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.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3331169 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 18, 1967
Filing dateJun 12, 1964
Priority dateJun 12, 1964
Publication numberUS 3331169 A, US 3331169A, US-A-3331169, US3331169 A, US3331169A
InventorsLouis J Leemhuis, Cumming E Palmer
Original AssigneeLouis J Leemhuis, Cumming E Palmer
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Floor air conduit and conditioning system
US 3331169 A
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 1967 E. P. CUMMING ETAL 3,331,169



E PALAJER. CUMM/NG INVENTORb' LOUIS J LEEMHUIS U ATTORNEY United States Patent Office 3,331,169 FLOOR AIR CONDUIT AND CONDITIONING SYSTEM E. Palmer Cumming, 3801 San Bruno Ave., San Francisco, Calif. 94134, and Louis J. Leemhuis, Los Angeles, Calif. (43 Capistrano Shores, San Clemente, Calif. 92672) Filed June 12, 1964, Ser. No. 374,626 1 Claim. (Cl. 52-220) This invention relates in general to heating and cooling systems employing conditioned air passing in passageways Within a cementitious floor structure, and relates more specifically to the specific construction of component parts and the relationship of such parts into a system for transporting such conditioned air, distributing the air throughout a plenum area, and to convection outlets within a room.

Conduction of heating and cooling air through floor conduits is old and well-known, having been carried out by many systems both patented and unpatented. Furthermore, it is now common and well-known to employ void spaces in cementitious flooring created by forms and enclosures placed prior to pouring of the flooring material, for carrying telephone and power cables.

Not all such prior systems are entirely satisfactory for their intended purpose, and those that are reasonably satisfactory have yet to achieve the full flexibility often desired by building architects.

It is an object of this invention to provide a coordinated system of improved structural elements, bearing a unique relationship to one another which provides for wide flexibility of design with a minimum of inventory forms, to enable the architect and builder to provide a total plenum system, lateral perimeter system, and/ or provide a heating and cooling conduit system to a living area which avoids the heretofore costly problem of heating and cooling power loss occasioned by the use of a single conduit system to carry heated or cooled air alternately.

It is difficult to maintain comfortable temperatures within a structure in areas which experience cool night and early morning temperatures, followed by a rapid rise in temperature as daylight hours begin. This condition exists in some temperate Zones, and in colder Zones during spring and fall. If the heating system is allowed to cause a cementitious floor to become warm and the same conduit is then employed for cooler air when the daylight hours bring warm temperatures, the cooling system must first extract the heat from the surrounding floor before cooling can be experienced. Often this produces an uncomfortably warm interval between the time a sensitive thermostat sends an impulse for cool air and the time the cool air can actually enter through the room register and produce a cooling effect.

It is an object of this invention to coordinate cooperating conduit systems in such a manner that cooling and heating may be alternated without such immediate effect upon one another, and to modulate the air sources if desired.

In accordance with these and other objects which will become apparent hereinafter, a preferred form of the present invention is disclosed in the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIGURE 1 is the perspective view of a commercial apartment building .structural steel frame supporting a floor construction embodying certain aspects of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a top view of a corrugated metal unit embodying features of this invention.

FIGURE 3 is a side view of the unit shown in FIG- URE 2, supported upon a sub-base of a floor construction;

3,331,169 Patented July 18, 1967 FIGURE 4 is a section through a floor construction embodying the structural units of FIGURE 2, in an area over a supply source conduit;

FIGURE 5 is an exploded perspective view of a control means for selecting air supply from two related conduits for total air conditioning control;

FIGURE 6 is a schematic layout of a room employing the units of FIGURE 2 together with straight panel units in a mixed system having lateral channels and total plenum areas for radiant floor heating purposes;

FIGURE 7 is a perspective section taken along the area line 7-7 of FIGURE 6 showing a support chair; FIGURE 8 is an end view of the chair of FIGURE 7; and

FIGURE 9 is a view similar to that shown in FIGURE 6 as adapted into a three-conduit system connected to a discharge register having control means selecting the source and quantity of air admitted to the room from each of the separate conduits.

FIGURE 1 of the drawings illustrates one environment in which the present invention is useful. This is a commercial structural environment having a supporting frame 10 of structural steel members. Over such supporting frame 10 is conventional steel decking 11 having a series of longitudinal channels 12 therein. Upon such support base are separate series of units 14 made according to the principles of this invention. Units 14 are illustrated in FIGURES 2 through 4.

Each unit 14 has ends 15 which are turned to depend from the central area and thereby provide a leg function. Note in FIGURE 3 that legs 15 support the unit upon a supporting surface and thereby produce a channel onclosure.

Thus, in FIGURE 1 a series of units 14 are placed in side-by-side relationship with adjacent units overlapped at least one corrugation convolution in order to engage and lock the units together longitudinally. Furthermore, according to the length of run of the units producing such a composite channel or passageway, the ends 15 may be of variable height thus producing an increasing height of air space. It is well known that air under pressure passing through any conduit will be reduced in speed by reason of friction with the surrounding confining wall. Accordingly, the pressure of the air in such a system is reduced, and hence a larger volume space is required. Hence, this invention provides for flexibility of air flow to compensate for pressure drop by progressively increasing the height of the units 14. The units may be slightly shorter by reason of increased height, unless special lengths are cut, but such variation in length may be readily accommodated by overlapping the units of the series in the proper direction. Often the height is adjusted by the angle of the legs. Furthermore, the height variation is not sufficiently great between units as to cause a major mismatching situation.

The units 14 are primarily for the purpose of producing strength support as well as a form for the later poured concrete mixture normally used as cementitious material in fioor construction. Hence, absolutely tight fits are not required. The mismatch will be sealed by the floor material. In FIGURE 1, a single source of air, indicated by a conduit pipe 18 supplies air to the adjacent passageways produced by the units 14. The flow of air from the supply source 18 through the channels is indicated by curved arrows 16. Only a single source is illustrated in FIGURE 1 although it is contemplated that multiple source units will be used in actual practice, for supply of hot and cold air. However, single conduit systems maybe employed in construction wherein heating and cooling coils are provided in room outlets within the occupied space of the building. This invention is concerned first with the floor construction by means of the novel'units 14, having the many attributes which will hereinafter be developed.

Also in the FIGURE 1, conventional wire conduit members 20 are shown supported on the top surface of the units 14. These members have openings 21 through which utility outlets are placed as desired in the finished floor structure. The finished floor structure is then produced by carrying a cementitious material 22, which is usually a concrete mix, either conventional or light weight.

Forms which have been accepted by the building industry and used in concrete floors, have been limited in flexibility. This invention provides a wide degree of flexibility for the convenience of the architect in designing the heating and cooling system of a building. Note in FIGURE 1 that the steel decking 11 provides channels 12 into which the unit ends 15 fit and thereby laterally position the series of units 14. Steel decking is not always available. In fact, this invention is suited for single pour flooring as well as in double pour flooring using a prepoured initial slab. Hence, when the units 14 are employed other than in situations where convenient available channels 12 are not available, inverted channels 26 may be employed to provide lateral spacing when precision alignment is desired. Channels 26 provide upright lateral side walls 27 and 28 into which the legs 15 may be seated. Thus, when the units are placed in such channels and pulled against the side walls 27 and 28 they will be spaced a proper maximum distance apart. Thus, when reinforcing bars 29 are placed in the area between the adjacent members 14, and covered with concrete 22, the areas between the units form structural beams which give strength to the composite floor. The size of channel 26 will determine the width of the resultant beam. The height of the ends 15 will determine its depth. By selecting these two dimensions according to need, the architect is free to design his floor with suflicient strength as well as air carrying capacity.

In the FIGURE 4, an open channel 30 is illustrated as a means for delivering air to the resultant channels produced by a series of members 14.

FIGURE 6 is suggestive of a room layout in a building, only for the purpose of illustrating the great flexibility and usefulness of the present invention. The figure of drawing is not intended to represent an actual use in a building construction, because actual heating and cooling layout must depend upon the type of building, the exposure, and the climate in which the building is located. With the illustration of FIGURE 6, and the description which follows, those skilled in designing heating and ventilating systems will be directed suificiently to employ the present invention without additional instruction.

The room shown in FIGURE 6 employs two separate series of the units 14 at the fore part of the room to serve as lead-in channels, each composed of two units 14. The balance of the room is shown as a complete plenum area. Such complete plenum arrangement at the end of a channel is provided by the use of a support chair 32 which sits in the space which normally would exist between two conventional units 14. Chair 32 is illustrated as being composed of a T-beam having a web 36 split in two places and the ends turned down to produce feet 38. A flange 34 of the T-beam then protrudes laterally from the web 36 to provide an elevated seating position to receive the flat ends of sheets 40.

Sheets 40 are of the same gauge and corrugation formation as the units 14. They are provided in a length sufficient to extend beyond the ends of the units 14. Hence, as shown in FIGURE 6, by placing a series of the chairs 32 in alignment with the space that is provided between the ends of the conventional units in the channel area, the flat sheets 40 may be extended out to completely cover the subflooring and hence provide the full open plenum area.

This cross over construction, as provided by use of the chairs 32 and flat sheets 40, may be employed in single units to provide an interconnection between two longitudinal series, or as full plenum areas such as illustrated in FIGURE 6. Therefore, the architect is free to design passageways to areas where it is desired to have full floor radiant heat or cooling. The units 14 may be full room dimensions as shown, or considerably smaller to provide only restricted passageways. Thus, FIGURE 6 illustrates the extreme flexibility of systems employing the present invention.

FIGURE 9 illustrates a further embodiment of the invention and a further flexibility of the invention. This simulated room layout employs three separate series of the units 14, the separate series being indicated by the reference numbers 42, 44, and 46, respectively. As an illustration of this use of the invention, a hot air conduit 48 extending under the floor is employed to provide heated air through outlets 49 into the series 42 and 46. Likewise, a conduit 50 carries cool air which is directed through an outlet 51 into the series 44.

Refer to FIGURE 5 for an illustration of a novel discharge register 52 employed to accept air from these three series and direct it into the room as required. Register 52 is built into an enclosure 54 having end openings 56 and 58, and a front opening 60. These openings are closeable by means of panels 62, 64 and 66, respectively.

A motor 68 is responsive to signals from a thermostat received through wire 70 to drive a yoke 72 which operates to pull chains 74 and 76. The chains operate the various panels according to the predetermined setting. The panels are spring-urged in one direction and pulled by means of the motor 68 in the opposite direction.

Conversely, it is within the contemplation of this invention to employ hand-driven mechanisms for operating the control louvres independently or in coordination with one another. Modernly, the tendency is to employ thermostatically controlled units and these units may be adapted to open and close the panels in whatever combination the temperature of the room may dictate, and do this as often as the temperature varies. Manual operation requires personal attention and usually is less satisfactory.

A cover 78 fits over the enclosure 54 and has an outlet register 80 covered by a grill 82.

Accordingly, the arrangement shown in FIGURE 9 provides for the possibility of compensating for mild climates and spring and fall periods in more severe climates. It often occurs that night time temperatures drop low enough that comfort demands heat during these sunless hours. However, it is also quite common that in such areas the sun will elevate the temperature rapidly soon after sunrise, Thus, it is a common experience to have a house heated to a comfortable temperature in the morning only to find that by midmorning the house is unbearably hot and that it is more comfortable outdoors.

To compensate, air-conditioning systems are employed to drive cold air into the house and remove such heat. Obviously, the mechanical removal of purchased heat is wasteful.

Furthermore, a more perplexing problem has occurred in the use of systems wherein the hot air and cold air are conducted through floor conduits. It is common practice to provide combination systems wherein the hot air will cause the cementitious pad of the building to radiate, and then the air discharged into the room for convection heating. Under such circumstances, when the thermostat calls for cold air, the system switches over and provides a flow of cold air through the channels provided. By prior systems the same channels are employed for the cold as for the hot air. Thus, the cold air is required to first cool the conduit and concrete pad around the conduit before any room cooling can take place. Thus there is a serious lag between the time the thermostat desires cool air for the room and when it can be supplied.

According to this invention, the series that is employed to carry the cold air is thoroughly insulated so that it will not extract heat from the floor through which it passes. Although insulation is not shown in FIGURE 9, it iS contemplated that for best operation, it is resistant to heat conduction.

While the instant invention has been shown and described herein in what is conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the invention which is therefore not to be limited to the details disclosed herein but is to be afforded the full scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.

What is claimed is:

A building floor construction comprising:

a decking having a series of spaced longitudinal channels thereon;

a plurality of individual sheets having corrugations extending from a first to a second end, said first and second end turned to form support legs for said sheet and the remainder bridging therebetween;

said sheets seated in side-by-side relationship with side corrugations overlapping and engaged to produce a plurality of adjacent mechanically interlocked series defining an air passageway with said decking;

at least two said series extending in spaced side-byside relationship to form air supply passageways from an air source to an end of each series; support legs of adjacent passageways being seated in said channels;

a plurality of L-shaped flat corrugated sheets uniting into a plenum area remote from said source, said plenum area having corresponding ones of said flat corrugated sheets overlapped with an end sheet of each said series so united, said flat sheets likewise forming adjacent series, and U-shaped bridging means supporting said flat sheets between adjacent series thereof so that said flat sheets of one series are engaged with the fiat sheet of the adjacent series to thereby form an open passageway between adjacent series of said L-shaped flat sheets; and

said spaced passageways and flat interconnecting sheets defining said plenum area encased in reenforced cementitious flooring material.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,924,035 8/1933 Goldsmith 52 -329 2,422,685 6/1947 Keck 52220 2,621,027 12/1952 Tatsch 52-221 2,729,429 1/ 1956 Goemann 52220 DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY, Primary Examiner.


Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1924035 *Jul 1, 1930Aug 22, 1933Goldsmith Max SConcrete floor construction
US2422685 *Mar 27, 1944Jun 24, 1947Clay Products AssRadiant heating for buildings
US2621027 *Dec 11, 1946Dec 9, 1952Richard TatschPanel heating and cooling system
US2729429 *Feb 24, 1954Jan 3, 1956Robertson Co H HAir conditioning and distributing system and apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3967426 *May 8, 1972Jul 6, 1976Epic Metals CorporationReinforced composite slab assembly
US4407392 *Aug 31, 1981Oct 4, 1983Western Electric Company, Inc.Safety scaffold for metal melting furnaces
US4646815 *Dec 17, 1984Mar 3, 1987Matsushita Electric Works, Ltd.Heat exchange mat
WO1982004458A1 *Jun 18, 1982Dec 23, 1982Rli Byggdata AbBuilding for office and residential purposes
WO1991007557A1 *Nov 8, 1990May 9, 1991Legalett Svenska AbFlow distribution conduit means
WO2005014951A1 *Aug 10, 2004Feb 17, 2005Voelstad Energy AsTemperature and vapour pressure regulation device for a structure
U.S. Classification52/220.4, 52/329, 165/56
International ClassificationF24F13/02, E04B5/48
Cooperative ClassificationF24F13/0227, E04B5/48
European ClassificationF24F13/02C, E04B5/48