US 3724142 A
In a modular building structure there is provided a plurality of prefabricated modular units arranged to branch outwardly from a common central area and connected together to form a central room. Each modular unit has an open inner end and terminates in an outer end wall. A horizontally disposed floor member partitions each modular unit into an upper room and a lower space. The modular units are conveniently arranged side by side or one on another to provide building structures of a desired size.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Worthington 1 Apr. 3, 1973 [541 MODULAR BUKLDING STRUCTURE FOREIGN PATENTS 0R APPLICATIONS lnvemorl Carl Worthington, 2026 Balsam 105,083 8/1966 Denmark ..52 79 Drive.Boulder.C0lo. 80302 1,381,851 11/1964 France ..52/237 1 Filed: J 1971 OTHER PUBLICATIONS PP N05 104,211 Plastics House of Tomorrow" from Prefabrication;
July, 1956; pages 394 and 395.
52/299, 52/200 Primary Examiner-Frank L. Abbott 51 1111.01. ..E04b 1/348 Assistant Y Raduazo 531 Field of Search ..52 73, 79, 81,237, 236,745; Attorney-Reilly &
 ABSTRACT  References Cited .In a modular building structure there is provided a UNITED STATES PATENTS plurality of prefabricated modular units arranged to branch outwardly from a common central area and 3,468,083 9/1969 Camoletti ..52/237 connected together to form a central room. Each 2,154,897 4/1939 Grant ..52/79 mod lar unit has an open inner end and terminates in 1b;Iosell1.l.l. an outer end wall. A horizontally disposed floor axwe H d t 21:":112'12182: :21; "11:12:11; 3121631322? 3,587,197 6/1971 Renfro ..52/73 p veniently arranged side by side or one on another to provide building structures of a desired size.
8 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAFRB I975 SHEET 1 OF 3 INVENTOR CARL A. WOR THING T ON BY (y ATTORNEYS PATENTEDAPN ms 3 724 142 SHEET 2 [1F 3 MODULAR BUILDING STRUCTURE This invention relates to improvements in modular building type structures and more particularly to novel and improved building structures which are made up of separate modular units constructed and arranged to provide low-cost building structures.
More recently there has been a trend to make building structures out of a plurality of individual modular units which may be constructed using assembly line techniques. The modular units are shipped in separate units and assembled at the building site.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide relatively low-cost, durable modular units which are assembled into an integral multi-room building structure at the building site.
Another object of this invention is to provide a novel building structure including modular units, each modular unit capable of being made up of readily assembled precut panels or as molded single units.
Yet a further object of this invention is to provide a plurality of modular units which are constructed and arranged so that together they form a large central room accessible to each separate modular unit.
Still a further object of this invention is to provide a novel building structure which may be supported fully above the ground surface but has substantial storage space below the floor level.
In accordance with the present invention in a preferred embodiment thereof there is provided a plurality of prefabricated modular units arranged to branch outwardly from a common central area with the modular units so constructed and arranged as to form a central room opening into each modular unit. Each modular unit has a pair of spaced side walls which terminate at one end in an outer end wall and has top and bottom walls converging outwardly to terminate at the outer end wall with the inner end of the modular units being open. A top cover and a base cooperate with the modular units to close off the central room. A horizontally disposed floor member is formed as a one-piece integral unit or is a separate member for each modular unit. The floor partitions the structure into upper rooms and a lower storage space. The modular units may be placed side by side or one on another to make up buildings of a desired size.
Other objects, advantages and capabilities of the present invention will become more apparent as the description proceeds taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. I is a side elevation view of a modular building assembly embodying features of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the building assembly shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a horizontal cross-sectional view taken along a horizontal line through the center of the building assembly shown in FIGS. 1 and 2;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 4- 4 of FIG. 3;
. FIG. 5 is a perspective, exploded, schematic view of the building assembly own in FIG. 1 illustrating an integral floor member;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of one modular unit utilizing a separate floor member for each modular unit;
FIG. 7 is a vertical sectional view of another form of modular building assembly having a pair of modular units arranged side by side at opposite sides of the building; and
FIG. 8 is a vertical'cross-sectional view of a two-story modular building assembly.
Referring now to the drawings,'the building assembly shown in FIGS. 1-5 is made up of four individual prefabricated modular units designated 11, 12, 13 and 14, respectively. These modular units are secured to one another and arranged to branch out or radiate from a common center or central area so that adjacent room units are at to one another.
Each modular unit is of a similar construction and may difl'er only in the provision of doors, windows and the like so that the general description of one applies to all. Each modular unit shown is made up of a pair of spaced-apart side walls 15 and 16 parallel to one another which terminate at their outer ends in a vertical end wall 17 together with spaced-apart top and bottom walls 18 and 19, respectively, which converge outwardly toward one another and terminate at the end wall 17. As best seen in FIGS. 2 and 5, the top wall has an inner end portion which extends inwardly beyond the side walls and provides inwardly converging side edges 22 and 23 and a straight intermediate edge 24 parallel to the outer edge 25. Although the side walls are shown as extending parallel to one another, they may converge outwardly as do the top and bottom walls, making each of the modular units nestable in one another for a more compact transportation thereof.
A horizontal floor member 26 is provided to partior divide each modular unit into an upper room and a lower space. The lower space is advantageously utilized for heat ducts and storage. The form of floor member 26 shown in FIGS. 1-5 is an integral unit and essentially is in the form of a cross having a central portion 26a and four outwardly projecting branch portions 26b which extend into each of the modular units. The branch portions 26b slidably insert into grooves 28 and 28 in side walls 15 and 16, respectively. The outer end of each branch portion terminates at the vertical and wall and is beveled along its lower outer edge to fit flush against the top of the inclined bottom wall 19. This arrangement permits the quick insertion of the floor member 26 into the modular units at the building site and the floor member also assists in connecting the modular units together as a unitary building structure.
The vertical edges 31 of the side walls of one modular unit butt against one another and are fixedly secured thereto by suitable fastening means so as to form a central room 32. The building is equipped with movable wardrobes 30 which serve to partition the modular units from the central room. As best seen in FIG. 4, a base wall 33 closes the bottom of the assembly with its outer edges butting against the inner vertical edges of the bottom walls. Four caissons or like upright supports 34, supported in the earth, are provided at each corner of thebase 33 to support the entire building assembly above the surface of the ground. Vertical supports 35 extend between the base and the floor member for added strength. Vertical supports 35 may be panels which form a box-like framework under the central room 32. A topcover member 36 in the form of a translucent skylight formsa central cover for the central room 32. The building assembly shown has a stairway 37 leading from the door 38 of modular unit 14 to ground level represented at 39. Windows 40 are provided in each modular unit.
An alternative form of floor structure for each modular unit which is shown in FIG. 6 has a horizontal floor member 41 inserted into the side wall grooves and has an inner portion extending beyond the side walls providing inwardly converging edges 42 and 43 terminating in an apex 44. Similarly, the bottom wall 45 is modified by having an inner portion extending beyond the side walls providing inwardly converging edges 46 and 47 which terminate in a central apex 48. In the assembly the converging side edges of adjacent modular units butt against one another and are secured together by suitable fastening means.
Another form of building assembly shown in FIG. 7 has six modular units. In this arrangement a pair of modular units designated 51 and 52 are arranged side by side and with the sides being parallel to one another and located between two opposed end modular units designated 53 and 54. Another pair of modular units designated 55 and 56 are arranged side by side with the sides being parallel to one another and located between the pair of modular units. The pair of modular units 53 and 54 are oppositely disposed from the pair of modular units 51 and 52. In this arrangement each pair of side-by-side modular units has a common intermediate side wall represented at 57.
A multi-story building assembly shown in FIG. 8 has a first story made up of modular units arranged similar to that shown in FIGS. 1-5. In this form the lower story has a common horizontal wall 61 dividing the modular units into two stories and vertical end walls 62 extending between the inwardly and upwardly inclined top wall 18 of the upper story and the inwardly and downwardly inclined bottom wall 19 of the lower story.
From the foregoing it is apparent that each modular unit may be molded from a plastic material or made of preformed panels at a relatively low cost and may be rigidly secured together along adjacent edges.
Although the present invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure has been made by way of example and that changes in details of structure may be made without departing from the spirit thereof.
What is claimed is:
1. In a modular building assembly, a plurality of outwardly branching, prefabricated modular units, each said modular unit having an inner open end and terminating at an outer end wall, a common area between the modular units, each modular unit having a top wall adapted to extend over a portion of the common area to cooperate with the top walls of the other modular units to form a roof structure substantially covering the common area, and an integral floor member extending into each modular unit joining the modular units together into a unitary structure, said floor member partitioning each modular unit into an upper room and a lower space, and the edges along the inner open end of one modular unit being secured to the edges of an adjacent modular unit to form a unitary building structure.
2. In a modular building assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein each said modular unit has a bottom wall which converges outwardly toward the top wall.
In a modular building assembly as set forth in claim 1 further including a central skylight member interconnecting the top walls for closing the roof structure of said central room.
4. In a modular building assembly as set forth in claim 1 further including a base disposed under the floor member interconnected to the inner edges of the bottom walls of each said modular unit, and uprights under the base to support the building assembly.
5. In a modular building assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein there are four modular units with one modular unit arranged at right angles to an adjacent modular unit.
6. In a modular building assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein there are six modular units with a first pair of modular units arranged side by side and parallel to one another between oppositely disposed modular units and a second pair of modular units between the oppositely disposed modular units and disposed oppositely of the first pair of modular units.
7. In a modular building assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein there are six modular units with one modular unit mounted on another modular unit at opposite sides of the building structure.
8. In a modular building assembly a plurality of outwardly branching prefabricated modular room units made as an integral member arranged to form a central room accessible to each outwardly branching modular unit, each modular unit having a pair of spaced-apart side walls arranged parallel to one another, an end wall and top and bottom walls converging outwardly from the central room toward one another and terminating at the end wall, each top wall having an inner end portion extending inwardly beyond the inner vertical edges of the side walls providing inwardly converging edges and a straight intermediate edge, an inwardly converging edge of one modular unit butting against the inwardly convergent edge of an adjacent modular unit to form a top wall structure for the central room, a top cover member having outer edges secured to adjacent intermediate edges of each of said top walls to 'form a central cover for the central room, a horizontally disposed floor member partitioning each modular unit into an upper room and a lower space, said floor member being common to each of the modular units and having a central area and a branch projecting outwardly from the central area coextensive with each of the modular units, each said branch being afiixed to the inner surfaces of the side and outer end walls of a respective modular unit to join the modular units into a unitary structure, adjacent edges of one modular unit being secured to the edges of an adjacent modular unit, and a base secured to the inner edges of the bottom modular units into a unitary building structure.
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