US 3599378 A
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United States Patent  Inventor Joseph K. Kachnic 823 Black Drive, Prescott, Ariz. 86301 [21 Appl. No. 876.734  Filed Nov. 14, 1969  Patented Aug.17, 1971  SELF-CONTAINED COMBINATION CENTRAL SUPPORT MEMBER AND UTEITIES-ENTRANCE MODULE FOR A ROTATABLE BUILDING STRUCTURE 2 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl. 52/29, 52/34, 52/65, 52/127, 52/198, 52/221, 52/296 [51 1 Int. Cl ..E04b 1/346, E04f 19/08 150] Field ofSearch 52/29, 34, 65, 73, 122, 127, 197, 198, 199, 221, 296, 297
(56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 407.877 7/l889 Rowe 52/65 X 1,353,798 9/1920 Stevens 52/34 2,563,531 8/1951 Kirkman et al, 52/65 2,815,539 l2/l957 Schneider 52/34X 3,408,777 ll/l968 Ghirelli 52/65 X 3,513,871 5/1970 Johnston 52/65 X Primary Examiner Price C. Faw, Jr. Au0rneyDrummond & Phillips ABSTRACT: A tubular central support column provides means for attaching the major load bearing structural components of a rotatable building structure, such that the entire building structure can be lifted and transported by means attached to the top of the central column. This vertical hollow central support column encloses within it a novel utilities-em trance module which provides means for introducing all utilities at one place in a compact centrally located module. Means are also provided for removing effluent.
l a; I I I I I I I I I I I I l 1 I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I PATENTED Aum mm INVENTOR JOSEPH K. KACHNIC ATTORNEYS ATTORNEY PATENTED AUG] 1 an SHEET 2 OF 5 JOSEPH K. KACHNIC PATENTED mm 7 l97| 3; 599.378
SHEET 3 UF 5 INVENTOR.
JOSEPH K. KACHNIC BY AW, 4 44 5% ATTORNEYS PATENTED AUG I 1 Ian SHEU 0F 5 INVENTOR. JOSEPH Kv KACHNIC IIE- 4- ATTORNEYS PATEN TED AUG! 7 I971 599- 378 sum 5 BF 5 INVENTOR. JOSEPH K. KACHNIC ATTORNEYS SELF-CONTAINED COMBINATION CENTRAL SUPPORT MEMBER AND UTILITIES-ENTRANCE MODULE FOR A ROTATABLE BUILDING STRUCTURE The idea of rotary building structures for one purpose or another, e.g., jails, restaurants and homes, has been toyed with and experimented with for many generations. However, a continuing problem in connection with rotary building structures hasbeen the question of what to do with the utilities connections. In the prior state of the art various solutions were devised, most of them cumbersome, complicated, difficult to construct and somewhat undependable in use. Some devices of the prior art are difficult to gain access to for repair and consequently repairs are time consuming and expensive. There has been a longfelt need for a central utilities-entrance module which would be compact, simple to construct and maintain, dependable in operation and flexible enough to provide utilities services for a variety of structures differing in size and purpose.
Another longfelt need in the building industry, which is entirely unconnected with the problem of utilities-entrance modules in rotatable building structures, is that of portability. There presently exists a housing shortage of significant magnitude which is of great concern to the nation as a whole and which is likewise of more particular and immediate concern to the individuals who are affected. concomitantly, there exists a desire on the part of the public for second homes located in scenic and picturesque remote locations. Such habitations are desired for recreational purposes and increasing numbers of affluent Americans want such homes to be of the type and quality which they are used to enjoying in urban environments. The'very remoteness of such habitations contributes substantially to the cost of constructing them. Because of the rising costs of labor and materials in urban areas, a great deal of thought has been given to the possibility of constructing prefabricated homes which can be transported from the factory to the building site either in whole or in sections, there to be assembled and readied for use at the building site. Some prefabricated habitations are now being constructed in factories and shipped to the homesite by means of rail and truck, and in some cases, helicopter. Because of the remoteness of some of the more desirable scenic locations, transportation by rail and truck is difficult if not impossible. However, such areas could be reached by giant helicopters which are already in operation, e.g., the Sikorsky Sky Crane. It is expected that even larger helicopters capable of carrying greater loads will be developed in the future. This situation will make it feasible to transport prefabricated habitations of almost any desired size to otherwise remote and inaccessible scenic homesites, provided suitable means for lifting and transporting the prefabricated home are available.
Consequently, it is an object of this invention to provide a self-contained combination centralsupport-member and utilities-entrance module for a rotatable building structure which will provide means for supporting the entire structure, except the foundation, such that it can be carried by the central support member to the remote homesite to be installed in place there with a minimum of on-the-site preparation and labor expenditure.
It is further an object of this invention to provide therein a utilities-entrance module which will provide a compact means for introducing all utilities.
It is further an object of this invention to provide such a module which will provide means for conducting efiluent away from the habitation.
It is yet another object of this invention to provide such a utilities module which will permit 360 continuous rotation of a rotatable building structure in either direction.
It is still another object of this invention to provide such a utilities module which is compact and simple of construction, rugged, and easily maintained.
Still other and further objects and advantages will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following description of the invention taken in conjunction with the drawings in which: 7
FIG. 1 is an elevation of the central support column including pedestal, which is broken away to show the relationship of the entrance-utilities module therewithin; 7
FIG. 2 is a detailed view of the pedestal, in section, showing the means for conducting effluent away from the structure;
FIG. 3 is a view of the entrance-utilities module showing the details of construction of the means for introducing fluid utilities;
FIG. 4 is a view of the entrance-utilities module showing the details of construction of the means for introducing electrical utilities;
FIG. 5 is a view of the device of FIG. 4 along the line 5-5;
FIG. 6 is a view of the device of FIG. 2 along the line 6-6.
Briefly, I provide in my invention a self-contained combination central support member and utilities-entrance module for a rotatable building structure. The building structure is of the type constructed to be rotatably supported at its central vertical axis. It may also be, and as a practical matter in most cases would be, supported at or near its perimeter. This type of building structure typically has rafters and floor joists extending radially between the central vertical axis of the rotatable building structure and its periphery. It also has means for rotating the building about its central vertical axis. In my invention, I provide, in the self-contained combination central support member and utilities-entrance module, a number of elements.
One element provided therein is a fixed ground-support pedestal having a duct for receiving and enclosing utilities conduits. This duct may be thought of as having an upper end and a lower end. Within the duct is a vertically positioned annular utilities stem which surrounds and contains conduits disposed in side-by-side relationship for fluid utilities and electrical utilities. These conduits communicate with a source of outside supply of utilities. Also within the upper end of the duct is a continuous trough disposed around the stem. This trough receives effluent from the plumbing system of the habitation. In the bottom of the trough is an aperture which communicates with a sewer conduit for conducting the effluent away from the building structure.
Another element of my invention is a rotatable hollow vertical support column which extends upwardly from the pedestal.
Another element is a removable diaphragm which is sealingly attached to the bottom of the support column. The purpose of this is to sequester noxious odors and fumes emanating from the effluent. This diaphragm has a circular central aperture adapted to cause the diaphragm to rotate around and sealingly enclose the stem. There is also a port for connection with an effluent conduit for draining effluent from remote plumbing fixtures associated with the building structure.
Another element is means for rotatably mounting the support column on the pedestal.
Also provided is a means associated with said vertical support column for attaching and supporting the convergent ends of the rafters and floorjoists to the column.
Another very important element of my invention is a stationary utilities entrance assembly enclosed within the vertical column and supported adjacent the utilities stem which comprises: means for supporting the stationary assembly upon the stem; an inner conduit (for fluid utilities) communicating with its counterpart in the utilities stem and comprising an extension of that counterpart; an outer fluid utilities conduit which has a portion thereof concentrically disposed around a portion of the inner conduit, the outer conduit communicating with its counterpart in the utilities stem and comprising an extension of that counterpart; means for sealingly introducing a portion of the inner fluid utilities conduit within a portion of the outer fluid utilities conduit; a rotary T for providing an exit for the inner fluid utilities conduit and for rotatably connecting the outer conduit to a distribution conduit communicating with a plurality of remote utilities outlets associated with the building structure; a rotary 90 L for rotatably connecting the inner conduit to a distribution conduit communicating with a plurality of remote utilities outlets associated with the building structure; means for electrically insulating a portion of the outer fluid utilities conduit; a plurality of electrically insulated conducting rings concentrically disposed around a portion of the outer fluid utilities conduit; means for supporting the rings in place; means for supplying electrical current to each of the rings from a source of supply; electrically conducting brushes for contacting the perimeters of the rings and conducting power to a plurality of remote utilities outlets associated with the building structure; means for mounting the brushes to rotate about the perimeters of the rings.
Another element of my invention is a means for coveringly ventilating the vertical support column.
I provide a door in the vertical support column which is adapted to provide access to the utilities-entrance module for repair purposes.
I also provide means for connecting a sky hook to the top of the vertical support column for the purpose of transporting the same.
And finally, I provide a means for rotatably supporting the support column which comprises: a floor attached to the bottom of the column; a plate disposed upon the top of the pedestal; an annular channel disposed between the pedestal and the vertical column and coaxially positioned with respect to the column and the utilities stern; a plurality of spaced ball bearings disposed within the channel and adapted to roll between the floor and the plate; a plurality of bolts depending from the floor and radially disposed around the perimeter of a circle larger than the channel; and rollers rotatably attached to the bolts, the rolling surfaces of the rollers being adapted to laterally support the vertical column.
Turning now to the drawings in which a presently preferred embodiment of my invention is illustrated, the functional relationship of the major components of my invention as illustrated inFlG. l are a pedestal l, a rotatable hollow vertical support column 2 which extends upwardly from and which is rotatably supported upon the pedestal l. The pedestal has a duct 3. Disposedwithin the hollow vertical support column 2 and the duct 3 is the utilitiesentrance module 4.
The duct 3 encloses an annular utilities stem which serves a dual purpose. The utilities stem 5 encloses utilities conduits 6. These utilities conduits are connected to outside sources of supply of the various utilities. When first introduced into the conduit, they are disposed in side-by-side relationship. Among the utilities which are conducted in through the stem 5 are water, gas, electricity and telephone. The stem 5 also provides support for that portion of the module 4 which accomplishes the distribution of the various utilities to remote places associated with the structure. The several utilities conduits emerge from the top of the stem 5 and are there separated for ease of access. As viewed in FIG. 1, there are electrical utilities conduits separated from the fluid utilities conduits consisting of gas conduit 8 and water conduit 9, which are better illustrated in FIG. 3.
Returning again to the details of the pedestal 1, in FIG. 2, the duct 3 is better illustrated. Also illustrated as resting within the pedestal l is a trough 10 which is continuous and disposed around the stem 5. The trough 10 has an aperture 11 in a low end of the trough which connects to a sewer conduit 12 which removes effluent to sewer connections outside of the building structure. The pedestal 1 has a neck 13 at the top which has a metal hoop l4 surrounding it. On the top 15 of the pedestal I there is a metal plate 16 which has a central aperture 17 which is slightly smaller than the diameter of the trough 10. Closing said aperture 17 is a diaphragm 18 which likewise has a central aperture 19 which accommodates the stem 5. The diaphragm 18 also has an effluent conduit aperture 20 for the reception of the effluent conduit 21. Graphite packing rings 22 are used to seal the space between the apertures 17 l9 and 20 and the objects which fill the apertures, thus effectively sealing off any noxious fumes or odors which might be present in the trough 10. The diaphragm 18 is attached to the floor 23 of the support column 2 by means of a strap 31 which is bolted to the diaphragm at its lower end and angles upward through a central aperture in the floor 23. Having passed through the aperture, the upper end of the strap 31 is secured to the floor 23 by a bolt. In this presently preferred embodiment, the means for supporting the support column 2 upon the pedestal 1 is by the use of a ball bearing truss unit 24. This particular unit is 42 inches in diameter, but this dimension is not critical. It can be changed as the size of the structure dictates. In this particular embodiment a channel is created by welding an inner hoop 25 on the upper surface of the plate 16. This inner hoop 25 is spaced inside hoop 14 so as to permit a plurality of ball bearings 26 to roll in the channel created thereby. The floor 23 is supported on the plurality of ball bearings 26, providing vertical support. Providing lateral support are a plurality of bolts 27 depending from the floor 23 which are spaced around the perimeter of a circle slightly larger in size than the perimeter of the circle described by the hoop 14. Rotatably attached to the bolts 27 are wheels 28 which roll on the outer surface 29 of the hoop 14. Flexible annular rings 30 are attached to the hoop l4 and the inner hoop 25 to seal the mechanism away from dust and corrosive fumes. As can be seen from the foregoing, the pedestal l, the plate 16, the hoop 14, the stem 5, the inner hoop 25 and the trough 10 are all stationary while the support column 2, its floor 23 and the diaphragm 18 together with the structural components of the structure and the effluent conduit 21 revolve around the stationary members. The ball bearings 26 provide the vertical support for the column and the wheels 28 provide the lateral support. It is of course to be understood that in practice additional support around the perimeter of such a structure will likely be employed. FIG. 6 shows a cross section of pedestal l, duct 3, stem 5, utilities conduits 6, trough l0 and aperture 11 in the trough l0.
Supported upon the utilities stem 5 is utilities-entrance module 4. The water conduit 9 emerges from the top of the utilities stem 5 and extends upwardly to a rotary L 36. The portion 37 of the water conduit 9 rotates with the building, whereas, the portion 38 of the water conduit 9 is stationary. The water conduit 9 is introduced into a chamber 39 which may be considered as an extension of the gas conduit 8, through a lower bushing 40 and exits through an upper bushing 41. The lower and upper bushings, when tightened and provided with packing glands 35, effectively seal the two apertures which they guard to prevent theescape of gas. Above the lower bushing 40 is a tube 42 which has a port 43 for introducing the end of the gas conduit 8. The gas passes through the chamber 39 to an upper port 44 through which it passes to a distribution conduit 45 for gas. The upper port 44 is in a rotary T 46 attached to the chamber 39. The rotary T 46 permits the distribution conduit 45 to rotate without leaking gas.
The electrical portion of the utilities-entrance module 4 is best illustrated in FIG. 4. There it is seen that the electrical conduit 7 emerges form the utilities stem 5, angles outward to a junction box 49 which provides access to the electrical wiring 50 within the conduit 7. The conduit 7 then angles in toward the central access of the utilities-entrance module 4 and is introduced into the tube 42 through ports 51 therein. The wiring 50 goes up through the ports 51 to terminals 52 which are attached to slip rings 53. The slip rings 53 are insulated by insulating rings 54. The slip rings 53 are made of an electrically conducting material, whereas, the insulating rings 54 are made of a nonconducting material. The slip rings 53 and the insulating rings 54 can be added as needed for an indefinite number of circuits. Brushes 55 are used to make contact with the slip rings 53. The brushes 55 are attached to circuits 56 which conduct electricity to various remote outlets inside the structure. Coil springs 57 are used to urge the end of the brushes 55 against the outside perimeter of the slip rings 53 thus insuring constant contact as the brushes 55 rotate around the slip rings 53. The plurality of brushes 55 are carried on two matching standards 58. These standards rotate around the utilities-entrance module 4 in concert with the rotation of the support column 2 and the building structure. The tube 42 has a shoulder 47 and a shank 48. The shoulder 47 of the tube 42 supports the plurality of slip rings 53 and insulating rings 54 around the shank 48. In FIG. 5 the relationship of the slip rings 53, the insulating rings 54, the terminals 52, the brushes 55 and the standards 58 is illustrated in detail.
FIG. 1 shows means for attaching rafters and joists to the support column 2. Here they are, by means of plates 59 with projecting flanges 60, bolted to the'column 2. Ventilation holes 61 are provided at the top of the column 2. These holes are spaced evenly around the circumference of the column 2 and can be used to provide means for lifting the support column with the structure attached. A cover 62 protects the top of the column 2 from the weather. In FIG. 1 asillustrated, a door 2a is provided in vertical support column 2. The door 2a provides easy access to the utilities-entrance module 4.
Having now fully described my invention and the presently preferred embodiment thereof, 1 claim:
I. A self-contained combination central support member and utilities-entrance module for a rotatable building structure, said building structure being constructed to be rotatably supported at its central vertical axis and said building structure having rafters and floor joists extending radially between the central vertical axis of said rotatable building structure and the periphery thereof,
means for rotating said building about its central vertical axis,
said self-contained combination central support member and utilities-entrance module comprising:
a. a fixed ground-support pedestal having a duct for receiving and enclosing utilities conduits,
' said duct having an upper end and a lower end,
an annular utilities stem vertically positioned within said duct, said stem surrounding and containing conduits disposed in side by side relationship for fluid utilities and electrical utilities, said conduits communicating with a source of supply of said utilities,
a continuous trough disposed around said stem and within the upper end of said duct for the reception of effluent, said trough having an aperture in the bottom thereof,
a sewer conduit communicating with said aperture in said trough for conducting effluent away from said building structure;
b. a rotatable hollow vertical support column extending upwardly from said pedestal;
c. a removable diaphragm sealingly attached to the bottom of said support column for sequestering noxious odors and fumes emanating from said effluent, said diaphragm having a circular central aperture therein such that said diaphragm is adapted to rotate around and sealingly enclose said stem,
a port for connection with an effluent conduit for draining effluent from remote plumbing fixtures associated with said building structure;
d. means for rotatably mounting said support column upon said pedestal;
e. means associated with said vertical support column for attaching and supporting the convergent ends of said comprising anextension of its said counterpart an outer flul utilities conduit having a portion thereof concentrically disposed around a portion of said inner conduit, said outer conduit communicating with its counterpart in said stem and comprising an extension of its said counterpart,
means for sealingly introducing a portion of said inner fluid utilities conduit within a portion of said outer fluid utilities conduit,
a rotary T for providing an exit for said inner fluid utilities conduit and for rotatably connecting said outer conduit to a distribution conduit communicating with a plurality of remote utilities outlets associated with said building structure,
a rotary L for rotatably connecting said inner conduit to a distribution conduit communicating with a plurality of remote utilities outlets associated with said building structure,
means for electrically insulating a portion of said outer fluid utilities conduit,
a plurality of electrically insulated conducting rings concentrically disposed around a portion of said outer fluid utilities conduit,
means for supporting said rings in place,
means for supplying electrical current to each of said rings from a source of supply,
electrically conducting brushes for contacting the perimeters of said rings and conducting power to a plurality of remote utilities outlets associated with said building structure,
means for mounting said brushes to rotate about the perimeters of said rings;
g. means for coveringly ventilating said vertical support column;
h. a door in said vertical support column adapted to provide access to said utilities-entrance module;
i. means for connecting a sky hook to the top of said vertical support column.
' 2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said means for rotatably supporting said support column comprises:
a. a floor attached to the bottom of said column;
b. a plate disposed upon the top of said pedestal;
c. an annular channel disposed between said pedestal and said vertical column and coaxially positioned with respect to said column and said stem;
d. a plurality of spaced ball bearings disposed within said channel and adapted to roll between said floor and said plate;
e. a plurality of bolts depending from said floor and radially disposed around the perimeter of a circle larger than said channel;
f. rollers rotatably attached to said bolts, the rolling surfaces of said rollers adapted to laterally support said vertical column.