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Publication numberUS3395502 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 6, 1968
Filing dateMay 17, 1965
Priority dateMay 17, 1965
Publication numberUS 3395502 A, US 3395502A, US-A-3395502, US3395502 A, US3395502A
InventorsChristian Frey
Original AssigneeChristian Frey
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Compression modular building
US 3395502 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 6, 1968 c. FREY 3,395,502

COMPRESSION MODULAR BUILDING Filed May 17, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR- Fl chrisr'iun frey BY *M Aug. 6, 1968 c. FREY 3,395,502

COMPRESSION MODULAR BUILDING Filed May 17, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 I INVENTOR. christian frey BY fi w-flaz u .u w, 1

g- 1968 c. FREY 3,395,502

COMPRES S I ON MODULAR BUILD ING Filed May 17, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Fl 6 4 INVENTOR. christian frey BY We -42m! 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed May 17, 1965 FIGT.

FIGS.

INVENTOR. christian frey Aug. 6, 1968 c FREY 3,395,502

COMPRESSION MODULAR BUILDING Filed May 17, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR. chnsucm frey BY m am be United States Patent 3,395,502 COMPRESSION MODULAR BUILDING Christian Frey, 50 7th Ave., San Francisco, Calif. 94118 Filed May 17, 1965, Ser. N0. 456,153 7 Claims. (Cl. 5273) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A compression modular building including a plurality of substantially identical prefabricated modular units which have floor, ceiling and wall portions integrally connected together and defining a three dimensional portion, the wall panels of which are connected to a tower supporting the modules in superposed relation. The tower is preferably formed of a plurality of load transmitting elements, each having a height equal to the height of one module, with these load transmitting elements of the tower increasing progressively in structural strength from the top of the column toward the bottom.

This invention relates to architectural structures and more particularly to multiple unit buildings of stacked modules and a novel method for constructing the same.

In accordance with this invention, multiple unit buildings such as apartment houses, homes for the elderly,

motels, dormitories, places of business and the like are constructed of prefabricated or substantially prefabricated modules, stacked one on top of the other, circumferentially distributed around a tower along the height of the tower.

The tower and modules are constructed independently with the tower design influencing module design only if a strict mathematical design concept is followed for grouping the modules circumferentially around the tower. If this is not the case, a free grouping of the modules around the tower is possible. In fact, this method frees the building industry from its frozen immobility by its columnbeam concept also called column-grid system dictated by plan design with no escape into the third dimension, be cause every floor will be the same once the column-grid system has been decided upon.

In my case, I have developed a novel method which is the result of analytical logic by critically anatomizing the building physics of present day highrise structures.

As major components of such structures, I identify: (1) elevators, (2) stairway, and (3) living or working area. These three major areas are not interrelated because a living area is not an elevator, etc. The only common denominator which the three major areas have are ingress and egress and that elevators and stairways are commonly identified as the core of highrise structures, be it for apartments or places of business.

I would like todraw a parallel to clarify my method of solution for only that portion of the building I am interested in and as much as I see: (1) elevators and stairways as the motherbody, (2) the area for living as the daughter modules, and (3) the area for Working as the son modules. Since I am only concerned with the daughter and son modules, I will enlarge my parallel and compare the modules with human bodies.

Now for the human body, the main physically outstanding feature is that the body is being carried by a vertebral column which again is composed by dorsal vertebrae.

In accordance with this invention, I imitate this biological phenomenon in architectural terms by providing a central column made of a series of core sections arranged end to end with each core section strong enough tocarry a surrounding occupiable area by structural cantilever. Each core section may carry tensile forces from one occupiable area, and the core section should also be computed for its compression as related to its position as a stacked module at the tower (motherbody). In other words, the core of the module should be able to carry all stacked modules above its own position at the tower. The clue of this invention is that the module design itself is not affected by the computed vertical dead and life load of other stacked modules which means that the bottom module of, say a twenty-five story building, is exactly the same as e.g. the module on the nineteenth floor or at any other floor. Only the compressive strength and lateral forces imposed on its core change, with which the building industry by its column beam system is familiar and has been for hundreds of years. It is also possible that the core of the module could be centric or eccentric. It i also possible that the module could be carried by one or more core systems. We are now entering the age of the plastic design in engineering and as such it is evident in this case that a total vertibral column could reflect a curvature and two or more of such configurations could result in a tree like core structure, with themodules of different shapes at different locations around or in reasonable proximity of the tower (motherbody) allowing new architectual expressions in sculpture like structures.

Just as an exercise in architecture, although away from invention, the same analytical logic is applicable to the tower body (motherbody). This towel-body could easily be built in a concrete slip form with standard -150 pounds of reinforcing but with modules in a free config uration and exposure (airspace). The architect might design also this t-ower in a more imaginative way of which I will illustrate an example later on for clarification of the infinite design possibilities.

Before entering into the anatomy of the stacked module, I first take a closer look at the core (dorsal vertebrae).

As explained before, this core can be an integral part of the module with possible compression and tension rings in this core for its own structural configuration. It is evident that the core could also be independent from the module, in which case the module should have its own core as part of the module envelope and could be identified as the secondary module core. This secondary core should be designed larger than the carrying core (dorsal vertebrae) or as the completed column the vertebral column.

By this design solution, it would be advantageous to prefabricate the column in sections and to assemble it to required height or length at the site to be hoisted into position. It is also possible to have these prefabricated column units slipped into the three dimensional prefabricated housing unit to be secured and again the module would be completed for its dual function: (1) first to carry its own dead and life load, and (2) to carry all dead and life loads from the modules above itself.

Before leaving this subject, it is understood that the total structural design will be derived from the moments, shears and reactions induced by the loads. Because of the statically indeterminate nature of the structure be it in part (module) or in whole (completed building), the distribution of moments, shears and reactions is affected by the shapes and sizes of the members combined with their elastic module, that is their stifiness factors. Selection of sizes and shapes are concurrent with the load and stress analysis. It is the purpose of the inventor to introduce man-y new materials to be employed into the module, e.g. sandwich panels.

There are no special problems expected for the overall engineering and lateral forces can be distributed towards an access tower by interconnecting modules and further towards the tower for-transverse rigidity. The design of the core of a stacked module is basically very simple. In our case, for illustration purposes, we have employed an hexagonal configuration. This core can be easily constructed from standard steel mill products. The perimeter of this core should be made uniform in other words to have uniform modular enclosures. The mantle of this core will be adjusted and designed as in standard building practices. In other words, to stack the units one upon the other, we propose a simple collar design to facilitate easy stacking and standard bolting or welding systems to be employed. If the design of the core is large enough, all these manual operations could be done from the inside of the core sections. In that case steel runs should be provided for access from top or bottom. It is also possible to use this core as a central service shaft for hot and cold water, waste lines, electrical supply, etc. It is evident that the design of the structural core can be of any design to best fit the structural solution of both the module and the stacking or lifting principles chosen for the desired type of building involved.

The use of a plurality of prefabricated modules in this invention has many advantages. The module manufacturer or combined groups of manufacturers have substantially complete freedom in designing or having designed modules for the building and the potential building tenant has a wide freedom in selecting the housing or business unit he wants to use in a volume of space, to be leased or bought. This is also the case in housing projects and the like.

A number of very substantial advantages are obtained by constructing buildings in this manner. Each of the separate modules, which are to be stacked next to the motherbody, may be constructed under ideal conditions in a factory where all required tools and power machinery are readily accessible and where plumbing and electrical wiring supplies and the like may be available in abundance. The modules may be completely prefabricated and furnished at the factory before they are shipped to their ultimate position at the site and stacked around the central tower as designed. When the modules are substantially completed in a factory in this manner, the building construction can progress uniformly throughout the year, regardless of weather conditions, leaving only the service or central tower for construction during the normal con struction season.

In some situations, as where shipping of the module to the site may present problems, the module may be prefabricated in small sections at the factory and assembled at the site before it is raised, lifted, jacked or stacked into place. It is also possible to lift or stack more than one unit module at a time or any other combination or series of units to be lifted, raised, jacked or stacked.

The provisions of module buildings of this type permits the use of a wide variety of structural designs and materials for the individual modules. From basic compression to stressed skim is a long range of possibilities. It is evident that the use of light weight building construction would be very desirable and in mass fabrication would make it possible to use materials which were heretofore too expensive.

The construction of stacked modules for module buildings according to this invention offers new opportunities for all those associated with the building trade and for many concerns which have been unable to complete in the building construction industry.

New materials which are being developed might find their outlet and application here as, for example, new glass, plastics in all kinds of combinations, and all other unconventional materials.

The opportunity for the architect and builder to use radically new three dimensional shapes are exciting and a design challenge. Automobile, trailer, and air frame manufacturers could diversify their operations into this field.

Each module is preferably a self-contained prefabricated unit with its own service elements as plumbing, wiring, heating and/or cooling units installed if so desired. The amount and type of fixtures and the like will differ as to what purpse the prefabricated units will be used, which ranges from low-cost highrise apartment buildings to the ultimate penthouse configuration.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description of several embodiments of the invention, reference being made to the attached drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a horizontal sectional view, somewhat schematic, and showing the inner cores of the modules;

FIG. 2 is a horizontal plan section of a free-form tower configuration with modules stacked in different configurations of form and stacked around the towerbody as a solution of an infinite number of design possibilities;

FIG. 3 is a vertical section through a stacked building composition, showing part of the towerbody, while the core system of the modules are integrated portions of the stacked modules;

FIG. 4 is an elevation of a free-form towerbody with stacked modules in a free configuration of groupings of forms and shapes;

FIG. 5 is a somewhat schematic plan section of a core in a hexagon shape for illustration and clarification purposes, this core having a dual function of carrying the module envelope and performing a portion of the total carrying function of all above stacked modules per design;

FIG. 6 is a vertical section through a module and illustrating the dual function of the core, carrying its own module and supporting through the core all the modules above as illustrated in the modules on the left sides of FIGS. 1 and 3 in the area denoted AA therein;

FIG. 7 is an isometric projection of the module illustrating the protruding collar-stacking system; 7

FIG. 8 is a somewhat schematic plan section of an alternative core in a given hexagonal shape, the dotted line indicating the so-called secondary core of the module, which has to be secured to the carrying inner core;

FIG. 9 is a vertical sectional view of a portion of a stack of modular building units where each unit is made of a prefabricated core of FIG. 8 and a prefabricated three dimensional living unit as shown in the right hand side of FIGS. 1 and 3 in the area denoted B-B therein; and

FIG. 10 is an isometric projection of one of the modules of FIG. 9, the separate inner core column being shown in the process of being lowered into module center.

FIGURE 1 Referring now in detail to the drawings, there is illustrated the central tower, called above the motherbody, containing the following components: Number 1 is the enclosure of the body, which can be a simple concrete slip form mantle with l20150 lbs. of reinforcing. Number 2 is the elevators, with the number of elevators depending upon the height of the building and the number of apartments or people (e.g., business) served. Number 3 is a dual stairway construction according to building codes. Number 4 denotes corridor and entrance ways. Numbers 5, 6 and 7 are three dimensional modules containing core members 3, 9, and 10, respectively, illustrated in greater detail in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7. Numbers 11, 12 and 13 are the stacked modules in the same mathematical configuration, with a dual core further explained in FIGS. 8, 9 and 10. Numbers 14, 15 and 16 identify these dual cores. Numbers 17 and 18 illustrate optional connections between modules to create access to and enlarge a module area as required. The modular system provides airspace 19 around the modules. How much airspace is required for stacking to facilitate field engineering will differ.

FIGURE 2 This is a possible plan section for a free-form embodiment of a stacked module building concept. The enclosure of the tower is called the motherbody. This concept contains the following components: the elevators 20; stairways 22 as required by building code, to be interior stairways or so-called smoke towers; corridors and entrance ways 23 to stacked modules; a special module 24 with a terrace extension 25 secured to column 31; two modules 26 and 27 hooked together before being stacked into place; a square module 28; one module 29 with two cores; and compression cores 30, 31, 32, 33, 34 and 35 for the different modules.

FIGURE 3 FIG. 3 shows a vertical section thereof of a building similar to that shown in FIG. 1 and like reference numerals have been applied to like parts. Additionally, these figures illustrate foundation plate 36, which may not be used under specific soil conditions; a schematically shown supply line 37, which can be hot and cold water, waste line, electrical and mechanical as possible by design concept; a module 38, being only a terrace configuration; two story module configures 39, and 41; and bracing 42 of built-up column core, to tower. As already discussed, many more bracings may be introduced, from, for example, the module to the module to the tower body and possibly also bridgeentrance way connections, etc.

FIGURE 4 FIG. 4 illustrates in elevation a building similar to that shown in FIG. 2. The importance of this elevation is to show the almost complete freedom for three-dimensional design configurations. As already mentioned in the introduction, when the supporting core members are designed with deformed characteristics, it is possible to create treelike structures.

This is possible because I can allow airspace, just as in a sculpture, to become part of the overall design. The penalty is relative, since I only have to build additional length of core members, which are fractions of the building construction.

FIGURE 4 is similar to FIG. 3 and like reference numerals have been used to identify like parts.

Additionally, this figure illustrates typical end column bracings 42 and half spheres 43 and 44 and a combination of the half spheres.

FIGURES 5, 6 and 7 These figures illustrate the stacking of the modules on the left hand sides of FIGS. 1 and 3 in the area indicated A-A therein. We know that the Russians have and are employing the concrete box module system. This system might be qualified as the brute force approach and is in fact an approach in which the box was a slice from a standard high-rise building concept. This slice, which formerly Was the typical column-beam system, has now been realized into a heavy concrete box. This box by the limitations of concrete had to be over-designed with reinforcing, even with prestressing systems, to allow it to be used as a building block. Because of the tremendous dead load and field engineering problems, the sizes of these blocks had to be limited and only combinations of blocks would result in an adequate area for living and sleeping. Habitat 67, in Montreal proposes a similar feat for a 24 story complex of concrete boxes. The cost was so prohibitive that financing was impossible. With government help and a reduction to a 12 story system, they will try again. The brute force, as is probably already understood, has to be carried by all the walls of the box or module.

As discussed before, I call the module the daughter and the core the dorsal vertebrae. My invention departs completely from the philosophy of brute force because the walls of my modules are non-load bearing walls. The whole dead and live load configurations, as they will occur, are concentrated towards a predesigned area, be it centered or eccentric. In this area we receive and distribute by simple compression practices all the dead and live loads as a hollow column concept, made from standard steel mill products. There will not the savings in material but the module itself has been freed from its frozen environment and can now be mass produced. Here is the enormous savings in time and money.

These figures illustrate a wall section 6 continuing into a ceiling system. The floor by necessity is a cantilevered construction, secured to the all carrying core portion. This core 9 can be of standard structural steel, or with sheet metal or any other combination. In schematics is shown the different strength of this core in the mantle thickness differences of this core, the compressive strength decreasing progressively from module to module as the height of the building increases. A simple collar design, which can be bolted or welded from the inside according to engineering data, is illustrated. As also shown, this system of enclosure has a resemblance to a monoque system, which might well be the case if so desired.

Also illustrated are metal runs for access 45. If the design of the central core allows it, all kind of piping 46, mechanical and electrical, can be incorporated. The basic simple collar design is illustrated at 47 FIGURES 8, 9 and 10 Here the core system has temporarily been divorced from the module to be stacked into position at the tower and as such can be prefabricated. As discussed before, the module has non-bearing walls and as such could not be stacked and would be useless for my purpose.

Here the parallel with the human body becomes clear and makes sense. Our body without the vertebral column would collapse and just missing a dorsal vertebrae would immobilize the whole body structure, as such then we have the envelope, the module with a secondary core 50 to complete the envelope. In each module regardless of the design configuration, a carrying core (dorsal vertebrae) has to support the module body, and X-members of such stacked core members then become the vertebral column, in this case the completed structural column as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4.

Two cores 15 and 50, prefabricated above and on the three dimensional building respectively, are illustrated, which have to be connected per design, and it is just a matter of schematics how I will make this core and in what material with or without prestressing or poststressing.

For illustration purposes, the free space 51 between the modules has been overdesigned and it is easily understood that this airspace can be decreased to any size required and allowable by sensitive engineering and production processes.

While specific embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described in detail herein, it is obvious that many modifications thereof may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

I claim:

1. The method of making a building of predetermined height which comprises:

(A) erecting an access column on, the ground with said column having a plurality of exterior openings therein at progressive elevations above the ground and a vertically extending access passageway therein for human passage from the ground to said exterior openings,

(B) prefabricating a plurality of building units (1) with each of said units having a height which is an integral multiple of the distance between said elevations of said column, and

(2) with each of said units having (a) a three dimensional portion defining a volume of occupiable space, and

(b) a support portion on which said three dimensional portion is mounted,

(3) the three dimensional portions of all of said building units having substantially similar compressive strengths, and

(4) the support portions of said building units having ditferent compressive strengths which form a series of progressively greater compressive strengths,

(C) forming said building units into a plurality of stacks of building units by (1) placing one of said building units on top of another one of said building units which has a support portion of greater compressive strength than said one building unit with the support portions of said building units in load transmitting relation with each other, and

(2) progressively placing on top of said building units in a similar manner additional ones of said building units which have support portions of progressively decreasing compressive strength, and

(D) connecting each of said stacks of building units to said column to impart lateral stability thereto.

2. The method of making a building which comprises:

(A) prefabricating a plurality of three dimensional modular building units with all of said units having similar compressive strengths,

(B) prefabricating a plurality of compression units having progressively greater compressive strengths,

(C) attaching one of said modular units to each of said compression units, and

(D) stacking said compression units upon each other with the compression units of greater compressive strength underneath and supporting the compression units of lesser compressive strength.

3. The method of making a building which comprises:

(A) erecting an access column on the ground with said column having a plurality of exterior openings therein at progressive elevations above the ground and a vertically extending access passageway therein for human passage from the ground to said exterior openings,

(B) prefabricating a plurality of three dimensional modular building units with all of said units having similar compressive strengths,

(C) prefabricating a plurality of compression units having progressively greater compressive strengths with each of said compression units having a length which is an integral multiple of the distance between said elevations of said column,

(D) attaching one of said modular units to each of said compression units,

(E) stacking said compression units in a plurality of stacks adjacent to said column with the compression units of greater compressive strength in each of said stacks underneath and supporting the compression units of lesser compressive strength in each of said stacks, and with each of said modular units in said stacks communicating with one of said exterior openings, and

(F) connecting each of said stacks of compression units to said column to impart lateral stability thereto.

4. A multistory building which comprises:

(A) a plurality of modular building units with each of said modular units having a support portion and a three dimensional portion mounted on said support portion projecting laterally therefrom and defining a volume of occupiable space, and

(B) positioning means positioning said modular building units in a vertical stack with said support portions of said building units connected together end to end for transmission of compressive loads from upper building units in said stack to lower building units in said stack solely through said support portions.

5. The building of claim 4 characterized further in that each of said modular building units has a center of mass, and said center of mass of each of said building units lies within said support portion of that building unit.

6. The building of claim 4 in which the compressive strength of each of said support portions in said stack is greater than the compressive strength of the support portion above it in said stack.

7. A multistory building which comprises:

(A) an access column mounted on the ground and having a plurality of exterior openings therein at progressive elevations above the ground and a vertically extending access passageway therein for human passage from the ground to said exterior openings,

(B) a plurality of modular building units with each of said modular building units having a support portion and a three dimensional portion mounted on said support portion and projecting laterally therefrom and defining a volume of occupiable space,

(C) said modular building units being connected to each other in a plurality of vertically extending stacks of building units adjacent to said column with each of said stacks of building units including a plurality of said building units communicating with said exterior openings in said column and with the support portions thereof connected together end to end for transmission of compressive loads from upper building units to lower building units in said stack solely through said support portions, and

(D) generally horizontally extending structural members connecting said column to the support portion of at least one of said building units adjacent to the top of each of said stacks for imparting lateral stability to said stacks.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,128,463 8/1938 Kaufman 52726 3,289,382 12/1966 Van der Lely 5279 X FOREIGN PATENTS 827,408 1952 Germany. 572,894 1958 Italy. 1,280,768 1961 France.

OTHER REFERENCES Interbuild, vol. 6, No. 3, p. 10, March 1959. Popular Mechanics, p. 113, December 1959.

JOHN E. MURTAGH, Primary Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3527002 *Feb 15, 1968Sep 8, 1970Austin & MeadModular building structure
US3719012 *Jul 24, 1970Mar 6, 1973Laurent FTower-construction with overhangs to support light-weight dwellings
US3742666 *Sep 7, 1971Jul 3, 1973Anvan M E Syst IncUnitized utility distribution system
US4656799 *Apr 28, 1986Apr 14, 1987Stratatowers CorpSuper high-rise buildings
US4723381 *Sep 22, 1986Feb 9, 1988Straumsnes O RobertPrefabricated multiple dwelling
US4736557 *Apr 2, 1987Apr 12, 1988Stratatowers CorporationSuper high-rise buildings
US5884437 *Dec 24, 1996Mar 23, 1999Olsen; Eric R.Non rectangular building modules
US6868639 *Aug 16, 2000Mar 22, 2005Ray R. GunthardtForce resistant architecture
US7269925 *Jun 14, 2002Sep 18, 2007Wei Chak Joseph LamLayout of production facility
US8256168 *Oct 8, 2010Sep 4, 2012Bigger George SStructure comprising hexagonal tubes and rhomboid inserts
US8621786 *Feb 13, 2003Jan 7, 2014Wei Chak Joseph LamEfficient layout and design of production facility
US20110086189 *Oct 8, 2010Apr 14, 2011Bigger George SStructure comprising hexagonal tubes and rhomboid inserts
WO2002014630A1 *Aug 1, 2001Feb 21, 2002Gunthardt RayForce resistant architecture
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/73, 52/79.13, D25/4, D25/32, 52/745.4, D25/6, 52/79.4
International ClassificationE04B1/348, E04B1/34, E04B1/00
Cooperative ClassificationE04B2001/0084, E04B1/34823, E04B1/3404
European ClassificationE04B1/348C2, E04B1/34B