US20140090321A1 - Modular building system utilizing composite, foam core panels - Google Patents

Modular building system utilizing composite, foam core panels Download PDF

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Publication number
US20140090321A1
US20140090321A1 US14/042,005 US201314042005A US2014090321A1 US 20140090321 A1 US20140090321 A1 US 20140090321A1 US 201314042005 A US201314042005 A US 201314042005A US 2014090321 A1 US2014090321 A1 US 2014090321A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
panels
roof
panel
components
component
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
Application number
US14/042,005
Inventor
Jerry Olszewski
Gregory Brower
Bryce Clark
Terry Ball
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Innovative Composites International Inc
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Innovative Composites International Inc
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US31099110P priority Critical
Priority to PCT/CA2011/050131 priority patent/WO2011106901A1/en
Priority to US201213582899A priority
Application filed by Innovative Composites International Inc filed Critical Innovative Composites International Inc
Priority to US14/042,005 priority patent/US20140090321A1/en
Publication of US20140090321A1 publication Critical patent/US20140090321A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04BGENERAL BUILDING CONSTRUCTIONS; WALLS, e.g. PARTITIONS; ROOFS; FLOORS; CEILINGS; INSULATION OR OTHER PROTECTION OF BUILDINGS
    • E04B1/00Constructions in general; Structures which are not restricted either to walls, e.g. partitions, or floors or ceilings or roofs
    • E04B1/02Structures 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
    • B32B15/00Layered products comprising a layer of metal
    • B32B15/04Layered products comprising a layer of metal comprising metal as the main or only constituent of a layer, which is next to another layer of the same or of a different material
    • B32B15/046Layered products comprising a layer of metal comprising metal 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
    • 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
    • B32B3/02Layered 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
    • 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
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04BGENERAL BUILDING CONSTRUCTIONS; WALLS, e.g. PARTITIONS; ROOFS; FLOORS; CEILINGS; INSULATION OR OTHER PROTECTION OF BUILDINGS
    • E04B5/00Floors; Floor construction with regard to insulation; Connections specially adapted therefor
    • E04B5/02Load-carrying floor structures formed substantially of prefabricated units
    • E04B5/026Load-carrying floor structures formed substantially of prefabricated units with beams or slabs of plastic
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04BGENERAL BUILDING CONSTRUCTIONS; WALLS, e.g. PARTITIONS; ROOFS; FLOORS; CEILINGS; INSULATION OR OTHER PROTECTION OF BUILDINGS
    • E04B7/00Roofs; Roof construction with regard to insulation
    • E04B7/02Roofs; Roof construction with regard to insulation with plane sloping surfaces, e.g. saddle roofs
    • E04B7/04Roofs; Roof construction with regard to insulation with plane sloping surfaces, e.g. saddle roofs supported by horizontal beams or the equivalent resting on the walls
    • 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
    • E04B7/20Roofs consisting of self-supporting slabs, e.g. able to be loaded
    • E04B7/22Roofs consisting of self-supporting slabs, e.g. able to be loaded the slabs having insulating properties, e.g. laminated with layers of insulating material
    • 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
    • E04C2/292Building 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 sheet metal
    • 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
    • E04C2/296Building 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 non-metallic or unspecified sheet-material
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04CSTRUCTURAL ELEMENTS; BUILDING MATERIALS
    • E04C3/00Structural elongated elements designed for load-supporting
    • E04C3/02Joists; Girders, trusses, or trusslike structures, e.g. prefabricated; Lintels; Transoms; Braces
    • E04C3/28Joists; Girders, trusses, or trusslike structures, e.g. prefabricated; Lintels; Transoms; Braces of materials not covered by groups E04C3/04 - E04C3/20
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04CSTRUCTURAL ELEMENTS; BUILDING MATERIALS
    • E04C3/00Structural elongated elements designed for load-supporting
    • E04C3/02Joists; Girders, trusses, or trusslike structures, e.g. prefabricated; Lintels; Transoms; Braces
    • E04C3/29Joists; Girders, trusses, or trusslike structures, e.g. prefabricated; Lintels; Transoms; Braces built-up from parts of different material, i.e. composite structures
    • 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
    • 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
    • B32B2266/0221Vinyl resin
    • B32B2266/0228Aromatic vinyl resin, e.g. styrenic (co)polymers
    • 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
    • B32B2266/04Inorganic
    • B32B2266/045Metal
    • 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
    • B32B2266/08Closed cell foam
    • 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
    • B32B2419/00Buildings or parts thereof
    • 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
    • B32B2419/00Buildings or parts thereof
    • B32B2419/06Roofs, roof membranes
    • 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
    • B32B2471/00Floor coverings
    • 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
    • B32B2607/00Walls, panels

Abstract

A system is for constructing a structure and includes composite panels having a laminate structure. The laminate structure includes a foam core to which are attached cover layers of the same or different material. One or both of the cover layers may include composite sub-layers. The system includes a number elongate and preferably extruded components for connecting the panels to form walls, roofs or floors for the structure. The system is modular, thereby providing a time and cost efficient approach for erecting a structure.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • The present application claims priority from U.S. application Ser. No. 61/310,991, filed Mar. 5, 2010, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to composite, foam core panels and to systems for constructing buildings using such panels.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • There is a demand for modular building systems that allow a building to be erected in a simple and time efficient manner. To address this need, various systems have been proposed that incorporate prefabricated structural members that are transported to a building site and assembled together to form a building. In some cases, the structural members are completed wall units that are generally large and difficult to transport and handle. It is also known to use structural insulated panels in the construction of walls, roofs etc. Such panels comprise a “sandwich” structure made of an insulative foam core positioned between two layers of plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) etc. Although such panels provide the desired insulation function (due to the foam core), the wood based “skins” are subject to deterioration due to elemental exposure (i.e. water) or infestation by insects, microorganisms (e.g. mold).
  • In one alternative, building panels have been proposed that incorporate an insulative foam core, as with the panels described above, but, instead of a wood based skin, these panels include polymeric or metallic skins. In some cases, multiple layers of skins are provided to address specific requirements such as strength, water repellency etc. Some examples of such composite building panels are provided in the following references: US 2008/0127607; US 2004/0067352; U.S. Pat. No. 7,527,865; U.S. Pat. No. 6,481,172; U.S. Pat. No. 6,358,599; and U.S. Pat. No. 6,093,481.
  • In addition to various composite panels, various systems to erect building using such panels are also known. In general, such systems include connecting members that serve to join adjacent panels together. One issue to address in such systems is to ensure a complete seal around the enclosure to prevent water penetration and/or heat loss. Some examples of known panel based building systems are provided in the following references: U.S. Pat. No. 7,603,822; U.S. Pat. No. 6,418,681; U.S. Pat. No. 6,305,142; U.S. Pat. No. 6,279,287; U.S. Pat. No. 5,921,046; and U.S. Pat. No. 5,373,678.
  • Although the above mentioned building systems have various efficiencies, there still exists a need for an improved composite panel and an improved building system incorporating same. For example, a building system that can be assembled quickly and efficiency would be desirable.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • In one aspect, the present invention provides a system for constructing a structure comprising: a plurality of generally planar building panels, each of said wall panels having a laminate structure comprising a rigid foam core slab sandwiched between first and second cover layers, the panels comprising wall panels, roof panels or floor panels; and, a plurality of panel connecting components for connecting the panels to form walls, roofs, floors or combinations thereof; the connecting members including means for receiving ends of adjacent panels.
  • In one aspect, the present invention provides a system for constructing a structure comprising: a plurality of generally planar wall panels, each of the wall panels having a laminate structure comprising a rigid foam core slab sandwiched between first and second cover layers; and, a plurality of corner joint, or connecting components including a pair of angularly separated slots adapted to receive ends of the wall panels forming a corner of the structure.
  • In another aspect, the invention provides a system further comprising: a plurality of generally planar roof panels, each of the roof panels having a laminate structure comprising a rigid foam core slab sandwiched between first and second cover layers; and, a plurality of roof joint, or connecting components including a first engagement means adapted to engage upper ends of the wall panels, when erected, and a second engagement means adapted to engage ends of the roof panels.
  • In another aspect, the invention provides a system further comprising a plurality of floor panels, the floor panels having a laminate structure comprising a rigid foam core slab sandwiched between first and second cover layers.
  • In other aspects, the invention provides sill components for supporting wall panels and/or floor panels, ridge joint, or connecting components, for forming roof panel into a ridge of a roof, and seam connecting components for connecting adjacent wall or roof panels.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The features of the invention will become more apparent in the following detailed description in which reference is made to the appended drawings wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is cross sectional view of a panel according to one aspect of the invention.
  • FIG. 1 a is a cross sectional view of a panel according to another aspect of the invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic illustration of a panel manufacturing method and apparatus according to an aspect of the invention.
  • FIG. 3 is a top cross sectional view of a linear wall joint formed by two adjacent composite panels.
  • FIG. 4 is a top cross sectional view of a corner wall joint formed by two adjacent composite panels.
  • FIG. 5 is a cross sectional elevation view of joint formed between a wall panel and a roof panel according to one aspect of the invention.
  • FIG. 6 is a cross sectional elevation view of a roof section illustrating the joints between wall panels and roof panels and between adjacent roof panels in a gabled roof format.
  • FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view taken along the line A-A of FIG. 6.
  • FIG. 8 is a cross sectional elevation view of a base section of a wall according to an aspect of the invention.
  • FIG. 9 is a cross sectional elevation view of a base section of a wall according to another aspect of the invention.
  • FIGS. 10 to 12 are cross sectional elevation views of a base section of a wall according to aspects of the invention showing wall and floor panels in combination.
  • FIG. 13 is a cross sectional elevation view illustrating a two composite floor panels according to one aspect of the invention, supported on a joist.
  • FIG. 14 is a schematic illustration showing the various components of the invention according to another embodiment.
  • FIG. 15 is a cross sectional elevation detail of a wall construction according to an aspect of the invention showing the base portion of the wall.
  • FIG. 16 is a cross sectional elevation detail of a wall construction according to an aspect of the invention showing the top portion of the wall.
  • FIG. 17 is top cross sectional view of a wall construction detail according to an aspect of the invention showing a corner formed by adjacent wall panels.
  • FIG. 18 is a cross sectional elevation detail of a roof construction according to an aspect of the invention showing a ridge formed by adjacent roof panels.
  • FIG. 19 is a cross sectional view of adjacent roof panels illustrating an embodiment of a connection means there-between.
  • FIGS. 20 to 27 illustrate an example of a building construction method according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 28 is a top cross sectional view of a panel assembly showing a corner joint connection according to another aspect of the invention.
  • FIG. 29 is a detail top cross sectional view of a panel assembly showing one of the corner joint connections of FIG. 28.
  • FIG. 30 is an elevational view along the line A-A of FIG. 29.
  • FIG. 31 is a top cross sectional view of a corner wall joint formed by two adjacent composite panels according to another aspect of the invention.
  • FIG. 32 is a cross sectional elevation detail of a wall construction according to another aspect of the invention.
  • FIG. 33 is a cross sectional elevation detail of a roof construction according to another aspect of the invention showing a ridge formed by adjacent roof panels.
  • FIG. 34 is a cross sectional elevation detail of a roof construction according to another aspect of the invention showing a connection system for connecting a roof panel to a wall panel.
  • FIG. 35 is a cross sectional elevation detail of a roof construction according to another aspect of the invention showing a connection system for connecting adjacent roof panels.
  • FIG. 36 is a cross sectional elevation detail of a wall construction according to another aspect of the invention showing a connection system for connecting a wall panel to a base.
  • FIGS. 37 and 38 are cross sectional elevations of “I” beams formed with panels according to another aspect of the invention.
  • In the appended drawings, like numbers are used to identify like elements. In some cases, where one element is similar to but a variant of a previously shown element, the same reference numeral is used but with suffix letters to distinguish the two.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention is based on a system for constructing a structure, or building, that incorporates a plurality of composite panels that are joined together to form an enclosure. The system also includes various joint, or connecting elements or components for joining the panels. As discussed further below, the connecting elements are designed according to the region of the joint. With such a modular system, the structures formed with the invention are capable of being quickly erected and, where necessary, disassembled. The system of the invention may be provided in the form of a kit and such aspect will be assumed to be encompassed by the invention.
  • Various types of composite panels may be used with the invention. However, in a preferred embodiment, the invention comprises the use of a panel as shown in FIG. 1. As shown, the panel 10 comprises a core 12 made of a rigid foam material. Various types of foam materials can be used in the panels of the invention. In general, the foam preferable has a closed cell structure and is sufficiently rigid so as to prevent the panel from bending or otherwise deforming. Some examples of foams that can be used in the present invention include thermoplastic foams, thermoset foams, metallic cellular sections, paper core sections etc. As will be understood, the densities of the foams used in the panels of the invention can be tailored depending upon the need. For example, in situations where a higher degree of load bearing strength is required, the foam used may be of a higher density. It will also be understood that the depth of the foam core 12 may also be varied to provide desired strength characteristics.
  • As also shown in FIG. 1, the panel 10 also includes two cover layers 14 and 16, provided on opposed planar surfaces of the foam core. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the cover layers 14 and 16 are provided on the core 12 to form a laminate, or “sandwich” structure. The cover layers 14 and 16 may, independently or together, be formed of various materials. For examples, the layers may comprise metal or wood sheathing or a plastic material. In the latter case, the layers 14 and 16 may comprise the same or different thermoplastic or thermoset polymers, including, but not limited to, polyester, urethane, epoxy, polypropylene, poly ethylene, polyvinylchloride etc. In one embodiment, where the panels are used for housing, the layers 14 and 16 preferably comprise polymer sheets. In situations where the cover layers comprise a plastic material, such plastics may be reinforced with various additive components such as fibres (e.g. glass fibres), basalt, aramid etc.
  • In one embodiment, the panel 10 of the invention comprises a polymer foam core with polymer cover layers 14 and 16. More preferably, the cover layers are fibre reinforced. In a further preferred aspect, the fibre reinforcement comprises a scrim material such as fibreglass scrim. Other such reinforcement fibres or materials will be known to persons skilled in the art.
  • The cover layers 14 and 16 are also preferably affixed to the surfaces of the foam core 12. This can be achieved in a number of ways such as by known heat lamination methods wherein an adhesive applied to one of the foam core or cover layer surfaces is heat activated. The adhesive can also be applied in a liquid form, such as by coating or spraying an adhesive layer onto either the foam core and/or cover layer surfaces. A preferred method of forming the panels of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 2. As shown, the panel 10 of the invention is formed by passing a sheet of rigid foam material 12 through a press nip formed by two rollers 18. Supply rollers 20 a and 20 b provide the cover layers 14 and 16 on both sides of the foam core 12. The rollers 18 a and 18 b serve to press the two layers 14 and 16, respectively, against the opposite surfaces of the foam core 12. The formed panel 10 is then passed through a laminating press 22 for forming a bonded surface between the foam core 12 and the respective cover layer 14 and 16.
  • Although a description is provided above of a preferred method of manufacturing the panels of the invention, it will be understood that the panels for use in the building system discussed herein may be manufactured using any other known method.
  • In a further embodiment of the invention the cover layers 14 and 16 described above may be replaced with separate composite layers. Such an embodiment is shown in FIG. 1 a, wherein the panel 10′ is shown including a core 12, or “main core”, essentially as described above. That is, the main core 12 generally comprises a rigid foam material. However, in FIG. 1 a, the main core 12 is covered with composite panels 11 and 13. Each of the cover panels 11 a and 11 b comprise a foam core, or “sub core”. 13 a and 13 b, respectively. The sub cores 13 a and 13 b are also formed of a foam material as used for the main core 12. However, as illustrated in FIG. 1 a, the sub cores 13 a and 13 b are generally of a reduced thickness as compared to the main core 12. The sub cores 13 a and 13 b are covered by external cover layers 15 a and 15 b, respectively. The cores 13 a and 13 b are also covered by internal cover layers 17 a and 17 b, respectively. The term “external” and “internal” as used in connection with FIG. 1 a refers to the positioning of the cover layers 15 a, 15 b and 17 a, 17 b with respect to the main core 12. Specifically, the “external” layers 15 a and 15 b are positioned opposite to the main core 12 so as to form the external surfaces of the panel 10′. Similarly, the “internal” layers 17 a and 17 b are positioned between the main foam core 12 and the sub cores 13 a and 13 b, respectively. The composition of the sub cores 13 a and 13 b may be the same or different depending on the specific need and each may also, independently, comprise the same or different material as is used to form the main core 12. Similarly, the external and internal cover layers 15 a, 15 b and 17 a, 17 b, may also, independently of each other, be formed of the same or different materials, with such materials being chosen from those described herein with respect to layers 14 and 16.
  • It will be understood that a panel as shown in FIG. 1 b would offer several advantages. For example, such a panel would have greater stiffness as compared to the panel of FIG. 1 and would also be less susceptible to damage as the internal foam core 12 would be protected by additional layers of material. In addition, the use of three foam cores offers increased insulation value.
  • Although the following discussion will refer to panels having the structure shown and described in reference to FIG. 1, it will be understood that the panels shown and described in reference to FIG. 1 a may be used in the same manner wherever required.
  • Once the panels are formed, they may be used for forming walls, floors, and roofs. Although such panels can be joined together in various ways as known in the art, the invention provides a unique assembly system incorporating connecting elements or joint components. In a preferred embodiment, the attachment of panels involves the use of molded, extruded or cast components that are designed to attach to the ends of the panels. Further details of the structure of these components are provided below. The joint, or connecting components may be formed of various materials as will be apparent to persons skilled in the art having regard to the present disclosure. For example, the components may be formed from metals, such as aluminum, or various polymers. In the latter instance, the polymer materials may be reinforced with fibres etc. to provided any desired physical properties (such as strength, stiffness etc.). As also discussed below, the joint or connecting components or elements may be solid or hollow structures.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates one aspect of the invention wherein two panels 10 a and 10 b are provided in a linear, end to end manner to form a wall section. Each of the panels includes respective cover layers 14 a, 16 a and 14 b, 16 b. As shown in FIG. 3, the layers 14 a and 14 b are directed internally and may therefore be referred to as internal covers. Similarly, the layers 16 a and 16 b are face outwardly of the building and may therefore be referred to as external covers. As will be understood, the internal covers may differ in composition from the external covers. The respective internal and external cover layers may comprise any type of suitable coating that is adapted to receive suitable paint, colouring, or other surface that may be affixed thereto or provided thereon. Similarly, where one of the covers, such as the external cover, is exposed to the elements, the composition of same may be adapted to withstand exposure to heat and cold, wind, or solar radiation etc. Further, the internal cover layer may be adapted to receive, if needed, typical wall coverings such as paint or drywall etc. In one example, the outer layers 16 a and 16 b may comprise plywood or a plywood sheathing overlying a polymer layer. It will be understood that various combinations and types of materials may be used for the respective internal and external coverings. Since the panels 10 a and 10 b are used to form a section of a contiguous wall, it will be understood that the core portions of each would generally be of the same composition. In one example, the cores of the panels may be chosen to provide a desired amount of thermal insulation. For the purpose of the system of the invention, and as discussed above, it will be understood that the core and cover layers of the various panels described herein will have the sufficient degree of strength and stiffness to allow the panels to form a building. The parameters for designing the panels to meet these requirements will be known to persons skilled in the art.
  • As shown in FIG. 3, in order to connect the ends of the panels, a wall joint, or connecting component 24 is used. Wall joint component 24 generally comprises a “T” shaped structure, in end cross section, and includes a first flange 26 and a second flange 28, extending generally perpendicularly from the first flange. In the preferred embodiment, the second flange 28 has a length, measure from the first flange, that is generally equal to the thickness of the panels 10 a and 10 b. The first flange includes an outer surface 30 and an inner surface 32. As shown in FIG. 3, the inner surface 32 is divided into two sections by the second flange 26. Each of such sections is adapted to receive a portion of the panels 10 a and 10 b. As shown, the outer surfaces of the panels 10 a and 10 b are placed in contact with the inner surface 32 of the first flange 26. Further, the opposed ends of the panels 10 a and 10 b are arranged to abut the second flange 26. In one embodiment, an adhesive may be used to secure the outer surfaces of the panels 10 a and 10 b to the inner surface of the first flange 26. In one example, as shown in FIG. 3, such adhesive may comprise a sealing tape 34. It will be understood that forming a seal at the joint of two panels is preferred in order to prevent ingress of moisture or insects etc. and egress of heat through the joint. Similarly, if needed, a further sealing tape or such may be used to secure the ends of the panels to the respective surfaces of the second flange. However, as will be understood, such ends of the panels would primarily comprise the foam core component and, as such, a sealing tape may not provide the same level of sealing.
  • The wall joint component 24 preferably includes an inner plate 36 or cap, which is provided against the inner surface of the panels 10 a and 10 b. As mentioned above, the second flange 28 is generally of the same length as the thickness of the panels 10 a and 10 b. In such arrangement, as shown in FIG. 3, the end of the second flange 28, opposite the first flange, 26, is generally flush with the inner faces of the panels 10 a and 10 b. Thus, the plate 36 can be arranged so as to abut portions of the inner faces of the panels 10 a and 10 b as well as the end of the second flange 28. This arrangement is shown in FIG. 3. In this arrangement, fasteners 38 can be extended through the plate 36 and directly into the second flange 28. Such fasteners may comprise, for example, nails or screws. Similarly additional fasteners may connect the plate 26 to the first flange 26 by passing such fasteners through the respective panel sections, adjacent the second flange 28. If needed, adhesives or sealing tape etc. (not shown) may be provided at contact points between the plate 36 and the respective panels 10 a and 10 b to secure the plate 36 or to provide additional sealing at the joint between the panels. As will be understood, the wall joint component 24 will be vertically oriented when in use. The component may be provided in specified lengths or may be cut to a desired length at the site of the building being constructed. Preferably, the wall joint component 24 comprises a single elongate unit so as to form contiguous joint between adjacent wall panels. In one embodiment, the wall joint component 24 may be formed as a single body, wherein the plate 36 is formed as part of the second flange 28. As can be understood from FIG. 3, in such an arrangement the wall joint component will comprise oppositely directed slots for receiving the ends of adjacent panels. In another embodiment, the wall joint component 24 may comprise several sections that are connected together. Such an arrangement may be used, for example, where a single segment is too large for transportation or handling etc.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates a corner joint between two wall panels 10 a and 10 b. In this case, the panels are connected together by means of a corner joint, or connecting component 40. As shown in FIG. 4, the corner joint component comprises two slots 42 and 44, adapted to receive panels 10 a and 10 b, respectively. The slots 42 and 44 are generally arranged at a 90° orientation to each other so as to form an orthogonal corner. However, it will be understood that where any other angle is desired at a corner, a respectively designed corner joint component can be used. However, for typical construction, a 90° orientation will be understood to predominate. As shown in FIG. 4, the slots 42 and 44 are sized to enable a portion of the respective panels 10 a and 10 b to be received therein. Once in place, fasteners 46 can be used to secure the panels to the corner joint component 40. As with the previous component, it will be understood that various types or combinations of sealing and adhesive devices may be used to seal the contact surfaces between the panels 10 a and 10 b and the corner joint component 40. Although FIG. 4 shows the preferred corner joint component 40 as comprising an elongate unitary body, it will be understood that the inner, “L” shaped segment 49 of the component may be formed as a separate body, in a manner similar to the plate 36 discussed above.
  • FIGS. 5-7 illustrate the use of the panels of the invention in forming roofs of the buildings. In particular, FIGS. 5-7 illustrate the joint formed at the upper end of a wall panel 10 a and a similar panel 10 c used for forming a roof. As before, each of the panels 10 a and 10 c include inner layers, 14 a and 14 c, and outer layers 16 a and 16 c. The panels also include cores 12 a and 12 c. As discussed above, the inner and outer layers 14 and 16 may be chosen from appropriate materials that serve the desired purpose. The layers 14 a and 16 a for the wall panel 10 a were discussed previously. The same materials may also be chosen for the layers 14 c and 16 c of the roof panel 10 c. However, it will be understood that due to the different role of the roof panels 10 c, the layers may be chosen from different materials. For example, the outer layer 16 c of the roof panel 10 c may be designed with a material to provide required water penetration resistance. In one example, the outer layer 16 c may comprise a metal sheet. The core sections 12 a and 12 c may also be of the same or different materials. For example, due to the fact that the roof panels 10 c will need to support loads applied against its planar surface, the stiffness of such panels may need to be greater than that for the wall panels 10 a. Thus, the core 12 c and cover layers 14 c and 16 c may be formed of the required materials to provide the required physical characteristics.
  • As shown in FIG. 5, a roof joint, or connecting component 50 is provided for connecting a roof panel 10 c to a generally vertically oriented wall panel 10 a. As shown in FIG. 5, the roof joint component 50 is designed to provide an angular arrangement between the generally vertical wall panel 10 a and the roof panel 10 c. As will be understood, such an arrangement provides the roof with a pitch so as to facilitate water run off etc. It will also be understood that the roof joint component 50 may be designed to provide any degree of pitch for the roof of the building being constructed. It will also be understood that roof joint component 50 comprises an elongate structure that preferably extends the length of the wall. However, in cases of very long walls, it will be understood that the roof joint component 50 may be provided in sections that can be secured together so as to form a contiguous structure.
  • The roof joint component 50 includes a first end 52 adapted to connect with the upper edge of a wall panel 10 a and a second end 54 adapted to connect with one edge of a roof panel 10 c. The first end 52 of the roof joint component 50 preferably includes a slot 56 for receiving the upper edge of the wall panel 10 a. The slot 56 will be sized accordingly to receive the wall panel edge. The roof joint component 50 and the wall panel 10 a may be secured together using fasteners 58. In one preferred embodiment, the fasteners extend between opposite ends of the slot 56 and through a portion of the wall panel 10 a received within such slot. As described previously, various adhesives or sealing members etc. may be used to form a seal between one or more contact surfaces of the roof joint component 50 and the wall panel 10 a.
  • The second end 54 of the roof joint component 50 includes a bearing surface comprising a ledge 60, adapted to receive one edge of a roof panel 10 c, and an edge 62 extending above the ledge 60, adapted to brace against the end of the roof panel 10 c received on the ledge 60. It will be understood that adhesives or sealing members may be provided between the contact surfaces of the roof panel 10 c and the roof joint component 50.
  • In a preferred aspect of the invention, the roof panel 10 c is provided with an external cover layer 16 c that extends beyond the core 12 c and inner cover layer 14 c. As shown in FIG. 5, the external cover layer 16 c extension 64 overlaps the upper edge 66 of the second end 54 of the roof joint component 50 and, therefore, the seam between the roof panel 10 c and the component 50. As will be understood, with such an arrangement, a continuous layer is formed across the surface of the roof, thereby allowing for water drainage over the roof while preventing seepage into the joint between the roof panel 10 c and the roof joint component 50.
  • The roof panel 10 c may be connected to the roof joint component 50 in various ways. However, in one aspect, as shown in FIG. 5, such connection may be achieved with fasteners 68 that extend through the extension 64 of the external layer 16 c of the roof panel 10 c and into the upper edge 66 of the roof component second end 54.
  • As indicated above, the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5 shows a roof joint component 50 that is designed to provide an angular arrangement between the generally vertical wall panel 10 a and the roof panel 10 c. It will be appreciated that such angular arrangement can comprise any desired pitch for the roof. Thus, depending upon the design of the structure being erected, the roof joint component can be adapted to provide the require angular arrangement between the wall and roof panels (i.e. the pitch of the roof). In one extreme, the roof may have no pitch. That is, the roof would be flat and, for this purpose, the ledge 60 would be orthogonal to the wall panel 10 a. Thus, the roof panel 10 c resting on the ledge 60 would also be orthogonal to the wall panel 10 a.
  • It will be appreciated that the span and pitch of the roof panels described above will depend on the expected loads to be supported. In some cases, where the size of the building is larger than the panels, the roof may need to be composed of more than one panel as measured from one wall to another. In such cases, a connecting member similar to the wall joint component shown in FIG. 3 may be used to connect adjacent roof panels together. It should be noted that a seam between roof panels may result in a zone of weakness, particularly where the roof is flat, and, accordingly, suitable reinforcement means may be provided to compensate. For example, a beam or other such component may be provided to support such seams. Typically, for small buildings, such as single room structures, it may be possible for the walls and roof to be formed from single panel sheets. In the case of a gabled roof, such as shown in FIG. 5 and as discussed further below, two oppositely directed panels would be required. Various orientations and configurations of the panels are therefore possible according to the invention.
  • FIG. 6 illustrates the connection of two roof panels 10 c and 10 d, forming a ridge 70 of a roof at a gable end thereof. As discussed above, first ends 72 c and 72 d of respective roof panels 10 c and 10 d are connected to respective roof joint components 50 c and 50 d. The roof panels 10 c and 10 d also include respective second ends 73 c and 73 d, which are opposite to first ends 72 c and 72 d. The seconds ends 73 c, 73 d are joined by a ridge beam component 80. The ridge beam component 80 includes oppositely directed ledges 82 c and 82 d, which are adapted to receive the second ends 73 c and 73 d of the respective roof panels 10 c and 10 d. As will be understood the ledges 82 c and 82 d of the ridge beam component 80 are provided in an angular format wherein each ledge is sloped downwardly and away from the center of the component 80. Such an angular arrangement corresponds to the pitch of the respective roof panels 10 c and 10 d.
  • The ridge beam component 80 will be understood to comprise an elongate member that, in one aspect, extends the length of the building being constructed. The beam component 80 can, if necessary, be provided in sections. The ridge beam component 80 also preferably includes an elongate cap 84, which overlies an upper end 86 of the ridge beam component 80 and also overlaps a portion of the second ends 73 c and 73 d of the roof panels 10 c and 10 d. As will be understood, in such an arrangement, water drainage is conducted over the cap 84 and across the seam formed between the roof panels 10 c and 10 d and the ridge beam component 80. This therefore serves to prevent water seepage into such seam.
  • The cap 84 may be secured to the roof assembly by various means. For example, fasteners 88 may be provided through the cap 84 and into the upper end 86 of the ridge beam component 80. In addition, sealing tape 90 or other such sealing or adhesive member may be provided between the upper edge of the roof panels 10 c and 10 d and the contacted underside of the cap 84.
  • As mentioned above, the roof assembly shown in FIG. 6 comprises a gable end of the structure being erected. As such, the roof assembly also preferably includes one or more pairs of gable beam components, or gable beams, 92 c and 92 d, each extending from the respective roof joint component 50 c and 50 d. As shown, respective first ends, 94 c and 94 d, of the gable beams 92 c and 92 d, are joined or connected to the opposed inner surfaces of respective roof joint components 50 c and 50 d. The gable beams 92 c,d have upper edges 96 c,d and lower edges 97 c,d that are generally parallel with each other. In the result the gable beams 92 c and 92 d generally follow the same angle as the pitch of the roof panels 10 c and 10 d. Thus, second ends 98 c and 98 d of the gable beams 92 c and 92 d meet to form an apex 100 of the roof.
  • In a preferred embodiment, the upper edges 96 c and 96 d of the gable beams 92 c and 92 d are provided with respective notches that combine to form a trough 102 that is adapted to receive and support the ridge beam component 80.
  • As will be understood, the roof structures illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6 serve to support and distribute the load of the roof to the walls of the structures.
  • FIG. 7 illustrates a section of the gable plate 92 c as taken along the line A-A of FIG. 6 and shows the manner in which such gable plate is attached to the gable end wall panel, shown at 10 e. As shown, the roof panel 10 e is attached to the gable plate 92 c in the same manner as discussed previously with respect to FIG. 5. As shown in FIG. 7, the gable plate 92 c includes a slot 56 e for receiving the upper edge of the wall panel 10 e in the same manner as described above. It will be understood that wall panel 10 e includes a facing profile that matches the gable end of the building being erected. The gable plate 92 c includes a ledge 60 e that is adapted to receive the underside of the roof panel 10 c. The wall panel 10 e is secured to the gable plate 92 c by means of fasteners such as shown at 58 in FIGS. 6 and 7.
  • FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate aspects of the invention that serve to support the base of the wall panels, shown as 10 a. The wall panels 10 a are similar to the wall panels discussed above. As shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, the wall panel 10 a is supported by a sill component 110. In particular, the sill component 110 includes a lower base portion 112 and an upper panel supporting section 114. The base portion 112 may rest on the ground 116 as shown in FIG. 8 or may rest upon a concrete slab 118 as shown in FIG. 9. Where the sill component 110 rests on the ground, it would be preferred to utilize cross ties 120 as shown in FIG. 8 so as to prevent relative movement between opposite sill components 110. It will be understood that the cross ties 120 may be provided only around the perimeter of the building or at certain distances along the length of the wall as may be needed to ensure the shape of the structure is maintained. Where a concrete slab 118 is used, it would be preferred to incorporate a ledge 122 along the outer edge of the slab 118 in which to receive the base 112 of the sill component 110. Such an arrangement prevents the sill 110 from resting directly on the ground. However, it will be understood that the sill component 110 can equally rest on the ground and the concrete slab can be provided along the inner surface thereof. In a further alternative, the concrete slab 18 may be provided with various forms of anchoring such as bolts, brackets and the like to receive or engage the sill component 110.
  • In either case, where cross ties 120 or a concrete slab 118 is used, the sill component is preferably secured thereto by means of fasteners 124. For example, as shown in FIG. 8, fasteners 124 are driven through the outer surface 111 of the sill component 110 and into the cross tie 120. In FIG. 9, the fasteners 124 are similarly driven through the outer surface 111 of the sill component and into the concrete slab 118. In the latter instance, a masonry anchor 126, as known in the art, may be provided to receive and engage the fastener 124.
  • The sill component 110 and the cross ties 120 may be formed from the same materials as the other connection components of the invention such as the wall joint component, the roof joint component etc. As will be understood, the sill component comprises an elongate structure that may run the length of the wall with which it is associated. Where necessary, the sill component may be formed of two or more sections that are connected together.
  • The upper end 114 of the sill component 110 includes an upwardly opening slot 128 that is adapted to receive a portion of the bottom end 130 of the wall panel 10 a. The wall panel 10 a may be secured within the slot 128 using adhesives or sealing tape etc. as discussed above. The wall panel 10 a may be secured to the sill component using fasteners 131. In a preferred embodiment, the fasteners 131 extend from one side of the slot 128 to the other and through the wall panel 10 a. It will be understood that any length of the wall panel 10 a can be inserted into the slot 128. The length of insertion would depend upon the size of the slot. It will also be understood that the slot 128 aids in stabilizing the wall panels 10 a and, therefore, the structure formed therewith.
  • FIGS. 10 to 12 illustrate the use of the composite panels of the invention as flooring panels. FIG. 10 illustrates an aspect of the invention wherein a sill component 110 such as that shown in FIG. 8 or 9 is used to support wall panel 10 a. The invention provides for the use of joists 134 that extend between opposite sill components 110 (FIG. 10 shows only one sill component for convenience; however, it will be understood that the opposite sill would be of the same configuration but a mirror image of that shown in the figure). Fasteners 136 are used to connect the sill components 110 to the ends of the joists 134. As shown, the fasteners are preferably secured by insertion through the external surface of the sill component and into the ends of the joists 134. It will be understood that all fasteners described herein may comprise nails, screws, bolts or any other such known component or device.
  • The joists 134 may be formed from any of the same material as the various joint components and sill components mentioned above. That is, the joists 134 may be formed as an extrusion and may be provided to the job site as elongate units of a desired size. Alternatively, the joists 134 may be cut to the size requirements of the building.
  • The joists 134 shown in FIG. 10 are arranged in a known manner as is commonly done in the field of construction. Once the joists 134 have been installed, composite flooring panels 10 f may be laid there-over. The flooring panels 10 f are constructed generally in the same manner as the other panels described above. That is, the flooring panels 10 f comprise a foam core 12 f having on opposing surfaces thereof, facing or covering layers 14 f and 16 f. In the view shown in FIG. 10, the lower surface 14 f is placed over the joists 134 while the upper surface 16 f serves as the exposed, floor surface. As before, the foam core 12 f can be designed to have any desired level of density. The cover layers 14 f and 16 f may comprise the same or different materials. For example, the lower surface, 14 f may comprise a polymer sheet (as described above) while the upper layer 16 f may comprise plywood, OSB or other such known flooring material. It will be understood that the material used for the layers 14 f and 16 f may be chosen based on the specific need. In one aspect, the upper layer 16 f may be provided with a finishing layer or film in order to accommodate traffic thereon or to receive a further floor covering (e.g. tile, carpet, etc.)
  • The composite floor panels 10 f may be secured to the joists 134 using various types or combinations of fasteners or adhesives etc.
  • FIG. 11 illustrates a variation of the assembly shown in FIG. 10. In FIG. 11, the sill component 110 a is generally the same as sill component 110 of FIG. 10 but is provided with a ledge 138, which serves as a support for an edge portion of the composite floor panel 10 f. The floor panel 10 f may then be secured to the ledge 138 using fasteners 140 and/or adhesives etc. The joists 134 a are also similar to the joists described above with respect to FIG. 10; however, as shown in FIG. 11, these components may be designed to accommodate the ledge 138. It will be understood that the size of the ledge 138 may be varied depending on the amount of the floor panel 10 f that needs to be supported.
  • FIG. 12 illustrates the sill component 110 a of FIG. 11 in a section where no joist is used. As shown, the ledge 138 is adapted to receive an edge portion of the floor panel 10 f.
  • Typically, the composite floor panels will be provided in specific sizes. Therefore, when a floor is being constructed, it is expected that more than one panel will be needed. In such case, the floor panels can be provided over the joists 134 or 134 a as described above. FIG. 13 illustrates the manner in which adjacent composite floor panels, shown as 10 f and 10 g, may be supported on a joist 134 to form the floor of a building. It will be understood that the joist in FIG. 13 is identified with the reference numeral 134 for convenience only and that any other type of joist as described herein (such as joist 134 a) may be used. As shown, the joists 134 are positioned as specific locations on the region of the floor so as to lie under adjacent edges 142 and 144 of the respective panels 10 f and 10 g. The edges 142 and 144 are thus supported on the joist 134. Fasteners 146 may then be used to secure the edges 142 and 144 to the joist 134. The fasteners 146 are extended through the panels 10 f and 10 g and into the joist 134. It will be understood that adhesive or sealing tape etc. may also be used to secure the panels to the joist. In a preferred aspect, a joint cap 148 may be provided to cover the seam between the adjacent panels 10 f and 10 g. As will be understood, the joint cap 148 serves to seal the seam between the panels. The joint cap 148 may be secured over the edges 142 and 144 of the panels 10 f and 10 g using adhesives etc. In one aspect, fasteners 149 may be used to secure the joint cap. The fasteners 149 would preferably extend into the joist 134. In one aspect, the joint cap 148 may be provided with a countersunk hold to receive a head of the fastener 149 so as to avoid protrusion above the level of the joint cap.
  • The building system of the invention as described above and as shown in FIGS. 3 to 13 is particularly suited for erecting temporary shelters such as sheds, hunting blinds, cabins and the like. The system can, for example, be used to erect temporary dwellings in emergency situations displacement of people in the event of natural disasters etc. The modular nature of the panels and related components allows the system of the invention to be easily transported to a site where assembly of the building using the various components can be conducted. It will be understood that the sizes of the panels and components can be pre-determined so that a building of a given size can be erected without any cutting of panels or the related structural components. Further, since the panels of the invention are mainly composed of a foam core, they are generally lightweight in nature thereby facilitating the construction process. Further, it will be appreciated the same panels can be used for either walls, roof or floor of the building. Therefore, the system of the invention can be designed with only a single panel design, which will serve multiple purposes. It will be understood that this feature greatly simplifies the assembly process since the need for specific, single purpose panels is obviated.
  • Where needed or desired, the panels of the invention can also be designed to include doors, windows, access opening or vents and the like. For example, in the case of doors, certain panels can be designed to include a doorway opening and a door may comprise any type of material joined to the doorway by a hinge (for example a mechanical hinge or a “living” hinge). Various types of insulation and/or weatherproofing can be incorporated to ensure the doors or windows are adequately sealed. Similarly, window openings may be provided by adding a clear glazing material in an opening, with such glazing being fixed in position by any type of method (e.g. mechanical, welding, adhesives etc.)
  • The external and internal surfaces of the layers of the panels may be provided with coloring or various types of “skins” to provide aesthetic or functional characteristics. For example, the skin may serve to facilitate maintenance (i.e. cleaning) or to provide camouflage. In the case of where the system of the invention is used to erect hunting blinds, the external and internal surfaces may have different patterned camouflage graphics. In this way, the panels can be configured in two alternate configurations such as a forest camouflage for forest hunting or a wetlands camouflage for waterfowl hunting. Thus, the system of the invention can be designed to serve multiple purposes thereby providing greater flexibility of use.
  • In the above discussion, emphasis was placed on using the system of the invention to erect temporary or emergency structures. However, as discussed further below, the invention can equally be used to erect more permanent, low cost modular housing or other such structures.
  • FIG. 14 illustrates schematically some of the elements of a system in accordance with another aspect of the invention. As shown, a generalized structure 200 includes a number of wall panels 202 and a number of roof panels 204. The wall panels 202 rest on base plate or sill components 206. At the corners of the structure 200, corner joint components 207 connect the adjacent wall panels 202 forming the corner. Roof joint components 208 serve to connect wall panels 202 to roof panels 204. Ridge components 210 serve to connect roof panels 204 at a location of the ridge forming the roof of the structure. As discussed above, in some cases, the ridge component may be omitted, such as where a flat roof is desired.
  • The structure of the wall and roof panels, 202 and 204, is generally the same as that described above. Similarly, the various joint components are also made of the same general materials as described above.
  • The base plate or sill component 206 according to the aspect of the invention comprises a generally “U” shaped member defining a slot 212 into which bottom portions of the wall panels 202 are received. The roof joint, or connecting component 208 is generally of the same configuration as described above (such as with regard to FIGS. 8 to 12) and includes a slot 214 for receiving top portions of the wall panels 202 and a ledge 216 for receiving edge portions of roof panels 204. The ridge joint component 210 according to this aspect of the invention comprises a generally “C” shaped structure defining a slot 218 that is adapted to receive edge portions of roof panels 204. As shown, the slot 218 of the ridge component 210 is angularly provided in a manner corresponding to the pitch of the roof as will be understood by persons skilled in the art.
  • FIG. 15 illustrates the use of a wall panel 202 of the invention with typical concrete foundation walls 220. As shown, in constructing a wall, one or more sill components 206 are first secured to typical wood joists 222 in a manner known in the art. The joists 222 are secured to the foundation wall 220 as is typically done. Following this, wall panels 202 are placed into the slot 212 of the sill components 206. It will be understood that the sill components 206 will generally be provided around the perimeter of the foundation wall.
  • As mentioned above, the composite wall panel 202 shown in FIG. 15 is of the same general construction as described above. The panel 202 includes a rigid foam core 224 composed, for example, of a foamed polymer. Further, as with all composite panels of the present invention, the foam may be designed to provide desired heat and/or sound insulation properties by adjusting the density of the foam and/or the thickness of the core itself. For example, when used for forming walls, the composite panel may comprise a foam core made of expanded polystyrene foam and may comprise a thickness of 6 inches. The overall dimensions of the panel itself may vary depending on the desired size. Although large panels would be preferable so as to limit the number of seams in the wall, such panels may be difficult to transport and manipulate. Further, providing panels of “standard” sizes, such as 4 feet×8 feet, construction of the building would be easier.
  • The foam core 224 is provided with cover layers or skins, comprising a first layer 226, which faces the inside of the building being erected, and a second layer 228, which faces the externally facing side of the panel. As discussed above, the layers 226 and 228 may be the same or different in composition as needed. For example, each of the cover layers may comprise a polymer sheet adhered to the foam core material. Typically, when the building is erected, both of the layers 226 and 228 may be provided with other covering or sheathing as may be needed or desired. For example, as shown in FIG. 15, the inwardly facing layer, 226, may be covered by drywall 230 or other known covering. Similarly, the externally facing layer 228 may be covered by siding 232 or other commonly known external sheathing.
  • FIG. 16 illustrates a detail showing the construction of a building and, in particular, illustrating the connection between a composite panel wall and a composite panel roof according to an aspect of the invention. The detail shown in FIG. 16 may, for example, comprise the upper portion of the wall shown in FIG. 15. For this reason, the same numbering of like elements will be used for convenience. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 16, the building is constructed using commonly known joists, such as wood joists 233. For this reason, the composite wall panel 202 is preferably provided with a wall cap 234, which may be similar in structure to the sill component 206 shown in FIG. 15. The wall cap 234 may be connected to the upper end of the panel 202 using fasteners, adhesives or any combination thereof. It will also be understood that sealing material such as tape or caulking may also be used. The joists 233 are then provided to rest on the wall cap 234. In a preferred embodiment, the joists 233 may be provided with a slot or cut-out 236 to fit over and engage the wall cap 234.
  • FIG. 16 illustrates the composite roof panels 240 used for constructing the roof of the building. As with the wall panels 202, the composite roof panels 240 are also of the same construction as described above. Namely, the roof panels 240 comprise a rigid foam core 242 and inner facing and outer facing cover layers, 244 and 246, respectively. As with the wall panels, the foam core 242 of the roof panels 240 may be designed in terms density and dimensions, for various heat or sound insulation properties. In one example, the core may comprise expanded polystyrene foam of 8 inches in thickness. As described above, the cover layers 244 and 246 may be of the same or different composition. For example, each of the cover layers 244 and 246 may comprise a polymer sheet adhered to the foam core material. On the inner layer, standard sheathing material such as drywall 248 may be provided over the inner facing cover layer 244. The outer facing layer 246 may comprise a metal sheet or such metal sheet may be provided as an external sheathing over a polymer outer facing layer. This discussion has focused on metal clad roofing. However, it will be understood that various types of roofing may be provided on the building such as wood or asphalt shingles etc. The invention will be understood to not be limited to any particular type of internal or external sheathing.
  • In FIGS. 5 to 7, the roof joint component was described as being a unitary structure having one end for engaging the top of a wall panel and another end for engaging an end of a roof panel. However, in the embodiment shown in FIG. 16, another embodiment of a roof joint, or connecting component is shown at 250. This embodiment of the roof joint component 250 includes a base 252 comprising a generally flat portion that is adapted to be positioned atop the upper ends of the joists 233 described above. The roof joint component 250 may be secured to the joists 233 in various known ways such as with fasteners (e.g. nails), adhesives etc. The roof joint component 250 further includes a ledge 254 adapted to receive the ends 255 of the roof panels 240. As shown in FIG. 16, the ledge 254 preferably includes a shoulder 256 at the end adjacent the outer portion of the wall. The shoulder 256 serves to act as a stop for the roof panel ends 255. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 16, the ledge 254 and shoulder 256 are provided generally orthogonal to each other. In this embodiment, it is shown that the outer ends 255 of the roof panels 240 are cut to fit within the space defined by the ledge 254 and shoulder 256. The degree of cutting required will depend upon the pitch of the desired roof. For example, in the case where a flat roof is desired, it will be understood that no cutting will be necessary. However, as shown in FIG. 16, where the roof is to include a certain pitch, the necessary angular cuts may be provided on the roof panels 240.
  • The roof panels 240 may be secured to the roof joint component 150 using one or more of fasteners, adhesives etc. In addition, one or more types of anchors or flanges, such as the flange 258 shown in FIG. 16 may be included in the system of the invention to further secure the roof panels 240 and/or to provide a surface for attaching the interior sheathing.
  • In the above discussion, a description was provided of some corner joint components, in the case of corners formed by wall panels, and ridge joint components, in the case of roof ridges formed by roof panels. FIGS. 17 and 18 illustrate other embodiments of these components. In FIG. 17, another embodiment of a corner joint, or connecting component 270, or corner post, is illustrated. As shown, the corner joint component 270 serves to form or support a corner formed by adjacent composite wall panels 202 a and 202 b. The structure of the panels 202 a and 202 b is as described above. The corner joint component 270 includes opposed slots 272 and 274 adapted to receive panels 202 a and 202 b, respectively. The slots 272 and 274 in the embodiment shown in FIG. 17 are shown as including angular base sections to receive the ends of the panels 202 a and 202 b after such panels are cut to include bevelled ends. It will be understood that the corner joint component 270 may alternatively include slots of the same configuration as shown in FIG. 4. The panels 202 a and 202 b may be secured to the corner joint component 270 in any manner as described above.
  • As also shown in FIG. 17, the outer edges of the corner joint component may extend beyond the outer cover layer of the panels and, thereby, as an edge against which any desired and optional external cladding, such as siding, shingles etc. may abut.
  • FIG. 18 illustrates a ridge joint, or connecting component 280, which is used to join opposing composite roof panels 240 a and 240 b to form a pitched roof. The structure of the roof panels 240 a and 240 b is the same as that described above. The ridge joint component 280 includes opposing slots 282 and 284 for receiving opposed ends of roof panels 240 a and 240 b, respectively. As shown in FIG. 18, the slots 282 and 284 are shaped to accommodate the ends of roof panels after being cut to match the desired pitch of the roof being constructed. It will be understood that the shape of the slots and the needed cutting of the panel ends will vary based on the need and the desired roof pitch.
  • The corner joint component 270 and ridge joint component 280 are generally elongate structures and may be extruded from materials as described above.
  • As discussed above, the composite panels used for forming the roof of the building may be of any dimensions. Although large sized panels would reduce the number of seams, such panels would be difficult to manipulate, particularly when building the roof. Where seams between roof panels are present, various means of sealing same may be used. Some examples have been described above. The invention provides another option for connecting adjacent roof panels apart from the ridge connection previously described. One example of a roof construction according to an aspect of the invention is shown in FIG. 19. In this figure, roof panels 300, 302 and 304 are shown. The faces of the panels directed towards the interior of the building are provided, in one embodiment, with drywall sheets 306 a, b and c. The faces of the panels directed towards the exterior of the building are provided with metal sheathing 308 a, b and c. Each of the metal sheathing include externally extending flanges 310. In order to connect adjacent roof panels together, a cap 312, having a generally inverted “U” shaped structure when in use, is provided over the adjacent flanges 310 of adjacent panels. The caps 312 include fastening elements 314 that extend from the cap 312 and through the seam formed by adjacent panels, such as between panels 300 and 302 and between panels 302 and 304. The joints between adjacent panels is secured by attaching tie plates 316 to the fastening elements 314. As shown, the tie plates 316 are sized to overlap portions of the adjacent panels. Thus, when secured to the fastening elements, the tie plates 316 and the caps 312 are urged together and locked. As will be understood, the interlocking of the inverted “U” shaped caps 312 and the upwardly extending flanges 310 of the adjacent panels serve to prevent separation of adjacent panels. The tie plates 316 may be secured to the fastening elements 314 by various means. For example, at least the terminal portion of the fastening elements 314 may be provided with an external thread and cooperating nuts may be provided to secure the tie plates 316 thereto.
  • FIGS. 20 to 27 illustrate a method of how a building may be constructed using, for example, the panels and joint components described above, and in particular, as shown in FIGS. 16 to 19. As shown in FIG. 20, a concrete pad 400 is first poured in the location where the building is to be erected. Corner posts, or corner joint components 402 are then provided at the corners of the building. The corner posts 402 may be embedded in the concrete or may be secured to the formed concrete. In the next phase, wall panels 404 are inserted into the respective slots in the corner posts 402. In FIG. 20, the walls are shown as being formed of a single panel 404. However, it will be understood that each wall may be comprised of multiple panels where needed.
  • In FIG. 21, the building is shown having three walls erected. As shown, one wall 405, is provided with a gable shaped top portion. It will be understood that, if needed, all the panels may have the same shape as shown at 404.
  • FIGS. 22 and 23 illustrates the addition of wall caps, or wall cap components 406 to the upper ends of the wall panels 404 and the installation of ceiling joists 410. In this embodiment, the wall caps 406 include slots 412 that are adapted to receive the ceiling joists 412.
  • As shown in FIG. 24, once the wall caps 406 and ceiling joists 410 are installed, the roof joint, or connecting components 414 are then secured to the upper ends of the ceiling joists 410. In the embodiment shown, roof joint components 414 are only required on the two opposed walls since the remaining two walls are shown as including gable ends. For the gable wall panels, gable joint components such as the gable plates 92 c and 92 d as described in reference to FIGS. 6 and 7, may be used. As shown in FIG. 16, the roof joint component 414 include slots 416 for receiving ends of roof panels. As shown in FIG. 7, similar engagement structures are provided in the gable plates.
  • FIG. 25 illustrates the addition of roof framing members 418 and the installation of the ridge joint component 420. Ridge joint component 420 is generally the same as that shown and described in FIG. 18.
  • FIG. 26 illustrates the next step wherein roof panels 422 are installed, with each panel extending longitudinally between the ridge joint component 420 and respective roof joint component 414. As described above with regard to FIG. 19, the seams between adjacent panels 422 would preferably be connected or locked in place.
  • Finally, in FIG. 27, the step of installing facia 424 or other types of commonly known covering is shown.
  • FIG. 4 discussed above illustrated one embodiment of connecting panels that form a corner between two panels, such as wall panels. A variation in the corner joint between two panels is illustrated in FIG. 28 to 30. In FIGS. 28-30, the panels of the invention will be understood as having the structure as described above. In FIGS. 28-30, the panels forming the corner joint are adapted to be connected together by means of a pin and keyhole arrangement, which serves to interlock the panels and to provide the building with further structural integrity to the building being constructed. FIG. 28 shows a plan view illustrating four walls forming a building. In construction, two opposing wall panels 500 and 502 are first erected in the manner described above. Subsequently, two opposing end wall panels 504 and 506 are positioned. As shown, the ends of each wall and end wall panel are provided with cooperating profiles to provide mutual engagement between adjacent panels. Specifically, as shown in FIG. 29, the wall panels are provided with internal cut-outs resulting in each end to have an “L” shaped structure. Thus, the ends of each pair of wall and end panels combine to form a corner having a zigzag shaped joint there-between. As shown in FIGS. 28 and 29, the internal faces 505 and 506 of the end panels 504 and 506 are sized to be received between the internal faces 501 and 503 of the two wall panels 500 and 502.
  • As shown in FIGS. 29 and 30, the wall panels 500 and 502 are provided with a number of keyholes 508 having a larger upper opening and a narrower lower opening. The end panels 504 and 506 are provided with pins 510 adapted to interact with the keyholes 508. More specifically, the pins 510 have heads that are capable of being inserted into the larger opening of the keyholes 510 but not the narrower opening thereof. To further facilitate this arrangement, each of the panels 504 and 506 may be provided with end caps as shown in FIG. 29 into which the pins 510 and keyholes 508 are provided. In constructing the wall structure shown in FIG. 28, the end wall panels 504 and 506 are slightly lifted during placement between wall panels 500 and 502 so as to insert the pins 510 into the larger openings of the respective keyholes 508. The end wall panels 504 and 506 are then lowered, thereby engaging the pins 510 within the respective keyholes 508. In such arrangement, it will be understood that the wall panels 500, 502, 504 and 506 will be interlocked. In dismantling the building, the reverse process is followed. That is, once the roof structures have been removed, the end wall panels 504 and 506 are lifted slightly so as to draw the pins 510 into the larger opening of the keyholes 508 and then laterally moved away from the wall panels 500 and 502.
  • It will be understood that a similar pin and keyhole arrangement as described in reference to FIGS. 28-30 may be used for any other corner joint of the panels of the invention. For example, such an arrangement may be provided between wall and roof panels. It will be appreciated that in such example, connecting the respective pins and keyholes is facilitated by the fact that the roof panels would generally be lowered onto existing wall panels and, therefore, insertion of pins on the roof panels into corresponding keyholes in the wall panels is rendered possible.
  • In the above description, various examples of connecting members have been described for connecting the panels of the invention in a number of ways. A few other examples of possible connecting members will now be described with reference to FIGS. 31 to 36. As will be understood, any combination of the connecting members disclosed herein can be used in the invention depending on the specific need. The need or desirability of one component over another will be known to persons skilled in the art. Some considerations in the choice may include cost, speed of construction, required structural integrity, etc., and combinations thereof. The invention is not limited to any particular combination of panels or connecting components.
  • FIG. 31 illustrates a variant of a corner connection of two wall panels according to another aspect of the invention. As with the embodiment shown in FIGS. 28 to 30, in the embodiment of FIG. 31, the panels are adapted to avoid the need for a separate corner joint component. That is, as shown, and using the numbering convention of FIGS. 28 to 30, the corner arrangement of FIG. 31 comprises an intersection of two wall panels 502 a and 504 a. The panels 502 a and 504 a are designed to include end reinforcement members 512 and 514, respectively. Reinforcement members 512 and 514 may comprise generally elongate, rectangular tubular members as shown in FIG. 31. For example, reinforcement member 512 is comprised of spaced apart side walls, 516 and 517, which are connected by opposing end walls 518 and 519 to define a hollow interior. Similarly, reinforcement member 514 is comprised of side walls 520 and 521, which are separated by end walls 522 and 523. As shown, side walls 517 and 521 form the ends of the panels 502 a and 504 a, respectively. Although reinforcement members 512 and 514 are described as being hollow tubular members, it will be understood that such structure may be preferred for a high strength to weight ratio. However, the reinforcement members may equally be solid structures depending upon the need. The reinforcement members may be made of any variety of materials such as metal, plastic, wood or any combination thereof.
  • The reinforcement members 512 and 514 are positioned within each wall panel so that the layers, or skins, of the panels 502 a and 504 a, extend over the end walls of the respective reinforcement members 512 and 514 as shown in FIG. 31.
  • One of the pair of reinforcement members, for example 514, is provided with a flange 524 that is connected to or, preferably, integral with end wall 522, which faces the outer side of the panel 505 a. Flange 524 is sized to extend beyond the side wall 521 and, preferably, extends beyond the side wall 521 a distance roughly equal to the thickness of the adjacent panel 502 a forming the corner structure. As shown in FIG. 31, when the panels 502 a and 504 a are arranged to form the corner, the end of panel 502 a is positioned within the corner formed by the flange 524 and the side wall 521 of the reinforcement member 514. As also shown, the outer layer, or skin, 526 of the panel 504 a having the flange 524 also preferably extends over the flange 524. In this way the outer appearance of the structure along the wall panel 504 a would appear without seams.
  • Various fasteners, 528, may be used to connect the wall panels 502 a and 504 a together. In one aspect, the fasteners 528 may comprise nails, screws or the like, that are provided through the outer layer 526 and the flange 524 of the panel 504 a and through the side wall 517 of the adjacent panel 502 a. In this way, the two panels are secured together to form a corner of a structure.
  • FIG. 32 illustrates a variant of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 5 and 16 and shows a joint between a roof panel 550 and a wall panel 552. The panels 550 and 552 have the same general construction as described above, namely, comprising a core positioned between two layers or skins. The wall panel 552 includes an elongate reinforcement member 554 positioned at the top edge of the panel 552. The reinforcement member is generally as described previously with respect to reinforcement members 512 and 514.
  • In the embodiment of FIG. 32, the wall panel 552 is further provided with a top plate 556, which includes a top wall 558, a bottom wall 560 that are separated and joined by opposed side walls 562 and 564. As shown, the bottom wall 560 includes an open channel. Side wall 564 is shorter that side wall 564 and is positioned facing outwardly of the structure being erected. In the result, the top wall 558 is angularly provided with respect to the bottom wall 560. As will be understood by persons skilled in the art having regard to the present specification, the angle provided for the top wall 558 will preferably correspond to the pitch of the roof being erected. The top plate 556 may be connected to the roof panel 550 by any means. By way of example, fasteners, such as shown at 566 may be provided through the top wall 558 and into the roof panel 550.
  • The top plate is further preferably adapted to receive and retain the wall panel 552. For this purpose, the side walls 562 and 564 are provided with downwardly extending flanges, 568 and 570, respectively. In this way, a channel is formed with the flanges 568 and 570 and the underside of the bottom wall 560, which is preferably sized to receive the upper end of the wall panel 552. Preferably, the length of the flanges 568 and 570 is sufficient enough to allow a surface through which fasteners 572 may be extended. As shown, the fasteners 572 preferably extend through the respective flange and the outer layers of the wall panel. As shown, the wall panel 552 is also provided with the reinforcement member 554. Thus, the fasteners 572 also extend through the adjacent wall of the reinforcement member 554. In this way, a corner is formed between the wall panels 550 and the wall panels 554.
  • The roof panel 550 also includes a reinforcement member shown at 574. As with the previously described reinforcement members, member 574 is preferably an elongate hollow structure; however, the invention contemplates member 574 being solid as well. Similarly, member 574 may be formed of any of the materials discussed above. The roof panel reinforcement member 574 includes an outer wall 576 and a lower wall 578, which preferably form a generally 90° angle at the bottom, outside corner of the member 574. The outer wall 576 preferably includes a groove 580 on the upper end thereof. As shown, the groove 580 is adapted to receive a hooking portion of a soffit element 582. Soffit element 582 may be formed of any material as would be apparent to persons skilled in the art. For example, soffit element 582 may comprise a sheet of aluminum etc. The soffit element 582 may be secured to the roof reinforcement member 574 using, for example, fasteners 584 or the like.
  • The lower portion 586 of the soffit element extends towards the wall panel 552. In a preferred embodiment, the lower edge of the flange 570 extends outwardly away from the outer face 588 of wall panel 552, thereby defining a channel 590 for receiving a “hook” portion 592 of the soffit. In this arrangement, the soffit is secured to the corner formed by the wall and roof panels.
  • One example of a ridge joint at the apex of a roof structure was described in connection with FIG. 18. FIG. 33 illustrates yet another embodiment of a roof ridge wherein the panels include reinforcement members, such as those shown in FIGS. 31 to 32. As shown in FIG. 33, a pair of roof panels 600 and 602 are provided to form a roof. As with the previously described embodiment, the panels 600, 602 are arranged in an angular manner so as to form an apex, or ridge 603, on the roof. It will be understood that the ridge 603 may assume any desired angle, or pitch and that such angle will depend on the desired drainage requirements, the span of the panels, any height clearance limitations etc. The invention is not limited to any specific pitch. As in the embodiments previously described, the panels 600 and 602 include respective longitudinal reinforcement members 604 and 606. As also described above, the reinforcement members 604, 606 may comprise hollow or solid, generally rectangular beams or elements which form the ends of the respective panels.
  • In the roof structure shown in FIG. 33, the ridge 603 is preferably provided over a bearing wall 608 for support. In one case, the bearing wall 608 is comprised of one or more of the wall panels of the invention or may comprise a wall of commonly known construction as well. In a preferred embodiment, however, the bearing wall 608 shown in FIG. 33 comprises a sandwich panel such as those described above. Further, in the preferred embodiment, the panel 608 is provided with an elongate reinforcement member 610 that extends across the top edge of the panel 608 and forms the top end thereof. As with the aforementioned reinforcement members, the member 610 may also be hollow or solid for the same reasons provided above. The reinforcement member 610 is embedded within the top edge of panel 608 within the layers 611, 612 thereof. The reinforcement member 610 is provided in one embodiment with a generally pentagonal cross shape in end cross section. That is, as shown in FIG. 33, the reinforcement member 610 includes a bottom wall 614 that is positioned within the core of the panel 608. Side walls 616 and 618 extend upwardly from the bottom wall 614, on opposite sides thereof. As shown in FIG. 33, in a preferred embodiment, the side walls 616 and 618 are covered by the respective layers 611 and 612. A top wall is comprised of two sections 620 a and 620 b that are angled upwardly to form an angle that preferably approximates the desired pitch of the roof. It will be understood that in some cases, the angle provided between the top wall sections 620 a and 620 b may not need to be that of the desired roof pitch. The apex of the top wall extends above the layers 611 and 612 and includes a locating flange 622, the purpose of which will be described below.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 33, in forming the roof, the ends of the roof panels 600 and 602 are positioned in an opposed arrangement with the ends thereof facing each other. The ends of the panels, formed by reinforcement members 604 and 606, respectively, are positioned on the reinforcement member 610 of the wall panel 608. As can be seen, the angle preferably formed by the top wall sections 620 a and 620 b of the reinforcement member 610 serves to align the roof panels 600 and 602 in the desired pitch. The panels 600 and 602 are positioned on the top wall sections 620 a and 620 b such that the ends thereof abut the locating flange 622. In one embodiment, such as shown in FIG. 33, opposed, lower side walls 626 and 628 of the panels 600 and 602, respectively, are provided with extended flanges 630 and 632. The flanges 630 and 632 serve to assist the location of the panels 600 and 602 with respect to the locating flange 622 and also to provide a surface through which fasteners such as shown at 634 can be passed to secure the roof panels 600, 602 to the reinforcement member 610 of the wall panel 608.
  • In order to close the ridge 603 of the roof, a ridge cap 636 is provided. The ridge cap 636 generally comprises an elongate member preferably having opposed arms 638 and 639 angularly arranged so as to conform to the pitch of the roof being constructed. The arms are provided with locating flanges 640, 641, respectively, which abut the ends of the roof panels. The terminal ends of the arms 638, 639 preferably extend over at least portion of the upper ends of the reinforcement members 604, 606 of the wall panels 600, 602. In this way, fasteners such as shown at 644 may be used to secure the ridge cap 636 to the roof panels 600, 602. As will be understood, in addition to the fasteners mentioned above, any other means may be used to secure and seal the various members of the roof components together. These include additional fasteners, joint compounds, weather stripping, caulking, sealants and the like.
  • FIG. 34 illustrates a further mounting arrangement of roof structures, which has particular advantages in flat roof structures. As shown, a roof panel 650 is provided above a wall panel 652. The panels 650, 652 will be understood to have the same general structure as described above. In this embodiment, the roof panel 650 is provided with two reinforcement members 654 and 656. As discussed previously, the reinforcement members may have a solid or hollow structure and may be made of a variety of materials. The first reinforcement member 654 is provided at the terminal end of the wall panel and preferably forms the outer edge thereof. In the specific embodiment shown in FIG. 34, the outer edge of the roof panel 650 extends beyond the wall panel 652 so as to form a gable for the structure being constructed. It will be understood that the length of the gable may vary depending on the need.
  • The second reinforcement member 656 is provided internally within the roof panel 650 and is located at the position of the wall panel 652. As will be understood, reinforcement member 656 serves to provide a structural support at the load point where the roof panel 650 rests on the upper edge of the wall panel 652. In one embodiment, the wall panel may include a reinforcement member as described above. In such case, the connection between the roof panel and wall panel may be accomplished with various types of fasteners and the like. For example, angle iron or similar components may be used. FIG. 34 provides a further means for facilitating the connection process between the panels 650, 652. As shown, the upper edge of the wall panel 652 is provided preferably with a generally rectangular “U” shaped reinforcement member 658, having a bottom wall 660 and opposed side walls 662 and 664. The reinforcement member 658 thereby forms a channel at the top edge of the wall panel 652. Although a generally “U” shaped structure for the reinforcement member 658 is preferred to form the channel, various other forms will be understood to provide the same result and such other forms are contemplated by the invention. In a preferred embodiment, the channel of the reinforcement member 658 is sized, or adapted, to receive a mounting block 666 that is attached to the roof panel 650. The mounting block 666 includes an upper wall 668 and opposed, downwardly depending side walls 670, 671. As shown, the mounting block 666 is first attached to the second reinforcement member 656 within the roof panel 650 by means of fasteners 672 and the like, that are passed through the upper wall 668 and into the second reinforcement member 656. Once the mounting block 666 is attached to the roof panel 650, the roof panel 650 is then lowered onto the wall panel 652 so as to insert the mounting block 666 into the channel of the of the reinforcement member 658. In a preferred embodiment, as shown in FIG. 34, the side walls 670, 671 of the mounting block 666 may be optionally provided with tapered lower ends so to facilitate insertion of the mounting block 666 within the channel of the reinforcement member 658. Once the roof panel 650 is positioned, fasteners such as shown at 674 may be used to secure the roof and wall panels together. As shown, the fasteners are provided through opposite sides of the wall panel 652 and extend through the side walls 662 and 664 of the reinforcement member 658 and through the side walls 670 and 671 of the mounting block 666.
  • FIG. 35 illustrates an embodiment of the invention wherein two abutting panels, such as roof panels 680, 682, are connected. Although reference is made to roof panels, it will be understood that the following description may equally apply to any of the aforementioned panels. However, it will be apparent to persons skilled in the art that the following connection method may be particularly suited for roof panel applications. As shown in FIG. 35, the roof panels 680 and 682 are provided with respective reinforcement members 684 and 686, which will be understood to have the same general characteristics as the reinforcement members previously described. However, for this embodiment, the opposed outer walls 688 and 690, respectively, of the reinforcement members 684, 686 are provided with oppositely directed locking flanges 692 and 694, respectively. As shown, the locking flanges 692 and 694 are adapted, that is sized and arranged, to engage each other when the panels 680, 682 are assembled together. The engagement between the locking flanges 692, 694 may be by a “snap fit” or any other known manner, such as by first providing one panel in an angled arrangement and the orienting such panel to the desired linear arrangement when the locking flanges 692, 694 engage each other. In addition, to form the required seals between the roof panels 680, 682, the opposite side walls of the reinforcement members may include sealing flanges that extend beyond the ends of the roof panels 680, 682. For example, as shown in FIG. 35, the lower side wall 696 of the reinforcement member 684 of one roof panel 680 is provided with a sealing flange 698. Similarly, the upper side wall 700 of the reinforcement member 686 of the other roof panel 682 is also provided with a sealing flange 702. When the panels 680, 682 are assembled, the sealing flanges 698, 702 overlap at least a portion of the reinforcement members 684, 686 of the opposed panel. To facilitate the overlapping of the sealing flanges 698, 702, the reinforcement members 684, 686 may include respective recesses, such as shown at 704 and 706, to receive such sealing flanges 698, 702. Various attachment means such as fasteners 708 and the like, may be provided to connect the reinforcement members 684, 686 together. For example, as shown, the fasteners 708 may be provided through the sealing flange 698 and through the adjacent wall of the opposite reinforcement member 686. In roof applications such as shown in FIG. 35, fasteners would preferably only be provided on the underside of the panel assembly. The sealing flange on the upper surface of the roof panel assembly would then preferably be provided with any type of sealing means to prevent ingress of moisture, insects, etc. as may be needed. The invention is not limited to any particular sealing means.
  • FIG. 36 illustrates an embodiment of the invention wherein a wall panel 720 is secured to a concrete base 722, such as a foundation wall or a concrete slab etc. The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 36 provides a means of securing the wall panel 720 to the concrete base 722. As shown, the bottom end of the wall panel 720 is provided with a reinforcement member 724, which preferably a generally rectangular “U” shaped structure, defining a channel. For example, the reinforcement member 724 comprises a top wall 726 and downwardly depending side walls 728 and 730. As will be understood, the reinforcement member 724 may comprise any other shape while still providing the aforementioned channel. As also shown, the reinforcement member 724 is also preferably provided within the wall panel 720, whereby the layers 732, 733, forming the panel, extend over the side walls 728 and 730 of the reinforcement member.
  • A mounting block 734 is provided on the concrete base 722 to which the wall panel 720 is to be secured. The mounting block 734 includes a bottom wall 736 and opposed, upwardly extending side walls 738, 740. The mounting block 734 is secured to the concrete base 722 by inserting anchor bolts 742 through bolt holes (not shown) provided in the bottom wall 736. The anchor bolts 742 will be understood to preferably be provided within the concrete before it hardens, in a manner that is commonly known in the art. Once the anchor bolts 742 are inserted into the aforementioned bolt holes in the bottom wall 736, and the after the mounting block 734 is properly positioned, the mounting block 734 is secured in position by nuts 744 that are tightened on the bolts 742.
  • Once the mounting block 734 is secured to the concrete base 722, the wall panel 720 is lowered thereon so as to allow mounting block 734 to be received within the channel provided by the reinforcement member 724. Once the wall is thus positioned, various fasteners 746 and the like may be used to connect the wall panel 720 to the mounting block 734. As shown, the fasteners 746 are able to extend through the layers 732, 733 forming the panel 720, through the side walls 728, 730 of the reinforcement member 724, and through the side walls 738, 740 of the mounting block 734. In this manner, the wall panel 720 is then secured to the mounting block 734 and, therefore, to the concrete base 722. It will be understood that reference has been made herein to concrete base 722. However, as will be understood by persons skilled in the art, the connection system described above can be used for any other base. For example, the base may comprise a floor panel such as described above or a wood panel. In such cases, the anchor bolt 742 will assume the needed structure to enable the securing of the mounting block 734.
  • FIGS. 37 and 38 illustrate uses of panels of the present invention as joists or I-beams, or similar structural support members. As shown in FIG. 37, an example of a joist includes a web comprised of a panel 800 having the same structure as discussed above. Specifically, the panel 800 includes a core 802 sandwiched by two layers 804, 806. The materials from which the core and layers may be formed have been described above. However, for the formation of the joist discussed below, the core may also comprise a composite wood material. On opposed top and bottom ends of the panel 800 are provided joist ends 808 and 810. As can be seen, the panel 800 and ends 808, 810 combine to form a generally “I” shape in end cross section. As such, the joist described herein may also be commonly referred to as an “I” beam. The joist ends, or support elements 808, 810 may in one embodiment be formed of composite lumber, as shown in FIG. 37. In order to accommodate the ends of the panel 800, the joist ends 808, 810 would preferably be provided with respective grooves or channels 812, 814 to receive the end of the panel 800 therein. The support elements may also be formed of wood or other material as would be known to persons skilled in the art. The support elements 808, 810 may be of the same or different material.
  • Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 38, the joist ends 808 a, 810 a may be formed of, for example, and extrusion of metal or composite material. In such case, the extrusion may be formed with a groove or channel such as shown at 812 a, 814 a, to receive the ends of the panel 800 therein.
  • In either of the cases illustrated in FIGS. 37 and 38, the joist ends 808, 810, 808 a, 810 a may be secured to the ends of the panel 800 using various forms of adhesive and the like as would be apparent to persons skilled in the art.
  • As will be understood, the aspects of the invention described herein are based on the strength of the composite or “sandwich” panels and the unique methods of joining same using modular components. The panels incorporate a core of foam, such as expanded polystyrene (although other materials may equally be used depending on the desired strength of the foam or other attributes). The foam is sandwiched between cover layers, which are preferably fibre reinforced thermoplastic sheets, in order to form a structural member. These layers may in turn optionally be covered with any appropriate material, sheathing, or coating to provide desired interior and exterior finishes. In one preferred aspect, the panels are large enough to completely form an entire side of the structure without any seams or joints. As will be understood, this feature is desirable in order to minimize thermal losses that normally occur in the case of seams. Of course, it will be understood, that in the case of large buildings, some seams would need to be provided.
  • In accordance with the system of the invention, the panels are joined by a variety of attachment or joint components, or “nodes”, that provide several functions. The nodes are preferably made of a composite material with high compressive strength and the ability to withstand point loads. Thus, the joint components form mechanical connections between the panels via either mechanical fasteners and/or adhesives. The joint components also complement the panels in providing structural integrity to the building being constructed. In the latter case, this is the result of the combination of the high torsion strength of the panels and the load distribution ability of the joint components.
  • The system of the invention serves to encapsulate the perimeter of building (comprised of the panels and nodes), thus providing a method of attachment while simultaneously distributing all point loads evenly throughout the panel. In the invention, each panel is preferably designed to have sufficient strength so as to maximize absorption of deflection loads and to minimize or eliminate potential bending and buckling loads to which the nodes or joint components may be subjected. In this manner, all point loads are evenly distributed throughout the adjoining panels, thereby resulting in a structure having a high structural strength.
  • The system of the invention can be easily and quickly assembled on site. As mentioned above the panels are preferably as large as feasibly possible and may be manufactured to include one or both interior and exterior finishes, including roofing. This feature also minimizes the time required assemble the building under construction. As also mentioned above, the invention also contemplates various kits comprising any number of components described above. For example, a “simple” structure kit may comprise a plurality of panels, such as the wall panels, roof panels and floor panels described above, the necessary connecting members for such panels and suitable instructions for assembly. Such kits may then be dispatched to any desired location and the needed structures erected. As will be understood by persons skilled in the art, the systems and kits of the present invention will have particular utility in emergency situations where shelters are needed rapidly to protect life and/or property.
  • In some of the figures included herein, the roof panels is shown as including a metal exterior cladding. Such roof panels may preferably be 4 feet in width and extend from the ridge joint component to the outer walls without any other support members being required. In one embodiment, the upwardly extending seams on the metal cladding meet at the joints between adjacent roof panels, in which case, a sealing and locking mechanism may be used to join such panels together.
  • Although the invention has been described with reference to certain specific embodiments, various modifications thereof will be apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the purpose and scope of the invention as outlined in the claims appended hereto. Any examples provided herein are included solely for the purpose of illustrating the invention and are not intended to limit the invention in any way. Any drawings provided herein are solely for the purpose of illustrating various aspects of the invention and are not intended to be drawn to scale or to limit the invention in any way. The disclosures of all prior art recited herein are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

Claims (20)

1. A system for constructing a structure comprising:
a plurality of generally planar wall panels, each of said wall panels having a laminate structure comprising a rigid foam core slab sandwiched between first and second cover layers, the wall panels defining at least one of wall panels, roof panels or floor panels; and,
a plurality of panel connecting components for connecting the wall panels to form at least one of walls, roofs, floors or combinations thereof; the connecting members including means for receiving ends of adjacent wall panels.
2. The system of claim 1, wherein the panel connecting components include at least two slots for receiving and retaining ends of adjacent wall panels.
3. The system of claim 1, wherein the connecting components comprise elongate, extruded bodies.
4. The system of claim 1, wherein the connecting components include corner connecting components, each of said corner connecting components comprising a pair of angularly separated slots adapted to receive ends of said wall panels forming a corner of the structure.
5. The system of claim 1, wherein the connecting components include first roof panel connecting components, each of said first roof panel connecting components comprising a first engagement means for engaging an upper end of a wall panel, and a second engagement means adapted to engage ends of roof panels.
6. The system of claim 1, wherein the connecting components include second roof panel connecting components, each of said second roof panel connecting components comprising oppositely directed ledges or slots for receiving ends of adjacent roof panels for forming a ridge of a roof for the structure.
7. The system of claim 1, wherein the connecting components include sill components, each of said sill components comprising a first end for resting on a surface and a second end including a first engagement means for engaging bottom ends of the wall panels.
8. The system of claim 7, wherein each of said sill components includes a second engagement means for supporting ends of said floor panels.
9. The system of claim 5, wherein the first engagement means of each first roof panel connecting component comprises a bearing surface for resting on the upper ends of the wall panels or ceiling joints attached to the upper ends of the wall panels.
10. The system of claim 5, wherein the second engagement means of each first roof panel connecting component is angled with respect to the first engagement means for orienting the roof panel at a desired pitch.
11. The system according to claim 1, wherein the first and second cover layers of the wall panels are formed of the same or different material.
12. The system of claim 11, wherein at least one of the first and second cover layers comprises a composite layer comprising a sub foam core covered by sub cover layers.
13. The system of claim 11, wherein the outer cover layer of the roof panels comprises a metal sheet.
14. The system of claim 1, wherein the panel connecting components comprise pins and corresponding keyholes provided on opposing ends of wall panels, the pins being shaped to fit within the keyholes in a locking arrangement to form a connection between adjacent wall panels.
15. The system of claim 1, wherein the wall panels include reinforcement members at opposed ends for providing at least one of an attachment means or a strengthening means for the panels.
16. The system of claim 15, wherein the panel connecting components are adapted to receive or engage the reinforcement members of adjacent wall panels.
17. (canceled)
18. An I-beam comprising:
a pair of support elements separated by a web element,
wherein the web element comprises a laminate structure comprising a rigid foam core slab sandwiched between first and second cover layers.
19. The I-beam of claim 18, wherein the support elements comprise at least one of composite materials, extruded materials or wood.
20. The I-beam of claim 19, wherein the support elements include slots to receive opposing edges of the panel.
US14/042,005 2010-03-05 2013-09-30 Modular building system utilizing composite, foam core panels Abandoned US20140090321A1 (en)

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PCT/CA2011/050131 WO2011106901A1 (en) 2010-03-05 2011-03-04 Modular building system utilizing composite, foam core panels
US201213582899A true 2012-11-13 2012-11-13
US14/042,005 US20140090321A1 (en) 2010-03-05 2013-09-30 Modular building system utilizing composite, foam core panels

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US20130055669A1 (en) 2013-03-07
WO2011106901A1 (en) 2011-09-09
AU2011223427A1 (en) 2012-09-06

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