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Publication numberUS3793428 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 19, 1974
Filing dateOct 29, 1971
Priority dateOct 29, 1971
Also published asCA951534A1
Publication numberUS 3793428 A, US 3793428A, US-A-3793428, US3793428 A, US3793428A
InventorsH Gordon
Original AssigneeH Gordon
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Building construction
US 3793428 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 19,1974 GQRDQN I BUILDING CONSTRUCTION 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Oct. 29, 1971 Feb. 19, 1974 H. GORDON 3,793,428

BUILDING CONSTfiUCTION Filed- Oct. 29. 1971 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 w iz'ifim Feb. 19, 1974 H. GORDON BUILDING CONSTRUCTION 4 Sheets-Sheet :5

Filed Oct. 29. 1971 Feb. 19, 1914 H, GORDON 3,793,428

BUILDING CONSTRUCTION Filed Oct. 29. 1971 4.Sheets-Sheet 4 u'nnuuunn is United States Patent 3,793,428 BUILDING CONSTRUCTION Harry Gordon, 535 Thurlow St., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Filed Oct. 29, 1971, Ser. No. 193,668 Int. Cl. B281) N32 US. Cl. 264250 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A method of constructing a standardized room module capable of being assembled with other units of the same or varying design to erect a multistory apartment building. A box-like form is partially enclosed by a gridwork of metal reinforcement and the assembly is sprayed with concrete to provide a relatively lightweight, transportable module which later can be substantially completed ready for transport to the building site.

My invention relates to the construction of apartment buildings and the like and more particularly to a method of prefabricating modular units for such a building.

Modular building construction is recognized as having a number of advantages over more conventional building methods but the prefabrication of modules presents problems to the manufacture which hitherto do not appear to have been satisfactorily solved. For example, it is diflicult to provide any amount of variation in the design of factory constructed modules and this is partly due at least to the need to use exterior formwork as well as other conventional support members for this type of construction. Modules built by known methods usually are so heavy that if attempts are made to complete the interior of the module as is desirable, then the total weight of the completed structure is of such magnitude that transportation becomes difiicult and extra powerful hoisting equipment must be used at the building site.

I have overcome the above mentioned as well as other problems by providing a relatively economical method of mass producing modular building units which employs conventional spraying equipment to apply concrete to a box-like room form or pattern which is partially enclosed by a gridwork of metal reinforcing members. This provides a box-like or substantially enclosed room module with thin, lightweight and exteriorally reinforced enclosing surfaces which are smooth finished on the inside and rough finished on the outside. The interior of the room module can be painted at the factory if desired and such elements as partitions, light and plumbing fixtures, wall cabinets and the like can be installed to efi'ect a further saving in construction time and labor costs. A room module constructed in this manner is readily transportable and can be assembled with other units using the type of equipment presently available to building contractors. By using an adjustable box form which does not require exterior formwork, modules of varying widths and lengths can be produced with different interior surface features. This flexibility allows the manufacturer to produce modules with any design variations an architect might consider desirable. Also, a module made by spraying concrete on the outer surfaces of a box form can be provided with thin confining walls reinforced by outwardly projecting members and this configuration results in intermodule spaces between the assembled modules which can be filled with concrete and reinforcement as desired to complete a structural entity.

In drawings which illustrate a preferred embodiment of the invention:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a typical modular unit made in accordance with the present method of construction,

FIG. 2 is a perspective view, part broken away, of a portion of a mold used to form the floor,

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the completed floor surmounted by a box form and reinforcing cage,

FIG. 4 is an enlarged vertical section of a portion of the floor,

FIG. 5 is a side elevation, part broken away, showing a box form resting on the floor,

FIG. 6 is a transverse vertical section taken on the line 6--6 of FIG. 1,

FIG. 7 is a horizontal section taken on the line 7-7 of FIG. 6,

FIG. 8 is a vertical section taken on the line 8-8 of FIG. 6,

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a portion of an end wall,

FIG. 10 is a schematic view of an apartment building constructed of the modules,

FIG. 11 is a horizontal section showing the reinforced columns used on the building and the finish applied to an outer wall thereof, and

FIG. 12 is a vertical section showing the construction of a beam installed between vertically stacked modules on the building.

Referring to FIG. 1, the numeral 10 indicates generally a module which is a single room unit such as might be used on a multi-story apartment building. The modular unit 10 comprises a floor 12, side walls 14 and 15, end walls 17 and 18, and a ceiling 19.

The present method of construction lends itself very well to production on an assembly line basis and, for convenience in manufacture, the room module 10 preferably is constructed in stages which may vary according to the size and shape of the module as well as to other factors. To produce the module 10, I prefer to use a separate floor mold 26, see FIG. 2. The rectangular mold 26 has relatively adjustable side and end walls 27 and 28 (only one of each being shown in FIG. 2) as well as a bottom wall 29. Transversely extending troughs 30 are formed in the bottom wall 29, these troughs being suitably spaced apart along the length of the shallow mold 26.

Reinforcing members such as rods 34 are suitably sup ported one in each trough 30 and these rods have their opposite ends turned upwardly to provide dowel-like side connectors 35 spaced inwardly from the side walls 27. Above the wall 29, a welded wire mesh reinforcing screen 37 is suitably supported in the mold 26 with the sides and ends of said screen being spaced a short distance inwardly of the walls 27 and 28 of the floor mold. Next, other reinforcing rods 39 are suitably supported in the mold 26 above the wire mesh screen 37. These rods 39 need not extend the full length of the mold 26 but they are provided with upturned ends forming dowel-like connectors 40 which are spaced inwardly of one end wall 28 of the floor mold.

A fine aggregate concrete is poured or sprayed into the mold 26 to embed the rods 34 and 39 as well as the reinforcing screen 37 in the concrete material and to provide a reinforced concrete slab of a suitable thickness, for example, 2 inches. Preferably, the concrete is applied by spraying using conventional plaster spraying equipment. Such equipment provides a good degree of control over the mixture application with the concrete mix being compacted as it is applied. The floor 12 can be given a terrazzo or other finish at this stage if desired. When the concrete has cured, the resulting concrete floor slab for the modular unit 10 would appear as shown best in FIG. 3, but preferably the slab is left in the mold for separation later as will be described. An enlarged vertical section of the floor 12 is shown in FIG. 4 where it will be seen that troughs 30 provide the floor with depending joists 42.

Th next step in the construction of the module is to position a box-like form 45 over the floor sla-b 12, this form being shown by dotted lines only in FIG. 3 and by solid lines in FIG. 5. Form 45 may be assembled directly above the slab 12 but I prefer to preassemble the box form and roll it into position along temporary guide rails (not shown). Alternatively, the preassembled form 45 may be towered over the floor slab 12 using suitable hoisting equipment.

As shown best in FIG. 5, the box form 45 has side wall panels 46 and 47, a single end wall panel 48 and a ceiling panel 49. This arrangement of panels provides the form 45 with an open end 50. The outer surfaces of the vertical panels of the form 45 are spaced inwardly of the connectors 35 and 40 while the open end 50 is similarly spaced from adjacent end edge 52 of the floor 12. Secured to the outer surfaces of the several panels which make up the form 45 are elements such as electric outlet boxes 53 and 54 (panels 46 and 49), and structures such as a passageway frame 55 (panel 47), and a doorway frame 56 (panel 49). These attachments to the outer surfaces of the form 45 convert the panels thereof into patterns for the walls and ceiling of the room module 10 which is reproduced when said form is sprayed with concrete as will be explained later.

The concrete module 10 is reinforced by metal members which are arranged around the box form 45 in a manner calculated to give an optimum strength-to-weight ratio to the completed unit. Again, I prefer to preassemble the module reinforcement so as to speed up production although it may be erected in a normal manner about the form 45. The preassembled reinforcing members define a cage which is generally indicated at 60 and is shown in its entirety by chain dotted lines in FIG. 3 only. This cage 60, which is a metal gridwork, is of the same oblong shape as the form 45 but slightly larger so that it can be lowered or rolled into position using suitable hoisting or rolling equipment, not shown.

Referring now to FIG. 6, the cage 60 is shown to comprise screens 62, 63, 64 and 65 which are formed of the same welded steel wire mesh material used for reinforcing the floor 12. The several screens are spaced a short distance from the outer surfaces of their respective panels and are provided with appropriately shaped openings (not shown) corresponding to the doorway frame 56 and other attachments secured to said panels and which provide the previously mentioned patterns for the room walls.

Cage 60 also comprises a suitable number of reinforcing rods which are grouped together to provide inverted U- shaped bands extending over the box form 45 and uniformly spaced therealong. The particular arrangement of the rods of each band may vary but, as shown in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8, rods 67, 68 and 69 are located near the screens 62, 63 and 65 respectively. The opposite ends of the rods, which are designated by the letter A, are disposed at right angles to the major portion of each rod so as to extend over one adjacent panel of the box form 45.

The rods 67 are intended to reinforce studs 72 which are formed when the assembly is sprayed with concrete and, in order to reproduce each of these studs, a suitable mold 73 is provided, see FIG. 7. The molds 73 may each consist of a pair of angles 74 which I prefer to mount on the assembly line equipment supporting the cage 60 so that they can be moved into position along with said cage while being properly located relative to the rods 67.

Molds (not shown) indentical to the molds 73 are provided to form studs 76 on the wall of the building module and these molds are also supported by the aforesaid equipment. As shown in FIG. 8, similarly supported molds 78 each consisting of a pair of angles 79 are provided to straddle the rods 69 whereby to form external joists 80 on the ceiling 19.

The cage 60 is fitted with wire loops 84, see FIG. 1

only. These loops 84 provide attachment means for hoisting equipment used to move the finished module about at the factory and the building site.

The wet, fine aggregate concrete is sprayed over the above described assembly to build up the module 10 to the desired thickness and desirably, the spraying is done in several stages. I prefer to spray an initial coat over the box form 45 even before moving the cage 60 into position. This is not essential but has been found expedient. The outer surfaces of the panels which make up the form 45 are painted with a suitable release agent before the initial concrete coat is applied. Successive layers of concrete are sprayed over the structure to embed the cage 60 to a suitable depth. Also the material is sprayed into the forms 73 and 78 to form the reinforced studs 72 and 76 on the walls 46 and 47 as well as the joists on the ceiling 19. The outer edges of the forms 73 and 78 provide a suitable screed or straight edge which allows surplus concrete to be wiped from the studs and joists.

After a suitable interval to allow the concrete to cure properly, the box form 45 is collapsed and removed from the module 10 through the incompleted end of said module, viz., the end which subsequently is closed in by the wall 18. The floor mold 26 conveniently can be separated from the floor 12 at this time.

Wall 18 is cast separately and in a mold similar to the floor mold 26, the former mold being designated by the numeral 88 and shown by dotted lines in FIG. 9 only. The end wall 18 is reinforced by a wire mesh screen 89 and is provided with connectors 90. These spaced connectors 90 are arranged about the wall to project inwardly therefrom and to closely fit the outer surfaces of the module walls and ceiling when said end wall is placed in position (FIG. 1). The connectors 90 are then sprayed over with concrete to secure the end wall to the remainder of the module.

The above described method of construction produces a building module 10 (FIG. 1) which has a smooth finished interior with the exterior surfaces being quite rough or irregular. At this stage, the interior of the modular unit can be painted and otherwise completed as far as partitions, cabinet work and the like are concerned. Also, the various light and plumbing fixtures can be installed ready for connection to surfaces which eventually will be provided in the apartment building.

The module 10, of course, need not be constructed exactly as shown in FIG. 1. End wall 18 may be omitted entirely since very often this end of the room is closed by glass including the sliding doors opening out on to a balcony. The concrete slab forming the floor 12 would be extended to provide such a balcony. The method of modular construction enables other modulw to be made as well, for example, corridor and staircase modules of the type commonly found in an apartment building. If the module 10 is intended to sit directly on a flat foundation slab at the building site, the reinforcing joists 42 may be omitted entirely from the floor 12.

The various units 10 as well as the corridor and other units are assembled side by side and one on top of another as required to erect a cellular apartment building which might appear as shown in FIG. 10. As the building rises, reinforcing rods 102 (FIG. 11) are placed between the side walls of adjacent modules and concrete is poured around these reinforcing rods to form supporting columns 103 for the building. Reinforced concrete beams 105 (FIG. 12) are also formed between the floors 12 and ceilings 19 to strengthen and the building and tie the modular units together against horizontal displacement. The outer or exposed walls of the modules 10 are suitably finished as at 107 (FIG. 11) either at the factory or at the building site.

It will be noted in FIG. 12 that the joists 42 on the floor 12 are staggered with respect to the joists 80 on the ceiling 19 of the supporting modular unit. This allows the joists 80 to enter between the joists 42 whereby to reduce the space therebetween. Wherever it is considered necessary, the interspaces between the side walls of the module as well as the floor and ceiling of vertically stacked modules are filled with concrete grouting, not shown. This grouting and the cement forming the reinforced columns 103 and beams 105 adheres very readily to the roughfinished exterior of the module.

From the foregoing, it will be seen I have provided a simple and economical method of constructing thin walled, lightweight and transportable modular building units. Such units provide a considerable saving in the time required to erect a multistoried apartment building and reduces the labor costs involved.

What is claimed is:

1. A method of constructing a self-contained modular room building unit having walls, a ceiling and a floor and adapted to be joined with other similar modular units at a building site in the construction of a building, comprising the steps of:

forming a reinforced concrete floor with upwardly extending connectors adjacent some of the marginal edges thereof,

positioning a box form including at least opposed substantially parallel vertical side wall panels spaced inwardly of the connectors and a horizontal ceiling panel extending across above the side wall panels from one to the other, the direction parallel to the side wall panels being defined as the longitudinal direction of the module and the perpendicular direction from one side wall panel to the other side wall panel being defined as the transverse direction of the module,

placing reinforcing members adjacent selected portions of the box form in closely spaced relation to the outer surfaces of both the side wall panels and the ceiling panel including longitudinally spaced apart and transversely extending reinforcing members,

erecting a plurality of parallel vertically extending molds adjacent the exterior of the side wall panels to form vertical studs and a plurality of parallel horizontally transversely extending molds across the top of the ceiling panel to form ceiling joists, each of said molds comprising a pair of opposed forming members erected so as to be spaced apart on opposite sides of a reinforcing member and extending substantially parallel thereto, the forming member being erected spaced outwardly from its respective adjacent panel of the box form,

spraying concerte over the side wall panels and ceiling panel, including spraying concrete into the spaces between the opposed forming members of the said molds to thus embed the reinforcing members in the concrete and also to embed the said connectors in the concrete of the side panels, to thus form a unified interconnected structure including (a) a reinforced concrete ceiling having an essentially horizontal planar interior surface and a plurality of upwardly projecting and horizontally, transversely extending joists and (b) a reinforced concrete side wall adjacent each side panel, each side wall having an interior surface and including a plurality of outwardly projecting and vertically extending studs, the side walls including embedded therein said connectors,

and removing the molds from the studs and joists and removing the box form from the interior of the module.

2. The method as claimed in claim 1, and including the additional steps of finishing the said interior surfaces of the building unit to a substantially completed stage.

3. A method as claimed in claim 1, in which said box form is removed from the building unit through an open end thereof, and including the additional steps of separately forming a reinforced concrete end wall, placing said end wall against the open end of the building unit and spraying the abutting surfaces with concrete to secure it thereto.

4. The method of claim 1, said positioning step including positioning a vertical end panel on the floor extending perpendicular to the side wall panels at one end of the side wall panels, and said spraying step including spraying concrete against the end panel including spraying concrete over the end panel to form an end wall with the connectors at that end embedded therein.

5. The method of claim 1, including forming the studs in alignment with the studs on the opposite side wall and forming the ceiling joists in alignment with each pair of said aligned opposed studs.

6. The method of claim 5, including arranging the reinforcing members such that some reinforcing members positioned along the ceiling extend downwardly along the side walls and are embedded in the respective side walls.

7. The method of claim 8, including forming the studs in alignment with studs on the opposed side walls and forming ceiling joists in alignment with a pair of aligned opposed studs, each set of aligned wall studs and ceiling joists being staggered longitudinally with respect to the floor joists.

8. The method as claimed in claim 1, and including the additional steps when forming the reinforced concrete floor of using a floor mold having longitudinally spaced and transversely extending troughs; and laying reinforcing members within the troughs to provide reinforced floor joists beneath the reinforced concrete floor.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,337,743 12/1943 Deuel 264-35 X 2,270,229 1/1942 Netf 425Projecting Digest 2,544,297 3/1951 Callan 249-27 3,259,679 7/1966 Nielsen 264-34 X ROBERT F. WHITE, Primary Examiner T. P. PAVELKO, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

264263, 309, Digest 72; 425-Digest 121

Referenced by
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US3929944 *Jan 28, 1974Dec 30, 1975Steve OliverMethod and apparatus for forming swimming pool gutters
US3982366 *Mar 12, 1975Sep 28, 1976Haapala Jalo PStructural space element
US4865887 *May 9, 1988Sep 12, 1989Oy Lohja AbProcedure for the production of concrete elements
US5126095 *Jul 24, 1991Jun 30, 1992Trusco Tank, Inc.Method for encasing a storage tank in concrete
US5997792 *Jan 22, 1997Dec 7, 1999Twic Housing CorporationApparatus and process for casting large concrete boxes
US7673422 *Nov 23, 2005Mar 9, 2010Peter William De La MarcheModular buildings
US8082699 *Jan 22, 2009Dec 27, 2011Kychelhahn Jerry AModular structure
U.S. Classification264/250, 264/263, 264/309, 264/DIG.720, 425/DIG.121
International ClassificationB28B7/22
Cooperative ClassificationY10S264/72, Y10S425/121, B28B7/22
European ClassificationB28B7/22