Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20050210762 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/505,960
Publication dateSep 29, 2005
Filing dateFeb 26, 2003
Priority dateFeb 27, 2002
Also published asEP1485543A1, WO2003078748A1, WO2003093593A1
Publication number10505960, 505960, US 2005/0210762 A1, US 2005/210762 A1, US 20050210762 A1, US 20050210762A1, US 2005210762 A1, US 2005210762A1, US-A1-20050210762, US-A1-2005210762, US2005/0210762A1, US2005/210762A1, US20050210762 A1, US20050210762A1, US2005210762 A1, US2005210762A1
InventorsPeter Broberg
Original AssigneeOpen House Systems Ab
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Modular building, prefabricated volume-module and method for production of a modular building
US 20050210762 A1
Abstract
The invention relates to a modular building of the type that comprises vertical frame columns (70) and a plurality of volume modules (2) prefabricated of sheet metal profiles (18-32) and being of rectangular horizontal section, which are supported by the columns (70) on two or more floor levels. The volume modules (2) are prefabricated with two frame edge beams (50) which are stronger than said sheet metal profiles (18-32) and which are horizontally extended along a respective upper end wall edge of the volume module (2) and which are on the one hand linearly connected with frame edge beams (50) of adjoining modules (2) on the same floor level and, on the other hand, connected to the columns (70) in such a manner that the horizontal position of the frame edge beams (50) relative to the columns (70) is fixed. The invention also relates to such a module and a method for manufacturing such a building.
Images(27)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(49)
1. A modular building, comprising
a plurality of vertical frame columns and
a plurality of volume modules prefabricated of sheet metal profiles and having a rectangular horizontal section, which are supported by the columns on two or more floor levels,
wherein the volume modules are also prefabricated with two frame edge beams which are stronger than said sheet metal profiles and which are horizontally extended along a respective upper end wall edge of the volume module and which are on the one hand linearly connected with frame edge beams of adjoining modules on the same floor level and, on the other hand, connected to the columns in such a manner that the horizontal position of the frame edge beams relative to the columns is fixed.
2. A modular building as claimed in claim 1, wherein the modules are supported by the columns in such a manner that they are vertically loaded only by their dead weight and payloads.
3. A modular building as claimed in claim 2, wherein the modules are vertically supported at least in their lower corner portions by the columns while said frame edge beams transfer essentially only horizontal forces.
4. A modular building as claimed in claim 3, wherein the modules rest on the flanges projecting horizontally from the columns.
5. A modular building as claimed in claim 4, wherein each frame column consists of a number of separate column portions which each at the its lower end have a horizontally projecting, module-supporting flange.
6. A modular building as claimed in claim 4, wherein the lower corner portions of the modules on the one hand and the module-supporting flanges of the columns on the other hand are provided with cooperating means which counteract lateral displacement of the modules.
7. A modular building as claimed in claim 1, wherein each frame edge beam is positioned between two frame columns in a vertical plane common therewith.
8. A modular building as claimed in claim 7, wherein each pair of two linearly interconnected frame edge beams has a first beam end and a second beam end which are positioned on either side of an intermediate frame column to form therewith a joint and which beam ends are directly connected with each other with the aid of a coupling means which bridges the frame column horizontally and on opposite sides thereof to thus also fix the horizontal position of the frame edge beams relative to the frame column.
9. A modular building as claimed in claim 8, wherein each frame column is divided into linearly assembled column portions, and wherein said coupling means is formed as a separate coupling device, comprising on the one hand a horizontal top metal sheet which in the erection of the building is mounted between two column portions and, on the other hand, two vertical, mutually parallel connecting metal sheets which project downwards from the underside of the top metal sheet and which are extended on opposite sides of the frame column and connected with the beam ends of the frame edge beams.
10. A modular building as claimed in claim 1, wherein the sheet metal profiles included in each module comprise two horizontal roof edge profiles which each form an upper longitudinal edge of the module and in which the two frame edge beams of the module are supported.
11. A modular building as claimed in claim 10, wherein the frame edge beams and the two roof edge profiles are located in a common horizontal plane.
12. A modular building as claimed in claim 10, wherein the frame edge beams are attached to the module in such a manner that horizontal forces can be transferred between the roof edge profiles and the frame edge beams perpendicular to the latter.
13. A modular building as claimed in claim 1, further comprising horizontal, frame-stabilising surfaces in the form of panel elements and/or framework.
14. A modular building as claimed in claim 13, wherein each module is prefabricated with a roof panel elements fixed to the frame edge beams of the module and wherein, on a given floor level, such floor panel elements are interconnected to a horizontal frame-stabilising surface.
15. A modular building as claimed in claim 1, comprising vertical, frame-stabilising surfaces.
16. A modular building as claimed in claim 15, wherein the modules are prefabricated with vertical wall elements, such as gypsum boards, to form said vertical frame-stabilising surfaces.
17. A modular building as claimed in claim 1, wherein said sheet metal profiles have a material thickness of less than 4 mm.
18. A modular building as claimed in claim 1, wherein said sheet metal profiles have a material thickness in the range 0.5-3 mm, preferably about 2 mm.
19. A modular building as claimed in claim 1, wherein the columns and the frame edge beams are steel beams.
20. A modular building as claimed in claim 1, wherein the columns and the frame edge beams are steel beams with a material thickness of at least 4 mm.
21. A prefabricated volume module made of sheet metal profiles and having a rectangular horizontal section, which module, together with other such modules, is adapted to form a modular building in which the modules are vertically supported by frame columns on two or more floor levels, wherein the volume module is prefabricated with two frame edge beams which are stronger than said sheet metal profiles, said frame edge beams being horizontally extended along a respective upper end wall edge of the volume module and, in the modular building, linearly connected with frame edge beams of adjoining modules on the same floor level.
22. A module as claimed in claim 21, wherein said sheet metal profiles comprise two horizontal roof edge profiles, which each form an upper longitudinal edge of the module and which support the frame edge beams at the upper end wall edges of the module.
23. A module as claimed in claim 22, wherein each frame edge beam has two opposite free beam ends which are located horizontally outside the roof edge profiles and which, in the modular building, are connected with corresponding free beam ends of adjoining modules on the same floor level.
24. A module as claimed in claim 22, wherein the two frame edge beams and the two roof edge profiles are located in a common horizontal plane.
25. A module as claimed in claim 24, wherein the frame edge beams extend through vertical openings of the frame edge profiles so as to have said free beam ends on the outsides, directed away from each other, of the roof edge profiles.
26. A module as claimed in claim 21, wherein the frame edge beams are attached to the module in such a manner that transfer of frame-stabilising horizontal forces is allowed between the roof edge profiles and the frame edge beams perpendicular to the latter.
27. A module as claimed in claim 26, wherein each frame edge beam is attached to the two roof edge profiles by means of two horizontal tension rods, which each have an end connected with the frame edge beam and an end connected with the associated roof edge profile.
28. A module as claimed in claim 27, wherein the roof edge profiles are formed as C profiles in which said tension rods are extended.
29. A module as claimed in claim 21, wherein the module is further provided with one or more frame-stabilising surfaces in the form of panel elements and/or framework.
30. A module as claimed in claim 21, wherein the module is provided with a frame-stabilising surface in the form of a horizontal-force-transferring roof panel element which is fixed to the two frame edge beams.
31. A module as claimed in claim 30, wherein said horizontal-force-transferring roof panel element is made of trapezoidal metal sheet.
32. A module as claimed in claim 30, wherein said horizontal-force-transferring roof panel element is fixed also to at least some profiles among said sheet metal profiles which form the roof of the module.
33. A module as claimed in claim 21, wherein the module is provided with a frame-stabilising surface in the form of a horizontal-force-transferring roof framework.
34. A module as claimed in claim 21, wherein the module is provided with one or more frame-stabilising surfaces in the form of vertical-force-transferring wall panel elements which are fixed to the sides of the module.
35. A module as claimed in claim 34, wherein said wall panel elements comprise gypsum boards.
36. A module as claimed in claim 21, wherein said sheet metal profiles have a material thickness of less than 4 mm.
37. A module as claimed in claim 36, wherein said sheet metal profiles have a material thickness in the range 0.5-3 mm, preferably about 2 mm.
38. A module as claimed in claim 21, wherein the frame edge beams are steel beams.
39. A module as claimed in claim 38, wherein the frame edge beams are steel beams with a material thickness exceeding 4 mm.
40. A module as claimed in claim 21, wherein the frame edge beams and the columns have essentially the same horizontal width.
41. A module as claimed in claim 21, wherein, in the modular building, the lower corner portions of the module are supported by flanges projecting horizontally from the columns, and wherein the module further comprises means at its lower corner portions adapted to cooperate with said flanges to prevent horizontal displacement of the module relative to the columns.
42. A modular building comprising a plurality of modules as claimed in any one of claims 21-41, wherein frame edge beams of adjoining modules on the same floor level are linearly interconnected so as to jointly transfer horizontal compressive forces and tensile forces in the building.
43. A method for manufacturing a modular building, comprising the following steps
prefabricating rectangular volume modules of sheet metal profiles, each module also being prefabricated with two frame edge beams which are stronger than the sheet metal profiles and which are horizontally extended along a respective upper end wall edge of the module; and
mounting at the building site the prefabricated volume modules on two or more floor levels by means of vertical frame columns, frame edge beams of adjoining modules on each floor level being interconnected linearly before the modules of the next floor level are mounted.
44. A method as claimed in claim 43, wherein the modules are mounted so that they are vertically loaded only by their dead weight and payloads.
45. A method as claimed in claim 44, wherein each frame column is divided into a number of column portions corresponding to the number of floor levels, and wherein frame edge beams of adjoining modules on each floor level are interconnected linearly and connected with the column portions of the floor level before the column portions and the modules of the next floor level are mounted.
46. A method as claimed in claim 45, wherein each column portion has at its lower end a horizontally projecting bottom flange, and wherein the step of mounting the volume modules comprises the following substeps for each floor level before the next floor level is mounted:
mounting the column portions belonging to the floor level,
arranging the modules belonging to the floor level on top of the bottom flanges of the column portions belonging to the floor level,
linearly interconnecting the frame edge beams of adjoining modules, and connecting the beam ends of the frame edge beams with the column portions belonging to the floor level.
47. A method as claimed in claim 46, wherein the substep of interconnecting the frame edge beams of two adjoining modules and the substep of connecting the beam ends of the frame edge beams with the column portions are carried out as a common substep by mounting a coupling means which is common for these interconnections.
48. A method as claimed in claim 47, wherein the frame edge beams are positioned between the frame columns in vertical planes common therewith, so as to form joints where two opposite beam ends are arranged on either side of a frame column and interconnected linearly round the frame column by the common coupling means so that the horizontal position of the frame edge beams relative to the columns is fixed.
49. A method as claimed in claim 43, wherein the step of prefabricating the volume modules comprises the following substeps:
manufacturing an open volume of sheet metal profiles, comprising two horizontal roof edge profiles which each form an upper longitudinal edge of the module and which have vertical openings at the end walls (6) of the module, and
mounting the frame edge beams in the vertical openings of the frame edge profiles so that the frame edge beams on the outsides, directed away from each other, of the roof edge profiles have free beam ends for linear connection with such free beam ends of the frame edge beams of adjoining modules.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates generally to the technical field of modular buildings and concerns on the one hand a modular building and, on the other hand, a volume module and a method for manufacturing the same. More specifically, the invention concerns modular buildings of the type having a plurality of prefabricated, essentially identical volume modules of rectangular horizontal section, which are vertically supported by vertical frame columns on a plurality of floor levels so that each of them is only loaded by its dead weight and payload.

The invention makes it possible to manufacture such modular buildings using so-called lightweight construction engineering (in contrast to traditional building constructions) and with industrially prefabricated lightweight modules that require a small number of mounting operations at the building site.

BACKGROUND ART

WO 91/05118 discloses a modular building of the above type comprising a skeleton or frame construction consisting of vertical frame columns and horizontal bars and beams which are joined with each other in a torsionally rigid manner in joints of the frame construction. The larger the building, the higher construction requirements are placed on the rigidity of the frame of the building. Both horizontal forces (wind forces) and vertical forces (payloads and dead weights) are transferred to the frame construction.

A drawback of this prior-art building according to WO 91/05118 is precisely the existence of and requirements for such torsionally rigid joints. It is a major technical problem to satisfy all the rigidity requirements that are placed on a modular building, especially the torsionally rigid joints where different materials, forces and functions meet. Joints belong to the most difficult problems in construction engineering. The time required at the building site for forming the joints is also an important factor.

SE 9404111-8, which concerns a solution to the above problems, discloses a modular multistorey building which, with respect to force take-up, is divided into on the one hand an inner zone, which takes up vertical forces and comprises frame columns with the volume modules suspended therefrom on several floor levels and which essentially does not take up any lateral forces acting on the building and, on the other hand, a façade zone, which is arranged immediately outside the inner zone and adapted to take up lateral forces for lateral stabilisation of the inner zone and hence the entire building. The façade zone comprises a plurality of façade panel elements distributed along the outside of the inner zone and vertically oriented perpendicular to the façade of the building. In this solution, use is not made of horizontal beams as included in prior-art frame constructions. The payloads and dead weights of the modules are distributed over and taken up by the columns in the inner zone while most of the horizontal wind forces acting on the building are taken up by the façade panel elements arranged perpendicular to the façade in the façade zone outside the inner zone.

While the problem of torsionally rigid joints is at least partially solved in SE 9404111-8, a new problem arises, viz. that the required size and cost of the horizontally stabilising façade zone rapidly increase as the number of floors in the building increases. Besides, the solution involving a special façade zone is in itself not quite satisfactory.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One object of the invention is therefore to provide a solution for modular building systems of the type stated by way of introduction, which eliminates or at least reduces the above problems.

According to a first aspect of the invention, a modular building is provided, comprising a plurality of vertical frame columns and a plurality of volume modules prefabricated of sheet metal profiles and having a rectangular horizontal section, which are supported by the columns on two or more floor levels. The building according to the invention is characterised in that the volume modules are also prefabricated with two frame edge beams which are stronger than said sheet metal profiles and which are horizontally extended along a respective upper end wall edge of the volume module and which are on the one hand linearly connected with front edge beams of adjoining modules on the same floor level and, on the other hand, connected to the columns in such a manner that the horizontal position of the frame edge beams relative to the columns is fixed.

According to a second aspect of the invention, a method for manufacturing a modular building is provided, comprising the following steps:

    • prefabricating rectangular volume modules of sheet metal profiles, each module also being prefabricated with two frame edge beams which are stronger than the sheet metal profiles and are horizontally extended along a respective upper end wall edge of the module; and
    • mounting at the building site the prefabricated volume modules on two or more floor levels by means of vertical frame columns, frame edge beams of adjoining modules on each floor level being interconnected linearly before the modules of the next floor level are mounted.

According to a third aspect of the invention, a module is provided for manufacturing a building as defined above and for use in the method as defined above.

Preferred embodiments of the building, the method and the module according to the invention are stated in the dependent claims.

Since the modules that are used according to the invention are made up of sheet metal profiles—and thus are to be considered “lightweight modules”—it is preferred for the modules, in per se prior-art manner, to be supported by the columns in such a manner that they are vertically loaded essentially only by their dead weight and payloads.

The sheet metal profiles from which the volume modules are made preferably have a material thickness of less than 4 mm, preferably in the range 0.5-3 mm. A preferred embodiment is in the order of 2 mm.

The stronger frame edge beams included in the volume modules consist, like the vertical frame columns, preferably of steel beams, such as rolled steel, with a wall thickness which preferably is greater than 4 mm.

The term “volume module” does not relate to a normally closed volume in the first place, but rather a constructionally and initially open room or framework of sheet metal profiles without side walls, i.e. a module or cassette defined by geometric surfaces (imaginary walls), referred to as an open system unit. Each “volume module” included in a building according to the invention can be adjusted entirely to the desired form and function of the building and may especially constitute a room of its own or part of a room with adjoining volume modules on the same floor level. Thus, the volume modules can be provided with wall-forming vertical panel elements, at the factory and/or at the building site, according to how the building is divided into rooms.

According to the invention, the “prefabricated modules” are prefabricated with at least their sheet metal profiles and their frame edge beams. Prefabrication usually includes also many other elements, such as board material, infill etc, as will be described below. By “prefabricated” is here meant the state of the module when being positioned in the column frame at the building site. Normally, everything can be prefabricated at the factory, but it is also conceivable that certain parts are mounted later, both before and after positioning the modules in the column frame.

An advantage of the invention is that it makes it possible to stabilise an open, column-supported lightweight structure for taking up the complex of forces that arise in a building. High material efficiency can be achieved by using lightweight construction engineering.

The invention especially makes it possible to manufacture a modular lightweight building from prefabricated volume modules, here called lightweight modules. Use of industrially prefabricated lightweight modules has in itself several advantages related to precision, quality, cost and efficiency, such as a small number of mounting operations at the building site and, thus, a short building time.

A special advantage of the invention is that it makes it possible—by means of the stronger frame edge beams at the upper end wall edges of the modules—to partly integrate the frame stabilisation into the lightweight modules. This can be expressed in such a manner that parts of the frame stabilisation which in prior-art systems are provided with a heavy, separate skeleton or frame construction according to the invention are instead integrated into the actual modules. By integrating the frame stabilisation partly into the modules, the advantage is obtained that the structure of the modules is reinforced and will have the required stability in spite of its light construction. As will be described below, additional components may also be included in the modules for additional integration of the frame stabilisation into the modules.

An advantage of the invention is that the modular building can be manufactured in such a manner that joints positioned adjacent to the columns need not take up moments for frame stabilisation. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, in frame stabilisation the joints are essentially intended merely for horizontal and vertical transfer of forces whereas wind forces acting on the building can instead be taken up by frame-stabilising surfaces formed as panels and/or framework.

The invention makes it possible to achieve the above advantages while at the same time the joints positioned adjacent to the frame columns are designed in such a manner that the lightweight modules in the façade of the building can be extended horizontally past the joints. This gives a high degree of flexibility and allows different house widths with the same base module dimensions, without necessitating changes of the frame and stabilising system (the same columns, the same volume modules, the same beams, the same joints etc). Such requirements in connection with different house widths are highly frequent.

According to a particularly preferred embodiment of the invention, the concept “frame stabilisation integrated into the modules” includes not only the above-mentioned frame edge beams, but also what will below be referred to as “frame-stabilising surfaces”. The term “frame-stabilising surface” should here be understood as a surface in the geometric sense and can be implemented with panel elements and/or with framework. Frame-stabilising surfaces included in the volume modules and the building act to take up horizontal shear forces. This adds to the fact that the joints between the frame edge beams and the frame columns need not take up moments, which in turn makes construction and erection less expensive and easier.

According to a particularly preferred embodiment of the invention, each module is prefabricated with a roof panel element fixed to the frame edge beams of the module and/or to the upper longitudinal sheet metal profiles of the module. During mounting of each floor level, the systems of joists are joined so that the board effect thereof may be utilised. Thus, such roof panel elements may be connected horizontally so as to jointly form a larger frame-stabilising horizontal surface. Such frame-stabilising surfaces can in turn be combined in a suitable manner with special stabilising wall elements and/or staircases, for instance made of steel or concrete in the traditional manner.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The above and other advantages, features and preferred embodiments of the invention will now be described in more detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of an inventive volume module formed as a lightweight module.

FIG. 1A corresponds to FIG. 1 but shows a lightweight module which is partly open.

FIG. 2 shows an enlarged detail of an upper corner of the lightweight module in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 shows schematically the roof plane of the lightweight module in FIG. 1 and parts of an adjoining module.

FIG. 4 shows an enlarged detail of the area marked C1 in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 shows schematically the bottom plane of the lightweight module in FIG. 1 and parts of an adjoining module.

FIG. 6 is a schematic side view of a long side of the lightweight module in FIG. 1 and also shows two frame columns.

FIG. 7 is a schematic side view of an end wall of the lightweight module in FIG. 1.

FIG. 8 shows an enlarged detail of the area marked C2 in FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is a broken-away vertical section which shows trapezoidal metal sheets and side bars of two adjoining lightweight modules.

FIG. 10 is schematic perspective view of a lightweight module according to FIG. 1 supported by vertical frame columns.

FIG. 11 is a vertical section and shows parts of an embodiment of a building according to the invention.

FIG. 12 is a schematic top plan view of an embodiment of a building according to the invention formed as a 6-module system and illustrates neutral zones between the modules.

FIG. 13 is a schematic top plan view of the 6-module system in FIG. 12 and illustrates the principle of horizontal frame stabilisation when subjected to wind loads.

FIG. 14 is a schematic top plan view of a building according to the invention formed as a double module system and illustrates horizontal frame stabilisation.

FIG. 15 is a vertical section according to FIG. 11 supplemented with force arrows that illustrate vertical frame stabilisation.

FIG. 16 is a top plan view of a column portion.

FIG. 17 is a side view of the lower part of a column portion.

FIG. 18 is a bottom plan view of a coupling device.

FIG. 19 is a first side view of the coupling device in FIG. 18.

FIG. 20 is a second side view of the coupling device in FIG. 18.

FIGS. 21 and 22 show in perspective from above and from below, respectively, two column portions with an intermediate coupling device.

FIG. 23 is a schematic horizontal section of a joint between two modules on the same floor level.

FIG. 24 is a schematic side view—seen towards a frame column—of a joint between two modules on adjoining floor levels.

FIG. 25 is a schematic side view of a joint—seen from a frame column—between two modules on adjoining floor levels.

FIG. 26 is a schematic exploded view of a joint between three modules.

FIGS. 27-30 are schematic perspective views of a joint seen from different directions and with different parts uncovered, to illustrate the construction and function of the joint.

DESCRIPTION OF AN EMBODIMENT

With reference to the accompanying drawings, now follows a description of an embodiment of a modular lightweight building according to the invention, manufactured from volume modules according to the invention and made by a manufacturing method according to the invention. Like components have throughout been given the same reference numerals.

Reference is first made to FIGS. 1-9, which show a volume module, generally designated 2. The module 2 is intended to be manufactured at a location other than the building site, preferably at a factory so as to make it possible to utilise the advantages of the factory in respect of rational handling of materials, quality and efficiency. At the building site, the volume modules are positioned by means of a crane. At the factory, the volume modules can be customised according to requirements and be provided with the necessary components. Since the entire inner mounting of infill and installation components can also take place at the factory, high-technological and accuracy-requiring operations can take place within the controllable environment of the factory. They can thus be equipped as sanitary modules, dwelling modules etc.

The wall faces of the module, i.e. its two long sides 4 and its two short sides or end walls 6, can be opened so that a completed room is made up of one or more modules 2, depending on where wall elements are mounted on the volume modules. Such wall elements can be factory-mounted and/or mounted at the building site.

The volume module 2 is of rectangular horizontal section, which in this embodiment has the dimensions 3.9 m*7.8 m, including what is below referred to as “neutral zones” NZ between the modules 2 (FIGS. 12 and 23). The height of the module is in the shown example 3 m (FIG. 11).

The volume module 2 is defined by the following geometric planes (see FIGS. 3 and 5): two vertical side wall planes 4, two vertical end wall planes 6, a horizontal roof plane 8 and a horizontal bottom plane 10. The vertical planes 4 and 6 can be more or less closed by means of board material, as schematically shown at reference numeral 12 in FIG. 6.

The roof plane 8 and the bottom plane 10 of the module 2 are normally closed by panel elements 14 and 16, respectively, of which broken-away parts are shown schematically in FIGS. 1, 3 and 5 in the form of trapezoidal metal sheet.

The volume module 2 is according to the invention made of sheet metal profiles (beams/girders/bars/panel elements/trapezoidal metal sheets). The sheet metal profile elements preferably have a material thickness of 1-4 mm, preferably less than 3 mm and most preferred less than or equal to 2 mm.

More specifically, the module 2 comprises the following sheet metal profiles:

    • two top beams (roof edge profiles) 18 and two bottom beams (bottom edge profiles) 20 which form the longitudinal edges of the roof plane 8 and the floor plane 10;
    • a plurality of roof bars 22 and floor bars 24 which are extended between and connected with the top beams 18 and the bottom beams 20, respectively;
    • a plurality of vertical end wall bars 26 along the end wall planes 6 of the module and a plurality of vertical side wall bars 28 along the side wall planes 4 of the volume module (vertical bars can be excluded to some extent),
    • upper and lower horizontal, side wall bar carrying U profiles 30 (FIG. 9) which extend along and are mounted on the outsides of the top beams 18 and bottom beams 20 and in which the vertical side wall bars 28 are inserted and joined,
    • upper and lower horizontal end wall bar carrying U profiles 32 (FIG. 25) in which the vertical end wall bars 28 are inserted and joined, and
    • a horizontal U profile 34 (FIG. 25) along the lower edge of each end wall plane 6 for mounting of insulation 36.

The end wall bars 26 and the side wall bars 28 in FIG. 1 can be excluded, when required. The four corner bars and the two central side wall bars 28′ (FIG. 1) in each side wall plane 4 cannot, however, be excluded, but are required for transferring of loads. FIG. 1A shows an example of a module 2 where one end wall 6 and one long side 4 have been half-opened for communication with adjoining volume modules (not shown) in the completed building.

Wall boards 12, such as gypsum boards, fibreboards and particle boards, are mounted on the vertical bars 26, 28, as schematically shown in FIG. 6. For instance, six wall boards 12 can be mounted along each module long side 4 in two relatively offset layers. The inner layer is screwed to the vertical side wall bars 28.

According to the principle of the invention, the volume module 2 is prefabricated with two frame edge beams 50 which are stronger than the sheet metal profiles. The frame edge beams 50 have several purposes for force transfer, as will be described in more detail below. They are used to transfer forces to adjoining frame edge beams, adjoining frame columns, adjoining modules, adjoining frame-stabilising surfaces and special frame-stabilising systems. A special purpose of the frame edge beam 50 is to form tie beams and compressed beams in connected modules on each floor level.

The frame edge beams 50 consist in the shown example of rolled steel beams having a square cross-section of 10*10 cm and a material thickness of 5 mm.

The frame edge beams 50 are horizontally extended along a respective upper end wall edge of the module 2 where they are mounted in and carried by the two top beams 18. In the shown preferred embodiment, the frame edge beams 50 and the two top beams 18 are located in a common horizontal plane coinciding with the roof plane 8. This is advantageous both with regard to horizontal force transfer between these components and with regard to the possibility of extending the room volume of the module 2 in the longitudinal direction of the modules past the frame edge beams 50. More specifically, as best seen on a larger scale in FIG. 2, the top beams 18 formed as C profiles are at their ends provided with vertical openings, which preferably match the outer dimensions of the frame edge beams 50. The frame edge beams 50 extend through these openings and have on the outsides of the top beams 18 free beam ends 52 formed with mounting holes 53 for a coupling device that will be described below.

As best seen in FIGS. 3, 23-25 and 28, the stronger frame edge beams 50 are attached to the lighter top beams 18 by means of threaded tension rods 54, four for each module. As best seen in FIG. 28, an angular fixing mount 56 for each tension rod 54 is fixedly mounted in the top beam 18. Each tension rod 54 extends through the fixing mount 56, through a hole in the outer roof bar 22 and through a hole in the frame edge beam 50. The tension rods 54 are fixed by means of plates 58 and nuts 60. The tension rods 54 serve to transfer horizontal forces between the frame edge beams 50 and the top beams 18 in the longitudinal direction of the latter. In the first place, the tension rods 54 aim at taking up horizontal forces which strive to displace the frame edge beams 50 away from the module 2 in the longitudinal direction of the top beams 18.

As mentioned above, the roof plane 8 and the bottom plane 10 of the module 2 are normally closed by panel elements 14 and 16, respectively, which in the preferred embodiment are made of trapezoidal-profiled sheet metal, which can also advantageously accompany the prefabricated module. The TRP metal sheet is used to transfer horizontal forces to the corners of the module and the frame edge beams 50. It is to be noted that the panel elements 14, 16 also form part of the above-mentioned “sheet metal profiles” of the module and preferably are included in the prefabricated module, especially the bottom metal sheet 16.

FIGS. 10-14, to which reference is now made, illustrate additional components in embodiments of a building according to the invention.

FIG. 10 schematically shows how a volume module 2 as described above is suspended from six vertical frame columns 70 (four corner columns and two central columns), which form part of the loadbearing frame of the building. Each frame column 70 is divided into a number of prefabricated column portions 72, which preferably have such a length that each column 70 comprises a column portion 72 for each floor level.

The column portions 72 are preferably steel beams, such as rolled steel. They are dimensioned according to vertical forces and accidental loads. The steel frame is designed so that stabilising forces can be transferred to stabilising units and foundation.

As shown in FIGS. 10, 11 and 16, each column portion 72 is at its lower end prefabricated with a horizontally projecting bottom flange 74 (40*30 cm in the shown example). Each bottom flange 74 is provided with four mounting holes 78, and in the corner columns the bottom flanges 74 are also provided with four upwardly directed stop lugs 76 (FIG. 16) which cooperate with stop lugs 38 in the lower corner portions of the modules 2 (FIGS. 24 and 32).

The frame columns 70 are torsionally rigidly mounted in the foundation 80 in a suitable manner, for instance by means of plinths 82 according to FIG. 11, which is a schematic side view of a building.

In addition to the frame columns 70, a building according to the invention can preferably comprise special frame-stabilising elements.

FIG. 12, which is a schematic top plan view of a building according to the invention formed as a 6-module system, shows two such outer frame-stabilising elements in the form of end walls 90 of the building. They can be made of concrete or steel and extend the entire height of the building.

FIG. 14, which is a schematic top plan view of a building according to the invention formed as a double module system, shows schematically five frame-stabilising elements in the form of walls 92 of the building which extend the entire height of the building.

In such special frame-stabilising elements, other elements can also be included, such as staircases and/or vertically standing façade panel elements.

A building according to the embodiment is mounted in the following manner.

First the column portions 72 of the first floor level are mounted in a suitable manner in the foundation 80 (FIG. 11).

Subsequently, the prefabricated modules 2 of the first floor level (including the accompanying frame edge beams 50) are lifted by means of a crane and lowered between the column portions 72 so that each module 2 is made to rest on the bottom flanges 74 of six column portions 72. Once the modules 2 are positioned, a neutral zone NZ (FIGS. 12 and 23) is present between neighbouring modules 2, which neutral zone in the completed building can be bridged in a convenient manner in roof and/or floor if adjoining modules 2 are to be interconnected. Specifically, the interconnection of the roof elements of the modules can effectively contribute to the stabilisation of the building. The interconnection of the floors of the modules makes it possible to form larger rooms. Once the modules 2 are positioned, the frame edge beams 50 are located in a common plane with the column portions 72, as best seen in FIGS. 23-25.

It is preferred for the length of the frame edge beams 50 to be such that they extend with their free beam ends 52 into the neutral zone NZ and end at a small distance, suitable with regard to tolerances, from the frame columns 70.

It should be noted that the modules 2 on the first floor level are now supported completely at the bottom, whereas the frame edge beams 50 have not yet been connected with the columns 70.

It should also be noted that the stop lugs 76 of the bottom flanges 74 cooperate with the stop lugs 38 of the modules 2, thereby counteracting horizontal lateral displacement of the modules 2.

After having positioned the modules of the first floor level, the frame edge beams 50 are locked to each other and to the column portions 72. In the preferred embodiment, this is carried out by a coupling device 100 (FIGS. 18-20) separate from the column portions 72, which is used for both interconnections. The coupling device 100 is in the shown embodiment made of three steel sheets welded together: one top sheet 102 and two side sheets 104 with mounting holes 106 and 108/110 respectively.

As is evident especially from FIGS. 23 and 26, such a coupling device 100 is arranged on the column portion 72 where two frame edge beams 50 meet, the top sheet of the coupling device resting on the top of the column portion 72. By means of the two side sheets 104, the beam ends 52 of adjoining modules 2 are connected directly with each other, using bolted joints in the mounting holes 108 and 53. Since the side sheets 104 extend on either side of and immediately adjacent to the column portion 72 (FIG. 23), the frame edge beams 50 are also locked laterally relative to the frame columns 70. Furthermore the coupling device 100 is locked to the column portion 72 using bolted joints in the mounting holes 110. The frame beams 50 which accompanied the prefabricated lightweight modules 2 are now included as an integrated part of the frame construction of the building and can efficiently transfer forces.

Having arranged the modules 2 of the first floor level on the column portions 72, the roof trapezoidal metal sheets 14 of adjoining modules 2 are interconnected by means of separate panel elements in the form of trapezoidal metal sheets 15 rotated through 90 degrees (FIG. 23). Thus a larger continuous frame-stabilising surface is formed on the floor level.

Subsequent floor levels are then mounted in the same way. In the frame columns 70 where coupling devices 100 are included, the column portions 72 on the second floor level will be arranged with their bottom flanges 74 on top of the coupling device 100 and connected by bolted joints through the mounting holes 78 and 106. As an alternative, the coupling device 100 can be integrated into the column portions 72.

Different Module Systems

A module 2 according to the shown embodiment usually has a floor surface of about 27 m2, or more if extended. By consolidating two or more modules, they may be adjusted to optional layouts, as mentioned above and as indicated in FIG. 1A. The modules are delivered with or without side walls but are otherwise usually identical. The bottom flanges 74 of the corner columns 70 are loaded with one to four modules according to the selected layout. The bottom flanges 74 of the central columns 70 are loaded with one or two modules according to the selected layout.

According to the selected layout, stabilisation may be accomplished in four different ways:

    • Single module system
    • Double module system
    • Multi module system
    • 6-module system
      Single Module System

Singe module system means that each module 2 takes its own stabilising force and conducts this vertically down to the foundation 80 through subjacent modules 2. The boards 12 in all four boundary walls 4, 6 are used as frame-stabilising surfaces.

FIG. 15, which corresponds to the vertical section in FIG. 11, shows schematically by means of force arrows how a horizontal wind force F acting on the second floor level is taken up by the building and transferred directly vertically to the foundation. This is in contrast to other embodiments of the invention where the force can be transferred between horizontally adjoining modules. This makes it possible to eliminate outer stabilising façade elements, such as concrete walls.

The wind force F is transferred through the end wall of the module to the floor and roof board 14, 16. Adjacent to the floor board 16, the force is then transferred to the longitudinal bottom beams 20 of this module 2. Adjacent to the roof board 14, the force is transferred through vertical wall elements 12 down to the bottom beams 20.

Thus a horizontal compressive force F4 arises in the right joint, as indicated in FIG. 15. This horizontal compressive force F4 is transferred through the stop lugs 38, 50 to the column flange 74 and through the coupling device 100 down to the frame edge beam 50 of the subjacent module 2. The force F4 is now taken up in the top beam 18 of the subjacent module 2 through two tension rods 54 which are connected to the beam 50 precisely to take up such horizontal forces. A tensile force F5 thus arises in the right joint and also in the left joint in FIG. 15.

In the left joint in FIG. 15, the force is now once again taken up by the vertical panel element 12 of the module, as indicated by the force arrow F6. Finally the wind force is transferred to the foundation 82.

Double Module System

Double module system (FIG. 14) means that each module 2 takes its own stabilising force in the same way as the single system, except that an apartment-separating partition wall 92 is missing. A double room volume is obtained. The systems of joists between the modules 2 are connected so that the board effect in the systems of joists can be utilised. The system can be combined with a stabilising steel frame.

In a double module system, only plinths 82 under the transverse walls 92 are affected by stabilising forces.

A double module system can be supplemented with a stabilising steel frame arranged in the partition wall at a distance of maximum 4 modules. In this case, higher buildings can be erected.

Multi Module System

Multi module system means that the modules 2 are provided with an outer stabilising wall 90 arranged between each module. The wall is best made of concrete cast in situ in the form of semiprefabricated parts, width of the wall about 0.5 m.

Stabilising forces are transferred through the roof boards 14 interconnected by means of the metal sheets 15—said roof boards jointly forming a frame-stabilising surface in the roof plane 6 for each floor level—to outer stabilising constructions and do not affect the plinth foundation 82.

6-Module System

6-module system (FIGS. 12 and 13) means that the systems of roof joists between the modules 2 are connected with the metal sheets 15, thereby making it possible to use the board effect.

The stabilising walls 90 or staircases are made of steel or concrete in the traditional way.

Stabilising forces are transferred through the roof boards 14 interconnected by means of the metal sheets 15—said roof boards jointly forming a frame-stabilising surface in the roof plane 6 for each floor level—to outer stabilising constructions and do not affect the plinth foundation 82. Thus, horizontal stability is achieved by the interconnected roof boards and transferred to the end walls 90 of the building by means of the interconnected frame edge beams 50. This is contrary to the single module system where the horizontal stability is achieved through the board effect in the vertical (gypsum board) walls 12.

In FIGS. 13 and 14, force arrows indicate schematically how a horizontal (distributed) wind load F coming sideways is taken up in the floor boards 14, 15 and is transferred to the mutually linearly interconnected frame edge beams 50 on each floor level as tensile forces F1 and compressive forces F2, respectively, which are transferred horizontally to the end wall elements 90/92 which transfer the force F3 down to the foundation 80.

The interconnected frame edge beams also act to keep the building together.

The invention, which has been illustrated above by way of an example, creates a technical solution for stabilisation an open lightweight building structure, formed as column-supported systems of joists, and can be implemented so that the modules can be prefabricated industrially in a system which requires a small number of mounting operations at the building site.

The complex of forces that arise in a building that is subjected to wind forces and inclined forces can by means of the invention be taken up in joints to be transferred by board effect to stabilising units.

According to the invention, this can be realised with cooperating frame beams, boards, struts and screw joints, which can all be integrated into the prefabricated lightweight modules and which at the building site are connected to an outer frame by means of joints at the top and bottom of the column portions.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7603815 *Jul 21, 2005Oct 20, 2009Nippon Steel CorporationPanel structure of steel house and panel constructing method
US7823337 *Oct 13, 2008Nov 2, 2010Green Horizon Manufacturing LlcDeployable prefabricated structure with a nested extension structure
US7895794 *Oct 13, 2008Mar 1, 2011Green Horizon Manufacturing LlcDeployable prefabricated structure with an extension structure and interlocking elements
US7921609 *Jan 30, 2006Apr 12, 2011Neapo OyRoom arrangement, ship, building and method for constructing a room arrangement
US7926226 *Oct 13, 2008Apr 19, 2011Green Horizon Manufacturing, LLCDeployable prefabricated structure with an extension structure that is sealable to the prefabricated structure upon deployment from the prefabricated structure
US7930857 *Oct 13, 2008Apr 26, 2011Green Horizon Manufacturing, LLCDeployable prefabricated structure with an extension structure and a deployable floor
US7941975 *Apr 11, 2008May 17, 2011Erla Dogg IngjaldsdottirAffordable, sustainable buildings comprised of recyclable materials and methods thereof
US7941984Feb 16, 2009May 17, 2011Charles RoigWind force resistant structure
US8322084 *Aug 17, 2005Dec 4, 2012Rolf KestermannModular room and structure
US8429871May 13, 2011Apr 30, 2013Erla Dögg IngjaldsdottirAffordable, sustainable buildings comprised of recyclable materials and methods thereof
US8439333May 25, 2010May 14, 2013Caldwell Tanks, Inc.Removable misting array assembly for an abatement system
US20120110928 *Jun 22, 2010May 10, 2012Liberman Barnet LModular Building System For Constructing Multi-Story Buildings
WO2006023545A2 *Aug 17, 2005Mar 2, 2006Rolf KestermannModular room and structure
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/79.1, 52/79.9
International ClassificationE04B1/348, E04B5/48, E04C3/32, E04C3/10, E04B5/10
Cooperative ClassificationE04B5/48, E04B1/34807, E04C3/10, E04B5/10, E04B1/3483, E04C3/32
European ClassificationE04C3/32, E04B1/348C3, E04B5/48, E04C3/10, E04B5/10, E04B1/348B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 27, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: OPEN HOUSE SYSTEMS AB, SWEDEN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:BROBERG, PETER;REEL/FRAME:015927/0174
Effective date: 20041026