US 3808761 A
Modular construction utilizing prefabricated modular wall defining support panels in conjunction with overlying modular truss-like support beams which interconnect and allow a selective removal or reshuffling of the supporting panels while maintaining the structural integrity of the over-all construction.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Green et all [451 May 7,1974
[ MODULAR BUILDING CONSTRUCTION  Inventors: Peter L. Green; Gordon A. Lenfesty,
both of Vancouver, British Columbia; Edmund H. Talbot, West Vancouver, British Columbia; Allen Joslin; Vukasin Kovacevic, both of Vancouver, British Columbia, all of Canada  Assignee: Imperial Modular Systems, Ltd.,
Vancouver, British Columbia,
Canada  Filed: Sept. 9, 1971  Appl. No.: 179,050
 US. Cl 52/300, 52/494, 52/643  Int. Cl E04b 7/02, E04h 12/00  Field of Search 52/582, 584, 274, 293,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,564,691 8/1951 Heiles .1 52/641 468,841 2/ 1892 Stephenson 52/694 824,502 6/1906 Molloy i 521650 2,191,804 2/1940 OMalley 52/693 2,255,315 9/1941 Hamilton i 52/262 2,653,356 9/1953 Brannon 52/262 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 220,318 6/ 1957 Australia 52/494 Primary Examiner-J-Ienry C. Sutherland Assistant Examiner-James L. Ridgill, Jr.
Attorney, Agent, or Firm--C1arence A. OBrien; Harvey B. Jacobson  ABSTRACT Modular construction utilizing prefabricated modular wall defining support panels in conjunction with overlying modular truss-like support beams which interconnect and allow a selective removal or reshuffling of the supporting panels while maintaining the structural integrity of the over-all construction.
7 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures SHEET 1 BF 5 mum-10m H914 Peter L Green Gordon A. Lenfes/y Edmund h. Ta/byo/ Al/en dos/in Vu/ras/n Kovacev/c BY m iATENTEMv 7 re.
SHEET 2 OF 5 Fig. 6
Pefer L. Green Gordon A. Lenfesfy Edmund H. Ta/bof Allen Jos/in Vu/ras/n Kovacew'c [X I "FNTORS mpg,
mime-om 1 1974 3.808.761,
Pe/er L. Green Gordon A. Lenfesty Edmund H. 727/b0/ Allen dos/in l u/ras/n K0 vacew'c INVENTORS BY @Mw/ih 1 MODULAR BUILDING CONSTRUCTION The present invention relates to new and useful improvements in prefabricated building construction, and is particularly concerned with modular construction wherein modular wall defining support panels and modular beams are utilized in a manner which enables a flexibility in prefabricated construction, in conjunction with a high degree of structural integrity, heretofore not available in a structure as basically uncomplex as that presented herein.
Primarily, the invention utilizes wall defining support panels which directly support, and are rigidly tied together by overlying truss-like beams which in turn carry the ceiling, roof and such upper stories as may be desired. The relationship between the supporting panels and support beams thereon is such as to enable a high degree of flexibility with regard to the positioning of involved.
The modular construction contemplated is, although relatively simple, highly unique, versatile and practical.
Basically, the advantages sought by the system of the instant invention are achieved through the utilization of modular support panels comprising vertical studs interconnecting a lower sill and an upper header or head and a facing sheet of plywood or the like. Each beam is in the nature of a truss including upper and lower chords interconnected by pipe-like verticals and rodlike diagonals. The opposed ends of the beam are provided with abutting end plates and adjustable connector means for an interlocking of adjacent beams in load-transmitting relation to each other.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view through the exterior of a building construction utilizing the features of the instant invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional detail through the upper beam portion of the construction of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional'detail illustrating the anchoring construction at the lower end of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view detailing the beam-to-panel interlocking arrangement;
' FIG. 5 is an exploded perspective view illustrating the panel-tofloor anchoring arrangement;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of one of the modular panels; v
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of one of the modular support beams with a second beam secured thereto;
FIG. 8 is an enlarged cross-sectional detail illustrating the beam construction and interlocking arrangement between adjacent beams;
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a variation of the beam;
FIG. 10 is an enlarged cross-sectional detail illustrating the construction of the beam of FIG. 9 and the interlock utilized between two such beams;
FIGS. 11 and 12 illustrate the steps in selectively removing one of the panels while maintaining the structural integrity of the over-all structure; and
FIG. 13 illustrates an anchoring arrangement utilized with a wood floor.
Referring now more specifically to the drawings, the basic components of the structure herein involved are a modular panel 20 and a modular beam 22. While not specifically limited thereto, it is contemplated that the panels 20 be four feet wide, while the beams 22 be in lengths of 8 and 12 feet so as to conform to the 4 foot panels.
With reference to FIG. 6 in particular, the basic panel construction includes a lower sill 24, an upper head plate or head 26 and a series of vertical studs 28 secured theretoand extending therebetween. The studs 28 are to be on sixteen inch centers for uniformity. An enlarged plywood sheet 30 is affixed to one face of the above-described frame, this sheet 30 terminating slightly inward of one vertical edge of the frame and extending an equal distance beyond the other vertical edge of the frame whereby adjacent modular panels 20 can be positioned with the adjoining vertical studs 28 in abutting engagement with the facing sheets 30 meeting at approximately the centerline of one of the edge studs. In addition, the sheet 30 extends slightly below the frame so as to overlap the base joint, note FIGS. 1
and 3. Finally, the sheet 30 extends a distance above the head 26 equal to the height of the beam 22 to form an aligning and enclosing means therefor as will be best appreciated from FIGS. 1 and 2.
The structural components of the frame, that is the sill, head and studs, are normally formed of two-byfours with the internal vertical spaces defined thereby receiving 4 inch insulation 32 such as styrofoam or the like. Horizontal cross braces 34 are provided between the lower ends of the studs 28 in parallel slightly elevated relation to the sill 24 so as to support the lower ends of the insulation 32 and provide free access areas immediately above the sill 28 for the accommodation of the base mounting components as well as any service conduits for which pre-drilled holes 36 will be provided. Such pre-drilled conduit accommodating holes can of course be provided as desired, for example through the head 26.
If so desired, the basic panel 20 canprior to incorporation into the structure, also be provided with an appropriate interior finish 38, to be supplemented by a similarly form removable beam enclosing upper facing or finish 40, and an appropriate exterior covering or facing 42. It will of course be appreciated that should the panel be utilized in the formation of an interior building wall, an appropriate interior finish will be used on both sides of the wall and the lower edge of the facing sheet 30 foreshortened to the bottom of the sill 24.
In order to secure the panel 20 to a foundation or support floor 44, the sill 24 is provided with enlarged holes 46 therethrough spaced so as to generally conform with prepositioned foundation or anchor bolts 48 projecting upwardly from the foundation, floor slabs, or the like 44. The panel 20 is positioned so as to receive the bolts 48 upwardly through the holes 46, each of which is overlaid by a slotted gripping plate 50 having sill-embedded prongs 52. Finally, an appropriate washer 54 and locking nut 56 are applied to the upper threaded end of the bolt 48 and tightened down so as to effect the desired firm clamp anchoring of the lower end of the panel 20 to the foundation. in those situations wherein a wooden joist supported floor 58 is involved, the same basic anchoring construction will be utilized, differing only in that the anchor bolt 60, rather than being pre-embedded, will be appropriately inserted subsequent to the construction of the floor and extended, for bolted engagement, through a joist underlying cross beam 62.
Referring now specifically to FIGS. 7 and 8, it will be noted that the beam 22 is basically in the nature of a flat truss with the top and bottom chords 64 and 66 made of wood, for example three-by-fours, to facilitate the mounting of the remaining components as well as the other members of the over-all system.
The top and bottom chords 64 and 66 are interconnected by equally spaced vertical pipes 68 and diagonally extending rods 70 formed in two sections so as to cross each other between each pair of vertical pipes 68. With reference to FIG. 8, each of the rod sections 70 can, if so desired, be continuous, extending completely through either the upper or lower portion of each of the pipes 68 and being effectively welded thereto. Alternately, the rods can be made in shorter lengths sufficient so as to extend between and rigidly attach to adjoining verticals 68.
The opposed ends of each of the verticals or vertical pipes 68 are recessed or embedded within the two chords 64 and 66 with each of these ends having a tapped plate 72 welded thereto for the threaded reception of a securing bolt 74 introduced through the corresponding chord 64 or 66 and having the enlarged head thereof, as well as an underlying plate 76, recessed below the outer surface of the chord to provide a smooth bearing surface.
Referring now particularly to the construction at the end of each of the beams 22, it will be noted that steel plates 78 are provided along the inner faces of the chords 64 and 66 inward from the extreme end thereof to a point slightly beyond the second pipe vertical 68. The extreme end pipe vertical 68', rather than penetrating. the upper and lower chords, is welded, at the opposite ends thereof, to the two plates 78 with the ends of the crossing rod 70abutting the end vertical 68' and being welded both thereto and to a bracing gusset plate 80. The upper and lower plates 78, in addition to being welded to the verticals 68 and 68', are bolt locked to the corresponding chords 64 and 66 by a pair of bolts 82 which extend through the corresponding chord and the underlying plate 78. Appropriate chord adjacent beams. The distribution of horizontal compression stresses is accommodated by vertical steel end plates. 88 welded or otherwise integrally formed with the outer ends of the plates 78. and projecting both above and below the plate ends to provide a relatively wide end bearing surface.
The interconnection of adjoining ends of two beams 22 is effected utilizing an elongated bolt or pin 90 having the opposed ends thereof threaded for the reception of a pair of clamping nuts 92, appropriate washers 94 being utilized as desired. The bolt 90 extends through the adjoining end verticals 68' of a pair of adjacent beams 22, being accommodated through the verticals 68' by internal sleeves 96 welded therein. The sleeves 96 guide the introduction of the bolt 90 and provide for a rigidification of the verticals 68'. The clamping of the beams 22, effected by a tightening of the nuts 92, results in a compressive engagement of the adjacent end plates 88 in a manner so as to in effect form a continuous beam construction.
Referring now to FIGS. 9 and 10, a slightly modified beam construction is disclosed therein, differing from the beam of FIGS. 7 and 8 primarily in the end structure. The beam of FIGS. 9 and 10, designated by reference numeral 98, includes as with the beam 22, wooden top and bottom chords 100 and 102, vertical end embedded and bolted pipes or pipe sections 104 and crossing diagonal rods or struts 106 all interconnected in the manner previously described in connection with the beams 22. Incidentally, the chords 100 and 102 can, depending upon the particular loading requirements, be either three-by-fours or two-by-fours. Noting FIG. 10 in particular, a generally rectangular pipe frame 108 is rigidly welded to and extends outward from the endmost chord-embedded vertical I04 which is'in turn inwardly offset from the extreme end of the beam 98. This frame 108 parallels the upper and lower chords 100 and 102 and extends to the extreme end thereof. Structurally, the frame 108 includes upper and lower pipes or pipe sections 110 slightly inwardly offset from and parallel to the inner faces of the top and bottom chords 100 and 102, and a vertical end pipe section 112 welded to and extending between the outer ends of the two horizontal pipe sections 108. A horizontal steel plate 114 is positioned between each of the chords and the underlying pipe frame 108 at and inwardly of the outer end thereof, these plates 1 14 being snugly received between the frame and chords. In addition, each of the steel plates 114 has an associated vertical steel end plate 116 welded or otherwise integrally formed therewith and extending both thereabove and therebelow against the outer edge of the corresponding chord and frame. The steel plates 114 and 116 are in effect T-shaped and provide enlarged end bearing surfaces. The pipe frame 108 is rigidly braced by a pair of crossing rods 118 which extend diagonally and have the opposite ends thereof received through a wall of the horizontal pipe sections 110 at which point a rigid welded interconnection is provided.
The desired releasable rigid interconnecting of the adjoining ends of a pair of the beams 98 is effected through the use of a pair of turnbuckles 120, each threadedly engaged to one end of a pin or end-threaded rod 122 which extends through a pair of internal sleeves 124 mounted in the end frame verticals 112 and the threaded end of a rod 126 welded to the frame bracing crossed rods 118. The vertical stress transferring plates 116, upon an interconnecting of the beams 98, firmly abut each other.
In assembling a structure utilizing the above described components, the beam or beams are supported on the modular support panels and directly secured to the header or head plate 26 whereby an interconnecting of a plurality of panels 20 is also effected. The locking of the truss, truss 22 being used for purposes of illustration, to the header 26 will be best appreciated from FIGS. 2 and 4. Basically, the header 26 is provided with at least one centrally located boltaccommodating aperture 128 therethrough. The bottom chord 66 of the truss is in turn provided with an elongated or enlarged aperture 130, to allow for a degree of adjustment, which aligns with the header aperture 128. A steel plate 132, having an aperture 134 therein corresponding with the chord aperture 130, is provided over the chord 66 to provide a proper bearing surface for the enlarged head 136 of the mounting bolt 138. Likewise, an enlarged steel gripping plate 140 is mounted below the header 26 in alignment with the aperture 128 therethrough. The bolt 138 is introduced through the plate 132, bottom chord 66, header 26 and gripping plate 140 and mounts, on the threaded lower end thereof, an appropriate washer 142 and nut 144. Each of the panels 20 is thus locked to the overlying beam or beams with the panels brought into snug adja cent engagement with each other. The panel supported beams, noting FIGS. 1 and 2, are now set to receive any appropriate superimposed structure. such as roof trusses 146, ceiling supports 148, and the like.
With reference to FIGS. 11 and 12, the particular panel and beam construction uniquely adapts the system for the simplified removal of a panel orthe reorientation of the panel without affecting the structural integrity of the over-all construction. The steps in effecting a removal of a panel include a loosening of the bolts 138 securing the beam 22 which overlies both the panel to be removed and any adjacent panels underlying the same beam. Next, the threaded connectors engaged between the ends of the one beam and the adjacent beams are also loosened. Wedges 150 are then driven between the lower chord of the beam 22 and the panel 20 which is to be removed, thereby raising the beam 22 sufficiently so as to disengage it from the panel. Subsequent to the slight raising of the beam 22, shims 152 are placed between the vertical steel end plates 88 at the opposite ends of the beam 22 so as to maintain the beam 22 in its elevated position, after which the end connectors are re-tightened and the beam elevating wedges 150 removed. At this point, the connector means securing the panel sill are removed and the panel 20 tilted out of position. The beam 22 can then be lowered into position and re-tightened so as to span the narrow open portion in the wall, resting, at the opposite sides thereof, on the adjoining panels 20.
From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that a modular construction system has been defined which is unique in its simplicity and adaptability particularly in those environments wherein a high degree of flexibility with regard to partition location is desired in conjunction with a stable over-all construction. It will be appreciated that this system utilizes no support columns as such and relies solely on the partition panels themselves in providing the necessary structural support for the building notwithstanding the fact that the panels can be easily reorientated or removed as desired. 5 The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. In a modular construction system, modular load 5 supporting panels and modular load supporting trusses positioned thereover and generally coplanar therewith, each truss including vertically spaced parallel top and bottom chords and .rigid struts secured to the chords and extending therebetween, said trusses interconnecting said panels and being supported thereby, each truss being of a length and so orientated relative to said panels as to overlie a plurality of said panels and allow for Y a selective removal of at least one of said panels from therebeneath while maintaining engagement with the remaining panels and support of a superimposed load, said trusses being longitudinally alignable, means releasably interconnecting adjoining trusses end to end to define a continuous load accommodating member, and means releasably securing each panel to the overlying truss.
2. The construction of claim 1 wherein each panel comprises, as a unit, a supporting framework including a sill, a header, a plurality of vertical studs extending therebetween, and a facing sheet fixed to one side of said framework and the components thereof, said facing sheet extending to a height above the framework substantially equal to the height of a panel mounted truss.
3. The construction of claim 1 wherein said struts include a series of equally spaced pipes provided along the length of the truss and diagonal rods crossing each other between eachadjacent pair of pipes.
4. The construction of claim 3 wherein each end of each pipe is received within a recess defined in the corresponding chord, each pipe end having a tapped plate thereover and a bolt extending through the chord and into eachtapped plate for a mounting of the pipes.
5'. The construction of claim 1. wherein the means interconnecting adjacent trusses comprises a vertical strut on each adjoining truss end, a threaded rod extending through the end struts, and means engaged with the threaded rod for selectively drawing the truss ends together.
6. The construction of claim 5 wherein each truss end is provided with upper and lower vertical compression accommodating end plates at the end-of the top and.
laterally of the adjoining chord.