US 3881283 A
A multi-level apartment house embodies family dwelling units formed essentially by factory made L-modules which in assembled relationship form elongated dwelling spaces of similar configuration to modern mobile homes. Partitions, utilities and components are built into the basic L-modules at the factory and the modules are transported on trailer beds to the construction site. The construction system involves a unique foundation and method of constructing and an arrangement of metal strap anchors for attaching adjacent modules and for attaching modules to foundationn pillows and also for connecting floors and walls of the L-modules.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 1 11 11 3,881,283 Pender May 6, 1975  MODULAR HOUSING STRUCTURE FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1 lnvflmorl David Fender, I013 Mario" 674,946 7/1952 United Kingdom 52/263 C um 8- 29201 1.151;,708 7/l969 United Kingdom 52/79  Filed: Sept. 10, 1973 Primary Examiner-Frank L. Abbott [211 App! NO: 395517 Assistant ExaminerJames L. Ridgill, Jr.
Attorney, Agent, or FirmB. P. Fishburne, Jr.
 US. Cl. 52/79; 52/234; 52/7l5; 52/294, 52/262  Int. Cl E04h 1/04; E04h 9/06 53 pick t Search 52/79 234, 236, 220, 221, A multi-level apartment house embodies family dwell- 5 9 7 7 263 293 280, 299, 289 ing units formed essentially by factory made L- 295 707 modules which in assembled relationship form elongated dwelling spaces of similar configuration to mod- 5 References Cited ern mobile homes. Partitions, utilities and components UNITED STATES PATENTS are built into the basic L-modules at the factory and the modules are transported on trailer beds to the con- 1 g1bson...... 5:552 struction site. The construction system involves a 1'886962 11/1932 i ian; 52:79 unique foundation and method of constructing and an z'lzolgs 6/1938 Valenti "52]74 arrangement of metal strap anchors for attaching adja- 2:3g :g2 3 946 Carpenter": 52/92 cent modules and for attaching modules to founda- 2 43g,604 3 1943 (j rt 52/299 tionn pillows and also for connecting floors and walls 2,482,918 9/l949 Kump r 1 w n 52/79 Of the L-modules. 3,599,379 K/l97l Tuska 52/707 3,642,339 2 1972 Ruderfer 52/79 3 Clam", 12 Drawmg Figures l 2 l 2 l l PATENIEDMAY ems MODULAR HOUSING STRUCTURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The need for economical multi-unit housing which can be quickly constructed at any chosen location with minimum labor and material costs is so obvious and so widely known as to scarcely require emphasis or restatement. Numerous proposals have been advanced in recent years to provide low cost housing particularly for those in the low income levels. The United States Government, certain foreign governments, and private industry have repeatedly offered to reward those who can come forward with practical housing systems of the type so urgently needed in many urban areas. In response to the recognized need and the opportunties for reward, many meritorious construction systems have been proposed including prefabricated housing units and modular systems of a variety of types. A large number of United States and foreign patents have been granted in recent years on housing and building con struction systems designed to meet the above-stated need. However, thus far, no system of this type has been widely adopted and recognized as ideal although many have been tried out on a regional basis or local basis with varying degrees of acceptance.
With this background in mind, the present invention has been made with the objective of totally satisfying the need for a particular type of low cost housing required by a large segment of the population on an immediate basis. If urban renewal projects are to succeed in any reasonable time and so-called ghettos are to be eliminated, there must be made available at low cost, comfortable and efficient dwelling space for families in the form of multiple housing units which can be quickly manufactured, transported to the desired location, and erected in the shortest possible time with a minimum amount of laborv Such housing, to satisfy the need of the day, must obviously be attractive and comfortable as well as strong and durable and resistant to the elements and therefore long-lasting. It must possess the modern facilities and features which all present-day citizens expect and desire even in the lowest cost accommodations including Government sponsored housing projects. Presently available housing and construction techniques have fallen far short of satisfying the needs and requirements, and as stated, the objective of the invention herein is to do so.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Essentially, the invention consists of a factory built and outfitted basic dwelling unit or building module, a stable foundation which is economical to form with a minimum of labor,
and a unique metal strap anchoring system for the connection of the housing modules in a multi-unit dwelling and for connecting the building to foundation pillows. All of these invention components coact to provide a desirable low cost apartment house for families of modest income.
Other features and advantages of the invention will become apparent during the course of the following detailed description.
DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING FIGURES FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view of a multiple unit dwelling constructed according to the invention.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical section taken through adjacent L-modules and showing the joining thereof to the vertical wall of an underlying L- module and to each other.
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary vertical section taken on line 33 of FIG. 2, with parts omitted.
FIG. 4 is a partly diagrammatic perspective view of a single L-module.
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary vertical section taken transversely through a factory outfitted L-module and showing corner utility and heat ducts and associated elements.
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a factory built top floor housing unit including roof components and mounted for transportation to a building site.
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary end elevation of top floor dwelling units and roof components in assembled relationship.
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary perspective view of a roof section.
FIG. 9 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical section through adjacent roof sections showing a connection or joint and sealing means therebetween and an adjacent vertical wall portion.
FIG. 10 is a fragmentary plan view of foundation units which support the modular building.
FIG. I] is an enlarged vertical section taken on line II-ll of FIG. 10.
FIG. 12 is a similar view taken on line 12-12 of FIG. I0.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to the drawings in detail. the numeral 1 designates a right angular L-module comprising a bottom horizontal wall 2 and an upstanding vertical side wall 3, said walls being rigidly connected in a manner to be described. This L-module is the key element in the invention and the concept behind the invention is that one side wall and one bottom wall of a single L- module will form an essentially complete apartment or dwelling space when assembled with identical L- modules in a multi-level building of the type designated by the numeral 4 in FIG. 1. In the assembled apartment building 4, the side wall of each L-module serves as the wall of two adjacent side-by-side apartment units 5. Likewise, the bottom horizontal wall 2 of each L- module serves as the floor of one apartment unit 5 and the ceiling of the apartment unit immediately therebelow. To complete a multiple unit apartment house, it is only necessary to provide a wall at one end of the building and a roof structure above the top tier of L- modules, as will be fully describedv As is apparent in FIGS. 1 and 6, the L-modules I are elongated preferably to the extent of about 54 feet in comparison to a width approximately l2 feet. This elongated configuration of the L-module 1 permits the use of an interior living area design and furnishings approximating that of a present-day large mobile home. As will presently be described. the modules 1 are constructed at a factory and are outfitted there with all interior partitions, utilities and equipment so that the module may be transported to a construction site as a complete living unit.
Referring to FIG. 2 which shows one complete L- module 1 and wall portions of an underlying module and a module immediately to the left of the one depicted in FIG. 2, the following is indicated. Each L- module has its horizontal and vertical right angular walls 2 and 3 formed by wooden framing members 6 and 7, for example 2 X 6 and 2 X 8 boards, respectively. The framing members 7 have plywood facings 9 secured to their opposite sides and these facings are covered by Gypsum boards 10 or the like to provide finished wall surfaces on opposite sides of the vertical wall 3 of the module. The frame members 6 have a plywood sub-floor facing 8 secured to their upper sides and to their lower sides is secured a Gypsum board section 11 to form a finished ceiling for the apartment space im mediately below in the assembled multi-unit building. Any type of finished flooring may be used on top of the plywood sub-flooring 8, such as tile or carpeting. The essentially hollow interiors of the walls 2 and 3 of each L-module are filled with any preferred type of heat insulation 13, such as insulation in blanket form.
A very important and unique feature of the invention resides in the use of a system of strap anchor elements formed of metal for joining the horizontal and vertical walls 2 and 3 of the L-modules l at the factory and also for joining the vertical walls of adjacent L-modules at the construction site and for joining the horizontal walls to vertical walls of adjacent L-modules. It will be seen that the strap anchor elements are employed to secure the lowermost building modules to foundation units and to anchor roof units to the uppermost tier of modules.
Continuing to refer to the drawings, at the factory where the L-modules 1 are produced, strap anchors 12 are secured by screws or the like to the outer longitudinal edge of the horizontal wall 2, preferably on four foot centers. As shown in FIG. 2, the strap anchors 12 project above and below the horizontal wall 2 for at taching the edge of such wall to the vertical walls 3 of the next laterally adjacent L-module and the L-module immediately below. This attachment is shown at the left hand side of FIG. 2 where the vertical strap anchors 12 are attached to the two vertically aligned walls 3 by screws, nails or the like 14 above and below the adjacent horizontal wall 2. 1
FIG. 3 shows how the strap anchors 12 are apertured at 16 to receive the screws 14 or like fastener elements. FIG. 2 also shows factory-applied vinyl cove base or trim 17 at the floor line and field-applied ceiling molding 18 on opposite sides of the walls 3. Small cut-outs are made in the Gypsum board to accommodate the metal strap anchors 12.
Referring to FIG. 4 of the drawings, one of the L- modules 1 is shown upturned with its floor or normally horizontal wall 2 arranged vertically to reveal the positioning of the metal strap anchors 12 along the longitudinal edge of the wall 2 and at the joint between the walls 2 and 3. This joint is also depicted in FIG. 2 where strap anchors 120 project above and below the adjacent horizontal wall 2 and are secured by pairs of screws 19 to the adjacent vertical walls 3. The attachment of the strap anchors 12a to the vertical wall of each L-module is performed at the factory so that when the module leaves the factory it will appear as in FIG. 4. The attachment of the strap anchors 12a to the wall 3 of the next lowermost L-module is done at the construction site. This system of construction and attachment by means of the metal strap anchors constitutes one of the most important aspects of the invention, both in terms of economy and security.
Continuing to describe the procedures at the factory, as previously mentioned, all interior partitions, utilities and equipment are installed in each L-module 1 and roofs for the modules to be used for the top floor of the multi-story apartment are installed at the factory.
Referring to FIGS. 6, 7, 8 and 9, the roof system is chosen so that a low-cost roof similar to those used on mobile homes can be adapted to the present modular system. The objective is to construct and attach the roof unit of each top floor L-module at the factory in such a manner that the roof unit will not interfere with the placement of adjacent L-modules and the roof unit will be easily attachable at the building site to adjacent modules in a manner that will form a completely leakproof roof for the building.
In furtherance of this, a separate roof unit 20 for each L-module is produced at the factory and comprise longitudinal transverse wooden frame members 21 and 22 rigidly connected to suitable intervals. Sheet aluminum roofing material 23 is applied conventionally to the roof framing and depending longitudinal side flanges 24 are formed to be subsequently sealed on the construction site. Metal strap anchors 25 and 26 are installed at the factory by attaching them to the longitudinal frame members 21 and the vertical strap anchors extend considerably below these frame members, as shown.
Also at the factory, the strap anchors 25 are permanently attached as at 27 to the vertical wall 3 of the L- module, as depicted in FIG. 9, while the strap anchors 26 are left unattached at their lower ends for subsequent use on the building site for attachment to adjacent modules. In this connection, the equally spaced strap anchors 26 are staggered or offset along the roof unit 20 from the strap anchors 25 by a distance of 16 inches or the like. Consequently, at the construction site, as shown in FIG. 9, the strap anchors 26 are deflected slightly from the vertical as indicated at 28 and are attached to the same wall 3 of the next L-module by fasteners similar to the elements 27. A suitable premolded compressible joint filler 29 may be placed in the gap between adjacent roof units 20 at the construction site. Also, a sealant 30 may be applied between the continuous side flanges 24 of each roof unit 20 to complete the continuous water-tight roof for the building.
It may be seen in FIGS. 7 and 9 that the roof units when applied at the factory to the L-module are slightly offset to the left with relation to the vertical wall 3. The reason for this is to prevent the roof unit of one L- module from interfering with the subsequent placement of the next module on the upper floor level in the construction of the multi-unit building.
Additionally the hollow interior of each roof unit 20 is filled with insulation and its bottom is faced with Gypsum board 31 to provide a finished ceiling for the top floor modules.
At the factory, each top floor living unit comprising an outfitted L-module 1 and an installed roof unit 20 is also provided before shipment to a construction site with a front porch roof section 32 constructed in the manner described for the main roof unit 20 although being greatly foreshortened. During transporting to the construction site, the porch roof section 32 may rest upon the main roof unit 20 and may be stabilized at the opposite sides by adhesive tape sections 33 which are subsequently discarded.
Another very significant feature of the invention contributing to the practicality and economy of the housing is the provision of above-floor linear utility ducts in the angle of each Lmodule as depicted in FIG. 5. Re-
ferring to this figure, above-floor ducting for pipes is shown at 84 in the right angle between the walls 2 and 3 of the module. Next to this ducting is a heat or air duct 85, also above the floor. A bath tub 47 and adjacent twin toilets 86 are shown in FIG. 5 above the ducting and toilet bends 87. The ducts 84 and 85 lead to an exterior vertical passage or duct at the rear of the building, not shown, for each vertical row of dwelling units With the described arrangements of ducts, no ducts or pipes need be placed inside of walls and since there are no doors through the long wall 3, it is possible to place all of the utility ducts including heat duct, water pipes, sewer, gas and electrical cables above the floor 2, as shown. The arrangement greatly simplifies installation of utilities and thus lowers the cost of such installation. The thickness of floors and ceilings can be much less than would be required if internal ducting were used. Easier access to utility ducts and pipes is afforded with lower maintenance costs. No utility duct or pipe from one living space passes through another living space and therefore a malfunction and repair of a utility in one apartment causes no inconvenience and no entering of an adjacent apartment. The novel utility duct system is particularly useful with the condominium concept of individual ownership of apartments.
FIGS. through 12 depict the foundation system for the building in FIG. 1 and method of constructing in a most economical manner. Basic to the foundation system is the use of thin metal upright tubes 89 as a form for the concrete foundation pillows or footings. This tubular form becomes a permanent integral part of the foundation pillow and a permanent external reinforcement taking the place of vertical internal reinforcing bars. Transverse holes pierced through each tube 89 serve to position crossed steel reinforcing bars 90 below grade as shown in FIGS. 11 and 12, concrete 91 being poured inside and outside of the upstanding tubes 89 in small excavations 92 provided in the ground for the foundation pillows. Additional holes are preferably formed through the metal tubes 89 below grade to allow the concrete inside and outside of the tubes to be integrated. This, together with the crossed reinforcing bars 90, forms solid continuous integrated foundation pillows of maximum strength.
A high degree of accuracy in the placement of the concrete foundation pillows is another feature of the invention and the key to this accuracy is the use and method of placement of the upright tubes 36. This accuracy is very necessary with the use of the L-module l where a number of such modules must be assembled and joined to form the apartment house shown in FIG. 1.
As shown, the lower edge of each tube 89 is driven into the bottom of a small circular excavation in the ground. The top edge of the tube will be used to define the top of a pillow on which a lowermost L-module 1 will rest. By using appropriate marks on the metal tubes 89 and an appropriate gridwork of staked-out cord markers, not shown, the tubes can be precisely positioned and driven into place in the excavation 92.
After the tubes are precisely driven into place, premixed concrete 91 is simultaneously poured into the tube 89 and around the tube exteriorly serving to join the concrete inside and outside of the tubes below grade. After the concrete is poured up to the top edge of the tube 89, a form is lowered into the top of the tube to produce recesses 97 which receive the metal strap anchors I2 and 12a of adjacent L-modules in the lower tier of modules. At the forwardmost and rearmost foundation pillow of each front-to-back row of pillows, one extra locator recess 98 is produced by the form at this time to subsequently receive and accurately position a pair of depending tapered locator pins 99 provided on the bottom of each L-module, FIG. 4, to facilitate accurately placing the module on the foundation pillows when the multi-story building is erected.
Immediately prior to placing the lower modules on the foundation pillows, the recesses 97 receive concrete or some other suitable binder to anchor the metal strap anchors 12 and 12a. FIG. 10 shows the front-toback rows of foundation pillows on four foot centers. Laterally the rows of pillows are spaced twelve feet to accommodate the widths of the L-modules 1. One such module 1 is shown in phantom lines in FIG. 10 straddling and resting upon the foundation pillows of two laterally adjacent rows.
It is to be understood that the form of the invention herewith shown and described is to be taken as a preferred example of the same, and that various changes in the shape, size and arrangement of parts may be resorted to, without departing from the spirit of the invention or scope of the subjoined claims.
I. A plural level multi-family dwelling comprising plural horizontal and vertical rows of front-to-back elongated rectangular cross section dwelling compartments, said dwelling compartments formed by a plurality of substantially identical right angular front-to-back elongated L-modules, said modules arranged in said dwelling so that a horizontal wall of each module forms the floor of one dwelling compartment and the ceiling walls of the dwelling compartment immediately therebelow, and a vertical wall of each module forms the party wall between two laterally adjacent dwelling compartments in one level of the dwelling, the opposite faces of the horizontal and vertical walls of the modules having finishing material thereon, attachment means for the plural L-modules of said dwelling comprising plural spaced readily bendable strap anchors secured to the longitudinal front-to-back edge of the horizontal wall of each module and extending above and below the horizontal wall for attachment by nailing to the vertical walls of a like module on the same level and a like module on the next lowermost level of the dwelling, each such strap anchor having its upper end nailed to the vertical wall of the next adjacent module on the same level at a point near and above the horizontal wall of that module and having its lower end nailed to the vertical wall of the next underlying module at a point near the top of such wall, additional laterally spaced readily bendable strap anchors secured to each L- module at the juncture of its horizontal and vertical wall s and serving to join such walls in structurally assembled relationship and having lower terminal end portions projecting below said horizontal wall of each module, said lower tenninal end portions nailed to the vertical wall of the next lowermost module to complete the structural joining of L-modules in the plural levels of said dwelling, means forming an end wall for said plural level dwelling adjacent the endmost vertical row of L-modules having open sides, and roofing means for the uppermost horizontal row of L-modules in said dwelling.
2. The structure of claim 1, and means forming an above floor front-to-back extending ductway for utility piping and conduits in each dwelling compartment in the right angular comer formed by the juncture of the horizontal and vertical walls of each L-module 3. The structure of claim 1, wherein said first-named plural spaced strap anchors are offset from said additional spaced strap anchors whereby the lower terminal end portions of the two groups of strap anchors are nailed to the vertical wall of a next lowermost module in staggered intervening relationship for increased security.
4. The structure of claim I, and plural laterally spaced front-to-back rows of reinforced concrete foundation pillows for said dwelling underlying the lowermost level of L-modules, and the top faces of said pillows having pairs of laterally spaced recesses receiving the lower terminal end portions of said first-named and additional strap anchors of the modules in the lowermost level of the dwelling, whereby said terminal end portions may be anchored to said foundation pillows.
5. The structure of claim 4, and said foundation pillows forming the forward and rear ends of the front-toback rows of pillows having locator recesses in their tops, and a pair of depending locator pins on the lower level L-modules near the front and back ends thereof and near the juncture of the horizontal and vertical walls of such module, and entering said locator recesses to accurately position said modules on said foundation pillows.
6. The structure of claim 4, wherein each foundation pillow comprises a vertical tube driven into the soil at the bottom of a small excavation and projecting somewhat above the ground line at the top of the excavation, said tube having crossing side wall openings below said ground line, crossed reinforcing rods engaging through said side wall openings and through the tube and radially outwardly thereof in the excavation, and a concrete mzuss filling the interior of the tube and the excavation surrounding the tube below the ground line and encompassing said reinforcing rods both internally and externally of the tube. said recesses in the top faces of said pillows being molded in said concrete mass.
7. The structure of claim I, wherein said roofing means comprises an individually formed front-to-back elongated roof section for each L-module in the uppermost level of said dwelling, plural spaced vertially extending readily bendable strap anchors carried by the front-to-back longitudinal edges of each roof section and depending therefrom and adapted to be nailed to the vertical walls of the L-modules in the uppermost level of the dwelling after placement of the roof sections thereon, the strap anchors on one front-to-back longitudinal edge of each roof section being staggered with relation to the strap anchors on the opposite longitudinal edge so that the strap anchors on opposing edges of adjacent roof sections in the dwelling may be nailed to the same face of an underlying vertical wall of an L-module.
8. The structure of claim 7, wherein the roof sections are applied to the modules in the uppermost level in offset relationship to the vertical walls of the modules so that one edge portion of each roof section rests squarely on a vertical wall and adjacent edge portion of the next roof section is spaced slightly from said vertical wall and anchored thereto solely by said bendable strap anchors of said next roof section, and a sealant gasket element intervened between the opposing frontto-back longitudinal edges of adjacent roof sections.