US 3791080 A
A floating or land based modular assembly for housing or commercial use including one or more selectively interengageable units. Each unit is of polygonal prefabricated shape and comprises complemental base or hull sections and a roof section which sections are spaced apart by supporting columns, the supporting columns being removed to permit collapsing of the unit. Means are provided for joining any desired number of modular units together, and for retaining the assembly in place on water or land.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
ited States atent 1 [111 3,791,989 Sjoberg Feb. 12, 1974 FLOATING OR LAND BASED MODULAR Inventor: John B. Sjoberg, 5330 Opihi St.,
Honolulu, Hawaii  Filed: Sept. 10, 1971  Appl. No.: 179,331
 US. Cl 52/79, 52/143, 52/82, 52/237, 9/2 C  Int. Cl E041) l/348  Field of Search... 52/73, 79, 82, 237, 745, 143,
52/66; 61/48; 296/27; 9/2 S, 2 C, 1 A
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,363,259 l1/1944 Penton 52/79 3,434,166 3/1969 Clymer 296/27 3,288,520 11/1966 Krutzikowsky 52/66 3,674,305 7/1972 Steuvy 52/66 3,690,077 9/1972 Dalgliesh 52/79 D222,129 10/1971 Baker 52/73 3,468,083 9/1969 Camoletti 52/237 3,486,342 12/1969 Aks 61/48 1,933,597 11/1933 McVitty.... 61/48 3,495,866 2/1970 Bontrager 52/66 3,500,601 3/1970 Hamill 52/236 3,600,865 8/1971 Vanich 52/237 3,618,273 11/1971 Crandall 52/237 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,269,321 7/1961 France 52/79 676,997 8/1952 Great Britain 52/66 1,479,312 5/1967 France 52/745 1,581,473 9/1969 France 52/79 6,714,777 5/1968 Netherlands.... 52/79 1,434,015 7/1968 Germany 52/237 753,001 2/1969 Canada 52/79 OTHER PUBLICATIONS Gifts, The Washington Post Potomac Magazine Nov. 29, 1970, page 66.
Primary Examiner-Frank L. Abbott Assistant Examiner-H. E. Raduazo Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Shlesinger, Arkwright, Garvey & Dinsmore [5 7] ABSTRACT 11 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures PATENTEDFEB 12 I974 3391.080 SHEET 0? 5 5:1 k ;:i az- 42% IINVENTOWS JOHN SJOBERG ATTO NEWS minnow-12mm I 3.791.030
SiEUHlFS mvsmons JOHN SJOBERG ATTOI N EYS PATENTEUFEB 121914 I 3.791.080
SHEET 5 BF 5 INV EN TOR.
JOHN SJOBERG FLOATING on LAND BASED MODULAR ASSEMBLY FOR HOUSING OR CO ERCIAL USE BACKGROUND AND OBJECTS point where it is economically impossible or unfeasible for many to buy and build on land. In other areas, such as various islands throughout the world, the land rises so steeply out of the water that onshore construction is rendered extremely difficult. Where conditions permit, many persons live on houseboats which, although offering a partial solution to this problem, are high in cost and do not lend themselves to enlargement for providing additional living space.
It is an object of this invention to provide a prefabricated assembly comprisingmodular units which are floatable and may be selectively connected together in any desired number to provide structures of varying size for use as housing, commercial installations, marina facilities, warehouses, heliports and for many other purposes.
Another object is to provide a prefabricated assembly of the character described, each modular unit being provided with a pedestal for positioning the same on mud flats, hilly terrain, or other land areas heretofore regarded as being unsuitable for conventional building units.
A further object is to provide an assembly of the character described wherein each modular unit comprises a base or hull section and a roof section, support columns extending between the base and roof sections, the support sections being removable to permit collapse of the modular unit with the roof section and hull section in direct engagement with each other, thereby forming a pod which facilitates shipping and storing of the modular units.
Other objects are to provide an assembly of the character described wherein said modular units are of molded construction and of polygonal shape to facilitate the fitting together of additional modular units as desired; to provide connecting means carried by the modular units to permit connection of the modular units together, means engageable with said connecting means for anchoring the modular units to allow limited vertical movement with the rise and fall of the water, but preventing lateral motion of the modular units; to provide an assembly wherein for installation on a land surface a pedestalpends from the lower section of each modular unit for insertion into the ground; and toprovide an assembly of the character described wherein the modular units may be economically manufactured and fitted with equipment prior to floating into position for use as part of the modular assembly.
Other objects will be apparent from the following description of the presently preferred form of this invention taken in conjunction with the appended drawings.
DESCRIPTION OF FIGURES OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a fragmentary top plan view of a community illustrating the use of the assembly of the present invention,.the roof sections of several of the modular units being removed to disclose details;
FIG. 2 is an elevational view of the community of FIG. 1, portions thereof being shown in sections;
FIG. 3 is a modular unit constructed in accordance with the present invention and shown in erected position;
FIG. 4 is an elevational view of a pod illustrating the modular unit of FIG. 3 in collapsed position;
FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view of the modular unit of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a vertical sectional view of the pod of FIG.
FIG. 7 is a fragmental top plan view of the modular assembly of the present invention with the roof section removed, and illustrating to advantage the manner of interconnecting the modular units;
FIG. 8 is an elevational view of the connecting and anchoring means for the modular unit, and showing in section the socket for receiving the support columns in the base section;
FIG. 9 is a sectional view showing to advantage the socket in the roof section for receiving a support column;
FIG. 10 is a view similar to FIG. 8 showing an alternative form of connecting modular units together;
FIG. 11 is an elevational view of a modified form of the present invention illustrating its installation on land;
FIG. 12 is a view similar to FIG. 11, illustrating the installation of the modified form of the invention on a hillside, and
FIG. 13 is a bottom plan of the modified form of the present invention.
DESCRIPTION OF FIGS. 1 to 10 As shown to advantage in FIGS. 1 and 2, the assembly of the present invention includes a plurality of modular units 20 of polygonal shape which are fitted together as shown to provide communication therebetween. In the form of invention illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 9, the assembly is particularly adapted for flotation on water, access to the modular assembly being provided by means of a roadway 22 provided with ramps 24 for access to individual assemblies. Utility lines are shown at 25.
It will be noted from FIG. 2'that roadway 22 is supported by flotation members 24, the roadway being provided with anchoring means 28 permitting vertical movement of the roadway with the rise and fall of the water and limited lateral movement thereof. The assembly of the present invention may be secured to ramps 24 in any suitable manner to prevent separation of the assembly from the roadway.
Each of the modular units includes a base or hull section 30 and a complemental roof section 32. Base and roof sections 30 and 32 are preferably of molded concrete or fiberglass construction, thereby readily lending themselves to prefabrication at a point near to, or remote from the point of use of the modular unit. The base and roof sections are additionally shown as being of hexagonal shape, which shape it has been found lends itself to readily fitting together additional modular units and reducing lateral movement of the assembly on the water.
Base or hull section 30 is generally of cup-like construction having a plurality of sides 34, a bottom 36 and an upper, outwardly extending flange 38. Bottom 36 is provided with a central upstanding post 40 from which radiate spaced ribs 42, each rib extending from the central post ro a corner of the base or hull section, internally thereof. Ribs 42 are preferably provided with a plurality of spaced transverse stirrups 44 for reinforcing the ribs. Above ribs 42 are supporting beams 46 on which a finished floor 48 is laid. The space beneath floor 48 may be used for storage, a water heater or other miscellaneous equipment.
Referring now to FIGS. 7 and 8, each corner of the polygonal base or hull section is enlarged at 50, which enlarged portion is provided with an upwardly opening socket or recess 52 adapted for the reception of a support column 54. Roof section 32 complements the contour of base or hull section 30, being of polygonal, inverted cup shape. Roof section 32 includes a plurality of sides 56, separated by external ribs 58 which extend from a central post 60 to each corner of the roof section. A hook 62 extends upwardly from central post 60 for purposes to be hereinafter more fully set out. The peripheral portion of roof section 32 is provided with a flange 64 which is complemental to, and in opposed relation with respect to flange 36 of base or hull section 30. Each side 56 of roof section 32 is provided with a central recess 66 for purposes to be hereinafter more fully set out. As shown to advantage in FIG. 9, ribs 58 are thickened at their outermost portion as indicated at 68, which thickened portions are provided with a socket or recess 70 for receiving the upper end of support column 54 which is supported at its lower end by socket or recess 52 of base of hull section 30.
It is a salient part of the invention to provide means for selectively and detachably securing modular units together to provide an assembly of any desired size. For this purpose, a snap hook 72 is secured to and extends outwardly from, thickened portions 50 of base or hull section 30. As shown to advantage in FIG. 8, the snap hooks of adjacent modular units are adapted for engagement with spaced eyes 74, which are fixedly secured to the outer periphery ofa ring 75, the ring being preferably secured to a post 76 which is driven into the ground to prevent lateral movement of the ring on the post and permit corresponding vertical movement of the modular units with the rise and fall of the water with the tides.
In installations where roadway 22 is securely anchored, post 76 may be eliminated and snap hooks 72 of adjacent modular units directly connected together as illustrated in FIG. 10.
The base section and roof section comprising the modular unit of the present invention are, as indicated, of molded concrete or fiberglass construction, the units being of complemental construction so that roof section 34 may be placed in engagement with base section 30, as indicated in FIG. 4, for facility in storage and shipping. Items of furniture 78, exterior and interior wall units, cabinets and plumbing facilities 80 may be stored in the pod so that upon shipping of the pod to the location for use, it will be fully equipped to provide housing or for commercial purposes. When in the collapsed position shown in FIG. 4, recesses 66 in the roof section may be covered by plywood or other suitable material 82 to render the pod weathertight.
When a modular unit is ready to be incorporated in an assembly in accordance with the present invention, the pod of FIG. 4 may be floated in position and attached by snap hooks 72 to snap rings attached to posts 76. Roof section 32 may then be raised by connecting a crane or other suitable power means with hook 62 to lift the roof into spaced relationship with the base or hull section 30. The upper and lower ends of support columns 54 are then engaged in sockets 70 and 52 respectively which, without the need for any additional parts, will hold the roof section in proper spaced relationship to the base section. Window units 84 of prefabricated construction may be put in place and, where needed, an enlarged window unit 86 is placed between window units 84. In those instances where the enlarged central opening formed by recess 66 in roof section 32 and the space between the roof section and base section, is to be employed as a doorway, the window is eliminated to provide access through the doorway to an adjacent modular unit.
DESCRIPTION OF FIGS. 11 to 13 In FIGS. 1 1 to 13, there is illustrated a modified form of the present invention adapted for a land based installation. In this form of the invention, modular units 20' comprises base sections 30 and roof sections 34 which are similar in construction to the modular units illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 10.
It is a salient part of the modified form to provide base section 30 with a pedestal column 88 which extends downwardly from the center of the base section. Column 88 may be circular in cross setion as shown, or may be polygonal. Column 88 is adapted to be inserted into the ground 90 for supporting each modular unit 20, preferably in spaced relation to the ground. This unit is adapted for use on relatively flat ground areas, such as mud flats or other land areas not suitable for conventional type building units, as illustrated in FIG. 11.
This form of the invention is also adaptable for use in hilly terrain by insertion of column 88 into a hillside 92, as illustrated in FIG. 12. This permits the utilization of land areas not otherwise useable for housing or the like.
It will be apparent from the above description that any desired number of modular units may be readily joined together in the manner described to provide a modular assembly of any desired size, depending upon need. The modular units may be readily manufactured, stored and floated into position for use, the units being readily erected and anchored in a minimum of time, thereby providing housing or commercial structures, at low cost. Additionally, when assemblies made in accordance with the present invention are located on waterways, no land is necessary, and utility lines including sewer, telephone, electricity and gas may be readily fed to the units as desired.
While there has been herein shown and described the presently preferred form of this invention, it should be understood that such has been done for purposes of illustration only, and that various changes may be made herein within the scope of the appended claims.
What I claim is:
1. A modular assembly for housing or commerical use including:
a. a first modular unit comprising spaced complemental, polygonal base and roof sections providing side and comer portions,
b. said base section being of cup shape and said roof section being of inverted cup shape,
c. the corner portions of said base and roof sections being provided with opposed sockets,
d. support columns extending between said roof and base sections for holding the sections in spaced relationship,
e. the opposed sockets of said base and roof sections receiving the terminals of one of said support columns,
f. said support columns being removable to permit said roof section to be placed in direct engagement with the complemental base section to form a pod for facility in shipping and storing the same, the pod affording storage space for equipment or the like.
g. window units positioned in the sides of the modular unit between the peripheral limits of said base and roof sections,
h. a doorway selectively located in one of the sides of said modular unit,
i. a second modular unit similar to said first modular unit,
j. one of said window units of said first modular unit being removable to provide a doorway for access to said second modular unit,
k. hook means carried by said modular unit, and
l. stationary means engageable with said hook means,
rn. said stationary means comprising a post 11. a ring slidably engaged over said post,
0. said hook means being engageable with said ring p. whereby vertical movement of said hook means and ring is permitted with respect to said post.
2. A modular assembly for housing or commercial.
a. a modular unit comprising spaced, complemental, polygonal base and roof sections providing side and corner portions,
b. said base section being of cup shape and said roof section being of inverted cup shape,
c. said base section having internal ribs extending from the center of said base section to the corners thereof,
(1. said roof section having external ribs extending from the center of said roof section to the corners thereof,
e. the opposed edge portions of the sides of said base and roof sections being provided with flanges,
f. each corner of said base section being enlarged adjacent said flange and provided with an upwardly opening socket,
g. said ribs of the roof section being thickened at the flange and provided with downwardly opening sockets,
h. a plurality of vertical support columns extending between said base and roof sections,
i. the upper and lower terminals of said support columns being removably positioned in the sockets of said base and roof sections for holding said base and roof sections in predetermined spaced relationship when in use and being removed to permit said roof section to be placed in direct engagement with the complemental base section to form a pod for facility in shipping and storing the same, the
6 pod affording storage space for equipment or the like, and
j. window units positioned between the opposed flanges of said base and roof sections.
3. The modular assembly of claim 2, with the addition of:
a. a second modular unit similar to the first modular unit, and
b. means for securing said modular units together,
c. one of said window units of said first modular unit being removable to provide a doorway for access to said second modular unit.
4. The modular assembly of claim 3, wherein:
a. said means for securing the modular units together comprises hook means carried by said modular units,
b. said hook means of adjacent modular units being detachably connected together.
5. The modular assembly of claim 2 wherein:
a. said modular unit is constructed of a floatable material to permit location thereof on water.
6. The modular assembly of claim 5, with the addition of:
a. a floatable roadway,
b. anchoring means for said roadway permitting vertical movement thereof with the rise and fall of the water, and
c. a ramp connecting said roadway to said modular unit.
7. The modular assembly of claim 3, wherein:
a. said means for securing the modular units together comprises hook means carried by said modular units, and
stationary means engageable with said hook means.
8. The modular assembly of claim 7, wherein:
a. said stationary means comprises a post,
b. a ring slidably engaged over said post,
c. said hook means being engageable with said ring,
(1. whereby vertical movement of said hook means and ring is permitted with respect to said post.
9. The modular assembly of claim 2, with the addition of:
a. pedestal column means extending downwardly from said base section for insertion into the ground.
10. The modular assembly of claim 2, wherein:
a. said cup shaped polygonal base section includes a plurality of sides,
b. a bottom, and
c. an upper, outwardly extending flange,
d. said bottom being provided with a central upstanding post, and
e. ribs radiating outwardly from said central post to the sides thereof.
11. The modular assembly of claim 2, with the addition of:
a. a hook extending upwardly from said central post to facilitate lifting of said roof section from engagement with said base section when the unit is to be assembled for use.