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Publication numberUS2181831 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 28, 1939
Filing dateJul 8, 1937
Priority dateJul 8, 1937
Publication numberUS 2181831 A, US 2181831A, US-A-2181831, US2181831 A, US2181831A
InventorsMclaughlin Jr Robert W
Original AssigneeAmerican Houses Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Building construction
US 2181831 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 28, 1939. R. w. MQLAUGHLIN, JR 2,131,831

BUILDING CONSTRUCTION Filed July 8, 1937 jx 'l ENT BY fi a TTORNEYS Patented Nov. 28, 1939 PATENT OFFICE 2,181,831 BUILDING CONSTRUCTION Robert W. McLaughlin,

Jn, New York, N. Y., as-

signor to American Houses, Inc., New York, N. Y., a corporation of Delaware Application July 8, 1937, Serial No. 152,514

3 Claims.

This invention relates to an improved building construction and more especially to such a construction adapted for use in prefabricated buildings.

In general it is an object of the invention to provide a device of the character described which will efliciently perform the purposes for. which it is intended, which is simple and economical of construction, which can be expeditiously, conveniently and safely manipulated, and which can be readily manufactured and assembled.

Other objects are to provide a building unit which may be interchangeably used throughout a building and which may be conveniently packed for shipping; to provide such a unit which may be nested with other units with a minimum of loss of space and which may be fitted with those other units to form a wall, floor, ceiling, roof, etc.; to provide such units to accomplish such purposes even though the units are non-symmetrical; and to provide such units which may be interlocked when assembled.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a structural unit of the character described, for example a floor-forming unit for use in connection with the construction of prefabricated buildings, wherein a suitable depth of joist is secured with a minimum amount of material in the joists.

Other objectsof the invention will in part be obvious and will in part appear hereinafter.

The invention accordingly comprises an article of manufacture possessing the features, properties, and the relation of elements which will be exemplified in the article hereinafter described and the scope of the application of which will be indicated in the claims.

For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawing, in which:

Figure l is a cross-section of one form of a device embodying the invention; I

Fig. 2. is a perspective view of details of the device shown in Fig. 1 with elements separated for clarity and parts broken away;

Fig. 3 is a view of a plurality of the units shown in Fig. 1 nested together for shipping;

Fig. 4 is a view partially in section of internesting joist elements of adjacent construction units;

Fig. 5 is a similar view of a modified form of construction; and

Fig. 6 is a similar view of a still further modifled form of construction embodying the invention.

This invention contemplates a house or other building, the great majority of the parts of which may be manufactured into relatively large-sized units at the factory and which may be erected simply by the interlocking of the units together at the site of the building.

One embodiment of the invention may comprise prefabricated units of the type disclosed generally in my copending application Serial No. 102,451, filed September 25, 1936. These may be U- or trough-shaped, and may comprise a panel element forming the bottom of the trough and stud elements forming the sides. Such units where the elements are of equal height cannot be nested in shipping and hence require a maximum of space in a freight car or other vehicle. The building units described herein. are adapted to form a floor of the same dimensions, and in the same general way as the earlier units described in said copending application, but they are also adapted to be nested in shipping whereby a saving of shipping space and hence of shipping cost is effected. Moreover, the building units of the present invention are adapted to provide suitable joist depth with a minimum amount of material employed in the joist construction. It

has been found for example that where the joists are formed of sheet steel, the structural units of the present invention give adequate strength and support to the flooring of the building through the relatively great depth of the longer of the two joist elements comprising each unit assembly.

A principal unit, as shown in Fig. 1, comprises a panel I0, which may be of plywood, board or other suitable material, and two joist elements l2 and I3 which are attached to the panel by any convenient means, such as nails or rivets l5, or by a suitable adhesive, along an edge of the panel. This unit may be used in the roofing where the panel may be the support for the roofing surface. It may be used in floor, wall or ceiling construction. When desired a second panel element l6 may be carried by and at the end 32 of one of the joist elements and parallel to and spaced from the panel Ill. The preferably flattened ends I of successive joists I! of equal length predetermine the position of an outer surfacing layer. The unit may be used as an outer wall, in which case any suitable covering elements such as brick veneer, metal lath and stucco, shingles, or ship lap siding may be positioned parallel to panel 10 to serve as the outside of the building. Or, if the unit be used in floor construction, finished fiooring may be laid directly onthe panel ill. It is intended that the structural units embodying the-present invention, if employed as wall units, for example, may be interchangeably employed anywhere in the wall structure of the building. Hence the width of the panels in the units may be the same or the widths may be whole multiples of each other. The same is true of the units intended as a fioor or ceiling or partition or roofing units.

It will be understood also that although certain elements may be termed studs or joists throughout this specification, these elements are in fact preferably similarly formed stud, joist or rafter elements of sheet metal, save that the depth, for example, of such elements may vary as desired. In the claims it is to be understood that the use of the word "stud" or the words "Stud elements is to be deemed to include elements of this type where employed specifically as studs or as rafters or as joists or the like.

The unit is shown in cross-section in Fig. 1 as a floor-forming unit. The joists l2 and I3, which may be of sheet metal, such as steel, each have a surface attached to a surface of the panel by such means H as a rivet, screw, or nail, or by any suitable adhesive. Each joist is shaped or bent as at l8 to provide a concavity, closely adjacent the panel. The joists are positioned at the ends of the panel elements, and where the structural units are assembled in adjacent position, with the joists of adjacent units abutting. these concavities of adjacent joists face in the same direction and nest or interlock, one within another, the one extending out over the edge of the panel and the other in from the edge of the panel.

One, l3, of each pair of joists extends a shorter distance from the panel than the other l2, and need be no longer in that direction than to provide material for the concavity l8. A portion of the material forming one of the joists, for example the joist I3, is bent away or removed to form an opening 20 therein, and the other joist II, has an extension 2| adapted for engaging with that opening or with some other portion provided by the adjacent joist of the adjacent umt. The extension may be constructed by breaking out a piece of material as a tongue from the joist of which it is a part and by bending it so as to provide a curved lip, or such a curved section may be stamped or pressed in the sheet material forming the joist. In a preferred form the concavity l8 of the shorter joist l3 bulges toward the next unit when the joists are assembled as a part of a building, and has portions cut away to provide openings 20. The longer stud I! has portions 2! which are bent in a direction opposite from the concavity from which they are bent and which are in registry with the openings 20 of the shorter joists.

Locking elements may be provided to hold the units aligned in formation. Thus, there may be a pin 24 parallel with the panel and lying along the concavity IS with the extending portions 2| being on the opposite side of the pin from the remainder of the concavity. The pin may be expansible, as shown in Fig. 2, and may be of such length that when assembled the expansible section may hold the pin from easy withdrawal.

The units, each comprising a panel and two attached joists or studs, are prefabricated at a factory and shipped to the place where the building is to be set up. In shipment the units are nested, as shown in Fig. 3, placing the panels parallel to each other and the longer joists l2 parallel to and substantially fiat against each other. Each panel then is spaced from the next by the length of the shorter joist, i. e., by the distance which the shorter joist extends from the panel. Except for the slight space between panels and between joists, thereis no waste space.

It can be seen that the present invention provides a prefabricated building unit 'of a most valuable type in that not only can it be used interchangeably in the final building, but-it may also be shipped from the point of prefabrication in a minimum of space, an essential cost factor in determining the economic feasibility of this otherwise advantageous, novel field of endeavor.

In Fig. 4 a modified form of construction is shown wherein the internesting joist elements are held in position and fastened together by a bolt 40 and nut 42. A preferred form where this method of interlocking the intemested joists is employed is one wherein the head of the bolt 4. is shaped to fit within the bent portion I! of the element It, so that rotation of the bolt is prevented by the head bearing against the bent or curved portion of the joist. The nut 42 may then be readily screwed into place.

In Fig. 5 a still further modification of the invention is shown. Here the concavities 58 formed in the joists l2 and I3 are preferably of such shape as to provide substantially fiat horizontal portions 60, 62, so that the portion 62 of the joist l3, for example, rests upon the portion 60 of the joist l2. With such aconstruction less care need be taken in forming the concavities 58. Here again the joist elements may be afiixed to each other by means of the bolt 40 and nut 42. With such a structure the bolt head may preferably be somewhat differently shaped to conform to the inner surface of the concavity 58 of the joist l3, so that the bolt will not turn about its shaft when the nut is tightened on the shaft. In the structures shown in Figs. 4 and 5 the bolting means employed is preferably so positioned as to draw the two joist elements into intimate contact.

In Fig. 6 a still further modification of the invention is shown. Here the joists are not provided with means forming internesting concavities, but the longer of the joist elements I! may be formed with portions SI stamped therefrom and bent back so as to provide short, trough-like extensions from that side of the joist against which the shorter joist elements l3 and the adjacent building assembly unit rests. These troughlike portions shown generally as at 42 are preferably so positioned that the bottom of the joist II will be supported by the trough 62 with the upper portions of the adjacent joist elements in alignment. It is to be understood that the portions 60 stamped out of the joist I! are not of great length, so that a plurality of such portions may be formed in each of the joists without materially affecting its structural strength. Means 64 may be provided to hold the elements of adjacent joists in fixed relation. As shown these means may be a bolt and nut or a rivet or fastening pin, or any similar element.

While various forms of internesting joist elements have been shown, with various means for afllxing or holding the adjacent elements in contact with each other and for interlocking adjacent building assembly units, it is to be understood that still further modifications may be used without departing from the invention.

Where the building units of the present invention comprise a plurality of panel elements l0, I6, and where the panel element I6 is carried by the portion 32 of the shorter joist l3, the joist I 2 may be provided with lips 34 formed by stamping from the joist itself and bending back at right angles to the joist a plurality of panel supporting elements. These are preferably formed in the joists I2 at a distance from the panel elements i0 such that the panel elements I6, when supported by the elements 32 and 34, will be substantially parallel to the panel elements I0.

Where the building assembly units of the present invention are employed in the construction of a floor, they preferably rest upon foundation walls in such a way that the greater portion of the joists I2 lies below the top of the foundation walls. This may be accomplished by cutting back the ends of the joists i2, as shown in the dotted lines 26 in Fig. 2, so that where the joists come in contact with the foundation walls, the depth of the joist elements I2 has been shortened to conform to the depth of the joist elements I3. Such a modification of the structure of the joists I2 does not detract from their strength and ability to support adequately the flooring of the dwelling. It will be noted that the main body of the joists I2 is of very considerable depth and thus provides adequate support.

Interlocking and keying elements, for uniting floor to wall and wall to roof units, of the type disclosed in my said copending application Serial No. 102,451 may be employed, if desired. It will be understood that where they are employed they should preferably be of such size and so positioned as to unite and brace both the long and short joist elements of the assembly.

Since certain changes may be made in the above article and difierent embodiments of the invention could be made without departing from the scope thereof, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawing shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all the generic and specific features of the invention herein described, and all statements of the scope of the invention which as a matter of language might be said to fall therebetween.

Having described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

1. A building construction unit comprising a panel element, a plurality of stud elements affixed to one face of said panel element and adjacent opposite edges thereof and extending therefrom, one of said stud elements being substantially longer than the other of said stud elements, the shorter of said stud elements being provided with a second panel-engaging portion at its outer edge, and the longer of said stud elements being provided with a second panel-engaging element spaced from said first-mentioned panel by substantially the depth of the shorter of said stud elements.

2. A building construction unit comprising a panel element, a plurality of stud elements affixed to one face of said panel element and adjacent opposite edges thereof and extending therefrom, one of said stud elements being substantially longer than the other of said stud elements, the shorter of said stud elements bein provided with a second panel-engaging portion at its outer edge, the longer of said stud elements being provided with a second panel-engaging element spaced from said first-mentioned panel by substantially the depth of the shorter of said stud elements, and each of said elements being provided between the panel-engaging portions thereof with concavities whereby adjacent stud elements of adjacent similar construction units may be adapted to internest with each other when said units are assembled.

3. In a device of the character described, the combination comprising a panel, a pair of studlike elements, means for attaching said elements to respectively opposite edge portions of said panel and extending parallel to each other away from said panel, one extending a substantially greater distance than the other, the space along said panel between said elements being empty, each element having a concavity therein extending for a part only of the width of said element, said concavities being adjacent but not in the plane of said panel and facing in the same direction and having a directional component parallel with such panel and being in registry, whereby the concavity in each is adapted to fit against the concavity in an element which is similar to the other of said elements and which is attached to another panel, one of said elements having an aperture therethrough, the other of said elements having an extension adapted to fit through such aperture of the adjacent element against which it fits, and locking means cooperating with said extension to permit the removal of said extension from said aperture, said locking means being removable whereby said device may be removed from a laterally adjacent similar device and may be nested with such similar device, with the panels of the two devices superimposed and spaced at a distance substantiallyequal to the distance that said shorter element extends from its panel, and lying in one of said concavities.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2457086 *Jul 31, 1944Dec 21, 1948Pullan MitchellFloor
US2611454 *Sep 20, 1946Sep 23, 1952Palace CorpCollapsible building
US3012639 *Jan 12, 1951Dec 12, 1961John PavleckaPanel structure
US3191726 *Jan 7, 1952Jun 29, 1965John PavleckaPanel structure
US3261064 *May 13, 1964Jul 19, 1966William Turbyfill CharlesAutomatically adjusting connecting pin
US3331145 *Aug 5, 1965Jul 18, 1967Trace Tooling CorpGlobe structure
US4407534 *Oct 21, 1980Oct 4, 1983Petz GuenterArrangement for connecting edge areas of thin-walled bodies
US4619870 *Mar 14, 1984Oct 28, 1986Mitchell Norman JSheet metal-mine shafts
US5485706 *Jul 21, 1994Jan 23, 1996National Gypsum CompanyOffset forming of structural components
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US5692341 *Feb 16, 1996Dec 2, 1997Fge Backerboard Co.Wall panel support member and method of use
US5974753 *Jun 18, 1998Nov 2, 1999Hsu; Oscar Hsien-HsiangDetachable free mounting wall system
US8656677 *Feb 9, 2009Feb 25, 2014Facc AgCeiling panel for lining interiors of vehicles
US20110024058 *Feb 9, 2009Feb 3, 2011Facc AgCeiling panel for lining interiors of vehicles
DE3821500A1 *Jun 25, 1988Dec 28, 1989Werner StraehleProfile upright for wall elements, cabinet elements and similar structural parts
EP0263628A2 *Sep 28, 1987Apr 13, 1988Zadok H. LevyCollapsible structure convertible to a load-supporting device
U.S. Classification52/506.6, 52/781, 52/511, 256/58
International ClassificationE04B1/02, F16B5/00, E04B1/08
Cooperative ClassificationE04B1/08, F16B5/0048
European ClassificationE04B1/08, F16B5/00A2D2