US 3676973 A
An improved building construction and method of assembly from modular components, each modular component including (as erected) a pair of parallel horizontal Tee channels with the legs of the Tees facing each other, two or more vertical steel pipes suitably slotted and connected at their ends to the legs of the Tee channels, panels of lightweight plastic insulation filling the rectangular spaces formed by the foregoing members and suitably slotted to be received over the legs of the Tee channels, reinforcing wire screen surrounding the pipe sections and both surfaces of the insulation panels and a layer of concrete gunned onto both sides of the insulation material against the wire screens and level with the screed line formed by the outer edges of the Tee channels.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Kellert  MODULAR BUILDING CONSTRUCTION AND METHOD  Inventor: ga ililfiellert, Rural Rte #1, Mannford,
Okla. 74044 22 Filed: July 6,1970
21 Appl.No.: 52,610
[ July 18,1972
Primary ExaminerFrank L. Abbott Assistant Examiner-James L. Ridgill, Jr. AttorneyWilliam S. Dorman 1 1 ABS I'RACT An improved building construction and method of assembly from modular components, each modular component including (as erected) a pair of parallel horizontal Tee channels with the legs of the Tees facing each other, two or more vertical steel pipes suitably slotted and connected at their ends to the legs of the Tee channels, panels of lightweight plastic insulation filling the rectangular spaces formed by the foregoing members and suitably slotted to be received over the legs of the Tee channels, reinforcing wire screen surrounding the pipe sections and both surfaces of the insulation panels and a layer of concrete gunned onto both sides of the insulation material against the wire screens and level with the screed line formed by the outer edges of the Tee channels.
5 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures PATENTED JUL 1 8 I972 SHEET 10F 4 IN VENTOR.
PAUL H. KELLERT FIG. 2
ATTORNEY PATENTED JUL! 8 I972 SHEET 2 BF 4 PAUL H. KELLERT I NVEN TOR.
ATTORNEY PATENIEB JUL 1 8 m2 SHEET 30F 4 wig?? AH FIG. 8
PAUL H. KELLERT IN VENTOR.
mum J. M
ATTORNEY PATENTEU JUL] 8 I972 SHEET HJF 4 PAUL H. KELLERT INVENTOR.
ATTORNEY MODULAR BUILDING CONSTRUCTION AND METHOD The present invention relates to an improved building construction and method of assembly and more particularly, to a building construction having the strength and rigidity of concrete and yet including insulation properties which are unobtainable by the use of concrete alone.
It is well recognized that an all concrete building can be constructed relatively quickly and, with proper reinforcing where desired, such a concrete building will have high load bearing characteristics. However, an all concrete building has essentially no insulating characteristics or, at best, will not have desirable insulating characteristics. It is also recognized that attempts have been made in the past to provide building constructions which would be partly concrete and which would be provided with interior insulation; however, these part concrete building constructions have been difficult and slow to make and are generally quite expensive.
The present invention, on the other hand, provides a building construction which can be made from modular units. The modular units can be described essentially as wall sections whose initial formation takes place in a horizontal plane and whose completion as part of the building frame takes place after erection. More particularly, the upper and lower members (after erection) are Tee channels arranged in horizontal, parallel relation with the legs of the Tees facing each other and the tops (arms) of the Tees constituting the top and bottom surfaces of the wall sections. Along the lengths of the Tee are employed vertical pipe sections approximately four feet apart from each other. These pipe sections are suitably slotted to fir over the legs of the Tees and are provided with suitable holes to line up with various slots in the legs of the Tees to permit attachment of these pipe sections by means of bolts or wires. The intermediate rectangular spaces formed by adjacent pipe sections and Tee channels are filled by correspondingly rectangular shaped panels of plastic insulating material such as bead board, styrofoam, polyurethane or any suitable material. These panels of insulation are suitably slotted so as to fit over the legs of the Tee channels. Reinforcing wire screen is placed over both surfaces of insulating panels and around the various pipe sections or posts. The wire screen is tightened into position by means of wire strands at suitable locations. Thereafter the rectangular spaces are filled with concrete, by gunning or suitable equivalent method so as to provide, on each wall section, an outer thickness of concrete. If it is desired to provide spaces for windows, doors and the like, the larger rectangular spaces can be cut up" by using short intermediate Tee channels and short intermediate pipe sections to provide rectangular open spaces as desired. After the building has been completed, any type roof can be installed such as an Indian or Spanish type roof or the more conventional slanted roof.
It is a principal object of the present invention to provide a building construction where the outer surface of the walls, both interior and exterior, are concrete, but wherein the interior portion of the walls is suitably insulated.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a building construction of the type referred to herein wherein the wall sections can be made in the form of modular units.
It is another object of this invention to provide a building construction of the type referred to above wherein the modular units are composed of steel Tee channels, steel pipe, lightweight foam insulation cores, wire screens, bolts and/or wire strands and outer layers of concrete.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a method of building construction so as to form a structurally complete unit in considerably less time then presently required by using conventional methods.
Another object of this invention is to provide a method of building construction with built-in screeding points for the concrete application in the final stages of construction.
A still further object of the present invention is to establish a low cost method of construction.
Other and further objects and advantageous features of the present invention will hereinafter more fully appear in connection with a detailed description of the drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective of a building constructed in accordance with the present invention and having a roof of the Indian or Spanish design;
FIG. 2 is a perspective, with portions broken away to show the various layers, of two wall sections forming the corner of a building constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a perspective showing the assembly of a wall section in a substantially horizontal position and, prior to erection;
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3, with certain parts omitted, showing the manner of connection of the pipe sections to the Tee channels;
FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view through one of the wall sections of a completed building made in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 6 is a perspective showing the manner of connecting a corner post to two adjoining Tee channels at a corner;
FIG. 7 is a perspective showing the opposite side of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary horizontal sectional view taken through a corner and showing only the relationship between the Tee channels, corner post and fastening means;
FIG. 9 is a perspective with certain parts omitted for the sake of clarity, showing the method of attachment of an inte rior wall section to an external wall section;
FIG. 10 is a perspective showing the method of making a window frame or the like; and
FIG. 11 is a detail taken from FIG. 10 showing the method of attachment of one end of a Tee channel to one of the vertical pipe sections.
Referring to the drawings in detail, FIGS. 1 and 2 show a building 10 of Indian or Spanish design. The walls 12 are provided with exterior (exposed) surfaces 14 and 16, respectively, of concrete (as will hereinafter appear) but are internally insulated by a layer 18 of styrofoam or the like.
Referring also now to FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, each wall or wall section is made from a pair of standard Tee channels 20, 20, each of which, purely for purposes of illustration, can be considered as having a leg member 22 approximately two inches long and a top member 24 (the arms of the Tee) approximately four inches across. As far as FIGS. 3 and 4 only are concerned, it should be understood that these figures show the method of making the wall or wall section in a horizontal manner; thus, when the wall section is ready for gunning with concrete (as will hereinafter appear) the wall sections are tilted up from the position shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 such that a Tee channel 20 will be disposed along the bottom of each wall section and the opposite Tee channel 20 will be along the top of this wall section.
The Tee sections 20, 20 are connected together by means of vertical pipes 26 (shown in horizontal position in FIGS. 3 and 4). Each end of each pipe 26 is provided with a pair of longitudinal slots 28, 28 which are adapted to receive the leg 22 of the Tee channel 20. Each end of each pipe section 26 is also provided with a pair of oppositely aligned holes 30, 30; when the end of the pipe section 26 is fed on to the Tee channel 20, by receiving the leg 22 in the slots 28, the holes 30 of the pipe section 26 are positioned over an elongated hole 32 in the leg 22. The pipe section may now be fastened to the Tee channel 20 through the holes 30 and 32 by means of wire (not shown) or suitable bolts 34.
Referring particularly to FIG. 3, when the first pipe section 26 (the one in the foreground) has been fitted to the Tee channels 20, 20, a layer or sheet 36 of plastic material, preferably made of foamed polystyrene, sometimes referred to as bead board, is fed into the rectangular area formed from the Tee channels 20, 20 and the two adjacent pipe sections 26. Solely for the purposes of illustration, it should be mentioned that these panels or sheets 36 of plastic insulation are two inches thick and are four feet wide by eight feet long. The ends of each panel of plastic material are provided with slots 38 adapted to fit over the legs 22 of the Tee channels. Thus, before placing the second pipe section 26 in place on FIG. 3, the rectangular board 36 of plastic material is slid (or positioned) into place by fitting the slots 38 over the legs 22. Thereafter, the next pipe section 26 (in the background of FIG. 3) is fitted into place and the next succeeding section 36 of plastic material is slid against the latter pipe section 26. This action is repeated to the extent required for the size of the wall section, keeping in mind that the pipes 26 are approximately four feet apart.
When the wall sections are constructed in the desired lengths, they are tilted up vertically, as indicated before, and placed upon a previously prepared base or slab 40 of concrete. The lower Tee channel will be secured to the slab 40 by means of bolts 42 previously provided in the slab 40 and which pass through suitable holes (not shown) in the lower Tee section 20 and nuts 44.
Referring now to FIGS. 6, 7 and 8, the manner of making corner connections for the wall section will now be described. Where two Tee sections come together at a corner, they will be cut at mating 45 angles 46 as shown. The upper and lower abutting Tee channels 20, 20, etc., are connected together by means of a pipe 48 which is substantially the same as the previously described pipe section 26 except for the locations of the various holes and slots, etc. As best shown in FIG. 7, the lower end (this would be true of the upper end as well) is provided with slots 50, 50 adapted to receive the legs 22 of the Tee channels where they come together at right angles. On one side of the pipe section 48 (see FIG. 6) are provided a pair of holes 52, 52 approximately 180 apart, whereas on the opposite side is provided a single hole 54 slightly enlarged and somewhat elongated in the vertical direction and sometimes referred to as the common hole." Holes 56, 56 are provided in the legs 22 each hole 56 being in alignment with the hole 54 and one of the holes 52.
As best shown in FIG. 8, the pipe section 48 is connected to the angled joint formed by the two intermating Tee channels 20 by means of bolts 58 and nuts 60. It should be noted that both bolts 58 project out of the same common hole 54 with the end of one bolt 58 overlying the end of the other bolt 58. Instead of using bolts, it is possible to thread wires (not shown) to the various holes and still effect a relatively sturdy connection by tightening the wires. In practice, a corner connection or joint is made by connecting a pipe section to one end of a wall section; the other wall section which will form the remainder of the corner, of course, will have no pipe section 48 thereon. With one corner wall section in place the other corner wall section is fed into position by slipping the leg 22 into the appropriate slot 50 or by sliding the slot 50 over the leg 22 depending upon which wall section has the pipe section 48 attached thereto at the time. Thereafter, the pipe section 48 is connected to the other Tee in the manner described above.
After the skeleton frame has been erected, including all of the Tee channels 20, 20, all of the intermediate pipes 26, all of the corner pipes 48 together with the panels of plastic insula tion 36, a wire screen 62 is placed over the surfaces of the panels 36 completely covering the inside and outside exposed surfaces of these panels. The wire screen is tightened into position by the use of short wire strands (not shown) which are wrapped around the various posts 26 and 48. Twisting these wire strands, as is well known, will secure the wire screens 62 firmly in position. The wire screen 62 consists of standard reinforcing wire generally described as 2 X 4 galvanized welded fence (the 2 X 4" designation refers to the fact that the open rectangular area between the cross wires are two inches by four inches); other similar wire screens can be employed.
As indicated above, the wire screen 62 is tightened into position by the use of short wire strands (not shown) of heavy gauge wire. As the screen is being tightened to position by tightening these wire strands, the other various wires (not shown) and/r bolts which are used to connect the various pipes 26 and 48 to the Tee channels are also tightened to make a relatively rigid skeleton frame. At this point the skeleton frame is now ready for gunning with concrete both inside and out.
As the first corner is rounded with reinforcing wire, it is desirable to level that corner with a level which automatically makes the minor adjustment necessary to square up the build ing. The gun application of concrete is achieved by gunning the required thickness to the natural screed line of the four inch top and bottom of the Tee channels 20. Since the plastic insulation 36 is approximately two inches thick, this means that there will be a one inch thickness of concrete applied to the interior and exterior of the walls. Although the building structure is essentially rigid with high load bearing characteristics, nevertheless, there is sufficient movement provided by means of the slots or elongated holes 32 to permit the concrete to expand or contract as it so tends, thus avoiding shrinkage cracks that would normally exist in a wholly rigid frame construction.
Turning now to FIGS 9, l0 and 11, there are shown modifications which permit the attachment of cross walls and the making of windows, etc. In FIG. 9, for example, the frame portion 64 will represent the upper skeletal portion of a wall section which would ultimately become one of the sides of the building and would include the Tee channels 20 and pipe sections 26, 26. For the sake of simplicity, no plastic insulation 36 is shown and it should be further understood that this wall section 64 would undoubtedly be longer than that illustrated. The same considerations hold true for the skeleton portion 66 which represents the upper portion of an interior wall section composed of Tee channels 20 and pipe sections 26. The lower Tee channels 20 (not shown in FIG. 9) of interior wall section 66 would be bolted to the pad by means of bolts (not shown) provided in advance in the slab. The upper Tee of section 66 is connected to the upper Tee of section 64 by means of the metal strip 68 which is bolted to these two Tee channels by means of bolts 70 or any other convenient means such as wire (not shown).
In order to make a window frame (or door frame) or a rectangular space into which a prefabricated window frame (or door frame) can be inserted, a four foot length (or approximately) of Tee channel 72 is selected. The member 72 has the same cross sectional configuration as the Tee channels 20 previously described except that the end portions of the leg 22 are cut away from the ends of the member 72 as best shown in FIG. 11. This will permit the remaining flat portions 74 (at each end) to fit into a slot 76 provided in the pipe sections 26 at the desired height for the member 72. To further stabilize the member 72 in position, a short length of pipe section 78 (otherwise the same as the pipe section 26) is connected between the upper Tee channel 20 and the cross member 72 in substantially the same manner that the pipe section 26 is connected between the two opposed Tee sections 20, 20. For the sake of simplicity, the insulating sheets have not been shown in FIG. 10, but is should be understood that smaller portions of insulating material such as the panels 36 would be cut and slotted so as to fit in the rectangular spaces formed by Tee channels 20, cross member 72, pipe sections 26, 26, and pipe section 78. Also, pieces of wire screen 62 can be placed over the insulating material as desired.
FIG. 10, for the sake of simplicity, merely shows the upper boundary of the rectangular space for the window frame, etc. It should be understood, however, that another four foot Tee channel substantially identical to the member 72 would be positioned along and fitted to the pipe sections 26 (shown in FIG. 10) at a lower location whose precise position would be dictated by the size of the rectangular space required. Naturally, this additional member (not shown) would be inverted; i.e., its leg portion 22 would be directed downwardly and a pipe section similar to pipe section 78 and of sufficient length to reach the lower Tee channel 20 would be employed in similar fashion to that shown in FIG. 10. If the FIG. 10 configuration were used merely as the upper boundary of a door opening, then it would be unnecessary to use any additional member such as the member 72 and, in fact, the lower Tee channel 20, preferably, would be interrupted at the lower portion of the door opening.
In light of the above, it should appear that the modular units, wall sections, can be constructed rather rapidly and with consistent results from simple and relatively inexpensive components which themselves can be standardized. It should further appear, after the wall sections have been tilted up'into place that the final stages of construction, adding the wire screen and the concrete layers, can be simply and rapidly performed. Thus, the savings in labor alone will be quite significant. After the wall sections have been completed, any suitable roof can be placed on the building. For example, a conventional slanted roof can be added or, as shown in FIG, 1, a Spanish or Indian type roof can be constructed and, if desired, with the protruding logs 80. In connection with the flat type roof, it is possible to provide the proper type of insulation and suitable reinforcement so that the roof can be gunned at the same time that the sides of the building are gunned.
Whereas the present invention has been described in particular relation to the drawings attached hereto, it should be understood that other and further modifications, apart from those shown or suggested herein, may be made within the spirit and scope of this invention. For example, although the inner insulating layer has been described in terms of pre-existing rectangular panels or sheets of plastic material, it is possible to create this insulating layer in situ by spraying (or gunning) a liquid material onto a light frame (not shown) whereby the liquid will expand and cure into an insulating layer which is the full equivalent of that previously described; that is, light wire (not shown) can be stretched across a pair of adjacent pipe sections 26 in the area which would be normally occupied by the insulating panel 36; burlap or other light woven material can be stretched and sewn into the rectangular space and liquid polyurethane having expansion characteristics can be sprayed over both sides of the burlap in an initially thin layer; as the liquid polyurethane cures it will expand and harden into an insulating layer which will be the full equivalent of that previously described. This last mentioned method of making the insulating layer might be of considerable value where it is desired to ship materials over long distances because there will be considerable savings in space.
Also, although the window sections and door sections have been described in terms of arranging rectangular areas between adjacent pipe sections, approximately four feet apart, it should be obvious, where it is desired to form picture windows or the like, that some of the intermediate pipe sections 26 can be eliminated so as to provide adjacent pipe sections greater than four feet apart; the auxiliary Tee channel 72, in such cases, would be of whatever length required to span the distance between the then existing pipe sections.
What is claimed is:
1. A building construction formed from a plurality of interconnected wall sections in the form of modular units, each modular unit including a pair of horizontally disposed Tee channels arranged in vertically spaced parallel relation with the leg portions of their Tees facing each other, a plurality of vertically disposed supporting members arranged in horizontally spaced parallel relationship, the ends of each supporting member being connected to said leg portions of said Tee channels, a substantially rectangular plastic insulating sheet filling each rectangular space formed by the upper and lower Tee channels and each pair of adjacent supporting members, each insulating panel being slotted along its horizontal side edges so as to be received over the legs of said Tee channels, the thickness of each insulating panel being substantially less than the transverse dimension of said Tee channels, wire screen material overlying both surfaces of each panel and being secured to said vertical supporting members, and a layer of concrete on each side of said panel extending outwardly from said panel to the screed line formed by the outer side edges of said Tee channels.
2. A building construction as set forth in claim 1 wherein the vertical supporting members are connected to the legs of said Tee channels through elongated holes which permit expansion and contraction of the concrete during the curing thereof so as to prevent cracks in the concrete layers.
3. A method of constructing a building from a plurality of modular-type wall sections which comprises making a first wall section by arranging a pair of Tee channels of substantially equal size and length in horizontally spaced and horizontally parallel relationship with the leg portions of the Tees facing each other, arranging a plurality of horizontally disposed supporting members in spaced horizontal and parallel relationship with the ends of the supporting members being connected to the legs of said Tee channels substantially at right angles to said Tee channels, inserting a panel of rectangular insulating material into each rectangular space formed by the Tee channels and each pair of adjacent supporting members, each panel being notched at two opposite side edges so as to be received over the legs of said Tee channels, rotating the resulting structure about one of the Tee channels so that the Tee channels are now in vertically spaced parallel relationship and the supporting members are now vertically disposed, placing the resulting tilted-up structure in the proper position to be occupied by this modular unit in the completed building, making as many additional wall sections in the manner described above to complete the basic wall requirements for said building, placing said additional wall sections in proper position, covering the surfaces of all of said insulating panels with wire screen, tightening the wire screen into position by firmly securing the same to the supporting members and filling in the spaces on both sides of the insulating panel by gunning with concrete up to the screed line formed by the other edges of the Tee channels.
4. The improvement as set forth in claim 3 which includes providing expansion joints where the supporting members connect with the legs of the Tees so as to permit expansion and contraction during the curing of the concrete thereby preventing cracks in the finished product.
5. The improvement as set forth in claim 3 which includes providing rectangular open spaces between adjacent pairs of supporting members for window and door opening.