United States Patent 3791087

A building having a steel chassis supported on footings and peripheral metal supports which stand out from the chassis and support the outer peripheral walls of the building so that the ground supporting the footings is shielded from the effects of moisture penetration by the building itself.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/79.9, 52/299
International Classes:
E02D31/00; E04B1/00; E04H9/02; (IPC1-7): E04H9/06; E02D27/00
Field of Search:
248/358 52
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3332646Machine pad1967-07-25Kellett
2883711Prefabricated building construction1959-04-28Kump
2750118Track and road bed construction1956-06-12Hastings et al.
2439960Prefabricated metal house construction1948-04-20Auten
2391960Building construction1946-01-01Gede
2287229Building construction1942-06-23Carpenter
2154570Building construction1939-04-18Holmstrom
2150898Construction of buildings1939-03-21Ackley et al.
1855756Prison cell construction1932-04-26Garber et al.

Primary Examiner:
Murtagh, John E.
Assistant Examiner:
Ridgill Jr., James L.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Oldham & Oldham
I claim

1. A building including a series of spaced apart footings positioned interiorly of the periphery of the building for supporting the building, each footing having a top planar surface, a plurality of primary spaced apart steel bearers secured to and resting totally on top of the planar surfaces, the primary steel bearers each being supported on a plurality of the footings and extending therebeyond toward the building periphery, slippers interposed between the primary bearers and the footings, a plurality of secondary spaced apart steel bearers extending transversely of and supported by the primary steel bearers, a plurality of spaced apart steel floor supports extending transversely of and supported by secondary steel bearers, means securing together the primary steel bearers, secondary steel bearers and floor supports, which form an under floor chassis of steel, peripheral metal supports secured directly to but outstanding laterally from the chassis, the peripheral metal supports being spaced outwardly from the footings and including sections extending down to ground level so that the building shields the ground supporting the footings against moisture penetration, and outer peripheral walls supported by said metal supports.

2. The building as recited in claim 1 which further includes clamps securing the primary bearers to the footings, and wherein said peripheral metal supports are sheet or plate formed to extend outwardly and downwardly from the chassis so as to terminate at a point below the primary steel bearers, and wherein weld means are provided to secure the peripheral metal supports to the chassis, each support including a cantilevered platform portion for supporting outer peripheral walls of the building, and wherein said sections are a flange portion depending from the platform portion.

3. A building according to claim 1 wherein said outer peripheral walls are panels formed of bricks joined together with mortar to thereby constitute a brick veneer for the building supported on said platform portions, and further comprising an apron surrounding the building and immediately adjacent the sections, the apron being supported on soil adjacent the building, the apron having a sloping upper surface and being so arranged as to shed water away from said building.

4. A building according to claim 1 wherein said chassis comprises two portions each of which is a sub-assembly, locating tongues on one portion engaging a channel on the other portion, and means securing the portions together.

This invention relates to a building which may be for example, suitable as a dwelling, and may be of the so-called "brick veneer" type.


It is desirable that buildings have brick facings in many instances, both for aesthetic reasons and for sound and heat insulating reasons, and there is a demand for such buildings to be erected on soil which is dimensionally unstable (the so-called "Bay of Biscay" soil).

One of the main objects of this invention is to provide an improved building which can be supported on footings which are themselves not necessarily dimensionally stable, and yet resist tendency for the brick facing or veneer of the building to crack.


In this invention, a steel chassis is formed with primary steel bearers, secondary steel bearers and steel floor supports. The chassis is surrounded by peripheral wall supports secured to it, and the wall supports in turn support the peripheral walls, which can be of brick and mortar construction. The loading of the building is taken by footings which support the primary steel bearers. The peripheral wall supports (and therefore the peripheral walls) are spaced outwardly from the footings, so that the building itself shields the ground supporting the footings against the effects of moisture penetration.

Such a building can be constructed on longitudinal steel bearers extending beneath and forming portion of the chassis, the longitudinal steel bearers themselves being carried on footings which are not necessarily interlocked, but may if desired be arranged to move relative to one another. However the chassis can be constructed so rigidly that the deflection of the side walls is limited to such an extent that cracking of the mortar or brick courses in the brick veneer is substantially eliminated.

Since the outer peripheral walls are supported on respective peripheral supports which are outstanding from the chassis, the footings supported by the chassis are on ground protected by the building itself, and this may be at a much more nearly constant moisture content than the surrounding soil which may become very wet in winter and very dry in summer. This can be ensured, for example, by providing a concrete apron surrounding the building and arranged to shed water away from the building. By this means the soil beneath the footings will vary in position and elevation much less than with previously proposed footings, and consequently there will be much less relative movement between portions of the building.

It will also be clear that the invention when applied can be used for prefabricated buildings, the buildings for example being taken to a site and being merely positioned on the site, the only on site job requiring attention being the positioning of the brick veneer (or other outer sheathing) around the outer walls and supported by the outstanding metal supports. It will therefore be seen that the invention makes possible a prefabricated building which is useful and economical under most conditions which are likely to be encountered, whether the soil supporting the building is likely to be movable or not.

If however the footing soil is likely to be movable notwithstanding its protection by the building, it is clearly desirable that the friction between the bearers and footings should be as small as possible and the invention in one of its forms includes as a further feature the interposition of low friction members between the upper surfaces of the footings and the lower surfaces of the bearers. For example the footings may be composite footings having an upper rod or pipe extending along them, or they may be provided with flat steel plates or non-metallic sheeting.

For transport purposes it is frequently desirable that a prefabricated building should be in a partially knockdwon form, and the invention in another of its forms includes as a further feature interlock means between contiguous chassis portions. The interlock means can be constituted by outstanding tongues on one chassis portion which engage complementary recesses in a contiguous chassis portion.

An embodiment of the invention is described hereunder in some detail with reference to and is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view showing the footings and primary longitudinal steel bearers,

FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic section showing how two portions of a building are drawn together on site,

FIG. 3 shows interconnecting means of the chassis of the two portions,

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectioned detail of the roof and wall of the building,

FIG. 5 is a similar detail of the floor and wall, and

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary section showing a primary bearer supported on a footing.

FIG. 1 illustrates a series of footings 10 supporting three spaced primary longitudinal steel bearers 11 secured thereto, the line 12 indicating the outer periphery of the building 13. The bearers 11 subsequently become portion of a steel chassis. It will be noted from FIG. 1 that all footings are well within the periphery of the building, and therefore are supported on ground which is dimensionally more stable than the ground outside that periphery, if the soil is of the type which varies dimensionally with moisture content.

In this embodiment the building 13 is formed from two portions 15 and 16 (FIG. 2) which knock down for transport purposes but are readily assembled. Each portion is provided with a pair of spaced parallel longitudinal steel bearers 17, in this embodiment being of I-section, the bearers 17 supporting transverse steel floor support members 18 which are welded to their upper surface. The two portions are placed face to face on the primary steel bearers 11 and are drawn towards one another by means of bolts (not shown) which secure them together. When in position outer bearers 17 are welded to bearers 11.

Each floor support member is provided with an upstanding steel stud 20 to the inner surface of which is secured an inner lining 21, and the upper ends of the studs terminate in wall plates 24 (FIG. 4) which support a ceiling 25 and roof 26 in known manner.

The chassis comprises the members 11, 17 and 18 in assembly, and three sides of the chassis are provided with peripheral outstanding metal supports 29. In this embodiment the metal supports each include both an outer vertical plinth and an upper portion of angle section which is secured to the ends of the floor support members 18 as shown in FIG. 5. The oustanding platforms 30 formed by the horizontal portion of the angle section metal supports 29 are of slightly greater dimension than the width of bricks, and panels of brick veneer 31 are supported by the platforms 30. To prevent any possibility of sagging of the outstanding flanges, these are stiffened by angle section support members 32. The bricks are mortared together and are joined to the upstanding studs by means of wire ties 33 secured to the studs 20. The erection of bricks takes place on site. Each brick wall exceeding, say, fifteen feet in length, is provided with an expansion joint between its ends, the expansion joint containing mastic. A concrete path 34 forms an apron around the building which sheds water away from the footings 10.

At the localities of doors and windows it is desirable that the bricks are readily positionable by semi-skilled labour and accordingly the doors and windows are carefully arranged at right angles to the metal supports, and the frames terminate in plates the planes of which lie at right angles to the planes of the adjacent brick veneer panels. This then provides simple means for a brick layer to align the vertical edges of his bricks, and when the panels have been erected a simple trim moulding is secured to the plates, the trim moulding covering the edges of the brick work. This not illustrated herein.

While three sides of the chassis are provided with outstanding metal supports for brick veneer panels, the fourth side is provided with a channel 35 having outstanding flanges, and this is arranged to abut a similar channel of a similar part chassis of the building also having outstanding flanges, but outstanding tongues 36 on one chassis member engage in the channel of the abutting chassis member, this providing means for quickly aligning the knock-down portions of the building after the knock-down portions have been positioned adjacent one another on the footings and as they are drawn in by the bolts as described above.

The footings 10 in this embodiment are simply rectangular slabs of concrete of relatively small dimension, although of sufficient cross-sectional area to support the loading of the building. The slabs however are spaced from one another so that they are capable of relative movement to follow movement of the ground, and the upper surfaces support the longitudinal steel bearers of the chassis. Slippers 38 of nylon are interposed between the slabs 10 and the primary bearers 11 to allow relative movement therebetween, as shown in FIG. 6. Simple bolt clamps 39 secure the slabs 10 to the primary bearers 11.

The brick veneer panels are conveniently arranged beneath window sills (which are tiled in the normal manner) and between window frames and door frames, but the spacing above the window frames and above the door frames is filled in with light weight panels, thereby avoiding difficult load transmission means being built into the side walls of the building.

A brief consideration of the above embodiment will indicate that the invention is very simple, but nevertheless results in a building which is so inexpensive that it can be utilised in competition with other known methods of construction which do not have the same strength. However, the chassis can be made so mechanically strong that it can be used on soil having unstable characteristics, and avoid cracking of the walls even if one or more of the fittings rises or falls, notwithstanding their shielding from wet conditions.