US 3388512 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 18, 1968 H. NEWMAN MULTILEVEL MODULAR BUILDING 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 2, 1965 had ATTORNEYS M, MM
L 2 r e a 3 3 E J V w 8 H 4 8 m m a 3 2 5 W wm w l QQ I i [if t 1| I I I. 1| HF I IHLI l i I I l I I l I l I l i I I |l I I l I I I I l l l I I I ll I v f \Iu IIIIII ii L H H H H w M H iii], ,2 H 1 H H 1 R I. 2 m a Q a x M 6 6 0 2 3 3 2 5 June 18, 1968 H. NEWMAN MULTILEVEL MODULAR BUILDING 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed April 2, 1965 June 18, 1968 3,388,512
H. NEWMAN MULTILEVEL MODULAR BUILDING 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed April 2, 1965 Q lllllllllh lllllllllll\ a FIRST FLROF 2 STORY UNIT UTILITY 'omms LIFT TO U PPE R LEVEL INVENTOR.
yfeww/am $5 2 M, MM
United States Patent 0 3,388,512 MULTILEVEL MODULAR BUKLDiNG Harry Newman, 2231 E. 67th St Chicago, ill. 60649 Filed Apr. 2, 1965, Ser. No. 445,223 5 Claims. (Cl. 52-64) This invention relates to a novel building construction and, particularly, to one that is designed to receive and support individual self-contained living units which when mounted in place become a part of the building. The units are removably supported and may be transported in total to a distant site and secured to a building construction to receive same. The frame or structural portion of the building is built to support the individual units and is designed to provide the units with utilities, elevators, stairs, ducts, etc., necessary to service a group of such units.
Conceived originally as an alternative to home ownership, and as a solution to increasing land costs, the highrise apartment building provided competitive space and other home amenities along with proximity to business and city facilities without the equity investment and upkeep associated With home ownership. Today, all that is left of this original concept is the proximity to business and facilities, and some fringe benefits, big lobbies, doormen, swimming pools, etc-conceived in default of the primary requirement, that of providing space. The root and core of home living has been sacrificed, and apartment buildings no longer can compete with homes. The original idea which gave rise to high-rise apartment buildings has been lost.
The basic concept of apartment build ng has not changeda concept rooted in permanence and monumentality as its primary objective-a concept which has underlined building construction for 6000 years and which has never been challenged since the concept has been accepted as an absolute.
Buildings today are still essentially handicrafted products that are produced piecemeal in the field under adverse conditions. During the past five decades, the profiles of apartment buildings, in fact high-rise buildings in general, are unchanged from their predecessors (except for facing materials) and are still basically massive structures offering solid, monolithic faces to the wind. Because of the weight of materials and the basic structural shape of buildings, usually rectangular, they must, by their nature, be heavy and bulky with rigidity and stability built somewhat awkwardly into the rectangular frame (which is inherently weak structurallysimple comparison of the inherent rigidity of a triangular frame with a rectangular one dramatically illustrates the point). These built-in structural requirements, in addition to the basic frame, are necessary to combat the tremendous wind pressures that build up against the face of the structure and support the massive dead loads of materials and superimposed live loads.
With the basic principle of permanence and monumentality accepted as an absolute, architects have turned their attention to appearances and then presume to know how every tenant should live. When apartment space was ample, as in the past, the issue was not so crucial. Tenants could plan their rooms in a number of ways, but with space at such a premium today, the plan resolves itself into a scant number of choices for the tenant-there being usually only one wall for the now underscaled sofa and no place for the piano. Because the plans are so tightly designed with all room sizes and locations set and structural requirements and utility placement set, future changcs and alterations are virtually impossible-and those which can be made are done so at great cost. An attendant problem of such planning has been the transfer of noise from apartment to apartment caused by the placement of one small apartment next to another. Because buildings are handicrafted, they are becoming increasingly more expensive, with the result that in order to keep costs within reason, the amount of living space is reduced ac cordingly. The dedication to permanence in the building trades stitles change and modernization because the space is increasingly less and permanence of features an absolute. This prevents new items, such as bathrooms and kitchens, to name just two, from finding their way naturally into use.
The energies expended in tearing down one structure to replace it with another permanent building serves to divert the energies of the building trade from constructing new structures necessary to alleviate the ever mountting housing problem due to a large rise in population and the desires of more and more people for better and more individual housing.
To all of this are added the changing social and living patterns of people. With greater ease of transportation and ever increasing communication networks, with ever broadening business horizons, the sinking of permanent roots is fast giving way to a broader more diverse base where moving from place to place for short periods of time is necessary and desirable.
It can be appreciated that if the basic structure of a building could be constructed of simple structural members such as prestressed concrete cores that may be prefabricated like pipe and connected in the field, such a structure could be put up in days rather than months. The structural framework would form the complete skeleton and would be totally equipped and engineered to receive individual living units. The framework would provide the major utilities necessary to support the living units and in addition would contain the apparatus necessary to move personnel and goods from floor to floor. The framework would include outwardly extending platforms for receiving and supporting living units. That such a construction would be relatively inexpensive and more readily provided than buildings of the type currently being constructed is self-evident. The basic building structure would be made sufficiently strong to support one or more individual living units at spaced levels. The units, if vertically spaced from an adjacent platform, would permt the how of air thercbetween and prevent the buildup of tremendous pressures. The elimination of such pressures severely reduces the loadings that the structure must be built to withstand. The configuration of the units as noted is built on an aerodynamic principle to offer less resistance to the wind. This provision in itself obviously reduces the necessary bulk of the frame structure required for a building of this type as compared with the conventional design, thereby substantially reducing the cost and the time required to build such a structure.
As illustrated, there is shown a structure made up of four tower cores, but it should be noted that such a system could be expanded by repeating and linking these core members in unlimited variations. It is to be noted that suitable guy wires, or other means, could be employed to provide additional support for the vertically extending support members of the proposed building.
A building frame structure built in this manner would be particularly adapted to receive individual compartments or living units that can be secured to the vertically disposed frame structure and supported in a horizontal plane by radially extending platforms secured to the illustrated cylindrically shaped hollow core members, which double as structural ties for the cores, reducing the l/r ratio of the column cores. These units, which could be made of opaque and transparent sections of Plexiglas and/or fiber glass in combination would be made sufficiently large to provide living accommodations and to include suitably located kitchen and bathroom facilities, which along with the other utilities could be connected up to the hollow core members through which such utilities extend. The individual units could be single level or bilevel affairs and would give the occupant a great deal of flexibility in the design of the interior of such units. The exterior walls of such units would be of the sandwich type in that they would be insulated and provided with the requisite lighting, electrical and heating elements integrated into the wall and floor panels. The units would not depend on any interior support members and thus the rooms could be rearranged at will. Such a unit could be mass-produced at a distant city or factory and moved by helicopter, or some such means, to the frame structure intact. Because the units would make use of new materials in unique configuration, their mass will be substantially reduced in comparison with current construction loads. The advantage of such. an arrangement permits the manufacturer to design such units with great care and skill and also effect substantial economies by being able to massproduce such units in quantities. All the necessary research coud be done at such a factory and the mounting of such units in place could be done in very short order. Such an arrangement is advantageous in that complete units could be replaced when those in existence become obsolete for one reason or another, or parts of units, such as bathrooms or kitchens, which could be unplugged at the main utility core connections and replaced with new improved models.
The units could vary in living area and one such unit being contemplated would have an area on the order of 650 square feet. These units could be joined with adjacent units in the same plane or the next vertical plane to make the total living accommodations for the tenant as large as desired as family needs change. The reverse is also possible.
Such units can be mounted in place by any of a numbers of methods. For example, the individual units could be air-lifted by helicopter to the floor level where the unit is to be located, which unit can then be transferred from the helicopter to the base support structure provided for it by a crane supported by the building frame. If the building was relatively low, then of course the living unit could be placed in position by some ground conveyance.
The units, due to their self-contained construction, could be moved from one building to another in the same or a distant city designed to receive them. A home owner could in fact move from permanent to temporary quarters by removing one of his combination living units with a minimum of cost and would be able to have all the advantages flowing therefrom and would not have any of the problems resulting from having to pack, change his mode of li ing, or make any other adjustments that now occur when a move is undertaken. Of course, a permanent move could also be handled in much the same way and would give the home owner great flexibility. Extensive packing would be eliminated, as most furnishings would be bolted into position and moved with the unit.
In addition, it is recognized that the building could include a heliport for receiving helicopters, concrete balconies for patios, and other things which would occur to 4 those in the business of designing and constructing buildings of this type.
As will be appreciated, the building can take a variety of different forms and would include arrangements employing a central core structure or a plurality of triangularly spaced core structures. Also, the individual units could be circular or elliptical in cross section, or take other forms consistent with good design.
The many arrangements and advantages of this invention will be apparent when considering the following description taken in conjunction with the attached drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 shows an apartment building, or the like, including a plurality of vertically and horizontally spaced living units plus apparatus for adding an additional unit;
FIGURE 2 is a cross-sectional view of the building shown in FIGURE-1 illustrating the interconnection between the units and one form of support structure;
FIGURE 3 is a schematic illustration showing a unit being mounted in place from a helicopter;
FIGURE 4 is a schematic view partially in cross section showing the connections between the utilities and an individual unit;
FIGURE 5 is a vertical cross-sectional view of a living unit mounted in position;
FIGURE 6 is a cross-sectional view showing three elliptical shaped units connected to a central core member;
FIGURE 7 is a view in elevation showing a plurality of units assembled to make up an apartment complex;
FIGURE 8 is a plan view of the arrangement shown in FIGURE 7;
FIGURE 9 is an elevational view of that illustrated in FIGURE 6; and
FIGURE 10 is a view showing a duplex apartment made up of two vertically interconnected living units.
Referring first to FIGURES l and 2, there is illustrated a frame structure consisting of three vertically extending hollow core members 20, 22, 24 each including elevator 26, stairs 28, ducts, utilities and an entrance area leading to an adjacent living unit U. The three cores 20, 22, 24 are made of prestressed concrete or structural steel sections and may be prefabricated and assembled at the site, or poured in place if concrete. The cores are suitably secured in the ground and are additionally supported by guy wires 30 which are aflixed to concrete abutments 32.
The specific details of the units will be discussed hereinafter, but it should be noted at this time that an apartment may either be a complete self-contained unit, or several units linked together, with each unit providing a specific requirement determined by the tenant-owner. Thus, they may be individually sectionalized to form various living areas, such as a bedroom area, a living room, dining room, and kitchen unit, and a third, a recreation area, or any other desired type of accommodations.
As illustrated in FIGURE 2, there are three units 34, 36, 38, each of which is coupled at substantially diametrically opposed portions to adjacent cylindrical core members, and at an intermediate section they are secured to a centrally disposed smaller cylindrical core member 40. The core member 40 is used to provide the various units with utilities such as water, electric power, waste, and so forth, as shown in FIGURE 4.
The individual units are further supported at the various levels relative to the core members by horizontally disposed, transversely extending prestressed beams 42. These beams form an integral part of the building and are made sufliciently strong to assist in support of the units when placed thereon. These beams double as structural ties for the cores, thus reducing the l/r ratio of the column cores. Space is provided between the top of each. unit and the bottom of the beam supporting the next vertical unit. In this way, the units are free of each other and provide much less resistance to wind. This has the additional advantage of requiring less in the way of supporting structure for the units. Since actual connections between apartments are eliminated, the noise problem between units is eliminated and tenants enjoy more privacy.
The specific coupling means that are employed to secure the units to the cylindrical core members and to their respective platforms may take a variety of forms and the details thereof are not important to this invention other than to say that they must be sufficiently strong to accomplish their intended purpose.
As shown in FIGURE 1, an individual unit can be mounted in place by the use of a helicopter and a crane mounted for vertical movement on the core members. The units could be moved to the desired location by the helicopter 50 and then transferred to the desired location relative to core members by the crane 52. A second somewhat similar method that could be used to mount the units in place is shown in FIGURES 2 and 3. In this embodiment, there is a vertically movable platform 54 that is slidably mounted on tracks 56, 58 secured to core members 20, 24. The platform includes a pair of horizontally movable links 60, 62 for receiving a unit from a helicopter 50. The unit, after being located on these links, can be winched laterally onto transversely spaced beams 64, 66 and then into permanent position on beam 42. When disposed on beam 42, the unit will be permanently coupled in place relative to the adjacent core members.
Another basic structural arrangement that could be employed is illustrated in FIGURE 6. In this embodiment, there is used a large centrally disposed cylindrical core member 70 which is made sufficiently large to contain all of the utilities heretofore divided between the three large core members and the central utility core member employed in the version shown in FIGURE 2. Here, the stairs, elevators, and utilities are located in the main cylindrical core 70, and three smaller generally triangular structural supports 72, 74, 76 are located at the appropriate juncture between adjacent living units. These lastmentioned supports are primarily structural, though some utility service could be incorporated in them. A building designed in this fashion is also provided with guy wires in much the same manner as discussed hereinbefore.
A third arrangement is shown in FIGURES 7 and 8 wherein groups of units 100, 102, 104, 106, 108, 110, 112 and 114 are interconnected to form what is generally referred to as an apartment development. This latter arrangement is merely provided to show the great versatility to which this novel concept in building construction can be put.
Turning now to the units themselves, it is noted that they are generally in the form of an ellipsoid. That is to say that they are circular in the horizontal plane and elliptical in the vertical plane. However, as shown in FIG- URE 6, they may well be elliptical in the horizontal plane as well.
These units are structurally complete and can be designed to include suitable kitchen and toilet facilities as well as integrated built-in heaters, molded or attached seating accommodations and other pieces of living room and bedroom furniture. A typical unit would be approximately 24 feet in diameter and on the order of 10 feet high for a single floor unit. If the units are designed to include a mezzanine such as shown in FIGURE 5 of the drawing, the height of a unit would be increased to approximately 16 feet.
The units can be made either of Plexiglas or aluminum with transparent sections of Plexiglas for light, or fiber glass in conjunction with transparent plastics. Also, it could be constructed of an aluminum network covered with plastic. The exterior walls can be provided with suitable lighting equipment, heating, and air conditioning.
Referring specifically to the designs illustrated in the drawings, it is seen that the arrangement disclosed in FIGURE 5 consists of a unit 129 having a bottom floor 122 and a mezzanine 124. Floor 122 could be provided with built-in furniture including dining room furniture which could be dropped into a lower level 126 disposed below the floor 122. Also included are stairs 128 for interconnecting the two levels of the unit and an optional mechanism for a mechanical lift to the mezzanine level.
In the arrangement shown in FIGURE 6, the units which are elliptical in cross section are provided with removable partitions for dividing out the various portions of the single story units illustrated. One of the units 134 is provided with a patio of 136 connected to the outer portion of unit 134. There are illustrated in the embodiment shown in FIGURE 6 various ways in which the unit can be divided up.
Another arrangement that could be employed is shown in FIGURE 10 in which two single story units are interconnected to form a duplex apartment. The lower unit 140 is provided with a balcony 142 and is interconnected to the upper unit 144 by means of an expandable type connection 146. Stairs 148 are disclosed whereby the two units are interconnected. The lower unit is shown as consisting of living and dining room, whereas the upper unit is made of several bedrooms.
While several embodiments have been illustrated and described, it is, of course, obvious that these units can be designed to provide whatever areas are desired. For example, one unit could be a recreation area, study, or provide any other type of accommodation normally found in an apartment or an oflice building, for that matter.
It is, of course, not intended to limit the invention to any pmticular design, but the illustrated embodiments are merely exemplary of various arrangements that could be employed. Also, the particular construction of the living units may vary depending upon the availability of suitable materials, and fabrication techniques, and so this feature is not intended to restrict the scope of the present invention.
It is also noted that it is not necessary that axially spaced supports be used for supporting each individual unit. The supports can be more widely spaced for providing a structural support to the column and are not needed for the units themselves.
What is claimed is:
1. A building construction comprising three triangu- Iarly spaced hollow columns designed to carry utilities therein, supplementary supports for said columns, a central core member located within the area formed by said columns, a plurality of longitudinally spaced horizontally extending support means secured to said columns, living units secured to said columns and located on said support means in spaced relationship, said living units being aerodynamically shaped to reduce wind resistance, and means for securing said units to said columns and core support.
2. A building construction comprising three spaced columns disposed in triangular arrangement, a central core column positioned within the area bounded by said three columns at substantially the midpoint thereof, at least One of said four columns carrying utilities therein, vertically spaced support means interconnecting said three spaced columns, and a plurality of horizontally and vertically disposed space-enclosing units disposed within the spaces defined by said three columns and core column, each of said space-enclosing units being secured to two of said three columns and core column and supported on said support means.
3. A building construction as described in claim 2, in which said space-enclosing units are located on said support means in spaced relationship and are aerodynamically shaped to reduce wind resistance.
4. A building construction as described in claim 2, including supplementary means for providing support for said three spaced columns.
5. A building construction as described in claim 2 including means connected to some of said columns for moving said living units relative to said columns and placing said units on said support means.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,499,498 3/1950 Hammond a- 5279 X 3,226,727 12/1965 Frey 52-83 X FOREIGN PATENTS 74,311 11/1960 France.
1,269,080 7/ 1961 France.
8 75,926 7/ 1961 France. 1,230,007 3/ 1960 France. 1,280,768 11/1961 France.
809,626 2/ 1959 Great Britain.
OTHER REFERENCES German printed application 1,119,499, December 1961.
HENRY C. SUTHERLAND, Primary Examiner. 10 M. O. WARNECKE, Assistant Examiner.