedestal.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a portion of an elevated building surface assembly 100 that includes a building surface 101 formed from a plurality of surface tiles 102. The surface tiles 102 are elevated above a fixed surface by a support structure 200 comprising a plurality of spaced-apart support pedestals 201 and a plurality of braces 204 interconnecting the support pedestals. The surface tiles 102 can be comprised of virtually any material from which a building surface is constructed. Examples include, but are not limited to, slate tiles, natural stone tiles, composite tiles, concrete tiles (e.g., pavers), wooden deck tiles, particularly hardwood deck tiles, tiles of metal or fiberglass grating, and the like. The support pedestals 201 can be placed in a spaced-apart relationship on fixed surfaces including, but not limited to, rooftops, on-grade (e.g., natural ground), over concrete slabs including cracked concrete slabs, and can be placed within fountains and water features, used for equipment mounts, and the like. The elevated building surface assembly 100 can be used for both interior and exterior applications.
  • Each of the surface tiles 102 is placed upon several support pedestals 201 to elevate the tile 102 above the fixed surface. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the surface tiles 102 are square and a support pedestal 201 is disposed beneath four corners of adjacent surface tiles 102. Further, although illustrated in FIG. 1 as being laid out in a symmetric square pattern, the support pedestals 201 can also be laid out in various configurations as may be dictated by the shape and size of the surface tiles, such as a rectangular configuration or a triangular configuration.
  • The support pedestals 201 are interconnected by a plurality of braces 204 that are attached to the support pedestals 201 and operatively connect each support pedestal with one or more adjacent support pedestals to form a stable support structure 200. The braces 204 interconnecting the support pedestals 201 can advantageously enhance the stability of the support structure 200 as compared to a structure utilizing support pedestals that are not interconnected and are free to move independently with respect to other support pedestals. For example, if one or more of the support pedestals 201 shift, such as during a seismic event or other disruption, the braces 204 will cause the interconnected support pedestals 201 to move essentially in unison such that the spacing between adjacent support pedestals remains substantially fixed. Therefore, the surface tiles 102 will remain supported above the fixed surface and the integrity of the building surface 101 will be maintained. Preferably, neither the braces 204 nor the support pedestals 201 are attached to the fixed surface.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a top view of a support structure 200 for elevating a building surface. The support structure 200 includes a plurality of support pedestals 201 that are spaced-apart by a predetermined distance. The placement of the support pedestals 201 will be dictated by shape and size of the surface tiles that are placed on the support structure 200. By way of example, the distance between adjacent support pedestals, such as pedestal 201 e and 201 i, can typically be from about 1 foot to about 3 feet, such as about 2 feet. As is discussed below, the braces can optionally have an adjustable length, such as to accommodate the use of surface tiles having edges of different lengths
  • A plurality of braces 204 are attached to and interconnect the support pedestals 201. For example, each brace 204 can operatively connect two adjacent support pedestals 201. As illustrated in FIG. 2, each interior support pedestal, such as support pedestal 201 i, is connected by a brace 204 to each nearest adjacent support pedestal. Thus, each interior support pedestal 201 i can be interconnected to four nearest adjacent support pedestals using four individual braces 204. Exterior support pedestals located on the perimeter of the support structure 200 may be attached to fewer than four support pedestals, such as support pedestal 201 e, which is interconnected to three adjacent support pedestals. In a similar fashion, corner support pedestals such as support pedestal 201 c may be interconnected to two adjacent support pedestals. Although FIG. 2 illustrates that braces 204 are disposed between and attached to nearest adjacent support pedestals, the braces 204 could also be disposed to interconnect adjacent support pedestals that are diagonally opposed, such as corner support pedestal 201 c and interior support pedestal 201 i.
  • The support structure 200 comprising the support pedestals 201 interconnected with braces 204 can advantageously provide enhanced stability for the elevated building surface. For example, the support structure 200 can be used in seismically active geographic areas to improve the stability of the elevated building surface during seismic events. The support structure 200 can also be used in other areas that are prone to disruptive vibrations, such as train platforms, or in areas that are subject to high wind conditions. In this regard, the braces 204 can cause the support pedestals 201 to move essentially in unison, thereby maintaining the required spaced-apart relationship between support pedestals to keep the surface tiles supported. Such a stable structure may also be desired in other locations that are subject to periodic vibrations, such as a train platform.
  • The utilization of such braces 204 to interconnect the support pedestals 201 can also increase the safely obtainable height of the support pedestals. That is, the braces 204 can provide sufficient structural stability such that support pedestals 201 having a higher center of gravity can be safely utilized to elevate the building surface without undue risk of the building surface collapsing.
  • The braces 204 are therefore adapted to interconnect the support pedestals 201 and provide a sufficiently rigid lateral and vertical connection between the support pedestals such that the support pedestals move in unison, and such that the spacing among the support pedestals does not substantially change due to seismic events or other events that can cause movement of the building surface. In one embodiment, the braces 204 can also be sufficiently flexible to permit the braces to be placed over surfaces that are not completely flat while maintaining a rigid lateral connection among the support pedestals.
  • The braces 204 can have a variety of sizes, shapes and configurations. FIGS. 3 a-3 d illustrate several exemplary embodiments of braces 204 that can be utilized to interconnect support pedestals in a support structure. Each of the braces 204 includes end portions 206 at opposite ends of an elongate central portion 207. The end portions 206 are adapted to be connected to a support pedestal, and in this regard can include one or more brace attachment elements adapted to secure the brace to a support pedestal. As illustrated in FIGS. 3 a-3 d, the brace attachment elements are apertures 208 for attaching the braces 204 to a support pedestal. Alternatively, the end portions 206 could include other attachment elements for attachment to a support pedestal, such as attachment knobs projecting from the braces 204 or the like.
  • FIG. 3 a illustrates a brace 204 a where the end portions 206 a are substantially parallel with an elongate central portion 207 a. The brace 204 a includes at least one aperture 208 a disposed in each end portion 206 a of the brace. The apertures 208 a can be adapted to fit over a knob or similar structure on a support pedestal to attach the brace 204 a to the support pedestal. Although illustrated as including one aperture 208 a in each end portion 206 a, each end portion 206 a can include two or more apertures 208 a for attachment to a support pedestal.
  • FIG. 3 b illustrates a brace 204 b having oblique end portions 206 b, i.e., that are angled with respect to the elongate axis of the central portion 207 b. The oblique end portions 206 b include two spaced-apart apertures 208 b for attachment to a support pedestal. The brace 204 b can be useful, for example, when a base member plate of the support pedestal to which the brace is attached has a rectangular (e.g., square) configuration. In this regard, the end portions 206 b could also be disposed approximately perpendicular to the elongate axis of the central portion 207 b.
  • FIG. 3 c illustrates a brace 204 c having arcuate end portions 206 c. The arcuate end portions 206 c include apertures 208 c that are adapted to attach to a support pedestal, such as by placement over knobs on the base member of a support pedestal. A brace 204 c having arcuate end portions 206 c can be useful, for example, to interconnect support pedestals having a round or oval base member plate. Although illustrated as including two apertures 208 c, the arcuate end portions 206 c can include a single aperture or can include multiple apertures for attaching to a support pedestal, as well as other means for attachment to the support pedestal.
  • FIG. 3 d illustrates a brace 204 d that includes arcuate end portions 206 d. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3 d, the end portions 206 d are substantially perpendicularly oriented with respect to the central portion 207 d.
  • The braces illustrated in FIGS. 3 b-3 d can be particularly advantageous in that the use of two or more spaced-apart apertures (i.e., more than one attachment element) can advantageously prevent twisting of a support pedestal, particularly with respect to other support pedestals and can form a more rigid and stable structure.
  • In one embodiment, the braces are elastic and sufficiently flexible to accommodate the placement of the support structure upon uneven fixed surfaces, while maintaining sufficient lateral rigidity to rigidly interconnect the support pedestals. In any respect, the braces 204 can be fabricated from a variety of materials. For example, the braces 204 can be fabricated from non-metallic materials, such as plastics, wood and composite materials. In one exemplary embodiment, the braces have a length of from about 1 foot to about 3 feet, and a thickness of from about ⅛″ to about ¼″.
  • FIGS. 4 a-4 b illustrate a brace having an adjustable length. As illustrated in FIGS. 4 a-4 b, the adjustable length brace 204 e includes a central portion 207 e and end portions 206 e having apertures 208 e disposed therein for attachment to a support pedestal. The central portion 207 e includes mutually opposed toothed racks 207 f that are adapted to interlock along their length. Thumb screws 207 g can be used to loosen and tighten the racks 207 f to permit length adjustment of the brace 204 e. In this way, the length of the brace 204 e can be adjusted over a wide range. Other mechanisms for adjusting the length of the braces will be apparent to those skilled in the art.
  • Thus, braces are utilized to interconnect a plurality of support pedestals to form a support structure that supports the surface tiles to form the elevated building surface. The support pedestals that are useful for forming the support structure can have a variety of configurations. The support pedestals can have a fixed height, or can be height-adjustable support pedestals. Further, any combination of fixed height and height-adjustable support pedestals can be used to form the support structure. The support pedestals can also be fabricated from a variety of materials. Preferably, the support pedestals are fabricated from a non-metallic material, such as plastic that is resistant to rot and corrosion.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates a side view of an exemplary support pedestal 201 that includes a base member 212 that is adapted to be placed upon a fixed surface. The support pedestal 201 illustrated in FIG. 5 is a height-adjustable support pedestal. In this regard, the base member 212 includes a cylindrical base member extension 214 that extends upwardly from a base member plate 215 when the support pedestal 201 is operatively placed on a fixed surface. The base member 212 includes base member threads 218 on a surface of the base member extension 214.
  • A support member 216 is adapted to be operatively connected to the base member 212 and includes a support plate 220 and a cylindrical support member extension 219 that extends downwardly from the support plate 220. The support member 216 includes support member threads (not illustrated) on an interior surface of the support member extension 216 that are adapted to threadably engage base member threads 218 to connect the support member 216 to the base member 212. Thus, the support member 216 can be mated directly to base member threads 218 and can be rotated relative to the base member 212 to adjust the height of the support pedestal 201. The support plate 220 is thereby disposed above the base member 212 to support surface tiles thereon. Although illustrated as having internal threads on the support member 216 and external threads on the base member 218, it will be appreciated that other configurations are possible, including external threads on the support member and internal threads on the base member. See, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,588,264 by Buzon and U.S. Pat. No. 6,363,685 by Kugler, each of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. The support pedestal could also have a fixed height.
  • The support plate 220 includes a top surface 222 upon which the corners of adjacent surface tiles can be placed. Spacers 224 can be provided on the top surface 222 of the support plate 220 to provide predetermined spacing between adjacent surface tiles that form the elevated building surface. For example, the spacers 224 can be disposed on a crown member that is placed in a recess on the top surface 222 of the support plate 220. In this manner, the crown member can be rotated independent of the support member 216 to adjust the position of the spacers 224.
  • FIG. 6 illustrates a cross-sectional exploded view of another exemplary support pedestal, including an optional coupling member, that can be useful in a support structure, and FIG. 7 illustrates a side view of the assembled support pedestal including the optional coupling member. Referring to FIGS. 6 and 7, the support pedestal 201 includes a base member 212 having a base member plate 215 that is adapted to be placed upon a fixed surface. The base member includes a cylindrical base member extension 214 extending upwardly from the base member plate 215 when the support pedestal 201 is operatively placed on a fixed surface. The base member extension 214 includes base member threads 218 disposed on an outer surface of the base member extension 214.
  • The support pedestal 201 also includes a support member 216 having a support plate 220 and a cylindrical support member extension 219 that extends downwardly from the support plate 220. A crown member 225 including tile spacers 224 is adapted to be placed in a recess 223 on the top surface 222 of the support member 216. In this manner, after placement of the support pedestal 201, the crown member 225 can be freely rotated in the recess 223 to accommodate the positioning of the surface tiles.
  • The support member 216 also includes support member threads 221 disposed on an inner surface of the support member extension 219. The support member threads 221 are adapted to rotatably engage the base member threads 218 to directly connect the support member 216 to the base member 212. In this manner, the height of the support pedestal 201 can be adjusted by rotating the support member 216 or the base member 212, relative to the other.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7, the support pedestal 201 also includes a coupling member 234 (e.g., an extension member) that is adapted to increase the height of the support pedestal 201. The coupling member 234 includes a first cylindrical portion 235 that is adapted to slidably engage with the base member extension 214, and includes a second cylindrical portion 237 that includes coupling member threads 236 that are adapted to rotatably engage with the support member threads 221. It is important to note that the timing of the coupler member threads 236 with the base member threads 218 should be synchronized when the coupling member 234 is placed in the base member 212. As a result, the support member threads 221 can fully engage the coupling member threads 236 and continue to thread onto the base member threads 218 without binding. In this way, the support pedestal 201 can be fully adjusted through a wide range of heights without any gaps in the obtainable pedestal height. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7, the coupling member 234 also includes an alignment member 238 a that is adapted to mate with an alignment member 238 b in the base member 212 to insure the timing of the coupling member threads 236 with the base member threads 218.
  • Thus, the coupling member 234 can engage both the support member 216 and the base member 212 to couple the support member 216 to the base member 212 and provide an increased height for the support pedestal 201.
  • The support pedestal 201 also includes attachment knobs 226 disposed around the perimeter of the support pedestal. The attachment knobs 226 are adapted to be placed through apertures in a brace to secure the brace to the support pedestal.
  • FIG. 8 illustrates a perspective view of another embodiment of a support pedestal 201 and braces 204 being attached to the support pedestal 201. During installation, the braces 204 can be attached to the base member 212 before or after connecting the support member 216 to the base member 212. After placement of the base member 212 on a fixed surface, an installer can rotate the support member 216 relative to the base member 212 to adjust the height of the support pedestal 201. The base member 212 also includes pedestal attachment elements in the form of attachment knobs 226 and 228 that are disposed around the perimeter of the support pedestal 201. As illustrated in FIG. 8, the attachment knobs 226 and 228 are attached to the base member 212 and project upwardly from the base member plate 215. The attachment knobs 226 and 228 can be integrally molded with the base member 212 during fabrication of the base member. Alternatively, the attachment knobs 226 and 228 can be removably affixed to the base member 212 such as by inserting the attachment knobs through base member apertures 230 during installation. The inclusion of opposed integral knobs 226 and off-set removable knobs 228 can facilitate the molding process for the base member 212, such as when the base member 212 is fabricated by injection molding of a plastic material. However, all of the attachment knobs can be permanent knobs, all of the attachment knobs can be removable knobs, or any combination thereof. Further, the attachment knobs can advantageously provide a grip that can be held by an installer to maintain the base member 212 in a stationary position while the support member 216 is rotated relative to the base member 212, or to rotate the base member 212 while the support member is maintained in a stationary position, to adjust the height of the support pedestal 201.
  • Brace attachment elements in the form of apertures 208 in the end portion 206 of the braces 204 are placed over attachment knobs 226 and 228 to attach the braces 204 to the base member 212. After attachment of the braces 204, caps 232 can optionally be placed over the top of the knobs 226 and 228 to secure the brace 204 to the base member 212. For example, the caps 232 can frictionally engage the knobs 226 and 228 such that the brace 204 cannot be easily detached from the base member 212.
  • It will be appreciated from the foregoing that the support structure and the method for the assembly of the support structure provide a rapid means for an installer to interconnect a plurality of support pedestals by attaching and securing braces to the support pedestals during construction of the support structure.
  • FIG. 9 illustrates a perspective view of a support pedestal 201 having two braces 204 attached to the base member 212 of the support pedestal 201. Caps 232 disposed over the knobs in the base member plate 215 secure the braces 204 to the support pedestal 201.
  • In one embodiment, the pedestal attachment elements can advantageously be disposed on a stabilizing collar that is attached to the support pedestal such that the attachment elements are disposed around a perimeter of the support pedestal. FIG. 10 illustrates a perspective view of a stabilizing collar 250 that can be utilized with a support pedestal to provide a means to attach braces to the support pedestal. The stabilizing collar 250 includes a plurality of attachment knobs 252 that are disposed on a flange 254 extending around the perimeter of the stabilizing collar 250. The flange 254 extends substantially orthogonally from an internal threaded portion 256 of the stabilizing collar 250. The threads of the threaded portion 256 are adapted to be threadably engaged with external threads of a support pedestal to attach the stabilizing collar 250 to the support pedestal. In this regard, the braces can include apertures that are adapted to fit over the attachment knobs 252 to secure the braces to the stabilizing collar 250, and hence to attach the braces to the support pedestal.
  • A securement mechanism such as a retaining ridge 258 can also be provided that is configured to secure the brace after placement of the brace aperture over the attachment knob 252, e.g., so the brace does not inadvertently detach from the attachment knob. Thus, the aperture in the brace can have a diameter that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the retaining ridge so that the brace can be “snap-fit” onto the attachment knob. The retaining ridge 258 can be integrally formed with the attachment knob 252, and the attachment knobs 252 can be permanently or removably affixed to the flange 254. For example, the flange 254 could include apertures and removable attachment knobs could be inserted through the apertures in the flange 254 from the bottom of the flange 254. Alternatively, the attachment knobs 252 may be integrally molded with the flange 254. It will also be appreciated that the stabilizing collar could include attachment elements that are apertures, such as where the braces include similarly configured attachment knobs that are adapted to fit into the apertures.
  • FIG. 11 a illustrates a support pedestal 201 (the attachment knobs 226 on the base plate 215 being removed for clarity) that includes the stabilizing collar 250 being threadably engaged with the support pedestal, e.g., the support pedestal 201 illustrated in FIG. 7. As a result, the attachment knobs 252 are disposed around the perimeter of the support pedestal 201. It should be noted that when the stabilizing collar 250 is threadably engaged with such a support pedestal 201, the stabilizing collar 250 can advantageously be rotated to move the collar along external extension threads of the support pedestal 201 (e.g., the base member threads 218 and/or the coupling member threads 236) to adjust the height of the stabilizing collar 250 relative to the surface onto which the pedestal 201 is placed. Such a pedestal support 201 having attachment elements 252 with adjustable height can advantageously provide increased stability, particularly with the increased pedestal support heights that are obtainable using a coupling member (e.g., coupling member 234 of FIG. 7). Further, the stabilizing collar 250 can be rotated to adjust the positioning of the attachment knobs 252 during installation without necessitating rotation of the entire support pedestal 201. In some arrangements, it is envisioned that one or more braces (see FIGS. 3-4) could be attached to knobs on the base plate of a first support pedestal (so as to secure the first support pedestal to an adjacent second support pedestal) while one or more additional braces could be attached to knobs 252 on a support collar 250 of the first support pedestal (so as to secure the first support pedestal to the adjacent second support pedestal and/or an adjacent third support pedestal). Other arrangements are envisioned and included within the scope of the present disclosure.
  • FIG. 11 b illustrates a support pedestal 201 that includes a plurality of stabilizing collars 250 such as first and second stabilizing collars 250 a, 250 b being threadably engaged with the external extension threads (e.g., coupling member threads 236) of the support pedestal 201. For instance, the first stabilizing collar 250 a may be engaged with the support pedestal 201 at a first vertical position V1 above the base plate 215 and below the support plate 220 and include first attachment elements 252 a adapted to engage with stabilizing braces (removed for clarity from FIG. 11 b) at the first vertical position V1. The second stabilizing collar 250 b may be engaged with the support pedestal 201 at a second vertical position V2 above the base plate 215 and below the support plate 220 and include second attachment elements 252 b adapted to engage with stabilizing braces (removed for clarity from FIG. 11 b) at the second vertical position V2.
  • Use of a plurality of stabilizing collars 250 a, 250 b on at least some of the support pedestals 201 advantageously provides a more structurally robust assembly 100 that is more likely to move in unison during a seismic or other type event. Furthermore, doing so allows for more flexibility in the specific types of support structures 200 that are possible. For instance, engaging multiple stabilizing collars 250 a, 250 b on a first support pedestal 201 could advantageously allow the first support pedestal 201 to be attached to adjacent second and third support pedestals 201, where the adjacent second support pedestal 201 is at a slightly higher grade or elevation that the first support pedestal 201 and where the adjacent third support pedestal 201 is at a slightly lower grade or elevation than the first support pedestal. As another example, first and second support collars 250 a, 250 b on the same support pedestal could be rotated to achieve different orientations of the respective knobs 252 or other pedestal attachment elements. Furthermore, while the stabilizing collars 250 have been disclosed as having knobs 252 receivable within apertures 208 of the braces 204, it is also envisioned that at least some of the stabilizing collars 250 could have apertures disposed on the flange 252 that are adapted to receive knobs or other protrusions disposed on the ends of the braces 204. Still further, it is contemplated that at least some stabilizing collars 250 could have both knobs 252 and apertures on or in the flange 252 and/or a support pedestal 201 could have one stabilizing collar 250 with just knobs 252 thereon and another stabilizing collar with just apertures therein. Further arrangements are also envisioned and included within the scope of the present disclosure.
  • FIG. 12 illustrates two support pedestals 201 a and 201 b that include stabilizing collars 250 threadably engaged with the support pedestals and that are both attached to an adjustable length brace 204 e to interconnect the support pedestals 201 a and 201 b. By having the attachment elements (e.g., attachment knobs 252) disposed above the fixed surface and closer to the center of gravity of the support pedestals 201, a more stable support structure can advantageously be formed.
  • FIG. 13 illustrates an alternative embodiment of an attachment knob 260 that is useful as an attachment element for securing the braces to the support pedestals. The attachment knob 260 includes a hollow interior 262 and a slot 266 formed in the attachment knob 260. A securement mechanism in the form of a resilient tab member 264 is disposed within the slot 266. In this manner, a mating aperture in a brace can be placed over the attachment knob 260 and pushed downwardly past the resilient tab member 264. The tab member 264 will then snap back into position to secure the brace to the attachment knob 260. Such an attachment knob 260 can be removably attached to a support pedestal (e.g., to a stabilizing collar or a base member) or can be permanently attached.
  • While various embodiments of the present invention have been described in detail, it is apparent that modifications and adaptations of those embodiments will occur to those skilled in the art. However, is to be expressly understood that such modifications and adaptations are within the spirit and scope of the present invention.

Claims (29)

1. A support pedestal assembly, comprising:
a support pedestal comprising a base plate that is configured to be placed upon a fixed surface, a support plate disposed over the base plate that is configured to support a surface tile above the fixed surface, and a substantially cylindrical extension disposed between the base plate and the support plate, the substantially cylindrical extension comprising external extension threads along at least a portion thereof; and
a stabilizing collar comprising internal collar threads that are configured to be threadably engaged with the external extension threads, and comprising a plurality of pedestal attachment elements disposed around a perimeter of the stabilizing collar;
wherein the stabilizing collar may be threadably engaged with and rotated relative to the substantially cylindrical extension to adjust the height of the stabilizing collar relative to the base plate.
2. The support pedestal assembly recited in claim 1, wherein the support pedestal comprises a height-adjustable pedestal.
3. The support pedestal assembly recited in claim 1, wherein the support pedestal comprises a fixed-height pedestal.
4. The support pedestal assembly recited in claim 2, wherein the support plate is disposed on a support member that is configured to be threadably engaged with the external extension threads.
5. The support pedestal assembly recited in claim 2, wherein the support pedestal further comprises a coupling member.
6. The support pedestal assembly recited in claim 5, wherein the coupling member comprises external coupling member threads, and wherein the external coupling member threads comprise at least a portion of the external extension threads.
7. The support pedestal assembly recited in claim 1, wherein the pedestal attachment elements are disposed on a flange extending around a perimeter of the stabilizing collar.
8. The support pedestal assembly recited in claim 7, wherein the pedestal attachment elements comprise apertures that are disposed on the flange.
9. The support pedestal assembly recited in claim 8, wherein the pedestal attachment elements comprise attachment knobs that are disposed on the flange.
10. The support pedestal assembly recited in claim 9, wherein the attachment knobs comprise a securement mechanism that is configured to secure a brace to the attachment knob.
11. The support pedestal assembly recited in claim 10, wherein the securement mechanism comprises a retaining ridge disposed around a circumference of the attachment knob.
12. The support pedestal assembly recited in claim 10, wherein the securement mechanism comprises a resilient tab member.
13. The support pedestal assembly recited in claim 9, wherein at least a portion of the attachment knobs are permanently affixed to the flange.
14. The support pedestal assembly recited in claim 9, wherein at least a portion of the attachment knobs are removably affixed to the flange.
15. The support pedestal assembly recited in claim 1, wherein the stabilizing collar is a first stabilizing collar configured to be threadably engaged with the external extension threads at a first vertical position above the base plate, and wherein the support pedestal assembly further comprises:
a second stabilizing collar comprising internal collar threads that are configured to be threadably engaged with the external extension threads at a second vertical position above the base plate that is different than the first vertical position, and comprising a plurality of pedestal attachment elements disposed around a perimeter of the second stabilizing collar.
16. The support pedestal assembly recited in claim 15, wherein the pedestal attachment elements of the first and second stabilizing collars comprise attachment knobs and/or apertures that are disposed on the flange.
17. The support pedestal assembly recited in claim 1, wherein the base plate comprises a plurality of pedestal attachment elements disposed around a perimeter thereof.
18. A support structure for elevating a building surface above a fixed surface, the support structure comprising:
a plurality of support pedestal assemblies disposed in spaced-apart relation, the support pedestal assemblies comprising:
a base member that is placed upon a fixed surface,
a support plate disposed over the base member that is adapted to support a surface tile above the fixed surface,
a substantially cylindrical extension disposed between the base member and the support plate, the substantially cylindrical extension comprising external extension threads along at least a portion thereof, and
a stabilizing collar comprising internal collar threads that are threadably engaged with the external extension threads, the stabilizing collar comprising a plurality of pedestal attachment elements disposed around a perimeter of the stabilizing collar; and
a plurality of braces operatively attached to the pedestal attachment elements to interconnect the support pedestal assemblies, the braces comprising end portions comprising brace attachment elements that are operatively engaged with the pedestal attachment elements.
19. The support structure recited in claim 18, wherein the support pedestal assemblies comprise a height-adjustable support pedestal.
20. The support structure recited in claim 18, wherein the support pedestal assemblies comprise a fixed-height pedestal.
21. The support structure recited in claim 18, wherein the pedestal attachment elements are disposed on a flange extending around a perimeter of the stabilizing collar.
22. The support structure recited in claim 21, wherein the pedestal attachment elements comprise attachment knobs that are disposed on the flange.
23. The support structure recited in claim 22, wherein the attachment knobs comprise a securement mechanism that is configured to secure a brace to the attachment knob.
24. The support structure recited in claim 22, wherein the brace attachment elements comprise apertures that are placed over the attachment knobs.
25. The support structure recited in claim 21, wherein the pedestal attachment elements comprise apertures that are disposed on the flange, and wherein the brace attachment elements comprise attachment knobs that are received in the apertures.
26. The support pedestal assembly recited in claim 18, wherein the stabilizing collar is a first stabilizing collar that is threadably engaged with the external extension threads at a first vertical position above the base member, and wherein at least a portion of the support pedestal assemblies further comprise:
a second stabilizing collar comprising internal collar threads that are threadably engaged with the external extension threads at a second vertical position above the base member that is different than the first vertical position, and comprising a plurality of pedestal attachment elements disposed around a perimeter of the second stabilizing collar, wherein the plurality of braces are operatively attached to the pedestal attachment elements of the first and second stabilizing collars to interconnect the support pedestal assemblies.
27. The support pedestal assembly recited in claim 18, wherein the base member of at least some of the support pedestal assemblies comprises a plurality of pedestal attachment elements disposed around a perimeter thereof, wherein the plurality of braces are operatively attached to the pedestal attachment elements of the stabilizing collars and the base members to interconnect the support pedestal assemblies.
28. An elevated building surface assembly, comprising the support structure recited in claim 16 and comprising:
a plurality of surface tiles operatively placed upon the support plates in spaced-apart relation to form an elevated building surface.
29-34. (canceled)
US13/477,722 2009-07-17 2012-05-22 Support pedestal assembly including a stabilizing collar for stabilizing a support structure Abandoned US20120291369A1 (en)

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US14/091,662 US20140083047A1 (en) 2009-07-17 2013-11-27 Support pedestal assembly including a stabilizing collar for stabilizing a support structure

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