US 3795079 A
A structure having the overall appearance of conventional brick construction is erected from a series of building elements each of which has a peripheral channel and transverse vents connecting top and bottom portions of the channel to enable a bonding agent to be flowed downwardly through the vents and into passageways formed by the channels between the elements when they are laid one upon the other with their channels in registry with one another. The elements are provided with recesses in their side faces for receiving strips of decorative mortar which provide the illusion of mortar-joints and which are applied after the structure has been erected. Three forms of building elements are disclosed: a course element for the walls of the structure, a corner element for its corners, and an edge element for framing apertures in the structure.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ 1 Mar. 5, 1974 1 BUILDING STRUCTURE AND METHOD OF ERECTING SAME  Inventor: Michael L. Klem, 6244 Brous Ave.,
Philadelphia, Pa. 19049  Filed: May 20, 1970  App]. No.: 38,943
 U.S. Cl 52/437, 52/284, 52/603  Int. Cl E041) 2/20  Field of Search..... 52/503, 505,439, 314, 603,
[5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,994,162 8/1961 Frantz ..52/603 506,849 6/1920 France 52/505 Primary Examiner-Henry C. Sutherland Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Howson and Howson; Stanley B. Kita  ABSTRACT A' structure having the overall appearance of conventional brick construction is erected from a series of building elements each of which has a peripheral channel and transverse vents connecting top and bottom portions of the channel to enable a bonding agent to be flowed downwardly through the vents and into passageways formed by the channels between the elements when they are laid one upon the other with their channels in registry with one another. The elements are provided with recesses'in their side faces for receiving strips of decorative mortar which .provide the illusion of mortar joints and which are applied after the structure has been erected. Three forms of building elements are disclosed: a course element for the walls of the structure, a corner element for its corners, and an edge element for framing apertures in the structure.
2 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEI] 51974 INVENTOR" MICHAEL L. KLEM AT'TYS.
1 BUILDING STRUCTURE AND METHOD or ERECTING SAME The present invention relates to building structures;
and more particularly, the present invention relates to structures which have the overall appearance of brick construction but which comprises building elements having configurations which enable a bonding agent-to be flowed between the elements after they have been erected into the structure.
In erecting conventional structures of brick or block and to previously laid elements as construction proceeds. Constructing walls in this manner is relatively slow; and hence, it is costly. Also, workmen constructelements, mortaris normally applied to each element ing the structure 'must possess a certain degree of skill to ensure that the elements are laid properly.
Exterior or curtain walls are normally pointed only on their outsides; however, in some instances, forex ample where a brick wall serves as an interior partition. or room divider, it maybe desirable for both sides of the wall to be pointed. customarily, the workman erecting the partition roughpoints bothsides ashe proceeds, leaning over the top' edge to reach the opposite side of the wall. This practice is undesirable because it is slow, and hence, costly. Also, there exists the possibility of the workmansinadvertently dis'lodging freshly laid brickswhile leaning over the top of the wall. In ad-- dition, there may be situations where it-isldesirable for the-mortar-joints on one side of the wall to possess a unskilled persons, for, example, homeowners or sostructure. Each element has a body with a top, bottom, end and side faces, and when erected in'the structure, the'side faces are exposed. In addition, each element has means providing a channel in its unexposed faces, and, each element has vent means providing fluid communication between the channel means in the top and bottom of the element. The channel means of one element cooperates with the channel means of adjacent elements to form passageways between the elements to enable a bonding agent to be flowed into the passageways through the vent means. Recess means is provided in the exposed side faces of the course element and in the sides and one'end face of the corner and edge elements for receiving decorative mortar which is applied after the elements have been erected and the 'mortar has been poured and which provides the illusion of horizontal and 1 vertical mortar-joints between the elements. The elements are erected by stacking them dry one upon the other, and thereafter causing the bonding agent to flow downwardly through the vent means and called do-it-yourselfers to be able .to .erect structures of brick or block building elements. Although conventional brick or blockand cement materials are readily I Thus, building elements which are particularly adapted for erection by persons possessingaminimum-of special skills is highly desirable. I 1
With the foregoing in mind,.it is the primaryobject of the present invention to provide a novel building element which is adapted to be assembled with Iikeelements by an improved method.
It is another object of the presentinvention to provide a unique method by which a conventionalappearingwall may be erected by persons possessing a minimum of special skills.
As a further object, the present invention p'rovides a new building element whichmay be assembled dry with like elements and thereafter permanently. bonded to the elements by means of mortar. I
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a building structure which has mortar-joints of uniform appearance and which may. be pointedwith decorative mortar, the color of whichmay differ on opbuilding structure comprising novel building elements.
which may be assembled by animproved rnet hod.
' Three basic types-of elements compose the structure:
a course element for walls, a cor-ner element for. corners, and an edgeelement for framing apertures in the faces of theelementsafter thebonding agent has set.
These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention should become'apparent from the following description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of a portion of a structure constructed from building elements embodying the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the structure of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a slightly enlarged, cross-sectional view taken along line 33 of FIG. 2 to illustrate abonding agent disposed in passageways formed by the cooperation of channel and vent means provided in the building elements;
FIG. 4 is-a perspective view ofone of the building elementscomposing the courses of the structure of FIG.
l, the view illustrating the channel means in the top,
bottom and end faces of the element and the vent thechannel mean means interconnecting the top and bottom portions of FIGS is a cross-sectional view'taken-along line55 I FIG. 7 is a perspective view similar to FIGS. 4 and'6 Y but illustrating one of the edge building elements used for framing apertures in the structure of FIG. 1.
Referring now to the drawing, there is-illustrated in FIG. .1 a section of abuilding structure l0'comprising appearance of conventional brick construction. Like conventional brick structures, the structure 10 has aseries of courseelements 1 1, 11 laid end-to-end and upon one another in a plane and interlocked in angulated relation with 'corner elements 12,12 to increase the rigidity of the. structure. In addition, edge elements 13, 13 arelprovided for framing an aperture 'in the structure to receive a door or window or the like; As
customary with structures of brick construction, a seties of mortar-joints 14, 14 extend horizontally and 3 vertically between the elements; however, as will be more fully discussed hereinafter, the illustrated mortarjoints 14, 14 are not provided by the same agent which bonds the elements together.
As may be seen in FIG. 3, the elements, for example the elements 11, 11, are bonded together by means of a bonding agent or mortar which surrounds each element. It is to be noted, however, that unlike conventional brick construction, the bonding agent 15 is not applied between the elements 11, 11 concurrently with the erection of the structure 10. Rather, in accordance with the present invention, the elements 11, 11 are first assembled dry, that is, without the bonding agent, and the bonding agent 15'is thereafter'flowed into passageways 16, 16 which are provided therebetween by the cooperation of the elements.
To this end, each element, for example the element 11 (FIG. 4) is adapted to abut adjacent elements in the structure. The element has a body with a top face 11a, a bottom face 11b, end faces 11c and 11d, and side faces lle-and llfwhich are exposed in the completed structure. As may be seen in FIGL 6, the corner element 12 has similar faces; and as may be seen in FIG. 7, the edge element 13 has similar faces. In the illustrated embodiments, the course element 11, and the corner element 12 each have elongated configurations, and the edge element 13 (FIG. 7) has a substantially square configuration. That is, the top and bottom faces of each of the aforementioned elements are disposed substantially parallel to one another, the end faces intersect the-top and bottom faces at substantially right angles, and the side faces are disposed substantially parallel to one another and intersect the top, bottom and end faces at substantially right angles. It is to be noted, however, that if desired, the horizontal lengths of these elements may be varied to suit particular construction requirements since, unlike conventional bricks, they are not readily adapted to be cut to length at the construction site. For example, the horizontal lengths of the course and corner elements 11 and 12 may be shorter than illustrated, and the horizontal length of the edge element may be longer than illustrated, depending upon the desired dimensions of the structure. Also, the horizontal lengths may be made equalto two or three brick lengths to enable the same size structure to be constructed from fewer elements but retaining the illuting faces. As may be seen in FIG. 4, the channel means 110 is formed by a pair of upstanding dikes 111, 111 which are disposed in spaced parallel relation on the top 110, bottom 11b, and end faces 11c and 11d of the element 11 and which are imperforate and continuous around the periphery of the element 11 in the plane of the wall. It is to be noted thatin the illustrated embodiment, the outwardly-facing surfaces of the dikes 1 11, 111 are substantially flat, and'they are disposed substantially parallel to the peripheral surface portions from which the dikes upstand. Thus, when the elements 11, 11 are disposed in a'common plane as illustrated in FIG. 3, the dikes 111, 111 of one element bear against the dikes of abutting elements, thereby to form relatively fluid-tight passageways 16, 16'between the elements. Although the bottom of the channel 110 in the illustrated embodiment is flat, it may be desirable in some situations to provide the channel bottom with lengthwise corrugations to provide additional surface area for coacting with the bonding agent.
For the purpose of permitting the bonding agent 15 to be flowed into the passageways 16, 16, vent means 150 is provided, in each element. As may be seen in FIG. 4, the vent means in the course element 11 com' prises a pair of vertically disposed holes 112, 112 extending transversely through the body of the element 11 from top to bottom. The holes 112, 112 open at one end into the top portion of the channel means 1 I0 and they open at their other ends into the bottom. portion of the channel means 110 to provide fluid communication in a vertical direction therebetween. Thus, when the elements 11, 11 are laid one upon the other illustrated in FIG. 3, the vent means 112 enables the bonding agent 15 to be flowed downwardly into the horizontal and vertical passageways 16, 16 between the elements while permitting air in the passageways 16, 16 to escape upwardly through the vent means 112 in the passageways. Although the bonding agent 15 is preferably flowed into the passageways by means of gravity forces, if desired, the bonding agent may beflowed into the passageways 16, 16 at an increased rate by applying an external source of pressure to'the agent.
As noted heretofore, the structure 10 has the appearance of conventional brick construction; however, the bonding agent 15 which bonds the elements together does not extend to the side edges of the elements as in conventional brickstructures. This results in an advantage since the bonding agent 15 is completely protected against erosion by the elements or removal by birds, rodents and the like. However, in order to provide the appearance of conventional brick construction, and in order to cover the horizontal and vertical lines ofjuncture between the elements, recess means 113 is provided in each element for receiving decorative mortar to provide the imitation mortar-joints 14, 14 See- FIG. 1).
In the embodiment of the course element 11 illustrated in FIG. 4, the recess means 113 extends around each of its exposed side faces. That is, the recess 113 extends horizontally along the top and bottom side faces and vertically along each end face of the element 11. In elements formed with a length of two to three conventional bricks, one or two vertical recesses are provided intermediate the ends of the elements to provide the illusion of two or three conventional bricks. As a result, when the element 11 is assembled in a common plane with like elements, the recess means 113 in the adjacent elements provide space for the reception of the decorative mortar which provides the illusion of conventional mortar-joints. Preferably, the decorative mortar comprises ready-mixed material adapted to be applied in the recess means 113 by a tool such as a caulking gun; and preferably, the decorative mortar 14 is applied afterthe structure has been completed. If desired, the decorative mortar 14 may be of one color on one side of the wall, and it may be of another color on the other side,
The corner elements 12, 12 are generally similar to the course elements 11, 11; however, some important differences are to be noted. For example, unlike the course elements, the channel means in the top and bottom faces 12a and 12b, respectively, of the body of the corner element 12 has an L-shaped configuration with legs 120' and 120" intersecting the left end face 12d and rear side face 12f; and rather than extending vertically across each end 120 and 12d as in the course element 11, the dikes 121, 121 extend vertically across the end face 12d and side face 12f to interconnect thetop and bottom portions of the channel means 120. Like the course element 11, vent means 122 provides fluid communication between the top and bottom portions of the channel means in the corner element 12. in addition, it is to be noted that the recess means 123 extends horizontally along the top and bottom of the front side and right-hand end faces of the element 12, and the recess means 123 extends vertically along the lefthand front corner formed at the intersection of the front side face 12a and the left-hand end face 12d and along the right-hand rear corner formed at the intersection of the rear side face 12f and right-hand end face 12c. In this manner, an exposed vertical edge 125 is provided from top to bottom at the front right-hand corner of the element 12, so that when the corner elements l2, 12 are angulated with one another as illustrated in FIG. 1, the illusion of an exposed brick-end is provided. Also, when so angulated, the channel means in the corner elements register with the channel means of the course elements to enable the bonding agent to be flowed around the corner of the structure for effectone-sixteenth the area of the top portion of the channel. The consistency of the bondingagent is preferably like the consistency of batter; that is, the agent is flowable but viscous. In practice, it has been found that a mixture of ready-mix" cement and water in the ratio of 2.5 to 1 provides a satisfactory bonding agent. An example of a type of ready-mix cement which is satisfactory is sold under the trade designation Top and Bond by the Harry T. Campbell & Sons Company, a Division of the Flintkote Corporation.
Preferably, the structure 10 is erected by laying the corner elements 12, 12 and three to five courses of the course elements 11, l1, and laying the edge elements 13, 13 where desired. Thereafter; a bonding agent such as described above is flowed into the vent means in the elements to fill the passageways 16, 16 therebetween. During pouring of the-bonding agent, the workman may gauge its depth in the passageways 16, 16 and regulate its flow-rate by observing its height in the vent means. Additionalcourses and corners of the elements are erected by repeating the foregoing procedure until ing a strong bond between the elements. It is to be joint on the inside corner of the structure 10; that is, g
the recess means 123 extends along the top and bottom of the element l2 and the left-hand rear corner and the vertical portion of the left rear dike.
In erecting the structure 10, it may be desirable to provide apertures such as door-openings and the like at predetermined locations in its walls. For this purpose, the edge element 13 is provided. Like the aforementioned elements, the edge element 13 has channel means 130 in its periphery; however, the channel means 130 extends horizontally in its top face 13a, bottom face 13b, and, in the present instance, vertically across its left-hand end face 13d. Like the course and corner elements, vent means 132 provides fluid communication between the top and bottom portions of the channel means 130. The edge element 13 also has recess means 133 for receiving decorative mortar; however, unlike the course and corner elements 11 and 12, respectively, the'recess means 133 of the edge element 13 extends horizontally along the top and bottom of'the front and rear side faces Be and 13f, respectively and the top and bottom of the right-hand end face 130, and the recess means extends vertically across the corners formed at the intersections of the side faces 13s and 13f and the left end face 13d to provide a'pair of vertically disposed edges 135, 135 at the intersection of the side faces 13a and 13b and the right-hand end face 130.
In order to practice the method of the present invention, it has been found that certain dimensional relationships are preferred for the channel and vent means, and the bonding agent should be of a certain consistency. In practice, it has been found that a channel width which is substantially equal to one-half of the width of the element and which has a depth approximately equal to one-eighth of the channel width provides satisfactory results when the vent holes are square and have cross-sectional areas substantially equal to the desired structure is completed. After the structure has been completed the decorative mortar is applied in the recess means around the elements.
If desired, reinforcing rods may be disposed between the elements during erection of the structure. Also, lin telsfor spanning across the tops of apertures in the structure may be constructed from the elements by assembling and pouring a few courses thereof at the construction site; thus, after the mortar has set, the lintels may be positioned across the tops of the apertures.
In view of the foregoing, it should be apparent that the present invention now provides novel building elements for erection into a structure having the appearance of conventional brick or block construction. Also,
the present invention provides a method which enables personshaving a minimum of special skills to construct brick structures.
While preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described in detail, various modifications,.alterations, or changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
l. in a built-up structure comprising a series of elements disposed end-to-end in courses and one upon the other in a plane with lines ofjuncture disposed horizontally and vertically between the elements, and a bonding agent surrounding the elements to permanently bond them together, the improvement wherein each of said elements includes a pair of continuous dikes projecting outwardly from said element in spaced parallel relation and having flat outer faces abutting like faces of adjacent elements in non-interlocking fashion, said dikes cooperating to define therebetween a continuous relatively shallow channel around said element and forming passageways between adjacent elements for receiving said bonding agent, said channel having a width substantially one-half the width of said element and a depth substantially one-eighth of the width of the channel, vent means including a pair of vertical holes extending from top to bottom in said element to pro- 7 8 plane and terminating inwardly of the outer faces of of juncture. I said dikes to cooperate with said dikes for defining a 2. A structure according to claim 1 wherein the top peripheral recess around each of said exposed faces and bottom portions of said channel have L-shaped and along said lines of juncture, and including decoraconfigurations. tive mortar in said recess and spanning across said lines