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Publication numberUS3724141 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 3, 1973
Filing dateJan 15, 1970
Priority dateJan 15, 1970
Publication numberUS 3724141 A, US 3724141A, US-A-3724141, US3724141 A, US3724141A
InventorsKelleher M
Original AssigneeKelleher M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Modular units, buildings and systems
US 3724141 A
Modular and other units of concrete or similar matter, generally precast for various constructions and buildings, and housing. The modular units have portions which are adapted to hold slabs to link two consecutive modules, the modules can be stacked vertically, and the system comprising such modules and slabs can be extended laterally and longitudinally to form a great variety of buildings.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent n 1 Kelleher 1 Apr. 3, 1973 [54] MODULAR UNITS, BUILDINGS AND SYSTEMS [76] Inventor: Michael J. Kelleher, Greenway Apartments, Route 73, West Berlin, NJ.

[22] Filed: Jan. 15, 1970 [21] Appl. No.: 3,113

[52] US. Cl. ..52/79, 52/125, 52/236 [51] Int. Cl. ..E04h l/04 [58] Field of Search ..52/79, 236, 237, 283, 745,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 8/1971 Zachry ..52/79 1/1955 Zeckendork ..52/236 2,691,291 10/1954 7 Henderson ..52/236 3,144,881 8/1964 Spro'ull ..52/237 3,201,907 8/1965 l-Ienderson ...52/73 3,358,407 12/1967 Konig ...52/79 3,510,997 5/1970 Ratych ..52/79 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,293,678 4/1962 France ..52/227 431,023 8/1967 Switzerland ..52/236 904,981 3/1945 France ..52/236 802,359 2/1951 Germany ..52/237 836,707 1/1952 Germany ..52l236 40,879 2/1956 Poland ....52/79 658,482 4/1965 Belgium ..52/79 1,432,678 2/1966 France ..52/79 Primary Examiner-John E. Murtagh Attorney-Gerard J. Weiser [57] ABSTRACT Modular and other units of concrete or similar matter, generally precast for various constructions and buildings, and housing. The modular units have portions which are adapted to hold slabs to link two consecutive modules, the modules can be stacked vertically, and the system comprising such modules and slabs can be extended laterally and longitudinally to form a great variety of buildings' 11 Claims, 29 Drawing Figures PATENIED' Im 3.724.141

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SHEET 5 BF 8 m vi/vrafi MICHAEL J. KELLEHER B) w, (JAM. M/L'Hm PATENTEDAPR 3 I973 SHEET 6 BF 8 wan me MICHAEL 'J. KELL EHEE y but m0- 1 MODULAR UNITS, BUILDINGS AND SYSTEMS The fundamental need for housing presents a continuous challenge to construction and building technology in the United States and abroad. Modular construction involves modules generally preconstructed or precast for living spaces which are arranged in accordance with the desired architectural design. To date, various systems involving modular construction have been ofi'ered. A particularly attractive material for modular construction is concrete, because of its low cost, fireproof and permanent qualities. The concrete sections can be manufactured by repetitive operations by relatively unskilled labor. Yet, the weight of the concrete, with its attendant transportation problems, and the need for heavy handling equipment are serious drawbacks of the building modular made of concrete.

Habitat in Montreal, Canada illustrates a recent factory-produced dwelling module in a multi-storied structure in which themodules are constructed of precast concrete. Yet the economics of the system have been shown to be prohibitive. The recent patent literature discloses various modular building constructions. US. Pat. No. 3,388,512 discloses a structure made up of linked tower cores and living units: US. Pat. No. 3,395,502 shows central column sections carrying oc-' cupiable modular spaces; US. Pat. No. 3,430,398 discloses modular, box-shaped units vertically stacked in checkerboard overlapping, off-set relationship to form a building; US. Pat. No. 3,455,075. proposes modular building unit having the shape of a right parallelipiped which is mounted on vertical columns; US. Pat. No. 3,462,908 discloses a method for erecting precast multi-story building sections; and Saarinen in US. Pat. No. 3,468,081 discloses precast elements provided with pitched toothing outside for joining room units into a strong construction. Further illustrative patents include US. Pat. Nos. 3,299,588; 3,331,170; 3,377,755; 3,416,273; 3,442,056; and 3 ,474,582, which relate to prefabricated building structures including of the modular type. A selective review of the state of the art is also available as Research Report No. 8, Center for Housing and Environmental Studies, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., A REPORT ON THE FACTORY PRODUCED DWELLING MODULE, THE NEW BUILDING BLOCK, 1968. Also see the special report on SYSTEMS BUILDING in Engineering News Record, October, 1969. Yet, these conventional systems present serious shortcomings and difficulties. An urgent, as yet unfilled, need exists for a modular building system of precast concrete or like'material which is adaptable, economical, and which lends itself to efficient, low-cost construction on varied topography, and yet satisfies and conforms to engineering and modern building codes and regulations. The components and system of this invention provide a significant advance in this field towards ideal modern building requirements.

An object of this invention is to provide a new, highly versatile building block element which is easily manproduced, transported, and erected in place in a buildmg.

- Another object is to provide a building modular unit which is self-sustaining when erected on location without use of additional temporary structures. I

Another object is to provide a building system wherein the building module is adapted to be combined with other units, especially modules for expansion laterally and vertically, and along the longitudinal axis of the module in conjunction with other units, especially with slabs to form a great variety of building configurations.

Another object is to provide modules which, when coupled with other modules vertically or linked for longitudinal extension of the building, form a stable, selfsustaining structure.

Another important object is to provide a new module which, when laterally extended, forms a one or multistory building in which the floor or ceiling areas exceed the floor or ceiling areas provided by the modules.

Another object is to provide a building wherein the lateral extensions are provided by a bifunctional system of multiplicity of modules linked by multiplicity of slabs. I

Another object is to provide a system of building elements, principally modules and slabs which can be suitably assembled at considerable savings of costs.

A further object of the invention is to provide a new module and connecting slabs which can be combined with more traditional building elements into a great variety of building patterns.

A further object of the invention is to provide a building which can be constructed on grounds of varying elevation, thereby making best use of land.

This recitation of the objects of the invention does not purport to be all inclusive, and other objects will become evident from the description of the invention.

The various objects, features, and numerous embodi+ ments with their attendant advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following description of various embodiments, some preferred, of

the invention when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a modular unit of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of two modular units linked by a concrete slab, thereby forming a basic" building unit of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a further perspective view of two laterally adjoining basic building units;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the modular unit provided with coupling members for vertical stacking of the modular units in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 5A is a vertical longitudinal section view through a leg member of the modular unit showing a recess and openings therefor in the leg;

FIG. 5B is a vertical transverse section view through V the leg member showing the recess and openings therefor at the side of the leg;

FIG. 6A is a view of the leg member similar to that of FIG. 5A, also illustrating a connecting member above the leg on the top member of the modular unit;

FIG. 6B is a similar view to FIG. 53, also showing a connecting member;

FIGS. 7A and 7B are perspective views of a building constructed of two laterally adjoining modular units of the invention; one in which the modules are offset relative to each other and is anchored on a platform.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a two-story building of twopairsoflaterallyadjoiningmodularunitsoftheinvention stacked onto each other;

3. FIGS. 9A and 9B are perspective views of av floor-of modular units ofthe invention; a i FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a multi-story building" of the invention composed of laterally adjoining-and linked modular units; 1

FIG. 11 is a schematic frontal .view of abuildingof the invention built on terrain of varying elevation;:.

FIG. 12 is two views (one in perspectiveand'the other a top view) of another embodiment of -the modular unit of the invention in which the legs of the unit are: 1 mem not parallel to the transverse axal plane of the module; v FIG. 13 is a perspective view of another modification of the modular unit whereintheleclges on the legs ex. tend beyond the wall membersto provide acantilever effect; i FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a one-story building of a pair of modulagunits combined.yvithbuild-sections; having onlyone leg a FIG. 15 is a similar perspective view of a two-story building; X

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of a building comprising modular units stacked in combination with other building sections providing multi-story, fioorandceilinglevelsf 1 FIGS. 17,1 19 illustrate further ernbo I 4 of the modular'unit 0f the"invention, ferent aspectsof ledges and legs; j I I N FIGS. 20 2l a"re vertical :longitudir ial views 'illustratin rnear' s f connecting I v g iifl Pros; '2 2'A"a't d 12s" iltr tr aftein pe rspe parallel to the' angIetherCtQ; i

I FIGS; 23 and'24 illus ate in perspect ve furthe e'rn' bodimentsof the moduleswhereifnihe q module has curved side sand; in'ianother'enibod i: i

the legs thereof are curved. n y v Referring first to FIG. 1, thereisillustrated a modu; lar unit 1 of the invention having a top'meriib e r' 2j' l'eg members 3 and "4, respectively," are provided ledges 5 ahdti'ir'rtegral therewith, having surfaces 8 adapted for bearing or supporting a' slab "Iheslab is' positioned, as is shown inFIG. '2,l'o n "l edges" 5 ands 4 which support it in cooperationwitli'sides loandiIEof" themembers3 and4f As is illu'strate'd'in FIG. 2,:the'-moduleisystem"bfthef invention is suitable forlongitudinal the closed ends of= by repeating-"modular 7 units and linking two of such consecutive-unitsv'rith a slab in unlimited variationsi f 7 g FIG. 3 illustrates a one floor-'building' forr'nedwith'the two pairs of modular units" 12"and '13,'and 14 and 1 5 linked by slabs l6 and 17, the-'modules'abu't'ting' af il'ieii" I: open. ends, the'respectivelong'itudinaI ait esbeing para]: lel. 'v a "F: .fif It is a significant-aspect bf'the invention" thatth" 4- The vertical stacking brute modular units is accomplished, as shown in FIGS. 4, 5A and 58, 6A and 68, wherein '18is-"coupling' male membersconsisting of a loop or bend material '19 permanently set in a concrete 5 rib 20. The modular unit which is'sta'cked onto the unit positioned below is provided, as shown in FIGS. 5A, 53, 6A and 6B, with a recess 21 within the lower portion of the leg members of the unit. The configuration and depth of recess 21 is adapted'to receive loop ele- 19' and rib 20' in a' snugly fitting relationship. Openings 22 and 23'provide 'inlet for a hardenable material which'is pumped ther'ethrough'into recess 21; opening-23 provides a convenient outlet which serves as a measure for determining when recess 21 is substantially full. It'is evident that'openings 22 and 23 can be onoppositesides of the leg members.

FIG.: 7A illustrates a pair 'of modular units positioned side by side along their open end, the modules being connected on a' base platform 24 positioned on the ground with male coupling members 18 set into recesses 21 provided at the base of the leg. FIG. 7B illustrates a pair of modular units positioned side by side b'utin off-set relationship, with openings 25 (for win dows and for stair connections) at desiredlocations. FIG. 8 illustrates a two-storyb'uilding" of the invention" constructed by permanent vertical stacking of pairs of modular units 26 on a platform by mear'is' of the couplingelementstnot'showm. 3

i it nos. 19A and 9B illustrate a lower floor Ora series'of modularunits'27-28 extended both Iaterallyand'alo'ng their longitudinal axes" by linking slabs 29 with a series o'f'coupling male members 18-on' the floor ready forassembly bf another-series of "modular units'to for-in a secondfloor of habitable space.

FIGE 10 illustrates "atwo-story building composed of v pairs'of modular'units of the invention with slabs 29. To' bernoted is-that modular units-27 and28 can be considered as terminal orendunits' of a row,- and hencegenerally only require one ledge on' the inner-facingside of the building for support'of slabs 29. A similar construction is illustrated in FIGS. =2 and 3; Where an additional row of modularunits is linked by slabs to the terminal row, said terminal units are of course provided- 5 by ledgesas-bothoftheir Iegsya's is represented in FIG.

FIG-.11 illustrates theversatilityand adaptability of the modrflar units ofth i'nve'ntion on varying grades-of topog'raphy this being achieved by the positioning of 'ledges 30 on thele gs of modules 31 at a'different height than the ledges 32 on the legs on modules 33.

.FIG. 12 illustrates another embodimentof the'modulanunit of the-invention wherein the major'pla'n'e' of the leg 1 members: -3 and. 4'- is :a't-"an angle relative to the" transverse-- axial tplane of. the- 'top -rnemb'er of-the' niodulet izm 1 t v.

. With such 'modules in cornbi nationwith their linking slabs=,:buildings"of rounded; circular or ellipticalsh'a'pe's modular unit, from the-time of castingg-is a striiiitura lly 9 constfllctedf rigid, self-sustaining unit which is easiIy trar'ispGrted and assembled.- and whichistreadilye x'panded la'te'rally and along its longitudinalaxisin anypatternortco'nfigu ration by means. of "one or more linking slabsgand-which' may require onlyafrictional connectiomof the slab orr the ledges in cooperation with thesides-of the legs. A precast slab is conveniently inserted or deposited onto the ledges into the space between two modular units1-= In FIG. l3 a cantilever effect is achievedeittend ing ledges 5 and 6'to 5a andSb'beyond-the widthbf the legshthereby facilitating the construtio'n 15f balconies orrsimilar projecting structures.

connection is the fact that the slabs to be posi-" tionedoh 5a 'and'5b need not'belimited to'ft he'width of the module but can be as 'wide" consistent architectural requirernents. In this aspect 'of 'the inven- Noteworthy, too, in l tion, a module can be in engagement with one or more slabs, which are positioned at 5, 6, 5a and 6a and such flat elements can be of one piece or not.

FIGS. 14 and 15 illustrate modular units as 27 and 34 (L-shaped), each one of which has only one leg 35, bearing ledges 38. Such L-shaped sections of modular units in cooperation with modular units 27 provide additional versatility to the systems of the invention.

FIG. 16 illustrates the numerous variations which can be constructed with a modular unit of the invention, 39 and 42, wherein legs 40 and 44 are longer than legs 41 and 43, and wherein ledges 45 on legs 43 and 44, respectively, are positioned at different heights on the legs respective their base. A window 46 is illustrated in leg 40.

FIGS. 17 and 18 illustrate modules wherein legs 47 are of different shapes and widths, thereby showing the variety of possible constructions. In the module of FIG. 18, the ledge-carrying legs do not extend the full side or length of the top element of the module, wherein the module is defined at the back by element 47a which is shown to, but need not, have a ledge 47b. This type of module is attractive where passages in the direction of the slabs are desired, as between 47 and 47a.

FIG. 19 illustrates further embodiments of the module of the invention, with variations of ledges 48 of slabs 49 and positioning of legs 50 of the module.

FIGS. and 21 illustrate means for connecting a face plate 52 to a module or two modules which have their legs aligned, by means of an adjustable anchor 53, 54 representing a sealant covering and 55 a tubing or hollow space provided during casting of the module for a connecting rod 58 between the two legs 57a and 57b. In this manner, permanent and secure alignment side by side of the modules is provided if deemed necessary.

The angle at which ledges 51 meet the face of legs 50 can be varied as shown in FIGS. 22A and 228. Where the angle is acute, a slab 490 can be positioned which is inclined upwardly, and where the angle is obtuse, a slab 49b can be positioned to slant downwardly. Where the slabs 49a and 49b are positioned in a plane different i from a horizontal plane, they can be made to connect with another module, thereby providing inclined connecting slabs, upwardly or downwardly, between pairs of modules.

FIG. 23 represents another embodiment of modules 61 and 63 of the invention wherein legs 60, 64, and 65 and top element 62 which is positioned on ledges 66 are curved. The convex and concave sides 60 and 64 respecting modules 61 and 63, respectively, carry conforming ledges 66 and 67. Such modules are especially favored for curved buildings or portions thereof.

In FIG. 24 there is illustrated yet another embodiment of module 65 of the invention wherein the ledgecarrying legs are in converging planes and where top element 67 of the module has a concave and convex front and back, 66 and 67, respectively. The concave and convex sides 66 and 67 carry conforming slabs 68 and 69.

It is apparent from the above description that the legs of the module can be curved inwardly or outwardly with respect to the inside of the module; the slabs can have one or more sides which are curved in a convex or concave configuration respective the center of the slab. A slab can therefore be oblong, round, square or rectangular or have any other desired shape combining straight and curved sides. It is apparent from the above that the invention provides a system of modules and slabs which are admirably suited for architecturally and esthetically attractive constructions.

According to a major feature of the invention, the modular unit is provided with a protrusion, haunch, or ledge which is integral with and extends along the width of the exterior face of the leg member. The ledge cooperates with a similarly positioned ledge on the exterior face of the opposite leg member of another modular unit which is in spaced relationship relative to the first mentioned modular unit along their longitudinal axes. Both ledges coact to provide load-bearing surfaces for a slab or flat element. The slab is positioned on the upper or load-bearing surfaces of the ledges in a tight-fitting relationship with the opposite end portions of the face of the leg members which extend from the load-bearing surface of the ledge to the top of the top member. The slab is thus held in substantially gapless engagement between two consecutive modular units. 1

It is a most noteworthy aspect of the invention that the ledges of a pair of modular units together with the linking slab provide the system of the invention with the flexibility for extension along the longitudinal axes of the modules or along their closed ends, as far as is desired without duplication of floors and walls in adjacent tmits, as is common in conventional precast concrete systems. This feature provides considerable savings in materials and labor, coupled with a high versatility and adaptability to the needs sought to be 'fulfilled.

The flat or linking slab between a pair of modules can be at varying elevation relative to the base or height of the leg members. The thickness of the slab can correspond to the distance between the load-bearing or upper surface of the ledge and the top surface of the top element of the module (or that portion of the side of the leg extending upwardly above the ledge to the surface of the top member), thereby providing a continuous coplanar surface between the surface of the top element and that of the slab. If it is desired to construct floors or ceilings which. are not in the same horizontal plane but to have a step upward from the top member to the slab, the thickness of the latter exceeds the distance discussed above, whereas if it is desired to have a step downward from the top member to the slab, its thickness will be less than said distance.

In accordance with the invention, the modular unit is provided with a single or a multiplicity of ledges on any one leg member. The ledges can be coextensive with the width of the leg member, or shorter or longer, thereby protruding on both or either side of the leg to provide a cantilever efiect thereto. The ledge can be a single continuous ledge or it may be segmented, thereby providing communicative conduits between two floors below and above the slab. These conduits may provide practical access for heating or cooling ducts and electrical connections.

' It is noteworthy too that the modular unit of the invention can be of different heights, width. length or span and, moreover, that the linking slabs can be of 1 various sizes too. Thus. even with modules of the same span, a remarkable versatility of building structure is each other when this axis of two consecutive modules is not coextensive.

For vertical extension to multi-story buildings, the modular units of the invention are adapted to be vertically stacked one on top of another for vertical construction to multi-story buildings and the lowermost modular unit is adapted to be affixed on a platform, base or footing generally on the ground. Two modular units of the invention can be vertically coupled to form a vertical coupled pair of modules which can be extended in height to any elevation of building desired. The vertical coupling of a pair of modular units is performed by means of at least one coupling or connecting member, hereinafter referred to as the male portion, which comprises a loop member generally shaped as an inverted V or U, the open ends of which are permanently set into a concrete rib. The loop member may be rigid, as when a steel rod, or supple and pliable, as when a steel cable, for instance. The rib is an integral part of and protrudes from the top member of the modular unit. For maximum strength, it is preferably positioned on the top member above the leg in the same vertical longitudinal plane as that of the leg member, and the ribis substantially centered relative to the width of the leg. The modular unit of the invention is provided with as many male coupling members as are desired for rigid connection with another modular unit. Four of such members, a pair on each side of the top member above the legs, generally provide adequate rigid connection with the unit which is stacked thereon.

The unit which is positioned on the top of a base modular unit is provided within its leg members with a recess, or female portion, which is open to the bottom or base of the leg, and which is preferably substantially centered with respect to the width of the leg. The recess is adapted to receive the rigid male coupling member in a coupling relationship. The size and configuration of the rib and of the recess substantially conform to each other so that the coupling member fits into the recess when a modular unit is stacked onto a base modular unit. The recess is provided with one or more openings to either or both sides of the leg to provide for a inlet and outlet. When it is desired to per manently couple two modular units which are stacked onto each other, or a base modular unit on the male coupling members afl'ixed to a suitable footing on the ground, the hardenable mass is pumped into one of the openings until the recess is substantially full, as may be evidenced by outflow at the other opening, and allowed to set into a permanent coupling. A suitable hardenable mass may be cement, grout, plastic material like an epoxy resin, and the like. The lowermost modular unit of the building of the invention can be affixed generally on the ground on a footing, a concrete slab, for instance, which is provided with the male coupling members as described above. The modular unit is then placed thereon as discussed above.

It is a highly noteworthy aspect of the invention that, by virtue of the male coupling member and the conforming recess, and prior to the use of the hardenable mass, the modular units can be stacked vertically and maintain static stability during the construction operations and resist horizontal stresses due to the rigid bent and external loads like wind. This is important, since this feature obviates additional support or shoring operations and equipment so common with precast traditional buildings and constructions. Yet in this coupling arrangement the units are in a separatable relationship which permits relocation and moving of the modules with respect to each other and other units, if this is desired prior to permanently connecting the modules to each other and/or to the footing member and, for instance, the positioning of the slab member between a pair of modules. The modules thus offer structural and static stability combined with amenability for transport and rearrangement for as long as this is desired.

The male coupling members function, prior to engagement with the recess of the module to be connected, as convenient means for transporting, raising or lowering the modules by suitable cranes and other hooking devices. The position of the male coupling member distributes the lifting stress throughout the entire leg members and therefore does not affect the mechanical integrity of the module.

The modular units of the invention and the linking slabs are suitable for manufacture in a great variety of dimensions. Suitable dimensions range, for instance, from 8 by 8 feet or, when it is desirable that the open space or span of the module be longer, dimensions of the module commonly range from 6 by 10 feet a span to 6 or 8 by 24 feet a span, with any intermediate size as desired. The sizes of the module permit their shipment by conventional vehicles. It is noteworthy that, since three habitable spaces of a building can already be constructed with two modules, horizontally linked by one linking slab, considerable savings in cost and space are obtained in shipment when compared to conventional practices which require three modules for a comparable habitable space.

The dimensions of the other elements of the modules can also readily be cast to suit the desired needs. A module of convenient size consistent with architectural, construction, and good design requirements can have a leg height of 6 to 10 feet, a leg width of 6 to 8 feet, a thickness of 6 to 8 inches, a ledge of a thickness of 6 to 8 inches, a width of 4 to 8 inches, and the distance of the supporting or load-supporting surface of this ledge to the top of the unit can be 4 to 8 inches, this accordingly being the thickness of the linking slab where it is desired that the surface of the slab is a level extension of the top of the module. A room of a size of 24 by 16 feet is readily constructed by assembling in abutting relationship two modules of 8 by 24 feet next to each other with their legs aligned.

The modular units of this invention and their interconnecting slabs can be constructed in a wide variety of materials, such as concrete, plastics, and the like, and techniques best suited to their manufacture, such as prestressing, postressing, skinstressing, stamping, ex-

trution, and the like may be employed. At the present time, precast concrete is a preferred material. It should be noted that any one of the modules may have a wall member integral with the leg and top members, which closes the module on one side, if such construction is desired.

In certain buildings, it may be desirable to affix a face panel securely to a terminal modular unit. This can be achieved conveniently by providing hollow passages such as suitable tubing within and for the length of the leg members of the modules at the time of casting of the modules, which passages are positioned in alignment respective to each other when the modules are assembled. The related tubing provides a suitable passage for a connecting bar or rod which extends and connects one module to the next. Of course, such connecting bars are generally not necessary except in certain circumstances where additional strength is required, such as differential ground settlement or earthquakes.

The modular units and slabs of the invention are suitable for combination with other shaped construction elements, as is illustrated in FIGS. 14 and 15, where the ledge of the module serves as support for a terminal partial module. Likewise, as illustrated in FIG. 16, the modular units of the invention are well suited for combination with conventional blocks or modules. It is to be noted, too, that the legs of any particular module need not be of the same length or height, which can thus either provide a slanted floor member or a horizontal floor, when the shorter leg of the module is positioned on another supporting structure. It is further within the purview of the invention to provide ledges whose load-bearing top surface is not horizontal but is inclined either towards the leg wall, or away therefrom, thereby forming therewith an acute or obtuse angle with the surface of the wall. In this manner, the pitch of the slab, and hence the floor or ceiling of the adjoining unit, away from the horizontal can be determined. This construction may, of course, be suitable for the construction of transfer platforms, or stairs, and the like. While the surfaces of the modular units and slabs of the invention, as well as other connecting units, have been generally represented as planar or smooth, this is not a requirement, and these areas can be provided with any desired configurations. It is generally advisable for maximum stability that the load-bearing surfaces of the ledges and the contacting portions of the slab be in intimate contact with each other.

It is noteworthy that it is within the purview of the invention that the legs or walls of the modules be curved, inwardly or outwardly, with respect to the inside space of the module. In such construction, the ledges on the legs conform to the configuration of the leg and the slab to be positioned thereon likewise is cast to conform to the configuration of the ledge. The slab also need not have straight edges or sides, and thereby forms curved or other configurations.

The areas of the units and the building described I above can be provided prior to assembly, as is known with all the necessary housing fixtures, insulation, water, gas and electricity or other service conduits.

Likewise, the modular units of the invention and slabs, as well as other connectable building elements, are provided at time of casting, as is desired with windOWSydOOI'S, and other openings as for stairs and the like.

It is apparent from the above description of the invention that it involves a new construction concept predicated to a significant measure on the dynamic coaction of a three-dimensional building unit, a new module, having certain defined construction attributes, with a uni-dimensional unit, the slab, to give a technically and architecturally meaningful multidimensional building defining habitable spaces.

The above description also brings out that the invention is socially meaningful and has importance in terms of political economy, in addition to its technical advantages. The invention is adapted to reduce the costs of dwellings and to shorten the realization of private and public building programs. An important contribu tion, too, is the provision by way of construction in accordance with the invention on grounds heretofore considered sub-marginal or marginal because of topography variations. Further, because the system of the invention is compatible with other more conventional precast concrete shapes, its potential use is further expanded and economies realized. In all of these aspects and others apparent from the above description, the invention contributes to the solution of the housing problem prevalent in the world.

I claim:

1. A pair of modular units coupled in vertical relationship, the bottom modular unit having two spaced leg members integrally connected by a top member, at least one of the leg members having a load-bearing ledge which has a surface in a plane substantially parallel to the plane of the top member and is integral with and extends on the outer face of the leg member and said modular unit having a connecting member comprising a loop member permanently set into a rib which is an integral part and protrudes from the top member of the modular unit, and a modular unit positioned above the bottom unit, said modular unit having two spaced leg members integrally connected by a top member, at least one of the leg members having a ledge which is integral with and extends on the outer face of the leg member, at least one leg member of said modular unit defining at least one recess which is open to the bottom of the base of the leg, the connecting member of the bottom modular unit being engaged in the recess of the top modular unit, the modular units being thus vertically stacked in static relationship by means of a hardened mass filling the recess within the leg of the modular unit.

2. The pair of modular units of claim 1 wherein the hardened mass is grout.

3. The pair of coupled modular units of claim 2 wherein each leg member of the bottom modular unit has a load bearing ledge.

4. The pair of coupled modular units of claim 2 wherein each leg member of the modular unit positioned above the bottom unit has a load bearing ledge.

5. The units of claim 1 which are of concrete.

6. The units of claim 1 which are of precase concrete.

7. A method of construction which comprises coupling a first moular unit having two spaced leg members integrally connected by a top member, at least one of the leg members having a ledge which is integral with and extends on the outer face of the leg member and said modular unit having a connecting member comprising a loop member permanently set into a rib which is an integral part and protrudes from the top member of the modular unit with a second modular unit having two spaced leg members integrally connected by a top member, at least one of the leg members having a ledge which is integral with and extends on the outer face of the leg member, at least one leg member of the modular unit defining at least one recess which is open to the bottom of the base of the leg, by fitting the loop member of the first modular unit into the recess of the base of the leg of the second modular unit, thereby mating said two elements and forming a selfsustaining static building which defines a multiplicity of habitable spaces, inserting a hardenable material into the recess of the leg of the modular unit in which the connecting member is positioned and allowing it to harden to form a hardened mass.

8. The method of claim 7 wherein the hardened mass is grout.

9. The method of claim 7 wherein each leg member has a ledge and a recess and both loop members are fitted into the recess of the base of the leg.

10. The method of claim 9 which comprises inserting a hardenable material into the recesses of the legs in which the connecting member is positioned and allowing it to harden.

11. The method of claim 10 wherein the hardened material is grout.

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U.S. Classification52/79.11, 52/125.4, 52/79.4, 52/79.14
International ClassificationE04B1/348
Cooperative ClassificationE04B1/34823
European ClassificationE04B1/348C2