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Publication numberUS2616529 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 4, 1952
Filing dateOct 5, 1945
Priority dateOct 5, 1945
Publication numberUS 2616529 A, US 2616529A, US-A-2616529, US2616529 A, US2616529A
InventorsMacdonald Angus S
Original AssigneeAngus Snead Macdonald Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Building structure
US 2616529 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 4, 1952 A. s. MACDONALD 2,616,529

I BUILDING STRUCTURE Filed Oct. 5, 1945 5 Sheets-Sheet l Nov. 4, 1952 A. s. MACDONALD BUILDING STRUCTURE 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 5, 1945 [l H I: I

Nov. 4, 1952 A. s. MACDONALD 2,615,529

BUILDING STRUCTURE 7 Filed Oct. 5, 1945 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 f 51 I r $61M um Nov. 4, 1952 A. s. MACDONALD BUILDING STRUCTURE 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 w M, M G 4 Filed Oct. 5, 1945 Patented Nov. 4, 1952 BUILDING STRUCTURE Angus "S. -Macdonald, Orange, Va, assignor, by "mesneassignmentg'to Angus Snead Macdonald "Corporation, "Orange, Va., a corporation of Wirgima Application flctober, 5, 1945,,Serial N0.,620,448


This invention relates to improvements in building structures, and -more "particularly to metallic building structures of the character used in rnulti-story buildings, "to "form *and support the walls, floors, ceilings and other parts of the building.

It has been the practice'heretoforeto distribute air, heating currents,- and thelike, through-a building by means of separate air ducts'usually formed of sheet metal of no appreciable weightsupporting character, and which ducts do not ordinarily forma partof thebu-ilding structure. This increases the cost'of' the buildingstruoture due to thenecessity for installingseparatesheet metal air ducts therethrough, and is not entirely satisfactory because the air is not circulated throughout the building to a desiredextent.

The object of this invention isto improve building structures by utilizinghollowstructural columns, hollow main girders and hollow floor and ceiling structures for the distribution of air, electricity and other utilities, 'by forming and connecting these'as'a unitso that'they will allow such air conditioning and services to reach all desired portions of the enclosed space.

A further object of the invention is to utilize the structural column not only for thecirculation of air and other gaseousmediums therethrough, but also for the distribution of electrical --wires and other utilityelements to the desired portions of the building'without' interfering with the=connecticn of girders-and beams with the columns. This is accomplished by the shape-of the column which is constructed to form one or more chases, grooves or passageways at the outer surface thereof, and maybe substantially-of cruciform shape in cross section-or octagonal, so-as-toserve not only to receive theelectricalwires and other utility conduits through the chases or passageways, but also to stiffen the'faces of the column so that all of the material in-thecolumnwill work structurally in the building.

The columns support the floors-of the building by means of girders-extending between the'columns and secured theretogwhich girders support the floor and ceiling panels forming the structure of the building. Openings-are'providedatdesired intervalsfor the discharge-of air or other gaseous medium" circulated through the structural columns into the girders and hollow floors for providing the desiredatmospheric condition in the building.

The supply of air or other gaseous medium to any space included between four columns .can'be controlled by the provision of suitabledampers at desired points in the airpassageways, such as at the outlets between the columns and the. main girders oratthe outlets between the maingirders and the hollow floor structure, or both. A damperun-aybe provided also at the foot of each column which :permitsthe air-to-be shut off from circulating'through that column to the space supplied thereby.

"The airmaybe circulated-through the hollow floor and ceiling from which it may be discharged into the-rooms or spaces in a ny desired manner, as through ceiling registers'o-r throughperforations provided in the ceiling portion of the floor construction, which has the advantage of supplying airthroughout the enclosed space, and allowing this spaceto be divided or-sub-divided as-may-be-required for practical use, without any interference withthe efficiency-of the lighting ventilationor air-conditioning of this enclosed space.

The ventilatingsystem canbe used also to extinguish fire by supplying carbon dioxide into the columns-for-distribution throughout the desired portion-oi the building in the same manner that; air-is circulated therethrough, and sprayed or-=distributed through the air-discharge openings into the -desired-room-or space to extinguish the fire therein. -It will be-possible through the provision'ofisuitable fire dampers to confine the fire extinguishing gas to some one area where desired,-by closing all dampers except the one controlling ;that particular space, into which the carbon dioxide or other I combustion-destroying gasmay be-forced under pressure through and from the column.

"It is also possible to improve the fire-proofing characteristics of the structure by enclosing the columns inprefabricated concrete panels or other protecting elements which willtend to prevent the spread of fire through, the building or the weakening. of the columns thereby. Concrete portions maybe used also in the floor,or ceiling for fire-proofing effect and to improve the structure thereof, either for the floor or for the ceilmg.

The hollowfiloor construction is formed preferablyasa unit so as to provide not only the ceiling ofone room r space but also the floor of the next superposed roomor space. This hollow .floor unit serves the .double purpose of distributing air and also to increase the accoustic properties of thespace. This. is made possible by providing a perforated sheet formingthe ceilingoi one room or space which covers the under side ofv the air passageway'into which air is discharged ior'distribution into that space through the perforations. A backing of rock wool or other soundabsorbing material covering the top area of the ceiling space which forms the air passageway, will allow this material to absorb sound from the space, while the unit will discharge air into the chamber or space therebelow.

The invention is illustrated in one embodiment, together with modifications thereof, in the accompanying drawings in which:

Fig. 1 is a perspective view, partly in section, showing one embodiment of the invention;

Fig. 2 is a similar view of a portion of one of the columns enclosed in fire-proofing panels;

Fig. 3 is a top plan view of a portion of the building, with the columns in section;

Fig. 4 is a diagrammatic perspective view showing the distribution of the air through the columns, girders and hollow floor structures;

Fig. 5 is a detailed cross-section through a portion of the floor structure on the line 5-5 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 6 is a similar view at right angles thereto on the line 66 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 7 is a similar cross-section through the floor structure showing a modification thereof;

Fig. 8 is a top plan view of the main girders and columns;

Fig. 9 is a similar view showing a modified girder arrangement;

Fig, 10 is a horizontal sectional view through a modified form of column;

Fig. 11 is an enlarged detail sectional view therethrough; and

Fig. 12 is a transverse section through another modified form of column structure.

The invention is shown as applied in the construction of a multi-story building, usually formed of steel structure in which the floors and ceilings are mounted on girders, usually of steel. By so constructing the supporting columns on which the girders are mounted, and the girders and floor structures, these are utilized for the circulation therethrough of air for conditioning the atmosphere in the rooms and other spaces enclosed in the building. It is also possible to distribute other mediums and utilities through the improved building structures. as described herein.

The columns are designated generally by the numeral l. The number and size of these columns will depend upon the character of the building, but they extend preferably throughout the height of the building, supporting the floor and ceiling units and other structural portions of the building. While the shape of the column may be varied as desired according to building requirements, each column is shown as generally square in cross-section, such as may be drawn or formed from steel tubing or sheets of sufiicient thickness and strength to support the girders, floors and building structures that may be mounted thereon, as well as to form a conduit by the enclosed sides of the column for the circulation of air or gases therethrough.

While the sides may be formed continuous and smooth, each of them may be indented 'by longitudinal chases 2 formed in the four sides of each column in the form shown in Figs. 1 to 9, through which electric wires or other utility conduits may be directed along th column to the desired portions of the building. The chase 2 should be enclosed to confine the electric wires therein, as by a cover 3 which is fitted thereover, as indicated in Fig. 1. This forms an enclosed space along each side of the column, or a desired number of sides thereof, for directing electric wires or other utility conduits to the desired portions of the building. Connections may be made with these wires or conduits in the hollow fioor structure for directing the Wires or conduits horizontally through the main girders and hollow floors to the points desired. Connections can be made at desired points along the chases 2, where the covers 3 are cut-away or omitted, usually extending only from fioor to floor.

The columns can be protected from fire by enclosing them in prefabricated, interlocking panels of fire-proofing material, designated generally at 4 in Fig. 2, which panels serve also to enclose the wire chases 2. These panels may be formed of concrete or other fire-resistant material, and of sufficient thickness to protect the columns from the effect of fire.

Suspended between the columns I is a suspension girder, generally designated at 5. The main girder 5 which extends from column to column is preferably of the cantilever type wherein each girder unit is one and one-half times the space between the adjacent columns, as shown in Fig. 8, although it is possible to use main girders of substantially the same length as the space between the columns, as shown in Fig. 9. Referring to Fig. 8, the joints 6 occur at points one-fourth of the distance out from each column where the bending stresses are less than at the columns or half-way between the columns. This main girder uses long and short girder sections alternately as indicated at 5 and 5a in Fig. 8, the short girder sections being suspended between the ends of two long girders 5.

As shown in Fig. 9, the girders are all of the same length, equal to the distanc between the columns I, but the joints 6b between adjacent girder sections 51), occur at points one-fourth of the distance between the columns where the bending moment is reduced to a minimum.

While the main girders may be approximately of the same width as the columns, it is preferable that these be formed much wider than the columns as shown in the drawings. Referring to Fig. 1, the main girder is shown as formed of laterally spaced girder members 1 connected together by header members 8 which embrace opposite sides of the column I. These parts may be secured rigidly to each other in any desired manner, as by welding or otherwise, so as to form a unitary rigid structure. The girder 5 is enclosed at the top and bottom as by plates 9 welded or otherwise rigidly fixed to the upper and lower edges of the girder members 1 and 8. This forms a tubular conduit by the enclosed portions of the girder, and a passageway is formed also between the header members 8 as will be evident from Fi l.

The sides of the hollow column I are provided with openings [0 at points within the girder 5 for communication of air or other gaseous medium through the girder and the floor and ceiling carried thereby to the desired points in the building. The openings [0 are shown in Fig. 1 as registering with openings II in the header members 8 to allow air circulation from the hollow interior of the column 1 into the hollow passageway formed by the enclosed sides of the girder 5. Openings l2 are provided at intervals along the length of the girder members 1 to dis charge the air therefrom into the fioor and ceiling structures.

The main girders 5 extend parallel with each other between the adjacent rows of columns I,

acrea e as Will be evidnt frbm Fig. 3, emu wind-bracing at right anglestheretofiis secured by speciarneavy floor units generally designated at #3 that a'i'e welded to the ou'ter lateral sides or the girder member in alignment with the header m'embeds 8 directly opposite the/latter. Eao'hof the units 4 3 is formedof a floor'pl'ate Mhai/in'g downwardly extending chan'nel portions 1 5 at apposite edges thereof :and which enclose a passageway therethrough for the circulation of air.

The other fioor members #s'uspnde'd between adjacent giiders 5, as shown in Fig. 3, are of somewhat lighter construction. Each of these, except for a 'plate I 6 joining the member :13 with an adjacent floor mernbe'r, =is s'hown as formed with a floor plate +6 o'verl'app'ing at' one edge the next adjacent floor member, and at its opposite edge having a downwardly projecti'ng flange or beam ortion :l'l. Where the :main girders 5 are formed much wider than the width of the columns l,in the iormi illustrated in Figs. 1 and 3, they permi-tthe use of 'shorter and more economical floor panels or units l3i1 *th'at extend between the girders.

@Any "suitable or desired fio'o'r covering may be used over the floor panel'sli, f4 and ltphut these may be turned upward'at'theii free edges,"as indi'cated at iii in Fig. 7, 'to engage concrete" iioor fills l9 and to-serveas:screeds inleveling oiithe concrete on the 'floor panels. The concrete fills is may be appliedafterthe floor sections are in place and are so formed as to provide substantially a continuous surface'over the area of the floor. The concrete floor fills preferably would be of light weight, such as'thatmade with'vermiculite.

The floor members shouldbe fastened one to another by bolting through the overlapped portionsthereof as indicated generally at 2G in Figs. 5 and '7.

The lower sides of the floor units-should be enclosed to provide an enclosed air passageway through each unit and "to form a ceiling for the next room or space therebelow, 'as-by means of ceiling panels or sheets 2| that'extend'over the under sides of'the floor unitsasillustrated in Figs. 1 and 5 and are secured by suitable fastenings to the flange portions ll. It'is preferable-that these sheetsZl be perforated at desirediportions thereof, as indicated at 22, so asto'form both-a discharge grill for air 'andother :gaseous mediums circulated through the floor, and'also a soundabsorbing ceiling structure.

A blanket 23ofsuitablesound-absorbing material, such as rock'wool, should be folded in and out-of the spaces within the floor units, spaced away from the steel plates 2i so as to allow'the free circulationof air through these spaces for ventilation, air-conditioning or'the like. At the same time, this blankets? serves to absorbsound that passes through theperforations of theiplate 2i, rendering the ceiling substantially soundproof. This blanket 23, if formed; of fire-proofing material, will serve also to insulate the under side of the floorfrom fire. V

If desired, a concrete panel 24 may be secured to'the under side of the floor structure, as shown in Fig. '7, for 'fire-proofing purposes. In this event, the rock wool sheet 2 5 would cover the under surface of the panel H'andmay be spaced above the perforated steel sheet 26that'forms the ceiling, which sheet 26 'is "secured by suitable hangers'to the floor-units. "The space therebetween, indicatedat "21, may be fiSed'fdr' the circulation of "air through 'theffloor structure and discharge it at the ceiling oftlie roomthe'rebelo'w.

Suitable "control dampers are provided rat desired points in the system-as for 'instance in the openings H1 of "each column -I i as indicate'd at 28, and in the openings l;2,=as indicated at 2'9. lt is preferable also to pro'vide control dampers at the lower ends of the columns l Where a main damper 30 provides for 'shuttin'g off substantially all of the air to a selected column and to that space 1 or spaces su'pplied -by the column. "The air Supply is shown --gen'eral1y in -Fig. '4, a's provided by suitable fans generally indicated at 3 l ,-butiany desired 'c'onstruction foraireconditioningfpurposes may be utilized either for he'ating or 'co'oling the air, filtering it, 'regulating humidity, etc, in a manner well understood :in the air-conditionirig -a'r t.

It is preferable to use allioi .the 'hollowi'columns for air supply and to exhaust the iair by lettingxit flow from ithe various ispaces supplied into return d-uctsof the character ordinarily used'and located conveniently to .distributing fans of 1th kind ordinarily employed in air-conditioning systems. It is t-preferable also that the air be suppliedat fairly-high pressure and high velocity in the columns, so 'that a column of comparatively small area in cross section, *.for instance, sixteen-inches square, "will have ample capacity for the 1 spaces it supplies in a-building tenstories'high, in which the columns are spaced apart as much as 'twentyfour f eet'in both directions.

While the air may be discharged into the building spaces through ceiling :registers, :it sis preferable to use the perforations in the steel acoustical ceiling panels M -or :26 because-of the even distribution afforded "thereby over the area 'of the space. Thus these ceiling panels serve the double purpose-of distributing the ai'r-and'also coacting with the sound-absorbing material 23, such-as rock wool, to reduce noise and deaden the sounds in theroom-or'spacethereunder.

This ventilating=or= air-conditioning system can be used --also to "extinguish fire linthe building by supplying carbon ldioxideor other combustiondestroying gases, "instead of air, :into the system at a desired point in one or moreof the columns. For instance a local fire in a spaceserved byone column'on onefloor, can-be extinguished readily by closing alldampers,except the one controlling that-particularspace and then discharging-warbondioxide under pressure into the column for distribution thereto.

Further fire-proofing is obtained by enclosing columns in-iire-proof panels, such as the concrete panels l -shown in Fig. 2, :and in using-- concrete facing on the floor a-s shownat l9, -and/or concrete panels 24 under the floor.

The electric'light wires are directed preferably through the chases "2 on the four :sides of the respective columns, and horizontally through the main girders and hollow floor: sections tosupply electricity to lighting units; or lampsgenerally indicated at 32 in Fig. 3, which lighting units may be -mou1ited directlyin the floor panels. Thus :the hollow'spaces'in the main-girders and in the floor sections :serve the triple purpose of carrying air, electric wires, or other utility conduits, and also containing the lightingffixtures and outlets. "It ispreferable that the lighting outlets be providedat close intervals in' both Idirectionsso that adequateand convenientflight will bepresentin any sub-division of'thespace.

The building space between'the columns can bedivided up into rooms or compartments as desired, and'yet'the provisions for ventilation and for "air "circulation will; be entirely adequate "re eardless 6f the "size or disposition of these' areas.

described above and illustrated in Figs. 1 to 9,

columns of other shapes in cross section may be used as found suitable or desirable. Figs. 10 and 11 show the use of an octagonal column generally indicated at 35 which serves not only to support a main girder 36, but also to provide utility conduits. The girder 36 is shown as supported as by means of brackets 31 on opposite sides of the column 35, and may be welded thereto, if desired.

Each of the four alternate sides of the octagonal column 35 may be used as a girder support, thus distributing the weight uniformly around the column. Alternate or intermediate sides of the column are provided with openings 38 for the discharge of air or other gaseous medium into the passageways in the floor for circulation into the respective rooms or compartments.

The column 35 is shown as being surrounded by insulating material generally indicated at 39, preferably of fire-proofing material and enclosed by a metal shell 40. material and shell are shown as following the contour of the periphery of the column 35, so as to provide uniform thickness of fire-proofing material throughout the perimeter of the column. This fire-proofing material extends from floor to floor preferably in the building, and the space within the floor between the top and bottom thereof allows the circulation of air or other gaseous medium through the floor area for distribution as described.

The outer sides of the column are used to form utility conduits between the floors, by means of removable chases 4|, each of which is shaped somewhat triangular in cross section to form a corner on the column. The chase is secured to the metal shell 40 by a clip 42 that is embraced on opposite sides by the inturned edges of the chase. The chase may be slipped endwise over the clip or clips 42 provided along the length of the column, and, being hollow, will form a conduit for the passage of electric wires or other utility conduits from floor to floor in the building. Such chase may be used at each of the four corners of the column and, cooperating with the metal shell 40, will provide substantially a square column in cross section.

In building structures of this type, there may be need for the use of columns both for air supply and for exhaust. An efilcient way of thus using a, column is to provide an interior vertical partition in each column, such as is indicated at 44 in the column 45 in Fig. 12. The space on one side of the partition may be used for air supply, and that on the other side, for exhaust. If the air supply is admitted at the bottom and the exhaust is directed out at the top of each column, the areas required for supply and exhaust are complementary to each other and will change from bottom to top of the column. Consequently, the partition 44 should be changed in Ill position from story to story to provide for this difference in required area. This difference in position can be accomplished by telescopically inserting the partition 44 in guide channels 46 fixed on opposite side faces of the column, the channels being provided in laterally spaced relation along each of the opposite faces for adjustment of the partition transversely of the column, as indicated in full lines and in dotted lines in Fig. 12. These channels should be secured rigidly to the walls of the column, so as to prevent air seepage between the column wall and the channel. The fit between the channel and the partition also should be made so as to prevent air seepage. In each instance, this air seepage may be prevented by the use of a mastic therebetween.

The partition should be made of a material of low heat conductivity as the temperature of the conditioned air on the supply side will be lower than that on the exhaust side. It would be inefficient to lose the cooling value of the air while it is in the column and before it has a chance to cool off the space from which it is to be discharged. By providing sliding plates or stout insulating material slidably mounted in the channels, the required separation can be effected and yet these plates sealed to the Walls of the channels for the desired air circulation.

By forming the channels 4d of relatively heavy material and welding or otherwise rigidly fixing these channels to the side walls, they serve as stiileners for the side walls, if this should be required.

While the invention has been illustrated and described in certain specific examples, it will be understood that these are referred to merely for purpose of illustration and that other modifications and changes in structural details may be made without departing from this invention, excent as specified in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. In a building structure, the cmbination of hollow supporting columns each having continuous surrounding walls, girders spaced transversely on opposite sides of said supporting columns and extending between the columns, means secured to the outer faces of the continu ous walls of the columns for supporting the girders thereby, means closing the top and bottom faces of the girders forming an enclosed structure, said columns having openings in the continuous sides thereof into the enclosed structure for communication of air from within the columns into the enclosed structure, and a hollow floor section supported by the girders and having means for directing air downwardly from said hollow floor section, one of the girders having a lateral opening therein into the hollow floor section for directing air thereto from the columns.

2. In a building structure, the combination of hollow supporting columns each having continuous surrounding walls enclosing a tubular air passageway therein, header members extending i on opposite sides of each column in lateral abutting relation against the continuous walls thereof and secured thereto, girder members spaced apart transversely and secured to the header members, top and bottom cover plates secured to 1 the girder members and co-acting therewith to form an enclosed structure, a hollow floor section supported by the girder and having means for directing air downwardly therefrom, one of the girder members having an opening therein into the hollow fioor section, and said columns having an opening in a side thereof between the top and bottom girder plate members for directing air from within the columns into the enclosed structure.

3. In a building structure, the combination of hollow supporting columns each having continuous surrounding walls, girders spaced transversely on opposite sides of said supporting columns and extending between ,the columns means secured to the outer faces of the continuous walls of the columns for supporting the girders thereby, means closing the top and bottom faces of the girders forming an enclosed structure, said columns having openings in the continuous sides thereof into the enclosed structure for communication of air from within the columns into the enclosed structure, and a hollow floor section supported by said girders, at least one of the girders having a lateral opening therein into the hollow floor section for directing air thereto from the columns.


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U.S. Classification454/185, 109/2, 52/220.4, 52/404.1, 52/302.3, 52/263
International ClassificationE04B5/48, F24D5/10, F24F7/10, F24D5/00
Cooperative ClassificationF24D5/10, F24F7/10, E04B5/48
European ClassificationE04B5/48, F24F7/10, F24D5/10