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Publication numberUS3229431 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 18, 1966
Filing dateSep 16, 1963
Priority dateSep 16, 1963
Publication numberUS 3229431 A, US 3229431A, US-A-3229431, US3229431 A, US3229431A
InventorsJohn M Paul
Original AssigneeJohn M Paul
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Frameless modular multistory building
US 3229431 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

5 Sheets-Sheet l R. m m V m JOHN M. PAUL ATTORNEY 1 Jan. 18, 1966 J. M. PAUL FRAMELESS MODULAR MULTISTORY BUILDING Filed Sept. 16, 1963 Jan. 1966 J. M. PAUL 3,229,431



ATTORNEY Jan. 18, 1966 J. M. PAUL 3,229,431


Filed Sept. 16, 1963 IN\ /'ENT OR.


JOHN M. PAUL ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,229,431 FRANIELESS MODULAR MULTISTORY BUILDING John M. Paul, 2450 Hunting Park Ave., Holland, Pa. Filed Sept. 16, 1963, Ser. No. 309,060 3 Claims. (Cl. 52-236) This invention relates to building construction comprising modular units arranged to form a plural story building.

While it will be apparent that the modular units of the invention can be used singly and that they can be fitted and adapted for a wide variety of purposes, the units are designed to be used as college dormitories by educational institutions which are presently expanding to accommodate an even increasing number of students. The present invention is designed to meet this need by providing an inexpensive, utilitarian, permanent building construction that can be rapidly erected with a minimum labor cost.

Thus, one of the objects of the invention is to provide an inexpensive building construction built from a plurality of modular units that can be constructed at a factory and erected at a building site with a minimum amount of time, labor and materials.

Another object is to provide a building construction comprising a plurality of prefabricated modular units that are assembled to form a building on a building foundation without requiring any additional or preexisting framework to support and align the units.

One other object is to provide a novel, efiicient, inexpensive prefabricated building unit.

A further object is to provide a strong modular unit that can be readily lifted and transported without requiring any protective support, harnesses, etc.

Still another object is to provide a prefabricated modular unit capable of supporting other modular units on top of it.

Another object is to provide a modular unit that is versatile and can be assembled along with other units in a wide variety of arrangements and for different purposes.

Other objects and advantages will be apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a building construction embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view, partly in section and with portions removed, illustrating an interior corner joint of a modular unit of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 illustrating an exterior corner joint;

FIG. 4 is a plan view through the upper story of the building construction shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view, partly in section and with portions, removed, of a modular unit of the invention;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged view of details enclosed in reference box 6 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is a transverse vertical sectional view, along reference lines 77 of FIG. 6, through a portion of the building;

FIG. 8 is a longitudinal vertical sectional view along reference lines 8-8 of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is an enlarged view of the details enclosed in reference box 9 of FIG. 6; and

FIG. 10 is an elevational view along lines 10-10 of FIG. 9.

Referring now to the drawings, there is shown in FIG. I a three story building construction of rectangular plan view. The building construction comprises a plurality of prefabricated modular units 12 supported on a concrete foundation 11. The units 12 of each story are arranged side-by-side in two parallel rows separated by a corridor 3,229,431 Patented Jan. 18, 1966 13, the units of the upper stories being supported on the units of the lower stories in a manner more fully described hereafter.

Each unit 12 is of identical construction and forms a completely enclosed room which can be fitted and furnished for the desired purpose, such as by providing builtin closets, beds, furniture, desks, etc. to form a dormitory room. The units are twice as long as they are wide to allow them to be readily arranged in a wide variety of building patterns. Each unit 12 comprises a floor 14 and a ceiling 15 between which extend an interior end wall 16, an exterior end wall 17 and a pair of side walls 18 that are designed as girders.

Floor 14 comprises a pair of parallel longitudinal side sills 20 whose ends rest on and are welded to lower corner plates 21. A plurality of parallel, evenly-spaced joists 22 extend transversely of the unit between the side sills and have their ends nested between the flanges of and welded to the side sills, to form a ladder-type structure which supports a sub-floor composed of a plurality of structural panels 23 upon which is laid a finish floor 24 of asphalt tile. Panels 23 are of a strong, high quality building board such as tectum tile or planks having a surface which is of sufiicient finish that it can be exposed without requiring any additional finish although it can be painted if desired. Adjacent interior end wall 16, the edges of panels 23 are undercut and rest on a flange 25 of a structural member or end sill forming the bottom chord 26 of the end wall. At the exterior end wall 17, the edges of the panels 23 are undercut and rest on the top surface of an end sill that forms bottom chord 27 of exterior end wall 17.

Each side wall 18 comprises a pair of vertical corner post members 29 located at the ends of the side wall. Post members 29 have their lower ends welded to plates 21 and sills 20. An angle member 30 extends along the upper edge of the side wall and has its ends Welded to the upper ends of post member 29. Sheathing 31, of ribbed industrial siding sheet, is welded along its ends to post members 29 and is spot welded along its upper and lower edges to abutting portions of angle member 30 and side sill 20. A plurality of building board, side wall panels 32, of the same material as panels 23, are adhesively bonded to the interior of sheathing 31 to stiffen it and make it shear resistant. Panels 32 have upper edges abutting with the lower surface of angle member 30 and their lower edges abutting the upper surfaces of the adjacent edges of panels 23. Sheathing 31 comprises alternate fiat ridges 34 and fiat grooves 35 joined by flat oblique intermediate portions 36 (FIG. 6). The interior surface of grooves 34 abut panels 32, angle member 30 and side sills 20 and are the portions which are connected to these members.

With reference to FIG. 3, each post member 29 comprises a pair of flat, parallel flanges 37 and 38 joined by a flat oblique portion 39 conforming to the shape of the adjacent groove with an intermediate portion of sheathing 31 whereby the sheathing fits against and conforms to shape of the post member. By thus increasing the depth of the post to conform to the contour of the sheathing, the moment of inertia, and hence the strength, of the member is increased. Each post member 29 further includes a flat flange 40 and a base 41 extending perpendicularly between flanges 38 and 40. Flanges 37 and 40 lie in parallel planes that are separated a distance equal to the thickness of a panel 32 and lie on opposite sides of adjacent edges of the adjacent panel 32.

End wall 17 comprises a pair of vertical corner post members whose lower ends rest on and are welded to lower plates 21 and whose upper ends are welded to a pair of upper plates 21 identical to the lower plates. Chord 27 extends between and is welded to lower ends of post members 42, and an angle member 43 is welded to and extends between the upper ends of post members 42. The ends of angle member 43 abut and are welded to the undersurface of upper plates 21. Sheathing 31 is welded to the exterior of post members 42, chord 27 and angle member 43 and wall panels 32 are adhesively bonded to the inside of sheathing 31, the lower edges of the panels resting on the upper surface of the floor. Panels 32 and sheathing 31 of end wall 17 are cut out to define a window opening in which is mounted a window assembly 44 of any suitable construction. Post members 42 abut post members 29 along their lengths and are welded thereto to form integral corner posts each composed of two post members.

Interior end wall 16 comprises a pair of vertical, channel-shaped post members 45 welded along their lengths to the adjacent post members 29 of the side walls to thus connect the post members and form a pair of corner posts. The lower ends of post members 45 are welded to lower plates 21 and chord 26. An upper chord 46 of downwardly-opening, channel-shaped cross section, and a beam 48 are welded to each other along their lengths and are welded at their ends to post members 45, the upper edge of beam 48 being turned outwardly to form an inverted L-shaped section. A vertical door frame 49 nests in sill 26 and has its upper end connected to chord 46 and beam 49 and forms therewith a rigid frame through which the vertical load of the interior end wall is transmitted. A plurality of end wall panels 32 are nested between flanges of the doorframe of upper chord 46, of bottom chord 26, and post member 45, the panels being exposed inside and outside of the unit. In contrast to the other walls, in which the wall panels are connected to sheathing 31, the interior end Wall does not have the sheathing. In the other Walls, the wall panels stiffen the sheathing making them shear resistant, whereas in end wall 16, the wall panels are restrained by the door frame.

Ceiling 15 comprises a pair of channel-shaped side rails 50, a channel-shaped end rail 51, a Z-shaped end rail 52, a plurality of parallel, evenly spaced bulb-Ts 53 extending between and welded to the side rails, and a plurality of ceiling panels 54 nested between the rails and bulb-Ts and connected thereto by grouting 55. For simplicity of illustration, the grouting has been shown as being merely adjacent the bulb-Ts and panels, although it is to be understood that the grouting could also be additionally placed between the edges of the panels and the rails. Rails 50-52 are nested in and welded to the structural members extending around the top of the walls, the upper ends of the post members being cut away as indicated at 56 in FIGS. 2 and 3, to receive the corners of ceiling panels 54.

The upper ends of the interior corner posts, formed at the intersection of the interior end wall 16 with side walls 18, are covered by a pair of upper plates 21' similar to plates 21 except that they are longer and are provided with a lip that overhangs the outturned portion of beam 48 and the overlying portion of end rail 52, as best seen in FIGS. 7 and 10.

Although each unit can be assembled in a wide variety of ways, the preferred assembly procedure is to first make complete subassemblies of the end walls and the ceiling, with the upper plates 21 and 21' being in the ceiling subassembly. Consequently, the side walls are assembled, except for their wall panels 32. Then, floor 14 is assembled by first placing lower plates 21 in a fixture using the holes in these plates as gage points, and the side rails 20 and joists 23 are connected. Next. the side walls and end walls are erected on the partially complete floor and are connected to each other. Then, the subfloor and finish floor are laid and side wall panels 32 are assembled. Lastly, the ceiling 15 is lowered in place and is connected in the manner. previously described.

As previously indicated, the units are intended to be prefabricated at the factory and erected or assembled at a site at which foundation 11 has been previously prepared. Embedded in the foundation are a plurality of anchor bolts 58 which project upwardly from the foundation and are located to extend through the holes in the plates 21 of the units 12 that are first placed on foundation 11 The anchor bolts serve to align the first floor in the desired pattern, the units being connected to the bolts by suitable nuts.

The upper units are placed on the lower units and are connected by nut and bolt assemblies 59 that extend through the aligned holes of adjacent plates 21 and 21'. Chords 26 of the interior end walls are provided with out-turned flanges 60 which support a plywood or plymetal subfloor having a finished floor laid thereon to define the floor 61 of corridor 13. Beam 49 and end rail 52 have outturned flanges, opposed to those across the corridor, which support a ceiling 62 covering corridor 13. At the upper story, corridor 13 is covered by a plank 63 whose under surface defines the ceiling for upper corridor 13 and the gaps above laterally adjacent units are covered by planks 63'. In the building construction, the periphery of the roof is bounded by a gravel stop 64 and ceilings of the upper units are covered with a roof composed of layers of roofing felt, gravel and asphalt, the roof being constructed on the building after the units have been assembled in the desired pattern.

A plurality of straps 65 extend across the corridors to interconnect those units which are adjacent one another across the corridors, the straps 65 being welded to the adjacent lower corner plate 21 and corner post and also serving as a support for the ends of the panels forming floor 61. Since there is a space between adjacent units, this space is covered on the exterior by flashing 66 and is covered on the interior, that is corridor 13, by plugs 67 of tectum plank or similar material. The gap between vertically adjacent units, which has a thickness equal to the thicknesses of abutted plates 21 and 21' is covered by flashing 68 which prevents rain from entering the interior of the units.

The corridors 13 terminate at doors 70 which open, in the upper stories, onto an exterior stairwell 71 supported on foundation 11.

It will be thus seen that the loads imposed on the lower units by the upper units are transmitted into the lower units through the corner posts whereby none of the weight of the upper units is transmitted through the walls or ceiling of the lower units. By making the corner posts strong, the need for any preexisting supporting framework is eliminated and by utilizing the holes in plates 21 and 21 the need for any aligning frame work is eliminated. Furthermore, the structural frame of each unit is sufficiently strong so that the holes in plates 21' and 21 (the upper plates) can be used as eye holes for connection to suitable cables whereby the units can be lifted by cranes during assembly and transportation thereof, without requiring any additional support frames or special harnesses.

While only a single embodiment has been illustrated, it will be apparent that the units can be arranged in a wide variety of patterns and that the units can be constructed in ways wihch diifer from the illustrated embodiment but which are within the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In a building construction for erection on a foundation without requiring any additional supporting framework, the combination comprising: a plurality of prefabricated, modular rom units arranged in plural stories with each upper unit being supported on and by a unit therebeneath, the lowermost units being supported on the foundation; each of said units comprising a floor, a ceiling and a pair of side walls and a pair of end walls extending between said floor and said ceiling, each side wall and end wall having disposed at each of its @114 a. Q i t Il post which includes planar flange surfaces, said pair of side walls extending between and being joined to said pair of end walls with the planar flange surfaces of the posts of said side walls engaging complemental planar flange surfaces of the vertical posts of said end walls throughout substantially the full length of said posts to form composite vertical corner posts therebetween; a plurality of plates connected to the top and bottom edges of said composite vertical corner posts to form upper and lower plates, said upper plates being coplanar and above said ceiling, said lower plates being coplanar and beneath said floor whereby each unit rests on said lower plates; each upper unit having its lower plates abutting and supported on the upper plates of the unit therebeneath whereby the entire stacking Weight of the upper unit is transmitted into and supported by the composite vertical corner posts of said unit therebeneath.

2. A building construction in accordance with claim 1 wherein the planar flange surfaces of the vertical posts of said pair of side walls are joined to said complemental planar flange surfaces of the vertical posts of said pair of end walls as by welding; and each of said walls is of a girder construction being arranged to transmit its load into the adjacent composite corner posts.

3. A building in accordance with claim 1 wherein said plates of each modular room unit include apertures aligned with similar apertures in an abutting plate of a modular room unit arranged thereabove, and means received within said aligned apertures of said abutting plates thereby preventing relative movement between vertically adjacent units.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,048,938 12/ 1912 Broughton 5279 1,362,069 12/1920 Witzel 52-79 2,003,670 6/ 1935 Walker 5279 FOREIGN PATENTS 221,579 4/1959 Australia. 1,219,928 12/ 1959 France. 1,269,080 7/ 1961 France.

674,946 7/ 1952 Great Britain.

572,894 2/ 1958 Italy.

FRANK L. ABBOTT, Primary Examiner.

RICHARD W. COOKE, JR., Examiner.


Assistant Examiners.

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AU221579B * Title not available
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3378964 *Apr 13, 1965Apr 23, 1968Rushmore HomesBuilding construction and method
US3540173 *Feb 28, 1969Nov 17, 1970Johnides StephenExpandable,transportable,prefabricated containerized buildings
US3707811 *Sep 24, 1970Jan 2, 1973Atco Ind LtdSelf-packaging portable housing structure
US3717964 *Jul 9, 1970Feb 27, 1973Behring CorpModule frames
US3751870 *Feb 5, 1971Aug 14, 1973Elkhart Wlding & Boiler WorksFrame structure system
US3762112 *May 5, 1972Oct 2, 1973Evans JModular building and method of making same
US3765139 *Apr 13, 1972Oct 16, 1973Litvin RModular construction for bathrooms
US3818653 *Jan 22, 1973Jun 25, 1974Williams APrefabricated building structure
US3818655 *Aug 21, 1972Jun 25, 1974Thermo Kinetics IncConditioning unit with modular construction
US3900994 *Nov 21, 1973Aug 26, 1975Lely Cornelis V DPrefabricated buildings made-up of a plurality of box-shaped sections
US3902623 *May 30, 1974Sep 2, 1975Tideland Signal CorpLocking means for securing the sides of a prefabricated enclosure
US4299065 *Feb 27, 1979Nov 10, 1981Sanders And Forster LimitedAccommodation units
US4882883 *Feb 25, 1987Nov 28, 1989Pbs Building Systems, Inc.Architectural modular system
US5245803 *Nov 14, 1991Sep 21, 1993Haag E KeithConnector means for roof panels and a method for installation thereof
US5274974 *Apr 28, 1992Jan 4, 1994Haag E KeithCaps for roof-to-wall connections, eave closures and means for installation thereof
US5274975 *May 29, 1992Jan 4, 1994Haag E KeithWall cap and eave rake
US5277002 *Jun 4, 1992Jan 11, 1994Haag E KeithRidge cap connector means for joining roof panels in a modular building structure
US5826379 *Dec 30, 1992Oct 27, 1998Curry; PaulHighly wind resistant pre-assembled relocatable building structure
US6079171 *Dec 12, 1997Jun 27, 2000Burke; Donald J.Disabled or handicapped accessible non-elevator building and method for making
US6519900 *Jul 14, 2000Feb 18, 2003Turnkey Schools Of AmericaModular school building system
US6907695Jan 14, 2003Jun 21, 2005Turnkey Schools Of AmericaModular school building system
US7318300 *Dec 22, 2003Jan 15, 2008Richard Jay SeavyModularized jail cell
U.S. Classification52/79.13, 52/781, D25/4
International ClassificationE04B1/348
Cooperative ClassificationE04B2001/34892, E04B1/3483
European ClassificationE04B1/348C3