US 3377755 A
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Apnl 16, 1968 F. c. STUCKY ET 3,377,755
PREFABRICATED BUILDING UNITS INCLUDING PRBSTRESSED FLOOR PANELS WITH UYSTANDING END MEMBERS CONNECTED BY TENSION MEANS 8 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 15, 1964 I m VENTORS FRITZ CHRISTOPH STUCKY 8t RUDOLF meuu FIG. 2
ATTORNEYS Aprll 16, 1968 F. c. STUCKY ET AL 3,377,755
PREFABRICATED BUILDING UNITS INCLUDING PRESTRESSED FLOOR PANELS WITH UPSTANDING END MEMBERS CONNECTED BY TENSION MEANS Filed Jan. 15, 1964 8 Sheets-Sheet 1,
INVEN'TURS FIG. 3 FRITZ CHRISTOPH STUGKY a RUDOLF MEULl their ATTORNEYS April 16, 1968 F. c. STUCKY ET AL 3,377,755
PREFABRICATED BUILDING UNITS INCLUDING PRESTRESSED FLOOR PANELS WITH UPSTANDING END MEMBERS CONNECTED BY TENSION MEANS 8 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Jan. 15, 1964 ll-51517512: ff?
Jlllllllllllllllll if 21a INVENTORS FRITZ CHRISTOPH STUGKY 8 RUDOLF MEULI FIG. 5
their ATTORNEYS April 16, 1968 I c, STUCKY ET AL. 3,377,755
PREFABRICATED BUILDING UNITS INCLUDING PRESTRESSED FLOOR PANELS WITH -UPSTANDING END MEMBERS CONNECTED BY TENSION MEANS Filed Jan. 15, 1964 8 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVEN'JURS FRITZ GHRISTOPH STU CKY a RUDOLF MEULI their ATTORNEYS Apnl 16, 1968 F. c. STUCKY ET AL 3,377,755
PREFABRICATED BUILDING UNITS INCLUDING PRESTRESSED FLOOR PANELS WITH =UPSTANDING END MEMBERS CONNECTED BY TE 'SION MEANS Filed Jan. 15, 1964 8 Sheets-Sheet s,
FR 2 RSTOPH STUCKY 81 8 RU gOL i hhEULl zmika w /2 their ATTORNEYS Apnl 16, 1968 F. c STUCKY ET AL 3,377,755,
PREFABRICATED BUILDING UNITS INCLUDING PRESTRESSED FLOOR PANELS WITH'EUPSTANDING END MEMBERS CONNECTED BY TENSION MEANS Filed Jan. 15, 1964 8 Sheets-Sheet 6 N VEN TORS FRITZ CHRISTOPH STUCKY 8 RUDOLF MEULI their ATTORNEYS April 16, 1968 F. c. STUCKY ET 3,377,755
PREFABRICATED BUILDING UNITS INCLUDING PRESTRESSED FLOOR PANELS WITH *UPSTANDING END MEMBERS CONNECTED BY TENSION MEANS 8 Sheets-Sheet 7 Filed Jan. 15, 1964 w r n INVENTORS FRITZ CHRISTOPH STUCKY 8 RUDOLF BY MEULI Qz.
their ATTORNEYS April 16, 1968 F. c. STUCKY ET 3,377,755 PREFABRICATED BUILDING UNITS INCLUDING PRESTRESSED FLOO R PANELS WITH UPSTANDING END MEMBERS CONNECTED BY TENSION MEANS Filed Jan. 15, 1964 8 Sheets-Sheet 8 INVENTORS FRITZ CHRISTOPH STUCKY 8: RUDOLF MEULI I BY M24 FIG. /4
, their ATTORNEYS United States Patent ice PREFABRICATED BUILDING UNITS INCLUDING PRESTRESSEI) FLOOR PANELS WITH UPSTAND- ING END MEMBERS CONNECTED BY TENSION MEANS Fritz Christoph Stucky, Terrassenweg 3e, and Rudolf Meuli, Schmidgasse 10, both of Zug, Switzerland Filed Jan. 15, 1964, Ser. No. 337,933 Claims priority, application Great Britain, Jan. 24, 1963, 3,020/63; Oct. 10, 1963, 39,914/63 4 Claims. (CI. 52-79) This invention relates to a system of building construction in which a building, such for example as a dwelling or a school, is built up of prefabricated room elements each having a shell consisting of two opposed walls, a floor, and a roof or ceiling, a plurality of these room elements being disposed end to end with a vertical joint face between adjacent elements to constitute a storey of the building. The chief advantage of this system of construction is that it permits of a greater degree of prefabrication and therefore reduces considerably the amount of work which is required to be carried out on the building site. In particular, some or all of the wiring, plumbing, and glazing, can be installed in the room elements at the factory where they are made.
The present invention primarily concerns a prefabricated building unit adapted to constitute or be incorporated in a room element for use in the aforesaid system.
This invention therefore provides a prefabricated building unit comprising a pre-stressed floor panel and an upstanding end member at each of two opposed ends of the floor panel, the floor panel and end members being initially constructed as separate components but being rigidly connected together. The invention also provides a prefabricated building unit comprising a floor panel of reinforced pre-stressed concrete and an upstanding reinforced concrete end member at each of two opposed ends of the floor panel, the floor panel and end members being initially constructed as separate components but having their reinforcements connected. Each of the three components may have an exposed joint member to which its reinforcement is connected and the adjacent joint members may be rigidly or permanently connected by welding, bolting, riveting, brazing, or by use of an appropriate adhesive such for example as an epoxy resin.
The fact that the floor panel and end members are initially constructed as separate components permits the floor panel to be made by ordinary commercial methods. It also permits the design of the end members to be varied readily in accordance with the architectural requirements for the outer walls of differing buildings.
The upper ends of the end members are preferably connected by tension means such for example as tension bars or their equivalent. The invention also includes a prefabricated building unit comprising a pro-stressed rectangular floor panel, and an upstanding reinforced concrete end member at each of two opposed ends of the floor panel, said panel and end members being initially con structed as separate components, wherein the panel is so pre-stressed as to have a tendency to bow upwardly, the end members are united to it by rigid joints, and the upper ends of the end members are connected by tension means which pulls said upper ends towards one another and thereby counteracts wholly or in part said tendency. In this unit tensile stresses are therefore set up at or near the outer surfaces of the two end members and the under surface of the floor panel and in the tension means. The inherent rigidity of the unit is therefore enhanced.
The tension means may be a permanent fixture in the component and/or in the resultant room element, or in the alternative may be removable in the course of erection 3,377,755 Patented Apr. 16, 1968 of the building being for example substituted by the floor panel of a superimposed unit.
It is preferred that each end member shall comprise at least one vertical load bearing column or strut. Thus in a plural storey building the columns or struts of the elements in an upper storey may be vertically superimposed on those of the elements in a lower storey. For at least part of its height one or each of the end members may constitute a wall or may have a wall associated with it.
Preferably each end member comprises at least two of the aforesaid columns. It is also preferred that each end member shall have its columns connected together at the top or the bottom or at both.
The reinforcement of each end member may be con nected to that of the floor panel at the bottom of the column or columns thereof.
The invention also includes a room element comprising the aforesaid unit and provided with opposed end walls and a ceiling. The ceiling may be hung on the aforementioned tensionbars or their equivalent. It may be inserted at the site but is preferably inserted at the factory where the unit is made.
In order that the invention may be better understood reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of one room element according to this invention with a further room element suspended above it;
FIGURE 2 is a sectional view showing a number of such room elements in superimposed relation as in successive storeys of a building;
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view on a larger scale through portions of two such room elements;
FIGURES 4, 5 and 6 are views corresponding to FIGS. 1 to 3 respectively but showing a modified construction;
FIGURE 7 is a sectional view, on a larger scale, showing the welded joint between a floor panel and an end member;
FIGURE 8 is a sectional view, showing a number of superimposed room elements, taken in a vertical plane through one of the two load-bearing columns of an end member;
FIGURE 9 is a similar view taken in a vertical plane intermediate the two said columns, while FIGURE 10 is a diagram;
FIGURE 11 is a further sectional view showing a joint between the floor panel and end member;
FIGURE 12 shows a still further joint;
FIGURE 13 illustrates a form of ceiling suspension;
FIGURE 14 illustrates a modified construction.
Each prefabricated room element 10 shown in FIGS. 1-3 consists in the main of a prefabricated building unit comprising a rectangular floor panel 11 of reinforced prestressecl concrete and, at each of two opposed ends of the floor panel, an upstanding reinforced concrete end member 12. Panel 11 has longitudinal ribs 13 and transverse ribs 14 at its under side. Along the upper and lower corners of each of its two opposed ends there are metal angle members 15, 16. Members 15 are welded to the reinforcement rods of the panel 11, while members 16 are welded to the pro-stressing cable which extends within the ribs 13.
Each end member 12 consists of a horizontal base 20 with upright columns 21a, 21b arising from it, which columns are connected at their upper ends by a horizontal member 22. All members are suitably reinforced.
Metal angles 25, 26 extend (at least at the base of columns 21a, 21b) along the upper and lower corners at the inner side of base 20 so as to lie in proximity to angles 15, 16. The reinforcement of end member '12 is welded to these angles 25, 26, and the end members 12 are permanently united to the floor panel 11 by welding angles 15 and 25, 16 and 26 together (see FIG. 7). The end members 12 are further connected by tie rods 27 extending between the upper members 22.
The building unit thus constituted forms the main part of a room element 10. A light, insulated, ceiling 28 is hung on the tie rods 27; the floor is completed by an insulated floor lining 29, and the outer walls are completed by insulated wall panels 30 which inthe construction illustrated lie interiorly of the columns 21a, 21b. These wall panels are positioned by the edges of the ceiling 28 and floor 29 and by distance pieces 17; they may be plain or may incorporate Windows or doors 31. 32 indicates a venetian blind. It will be understood that either, or each of, the end members 12 may through the whole or part of its height be cast with an integral wall-forming panel. Preferably the ceiling, fioor lining, and initially-separate walls, are applied to the unit at the factory (although any or all of them may be applied on the site).
The prefabricated room element thus formed may be provided in a substantially complete or finished condition with all wiring, plumbing, and glazing, installed. Even the final coat of paint may be applied at the factory. For example, 33 indicates plumbing and/ or wiring.
A series of such room elements may be arranged with their open ends abutting at vertical joint faces to form a building, or a storey of a building, the interior of which may if necessary be sub-divided into separate rooms by interior walls or partitions, such for example as partitions disposed substantially in the plane of the joint faces or parallel to such planes. That room element which is disposed at an end of such series has its end closed by a suitable end wall. Provision may be made in one or more of the room elements for at least one partition extending at right angles to the joint faces. The aforesaid partitions and end wall are prefabricated either as integral parts of the room elements or as initially separate components fitted to the room elements on the site.
Room elements for successive storeys are super-imposed on one another in register which is determined by spiggots 34. The columns 21a, 21b of successive storeys are in vertical register so as to form continuous load-bearing columns extending for the height of successive storeys.
The end member 12 shown at the right hand side of FIG. 1 has its columns 21a, 21b tapered from top and bottom to a region about half-way in their height. This is not essential, and the configuration of the end members may be varied in accordance with. architectural and other requirements of the complete building. To illustrate this fact, the outer face of the column 21b at the left hand side of FIG. 1 is shown as being plane.
The room elements of the bottom storey rest on footings 35.
In FIGURES 1 to 3 the wall panels 30 are inside the members 12. FIGURES 4 to 6 show a modified construction in which curtain wall panels are outside the members 12. They are mounted by means of anchor bolts 42 (one of which is illustrated in the lower part of FIG. 6) cast into the members 12 at convenient locations, in a manner which is conventional for curtain walls. These curtain wall panels are produced as complete units comprising framing, insulation, door and/or window, and are preferably applied to the end members 12 at the factory where the latter are made. In FIGURE 6, 37 represents a space heater or radiator located at the inner face of wall panel 36.
FIGURES and 6 also illustrate the roof 39 of the building. This, in the main, comprises a panel 11 which is identical with the floor panels and to opposite ends of which there are united (in the manner already described, and illustrated in FIG. 7) horizontal members 20' identical with the base 20 of end members 12. The roof is covered by the insulating layer 40 and the weather proofing 41; 33' is a roof vent for the plumbing.
Turning now to FIGS. 8-10, each unit comprises a rectangular floor panel 45 of reinforced pre-stressed concrete having attached to it, at each of its two opposed ends, an upstanding reinforced concrete end member 46. Floor panel has at each of its ends a solid transverse member 47 containing a reinforcement 48 which members 47 are connected by longitudinal ribs 49. Reinforcement bars or the like, not shown, extend within said ribs adjacent to the upper surface of the panel and the pre-stressing cables or the like extend in said ribs adjacent to the lower surface of the panel. The fioor panel is so pre-stressed by these cables that it will tend to bow upwards a little within about 90 days of being poured as illustrated diagrammatically in full lines in FIGURE 10. Near each of its ends, member 47 is provided at its outer face with an exposed metal plate 50 which is connected (welded) to reinforcement 48 of the floor panel.
Each end member 46 consists of a horizontal base 51 with upright load-bearing columns 52 arising from its ends, which columns are connected at their upper ends by a horizontal member 53. Members 51, 52 and 53 are suitably reinforced, some of the reinforcement of members 52 being indicated at 54. The general elevation of an end member 46 is substantially as shown in FIGURE 1, and member 51 may in fact constitute a window sill. Alternatively the space between members 51, 52, 53 may be occupied by an integral web.
Beneath the lower end of each column 52 there is an exposed metal plate 56 permanently connected (Welded) to the reinforcement 54 thereof. Each plate 56 is perma nently connected to the adjacent plate 50 by welding, brazing, bolting, riveting, or by a suitable adhesive (connections by bolts 57 being illustrated in FIG. 8).
Since end member 46 rests upon the upper surface of the floor panel 45, the contact face being substantially horizontal and since the connection between plates 50, 56 prevents relative separating movement between end member 46 and floor panel 45 in a substantially vertical direction (placing said connection under shear), a locked joint is thereby produced between the end member and floor panel in the sense that relative movement reducing the included angle between them to less than substantially 90 is prevented. Alternative forms of locked joints are shown in other figures hereof.
As the bowed formation of floor panel 45 develops the tops of the end members 46 tend to incline outwardly as shown in full lines in FIG. 10. Their upper ends are however connected together by tension means indicated at 58 in FIG. 10. Thereby a bending strain is imposed on each end member 46 such that its outer skin is placed in tension. Moreover owing to the locked joints the tendency for the floor member 45 to bow is counteracted. A structure, indicated in dotted lines, which is highly resistant to warping and to deformation under live loads is thereby produced. The camber of the fioor member 45 may be 15-20 mm. before tensioning and 5-10 mm. after tensioning.
The tension means 58 is shown in FIG. 8 as consisting of rods or cables connecting members 52. The total tensile force of means 58 may be 3 metric tons (i.e. 1.5 tons per tie rod or cable, if two are employed). These rods or cables may be tensioned by any suitable means, for example, as turnbuckles 59 at an intermediate region in their length. They may serve to support the ceiling 28.
They also serve to adjust or correct the distance between end members 4-6 to conform to the designed dimensions, so that each room element registers correctly with the element above it. They may extend between the upper ends of columns 52.
A further form of locked joint at the base of each column 52 is illustrated in FIGURE 11. The plates 50, 56 welded respectively to the reinforcement of the floor panel and of the end member 12 or 46, are rigidly united face to face by an epoxy resin point 61. Likewise there may be an epoxy resin joint 62 between the lower surface of each column and the upper surface of the fioor panel.
In the constructions so far described the end members rest on the fioor panel. A modified construction is shown in FIGURE 12. The base 51 of the end member has its inner face joined (at least at the base of each column 52) to the outer face of the floor panel 11 or 45 by an epoxy resin joint 63. Additionally, at its lower edge it has a metal member 64a which is welded to the reinforcement 54 of the end member and has an upstanding lip 65a at its outer edge. An identical member 6422 is provided on the floor panel 11 or 45 and is welded to the reinforcement 48 thereof, this member 64b having at its outer edge a downwardly protruding lip 65b. Wedges 66 are forced into the space between lips 65a, 65b, thereby making a joint which is placed in tension when the upper ends of the end members are drawn towards one another. The height of the end members may be adjusted by shims 67 inserted between lip 65b and member 64a. The joint is covered by fireproofing material 68.
In all constructions herein shown the ceiling 28 may be hung from the tension means 27 or 58 in any suitable manner. One suitable arrangement is illustrated in FIG- URE 13. The ceiling is provided with a lip 28' which rests on the tension means 27 or 58 with an interposed rubber pad 69. The tension means may be prevented from sagging between the end members by being supported through rubber pad 70 on a support device 71 which may depend from the floor panel of the superimposed storey and may be adjustable vertically. It will be appreciated the arrangement just described is provided in the gap between the ceilings of the successive room elements; this gap is covered by a cover strip 72.
In a modified construction of the unit illustrated in FIGURE 14, the floor panel 73 is of pre-stressed composite construction, comprising a core 74 of insulating material sandwiched between board members 75. At its edge facing the end member 76 the panel is provided with upper and lower metal connecting elements 77, 78 of hook-like formation. The panel is pre-stressed by metal skin members 79, 80 which are engaged in the elements 77, 78, the pre-stressing being so arranged as to cause the panel to bow as already described. End member 76 is provided with a lower, hooked, tension element 81 which hooks under element 78, and with an upper compression element 82 between which and member 77 a compressive insulation material 83 is inserted. Members 77, 82 are connected together by a bridge or clamp 84 which is slid endwise over them as shown. End member 76 may be of reinforced concrete in which case the members 81, 82 may be welded to this reinforcement.
What we claim is: g
1. A prefabricated building unit comprising a prestressed floor panel having internal reinforcing means and exposed metal elements at each of two ends connected to the reinforcing means, an upstanding end member at each of the two ends of the floor panel, each upstanding end member having internal reinforcing means and an exposed metal element at its lower end connected to the reinforcing means therein, means rigidly connecting the exposed metal elements of the upstanding end members to the exposed metal elements of the floor panel to form rigid connections between the end members and the floor panel, the upper surfaces of the end members being the uppermost terminal load-bearing surfaces of the unit, and tension means connecting the upper ends of the end members together.
2. A prefabricated building unit according to claim 1 wherein the pre-stressing of the floor panel is arranged to create a camber therein, and wherein the tension means connecting the upper ends of the end members pulls the said upper ends toward each other to eliminate at least a part of the camber in the floor panel.
3. A prefabricated building unit according to claim 1 wherein the tension means includes elongated coupling members, and further comprising prefabricated ceiling panels suspended from the coupling members.
4. A building structure comprising a plurality of prefabricated building units assembled in superposed relation, each of the building units comprising a pre-stressed floor panel having internal reinforcing means and exposed metal elements at each of two ends connected to the internal reinforcing means, an upstanding end member at each of the two ends of the fioor panel, each upstanding end member having internal reinforcing means and an exposed metal element at its lower end connected to the reinforcing means therein, and means rigidly connecting the exposed metal elements of the upstanding end members to the exposed metal elements of the floor panel to form rigid connections therebetween, the upper surfaces of the end members being the uppermost terminal surfaces of the unit, one of the building units being superposed upon another so that portions of its lower surface engage the upper surfaces of the end members of the other unit, and the superposed building unit having a tension means connecting the upper surfaces of the end members of the other building unit.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 648,869 5/1900 Horn 52--484 1,362,069 12/ 1920 Witzel 52-745 1,796,048 3/1931 Robinson 52250 X 1,924,801 8/1933 Olmsted 52250 X 2,592,634 4/1952 Wilson 52-583 2,691,291 10/ 1954 Henderson 52-79 X 2,963,825 12/1960 Douglas 52-94 FOREIGN PATENTS 146,246 4/1952 Australia.
55,205 5/1951 France.
1,010,146 3/1952 France.
1,303,708 8/1962 France.
757,683 9/1956 Great Britain.
' HENRY C. SUTHERLAND, Primary Examiner.
FRANK L. ABBOTT, Examiner.
A. C. PERI-1AM, Assistant Examiner.