Title:
Roof curb with integral burglar bars
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method and apparatus for use in a roof curb assembly. The apparatus typically includes an outer shell, the outer shell including first and second portions attachable to one another to form a polygonal shape. The apparatus also typically includes a base plate assembly attachable to the shell and a bar assembly. The base plate assembly is typically receptive of the bar assembly. The apparatus further includes an inner liner arranged interior to the outer shell and an insulator disposed between the inner liner and the outer shell. The bar assembly includes a plurality of integral crisscrossing bars that operate as a restriction to unauthorized access to the interior of the roof curb assembly.



Inventors:
Crane, James C. (Chattanooga, TN, US)
Application Number:
09/822100
Publication Date:
10/03/2002
Filing Date:
03/30/2001
Assignee:
CRANE JAMES C.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/27, 52/57, 52/507, 52/833
International Classes:
E04D13/03; (IPC1-7): E04H3/08
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
GREEN, CHRISTY MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Howrey Simon Arnold & White, LLP,John C. Cain (P.O. Box 4433, Houston, TX, 77210-4433, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A roof curb assembly comprising: an outer shell, the outer shell comprising first and second portions attachable to one another to form a polygonal shape; a base plate assembly attachable to the shell, the base plate assembly being receptive of a bar assembly; an inner liner arranged interior to the outer shell; and an insulator disposed between the inner liner and the outer shell.

2. The roof curb assembly of claim 1, wherein the outer shell further comprises sheet metal stock.

3. The roof curb assembly of claim 2, wherein the sheet metal stock further comprises galvanized steel.

4. The roof curb assembly of claim 2, wherein the sheet metal stock further comprises aluminum.

5. The roof curb assembly of claim 2, wherein the sheet metal stock further comprises galvalume™ or other aluminum-zinc alloy coated sheet steel.

6. The roof curb assembly of claim 1, wherein the first and second portions of the outer shell each comprise two substantially perpendicular faces of the outer shell, the first and second portions being attachable to one another by a plurality of spot clinches to form a generally rectangular configuration.

7. The roof curb assembly of claim 1, wherein the outer shell further comprises a first shell flange.

8. The roof curb assembly of claim 7, wherein the base plate assembly further comprises first and second base plate flanges arranged substantially normal to one another.

9. The roof curb assembly of claim 8, wherein the first base plate flange further comprises a plurality of spaced slots extending at least partially therethrough, the slots being receptive of a plurality of rods.

10. The roof curb assembly of claim 8, wherein the second base plate flange is arranged adjacent to the first shell flange and attached thereto.

11. The roof curb assembly of claim 10, wherein the attachment between the second base plate flange and the first shell flange is accomplished by a plurality of spot clinches.

12. The roof curb assembly of claim 1, wherein the inner liner further comprises a face and a liner flange arranged substantially normal to one another.

13. The roof curb assembly of claim 12, wherein the face further comprises a plurality of slots adapted to engage ends of the bar assembly.

14. The roof curb assembly of claim 12, further comprising a wood nailer disposed between the insulator and the inner liner flange.

15. The roof curb assembly of claim 8, wherein the inner liner is disposed between the first base plate flange and the insulator.

16. The roof curb assembly of claim 1, wherein the bar assembly further comprises a plurality of independent crisscrossing rods.

17. The roof curb assembly of claim 16, wherein the plurality of crisscrossing rods exhibit a plurality of intersections therebetween, wherein at least one of the intersections between the rods is welded.

18. A method of fabricating a roof curb comprising the steps of: providing first and second sheets of stock material, each sheet having a face, first and second ends, a longitudinal axis, first and second longitudinal edges, and a predetermined length and width; cutting at least one notch in the first and second longitudinal edges of each sheet of stock material; bending each sheet of stock material around a first axis transverse to the longitudinal axis to form a first substantially right angle in the sheets; and attaching said first and second sheets together to form a substantially rectangular shell.

19. The method of claim 18, further comprising the step of folding the first and second longitudinal edges of each of the first and second sheets around axes parallel to the longitudinal a axis of each sheet to form first and second sheet flanges substantially normal to the face of each sheet of stock metal.

20. The method of claim 18, further comprising the step of bending the first end of each sheet of stock material around a second axis transverse to the longitudinal axis to form a second substantially right angle in the sheets.

21. The method of claim 20, wherein the step of attaching first and second sheets further comprises overlapping the first end of the first sheet with the second end of the second sheet, and overlapping the first end of the second sheet with the second end of the first sheet.

22. The method of claim 21, wherein the step of attaching the first and second sheets further comprises fastening the first and second sheets with a plurality of spot clinches.

23. The method of claim 18, further comprising the step of: providing a base plate assembly, the base plate assembly comprising first and second base plate flanges, wherein the first and second base plate flanges are substantially perpendicular to one another.

24. The method of claim 23, wherein the first base plate flange comprises a plurality of spaced slots.

25. The method of claim 23, further comprising the step of attaching the second base plate flange to the first sheet flanges of each of the first and second sheets.

26. The method of claim 24, further comprising the step of inserting a first plurality of rods into the plurality of spaced slots in a first direction.

27. The method of claim 26, further comprising the step of inserting a second plurality of rods into the plurality of spaced slots in a second direction, the inserting of the second plurality of rods creating a plurality of intersections between the first and second pluralities of rods.

28. The method of claim 27, further comprising the step of welding the plurality of intersections between the first and second pluralities of rods.

29. The method of claim 23, further comprising the step of inserting a liner between the substantially rectangular shell and the first base plate flange.

30. The method of claim 29, wherein the liner further comprises a plurality of slots engagable with a bar assembly.

31. The method of claim 29, further comprising inserting an insulator between the liner and the substantially rectangular shell.

32. The method of claim 19, further comprising the step of attaching a wood nailer to the second sheet flange.

33. A method of fabricating a roof curb with integral burglar bars comprising the steps of: providing first and second portions of an outer shell; providing a bar assembly; attaching first and second portions of the outer shell in a substantially rectangular configuration; placing the outer shell over the bar assembly; and attaching the outer shell to the bar assembly.

34. A roof curb assembly comprising: an outer shell; a base plate assembly attachable to the outer shell; a plurality of rods arranged across the base plate; and an inner liner attached to the outer shell and arranged to engage and secure the plurality of rods in place across the base plate.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention.

[0002] This invention relates generally to roof curb assemblies used to house skylights, smoke vents, heating, air conditioning, and other ventilation apparatus on roofs and, more particularly, to methods and apparatus for a roof curb with integral burglar bars.

[0003] 2. Description of Related Art.

[0004] Skylights, smoke vents, and ventilation apparatus, including heating and air conditioning (“HVAC”) units are mounted on roofs in a variety of applications including most commercial buildings. These penetrations are typically mounted on an enclosed frame generally known as a roof curb assembly. Often, in flat-roof buildings, the roof curb assemblies support these penetrations above the maximum water level that may occur on the roof. Roof curb assemblies typically include a simple enclosure placed around an opening in the roof. The typical HVAC roof curb has a rectangular frame body with four sides that are attached together at the job side. In a conventional assembly, the four sides are bolted or screwed together at the corners of the curb manually at the job site. Skylight and smoke vent curbs may either be field built from wood, concrete, or steel members such as anchors.

[0005] Mounting skylights, smoke vents, HVAC components, or other equipment on a roof curb sometimes exposes the equipment and/or the building to entry and tampering by unauthorized persons. To protect the owner and occupants of the buildings from unauthorized entry and tampering, burglar bar curbs have been introduced. However, the currently available burglar bar roof curbs are less than satisfactory. The conventional assembly of burglar bar roof curbs includes welding each individual bar to an extended down-turned or upturned flange at the proximal ends of each burglar bar. Sometimes, in addition to welding the ends of the burglar bars, the intersections of the overlapping bars as they crisscross the curb are welded at all points of juxtaposition. These welding tasks are not only labor intensive, but burglar bars assembled in this manner are also easily defeated. The burglar bars may be rendered ineffectual simply by inserting a tool such as an adjustable monkey wrench between a pair of perpendicular bars and twisting the tool with sufficient force to break the welds therebetween. Once the welds on just a few of the bars are broken in this simple manner, access to the interior curb area may quickly be achieved.

[0006] The present invention is directed to overcoming, or at least reducing the effects of, one or more of the issues set forth above.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] In one embodiment a curb system is disclosed. The system may include a roof curb assembly including: an outer shell, the outer shell including first and second portions attachable to one another to form a polygonal shape; a base plate assembly attachable to the shell, the base plate assembly being receptive of a bar assembly; an inner liner arranged interior to the outer shell; and an insulator disposed between the inner liner and the outer shell. In this embodiment the curb assembly outer shell may further include sheet metal stock. The sheet metal stock may include galvanized steel, aluminum, galvalume™, aluminum-zinc alloy coated sheet, or other sheet materials.

[0008] The first and second portions of the outer shell may each include two substantially perpendicular faces of the outer shell, the first and second portions being attachable to one another by a plurality of spot clinches to form a generally rectangular configuration. The outer shell may further include a first shell flange, and the base plate assembly may further include first and second base plate flanges arranged substantially normal to one another. The first base plate flange may have a plurality of spaced slots extending at least partially therethrough, the slots being receptive of a plurality of rods, the rods or burglar bars restricting unauthorized access through the curb. The second base plate flange may be arranged adjacent to the first shell flange and attached thereto, with the attachment between the second base plate flange and the first shell flange facilitated by a plurality of spot clinches.

[0009] In one embodiment of the roof curb assembly, the inner liner includes a face and a liner flange arranged substantially normal to one another. The face may further include a plurality of slots adapted to engage ends of the bar assembly as they extend beyond the base plate slots. In this embodiment, the inner liner may be disposed between the first base plate flange and the insulator.

[0010] In some embodiments, the roof curb assembly includes a wood nailer disposed between the insulator and the inner liner flange.

[0011] The bar assembly of the present invention may include a plurality of crisscrossing rods, the plurality of crisscrossing rods exhibiting a plurality of intersections therebetween. In some embodiments, one or more of the intersections between the rods are welded.

[0012] There is also disclosed a method of fabricating a roof curb including the steps of: providing first and second sheets of stock material, each sheet having a face, first and second ends, a longitudinal axis, first and second longitudinal edges, and a predetermined length and width; cutting at least one notch in the first and second longitudinal edges of each sheet of stock material; bending each sheet of stock material around a first axis transverse to the longitudinal axis to form a first substantially right angle in the sheets; and attaching said first and second sheets together to form a substantially rectangular shell. According to this method, there may also be included the step of folding the first and second edges of each of the first and second sheets around axes parallel to the longitudinal axis of each sheet to form first and second sheet flanges substantially normal to the face of each sheet of stock metal.

[0013] The method may further include the step of bending the first end of each sheet of stock material around a second axis transverse to the longitudinal axis to form a second substantially right angle in the sheets.

[0014] The step of attaching first and second sheets may further include overlapping the first end of the first sheet with the second end of the second sheet, and overlapping the first end of the second sheet with the second end of the first sheet. The step of attaching the first and second sheets may also include fastening the first and second sheets with a plurality of spot clinches.

[0015] The method may further include the step of providing a base plate assembly, the base plate assembly including first and second base plate flanges, with the first and second base plate flanges substantially perpendicular to one another. The first base plate flange may include a plurality of spaced slots. The method may further include the step of attaching the second base plate flange to the first sheet flanges of each of the first and second sheets, and inserting a first plurality of rods into the plurality of spaced slots in a first direction. The method may also include the step of inserting a second plurality of rods into the plurality of spaced slots in a second direction, the inserting of the second plurality of rods creating a plurality of intersections between the first and second pluralities of rods. One or more of the plurality of intersections between the first and second pluralities of rods may be welded.

[0016] The method may further include the step of inserting a liner between the substantially rectangular shell and the first base plate flange. The liner may include a plurality of slots engagable with a bar assembly. In some embodiments, the method may further include inserting an insulator between the liner and the substantially rectangular shell.

[0017] In some embodiments, the method further includes the step of attaching a wood nailer to the second sheet flange.

[0018] In one embodiment there is disclosed a roof curb assembly including: an outer shell; a base plate assembly attachable to the outer shell; a plurality of rods arranged across the base plate; and an inner liner attached to the outer shell and arranged to engage and secure the plurality of rods in place across the base plate.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019] The foregoing and other features and aspects of the invention will become further apparent upon reading the following detailed description and upon reference to the drawings in which:

[0020] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first component of a roof curb assembly according to one embodiment of the disclosed method and apparatus.

[0021] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the first component shown in FIG. 1 and a second component of the roof curb assembly according to one embodiment of the disclosed method and apparatus.

[0022] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the first and second components of FIGS. 1-2 following attachment therebetween, according to one embodiment of the disclosed method and apparatus.

[0023] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a third component of the roof curb assembly according to one embodiment of the disclosed method and apparatus.

[0024] FIG. 5A is a perspective assembly view of a fourth component of the roof curb assembly in combination with the third component shown in FIG. 4, according to one embodiment of the disclosed method and apparatus.

[0025] FIG. 5B is an assembled perspective view according to FIG. 5A.

[0026] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a combination of all four components of the roof curb assembly shown in FIGS. 1-5, according to one embodiment of the disclosed method and apparatus.

[0027] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of additional components of the roof curb assembly according to one embodiment of the disclosed method and apparatus.

[0028] While the invention is susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments thereof have been shown by way of example in the drawings and are herein described in detail. It should be understood, however, that the description herein of specific embodiments is not intended to limit the invention to the particular forms disclosed, but on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS

[0029] Illustrative embodiments of the invention are described below. In the interest of clarity, not all features of an actual implementation are described in this specification. It will of course be appreciated that in the development of any such actual embodiment, numerous implementation-specific decisions must be made to achieve the developers' specific goals, such as compliance with system-related and business-related constraints, that will vary from one implementation to another. Moreover, it will be appreciated that such a development effort might be complex and time-consuming, but would nevertheless be a routine undertaking for those of ordinary skill in the art having the benefit of this disclosure.

[0030] Turning now to the drawings, and in particular to FIGS. 1-7, a roof curb 10 in accordance with one embodiment of the disclosed method and apparatus is shown. Roof curb 10 is shown in FIGS. 6-7 in a substantially finished condition. Roof curb 10 may include an outer shell 30, a base plate assembly 40, an inner liner 80, and an insulator 70.

[0031] Outer shell 30 may include two substantially similar portions, for example first portion 20 and second portion 22. First portion 20 and second portion 22 are illustrated in a pre-fabrication condition in FIG. 2. First portion 20 and second portion 22 may be constructed of sheet stock metal, for example galvanized sheet metal. However, other materials including, but not limited to, aluminum, galvalume™, and aluminum-zinc alloy coated sheet steel may also be used to construct first and second portions 20 and 22 of outer shell 30. The fabrication of first portion 20 and second portion 22 may be accomplished as follows.

[0032] Referring to FIG. 1, a sheet of stock material generally shown as element 2 is provided. Sheet material 2 exhibits a longitudinal axis 90 and a predetermined length 92 and width 94. Width 94 is chosen to correspond with the desired height of the outer shell 30, and length 92 corresponds with at least a portion of the perimeter of outer shell 30. Sheet material 2 also includes first longitudinal edge 96, second longitudinal edge 98, first end 100 and second end 102. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, a plurality of cuts are made in sheet material 2 at each of longitudinal edges 96 and 98. First longitudinal edge 96 includes a first channel, for example V-shaped notch 14 located near second end 102, a notch 106 located at first end 100, and a second channel 104 located between first end 100 and second end 102. Second longitudinal edge 98 includes a first notch 108 opposite first channel 14, a second notch 110 opposite notch 106, and a third notch 16 opposite second channel 104. Each of the notches and channels facilitates strategic bending of sheet material 2 as described below.

[0033] Sheet material 2 may be bent around a first transverse axis 114 to form a predetermined angle, preferably a substantially right angle as shown in FIG. 2. Sheet material 2 may be bent around a second transverse axis 116 to form a second predetermined angle, also preferably a substantially right angle. The two bends form first corner 24 and second corner 27 in first portion 20 of outer shell 30. Likewise, a second sheet of material (not shown) substantially identical to sheet material 2 may be bent to form first corner 26 and second corner 29 in second portion 22 of outer shell 30. Further, first and second edges 96 and 98 may be bent around axes parallel to longitudinal axis 90 to form first and second sheet flanges 21 and 28. In the preferred embodiment shown, first and second sheet flanges 21 and 28 are bent in opposite directions to form substantially normal angles to face 23. A nailer, for example wood nailer 83 shown in FIG. 7, may be attached to first sheet flange 21. Wood nailer 83 may be used, for example, when the curb 10 is to be installed in a non-metal roof (not shown) where roofing material will be later attached. It will be understood by one of skill in the art with the benefit of this disclosure, however, that the addition of wood nailer 83 is optional and often unnecessary for use of curb 10 with a metal-panel roof.

[0034] Following the various bendings of sheet stock 2 to form first portion 20 and second portion 22, the first and second portions may be placed together in the arrangement shown in FIG. 3. In the arrangement shown, first end 100 of first portion 20 overlaps with second end 102 of second portion 22. Likewise, first end 100 of second portion 22 overlaps with second end 102 of first portion 20. Attachment between first and second portions 20 and 22 is facilitated by the overlap. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 2-3, first and second portions 20 and 22 are spot clinched together at a plurality of points 32 using, for example, a P35-3008 clinching device available from Attexor. However, other attachment means including, but not limited to, bolts, screws, rivets, and adhesives may also be used to attach first and second portions 20 and 22. When attached, first and second portions 20 and 22 preferably form a substantially rectangular outer shell 30. It will be understood by one of skill in the art with the benefit of this disclosure, however, that other shapes may also formed by providing different bending angles in first and second portions 20 and 22, and/or providing additional portions to complete outer shell 30. Providing for first and second portions 20 and 22 with overlapping ends advantageously facilitates faster fabrication of curb 10. With only two portions comprising outer shell 30, curb 10 may be quickly constructed in approximately half the time it may otherwise take to create a curb. As mentioned above, the conventional fabrication of a curb requires attaching four or more portions together by means of continuously welded corners to create an outer shell.

[0035] Some embodiments of the present invention may include a bar assembly 50 shown in FIG. 5. Bar assembly 50 may include a base plate assembly 40 as shown in FIG. 4. Base plate assembly 40 may include galvanized steel, aluminum, galvalume™, aluminum-zinc alloy coated sheet steel, or other suitable materials. Base plate 40 may also include first and second base plate flanges 42 and 44. First and second base plate flanges are arranged substantially perpendicular to one another as shown in the figures. First base plate flange 42 may include a plurality of spaced slots 46, preferably with the slots spaced equally around the perimeter of first base plate flange 42. In the preferred embodiment shown, slots 46 extend only partially through first base plate flange 42. Slots 46 may be arranged in matching pairs such that each slot has a matching slot on the opposite side of the first base plate flange 42. Second base plate flange 44 is typically arranged to abut second sheet flange 28 of outer shell 30.

[0036] Slots 46 in first base plate flange 46 are receptive of a plurality of rods, for example bars 48 and 51 shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B. Each bar 48 may be placed in a pair of matching slots 46 such that each bar 48 spans across base plate 40. Each bar 48 is of sufficient length to extend beyond the matching slots 46 into which the bar is placed. In one embodiment, bars 48 are placed in one direction first, for example bars 48 may be placed only in slots 46 formed in sides 124 and 126. This placement of bars 48 in one direction forms a first layer 130. Next, bars 51 may be placed in a second direction, for example only in slots 53 formed in sides 120 and 122. This second placement of bars 51 forms a second layer 132. In the embodiment shown, first and second layers of bars 48 and 51 are in a crisscrossing right-angle arrangement and form a plurality of intersection points 49 wherein bars 48 and 51 arranged in different directions meet. In some embodiments, one or more of the intersection points 49 are welded. Bars 48 and 51 arranged across base plate 40 comprise one embodiment of bar assembly 50, but bar assembly 50 is not so limited. In an alternative embodiment, bars 48 and 51 may be separately welded or otherwise attached to one another to form a plurality of crisscrossing bars that may be inserted as one piece into slots 46 and 53 to create bar assembly 50. Bar assembly 50 advantageously provides for protection from unauthorized entry into the roof curb 2 interior, which may, for example, house skylight assemblies, smoke vents, HVAC equipment and/or offer access into the building (not shown). Although each of bars 48 and 51 may or may not be attached to one another, each remains operatively independent of all other bars. Therefore, if one bar 48 or 51 is defective or defeated, unauthorized entry into the roof curb area is still restricted by all of the remaining bars. Further, it will be understood that in some applications there maybe only a set of unidirectional bars 48 or 51 placed in base plate 40.

[0037] Outer shell 30 may be placed over bar assembly 50 with second sheet flange 28 of outer shell 30 adjacent second base plate flange 44 of bar assembly 50. Bar assembly 50 and outer shell 30 may then be attached to one another by spot clinching second sheet flange 28 to second base plate flange 44 in the same manner as described above. In a preferred method, second sheet flange 28 is spot clinched at points 52 to second base plate flange 44 at four to six inch intervals, on center, around the perimeter of shell 30 as shown in FIG. 6. In the alternative, bar assembly 50 may be attached to outer shell 30 with bolts, screws, rivets, adhesives, and/or any other convenient attachment means.

[0038] Roof curb 10 may also include the introduction of an internal liner, for example liner 80 shown in FIG. 7. Liner 80 may be constructed of galvanized steel, aluminum, galvalume™, aluminum-zinc alloy coated sheet steel, or other suitable materials. Liner 80 may be placed between outer shell 30 and first base plate flange 42. In the embodiment shown, liner 80 lid includes a liner flange 82, a face 84, and a plurality of notches 86 engagable with the plurality of bars 48 and 51. FIG. 7 shows nailer 83 in a position between liner flange 82 and first sheet flange 21, however, nailer 83 is optional. Liner 80 may be inserted into engagement with bars 48 to secure the bars in slots 46. Liner flange 82 of liner 80 may be spot clinched to first sheet flange 21 (or if used, nailer 83) in the same manner described above. Alternatively, liner 80 and outer shell 30 may be attached with bolts, screws, rivets, adhesives, and/or any other convenient attachment mechanism. An insulator 70 may be inserted to fill any gaps left between liner 80 and outer shell 30. Insulator 70 may be made of fiberglass batt or other materials. In some embodiments insulator 70 may simply be an air gap.

[0039] While the invention may be adaptable to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments have been shown by way of example and described herein. However, it should be understood that the invention is not intended to be limited to the particular forms disclosed. Rather, the invention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims. Moreover, the different aspects of the disclosed methods and apparatus may be utilized in various combinations and/or independently. Thus the invention is not limited to only those combinations shown herein, but rather may include other combinations. For example, the disclosed invention is also applicable to any permanent or retrievable packer taking advantage of the non-circular surfaces so as to improve the millability of each, the invention is not limited to plugs.