US 3916589 A
A dome construction of part spherical form including a plurality of structural frame members and interconnecting hub means defining polygonal openings covered by rigid panels, the structural frame members and interconnecting hub means being structurally configured to receive interior condensate moisture or seepage water from exterior surfaces and to conduct such condensate or water interiorly of the structural frame members and interconnecting hub means whereby external gutter pipe or water pipe is eliminated and discoloration and marring of interior surfaces caused by condensate moisture or water is reduced to a minimum or virtually eliminated.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Umted States Patent 1191 1111 3,
Richter  Nov. 4, 1975 DOME CONSTRUCTION AND DRAINAGE 3,462,893 8/1969 Kaiser 52/80 SYSTEM THEREFOR 3,791,088 2/1974 Santow et al. 52/200 3,830,029 8/1974 Vance 52/669 X Inventor: 2 Rlchler, Harbor C1111, 3,844,086 11/1974 Rodtke 52/464 x at 73 A T FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1 sslgnee' emmr Torrance 677,014 8/1952 United Kingdom 52/463  Filed; Apr, 8, 1974 58,807 11/1967 Germany 52/81  Appl' No.2 458,589 Primary ExaminerErnest R. Purser Assistant ExaminerLeslie A. Braun  US. Cl. 52/81; 52/95; 52/464; Attorne A ent, or FirmEdward F. Jaros 8 52/468; 52/488; 52/758 H; 52/758 .1  Int. CI. E04B l/32; E06B 3/64  Field of Search 52/80, 81, 95, 200, 209,  ABS CT 52/500 502 433 459 4 1 4 4 4 4 A dome construction of part spherical form 111ClL1Cl1I1g 4 7 4 g 4 9 11 19 199 75 H, 75 G, a plurality of structural frame members and intercon- 758 403/34 37 39 necting hub means defining polygonal Openings covered by rigid panels, the structural frame members  References Ci and interconnecting hub means being structurally con- UNITED STATES PATENTS figured to receive interior condensate moisture 01' seepage water from exterior surfaces and to conduct 2 5 2/ 461 such condensate or water interiorly of the structural 98l8l3 J ig 52/464 X frame members and interconnecting hub means 2 948362 Q3/1960 52,464 X whereby external gutter pipe or water pipe is elimi- 2:979:064 4/1961 Fischer... 52/81 X nated and discoloration and marring of interior sur- 3,137,371 6/1964 Nye 52/81 faces caused by condensate moisture or water is re- 3,192,669 7/1965 Hawkins 52/81 duced to a minimum or virtually eliminated. 3,205,630 9/1965 Felix et a1... 52/502 X 3,323,820 6/1967 Braccini 52/81 x 5 Clalms, 13 Drawmg Figures a i ll 26 118 1 119 109 61 US. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet20f4 3,916,589
US. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet4 of4 3,916,589
DOME CONSTRUCTION AND DRAINAGE SYSTEM THEREFOR BACKGROUND OF INVENTION Prior dome constructions of geodesic type or part spherical form have provided clear spans within the dome of great length or distance, that is, the space beneath the part spherical dome between the periphery of the dome and the apex of the dome is open. Thus, in such dome constructions, there are no vertical columns, trusses or beams along which water drainage pipes may be conveniently run to provide for drainage of moisture or water which might find its way into the interior of the construction. Exterior surfaces of dome constructions are part spherical and generally speaking there is no particular problem with drainage runoff from such exterior surfaces because of their downward inclination at all points on the dome except the very apex.
Ambient environmental conditions within a dome construction and externally of such construction may be quite different. Under certain conditions of humidity and temperature, condensate moisture may collect and run along interior surfaces of the dome. Such runoff may accumulate to such an extent that drops of water may fall off frame members. Such fall off is highly undesirable because of disturbance thereby of activities taking place within the dome construction and ultimately interior surfaces become stained, marred, and generally unsightly. Such interior runofi requires costly cleaning of interior surfaces because water stains are difficult to remove. Moreover, drain pipes or gutter systems attached to the interior of the dome construction are architecturally unattractive.
SUMMARY OF INVENTION The present invention contemplates a dome construction in which a drainage system is provided for internal moisture problems internally within the frame structure of the dome.
The present invention particularly contemplates a dome of part spherical form in which a plurality of hollow section structural frame members serve as part of the drainage system for collecting and conducting condensate moisture formed on interior surfaces of the dome to suitable disposal or distribution facilities at the base of the dome.
It is therefore a primary object of the present invention to provide a novel dome construction having novel means for collecting and conducting moisture or drainage water from interior surfaces of the dome.
An object of the present invention is to provide a structural frame member of novel cross sectional configuration adapted to receive condensate moisture from interior surfaces of an adjacent panel supported thereby and to conduct such moisture to a lower end of the structural frame member.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a novel interconnecting hub or gusset member for one or more structural frame members to receive from such frame members water conducted thereby and to transfer such water through the gusset means to a lowermost structural frame member.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an assembly of structural frame members and gusset members which internally provide a drainage system 2 for condensate moisture which collects on interior surfaces of a dome construction.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a dome construction having a square peripheral configuration and a dome provided with a plurality of covered square openings and in which diagonally opposite corners of the square are provided with a change in curvature from the normally part spherical downward curvature of the dome.
A specific object of the invention is to provide structural members for a dome which provide a concealed drainage system for gravitational flow of water from upper portions of the dome to the base periphery of the dome.
A more specific object of the present invention is to provide a means for assembling structural frame members and rigid panels supported thereby, wherein structural noises due to differential thermal expansion and contraction of the dome members is minimized or eliminated.
Various other objects and advantages of the present invention will be readily apparent from the following description of the drawings in which exemplary embodiments of the invention are shown.
In The Drawings:
FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of an ememplary dome construction embodying this invention.
FIG. 2 is a top plane view of the dome construction shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the dome construction shown in FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a vertical schematic sectional view taken in the plane indicated by line IVIV of FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken in a vertical plane indicated by line VV of FIG. 2.
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary enlarged sectional view taken in the plane indicated by line VI-VI of FIG. 5.
FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken in the plane indicated by line VIIVII of FIG. 5.
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view taken in the planes indicated by lines VIIIVIII of FIG. 5.
FIG. 9 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional 'view taken in the plane indicated by line IXIX of FIG. 5.
FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a gasket element employed between the end of a frame member and an interconnecting gusset hub means.
FIG. 1 1 is an enlarged fragmentary partially sectional view of the interconnection of structural frame members and gusset means at the periphery of the dome construction.
FIG. 12 is an enlarged perspective view, partly in section, of a peripheral gusset means shown in FIG. 11.
FIG. 13 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view, partly in section, of a hub means and structural frame members at an exemplary intersection indicated by the circle 13 of FIG. 3.
In the drawings a dome construction generally indicated at 20 may comprise a plurality of structural frame members or struts 21 of equal length and identical cross section interconnected by hub means 22. The frame members 21 form a part spherical hollow dome of generally latticework in plan and with a center apex 23. The frame members 21 at the bottom periphery of the dome are connected with a base means 24 of square configuration. The openings 25 defined by the structural frame members 21 may be covered by suitable rigid panels 26 of square configuration, such panels 3 being virtually non-stressed. In the present example, the panels are made of a generally rigid, stiff plastic material such as an acrylic plastic which may be either transparent, translucent or a particular selected color.
The dome construction is provided with internal structural means for receiving and distributing condensate moisture forming on interior surfaces of the dome construction as well as rain or other moisture seeping or leaking through the dome construction from exterior surfaces thereof. The means for handling such condensate and liquid will be readily apparent from the following detailed description of dome construction 20.
As previously mentioned, each structural frame member 21 is of identical cross sectional configuration and may be precut to a preselected length. Frame member 21 is preferably made of a lightweight metal such as an extruded aluminum alloy material. Frame member 21, FIG. 5 and 9 may comprise an elongate generally hollow tubular or box section having a top wall 30, side walls 31 which flare slightly upwardly and outwardly and which are provided with wall extensions 32 extending above top wall 30, and a bottom wall 33. Bottom wall 33 also includes a longitudinally extending central rib means 35 joined to bottom wall 33 by a relatively narrow web 36. Rib means 35 has a longitudinally extending slot 37 above a longitudinally extending bore 38 which may be tapped at each end of the frame member 21 with threads to receive connecting bolts 39.
Top wall 30 is somewhat similarly provided with a central upwardly extending rib means 40 of somewhat different cross sectional configuration and providing a downwardly facing bottom longitudinal slot 41 opening to a longitudinal bore 42 adapted to be tapped at each end to receive a connecting securement bolt 43.
Rib means 40 extends substantially above the side wall extension 32. Between rib means 40 and side wall extensions 32 is provided an integral longitudinally extending panel support rib 45 comprising an upstanding web 46 carrying at its top edge a flange 47 having a top surface 48 inclined slightly to the vertical plane bisecting the frame member to provide the necessary angularity for the panels of the dome construction. Panel support rib 45 thus defines with side wall extension 32 on outer longitudinally extending channel 50 and also defines with the central securement rib means 40 an inner channel 51.
Panel 26 of suitable rigid material such as a transparent or translucent or colored plastic material has a configuration essentially that of a square to cover the square shaped openings 25. The panel edge margins 53 which seat upon the panel support surface 48 extend beyond the inner edge of panel support flange 47. Means for securing and holding panels 26 in a selected position in opening may comprise a plurality of longitudinally spaced spring clips 54. Each spring clip 54 may be of generally hair pin or acute angle section and is positioned on securement rib means 40 in a longitudinally extending recess 55 which receives leg 56 of clip 54. Top wall is provided with a low longitudinally extending rib 57 between web 46 and rib means 40 to form a shallow longitudinally extending channel in which clip 54 may be selectively positioned. Clip 54 includes a leg 58 which extends above leg 55 and which has edge abutment at 59 with edge margin 53 of the panel 26. Thus, when one of the square openings of the dome construction is considered, each of the structural frame members 25 provide inner channels within which a plurality of clips 54 may be positioned as above de- 4 scribed so that the panel 26 is pressure engaged by spring clips along its four edge margins and will be effectively centered over the square peripheral supporting surface provided by the support ribs 45.
Means for retaining adjacent panels 26 in assembly with frame members 21 and on the support flanges 47 may comprise an elongate single cap member 61 of suitable metal material such as aluminum alloy. Cap 61 includes a depending elongate central spacer portion 62 having an edge face for seating abutment at 63 with the top edge face of securement rib means 40. Longitudinal portion 62 may be provided with spaced bores 64 for receiving a securement screw bolt 65 provided threaded engagement at 66 in a tapped bore in rib means 40.
Extending outwardly from each side of the central portion 62 are arm portions 68 each being provided with a heavier or thicker metal section at its longitudinal edge section to provide a key slot 69 for carrying a hollow longitudinally extending extruded gasket 70 of suitable material, as silicone rubber. In FIG. 5 each gasket 70 is shown under compression when the cap 61 is in installed assembled relation with the frame member 21, each gasket 70 being compressed. Each gasket 70 includes longitudinally extending spaced parallel grooves 71 which define spaced lands 72 for pressure contact with the top surface of edge margin 53 of a panel 26. The provision of spaced parallel grooves and lands minimizes seepage of external fluids or water between the gasket 70 and the top surface of the panel 26.
Edge margins 53 of each panel 26 are thus placed under some pressure engagement with the panel supporting surfaces 48 of the flanges 47 by the assembly of the cap 61 with the panels, gaskets 70 and frame member 21. Expansion and contraction of the frame members and of the panels 26 during changing weather or environmental conditions may sometimes produce relative movement between the edge margins 53 and the flange supporting surfaces 48 of the frame members. Often such relative movement produces structural noises which may become objectionable for certain types of activities being conducted beneath the dome construction. To reduce such structural noise, a relatively soft or a relatively slippery tape 74 may be applied to panel support surface 48 so that relative movement between the bottom surfaces of edge margin 53 and the support surface 48 will effect little or a very minimum of sound. It will be apparent that during such movement there will be little or no relative movement between the gasket and the upper surface of edge margin 53 because the flexibility and yieldability of the gasket material will permit the bottom surface of gasket 70 to move with the panel 26.
Hub means 22, FIGS. 6, 8 and 13, serves to interconnect converging adjacent ends of structural frame member 21 and to provide means for transfer of drainage fluid from the higher of said frame members to lower frame members. Hub means 22 may comprise a hollow cup-shaped gusset member having a generally circular bottom wall 81 and upstanding peripheral slightly outwardly flaring walls 82. The top edge 83 of wall 82 lies slightly below the support flange 47 of the structural frame member 21 when assembled therewith. At angularly spaced intervals around the peripheral wall 82 may be provided vertically arranged openings 84 corresponding to the spacing of bores 38 and 42 for reception of securement bolts 39 and 43 to securely attach and fasten the end of each frame member 21 to he hub means 22.
As best seen in FIGS. 8 and 13, hub means 22 also includes a top cover 86 of circular form and having secured thereto a depending axial bolt 87 which threadedly engages at 88 a tapped fitting 89 welded to bottom wall 81. The threaded end of bolt 87 is provided with a positioning nut 90 so that the height of cover 86 may be accurately positioned relative to the opposed concave edge 91 of the retainer cap 61 on the structural frame member 21. In FIG. 13, it will be apparent that comer portions 92 of each panel 26 extends between the cover 86 and top edge 83 of the gusset member 81 so that any moisture collected on either interior or exterior surfaces of panel 26 which migrate towards a corner 92 will fall from such corner 92 into the hollow cupshaped gusset member 22.
The joint between the arcuate edge 91 of cap 61 and the cover 86 may be caulked and sealed in suitable well known manner.
The peripheral wall 82 of slightly outwardly flaring configuration is sealed against end edges of the structural frame member 21 during assembly. To effect a seal between the exterior surface of peripheral wall 82 and the opposed end edges of the frame member 21, a preformed U shaped sealing gasket 94 is provided, FIG. 10. Gasket 94 corresponds in shape to the configuration of the end edges of the frame member 21. Gasket member 94 may be of generally triangular section and may be provided with a rabbeted edge 95 therearound which receives the edge of frame member 21, FIG. 6. The edge portion of gasket 94 defining the rabbeted edge 95 may be provided with openings 97 to accommodate the edge portion of top wall 30 and a bottom opening 97 to accommodate the web 36 extending upwardly from bottom wall 33. When the gasket 94 is in position on the edges of frame member 2 1 and the bolts 39 and 43 are tightened, it will be apparent that the joint between the hub means 23 and the frame member 21 is effectively sealed.
Condensate moisture accumulates primarily on internal surfaces of panels 26 because their relatively large area is exposed to different exterior and interior ambient conditions. In some climates and under some conditions a collection of moisture or condensate occurs on the interior surfaces of panels 26 which have an inclined attitude. Such condensate runs toward the lowermost edges of the panels 26. Condensate reaching panel support flange 47 will travel by capillary action and by gravity along the under surface of panel support flange 47 and will either flow down web 46 or drop into the outer channel 50 defined by web 46 and side wall extension 32. Proximate to each end of top wall 30 of frame member 21 drainage holes 93 are provided so that fluid directed to the holes by the channels 50 will be conducted along the gutter 95 formed by the bottom wall 33 and lower portion of the side walls 31 of the frame member 21 to drainage holes 96 provided in the peripheral wall 82 of the gusset hub means 22. Fluid flowing into the hollow gusset member 22 will flow to the lower side thereof and through the lowermost holes 96 in the peripheral wall 82 for passage into the lowermost frame member 21 and along the gutter 95 provided thereby. The flow of collected condensate and fluid from one frame member through a fluid transfer gusset member 22 to another frame member 21 continues in sequence throughout the entire dome construction until the fluid reaches the base means 24.
External fluid which may collect on the exterior surfaces of the dome construction because of rain fall, high humidity or other conditions will normally be shed by the panels 26, covers 86 and caps 61 along the exterior surfaces of the dome construction to the base periphery thereof. However, under some severe weather conditions, leakage may occur along the top surface of panel 26 beneath the sealing gasket 70. Such leakage of fluid is carried to the edge margin 53 and may fall over the edge thereof into the inner channel 51 formed by web 46 and rib means 40. At opposite ends of each frame member 21 drainage holes 97 are provided in top wall 30 opposite holes 93. Fluid passing through drainage holes 97 falls to the bottom of the frame member 21 and is conducted along gutter in the manner similar to the water falling through holes 93 previously described.
It should be noted that the structural arrangement of the dome construction including the hollow structural frame members 21 and the interconnecting and transfer gusset hub members 22 provide a means whereby any condensate moisture or any fluid collecting on the interior surfaces of the dome construction or finding its way to the interior of the dome construction from exterior surfaces thereof will be directed to drainage and gutter means formed integrally with the dome structure and will be conducted along the interior of the structural framing in such a manner that fluid or moisture will not fall freely from the interior of the dome construction. In addition, since all of such condensate and fluid is conducted internally of the frame structure, discoloration, marring, streaking and unsightly appearance of the panels 26 and frame members is avoided and minimized.
FIG. 11 illustrates an exemplary arrangement for conducting the flow of fluid from the structural frame members at the peripheral base of the dome construction. Base means 24 may comprise a suitable concrete foundation having a top peripheral surface 100 upon which may be fixed base transfer and gusset means generally indicated at 101. Each base gusset means 101 may be secured to the concrete foundation by side flanges 102 and suitable anchor bolts 103. Each hub means 101 is located at the intersection of one or more structural frame members 21 adjacent to the base 24. In this example of a dome construction having a square periphery the ends of two diagonal and two horizontal base frame members are interconnected at the base means 24. It will be understood that in other configurations 'of the dome construction more than one or two frame members may intersect at the base periphery of the dome. Each gusset means 101 includes a bottom wall 105 of generally semi-circular configuration and disposed at a selected angle to bottom wall extension 106 which is seated upon surface 100. The angularity between the bottom wall 105 and bottom wall extension 106 depends upon the angle at which the structural frame members approach the base means 24. Bottom wall extension 106 terminates in a depending wall 107 which extends below surface 100 of the base means.
Integral with edges of bottom wall extension 106 and bottom wall 105 is a peripheral wall 108 which has tapered portions 109 along edges of bottom wall portion 106. An inclined top edge 110 for the peripheral wall 108 and 109 is thus provided which is at an angle corresponding to the angle of the dome construction where it meets the base means 24.
Peripheral wall 108 may be provided with bolt openings 111 corresponding to the bolt openings 84 in the gusset means 23 to receive bolts, not shown, for securing the structural frame members to the gussets 101. Peripheral wall 108 is also provided with drainage openings 112 which communicate with the gutters 95 in the associated structural frame members for flow of water therein onto the bottom wall portion 106 and thence outwardly and down the depending wall 107.
The opening defined by the top edge 110 of the peripheral wall 108 and 109 is covered by a downwardly elongated cover plate 1 14 secured by a center bolt 115 to the gusset means 101 in a manner similar to that of the other gusset means 23. The cover plate 114 includes a downwardly extending outer skirt 116 which extends into proximity with the depending wall 107 and defines therewith a slot-like opening through which condensate may flow or fall. The top plate 114 is associated with the caps 61 of the structural frame member in the same manner as that described above with respect to gusset means 23.
Each of the frame members 21 which lie parallel to the base means 24 serve to position and retain the lower edge of the panels 26 associated therewith. As best seen in FIG. 11 panel support rib 45 on the lower side of frame member 21 together with cap 61 of the structural frame member may serve to retain and hold the upper longitudinal edge portion of a flashing strip 118. Flashing strip 118 extends from cap 61 downwardly and over the top surface of base means 24 and may terminate in an outwardly bent strip 119 to deflect water away from the wall surface of the base means 24.
Condensate moisture collecting on interior surfaces of panels 26 is thus conducted by gravity to outer channels 50 of the lowermost adjacent structural frame members 21, thence to the weep openings 97 in the top wall 30 of the frame member and may be conducted by the gutter 95 to the drain openings 96 to the water transfer gusset members 22. The drain openings 96 in the gusset member are in communication with lowermost frame members to permit the flow of water through the lower frame member by gravity to the next lower gusset member 22. Such drainage continues throughout the structural frame members and gusset members of a dome construction until the water reaches the gusset means 101 where the water may be discharged over the bottom wall portion 106 to outer extremities of the base means 24 or to a suitable water distributing or drainage system provided below the depending wall 107. It will also be apparent that moisture or water collected on the external surfaces of the dome will be directed downwardly because of the part spherical configuration of the external surface of the dome and any water which may seep into the structural frame member is conducted internally of the structural frame members until it is discharged as above described.
A dome construction embodying structural frame members of the type described above may be of the type other than the square openings and square periphery used as an example hereinabove. The internal drainage system provided by the tubular hollow structural frame members and interconnecting water transfer gusset members may be employed in other part spherical dome constructions or other roof constructions. it is not intended that the internal drainage system be limited to the particular type of dome construction described above.
It will be understood that various changes and modifications may be made in the internal drainage system and the dome construction as described and all such changes and modifications coming within the scope of the appended claims are embraced thereby.
1. In a dome construction, the combination of:
a plurality of hollow tubular-section frame members defining polygonal openings,
each frame member extending along and defining one side of said opening;
a plurality of hollow gusset members interconnecting adjacent ends of said frame members at comers of said polygonal openings;
each gusset member including a bottom wall and side wall extending from said bottom wall for abutting relation with said adjacent frame member ends;
means fixedly connecting the side wall of each gusset member to said adjacent ends of said frame members;
said frame members, gusset members, and fixed connecting means providing the structural load bearing framework of said dome construction;
a plurality of panels corresponding in shape to said openings and supported at panel edge margins by said frame members; and
means provided on said frame members and gusset members for receiving and conducting moisture from surfaces of said panels to the peripheral edges of said dome construction;
said moisture conducting and receiving means being provided by the structural configuration of said frame members and said side and bottom walls of said gusset members;
said receiving and conducting means including;
channel means on each frame member below said panel edge margins;
and communicating weep and drainage holes in said frame members and in said side walls of the gusset members for drainage of condensate moisture collected by said channel means.
2. In a dome construction as stated in claim 1 including seal means compressed between end faces of each frame member and the adjacent exterior surfaces of the side walls of the gusset member;
said gusset member having a cup-shaped configuration; and
means within said hollow cup-shaped configuration of said adjacent gusset member for tightly compressing seal means between one of said ends of a frame member and the side wall of a gusset memher.
3. In a dome construction, the combination of:
a peripheral base means",
a dome structure means arising from the base means and including base water transfer and gusset hub means secured to said base means at spaced intervals;
a plurality of hollow tubular section dome frame members arranged in a polygonal pattern and including frame members attached to said base hub means;
a plurality of hollow cup-shaped dome water transfer gusset hub means fixedly secured to adjacent ends of dome frame members above said base means;
said frame members, dome hub means and base hub means being rigidly secured together and providing a self-supporting structure defining a plurality of polygonal openings;
panels supported by upper portions of said dome frame members and extending over said openings;
said tubular section dome frame members and said base and dome water transfer and gusset hub means having means for collecting condensate moisture runoff from bottom edge margins of said panels and infiltration water from structural connections and for transferring said moisture and water to said frame members and hub means, and
having drainage means for conducting water along interior bottom portions of each hollow tubular section dome frame member and through lower interior portions of said base and dome hub means.
10 4. In a dome construction as stated in claim 3 includpreformed gasket means fitted on the end edge face of each dome frame member and seated in compression against the external surface of the associated hub means for sealing said drainage means. 5. In a dome construction as stated in claim 3 including spring means at the upper portion of each dome frame member and seated against edges of the associated panel to bias and to retain the panel in substantially uniform centered relation with respect to the polygonal opening while permitting relative displacement of panels and frame members under thermal and structural stresses.