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Publication numberUS3872631 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 25, 1975
Filing dateJun 13, 1974
Priority dateJun 13, 1974
Publication numberUS 3872631 A, US 3872631A, US-A-3872631, US3872631 A, US3872631A
InventorsNowell William M
Original AssigneeNowell William M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Expansible modular structure with supplemental structural support
US 3872631 A
An expandible, modular telescoping structure having a bracing apparatus attached thereto during expansion, wherein oversized units may be utilized by applying the bracing apparatus and lifting forces flowing from the apparatus along the beam spanning the opening which receives the telescoped unit whereby the need for enlarging the beam over the opening is avoided.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

D United States Patent 11 1 1111 3,872,631

Nowell Mar. 25 1975 EXPANSIBLE MODIULAR STRUCJURE 2,860,384 ll/l958 Wait et 111. 52/148 glggLfi STRUCTURAL FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 622,2[3 6/1961 Canada 52/122 [76] Inventor: William M. Nowell, 1704 Scales St.,

Ralelgh, 27608 Primary E.\'aminer-Henry C. Sutherland 22 Filed; June 3 1974 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Mills and Coats 2| A l N .:478,9l3 I pp 57 ABSTRACT [52] U 5 Cl 52/67 52/122 52/173 An expandible, modular telescoping structure having a 52/745 bracing apparatus attached thereto during expansion, [5}] 1m Cl E04) 1/346 E04b 7/16 wherein oversized units may be utilized by applying [58] Fie'ld 52/67 173 745 the bracing apparatus and lifting forces flowing from the apparatus along the beam spanning the opening [56] References Cited which receives the telescoped unit whereby the need for enlarging the beam over the opening is avoided. UNITED STATES PATENTS 1636,773 4/1953 Van Tassel 52/67 5 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures the means to support the bridge portion thereof during expansion.

In the past, various types of static structures have been produced on a mass basis with the completed unit being so constructed that it can be moved from the original assembly area to either a permanent or semipermanent location. As this art has been developed over the years, expansible structures have been built such as the mobile home side room which slides out of the main unit when on location. Although these units have been satisfactory for room size structures, any unit in excess of room size, i.e., 12 to 14 feet, has been considered impractical because of the long roof bridge of the main unit which is unsupported during the expansion process.

After much research and study into the above mentioned problems, the present invention has been developed to allow adequate support of the roof supporting bridge of an expansible building structure and yet does not require extensive reenforcing or over-size means to be utilized. This invention allows structures of any desired length to be produced and yet, once expansion is accomplished, leaves no evidence of the support means utilized.

In view of the above, it is an object of the present invention to provide an expansible structure with means to support extended lengths of roof bridge during the expansion process.

Another object of the present invention is to provide, in an expansible building structure, a removable means for supporting the roof bridge of the module during the expansion process.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a support means for the bridge of a building structure for use during expansion including a support mast removably secured to the base of the structure with an associated boom having means for adjusting the supportive lift pressure on said bridge.

Another object of the present invention is to provide, in a roof bridge supporting unit for expansible structures, a block and tackle come-along for adjusting lift support.

An even further object of the present invention is to provide an expansible building structure wherein the expansible module supports a substantial roof bridge of the base module in both unexpanded and expanded positions with a removable, supportive means for use during the transition process.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent and obvious from a study of the following description and the accompanying drawings which are merely illustrative of such invention.


FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the base module showing the expansible module nestled therein;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the module in expanded position; and

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the structure of the present invention showing both unexpanded and expanded positions.

With further reference to the drawings, the improved expansible structure of the present invention, indicated generally at 10, is composed of a base module 11 and an expansible module 12.

The base module is composed of adjacent walls l3, l4 and 15, all of standard construction. Also, a standard roof 16 is provided with normal supporting trusses (not shown) thereunder.

To support the front edge of roof 16 is a bridge member 17 constructed of a weight and size of building material adequate to span a normal room distance of between IO and 15 feet. Since this is more or less a standard span in the building industry, the size of the bridge does not have to be excessive and is easily computed by those skilled in the art depending on the material used.

Although the size of the bridge 17 need be only adequate to span a distance of 10 to 15 feet or less without intermediate support, its length can be of many times that distance and yet still, with the present invention, be functional as will hereinafter be described in greater detail.

A floor 18 is provided for the base module and, again, can be of any desired standard construction.

The expansible module includes adjacent walls 19, 20 and 21. A slopped roof 23 is also shown and is constructed of standard material in a standard manner as are the walls. Likewise, floor 23 can be of any desired standard form and construction.

Although no particular friction reducing means is disclosed, it is understood that rollers or other well known systems can be used to aid in the expansion of the structure of the present invention.

Along the upper or interior edge of roof 22 is an upturned flange 24 which creates a water tight joint between the two module roof sections when in the expanded position.

Ground support means for the improved expansible structure of the present invention can be of any suitable type ranging from standard brick or concrete block foundations to mobile home type undercarriages. Since the support means does not form a part of the present invention, further description of this will not be undertaken.

Since the roof bridge 17 is not of the large structural size necessary for an extensive unsupported span, a support means is provided for use during the expansion process. This support means, indicated generally at 25, is composed of a mast 26 having a lower end adapted to retaingly receive an anchor bolt 28 and an upper end 29 adapted to fixedly carry a boom 30. The fixed relationship between mast 26 and boom 30 is rigidly reenforced by braces 31 and 32 as clearly seen in the drawmgs.

Boom 30 is of such a length that when the support means 25 is in operative position, it extends completely across base module 11.

Adjacent the end of boom 30 opposite mast 26 is an attaching means 33 such as a welded or bolted eyelet. To this attaching means is secured a lift means such as a block and tackle which is commonly referred to as a come-along. On the lower portion of lift means 34 is a means for releasably connecting the same to bridge attaching means 35. This last mentioned means can be in the form of an eyelet which is either bolted or otherwise secured to bridge 17.

It is, of course, understood that the lift means 34 can be releasably secured to attaching means 33 and 35 through any suitable securing media such as hook means or the like.

The operating line extending from the block and tackle 34 can lead to any suitable location where the same can be conveniently manipulated.

A pressure distributing pad or block 37 is provided which is disposed between mast 26 and wall of base module 11. The purpose of this pad is, of course, to distribute the weight of roof 16, through boom 30 and mast 26, over a wide area to make the same as rigid as possible.

The improved expansible structure 10 of the present invention can be produced either by custom fabrication or on an assembly line basis. The preferable method is to produce the base module 11 on an assembly or semiassembly line basis by using standard construction materials and methods. The roof bridge 17 is supported either by columns or similar means or it can be suspendingly supported from an overhead structure.

Once the base module 11 has been completed, the expansible module 12 can be constructed within the base module using standard building procedures and materials. Once the expansible module is completed, shoring blocks 38 or similar means can be placed at predetermined intervals between the edge of roof 22, above side 21, and the lower portion of bridge 17 thereby supporting said bridge and its associated roof 16 in a relatively rigid position.

The expansible structure 10 of the present invention is then ready for transport to its sight of intended use. This transport can be either on a standard wheeled undercarriage such as that used in conjunction with mobile homes, or the structure can be placed on either a standard or specially designed trailer such as the widely used low boys. In any case, once transported, the base module 11 can be placed on a suitable foundation and leveled as required. With its suitable foundation being provided, the expansible module 12 can then be slidingly moved outwardly by any convenient motive force (not shown) from the interior of base module 11 until roof flange 24 is adjacent roof bridge 17 as seen in the position shown in solid lines in FIG. 2.

The expansion process is accomplished by first placing one or more support means 25 adjacent wall 15 on base module 11 and anchoring, by means of bolt 28, the lower portion 27 of mast 26 to the floor area 18 of such module. Pressure distributing pad 37 is then placed adjacent the upper portion of wall 15 and boom 30 is disposed across roof 16 to a point above bridge 17. Lift means 34 is then secured between attaching means 33 on the end of boom 30 and attaching means 35 on roof bridge 17.

The lift means is then activated to the point where bridge 17 lifts slightly off of shoring blocks 38 thereby assuring that said bridge will not sag when such blocks are removed. Once all of the support means 25 required have been thusly operatively installed and properly adjusted for correct supportive pressure and position, the expansible module 12 is ready for completion of the expansion process. This module 12 is slidingly moved outwardly from the interior of base module 11 from the position shown in dotted lines in FIG. 2 to the position shown in solid lines in FIG. 2. As will be noted from this FIG., when the structure 10 is completely expanded, roof flange 24 is adjacent the interior side of roof bridge 17. The expanded module 12 rests on its own foundation and can be properly leveled by standard procedures and secured in relatively fixed position. Once flange 24 is disposed adjacent bridge 17,

roof 22 will be juxtaposed immediately therebelow and thus support said bridge. The portion of roof 22 adjacent flange 24 is supported by the interior wall 37 of module 12.

Thus it can be seen that in the folded or compact position, roof 16 of base module 12 and its associated bridge 17 are supported by the exterior wall 21 and shoring blocks 38 of the expansible module 12. Roof 16 and its associated bridge 17 are supported by support means 25 during the expansion process between modules 11 and 12 until the same is completed at which time such roof l6 and bridge 17 are supported by interior wall 39 of module 12.

Should it become desirable at some later date to transport the improved structure 10 of the present inventon to another location, the expansion process can be reversed by first engaging the required number of support means 25 as heretofore described and adjusting the same to remove the weight of roof 16 from roof 22 and its adjacent interior wall 39. Module 11 can then be slidingly moved interiorly into base module 12 by any suitable motivating means (not shown) until wall 21 is beneath roof bridge 17. Shoring blocks 38 can then be placed between such wall and said bridge to give non-sagging rigidity thereto. The supportive tension on the lift means 34 can then be released and the support means 25 removed. The structure 10 is then ready to be transported to a new location. Once on location the expansion process can be carried out as heretofore described.

From the above, it is obvious that the present invention has the advantage of providing an inexpensive and yet highly efficient method of providing an expansible building structure of any desired length without having to provide a self-supporting roof bridge. The present invention also has the advantage of allowing expansible modules to be built without regard to comparative size between base and expansible modules.

The present invention may, of course, be carried out in other specific ways than those hereinafter set forth without departing from the spirit and essential characteristics of the invention. The present embodiments are, therefore, to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive and all changes coming within the meaning and equivalency range of the appended claims are intended to be embraced herein.

What is claimed is:

1. An expansible building structure comprising: a generally rectangular shaped base module having three generally structurally supportive walls and one generally open side; a roof supported by said three supportive walls and by a bridge means on said generally open side, said bridge being so sized as to support less span than the length of said opening; a generally rectangular shaped expansible module having four structurally supportive walls and being so sized as to be disposed within the interior of said base module; shoring means disposed between said expansible module and said bridge when said last mentioned module is disposed within said base module whereby said bridge can be relatively rigidly supported when in such nestled position; and removable, exteriorly attached support means holding said bridge in relatively fixed, nonsagging position upon removal of said shoring means during expansive movement of said expansible module relative to said base module.

a block and tackle type means.

4. The structure of claim 2 wherein the mast is disposed adjacent the side of said base module opposite said opening.

5. The structure of claim 4 wherein a pressure distributing pad is disposed between said mast and said base module.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2636773 *Dec 16, 1949Apr 28, 1953Alert Dev CorpExpansible trailer
US2860384 *Mar 9, 1954Nov 18, 1958Palace CorpTapered sectional design for expansible units
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4171600 *May 25, 1977Oct 23, 1979Whitney Clifford C JrProcess for constructing modular building and resulting product
US7832151 *May 16, 2008Nov 16, 2010Les Habitations Mont-Carleton Inc.Prefabricated building structure with collapsible roof sections
US8151537 *Oct 13, 2008Apr 10, 2012Green Horizon Manufacturing LlcMethod for deploying cooperating prefabricated structures
US8286391 *Dec 20, 2005Oct 16, 2012Zhenqiu YangPortable building
US20100064599 *Dec 20, 2005Mar 18, 2010Zhenqiu YangPortable Building
EP0039254A2 *Feb 6, 1981Nov 4, 1981VECO Société à responsabilité limitéeContainer for transportation of a manufacturing, treatment, experimentation, examination chain or the like
U.S. Classification52/67, 52/125.2, 52/745.2
International ClassificationE04B1/343
Cooperative ClassificationE04B1/3431
European ClassificationE04B1/343B1