United States Patent 3641724

A wall construction for homes and the like developed for the construction of wall sections at locations removed from the building into which includes an integral box beam construction at the upper portions thereof with insulating and reflective material being provided as integral elements within the wall section. The box beam construction is built directly into the wall section and provides a strengthening factor to permit the placement of doors and windows at any point and permits the placement of truss rafters at any point along the wall.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/407.3, 156/78
International Classes:
E04C2/38; (IPC1-7): E04C2/46
Field of Search:
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US Patent References:
3258889Prefabricated stud panel with foam insulation connector1966-07-05Butcher
2332732Stressed panel double wall construction1943-10-26Laucks
2292806Window frame construction1942-08-11Toothacre
2172048Wall insulation1939-09-05Johnson

Primary Examiner:
Murtagh, John E.
What is claimed is

1. A wall section including:

2. The structure set forth in claim 1 and the other of said continuous surfaces being of a size to extend a predetermined dimension above said upper header means.

In the past, various modular wall sections have been suggested for off-the-site preparation wherein the individual wall sections are shipped to the site and simply assembled into the proper arrangement. Although the need and financial considerations for such factory preassembled sections is well known, to date, the problems that have existed in this art have subtracted greatly from the success which the industry would like to obtain. One of the major problems in utilizing these free-constructed wall sections is the lack of flexibility to obtain an esthetically desirable home and further, the final houses produced in this manner are often thought to be poorly constructed from structural or strength standpoints.

Applicant has provided herein a new and unique concept for providing modular preassembled wall sections wherein a box beam arrangement is formed directly within the wall section which provides a great deal of strength to the wall unit to thereby overcome some of these objections to structural situations and has further provided a wall unit which is a complete wall structure having the necessary insulation and reflective materials directly provided therein which materials are so arranged and utilized as to provide proper spacing for the installation of electrical wiring and the like at the jobsite. This particular arrangement of applicant's wall-forming materials, then provides a certain degree of flexibility which permits the wall framework to be completely erected and thereafter provided with proper wiring and the like.

With applicant's concept, the box beam header situation is further enhanced with the type of assembly methods utilized. Applicant provides a completely glued and nailed structure which presents a nonrackable arrangement of the elements contained therein such that no shifting of the various parts can occur in transportation or the like and which, therefore, maintains the units in proper plumb condition. This, obviously, prevents misalignment of parts and simplifies the assembly at the jobsite.

It is therefore an object of applicant's invention to provide a wall section of modular form including a box beam construction integrally arranged therewith.

It is a further object of applicant's invention to provide a wall section construction arranged for modular sizing which includes a frame structure having heat-insulating and heat-reflective means incorporated therein.

It is a further object of applicant's invention to provide a wall structure arranged for modular sizing which incorporates insulating and reflective materials in selected portions thereof to permit additional elements to be mounted in cavities or airspaces provided therein.

It is a further object of applicant's invention to provide wall sections designed and arranged for modular sizing which includes strengthening elements integral therewith which afford a longitudinal strengthening factor for load-carrying purposes entirely therealong.

It is still a further object of applicant's invention to provide a complete rigid wall section for use in construction which, due to its specific design, provides a substantially rigid and strong element which is easily modified and varied to provide a variety of forms to be produced through the utilization of multiples of such elements.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will more fully appear from the following description made in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference characters refer to the same or similar parts throughout the several views; and in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating the framing and application of an exterior 2 a wall section embodying the concepts of applicant's invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view taken from the opposite side of applicant's wall structure illustrating the insulating and the reflective-surface techniques and box beam assembly techniques utilized in applicant's concept;

FIG. 3 is an elevation of a wall section embodying applicant's concepts;

FIG. 4 is a vertical section taken substantially along line 4--4 of FIG. 3; and,

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken through a pair of adjacent wall structures illustrating the method for joining the same.

In accordance with applicant's concept, and in accordance with the accompanying drawings, a wall module generally designated 10 includes a wall framework section which considering FIG. 1 provides a plurality of upright studs, 11, 12, 13 and 14, attached at one end to a lower baseplate 15 and at the other end to an upper header 16. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the outer stud members 11-14, are full length while the interior stud members 12-13 are substantially shorter to provide an intermediate header member 17 extending between the outer studs 11-14 and attached thereto with shorter stud sections designated 12a, 13a in aligned relation to the inner studs 12-13, arranged on the opposite side of the intermediate header 17. To provide and illustrate this structure, applicant has utilized standard wooden 2×4' s, but it is obvious that other sizes of structural elements may be utilized.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, the outer studs 11-14 are notched at the upper end thereof such as at 18 to provide a shoulder 19 and the sizes of the short stud sections 12a, 13a above the intermediate header 17 are all in corresponding relation to this notched member to provide the interfitting of an additional member therein as will be discussed hereinafter.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, an exterior cover member designated 20 is provided which is of a predetermined dimension such that the upper end 20a thereof may be slightly above the upper end of the upper header 16 to provide a top plate partial housing section. This exterior cover member 20 is also offset slightly on one of the outer studs 11 or 14 such that an overlap as will be discussed hereinafter in connection with FIG. 5 is provided. This exterior member 20 is rigidly connected to the framework provided through the utilization of glue and nailing. This gluing and nailing process provides a rigid structure having a tremendous advantage over a simply nailed member.

To complete the framework structure, a discussion of FIG. 2 is now made wherein the framework as illustrated in FIG. 1 is turned over to now present a plurality of cavities bounded respectively by the structural members. The process of providing insulation and reflective materials into these cavities includes as illustrated, a foaming process using foaming urethanes which may be applied through a mixing gun 21 directly into the cavities and thereby provide filling thereof to a desired depth with complete adhesion to the members forming the cavities. These cavities are filled to approximately two-thirds of the depth of the cavity and this foaming in place urethane material 22 will not only provide an insulating effect, but will greatly increase the rigidity of the entire structure. After foaming and while the foaming material is still in a liquid or semiliquid state, a reflective material 23 is layed directly thereover and may be pressed thereto as in the form shown by a roller 24 being applied against the outer surface thereof. This particular reflective material 23 provides in its most preferred form, both a vapor barrier source and a reflective source such that heat will be reflected back into the building and thereby provide a guard against heat loss. By bonding this material 23 directly to the foam, it is obvious that a superior situation is provided as to those arrangements wherein the reflective material is simply nailed to the individual structural elements.

As further illustrated in FIG. 2, the last element of the box beam is afforded and is properly attached into position after completion of the insulating and reflective installation. This element is designated 25 and includes a member to extend and fit properly into the aforementioned notched area 18 and abut with the shoulder 19. This box beam element again is attached into its position through proper nailing and gluing procedures and at this point, the entire box beam element is formed and includes the intermediate header 17 and upper header member 16 as the flanges of the beam with the exterior surface member 20 the interior member 25 serving as the webs of the box beam structure. It should be noted that this box beam extends entirely along any one of the individual sections and therefore affords a proper and sufficiently strong header for heading above window sections, other openings and for the installation of truss supports or truss rafters at any position along a wall section rather than locating them with particular reference to a vertical stud or providing solid beam headers over window openings with the trusses positioned on the solid headers.

It should be noted in FIG. 2 that as the foam material 22 and the reflective material 23 assumes approximately two-thirds of the depth of each of the cavities that an additional area is afforded on the inner side of the wall to permit the proper placement of wiring or the like therein. This is particularly visible in FIG. 4 wherein this space is designated 26 and it should be noted that this area will permit the installation of wiring or other mechanical necessities without disturbing either the insulating material or the vapor barrier and reflective material.

The wall structure as illustrated in FIG. 2 represents the utilization of the concept when openings must be provided for windows or the like. In this particular case the box beam area designated 27 extends entirely across the wall module 10 with the window opening 28 being provided therein through the utilization being provided therein through the utilization of a window header 29 below the window opening with vertical studs 30-31 located thereunder. In the form shown in FIG. 3, there is a difference in the structure utilized although it should be obvious that the structure necessary to afford a window opening must essentially be different than that utilized to provide a solid wall section.

In the form shown, in FIG. 4, the extending exterior member 20 is illustrated with the added length 20a to provide an area 32 into which the top plate which functions to join sections may be layed and nailed. By providing such a continuous exterior surface and resulting containing area a stronger relationship for adjacent sections is provided than when the normal top plate is simply layed on top of the top header 16. In other words, by providing a two-sided containing area more strength, nailing area and rigidity is therefore provided to connect adjacent sections to one another.

FIG. 5 illustrates the method of section joining wherein the exterior surfacing members 20 are in overlapped relation and it should be noted that as previously stated, this member will lap joints between adjacent exterior studs 11-14 upon adjacent sections.

In the structures of FIGS. 4 (in dotted lines) and 5, an interior decorative surface is suggested and is designated 33. This particular interior surface is installed at the jobsite, but it should be noted that this member again adds rigidity to the box beam arrangement by completely enclosing the same while still providing the area 26 necessary for mechanical installations.

Applicant has also found that when utilizing a desirable surface member such as a decorative redwood or the like for the exterior surfacing member 20, it is not necessary to provide any additional exterior sheeting. Obviously, if other decorative effects are desired for the exterior of the house, then the surfacing sheet 20 is simply a structural member rather than being decorative and structural.

Applicant has provided herein a unique modular wall construction which utilizes a unique combination of available elements to provide a box beam header member entirely along the top area of a wall section and it is well known in structural analysis that such beams provide substantial strength to support loads and applicant accomplishes this effect without providing solid header members or without incorporating steel beams into his structure.

As should also be obvious with applicant's structure, highly effective insulating and heat-reflective barrier is provided which through its positioning will not be damaged by the installation of mechanical or electrical features into the wall panel as an area for such devices is maintained therein. Although applicant has illustrated the insulating concept as an in place foaming process, it should be obvious that proper size urethane blocks may be cut and glued into the afforded cavities with the reflective material then being applied and glued directly thereto. This latter process is certainly ideal for mass assembly situations, but it should be obvious that proper fitting of these elements would be necessary which might slightly slow down the assembly arrangement. Applicant, therefore, has chosen as a preferred form, the foaming in place process.

It should be obvious that the wall structure provided herein affords a wide variety of wall areas and by simply providing multiples of the modulars and shifting these to meet the required needs, any type of wall can be constructed.