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Publication numberUS3449877 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 17, 1969
Filing dateJul 11, 1966
Priority dateJul 11, 1966
Publication numberUS 3449877 A, US 3449877A, US-A-3449877, US3449877 A, US3449877A
InventorsBeckman Ronald H
Original AssigneeMiller Herman Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Space divider
US 3449877 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

R. H. BECKMAN SPACE DIVIDER Jane 17, 1969 Sheet Filed July ll, 1966 INV NTOR. A @www .550w/f Kin/yad@ June 17, 1969 R. H. BECKMAN SPACE DIVIDER Filed July 11, 1966 INVENTOR. fd/l 4./ ZKM/4# f77/Paix? R. H. BECKMAN SPACE DIVIDER June 17, 1969 Sheet Filed July l1. 1966 June 17, 1969 R. H. BECKMAN SPACE DIVIDER Sheet Filed July 11. 1966 vul.

INVENTOR. @fw/ www United States Patent 3,449,877 SPACE DIVIDER Ronald H. Beckman, New Canaan, Conn., assgnor to Herman Miller, Inc., Zeeland, Mich., a corporation of Michigan Filed Jully 11, 1966, Ser. No. 564,404 Int. Cl. E04b 2/82 U.S. Cl. 52-238 1 Claim ABSTRACT 0F THE DISCLOSURE A space divider system incorporating a series of sectionalized pole structures including spaced, facing channels adapted to slideably receive the edges of the panels. The interiors of the channels are provided with depressible, resilient means for holding the panels in compression after they have been installed in the syste-m. Each of the panel-receiving channels is formed by two separate upright members connected by spaced, rectangular connectors. Panels may be removed by removing the uprights at each side thereof and withdrawing the entire panel from the particular wall with which it has been associated.

This invention relates to space dividers and, more particularly, to oor-to-ceiling space dividers particularly adapted for dividing a relatively large room into a plurality of discrete working areas.

Frequently, the business demands of an oflice arrangement change so greatly over a period of time that a completely different arrangement of 4work areas becomes desirable. These changes presently necessitate full scale remodeling with attendant expense and work disruption. In recent years, some small degree of flexibility has been achieved by employing wall panels which can be dismounted from one particular location and remounted in another location. Such systems as are presently available have proved unsatisfactory for a number of reasons, particularly insofar as concerns the floor to ceiling type of enclosures to which this invention pertains.

Initially, and perhaps most importantly, space divider systems now available suffer from a lack of flexibility which is often times so serious as to render them completely unsatisfactory for a particular job. That is to say, that the number of possible configurations which may be achieved is often relatively small while the number of dilferent types of components necessary to achieve those possible configurations is relatively large. For example, an eicient space dividing system should be capable of making either a right-angle turn, a four-way intersection, or a perpendicular intersection between walls without necessitating the provision and utilization of different types of co-rner posts. More particularly, the emphasis should be on the universal utilization of one standard component for a number of possible cornering configurations instead of the utilization of a number of different types of components to achieve the same or a similar result. As pointed out previously, present systems do not provide this flexibility. Thus, if it is desired to turn a given wall at a right angle a different type of cornering device must be utilized than that which would be utilized were it desirable to continue the wall in a straight forward direction or to form a four-cornered intersection.

Another serious problem with space dividing systems currently available is that the tolerances are extremely critical. Thus, shrinkage, swelling or warping of divider panels renders their removal or reinstallation extremely difficult if, in fact, they are usable at all. Even if panels having satisfactory dimensional stability during service were available, the practical difficulty of installing the permanent components of the system with the precise spacings which would enable the utilization of a standard divider panel throughout the system is often times insurmountable. This difiiculty stems in large part from the fact that the room or enclosure to be divided is frequently of nonuniform cross sectional dimensions.

Present dividers of this type are frequently secured together by anchor means which are so diflicult to manipulate that substantial labor costs are involved in any attempt to modify the system. Frequently, different types of anchor means used in different portions of the divider rendering the panels and posts non-interchangable. To satisfy the requirements of concealment of the mechanical features of the system, concealment means are frequently used which cause such panel damage that the panels are not reusable when it is attempted to reorganize the system.

Another drawback of presently available divider systems is the inability of the divider panel to perform any other function than merely dividing, or serving as a door or a window. It has been found that both a more eicient utilization of space and a considerable enhancement of the working environment can be achieved by relying on the walls of an enclosure to support all or part of the work areas to be utilized by the occupant. Thus, a desk may have only two supporting legs while having its opposite ends supported at the wall. Alternatively, the desk may be entirely supported by the wall. In a similar manner, bookcases and other types of storage areas may be mounted directly to the Walls.

Finally, there is the ever present problem of initial cost and maintenance. The different types of supports currently utilized in divider systems substantially increase the cost of such systems. For example, instead of utilizing one extrusion die, the manufacturer must provide a die for each type of cornering assembly to be fabricated. The tolerance problems previously lmentioned add to the initial cost and maintenance problem in an evident manner. Further, once the installation has been completed, access to the inner-Wall spaces within the assembly can be gained only with great diiculty. Such access is highly desirable as power and communication cables may be run within the wall spaces `and thus the necessity of installing such services into the floors of the room eliminated providing a substantial saving in installation costs.

It is an object of this invention to provide a space divider system which is not subject to the above outlined disadvantages.

More particularly, it s an object of this invention to provide a space divider system `which has a relatively large degree of flexibility insofar as concerns the number of possible configurations which may be achieved within a given area and yet, utilizes only one type of universal anchor pole.

angsrr l v It is an object of this invention to provide a universal sectionalized pole for utilization in a space divider system of the type described which is capable of forming either a four-corner intersection, an L-shaped intersection, a T-shaped intersection or a straight wall continuation.

-It is an object of this invention to provide a space divider assembly which inherently compensates for tolerance accumulations.

More particularly/,it is an object of this invention to provide a space divider system wherein shrinkage, swelling-.or warping of the divider panels will not seriously affect the overall function or appearance of the space divider system and wherein, likewise, minor imperfections in the dimensions of the room being divided or in the dimensioning of the permanently installed equipment willnot seriously affect the function or appearance of the system.

-It is an object of this invention to provide a space divider assembly wherein individual divider panels may be removed and replaced by different types of divider panels with relative ease.

' It is another object of this invention to provide an integrated space divider system wherein the divider panels, in addition to functioning as walls, doors and windows, have means integrally associated therewith whereby storage and work facilities may be wholly or partially supported on the divider panels.

It is an object of this invention to provide an integrategrated space divider system wherein the work and storage areas may run along each of the converging walls forming a corner and extend into abutting relationship with the corner post while depending directly upon the wall for suspending support.

It is an object of this invention to provide a space divider system wherein initial acquisition and installation costs are minimized by the provision of a universal an- Choring component.

It is an object of this invention to provide a space divider assembly wherein the electrical power and communications cables may traverse the area of the room to be divided within the divider assembly and thus eliminate the necessity for installing these components in the floor prior to installation of the divider system, thus freezing the system against future modications.

It is an object of this invention to provide a space divider system utilizing sectionalized anchor poles through which communications and power cables can be run as a means of providing such utilities at levels other than that adjacent the floor of the room and at the same time providing access without removal of the cables from the core of the anchor pole.

It is another object of this invention to provide a space dividerassembly wherein provision is made for adjusting the vertical attitude of the divider panels after they are in place.

It is an object of this invention to provide a space divider assembly employing a novel guide and elevational adjustment assembly abutting the floor whereby the panels may be raised into engaging relationship with the ceiling components after they have been installed.

These and other objects of this invention will be clearly understood by reference to the following specification and accompanying figures in which:

FIG. 1 is a broken perspective view of the universal sectionalized pole;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the accessory anchoring channel and attached divider panel anchoring plate which forms one component of the universal sectionalized pole;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along line III- III of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a plan view, in partial cross-section, of the universal sectionalized pole showing, in particular, the details ofthe panel compression assembly;

FIG. 5- is a broken front-elevational view of a representative divider panel;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of the divider panel shown in FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a broken front-elevational view of one partition and its associated stabilization mechanism;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view taken along line VIII- VIII of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view taken along line IX- IX of FIG. 7;

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary plan view of the upper base channel;

FIG. l1 is a fragmentary, broken side-elevational view illustrating the manner in which the upper base channel is slidably supported by the support posts;

FIG. l2 is a fragmentary, broken side-elevational view showing a representative partition and its associated mechanism along with `a representative mode of electrical and communications cabling therefor;

FIG. 13 is a broken plan view showing selected eX- amples of the relatively large number of possible coniigurations which may be obtained by utilizing the space divider assembly which is the subject of the instant invention; and

FIG. 14 is a fragmentary perspective view of an enclosure illustrating the manner in which work and storage accessories may be supported above the floor by the partition assembly.

Briefly, this invention comprises a means of subdividing the space within an enclosure utilizing a plurality of spaced support posts extending from the Hoor to the ceiling. It consists essentially of spaced main posts between which are mounted a plurality of panels each joined to the other by a pole. One-divider pole is attached to the main post for each panel abutting the post as the means of securing the adjacent panels to the post. Each of the divider poles consists of a pair of identical extrusions joined to a plurality of rectangular annuli. The extrutions simultaneously provide the securing lock for the panels and vertical mounting channels for both wiring and work area units such as desks, tables and storage units. Compressible, resilient means are interposed between the edge of each panel and each divider post. These are compressed when the panel is installed. This compression load is transmitted from one panel to another so that all panels between a pair of the main posts form a continuous wall held in resiliently adjustable compression which automatically adjusts for variations in manufacturing tolerances and for subsequent dimensional changes due to swelling or shrinkage.

Referring now to the figures, a preferred embodiment of this invention will be described in detail. FIGS. l, 2, 3 and 4 illustrate the details of the universal sectionalized pole assembly which forms the heart of the current space divider assembly. A pair of anodized aluminum extrusions 11 each having an accessory anchoring channel 12 therein, are aixed to opposite sides of a plurality of spaced pole connectors 22. Anchor channels 12 are bounded by a U-shaped section 13 having a pair of facial plates integral with the legs thereof as shown. Preferably, the converging sections 15 of the facial plates 14 are of greater thickness than the diverging sections 16. This greater thickness effectively strengthens the supporting characteristics of the accessory anchoring channel 12 While necessitating only a thin overlap at the panel intersections.

A threaded aperture 17 (FIG. 3) is provided in the upper extremity of the base section of the anchoring channel and a plurality of countersunk, cap screw receiving apertures 18 are provided along the length thereof. A stabilization tab 19 is rigidly affixed to the lower section of the anchoring channel 12 as shown best in FIGS. 2 and 3. The tab 19 has a section 21 extending below the extrusion 11 and may, for example, be spot welded to the channel 12.

A plurality of pole connectors 22, which are preferably rectangular in shape, have tapped apertures 23 on opposite sides thereof. Non-tapped apertures 28, the purpose of which will be discussed hereinafter, are provided on adjacent opposite sides of the connectors. The extrusions 11 are affixed to the connectors in the manner indicated generally in FIGS. 1 and 4. Any well-known means such as cap screws 22 may be utilized for this purpose. The cap screws pass through the holes 18 in the bases of the anchoring channels 12 and thread into apertures 23 in pole connectors 24. The pole connectors 22 are in effect rectangular annuli, each only an inch or at the most a few inches in length. The combined length of all of the pole connectors used on a pole is only a fraction of the total length of the pole. They may be manufactured by cutting slices of the appropriate length from a rectangular tube. Their cross-sectional dimensions will be governed by the thickness of the panels with which the pole is to be used. This construction provides, in addition to the two accessory anchoring channels 12, a pair of divider panel anchoring channels indicated generally by the reference numeral 25 in FIG. 4. Those sides of pole connectors 22 which abut extrusions 11 will always be of the same width as extrusions 11. The other sides of the pole connectors may be varied -for any particular installation in accordance with the width dimensions of the particular divider panels to be utilized. Of course, these dimensions normally will be kept constant lwithin any one assembly since interchangeability of components is one of the salutory features of this invention.

A panel compression assembly 30 (see FIG. 4) is provided on the opposite surfaces of each of the divider panel anchoring channels 25. This assembly consists of a strip of low density foam tape 31 having an extruded tape cap 32 positioned thereover. The tape cap 32 has a central bearing portion 33 and a pair of side flanges 34 Iwhich curve back toward the outer face of the side section to which the associated Ifoam tape strip is affixed. The panel compression assembly runs the entire length of the sectionalized pole assembly. The foam tape 31 compresses as the edge of a divider panel is inserted into the panel anchoring channel and functions continually to exert an outward thrust or compression force thereagainst.

Referring now to FIGS. 5 and 6, the details of an illustrative divider panel will be described. The panel 40 may be fabricated from any of a number of suitable types of wood, metal, Fiberglas, glass, plasterboard, or combination thereof, as is well-known in the paneling art. Additionally, the panel may incorporate a door or a window, such panels being selectively placed according to the over-all floor plan of the divider system.

The divider panel 40 has an upper stabilization slot 41 which consists of a groove running laterally across the top of the door. The purpose of this slot will become apparent hereinafter. A right-angle recess 42 runs the length of each of the four corners of the panel so as to form a tongue 43 on each side thereof which is adapted to mate with the panel anchoring channels 25 of the sectionalized pole assembly 10. The lower panel stabilization assembly 44 consists of a plurality of pan-head sheet metal screws 45, each having a mating washer 46. The screws are placed along the bottom surface of the divider panel at regular intervals.

Referring now to FIGURES 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12, the preferred mode for installing and adjusting the divider panels will be illustrated. A plurality of relatively permanent main or support posts 50 are selectively positioned throughout the enclosure to be divided prior to installing the divider system. The permanent posts 50 are preferably square in cross-section and have horizontal measurements approximately equal to the width of the panel anchoring channel and the two diverging 'facial plates 16 of the universal sectionalized pole assembly 10.

When it has been determined that a wall is to be installed between any two facing surfaces of the permanent divider posts 50, a base assembly, indicated generally by the reference numeral 60 (FIGS. 8, 9 and 12) is installed initially. The base assembly 60 consists of an upper base channel 61 and a lower base channel 62. The lower base channel 62 is affixed to each of the facing posts 50 by means of a lower base channel mounting bracket 63 and a plurality of suitable fasteners such as rivets 64 (FIG. 12). Additional stability may be provided by screwing the lower base channel 62 directly to the door in such a manner as is indicated at 65, if absolutely necessary. This, of course, somewhat reduces the mobility of this system and should be avoided wherever possible. Conveniently, a strip of foam tape 68 may be placed between the base assembly and the Hoor to compensate for minor surface irregularities. It should be noted that the spacing of the permanent support posts 50 is predetermined in such a manner that an even number of divider panels and their attendant supporting hardware will fill the space between them, suitable allowance for minor errors and the warping of the panels being incorporated into the system by means of the Danel compression assemblies 30.

The upper base channel 61 is mounted for sliding vertical movement with respect to the permanent support posts 50 by means of a pair of upper base channel guide brackets 66 affixed to the support posts 50 (see FIG. 11). The vertically sliding connection consists of a pair of overlapping channels, the guide channel being of smaller dimensions than the upper base channel but still of sufficient dimension to prevent the upper base channel from moving any appreciable distance in a horizontal direction. The upper base channel 61 has a plurality of punched slots 67 (FIG. 10) along its face which receive the pole :tabs 19 of the sectionalized pole assembly 10 and thus serve to horizontally locate it. The slot 67 is completely cut away so that the inner portions thereof may serve as a passageway for power and communications cables to enter the sectionalized pole assemblies 10. Also positioned along the face of upper base channel 61 are a plurality of slots 69 having a width equal to that of the pan-head screws 45 in the lower panel stabilization assembly 44. The slots 69 are of sufficient length to allow the divider panel assemblies to slide longitudinally with respect to the upper base channel under the influence of the panel compression assemblies 30 in the sectionalized poles 10. Obviously, the spacing of the slots 67 and 69 is correlated to the divider panel and sectionalized pole assembly widths in such a manner that some space lwill be left within theY panel anchoring channels for both expansion and contraction of the compression assemblies.

The upper base channel 61 is supported above the lower base channel 62 by means of a plurality of elevation adjustment assemblies 70 (FIGS. 8 and l2). These assemblies may conveniently be spaced so as to correspond to the spacing of the lower panel stabilization assemblies 44. Each consists of a circular tube 71 permanently affixed to the base of lower channel 62 as shown best in FIG. 8. A stabilizing plate 72, also permanently affixed to guide tube 71 and the sides of lower base channel 62, serves to insure the stability of guide tube 71. As indicated in FIG. l2, the stabilizing plate 72 does not run the entire length of the lower base channel 62. Rather, it is approximately square so as to allow power and communications cables to pass into the space between the upper and lower channels 61 and 62. A conventional bolt 73 has its head 74 affixed to the inner face of the upper base channel 61. A stabilizing plate 7 5, similar in dimension to stabilizing plate 72, serves to insure the rigidity of bolt 73 with respect to the upper channel 61. Each of .the bolt heads 74 is affixed to the upper base channel directly below the slots 69 (see FIG. 10). An adjusting nut 77 and a mating washer 76 complete the elevation adjustment assembly 70. It will be seen that the threaded end of the bolts 73 are inserted into the guide tube 71. As the adjustment nut 77 is rotated the upper channel will be moved selectively upwardly or downwardly with respect to the lower base channel 62.

The ceiling stabilization assembly 80 (FIGS. 9 and 12) consists of a T-shaped extrusion having its flat side toward the ceiling suspended between support posts 50 by support brackets 84. As viewed best in FIG. 7, there are two L-shaped support brackets 84,`one on each side of the depending leg 83, which are affixed to the support post 50' by any conventional fastening means. A strip of foam tape 81 is placed between the flat surface of T-shaped extrusion 82'and the surface of the ceiling to compensate for minor irregularities in the ceiling.

Referring now additionally to FIG. 13, a number of possible configurations and the mode of installation of one particular section of the space divider system, which is' thesubject of this invention, will be described in detail. As pointed out previously, the initial step comprises installation of the permanent support posts 50 at predetermined vintervals chosen in such a manner that an exact numberbf ldividerpanels 40 and their associated sectionalized poles will -t between the facing surfaces threofThe'base assemblies 60 and the ceiling assemblies 80 'are' linstalled between the support'posts 50 in the manner -previously described. As indicated in FIG. I3, the divider vvall construction may run in all four directions fomany' of the support posts 50. Alternatively, walls may run inany one, two'or three directions from the support post 50. Once the base assembly 60 and the ceiling assembly 80 have been installed, a sectionalized pole 10 is placed in abutting relationship to the starting support post 50. The tabs 19 of the sectionalized pole are inserted into one of the slots 67 in the upper base channel 61. Conveniently, the height of the base assembly may be pre-adjusted such that the panels must be initially slightly tipped to allow groove 41 to engage member 83 ofthe ceiling assembly. The entire panel may then be raised and its bottom swung into mating relationship with the base assembly. As the divider panel 40 is placed on the upper channel 61 of the base assembly, one of its tongues 43 is slid into the -panel anchoring channel 25 of the sectionalized pole 10. As the panel compression assemblies 30 begin to compress, the heads of the lower panel stabilization assembly screws 45 :will align themselves in mating relationship with slots 69 in the upper face of the upper base channel 61. The heads of screws 45 will drop into slots 69 but the divider panel 40 will remain slightly elevated from the channel 61 because of the presence of yWashers 46. A second sectionalized pole 10 is then placed With one of its panel anchoring channels 25 in mating relationship to the other end of the panel 40 and is pushed inwardly until the tabs 19 at the base of the pole again align with a slot 67 in the upper face of upper base channel 61. The process is repeated until a point one panel short of the terminating support post for `the particular wall section under construction is reached. At this time the terminating sectionalized pole 10 is placed in abutting relationship to the terminating support post 50. Two of theextrusions 11 on the same side of the terminating sectionalized pole and the sectionalized pole adjacent it are removed as indicated in phantom by the reference numerals 120 and 121 in FIG. 13. The terminating panel may then be slid into engaging relationship with thesectionalized poles 10 and the extrusions 11 reaixed to the pole connectors 22.

An alternative panel installation procedure is to remove all of the extrusions 11 from one side of the sectionalized poles to beincorporated within a particular partition. The poles may then be stood upright in their respective receiving slots and the divider panels forced between them. The extmsions may then be reaiixed to their respective pole connectors to secure the panels in position.

The nuts 77 of the elevation adjustment assembly 70 are rotated toklevel upper base channel `61 so as to compensate for any irregularities in the surface of the oor. Suflicient clearance may be provided ordinarily to lift :the panels in and out of position without readjusting these nuts. This is accomplished, of course, by lifting the panel at an angle, placing the depending leg 83 of extrusion 82 into slot 41 and dropping the bottom of the panel onto the baseboard. p

A pair of cap'screws S6 are inserted into each of the facing threaded apertures 17 of the sectionalized poles 10. As viewed best in FIG. 9, by selectively loosening one of the cap screws 86 while tightening the facing cap screw 86, the vertical positioning of the individual sectionalized poles, and thus the vertical positioning ofthe entire wall section, may be adjusted until the wall section is vertical with respect to the oor and the ceiling. The amount of available vertical adjustment is determined, of course, by the relative sizes of depending leg 83 and slot 41. Since the procedures for installing the base assembly 60 and the ceiling assembly involve referencing them to the support -posts they will ordinarily be 'vertically aligned to a sufcientydegree tonecessitate only a small adjustment by means of cap screws 86.

` The main power and communications cables preferably enter the divider system through one or several of the permanent support posts 50 and pass through a communieating aperture 51 therein into the base assembly 60 of the divider walls (FIG. 12). A plurality of outlets 91 may be positioned along' the kick board section of the base assembly by mounting means prefabricated into lower vbase channel 62. Power or telephone leads'92 may additionally traverse vertically by passing through that portion of slot 67 remaining ybetween the tabs 19 of each sectionalized pole and into the core of the sectionalized pole assembly 10. These leads pass upwardly, intermittently traversing through the pole connectors 22 until such time as the desired vertical location is reached. The cables exit from the sectionalized pole by means of a conventional grommet assembly 93.

Once the power and communication assemblies for a particular wall section have been completed, the space between the upper channel 61 and the lower channel 62 of base assembly 60 is decoratively concealed by means of a molding strip having an upper lip 101, a flexible latch 102 and a depending side flap 103. As viewed ybest in FIG. 8, the upper lip 101 passes between the divider panel 40 and the upper surface of channel 61. The space for upper lip 101 is provided by washer 46 -which forms a part of the panel lower stabilization -assembly 44. The flexible latch 102 is then passed around and secured to the lower edge of upper channel 61 to secure the cover 100 to the base section. Conveniently, this cover may be fabricated from vinyl.

Referring now particularly to FIG. 13, should it be desired to extend wall sections or partitions in two perpendicular directions from a support post 50A, it is merely necessary to place two of the universal sectionalized poles, 10a and 10b, in abutting relationship to the faces of the appropriate support posts. In the event that it is desired to proceed in all four directions from one of the support posts 50b, it is necessary merely to place four of the sectionalized poles, 10c, 10d, 10e and 10f, in abutting relationship to the support post 50b. Similarly, although not shown, in the event that it were desired to extend partitions in three directions from a support post and thusform `a T intersection, it would be necessary merely to place three of the universal sectionalized poles 10 in abutting relationship to appropriate faces of the particular support post.

A Wall intersection may be formed at a point where no support post 50 exists by placing the panel anchoring channel 25 of' one of theuniversal sectionalized poles 10H in abutting relationship to one of the accessories anchoring channels 12 of another of the universal sectionalized poles 10G. The two poles may be secured together by means of a bolt, spacer, and nut arrangement passing through each of the apertures 28 in the pole connectors 22. Conveniently, the nut 13 may be of such a configuration as to be self locking within the activities anchoring channel 12 of the sectionalized support pole 10G.

Any of the wall sections may be terminated at a sectionalized pole 10J which does not abut a support post 50, by inserting a iiller strip 111 into. the divider panel anchoring channel 25 of sectionalized pole 10J and securing it thereto by any conventional means such as rivets 112. In this case, of course, the filler strip 111 and the rivets 112 would be decoratively finished. The base and ceiling assemblies are terminated at this point by axing them directly to the floor and ceiling respectively.

Once the space divider system has been installed, the individual divider panels 40 may be changed or interchanged by merely removing the screws 24 which secure the adjacent extrusions 11 to the pole connectors 22. The lpole connectors may then ybe removed by lowering the upper base channel 61 and lifting tabs 19 from the slots 67. The desired divider panel 40 may then be extracted and another divider panel 40 which may contain, for example, a door or a window reinserted therein and the upper base channel 61 repositioned.

Access may -be gained to the power and communications cables 92 running within a particular universal sectionalized pole K by removing the screws 24 from the pole connectors 22, raising extrusion 11 such that the tabs 19 clear slots 67, and extracting the entire assembly 120 from the sectionalized pole 10K. This, of course, exposes all of the cables running within sectionalized pole 10K except those small portions which are concealed by the width of the pole connectors 22.

It will be noted from an examination of FIG. 13 that the divider panel compression assemblies 30 which are positioned in the divider panel anchoring channels tend to thrust the divider panels 40 outwardly, thus compressing each of the wall panel assemblies between the permanent support posts 58. The slot-like shape of aperture 67 in the upper base channel 61 allows each of the divider panels 40 a certain degree of lateral freedom, even after the wall has been assembled. Should a particular panel happen to be slightly warped, or if the permanent support posts have not been installed at precisely the correct locations, a suicient amount of compensation may be gained by the tendencies of the panel tongue to slide further into or recede from the panel anchoring channels 25. In addition t0 providing inherent compensation for these factors, the compression assemblies also permit the divider panels to be slid into and out of a completed assembly with relative ease. The curved portions 34 of the tape caps 32 facilitate this latter process `acting as ramp-like guides.

The relative dimensions of the components of the space divider system disclosed in this application are not particularly critical. What is critical, however, is that the number of different sizes of components be kept to a mnimum, and that the components utilized for any one installation be of the same dimensions. The divider panels preferably should be from two to five feet wide and the permanent support post spacing should range in the neighborhood of 12 to 20 feet. The panels should be sufliciently wide to allow the incorporation of a doorway in them, and yet be sufficiently narrow to furnish ample work area support channels to adequately support the various accessories which will -be hung on the wall assemblies. Conveniently, a false ceiling may be utilized in order to maintain standard heights for the divider panels of approximately seven to ten feet.

Referring now to FIG. 14, there is shown a perspective View of one corner of an enclosure which has been divided from part of a larger enclosure utilizing the components disclosed in this application. The divider panels 40 may be, as pointed out previously, of different types of wood or glass and one or more of them may include a door 126 which is preferably prefabricated into panel form such that the entire assembly corresponds dimensionwise to the other panels utilized in the particular installation. The accessory anchoring channels 12 are spaced throughout the periphery of the sub-divided enclosure at intervals dictated by t-he particular panel width utilized.

Viewing FIG. 14 in conjunction with FIG. 13, let it be assumed that the corner shown in FIG. 14 corresponds to the corner identified by the permanent support post 50A in FIG. 13. One important aspect of this invention is the provison of accessory supporting channels adjacent both sides of the turning point in the wall of the sub-divided enclosure. Such an arrangement has never before been achieved because of the heretofore insistence on utilizing structures corresponding to the split poles 10 as structural support members. The present space divider system, however, allows work and storage accessories to abut the corner and run in each direction therefrom. Thus, as viewed in FIG. 14, a tile or storage area 123 maybe secured to a plurality of accessory anchoring channels along wall 124 while having its end abut wall 125. Likewise the desk 122 and the shelf 127 may be secured to accessory support channels along wall 125 while having their ends abutting wall 124. One mode of hanging the various work areas is disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 3,039,727 to R. G. Engel, Jr., dated June 19, 1962. This patent is cited merely lby way of reference and there are other satisfactory modes for hanging the various accessories from the support channels 12.

Thus it will be seen that this invention has provided a space divider assembly which has a high degree of exibility in the sense that doorways may be easily moved from location to location, different types of panels are easily interchangeable, and the entire installation may be made using identical universal sectionalized poles. Further, this invention has provided a space divider system wherein the tolerance accumulations along a given wall assembly are inherently compensated for within the system and do not alect the ability to interchange panels with relative ease. This invention is also afforded a means whereby the space divider system may be integrated with a vast selection of accessories, all of which are readily adapted to be integrated into the system and which may run in any direction from a particular corner.

While a preferred embodiment of this invention has been described in detail, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that many possible modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and concepts of this disclosure.

I claim:

1. In a room having a plurality of stationary permanent support posts extending from the floor to the ceiling, a temporary space divider system comprising:

a plurality of divider panels;

a plurality of sectionalized poles, some of said poles abutting selected sides of said support posts and others of said poles being positioned between adjacent panels whereby walls are formed, each of said poles incorporating a pair of parallel, spaced uprights each having a lengthwise recessed channel in the front face thereof and lips restricting the width of said opening through said face and a pair of outwardly extending llanges coplanar with said lips, said channels forming accessories anchoring facilities on said pole;

a plurality of rectangular shaped pole connectors spaced lengthwise of said uprights; means aixing said uprights to opposite sides of said connectors with corresponding flanges of said spaced uprights forming panel embracing and anchoring channels at the Sides of said poles, the Width of said uprights being greater than the Width of the adjacent sides of said connectors whereby a panel having a solid edge of a thickness only slightly less than the width of said anchoring channel can be slideably received therein;

a strip of compressible resilient material mounted on each side surface of each of said uprights and thus positioned Within said panel anchoring channel, said material tending to force said panels out of said panel anchoring channels when they are inserted therein and thus subject the walls of the space divider assembly between support posts to compression forces; and

11 12 a relatively rigid cap afxed to each of said strips, 3,078,968 2/ 1963 Frick 52-481 said cap having a bearing section of approximately 3,133,322 5/ 1964 Douglas 52-127 the same width as the strip and having two side 3,162,905 12/ 1964 Erickson 49-419 segments inclined toward the particular side section 3,339,324 9/ 1967 Stackhouse 52-481 to which said cap and its associated strip are affixed, 5 3,072,226 1/ 1963 Harwood 52-495 said cap being free to be compressed into and expand 3,120,031 2/ 1964 Bohnsack 52-495 out of said panel receiving channel under the influence of said panel. FOREIGN PATENTS 505,362 9/1951 Belgium.

References Cited 10 864,147 1/ 1953 Germany. UNITED STATES PATENTS HENRY c. SUTHERLAND, Primary Examiner. 1,849,811 v3/1932 smiley 52-238 S C1 2,303,844 12/1942 Knudsen 52-495 U X-R- y 2,740,999 4/1956 Hayman 49-419 52-127, 282, 397, 495

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U.S. Classification52/243.1, 52/127.12, 52/204.591, 52/770, 52/282.3, D25/122
International ClassificationE04B2/76, E04B2/78
Cooperative ClassificationE04B2/78
European ClassificationE04B2/78