US3751864A - Interstitial space frame system - Google Patents

Interstitial space frame system Download PDF

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US3751864A
US3751864A US3751864DA US3751864A US 3751864 A US3751864 A US 3751864A US 3751864D A US3751864D A US 3751864DA US 3751864 A US3751864 A US 3751864A
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building
modules
concrete
side walls
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H Weese
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H Berger
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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
    • E04B1/348Structures composed of units comprising at least considerable parts of two sides of a room, e.g. box-like or cell-like units closed or in skeleton form

Abstract

A building and a method for constructing the building are disclosed in which prefabricated building modules, formed of corrugated metal and having finished interior surfaces defining occupiable spaces therein, are supported on a foundation in a plurality of layers, each of which provides one story of the building. The modules are placed in spaced relation to each other in the layers in order to provide open through passages between adjacent module side walls, with the corrugations on adjacent side walls being spaced from each other. The corrugations on adjacent side walls cooperate with spacers or forms placed therebetween to define forms in which concrete, in a flowable condition, is poured to form the vertical structural members or columns of the building. In one embodiment a concrete slab is poured over the ceiling panels of each of the modules in a layer to form an integral horizontal structural member between the vertical structural members and to provide support for the next layer of modules in the building.

Description

United States Patent Berger et a1.

[451 Aug. 14, 1973 INTERSTITIAL SPACE FRAME SYSTEM Inventors: Horst Berger, 18 Chestnut Dr.,

Hastings on Hudson, NY. 10706; Harry Weese, 1235 N. Aston, Chicago, 111. 60610 Filed: Apr. 11, 1972 Appl. No.: 242,950

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,678,638 7/1972 Mougin 52/236 3,331,170 7/1967 Lowe et al. 52/236 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,518,637 2/1968 France 52/79 Primary Examiner-John E. Murtagh Attorney-Arthur V. Smith et al.

[57] ABSTRACT A building and a method for constructing the building are disclosed in which prefabricated building modules, formed of corrugated metal and having finished interior surfaces defining occupiable spaces therein, are supported on a foundation in a plurality of layers, each of which provides one story of the building. The modules are placed in spaced relation to each other in the layers in order to provide open through passages between adjacent module side walls, with the corrugations on adjacent side walls being spaced from each other. The corrugations on adjacent side walls cooperate with spacers or forms placed therebetween to define forms in which concrete, in a flowable condition, is poured to form the vertical structural members or columns of the building. In one embodiment a concrete slab is poured over the ceiling panels of each of the modules in a layer to form an integral horizontal structural member between the vertical structural members and to provide support for the next layer of modules in the building.

31 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures Patented Aug. 14, 1973 4 Sheets-Sheet l Patented Aug. 14, 1973 3,751,864

4 Sheets-Sheet 5 Pat ented Aug. 14, 1973 3,751,864

4 Shee'ts Sheet 4.

1 lNTERSTlTIAL SPACE FRAME SYSTEM This invention relates to a building and building construction method, and more particularly, to the construction of a building with the use of prefabricated modules defining occupiable spaces therein.

Because of the increased cost of labor in the construction industry, with the simultaneous increase in demand for low cost housing throughout the country, it has become increasingly important to introduce and increase the amount of prefabricated materials and structural units used in the erection of a building, particularly high rise buildings such as apartment dwellings and the like. Some work has been done in this direction in the construction industry, however, the size of pre fabricated components for use in buildings is limited because of the'limited size of prefabricated units that can be shipped from a factory to the construction site.

A large portion of the previously proposed prefabrication attempts have been directed towards the structural components and frame of the building, however, such components generally amount to roughly only 20 to 25 percent of the total building cost. Thus, with this type of approach, only a portion of the building cost can be transferred to the prefabrication plant from the field. Even by prefabricating the entire structural frame of a high rise building, which frame must in any case ultimatley be assembled at the construction site, only to percent of the buildings actual cost can be handled by industrialized and prefabrication methods.

On the other hand, the actual rooms and corridors of the building, particularly apartment buildings for domestic occupancy, including the interior finished walls and the portions of the electrical and mechanical systems which are in the walls of such rooms, comprise a much higher portion (50 to 75 percent) of the total building cost. Thus, it has been found that if the fabrication of these rooms with their finished walls, ceilings,

'floors, doors, windows, electrical and plumbing systems, kitchen fixtures, etc. are prefabricated in an assembly line process at a factory, about 50 percent of the total construction cost of the building can be shifted to the factory. The labor costs for assembly line factory procedures are substantially less than labor costs for consturction laborers, and moreover, the manufacturing process in the factory is unaffected by the weather, so that the assembly line process can continue all winter long, whereas field construction work may not.

Further, the conventional materials which are normally required to be used for constructing the actual interior rooms or apartments are those which are least suited for on site construction because they are readily subjected to weather and on site handling damage. They are also the most repetitive items utilized in the construction of a building. That fact cannot be made much use of in the field, but it can be of a considerable advantage in a mass production assembly line operation, taking place in an industrialized plant.

Thus, for all of the above reasons, it is desirable to have as much of the work related to the building construction as possible performed in a factory and in an industrialized or assembly line operation.

At the construction site itself it is also desirable to reduce the amount of time and labor required to build the structural framework of the building. The most conventional structure for high rise apartment dwellings is formed by means of concrete columns and beams. This type of structure, of course, requires the time consuming and expensive task of placing and removing formwork and falsework for the formation of the structural framework. If this procedure could be eliminated or substantially eliminated, still further cost savings in the construction of the building could be achieved.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to construct a building by a process in which a substantial portion of the building is prefabricated in order to substantially reduce the cost of construction.

Yet another object of the present invention is to construct a building with prefabricated modules that form the interior spaces of the building and act as the form work in which concrete in a flowable condition is poured to form the structural members of the building.

Yet another object of the present invention is to construct a multistory building in a relatively simple and inexpensive process.

In accordance with an aspect of the present invention, a building is constructed with the use of a plurality of prefabricated building modules, each of which is formed in the shape of a generally rectangular box having a floor, ceiling, and side-walls defining an enclosed occupiable space therein. The boxis constructed with the use of corrugated metal panels forming the ceiling and verticalside walls of eachbox. In one embodiment, the floor of the box is formed of wooden joists and in another embodiment the floor portion of the box is formed from a corrugated metal panel. In either case, the box is constructed so as to have enough structural integrity and rigidity to support all of the interior ceiling wall and floor finishes, to withstand the impacts of shipping and erection, and to carry wet concrete loads during erection, as hereinafter described. The corrugated metal panels are of relatively light weight so that transportation and shipping thereof is a fairly simple matter and, moreover, they have sufficient structural stability and rigidity when connected in the shape of a box to satisfy building requirements.

Each of the modules or boxes is finished on the interior surfaces thereof at a prefabrication assembly plant with finished ceiling, interior wall and floor surfaces. The walls and ceilings may be formed of a conventional gypsum wall board and the floor may be covered with conventional wood flooring or tiles and the like. At the fabricating plant all of the electrical wire and plumbing facilities required for each module are supplied, in accordance with the purpose to which the occupiable space within a given module is to be used, so that during the erection process only the ends of these electrical and plumbing fixtures will need to be connected to the main electrical and plumbing facilities of the building, or to those of adjacent modules. The modules are formed at the plant with windows and doorway passages cut and placed in its side walls, interior nonbearing walls, if needed, doors and substantially all else that may be required to make the interior of the module a complete room or rooms.

in the erection process, the modules are transported from the remote prefabrication plant to the construction site at which the foundation underlying the building has been previously formed. The foundation may be either a flat slab or alternatively, it may consist of footings having a grid or horizontal beams extending therebetween. In either case, a first layer of modules, in a predetermined number, are set on the foundation in accordance with a predetermined pattern so as to form the first story of the building. The modules are arranged on the foundation in spaced relation to each other in order to provide open through passages between adjacent side walls so that the corrugations on each adjacent side wall are spaced from each other. As adjacent modules are placed in position in the first layer or floor of the building, vertical form panels are placed in position spanning the open passage between adjacent side walls, in predetermined locations, in order to define, with the corrugated side walls of the molules, a concrete form for a portion of a structural column of the building. In addition, horizontal plates or forms are placed in position, near the top edges of the side walls, to form a concrete form work in these spaces, which forms cooperate with the adjacent module side walls to retain the fiowable concrete during the formation of concrete beams or of a slab at the top of each module. Preferably, a concrete slab is poured over the ceilings of each of the modules to form an integral slab arrangement between each floor of the building. Simultaneously, concrete, in a flowable condition, is poured into the forms at the predetermined locations defined between the vertical form members and the corrugated side walls of the modules. In this manner the structural columns of the building are formed for the first story between the modules and are integrally connected and formed with the slab or beams formed at the tops of the modules.

After the concrete for the first floor has set, another layer of modules is placed on the previously poured concrete slab in spaced relation to each other and the process of placing the vertical and horizontal form members are repeated so as to continue the structural columns for the building and to form an additional slab for the next layer or story of the building. The slab construction permits a flat and level surface to be formed at the top of each story of the building so that the next layer of modules can be merely placed down in correct spaced relation therein without the requirement for any leveling of the individual modules.

As the boxes or modules are placed in position, the ends of their electrical lines and plumbing facilities are connected to either the main lines or the lines in adjacent modules. These main lines may be placed either in the open passages between modules, as the building is erected, or may also be placed within the corrugations of the modules themselves at the prefabrication factory.

As a result, the entire building is constructed almost entirely of prefabricated module members which not only form the interior rooms of the building, but which also provide the form work for the erection of the structural members of the building. Only a minimum amount of additional formwork is required to close off the sides of the vertical columns being formed and the bottoms of the slab or beams at the open spaces or passages between modules. Thus, the speed of field erection of buildings, by the method of the present invention, is increased to such a degree that substantially the total construction time can be cut to about 40 or 50 percent as compared to conventional construction operations. Obviously, this results in considerable savings in construction costs.

Further, by the arrangement of the present invention with a metal or steel deck as the ceiling of one building having a gypsum ceiling board on one side as the interior ceiling surface and a layer of concrete on the other, a relatively fire proof structure, which meets most urban fire codes is achieved without the requirement of specially constructed fire proofing arrangements. When the building is completed, it is substantially a conventional building in that it has completed rooms and a supporting structure of structural concrete columns and slabs or beams, which can be designed to satisfy any existing building or fire code requirements. The finished surfaces of the rooms are of conventional material and thus give the appearance of a conventionally constructed building. However, the time sequence and methods of putting the various components of the building together, are substantially different from standard construction procedures and provide savings and advantages which have been heretofore unavailable to the construction industry.

The above, and other objects, features and advantages of this invention, will be apparent in the following detailed description of an illustrative embodiment thereof which is to be read in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a partial perspective view ofa building being constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a building module constructed for use in the building of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3--3 of FIG. 1, showing the concrete slab poured on the ceiling of adjacent modules and spanning the through passage therebetween;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view, similar to FIG. 3, taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 1, showing the construction of a structural column between adjacent modules in the building;

FIG. 6 is a schematic plan view of a typical module layout, a portion of which illustrates a typical two bedroom apartment floor plan in a building constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 7A is an enlarged partial perspective view of a corner portion of the module illustrated in FIG. 2;

FIG. 7B is a partial perspective view, similar to FIG. 7A, of another embodiment of a building module;

FIG. 8 is a sectional view, similar to FIG. 3, but showing a structural beam construction in a building in lier of the slab construction of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 9 is a sectional view, similar to FIG. 5, illustrating a column formed at the intersection between four modules.

Referring to the drawing in detail, and initially to FIG. 1 thereof, it is seen that a building 10, embodying the present invention, as shown therein, is erected by the placement of a plurality of individual modules 12 in a predetermined relation with respect to each other and in a plurality of layers l4, l6, 18, forming the various stories of a high rise building. The building is constructed and supported upon a foundation 20 which consists of a plurality of footings 22 located at predetennined positions in the ground beneath the building. In the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 1, an integral slab 24 is placed across the entire area of the building on footings 22 in order to support the first layer 14 of modules 12. However, it is to be understood that the modules may be supported solely by the footings and by beams extending between the footings, rather than by being seated on slab 24. Alternatively,

slab 24 may be poured in place, directly on the ground, so that footings 22 may be eliminated. Of course, still other foundation structures would occur to those skilled in the art and the specific construction of the foundation itself does not form any substantial portion of the present invention.

In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, modules 12, as seen in FIG. 2, are formed from corrugated metal panels 25 which are secured together in any convenient manner, as for example by welding, bolting, riveting or the like (including the use of sheet metal screws) to form the top or ceiling and side wall portions 26, 28 of the modules. (Panels 25 are preferably formed of steel, however, it is contemplated that other materials can be used, such as for example, corrugated fibreboard, gypsum and the like.) For the side walls, the corrugations of the metal panels extend in a generally vertical direction, for reasons more fully explained hereinafter. As shown in detail in FIG. 7, the floor 30 of each module 12 is formed from a plurality ofjoists 32, which extend the width of the module, and a conventional floor surface 34 of wood, plywood, masonite, tile or the like is secured across the joists 32 and to the side walls 28 of the module to form an integral box type structure. Alternatively, it is contemplated that the floor of the moudle may be eliminated or left open so that when the module is seated on slab 24, the slab itself forms the floor of the module.

The ends 36, 38 of the module may be opened or closed as desired, depending upon the particular location of these ends in the building. For example, as seen in FIG. I, the exterior end 36 of each of the modules 12 is open at the front of the building so that a glass facure wall can be placed across the front of the building to provide room sized bay windows in the building. Alternatively, other types of facure walls can be used to fully or partially close open ends 36. The rear or interior ends 38 of modules 12, may be closed by an end wall panel of corrugated metal or opened, depending upon their location in the building. It is contemplated that the facure wall can be formed in sections at the plant and secured to the open exterior ends 36 of the modules to close these ends prior to transportation. By these arrangements, dirt and dust are preventedfrom entering the modules during transportation thereof.

Modules 12 are fabricated at a plant, preferably remote from the construction site, so that they may be manufactured in an assembly line process. The interior surfaces of the ceiling and wall panels 26, 28 are finished with conventional gypsum or sheet rock panels, painted and finished so as to take the form of an occupiable finished room or rooms. In one embodiment, the modules 12 are formed in dimensions of by 30 feet, with an interior height of 8 so that a single efficiency apartment, or a pair of rooms, can be formed within a single module. At the fabrication plant, any interior non-bearing walls which may be required within a given module, depending upon its location in the building, will be placed within the module, finished and painted as required. In addition, all of the electrical fixtures, wiring and plumbing required for the particular type of occupancy space to be provided by a given module are installed in the walls or in the floor 30 between joists 32 so that in the ultimate construction, only the ends thereof need be connected to the main lines in the building or the lines of adjacent modules. Accordingly, a substantial amount of the work normally required at a construction site in completing the fabrication of interior apartments or the like is avoided, with the result that labor costs are substantially reduced.

In the embodiment utilizing wood joists 32, a plurality or Neoprene or rubber strips 40 are secured to the underside of the joists 32 opposite the floor 34 in order to protect the joists from moisture, and to prevent and absorb vibrations in the building and to isolate vibrations in the finished building from the modules. In this manner, the joists rest on the Neoprene strips and are raised slightly off the surface of the concrete slab 24 when placed in the completed building' Walls 28 of modules 12 may be formed, where required, with a variety of openings therein, such as are illustrated in FIG. 1. For example, openings 41 which can be completed with windows of conventional construction, and openings 42 which serve as access passages or doorways between rooms in adjacent modules.

When a module 12 is completed in this'manner at the fabrication plant, the openings in the ends thereof and the doorways and windows therein, if any (and the floor if that is left open so that slab 24 forms the floor) may be covered to protect the interior surfaces of the module during transportation. The modules are then shipped in any convenient manner, such as for example, by barge or truck to the construction site. Where trucks are used to transport the modules, the modules will normally be formed with only a 14' width so that it is small enough to fit safely on a truck and move over most roadways. In either case, the module has sufficient strength and structural stability, as a result of the use of corrugated metal panels, to withstand the strains and stresses of transportation.

Prior to the arrival of the first module, the construction site is prepared by grading and placing of the foundation 20, described above. In addition, a central core 44 for elevators, emergency stairways, garbage disposals and the like may be partially formed and having a lifting crane 46 mounted therein. The central core 44, illustrated in FIG. 1, may be formed by a slipform method of construction, as is well known in the art, at the centerof the building, with appropriate openings 48 therein to provide access between the central core and eachindividual module or apartment. The invention is not limited to the use of buildings having such central cores, and in fact, it is contemplated that the core itself can be formed by other conventional construction methods. Moreover, it is contemplated that core 44 may also be formed with the use of modules 12, appropriately modified to permit passage of elevators and stairwells therethrough. All that is required for modification of the modules is provision of openings in the ceiling 26 and floor 30 to permit passage of these elements. However, for illustrative purposes, the description of the invention will proceed with respect to the slipformed central core 44.

-When the first group of modules arrive at the construction site, crane 46 is utilized to lift the modules, as seen in FIG. 1, into their predetermined positions. Each of the modules will have a predetermined locating on slab 24, in accordance with a predetermined floor plan, depending upon how its interior has been finished. The modules are simply seated on slab 24, which has a flat finished surface, so that no leveling or adjustment of the modules is required. The modules are placed on the slab in slightly spaced relationship, as seen in FIGS. 3

and 5, so as to define through passages or interstices 50 between the side walls 28 of adjacent modules.

As adjacent modules are placed on slab 24, vertical form members 52, of rigid form board, such as for example, masonite or plywood, are placed in position between the vertical corrugations 54 of adjacent side walls 28. These forms cooperate with the portions of side walls 28 therebetween in order to provide a complete form 55 for receiving concrete in a flowable condition. The corrugations in side walls 28 serve as guides for forms 52 and no special connection of the forms to the corrugations is needed, since, as seen in the right at FIG. 5, the flowable concrete will apply sufficient pressure to the forms to bias them outwardly of the column space 55 and hold it against the adjacent corrugation. Thus, escape of the concrete from the interior of form 55 is avoided. It is noted that at predetermined locations between the points of insertion of form members 52, conventional reinforcing mesh, or rods 53, may be welded to the exterior surfaces of side walls 28 to provide the required reinforcement for the columns. If additional reinforcing is required, because of the height of the building, this may be placed in the space or form 55 at the site. The concrete ultimately placed in forms 55, when hardened, forms one story portions of the structural columns utilized in the completed building. The columns, of course, are located throughout the building as required by the size and structural design thereof.

Similarly, horizontal form members 56 are placed in the passages 50 adjacent the top of modules 12, as seen in FIGS. 3 and 4. These forms members have fingers 58 which extend between the corrugations in side walls 28 and rest upon supporting rods 60 welded to the side walls. These forms serve to support the concrete used to form the beams and/or concrete slabs which provide portions of the structural framework of the building.

When all of the modules in the first story are in position, the roofs of the modules form a working platform for subsequent operations and concrete in a flowable condition is poured into the forms 55, provided by forms 52 and corrugated side walls 28 therebetween, in order to form the columns or vertical structural members as described above. As the form spaces 55 become filled, the concrete is also poured across the top surface of the module ceilings 26 and into the passages 50, upon forms 56, spanning these passages. In this manner a flat concrete slab 62 is placed across the top of the modules and integrally joined to the columns formed in spaces 50.

By properly adjusting the location of form 56 in the space 50, a beam 65 can be formed where necessary, integral with the slab 62 to provide additional structural stability to the building. After the concrete is completely poured for the slab 62, the top of the slab is leveled and the wet concrete is permitted to set. Accordingly, the first portion or story of the structural framework of the building is thus formed.

It is contemplated that for a building of the size illustrated in the drawing, the modules for one floor and the required form work and additional reinforcement if necessary, can be placed in one work day. On the second work day the concrete columns and slabs can be poured and leveled. Overnight, the concrete will harden sufficiently for another layer of modules to be placed thereon.

After the concrete has hardened sufficiently, usually the next day, as mentioned above, the next layer 16 of modules 12 can be placed thereon. The process for placing these modules is the same as for placing the first layer of modules, since slab 62 is level and the modules need merely be placed thereon in spaced relation to each other in accordance with the predetermined pattern. As the modules are placed in position, the required form work is inserted between the corrugations of the side walls in order to provide the forms for the columns, slabs and beams as described above. This procedure is repeated for each story of the building, until the required number of stories thereof are completed.

It is noted that the passages 50 between side walls 28 provide an air space which forms an insulation between adjacent modules, and which also forms a chase in which the mechanical components of the building may be placed. For example, the main sewer and waterlines can be placed in these chases without requiring space being used from the interior of the rooms. The plumbing facilities already placed in the modules need merely be connected to these main plumbing facilities. Similarly, the main electrical circuits can be placed in passages 50 as the building is erected, with the electrical circuits already in each module being connected to the main as the modules are seated on the previously formed slab.

It is thus seen that a relatively simple and inexpensive process for erecting a building is provided in which a substantial portion of the building is complete prior to erection at the site. During the erection process, the building modules themselves which are lightweight for transportation and relatively inexpensive, form a substantial portion of the form work required for pouring of the concrete columns, slabs and beams of the building, thereby eliminating further additional materials normally required with conventional construction process and substantially reducing the amount of labor and time required for erection of the building.

The arrangement illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 provides a sufficient fire rating to satisfy most urban codes. That construction provdes one layer of gypsum 64 for ceiling 26, a metal panel 25 forming the corrugated ceiling, the concrete slab 62 poured thereover, and the air space formed by joists 32 beneath floor 34 above. This type of construction has been approved by fire rating boards and is achieved by the construction of the present invention without the requirement for any special construction procedures. This is in addition to the advantages of the arrangement as already described.

Referring now to FIG. 6 of the drawing, a typical floor plan for a three bedroom apartment is illustrated in plan view of a building constructed in a manner similar to that illustrated in FIG. 1 but having only 16 modules in each layer. The core section 40 provides the area for location of the elevators 67, emergency stairway 66, and also provides a central corridor 68 from which access is provided, through openings 48, to the access to the module 69, from corridor 68, through the opening 48 in the central core 40.

Modules 69, being approximately feet wide by feet long, provides more than adequate room for the living room and dining facilities of the apartment. Ac cess to adjacent module 70, which forms one of the bedrooms of the apartment, is through the openings 42 (FIGS. 1 and 6) formed in side walls 28 of both modules 69 and 70. Each of the interior non-bearing walls 89 illustrated in module 70, which provide for the toilet and closte facilities, along with the doors therefore, have already been placed in the module at the prefabrication plant. Thus, once the module is in place next to module 69, the apartment is substantially ready for occupancy.

Similarly, module 72 provides an additional two bedrooms for the apartment and access thereto is from module 70 through the openings 42 in the walls 28 of those modules. Once modules 70, 72 are in place, adjacent module 69, the electrical and plumbing facilities connected, and the structural framework of the building completed, the apartment is substantially completely ready for occupancy. The only remaining work required is the provision of the facure wall 74 and the finishing of the edges at the openings 42 of walls 28, unless the facure has been previously applied at the plant.

In another embodiment of the present invention, illustrated in FIGS. 7B and 8, a module 90 is provided which is of substantially the same construction as module 12, illustrated in FIG. 2, with the exception that in lieu of the wooden floor 34 provided by joists 32 in module 12, the floor 92 of module 90 is formed by a corrugated metal panel 94 to which a finished wooden floor is applied on the interior surface thereof. The depth of the corrugations of floor panel 94 are approximately twice the depth of the corrugations of the side walls 28 and ceiling 26 of the building since, these corrugations serve to carry the weight of the peopel and objects in the room and will act as beams in the completed structure.

This arrangement may be utilized in lieu of the above-described box arrangement or in construction of a building in which the slab 62 is not utilized. That is, with this type of module, a simple beam and column building construction is permitted.

For this type of building construction, illustrated in FIG. 8, which is a view similar to FIG. 4, the lower modules 90' are provided at their corners 96 with irregularly shaped form members 98 integrally secured thereto. These forms may be secured to the module at the fabrication plant or at the site as desired and may be made of metal or the like. Forms 98 cooperate with side walls 28 of module 90 and with the horizontal form 56' placed between side walls 28 of modules 90 so as to form a completed form for a concrete structural beam. The beam is poured with the columns in the manner described above for the arrangement of FIG. 3, in lieu of slab 62. The beam spans the space between adjacent columns and acts to support the building and provide additional lateral stability thereto.

The bottom of the modules, in this embodiment, have angle members 100 secured at their corners and extending along the length thereof as seen in FIG. 8. These angular members form a bearing surface which can be seated upon the beam 101 formed with form 98. In one embodiment, spaces 102 can be positioned on ill forms 98 to support and slightly space modules on beam 101.

Angle members may be secured to the modules 90 by welding them to side walls 28 to corrugations 103, although that is not required. In fact, it is contemplated that the angle members and the form may be formed of other materials and need not be metal, as it need not be utilized to support the upper modules in the completed building. It is also contemplated that floor 94 of modules 90 can be provided with leveling legs, of the screw thread type, as is well known in leveling arts, so that modules 90 may be supported on and leveled with respect to modules 90.

FIG. 9 is a sectional view of a cross-shaped column at a point in the building in which four modules 12 meet. While this arrangement does not occur in the building illustrated in FIG. 1, it would occur, for example, at point H0 (FIG. 6) if the central core were formed as a module construction rather than a slipform core. The method of forming the column in .FIG. 9 is substantially the same as shown in FIG. 5. Vertically extending forms or panels 52 are inserted between the corrugations and side walls 28 to cooperate therewith and provide the form 55 for the cross shaped column. In addition, the structural reinforcing 53 is welded to the base of the corrugations in walls 28 to form the reinforcing for the column. This welding is preferably done at the fabricating plant so that additional labor is not required at the site. In addition, it is noted that the reinforcing bars 53 in both the construction of the columns in FIG. 5 and FIG. 8 may extend above the top surface of the modules in order to provide a good joint between adjacent stories of each column. However, the continuity between column sections can be provided in other ways, preferably by inserting metal rods or dowels into the top of the concrete while it is still wet.

In the arrangement of FIG. 9 adjustment blocks 57 are illustrated for use with form panels 52. These blocks may be provided as part of forms 52, in order to assure accurate length dimensions in the columns and accurate spacing between opposed forms 52; however, these spacing blocks are not'essential since the flowable concrete will hold the forms 52 against the corrugations 54 as described above.

Accordingly, it is seen that a relatively simple and inexpensive building construction is provided in which a substantial portion of the work is completed prior to erection of the building at the site and a substantial portion of the labor and materials normally required at construction sites is eliminated. Most importantly, the method and building of the present invention eliminates the need for form falsework in the erection of a structural concrete building and substantially reduces the requirement for concrete formwork in the construction of the building. This, of course, represents a substantial cost savings. Moreover, when the building is completed it is conventional in the sense that it has a reinforced concrete structural framework of generally conventional characteristics and the interior or occupancy spaces are conventionally finished with gypsum ceilings and walls and with conventional wooden floors.

Although illustrative embodiments of the present invention have been described herein with reference to the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to those precise embodiments and that various changes and modifications may be effected therein by one skilled in the art without departing from the scope or spirit of this invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A building of modular construction comprising, a foundation underlying said building, a plurality of layers of prefabricated building modules in said building, supported on said foundation, each of said layers forming one story of said building and each of said modules defining an occupiable space therein, said modules each including a pair of spaced opposing vertical side walls and a ceiling; said vertical side walls being formed of corrugated metal panels having vertically extending corrugations and a finished wall surface on the sides thereof facing the interior of said module, said ceiling being formed of corrugated metal extending between said vertical walls and having a finished ceiling surface on the side thereof facing the interior of said module, said modules being arranged in spaced relation to each other in said layers to provide interstices between adjacent module side walls, with the corrugations on said adjacent side walls being spaced from each other, concrete columns formed in predetermined locations, with the side walls forming permanent forms for said concrete when it is in a flowable condition and defining guide means for form members spanning the passage between adjacent side walls to complete a form for said vertical columns when said concrete is in a flowable condition; and at least one horizontal concrete structural member formed between at least some of the vertically adjacent modules in said building and extending between said vertical columns, to transfer vertical loads to and provide lateral stability for said columns.

2. The building as defined in claim 2 wherein said horizontal structural member comprises a concrete slab covering the corrugated ceiling portion of each of the modules in said layers, said ceiling portions providing a permanent form for said concrete slab to support the concrete when it is in a flowable condition, and horizontal form means extending between and supported by said spaced corrugated side walls to support concrete spanning said through passages when the concrete is in a flowable condition.

3. The building as defined in claim 2 wherein each of said modules includes a floor formed integrally therewith.

4. The building as defined in claim 3 wherein the floor of each of said modules is formed from a plurality of spaced wooden joists extending the length of said module and a finished floor surface spanning said joists on the side thereof facing the interior of said module.

5. The building as defined in claim 4 including a plurality of strips of resilient material spanning said joists on the side thereof opposite said finished flooring surface, between said joists and the concrete slab on the ceilings of the module layer therebelow.

6. The building as defined in claim 5 including reinforcing bars for said concrete columns secured to said side walls at said predetermined locations.

7. The building as defined in claim 6 including horizontally extending support members for said horizontal form means secured to said side walls.

8. The building as defined in claim 2 wherein said slab forms the floor in each of the modules in the layer immediately above it.

9. The building as defined in claim 4 wherein selected modules in each of said layers have openings formed therein defining windows and doorways providing access between adjacent modules.

10. The building as defined in claim 8 wherein each of said modules contains substantially all of the electrical wiring and plumbing required, for the type of occupiable space it is to provide, prior to installation in said building.

11. The building as defined in claim 1 wherein each of said modules includes a floor formed integrally therewith.

12. The building as defined in claim 11 including a plurality of horizontal structural members formed between the floors and ceilings of the vertically adjacent modules, at said interstices, said horizontal structural members comprising concrete beams extending horizontally between selected modules and said vertical columns and vertically, over a portion of their height, between the side walls of the selected modules between which they are formed, with the side walls of the spaced modules on the lower portion of said beams forming a permanent lateral form for said concrete beam when the concrete is in a flowable condition; and horizontal form means extending between the spaced corrugated side walls of said modules on the lower side of said beam to support the concrete when it is in said flowable condition.

13. The building as defined in claim 12 including form means mounted on the adjacent top edges of said selected modules for retaining the top portion of the concrete forming the top portion of said beams when said concrete is in a flowable condition.

14. The building as defined in claim 13 including outwardly opening angle members secured to the lower corners of said modules, said angle members being seated on the beam formed in said form means to support their associated modules on said beam.

15. The building as defined in claim 13 wherein the floor of each of said modules is formed from a corrugated metal panel having a finished floor surface on the side thereof facing the interior of said module.

16. The building as defined in claim 15 wherein the corrugations on the metal panel forming said floor are approximately twice as deep as the corrugations of said side wall and ceiling panels.

17. The building as defined in claim 16 wherein selected modules in each of said layers have openings formed therein defining windows and doorways providing access between adjacent modules.

18. The building as defined in claim 17 wherein each of said modules contains all of the electrical wiring and plumbing required for the type of occupiable space it is to provide, prior to installation in said building.

19. The building construction method comprising the steps of initially assembling a plurality of building modules by interconnecting corrugated metal panels to form a ceiling and side walls having vertically extending corrugations, forming a floor between said side walls opposite said ceiling, and defining an occupiable space therebetween, forming a finished ceiling, wall and floor surface on the interior surfaces of said ceiling and wall panels and said floor, forming a building foundation, placing a predetermined number of said modules in one layer on said foundation in spaced relation to define a first story in said building with open through passages between adjacent module side walls, placing vertically extending form panels in predetermined locations between said adjacent module side walls to span the passage therebetween, said panels cooperating with said side walls at predetermined locations to define a form for a concrete column, placing horizontal form panels at predetermined locations between the side walls of adjacent modules adjacent the ceiling panels thereof, forming columns in said building by pouring concrete in a flowable condition in said column forms defined by said vertical form panels and said side walls at said predetermined locations, forming at least one horizontal structural member between said columns by pouring concrete in a flowable condition on said horizontal form panels, allowing said concrete to harden, placing a predetermined number of modules on the thus formed horizontal structural member to form another story in said building and repeating said steps of placing said vertically extending forms, placing said horizontal forms, pouring said concrete, allowing said concrete to harden and placing a predetermined number of modules on the thus formed horizontal member to form subsequent stories of said building.

20. The method as defined in claim 19, said step of pouring concrete on said horizontal form panels includes the step of pouring concrete in a flowable condition on the exterior side of the ceiling panels of said modules to form said horizontal structural member as a slab extending between said vertical columns.

21. The method as defined in claim 20 including the step of forming said floor of each of said modules from a plurality of joists extending the length of said modules, with said finished floor surface spanning said joists.

22. The method as defined in claim 21 including the step of attaching a plurality of strips of resilient material across said joists on the side thereof opposite said finished flooring surface.

23. The method as defined in claim 19 including the step of securing reinforcing bars for said concrete columns to said side walls at said predetermined locations.

24. The method as defined in claim 19 including the step of securing support members for said horizontal form panels to said side walls.

25. The method as defined in claim 24 including the step of initially forming openings in said side walls, prior to placement of said modules in said building, installing windows in selected openings, with the remainder of said openings providing access between modules in the completed building.

26. The method as defined in claim 25 including the step of initially installing in said modules all of the electrical and plumbing facilities required for the type of occupiable space each module is to provide, prior to installation in said building.

27. The method as defined in claim 19 including the step of placing vertically extending form members along the top edges of selected modules in a layer thereof adjacent said horizontal form panels and filling the cavities formed thereby between said selected modules with flowable concrete to form a plurality of said horizontal structural members as beams between said columns.

28. The method as defined in claim 19 including outwardly opening angle members secured to the lower corners of said modules, said angle members being seated on the beam formed in said form means to support their associated modules on said beam.

29. The method as defined in claim 28 wherein said step of forming a floor between said side walls comprises the step of securing a corrugated metal panel to said side walls.

30. The method as defined in claim 29 including the step of initially forming openings in said side walls, prior to placement of said modules in said building, installing windows in selected openings, with the remainder of said openings providing access between modules in the completed building.

31. The method as defined in claim 30 including the step of initially installing in said modules all of the electrical and plumbing facilities. required for the type of occupiable space each module is to provide, prior to installation in said building.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE 0F Patent 3,751,861 Dated August l t, 1973 Inventor(s) Horst and Harry Weese It is' certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 11, line 3 filaim 2), "2" (second occurrence) should be-=-l--.

Signed and sealed this 20th day of November 1973.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FLETCHIER,JR. RENE D. TEGTMEYER Attesting Officer- -Acting Commissioner of Patents FORM F'0-1OS0 (10-69) 1 w q.s. GOVERNMENT Palm-me OFFICE I959 o-sss-aaa

Claims (31)

1. A building of modular construction comprising, a foundation underlying said building, a plurality of layers of prefabricated building modules in said building, supported on said foundation, each of said layers forming one story of said building and each of said modules defining an occupiable space therein, said modules each including a pair of spaced opposing vertical side walls and a ceiling; said vertical side walls being formed of corrugated metal panels having vertically extending corrugations and a finished wall surface on the sides thereof facing the interior of said module, said ceiling being formed of corrugated metal extending between said vertical walls and having a finished ceiling surface on the side thereof facing the interior of said module, said modules being arranged in spaced relation to each other in said layers to provide interstices between adjacent module side walls, with the corrugations on said adjacent side walls being spaced from each other, concrete columns formed in predetermined locations, with the side walls forming permanent forms for said concrete when it is in a flowable condition and defining guide means for form members spanning the passage between adjacent side walls to complete a form for said vertical columns when said concrete is in a flowable condition; and at least one horizontal concrete structural member formed between at least some of the vertically adjacent modules in said building and extending between said vertical columns, to transfer vertical loads to and provide lateral stability for said columns.
2. The building as defined in claim 2 wherein said horizontal structural member comprises a concrete slab covering the corrugated ceiling portion of each of the modules in said layers, said ceiling portions providing a permanent form for said concrete slab to support the concrete when it is in a flowable condition, and horizontal form means extending between and supported by said spaced corrugated side walls to support concrete spanning said through passages when the concrete is in a flowable condition.
3. The building as defined in claim 2 wherein each of said modules includes a floor formed integrally therewith.
4. The building as defined in claim 3 wherein the floor of each of said modules is formed from a plurality of spaced wooden joists extending the length of said module and a finished floor surface spanning said joists on the side thereof facing the interior of said module.
5. The building as defined in claim 4 including a plurality of strips of resilient material spanning said joists on the side thereof opposite said finished flooring surface, between said joists and the concrete slab on the ceilings of the module layer therebelow.
6. The building as defined in claim 5 including reinforcing bars for said concrete columns secured to said side walls at said predetermined locations.
7. The building as defined in claim 6 including horizontally extending support members for said horizontal form means secured to said side walls.
8. The building as defined in claim 2 wherein said slab forms the floor in each of the modules in the layer immediately above it.
9. The building as defined in claim 4 wherein selected modules in each of said layers have openings formed therein defining windows and doorways providing access between adjacent modules.
10. The building as defined in claim 8 wherein each of said modules contains substantially all of the electrical wiring and plumbing required, for the type of occupiable space it is to provide, prior to installation in said building.
11. The building as defined in claim 1 wherein each of said modules includes a floor formed integrally therewith.
12. The building as defined in claim 11 including a plurality of horizontal structural members formed between the floors and ceilings of the vertically adjacent modules, at said interstices, said horizontal structural members comprising concrete beams extending horizontally between selected modules and said vertical columns and vertically, over a portion of their height, between the side walls of the selected modules between which they are formed, with the side walls of the spaced modules on the lower portion of said beams forming a permanent lateral form for said concrete beam when the concrete is in a flowable condition; and horizontal form means extending between the spaced corrugated side walls of said modules on the lower side of said beam to support the concrete when it is in said flowable condition.
13. The building as defined in claim 12 including form means mounted on the adjacent top edges of said selected modules for retaining the top portion of the concrete forming the top portion of said beams when said concrete is in a flowable condition.
14. The building as defined in claim 13 including outwardly opening angle members secured to the lower corners of said modules, said angle members being seated on the beam formed in said form means to support their associated modules on said beam.
15. The building as defined in claim 13 wherein the floor of each of said modules is formed from a corrugated metal panel having a finished floor surface on the side thereof facing the interior of said module.
16. The building as defined in claim 15 wherein the corrugations on the metal panel forming said floor are approximately twice as deep as the corrugations of said side wall and ceiling panels.
17. The building as defined in claim 16 wherein selected modules in each of said layers have openings formed therein defining windows and doorways providing access between adjacent modules.
18. The building as defined in claim 17 wherein each of said modules contains all of the electrical wiring and plumbing required for the type of occupiable space it is to provide, prior to installation in said building.
19. The building construction method comprising the steps of initially assembling a plurality of building modules by interconnecting corrugated metal panels to form a ceiling and side walls having vertically extending corrugations, forming a floor between said side walls opposite said ceiling, and defining an occupiable space therebetween, forming a finished ceiling, wall and floor surface on the interior surfaces of said ceiling and wall panels and said floor, forming a building foundation, placing a predetermined number of said modules in one layer on said foundation in spaced relation to define a first story in said building with open through passages between adjacent module side walls, placing vertically extending form panels in predetermined locations between said adjacent module side walls to span the passage therebetween, said panels cooperating with said side walls at predetermined locations to define a form for a concrete column, placing horizontal form panels at predetermined locations between the side walls of adjacent modules adjacent the ceiling panels thereof, forming columns in said building by pouring concrete in a flowable condition in said column forms defined by said vertical form panels and said side walls at said predetermined locations, forming at least one horizontal structural member between said columns by pouring concrete in a flowable condiTion on said horizontal form panels, allowing said concrete to harden, placing a predetermined number of modules on the thus formed horizontal structural member to form another story in said building and repeating said steps of placing said vertically extending forms, placing said horizontal forms, pouring said concrete, allowing said concrete to harden and placing a predetermined number of modules on the thus formed horizontal member to form subsequent stories of said building.
20. The method as defined in claim 19, said step of pouring concrete on said horizontal form panels includes the step of pouring concrete in a flowable condition on the exterior side of the ceiling panels of said modules to form said horizontal structural member as a slab extending between said vertical columns.
21. The method as defined in claim 20 including the step of forming said floor of each of said modules from a plurality of joists extending the length of said modules, with said finished floor surface spanning said joists.
22. The method as defined in claim 21 including the step of attaching a plurality of strips of resilient material across said joists on the side thereof opposite said finished flooring surface.
23. The method as defined in claim 19 including the step of securing reinforcing bars for said concrete columns to said side walls at said predetermined locations.
24. The method as defined in claim 19 including the step of securing support members for said horizontal form panels to said side walls.
25. The method as defined in claim 24 including the step of initially forming openings in said side walls, prior to placement of said modules in said building, installing windows in selected openings, with the remainder of said openings providing access between modules in the completed building.
26. The method as defined in claim 25 including the step of initially installing in said modules all of the electrical and plumbing facilities required for the type of occupiable space each module is to provide, prior to installation in said building.
27. The method as defined in claim 19 including the step of placing vertically extending form members along the top edges of selected modules in a layer thereof adjacent said horizontal form panels and filling the cavities formed thereby between said selected modules with flowable concrete to form a plurality of said horizontal structural members as beams between said columns.
28. The method as defined in claim 19 including outwardly opening angle members secured to the lower corners of said modules, said angle members being seated on the beam formed in said form means to support their associated modules on said beam.
29. The method as defined in claim 28 wherein said step of forming a floor between said side walls comprises the step of securing a corrugated metal panel to said side walls.
30. The method as defined in claim 29 including the step of initially forming openings in said side walls, prior to placement of said modules in said building, installing windows in selected openings, with the remainder of said openings providing access between modules in the completed building.
31. The method as defined in claim 30 including the step of initially installing in said modules all of the electrical and plumbing facilities required for the type of occupiable space each module is to provide, prior to installation in said building.
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US7926524B2 (en) 2006-10-02 2011-04-19 Prolam, Societe En Commandite Utilization of coloration to improve the detection of “hit or miss” defects when using scanner equipment and an automated saw to remove defects in wood pieces
US20080236704A1 (en) * 2006-10-02 2008-10-02 Prolam, Societe En Commandite Utilization of coloration to improve the detection of "hit or miss" defects when using scanner equipment and an automated saw to remove defects in wood pieces
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