Title:
Methods and apparatus for building tall vertical structures
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus for forming a building support structure includes opposing, inward-facing concrete forms arranged adjacent to one another and in a closed-perimeter formation. Each inward-facing concrete form has an associated truss module. The apparatus includes actuator devices which are mounted on selected truss modules. The actuator devices can move the inward-facing concrete forms translationally with respect to the respective truss module. An insert concrete form is arranged in a closed-perimeter shape and can be located within the closed-perimeter formation of the inward-facing concrete forms. A yoke system connects selected truss modules to the insert concrete form. Climbing devices are attached to the yoke system and can engage associated climb rods to thus move the apparatus along the climb rods.



Inventors:
Russell, Matthew (Spokane, WA, US)
Application Number:
10/166406
Publication Date:
02/20/2003
Filing Date:
06/10/2002
Assignee:
RUSSELL MATTHEW
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/34; E04G11/22; E04H12/12; E04B1/35; (IPC1-7): E02D27/00; E02D27/32
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KATCHEVES, BASIL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John, Reid S. (1926 S. Valleyview Lane, Spokane, WA, 99212, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. An apparatus for forming a building support structure, comprising: a plurality of inward-facing concrete forms arranged adjacent to one another and in a closed-perimeter formation; a plurality of truss modules, each truss module being associated with a respective inward-facing concrete form; a plurality of actuator devices, each said actuator device being mounted on a respective truss module and configured to translationally move the associated inward-facing concrete form with respect to the respective truss module; an insert concrete form arranged in a closed-perimeter shape and configured to be located within the closed-perimeter formation of the plurality of inward-facing concrete forms; a yoke system connecting selected truss modules to the insert concrete form; and a plurality of climbing devices attached to the yoke system and configured to engage associated climb rods and thereby move the apparatus along the climb rod.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, and wherein the truss modules are connected to one another.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, and wherein the closed-perimeter formation of inward-facing concrete forms is generally in the shape of a rectangle.

4. The apparatus of claim 2, and further comprising a plurality of attitude positioners configured to contact a portion of a building support structure formed by the apparatus, each said attitude positioner having an associated attitude control actuator supported by a respective associated truss module, each said attitude control actuator configured to move the attitude positioner with respect to the respective truss module.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, and further comprising a lift system allowing the insert concrete form to be moved vertically with respect to the inward-facing concrete forms.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, and wherein the lift system comprises a plurality of lift devices supported on the yoke system, and lift members which are connected to the insert concrete form and are engaged by the plurality of lift devices.

7. The apparatus of claim 6, and wherein the lift devices comprise jack screws, and the lift members comprise threaded rods.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, and wherein the insert concrete form comprises an expansible bladder oriented opposite at least one of the inward-facing forms.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, and wherein the insert concrete form is configured to contact the inward-facing concrete forms at diametrically opposed locations.

10. The apparatus of claim 9, and wherein the insert concrete form comprises vertically oriented expansible bladders configured to contact the inward-facing concrete forms when the expansible bladders are in an expanded arrangement.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, and wherein the insert concrete form is spaced-apart from the inward-facing concrete forms.

12. The apparatus of claim 1, and wherein the insert concrete form is horizontally moveable with respect to the inward facing forms.

13. The apparatus of claim 1, and further comprising a crane supported by the yoke system.

14. The apparatus of claim 1, and further comprising a crane configured to be supported by the climb rods.

15. A method of constructing a building, comprising: forming a vertical concrete building support structure; and attaching a plurality of vertically-stacked building modules to the building support structure.

16. The method of claim 15, and wherein the building support structure is formed so as to have perimeter wall which, a horizontal cross section, comprises a closed shape defining an outer surface and an open inner area, and further wherein the building modules are attached to the building support structure by supporting them in a cantilevered fashion from the outer surface of the perimeter wall.

17. The method of claim 15, and wherein the building support structure is formed so as to have perimeter wall which, a horizontal cross section, comprises a closed shape defining an outer surface and an inner surface, the inner surface defining an open inner area, and further wherein the building modules are attached to the building support structure by supporting them in a cantilevered fashion from the inner surface of the perimeter wall.

18. The method of claim 16, and wherein the building modules are supported from the outer surface of the perimeter wall by using a post-tension tendon which passes through the perimeter wall.

19. The method of claim 16, and further comprising forming a plurality of floor diaphragms in the open inner area.

20. The method of claim 16, and further comprising forming a plurality of access openings through the perimeter wall to allow passage between the building modules and the open inner area.

21. The method of claim 16, and further comprising installing service passageways in the opening inner area.

22. The method of claim 21, and wherein the services passageways are selected from the group comprising electrical conduits, water pipes, air ducts, elevator shafts, and stairways.

23. The method of claim 21, and wherein the services passageways comprise service passageway modules, and the service passageways are installed in the open inner area by connecting together a plurality of the service passageway modules.

24. The method of claim 16, and further comprising providing a gap between vertically adjacent building modules.

25. The method of claim 16, and wherein a first building module is attached to the building support structure, and thereafter a second building module is attached to the building support structure beneath the first building module.

26. A building, comprising: a foundation; a vertically oriented building support structure which is supported on the foundation; and a building module supported by the building support structure.

27. The building of claim 26, and wherein the building support structure is defined by a horizontal cross section comprising a closed shape.

28. The building of claim 27, and wherein the closed shape is essentially circular.

29. The building of claim 27, and wherein the closed shape is essentially rectangular.

30. The building of claim 27, and wherein the building support structure comprises a perimeter wall forming the closed shape, the perimeter wall having an inner surface and an outer surface, the perimeter wall inner surface defining an open inner area within the building support structure.

31. The building of claim 30, and wherein the building module is located juxtaposed to the perimeter wall outer surface.

32. The building of claim 30, and wherein the building support structure further comprises an interior wall located within the open inner area of the building support structure, and wherein the interior wall is defined by a first end in contact with the inner surface of the perimeter wall.

33. The building of claim 32, and wherein the interior wall is further defined by a second end which is in contact with the inner surface of the perimeter wall so that the interior wall bifurcates the open inner area of the building support structure.

34. The building of claim 30, and wherein the building further comprises service passageways located within the open inner area of the building support structure.

35. The building of claim 34, and wherein the services passageways are selected from the group comprising electrical conduits, water pipes, air ducts, elevator shafts, and stairways.

36. The building of claim 35, and wherein the service passageways comprise service passageway modules configured to connect to one another.

37. The building of claim 26, and wherein the building support structure is defined by a horizontal cross section comprising an open shape.

38. The building of claim 26, and wherein the building support structure is defined by a horizontal cross section comprising a combination of a closed portion and an open portion, the open portion being connected to the closed portion.

39. The building of claim 31, and wherein the building module is secured to the perimeter wall outer surface by a post-tensioning tendon which passes through the perimeter wall.

40. The building of claim 31, and further comprising a plurality of building modules, and wherein each building module is supported by the building support structure and is located juxtaposed to the perimeter wall outer surface.

41. The building of claim 40, and wherein selected building modules are located vertically adjacent to one another, and further wherein such selected vertically adjacent building modules are supported by the building support structure such that the vertically adjacent building modules are not in contact with one another when the building support structure is essentially undeflected, but come into contact with one another when the building support structure is deflected.

42. The building of claim 31, and wherein the perimeter wall defines personnel openings therein at the location where the building module is located juxtaposed to the perimeter wall outer surface, to thereby allow personnel to move between the building module and the open inner area within the building support structure.

43. The building of claim 42, and wherein the building further comprises service passageways located within the open inner area of the building support structure.

44. The building of claim 31, and wherein: the building module comprises vehicle parking areas; the perimeter wall defines vehicle openings therein at the location where the building module is located juxtaposed to the perimeter wall outer surface, to thereby allow vehicles to move between the building module and the open inner area within the building support structure.

45. The building of claim 44, and wherein the building further comprises vehicle ramps located within the open inner area of the building support structure to allow vehicles to ascend and descend within the open inner area of the building support structure.

46. The building of claim 31, and wherein the perimeter wall comprises hollow-core wall segments.

47. The building of claim 31, and wherein the perimeter wall defines elongated, vertically oriented hollow chambers disposed between the perimeter wall outer surface and the perimeter wall inner surface.

48. The building of claim 47, and wherein the building further comprises service passageways located within elongated, vertically oriented hollow chambers.

49. The building of claim 30, and wherein the building support structure is defined by a lower portion and an upper portion, and wherein the perimeter wall of the lower portion is defined by a first thickness, and the perimeter wall of the upper portion is defined by a second thickness which is less than the first thickness.

50. The building of claim 30, and wherein the building support structures is defined by a lower portion and an upper portion, and wherein the horizontal cross section of the lower portion is defined by a first cross sectional area, and the horizontal cross section of the upper portion is defined by a second cross sectional area which is less than the first cross sectional area.

51. The building of claim 31, and wherein the perimeter wall inner surface is defined by a generally circular horizontal cross sectional shape, and the perimeter wall outer surface is defined by a generally rectangular horizontal cross sectional shape.

52. The building of claim 31, and further comprising a plurality of floor diaphragms disposed within the open inner area within the building support structure and connected to the building support structure at the building support structure inner surface.

53. The building of claim 52, and wherein the perimeter wall defines access openings therein at the locations where the floor diaphragms are connected to the building support structure.

54. A building, comprising: a foundation; a vertically oriented concrete building support structure which is supported on the foundation, the building support structure comprising a thick-shell floor support wall defining a floor support surface; and a floor defining usable space, and wherein the floor is supported on the floor support surface of the floor support wall in a cantilevered manner.

55. The building of claim 54, and wherein the floor is part of a building module.

56. The building of claim 54, and wherein the floor is a first floor, the building further comprising a second floor defining usable space, and wherein: the second floor is supported on the floor support surface of the floor support wall in a cantilevered manner; and the second floor is located immediately above the first floor.

57. The building of claim 54, and wherein the second floor is defined by a weight, and the first floor bears 10% or less of weight of the second floor.

58. An apparatus for forming a building support structure, comprising: a plurality of inward-facing concrete forms defined by ends arranged adjacent to one another to place the concrete form in a closed-perimeter formation; a plurality of support collars located at the ends of the concrete forms, the support collars moveably supporting the concrete forms to allow translational movement of the forms with respect to the support collars; a plurality form actuators, each form actuator configured to translationally move an associated concrete form with respect to an associated support collar; a plurality of lifting towers, each lifting tower being associated with a respective support collar; and a lifting device configured to lift the support collars with respect to the lifting towers.

59. The apparatus of claim 58, and further comprising a plurality of form trusses, and wherein each concrete form is supported by the associated support collars by an associated form truss.

60. The apparatus of claim 59, and further comprising an insert concrete form arranged in a closed-perimeter shape and configured to be located within the closed-perimeter formation of the plurality of inward-facing concrete forms, and wherein the insert concrete form is supported by the form trusses by slidable brackets to allow the form trusses to move translationally with respect to the insert concrete form.

61. The apparatus of claim 58, and further comprising a crane supported on one of the lifting towers.

62. An apparatus for forming a building support structure, comprising: a plurality of inward-facing concrete forms defined by ends arranged adjacent to one another to place the concrete form in a closed-perimeter formation; a plurality of support collars located at the ends of the concrete forms, the support collars moveably supporting the concrete forms to allow translational movement of the forms with respect to the support collars; a plurality form actuators, each form actuator configured to translationally move an associated concrete form with respect to an associated support collar; a yoke system connected to the support collars; and a plurality of climbing devices attached to the yoke system and configured to engage associated climb rods and thereby move the apparatus along the climb rod.

63. The apparatus of claim 62, and further comprising a plurality of form trusses, and wherein each concrete form is supported by the associated support collars by an associated form truss.

64. The apparatus of claim 62, and further comprising an insert concrete form arranged in a closed-perimeter shape and configured to be located within the closed-perimeter formation of the plurality of inward-facing concrete forms, and wherein the insert concrete form is supported by the yoke system.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/131,838, filed Apr. 25, 2002, and entitled “Methods and Apparatus for Forming Concrete Structures”, which claims priority under 35 U.S.C. §120 to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/313,538, filed Aug. 20, 2001 and hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. The present application further claims priority under 35 U.S.C. §120 to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/351,213, filed Jan. 23, 2002 and hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The invention claimed and disclosed herein pertains to apparatus and methods for building relatively tall vertical structures, such as high-rise buildings and the like.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] This invention pertains to methods and apparatus for building relatively tall vertically-oriented, or near-vertical, structures. “Near-vertical” means that the structure, or segments of whole structures, can be purposely constructed at a slope (or “out-of-plumb”, which is not to be confused with construction plumbness tolerances), tapered (so that an inside or outside surface is not plumb), curved in vertical section (for example, as in a cooling tower structure), or a combination of these geometries. Examples of such vertical or near-vertical structures include, without limitation, towers, high-rise buildings for office, residential, parking and commercial space, and storage and industrial plants (such as manufacturing or process plants).

[0004] Modern high-rise building designs are generally based on a steel-braced frame with a glass curtain wall facade and a central shear-stiffening element which is typically a reinforced concrete shell core in which is commonly used to house elevators and utility ducts. To build to great heights while affording the greatest lateral stiffness and stability for a given structural weight, the primary vertical load bearing members or columns of such high-rise buildings are arrayed around the perimeter of the structure to thereby provide the largest sectional moment for a given area or weight of structural section.

[0005] The prior art method of modern high-rise construction is basically a floor-by-floor approach wherein an array of columns are continually spliced one on top of the other in an upward pregression and floor beams, girders, or trusses are spanned between these columns to define floors and to brace the columns from buckling. Concrete is used in the building as floor diaphragms and shear core material, being either pre-cast (in the case of some floor material) or cast with conventional methods (which is typically the approach for shear cores) as the high-rise progresses, with each floor providing a work platform to set pre-cast or form and pour the concrete immediately on or adjacent to that floor.

[0006] A recent nuance of high-rise structural design is to limit the number of perimeter columns so that the view from inside the high-rise is less obscured and so that the architecture can be more dramatic. For better economics and stability these columns are typically steel cylinders filled with high strength low density concrete, a composite design intended to optimize the economics of the overall structure so that it may be practical to attain great heights. Another recent addition to high-rise buildings is to provide an active weight at or near the top of a building to dampen the oscillation amplitude of the structural response to wind-induced deflections.

[0007] There are several generally universal structural themes in prior art high-rise construction: (1) the stability of the perimeter steel braced frames is dependent on the floor structure or floor diaphragms attached to them; (2) braced frames are generally a weak-link system in that the primary gravity force load paths are not significantly redundant—that is, if the integrity of even one of these perimeter columns is lost anywhere along the height of the building, there is a reasonable possibility that such a failure will precipitate the collapse of the entire building; (3) construction dependence is linear and repetitive for weak link structures; (4) if a single floor drops below onto another floor, a “pan caking” effect can take place, resulting in the catastrophic failure of the entire building; (5) with the advent of lighter building materials and designs, the natural ability of a heavy structure to dampen the oscillations due to wind have been replaced by expensive active weight dampening systems at the top of the buildings; (6) the linear dependence in construction activities and the continuous repetition that characterizes prior art high-rise construction methods make it relatively inefficient and makes for long construction durations; and (7) the floor-based discretization of high-rises is needlessly restrictive to architecture, uses, and operation.

[0008] In my U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/131,838 I describe that prior art methods of constructing relatively short concrete structures, such as shear walls, typically employ conventional forming techniques. For relatively short structures, such as straight walls, conventional reinforced plywood forms are frequently used. For forming relatively short curved walls, prior art construction methods include those described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,915,345 (Lehmann) and 5,125,617 (Miller et. al.). Prior art methods for constructing relatively tall closed-form concrete structures typically employ one of two approaches: (1) the jump-form method of construction, as generally described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,871,612 to Weaver; or (2) the slip form method of construction, such as generally described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,241,797. However, relatively tall open-form and combination-form structures are not addressed by slip-forming or jump-forming, and are not economical with conventional forming methods except as they are done in a “relatively short” format. This means that these types of relatively tall, open-form structures are not currently produced in a systematic or machine-like fashion, as are relatively tall closed-form structures.

[0009] Prior art methods of constructing vertical concrete structures also employ the method of segmental casting. Segmental casting or construction is generally defined as forming sections or segments of a larger reinforced concrete structure (e.g. a closed-form structure such as a silo, or an open-form structure such as a tall retaining wall) in vertical or near vertical segments which are cast with discrete horizontal or near-horizontal levels or cold joints (as in jump-forming) or in a continuous fashion (as in slip-forming). A complete structure is constructed by casting multiple, vertical or near-vertical segments either immediately adjacent to each other, or with gaps between them which are later filled with filler or closure segments which are cast in the same or similar manner. A structure cast in vertical segments can be identified as having vertical or near-vertical construction joints running the full height of the structure.

[0010] The distinction of “relatively tall” and “relatively short” structures is best defined by the construction methods typically employed to construct these structures, and the inherent technical and economic reasons for using such methods. Tall structures tend to be closed-form structures for storing bulk materials, and so that they will be of sufficient rigidity and strength to contain the stored materials and, even during construction, they will be of sufficient rigidity and strength against horizontal loadings such as wind and seismic forces. Tall, closed-form structures also tend to be prismatic, and are often symmetrical about the vertical axis. Accordingly, there are economic efficiencies to be gained in taking a less labor intensive, more system-like or machine-like approach to forming the closed-shape. As a result, the prior art method typically employed is jump-forming or slip-forming, which lend themselves more readily to discrete or continuous casting of tall structures. Short structures typically do not have the geometric efficiencies of tall structures and construction methods thereof typically employ conventional forming methods rather than more specialized methods such as jump-forming or slip-forming. In conventional forming methods the concrete forms are often close enough to the ground or floor level to allow for an entirely different means of external stability than is afforded when the forms are a great distance from the ground, and therefore allow for a less costly platform, work deck, or floor access to the work. A shear wall chamber in a building, for example, though it may be relatively tall compared to the building itself, is normally constructed between floors, using each floor as a work be platform, and therefore it is not considered “relatively tall”. Such a wall would, however, be considered as “relatively tall” if it is free-standing for at least several floor heights or more during construction. In summary, relatively short structures are those which are typically produced using conventional forms because they are only a few stories tall and can therefore be economically accessed and manipulated from the ground or floor level, and relatively tall structures are those which are more than a few stories tall and require more of a machine-type approach to be most economically accessed and manipulated to accomplish the casting of reinforced concrete.

[0011] In the prior art jump-form method of construction, a cylindrical shell (closed-form) structure is produced using a series of inside and outside steel forms continuously attached together within either of the two concentric rings, but not between the rings. The rings are stacked one upon another and poured with concrete one level (levels typically vary 2′ to 6′ high) at a time until such time as they are 2 or more levels high. Then the bottom-most set of inside and outside forms are “jumped” or stacked on top of the top-most set of forms. This “jump” process is repeated until the structure height is achieved. Such an approach realizes a structure comprised of vertically-stacked, monolithic closed-form rings (typically 2′ to 6′ in height and 8″ to 2′ in thickness) with “cold” construction joints between rings. Important elements of the prior art jump-form method of construction are as follows: (1) The forces of the fluid concrete are resolved in the hoop rigidity of the circular ring of forms, and therefore the diameter of the structure is limited to a finite diameter, the fluid concrete forces of which are not greater than the tensile capacity of the forms and form fasteners; (2) the forms are moved upward separately of the work deck by mechanically “jumping” them with jib cranes to the next level, and the work deck moves upward with the use of climber winches which thrust off of the inside forms or off of supports which support from the ground and/or intermittently along the height of the inside surface of the structure; (3) plumbness of the structure is maintained by references with a transit or plumbob and repositioning of the form heights about the vertical axis of the structure in subsequent “jumps”; (4) the work deck is only on the inside of the concrete cylinder being constructed; (5) in order to raise the inside forms, the work decking must be removed or tilted out of the way frequently, or gaps must be left between the deck and the wall face; (6) the jump-form system must be thoroughly assembled and configured into a cylindrical shape from a large number of small, modular pieces; and (7) the forms are released from the concrete surface by prying them off manually, typically one-at-a-time.

[0012] In the slip-form method of construction, a closed-form shell structure is effected by moving a single level of concentric, typically plywood forms (commonly 4′ tall) continuously upward while installing rebar and pouring concrete until the structure height is achieved. Such an approach realizes a structure that is essentially monolithic throughout to the extent that the constructor keeps the operation continuous and there are no cold joints. Important particulars of the slip form method of construction are the following: (1) unlike the jump-form method, the inside and outside forms are tied together with yokes (spaced approximately every 2′ to 8′, depending on the structure requirements for the form, around the entire perimeter of the structure section) and therefore the forces of the fluid concrete are resolved in the moment rigidity of the form-yoke combination; (2) the forms hold themselves and the accompanying work deck to the structure via a combination of pipes (which become buried in the concrete of the structure) and jacks that tie into the form-yoke system; (3) the forms and work deck(s) move upward together via thrust of the jacks on the pipes; (4) plumbness of the structure is maintained by references with a transit or plumbob and the form-deck system is re-oriented about the vertical axis of the structure by differential movement of the many jacks that support the forms and deck around the perimeter of the structures. There is an inherent flexibility of the pipes which, in conjunction with any imbalance of the deck load, often causes the deck and forms to “spin” or “sway”. This must be controlled by some means of bracing the pipes against the structure and/or rebar in the structure. There is currently no standard practice for controlling sway; (5) the main work deck is primarily on the inside of the shell or walls of the closed-form structure being constructed, with a swing scaffold hanging from the outside forms to allow finishing of the concrete surface; (6) the inside work deck spans across the diameter or span of the structure and is often comprised of the roof beams and roof decking; (7) the work deck is constructed such that there is little or no gaps between the deck and the forms; (8) the slip-form is typically not modular or re-usable and must be thoroughly constructed and configured into the closed-form shape from a large number of raw material pieces such as steel beams, lumber, and plywood; and (9) the forms are released from the concrete formed surface automatically and continuously since slip-forming is a continuous process.

[0013] In the conventional forming method for relatively “short” closed-form and open-form structures, a structure is produced by attaching the typically rectangular forms together into panels to form a partial or total wall or structure height. These panels are then backed by whalers to stiffen them between tie points, are tied through the wall by snap ties or tapered through-bolts, and are usually braced or “kicked” to the ground or to a nearby floor level or structure with strut supports to plumb and stabilize the forms. Curvilinear structures are produced with either increments of straight forms or with special curvable forms. These specialized forms are a modified version of the straight form, with allowance for the form stiffeners and/or whaler system to be set manually to a certain radius. In either the straight wall or curved wall conventional form systems the work platform typically has no particular function other than as access to the work at the top of the forms. Important particulars of the conventional forming method of construction are as follows: (1) Unlike the jump-form method or the slip form method, the inside and outside forms are tied together with special ties that remain in the concrete, or with tapered through-bolts which are extracted after casting the concrete, and therefore the forces of the fluid concrete are resolved in the tensile rigidity of the tie or through-bolt; (2) the forms and work platform(s) are moved upward manually and separately after removal of the ties or through-bolts, and typically a level of forms is left at the top of a pour to rest the next set of forms upon; (3) plumbness of the structure is maintained by references with a level, transit or plumbob, and the form-platform system is re-oriented about the vertical axis of the structure by adjusting the kicker struts; (4) the work deck is attached to the forms and therefore spans along the perimeter (as compared to jump-forms and slip-forms which span across the formed opening); (5) the work platform being attached to the forms has a small gap between them and the form; (6) the conventional form system must be thoroughly assembled and configured from a large number of small, modular pieces to form a structure; and (7) the forms are typically released manually from the formed surface by prying action.

[0014] There are several shortcomings with the prior art. Specifically: (1) vertical segmental construction is not addressed by jump-form or slip-form methods of construction; (2) although segmental construction is addressed by conventional means, only relatively short structures can be economically effected by conventional means (i.e., conventional forming methods of construction are not economically adaptable for construction of relatively tall, closed-form or open-form structures); (3) although accurate geometric measurement is possible with all methods of construction given modern surveying equipment, accurate geometric control is not inherently achievable for relatively tall and/or large footprint structures constructed with the current jump-form or slip-form methods of construction; (4) modern jump-forming and slip-forming techniques are very labor intensive; (5) none of the three concrete forming methods described above (jump-forming, slip-forming, and conventional forming) are readily adaptable to both discrete and continuous forming; (6) the methods by which jump-forms, slip-forms, and conventional forms are borne by the evolving structure is cumbersome to productivity; (7) in all three forming methods there are significant limitations on geometries due to the method of resolution of the hydrostatic force of the concrete between the inside and outside forms; and (8) jump-forming inherently does not allow for a work deck on the outer ring of forms.

[0015] None of the prior art methods of constructing concrete structures address both discrete and continuous modes of operation in the vertical or near vertical direction. Jump-forms are not designed, nor are they readily adaptable for, slip (continuous) forming. Slip-forms are not designed, nor are they readily adaptable for, discrete forming. Although discrete forming with slip-forms may be an inadvertent result of stopping the slip form operation and letting the concrete set-up, it is not an intended function, nor is it a simple matter to get a slip-form moving again when the concrete sticks solidly to the forms. Conventional form systems are either designed to be used for horizontal slip-forming (e.g. a tunnel slip-form) or are designed for static (discrete) casting. They cannot be readily transitioned for use in a bi-model fashion.

[0016] Slip forms, though relatively fail safe in the sense that the support pipes are continuously buried in the wall, are inherently cumbersome for placing rebar and concrete because the pipe and yoke system repeats itself so frequently around the perimeter. Because of this, structures with dense rebar and/or large perimeters are impractical with slip-forming. The through-bolt or tie system which holds conventional forms to the concrete structure also support the work platforms. This “tie-through” method of resolving the hydrostatic forces from the concrete and attaching the forms to the concrete is cumbersome to upward progression because of the labor-intensive process of removing and re-inserting bolts or ties.

[0017] In the prior art chord-form method of construction a vertical portion or vertical segment of a cylindrical structure is formed by tensioning the concentric set of jump-forms (of the type described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,871,612, being approximately 4′ tall by 6′ long) to buttress trusses which are positioned vertically at either end of the vertical segment in modular lengths that are a multiple of the form height. A chord deck and an outside wrap-a-round deck span between these buttress trusses, allowing access to both sides of the segment of jump forms. As with jump-forming, jib cranes are used to raise or “jump” the forms and climber winches are used to raise the chord deck that interfaces with the perimeter of the evolving wall segment. As a supplementary hoisting method to the climber winches, the inside and outside chord trusses and attached work-deck are hoisted by way of hydraulic cylinders along guides on the buttress trusses. Closure segments are effected by reconfiguring parts of the buttress trusses and bolting them to the adjacent segments.

[0018] There are a number of shortcomings with the prior-art chord-form method: (1) As with the classical jump-form method which relies on the hoop tensile capacity of the forms to resolve the hydrostatic forces from the concrete, there is a practical limitation on both the geometry and maximum diameter which can be achieved. The geometry is limited to curved walls, and the radius of the curved wall is limited to that finite value where the fluid concrete forces are not greater than the tensile capacity of the forms and form fasteners. A 60′ radius curve is the practical limit for using these types of forms; (2) As with jump-forming, the chord-form method requires two or more levels of forms, and it requires that these forms be “jumped”, a very labor intensive process; (3) The chord-form method requires heavy buttress trusses at both ends for the full height of the segment being constructed. The capital and mobilization costs associated with these trusses are very high and set-up times are long, especially for very tall segments; (4) Vertical alignment of the segment can only be achieved when each new buttress truss is installed, and only to the degree to which the truss can be tilted out of plumb to correct the alignment.

[0019] What is needed then is a method of, and apparatus for, constructing relatively tall structures, such as high-rise buildings, which achieves the benefits to be derived from similar prior art methods and devices, but which avoids the shortcomings and detriments individually associated therewith.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0020] One embodiment of the present invention provides for forming a building support structure. The apparatus includes a plurality of inward-facing concrete forms arranged adjacent to one another and in a closed-perimeter formation. The apparatus also includes a plurality of truss modules, each truss module being associated with a respective inward-facing concrete form. The apparatus has a plurality of actuator devices, each of which is mounted on a respective truss module. The actuator devices are configured to translationally move the associated inward-facing concrete form with respect to the respective truss module. An insert concrete form, arranged in a closed-perimeter shape, is configured to be located within the closed-perimeter formation of the plurality of inward-facing concrete forms. A yoke system connects selected truss modules to the insert concrete form. A plurality of climbing devices are attached to the yoke system and are configured to engage associated climb rods to thereby move the apparatus along the climb rods.

[0021] Another embodiment of the present invention provides for a building having a foundation, a vertically oriented building support structure which is supported on the foundation, and a building module supported by the building support structure. The building support structure is defined by a horizontal cross section, which can be a closed shape, an open shape, or a combination of the two. When the horizontal cross section of the building support structure includes a closed shape, then the building support structure can have a perimeter wall forming the closed shape. In this case the perimeter wall has an inner surface and an outer surface, and the inner surface defines an open inner area within the building support structure. The building module can then be located juxtaposed to the perimeter wall outer surface.

[0022] These and other aspects and embodiments of the present invention will now be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0023] FIG. 1 is a side elevation view depicting an apparatus in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0024] FIG. 2 is a plan view depicting truss modules used in the apparatus depicted in FIG. 1.

[0025] FIG. 3 is a side elevation sectional view depicting truss modules used in the apparatus depicted in FIG. 1.

[0026] FIG. 4 is a rear view depicting a form module and a strut module used in the apparatus depicted in FIG. 1.

[0027] FIG. 5 is a plan view of the form module and strut module depicted in FIG. 4.

[0028] FIG. 6 is a plan view depicting frame components of a truss module depicted in FIG. 2.

[0029] FIG. 7 is a rear view depicting end frames and an actuator frame used in a truss module depicted in FIG. 2.

[0030] FIG. 8 is a side elevation view depicting an attitude control module that can be used in the apparatus depicted in FIG. 1.

[0031] FIG. 9 is a side elevation view of a climb module that can be used in the apparatus depicted in FIG. 1.

[0032] FIG. 10 depicts a plan view of the truss modules of FIG. 2, but with work decking placed on the tops of the trusses.

[0033] FIG. 10A depicts a plan view detail for a form-extending module.

[0034] FIG. 11 is a plan elevation view of truss modules of a concrete forming apparatus of the present invention that can be used to form corners in vertical concrete structures.

[0035] FIG. 12 is a plan view of an assembly of apparatus of the present invention assembled to form a vertical, rectangular concrete structure.

[0036] FIG. 13 depicts a side view of a high-rise building that can be constructed using methods and apparatus of the present invention.

[0037] FIG. 14 is a plan sectional view of the building depicted in FIG. 13.

[0038] FIG. 15 is a partial side sectional view of the building depicted in FIGS. 13 and 14.

[0039] FIG. 16 depicts a partial side view of the building support structure of the building depicted in FIGS. 13 through 15.

[0040] FIG. 17 is a detail of a corner of the building support structure depicted in FIG. 14.

[0041] FIG. 18 depicts a partial side sectional view of the building support structure depicted in FIG. 14.

[0042] FIG. 19 is a detail from FIG. 15, depicting building modules connected to the building support structure.

[0043] FIG. 20 depicts a side elevation view of another high-rise building that can be constructed using methods and apparatus of the present invention.

[0044] FIGS. 21 and 22 depict plan sectional views of the building of FIG. 20 at two different locations along the height of the building.

[0045] FIG. 23 depicts a plan sectional view of another shape of a relatively tall building that can be constructed using methods and apparatus of the present invention.

[0046] FIG. 24 depicts a side elevation view of another building support structure that can be constructed using methods and apparatus of the present invention.

[0047] FIGS. 25 through 27 depict plan views of other building support structures that can be constructed using methods and apparatus of the present invention.

[0048] FIG. 28 depicts an isometric view of the high-rise building of FIG. 13 being constructed in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0049] FIG. 29 depicts a side elevation sectional view of another high-rise building that can be constructed using methods and apparatus of the present invention.

[0050] FIG. 29A shows a detail of the foundation of the building depicted in FIG. 29.

[0051] FIG. 30 depicts a plan sectional view of the building depicted in FIG. 29.

[0052] FIG. 31 is a detail of the building depicted in FIG. 30, showing the building support structure.

[0053] FIG. 32 is a side sectional view depicting a building module support system that can be used to connect a building module to a building support structure in accordance with the present invention.

[0054] FIG. 33 is a detail from FIG. 32 depicting the junction area between the building module and the building support structure.

[0055] FIG. 34 is a side sectional view of the detail depicted in FIG. 34.

[0056] FIG. 35 is a plan view depicting a concrete structure forming apparatus in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

[0057] FIG. 36 is a side elevation view of the concrete structure forming apparatus depicted in FIG. 35.

[0058] FIGS. 37A and 37B depict a side elevation detail of a concrete form sealing and release device that can be used in the concrete structure forming apparatus depicted in FIG. 35.

[0059] FIG. 38 is a plan sectional view depicting another building support structure that can be constructed using methods and apparatus of the present invention.

[0060] FIG. 39 is a partial side view of the building support structure depicted in FIG. 38.

[0061] FIG. 40 is a plan view depicting a concrete structure forming apparatus in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention and which can be used to form the concrete building support structure depicted in FIGS. 38 and 39.

[0062] FIG. 41 is a side sectional view depicting the concrete structure forming apparatus of FIG. 40 being used to construct the building support structure depicted in FIGS. 38 and 39.

[0063] FIG. 42 is a side sectional view of an insert concrete form that can be used in the concrete structure forming apparatus depicted in FIGS. 40 and 41.

[0064] FIG. 43 is a side sectional view depicting a variation of the concrete structure forming apparatus depicted in FIG. 41.

[0065] FIG. 44 is a front view of the concrete structure forming apparatus depicted in FIG. 43.

[0066] FIG. 45 is a side elevation sectional view depicting how the apparatus depicted in FIG. 43 can be used to lower service passageway modules into a building support structure as the building support structure is being constructed.

[0067] FIG. 46 is a plan sectional view depicting an arrangement for parking vehicles in the building depicted in FIG. 29.

[0068] FIGS. 47A and 47B depict plan views of another structure forming apparatus that can be used to form a building support structure of the present invention.

[0069] FIG. 48 depicts a side elevation, sectional view of the structure forming apparatus depicted in FIG. 47A.

[0070] FIGS. 49 depicts a plan view of yet another structure forming apparatus that can be used to form a building support structure of the present invention.

[0071] FIG. 50 depicts a side elevation, sectional view of the structure forming apparatus depicted in FIG. 49.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0072] The present invention provides for methods and apparatus useful for construction of relatively tall vertical and near-vertical concrete structures. These structures are especially suited for use as the primary structural support for high-rise buildings, including residential, commercial and industrial buildings. The apparatus allows for such structures to be formed in either a slip-form type casting mode, a jump-form type casting mode, or a combination of these modes. The apparatus can be used to produce vertical and near-vertical concrete structures in a segmental-type casting mode, as well as in a monolithic casting mode. The apparatus of the present invention may from time-to-time be referred to herein as a “jump-slip machine” since it can be used to perform both of these prior art methods of forming concrete structures. The term “jump-slip machine” is appropriate since the apparatus can cast vertical or near vertical reinforced concrete segments, or whole structures, in either a discrete (jump) or continuous (slip) mode. The methods and apparatus of the present invention are particularly useful for forming any size of closed-form, open-form, or combination-form reinforced concrete vertical structures which can be used itself as a commercial or industrial building, or as the primary structural component of a residential, commercial or industrial building.

[0073] The apparatus of the present invention can include the apparatus described in my U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/131,838, as well as modified variations thereof. One embodiment of the apparatus described in my U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/131,838 provides for a concrete forming apparatus having radially-matched pairs of automatically or semi-automatically retractable (self releasing) form modules that can be actuated automatically and/or manually into rectilinear, curvilinear, or geometric combination sub-segments with the use of translational actuators and/or adjustable length struts which bear upon and reference to supporting truss modules. The apparatus can further include a work-deck (“deck”) portion which can move translationally with the forms, and preferably conform to the plan-view shape of the forms by way of an overlapping fan type work-deck plates and telescoping handrails. Very large, very complex vertical concrete structures can be formed when several of these types of apparatus are joined together in series, and when specialized versions of the apparatus (such as corner-forming adaptations) are used.

[0074] As stated previously, the apparatus of the present invention can cast monolithically, as well as in vertical segments. Further, the apparatus can accomplish continuous casting (slip-forming) as well as discrete casting (jump-forming). Virtually any structure geometry can be formed using the apparatus of the present invention, including but not limited to structures that are straight or curved, prismatic or tapered, and stepped or non-stepped. In addition, the apparatus of the present invention uses significantly fewer components than prior art apparatus, requires less manpower to operate, and provides improved geometric control over prior art methods of forming vertical concrete structures.

[0075] Turning now to FIG. 1, one embodiment of an apparatus 100 in accordance with the present invention is depicted in a side elevation view. This particular embodiment was described in my U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/131,838. The concrete forming structure 100 is depicted in the process of forming a vertical concrete structure or wall “W”, which is supported on foundation “F”. The wall “W” can be a segment of a structure which will comprise adjoining segments, or it can be considered as a cross section of a monolithic structure. A climb rod or climb pipe 99 is embedded in the wall “W” and the foundation “F”, and is used by the apparatus 100 to pull itself upward in direction “Y”, as will be described more fully below. The apparatus 100 includes first forming assembly (also known as a “concrete forming module) 102 and second forming assembly (“concrete forming module”) 104. First forming assembly 102 supports a first concrete form 114, and second forming assembly 104 supports a second concrete form 116. Concrete forms 114 and 116 are in spaced-apart, generally parallel orientation to one another, thus defining void area 90 into which liquid concrete can be poured to generate the wall “W”. Preferably, forms 114 and 116 are fabricated in a semi-flexible manner to allow them to be urged into curvilinear shapes, as will be described more fully below. Forms 114 and 116 are preferably moveably supported by respective truss modules 118 and 120. Truss modules 118 and 120 are in turn attached to the respective yoke arms 103 and 105 of the yoke module 106. (Yoke arms 103 and 105 generally form a yoke, which is unnumbered in the FIGURE.) Yoke module 106 includes the climbing module 108 (“climbing device”), which can engage the climb rod 99, allowing the whole apparatus 100 to be pulled upward or lowered in direction “Y”. A work deck (or “deck”) comprises first deck portion 110 and second deck portion 112, which are attached to respective forms 114 and 116, and supported by respective truss modules 118 and 120 in a moveable fashion to allow the deck portions 110 and 112 to be able to move translationally (i.e., towards or away from the wall “W”) with respect to the truss modules 118 and 120.

[0076] As a general description of the operation of the apparatus 100 of FIG. 1, the truss modules 118 and 120 allow the respective forms 114 and 116 to be placed into proper position for the forming of concrete to form the wall “W”. Actuator mechanisms 122 and 126 (associated with form 114) and actuator mechanisms 124 and 128 (associated with form 116) allow the individual forms 114, 116 to be moved in directions X and X′, relative to the wall “W” and the truss modules 118 and 120. In this way the forms can be retracted from the wall and the apparatus 100 can then be moved upward (In direction “Y”), as in a jump-forming operation. Likewise, the forms 114 and 116 can be maintained in the concrete forming position while the apparatus 100 is moved upward, as in a slip-forming operation. The manner in which the apparatus 100 is operated (slip-form or jump-form) will depend on a number of variables, such as the type of structure being formed and the desired surface finish of the final structure. Further, forms 114 and 116 are preferably made from a semi-flexible material, such as heavy gauge sheet steel, to allow them to be deformed from a flat shape into a curved shape, as will be shown and described further below. The form 114 and 116 are preferably made from steel, the thickness of which will depend on the anticipated hydrostatic force of wet concrete contained between the walls, as well as the shape of the structure to be formed. For structures with a relatively small radius of curvature in the plan view, thinner steel will be used for the forms 114, 116 to allow the forms to be urged into the proper shape. The forms 114, 116 can be further strengthened against hydrostatic forces by the use of vertically-oriented form stiffening members placed on the outside of the forms (i.e., the side opposite the side which contacts the concrete in the void area 90).

[0077] The form assemblies 102 and 104 can further include the respective first and second attitude control modules 130 and 132, which are more fully described below. In addition to providing attitude control (i.e., to “steer” the apparatus 100 in direction X or X′), the attitude control modules 130, 132 also perform the function of providing a force-reacting member to generate reaction forces against the wall “W” resulting from the forces exerted on the forms 114, 116 by the actuator mechanisms 122, 124, 126 and 128. Accordingly, the first and second attitude control modules 130 and 132 may also be properly known as respective “first and second reaction force members”.

[0078] Turning now to FIG. 2, the truss modules 118 and 120 of the apparatus 100 of FIG. 1 are depicted in plan view. Truss module 118 is comprised of first and second end frames 138 and 140, and actuator frame 134, which is preferably centered between the end frames. End frame 138 and actuator frame 134 are spaced apart, and connected, by first space frame 146, while end frame 140 and actuator frame 134 are spaced apart, and connected, by second space frame 148. Space frames 146 and 148 will be described in more detail below. The two space frames in each truss module 118, 120 generally form an articulable space frame assembly, so that the apparatus 100 includes first and second articulable space frames. Truss module 118 supports work deck 110 (FIG. 1) by work deck support system 202, described more fully below. A series of adjustable struts 155, 156, 206, 208 are connected at a first end to form 114, and at a second end to actuators (described below) which are supported by actuator frame 134. As will be described more fully below, struts 155, 156, 206, 208 allow form 114 to be moved translationally in directions X and X′, and also allow the form 114 to be deformed from the flat shape depicted in FIG. 2.

[0079] Truss module 120 of FIG. 2 is constructed similarly to truss module 118. That is, truss module 120 is comprised of first and second end frames 142 and 144, and actuator frame 136, which is preferably centered between the end frames. End frame 142 and actuator frame 136 are spaced apart, and connected, by space frame 150, while end frame 144 and actuator frame 136 are spaced apart, and connected, by space frame 152. Truss module 120 supports work deck 112 (FIG. 1) by work deck support system 204. A series of adjustable struts 158, 160, 210, 212 are connected at a first end to form 116, and at a second end to actuators supported by actuator frame 136. Struts 158, 160, 210, 212 allow form 116 to be moved translationally in directions X and X′, and also allow the form 116 to be deformed from the flat shape depicted in FIG. 2. The struts 155, 156, 206, 208, 158, 160, 210 and 212 can either be passive, in that they merely track movement of the strut actuators 196, 198 (described below), or they can be active, in which case they can be adjusted to a desired length by mechanical means (such as by internal screw threads, or hydraulic pressure) and thereby be used to adjust the shape of the forms 114, 116.

[0080] The system of struts (155, 156, 206, 208, and 158, 160, 210, 212) in each truss module (118, 120) can be known as respective first and second strut modules. Preferably each form 114 and 116 is provided with at least two adjustable struts, and preferably four adjustable struts. In the embodiment described below, each form 114 and 116 is provided with eight adjustable struts arranged in a 4×2 arrangement (i.e., four struts oriented in a first horizontal plane, and four more struts arranged in a second horizontal plane which is parallel to the first horizontal plane).

[0081] Turning now to FIG. 3, a side elevation sectional view of the truss modules 118 and 120 of FIGS. 6 and 7 is depicted. In the view depicted in FIG. 3 the section line has been taken adjacent each of the actuator frames 134 and 136. Further, the struts (155, 156, 206, 208, 158, 160, 210, and 212) depicted in FIG. 2 have been removed in FIG. 3 for clarity. Each truss module 118 and 120 in FIG. 3 is provided with yoke brackets 180 to allow the yoke (106, FIG. 1) to be attached to the truss modules. Each truss module 118 and 120 is further provided with attitude module brackets 178 to allow the attitude modules 130, 132 of FIG. 1 to be attached to the truss modules.

[0082] Truss module 118 (FIG. 3) includes upper actuator frame 134, as well as lower actuator frame 174; truss module 120 includes upper actuator frame 136, as well as lower actuator frame 176. Lower actuator frames 174 and 176 are held in spaced-apart relationship from respective upper actuator frames 134 and 136 by respective rectangular main frames 248 and 249. Adjacent each actuator frame 134, 136, 174, 176 are space frame brackets 182, which allow the space frames (146, 148, 150, 152, FIG. 2) to be attached to the actuator frames (e.g., space frame 148 of FIG. 2 is attached to actuator frames 134 and 174, and space frame 152 is attached to actuator frames 136 and 176). Each actuator frame 134, 174, 136 and 176 supports actuator devices or mechanisms (“actuators”), which will be described more fully below. The use of two actuator frames for each truss module provides improved control over positioning of the forms 114 and 116, and allows additional geometric control and shaping of the final form of the concrete structure to be produced. Forms 114 and 116 are attached to respective actuator brackets 170 and 172, which are in turn attached to first and second upper actuator shafts (actuator members) 184 and 186, and first and second lower actuator shafts 188 and 190, by hinged connectors (e.g., pins, ball joints, or any such pivotal connector) 192, allowing movement of the actuator brackets 170, 172 with respect to shafts 184, 186, 188 and 190 (FIG. 3). Actuator brackets 170, 172 serve to distribute the force exerted by the actuator shafts 184, 186, 188 and 190 over the face of the forms 114 and 116, and also serve to stiffen the forms against the hydrostatic forces of wet concrete contained between the forms. Decks plates 110 and 112 are attached to respective actuator brackets 170 and 172 by respective hinges 162 and 164, allowing rotational movement (clockwise or counterclockwise, as viewed in FIG. 3) of the deck plates 110 and 112 with respect to forms 114 and 116. This allows the forms 114 and 116 to be “tilted” (as in 116a), while leaving the decks 110, 112 level with the ground. Decks 110 and 112 are also provided with respective handrails 166 and 168. Deck 110 is supported on truss module 118 by deck support system 202, and deck 112 is supported on truss module 120 by deck support system 204. The deck support systems 202, 204 will be described more fully below. Preferably, lower pivotal connection 192 is a connection (such as a slotted connection) which allows slight vertical movement of the form (114 or 116) with respect to the upper pivotal connection (also 192), to allow the form (114, 116) to “tilt” (as in 116a) without causing a binding of an actuator member (184, 186, 188, 190) in the associated actuator frame (134, 136, 174, 176, respectively). This feature will account for the effective “shortening” in the effective height of a form face as it is tilted relative to the other form face.

[0083] Actuator shafts 184, 186, 188 and 190 are preferably smooth at the area where they enter bushed bores (not numbered) in the actuator frames 134, 136, 174 and 176 proximate the forms 114 and 116. Thereafter, the shafts 184, 186, 188 and 190 are preferably threaded so that they can be engaged by screw-thread actuators 196, 198 and 200. Although hydraulic actuators can be used for actuators 196, 198 and 200, screw thread actuators are preferable since they provide positive engagement of the shafts 184, 186, 188 and 190, even in the event of loss of power. The screw-thread actuators 196, 198, 200 can be actuated by electric motor, hydraulic force, or manually. Each actuator frame 134, 136, 174 and 176 comprises first and second strut actuators (actuator devices) 196 and 198 which are preferably moveably mounted in actuator frames 134, 136, 174 and 176, and the actuators 196, 198 are preferably configured to move along guides 194 within each actuator frame. Actuators 196 and 198 are preferably screw thread actuators (such as screw jacks), and engage the threads of shafts 184, 186, 188 and 190. Each strut actuator 196, 198 is preferably connected to two struts. This can be seen by viewing FIG. 3 in conjunction with FIG. 4. FIG. 4 is a rear elevation sectional view of truss module 120 of FIG. 3 with the section being taken immediately behind strut actuators 196, and shows the struts associated with module 120. Specifically, struts 160 and 158 are connected to upper strut actuator 196 in upper actuator frame 136, struts 212 and 210 are connected to upper strut actuator 198 (not seen in FIG. 4) in upper actuator frame 136, struts 214 and 216 are connected to lower strut actuator 196 in lower actuator frame 176, and struts 218 and 220 are connected to lower strut actuator 198 (not seen in FIG. 4) in lower actuator frame 176. The system of struts (158, 160, 210, 212, 214, 216, 218 and 220 of FIG. 4) can alternately be termed a “strut module” or a form-shaping module, the latter comprising form-shaping members (e.g., any or all of the indicated struts). The actuator frames are not specifically shown, and are not numbered, in FIG. 4. Viewing FIG. 2 and FIG. 3 together, struts 155 and 156 are connected to upper strut actuator 196 in upper actuator frame 134, and struts 206 and 208 are connected to upper strut actuator 198 in upper actuator frame 134. Lower strut actuators 196 and 198 in lower actuator frame 174 are similarly connected to struts that are equivalent to struts 214, 216, 218 and 220 of FIG. 4. Each of the eight strut actuators 196 and 198 can be individually actuated, or they can be actuated in concert, or in any combination. When strut actuator 196 or 198 is actuated, and the respective shaft 184, 186, 188 or 190 is held in a fixed position in the actuator frame (134, 136, 174, 176), then the actuator 196 or 198 is caused to move along guides 194 within the actuator frame in a translational position relative to the shaft, as indicated by directional arrow “A” in strut frame 176 (FIG. 3). As will be more fully described below, use of the strut actuators can cause the shape of the forms 114 and 116 to be altered, thus allowing the apparatus 100 to be used for forming curved concrete segments.

[0084] In addition to the strut actuators 196 and 198, each actuator frame 134, 136, 174 and 176 is preferably provided with a main actuator (actuator device) 200 (FIG. 3), so that the apparatus 100 includes at least first and second main actuator devices. Main actuators 200 are also preferably screw-jack type actuators and engage screw threads on shafts 184, 186, 188 and 190. When an actuator 200 is actuated, the associated shaft (184, 186, 188 or 190) moves translationally relative to the associated actuator frame (134, 136, 174 or 176), as indicated by arrow “B” in actuator frame 176. When this occurs, the strut actuators (196 and 198) move together with the shaft within actuator frame, causing the form (114 and/or 116) to move in direction “B”. In this way a form 114 or 116 can be pulled away from the formed concrete structure (e.g., wall “W” of FIG. 1), or moved towards the area where the wall “W” is to be formed (defined by void 90 of FIG. 1). For example, if actuators 200 (FIG. 3) in actuator frames 134 and 174 are actuated in concert, form 114 can be moved leftward (as viewed in FIG. 3) to the position indicated by 114a. Further, a form (114 and/or 116) can be tilted with respect to vertical orientation by actuating only the main actuator 200 in either the upper or lower actuator frame (or by operating the upper and lower actuators 200 at differential rates). For example, if only upper main actuator 200 in actuator frame 136 is actuated (while lower main actuator 200 in frame 176 is not actuated), then the upper portion of form 116 can be tilted in a clockwise direction (as viewed in FIG. 3) to the position indicated by 116a. From the foregoing description, it can be seen that actuators 200 might properly be termed “form translating actuators” since they can be used primarily to move forms 114 and 116 in translational direction towards, and away from, the face of the structure “W” (FIG. 1) being formed (orto be formed). Likewise, actuators 196, 198 might properly be termed “form shaping actuators” since they are used primarily to reshape forms 114 and 116 from a flat (linear) shape to a non-linear or curvilinear shape (e.g., as depicted in FIG. 17). Moreover, the system of form shaping actuators 196, 198 (FIG. 3) and struts (158, 160, 210, 212, 214, 216, 218, 220, FIGS. 2 and 4) can be termed “first and second form shaping devices”, since their primary function is to alter the shape of the forms 114, 116. Generally, the “form shaping device” comprises a form shaping actuator (196, 198) mounted on the respective truss module (118, 120), and a form shaping member (e.g., struts 210, 212, 214, 216, 218, 220) having a first end connected to the respective form (114 or 116), and a second end connected to the form shaping actuator (196, 198). The form shaping actuator (196, 198) is configured to move the second end of the form shaping member (strut) relative to the respective truss module (118, 120), thereby urging the form (114, 116) into a curvilinear shape. As mentioned above, actuators 196, 198 and 200 (as well as actuators 260 and 264, described below with respect to the attitude control module 130 of FIG. 8) are preferably screw jack type actuators, and can be actuated manually, electrically or hydraulically. Actuators 196, 198, 200, 260 and 264 can also be hydraulic actuators (e.g., hydraulically driven piston actuators or hydraulically driven gear reduction drives), electric actuators (e.g., gear reduction drives driven by electric motor), and any other type of actuator which allows a member to be repositioned with respect to a supporting frame.

[0085] Further, main actuators 200 can be individually placed in a “locked” position by so that the jack-screw within the actuator 200 is not free to translate within the actuator 200, thus fixing the shaft (184, 186, 188 and/or 190) relative to the associated actuator frame (134, 136, 174 and/or 176). When a main actuator is placed in a “locked” position, actuation of a strut actuator 196, 198 will cause the actuator 196, 198 to move within the actuator frame (134, 136, 174, 176) along the guides 194, in the manner described above. This will result in altering the shape of the form 116 from the flat shape depicted in FIG. 2 to a curved shape, as will be describe further below.

[0086] Turning to FIG. 5, the strut system associated with truss module 120 of FIG. 2 and 8 is depicted in a plan view. Upper strut actuators 196 and 198 can be seen. It is useful to briefly view FIG. 4, which depicts a sectional view of the strut system depicted in FIG. 5, wherein the section is taken between the strut actuators 196 and 198. FIG. 4 depicts the set of upper struts 212, 160, 158 and 210 which are depicted in the plan view of FIG. 5, as well as the lower set of struts 218, 214, 216 and 220 which cannot be seen in FIG. 5. As can be seen by viewing FIGS. 4 and 5, there are 4 sets of struts: two upper inner struts 160, 158, two upper outer struts 212, 210, two lower inner struts 214, 216, and two lower outer struts 218, 220. Each strut is preferably configured to be a variable length member. Preferably, each strut comprises an inner and an outer cylinder which are slideable with respect to one another. However, other configurations can be employed to allow the struts to be of variable length, such as a sliding rail configuration.

[0087] Turning back to FIG. 5, first ends of upper outer struts 212 and 210 are pivotally connected to strut actuator 198 by pins or ball joints 197, and second ends of upper outer struts 212 and 210 are pivotally connected to respective form frame members 226 and 228 by pins or ball joints 213. Likewise, first ends of upper inner struts 160 and 158 are pivotally connected to strut actuator 196 by pins or ball joints 195, and second ends of upper inner struts 160 and 158 are pivotally connected to respective form frame members 222 and 224 by pins or ball joints 215. A similar connection configuration is provided for lower struts 218, 214, 216 and 220, as indicated in FIG. 4. Likewise, a set of eight complementary struts for truss module 118 (FIG. 2) are pivotally connected to strut actuators 196 and 198 of truss module 118, and form 114 associated therewith. Viewing FIG. 5, the function of the strut actuators 196 and 198 in changing the shape of the form 116 can be appreciated. As shaft 186 is held in a fixed position relative to truss module 120 (FIG. 3), by virtue of the screw-jack within main actuators 200 being “locked” (as described above), form 116 can be deformed from the flat position indicated to a concave or a convex position (relative to the outside surface “OS” of form 116). For example, if strut actuators 196 and 198 are translated along shaft 186 in direction “P” while strut actuator 200 is held fixed relative to shaft 186, then the form 116 will be forced into a convex shape, whereas if strut actuators 196 and 198 are translated along shaft 186 in direction P′ while strut actuator 200 is held fixed relative to shaft 186, then the form 116 will be forced into a concave shape. As can be appreciated, by variably positioning strut actuators 196 and 198 relative to one another, and relative to shaft 186 (and thus the associate truss module 120 of FIG. 3), a variety of curved shapes for form 116 can be achieved. While truss modules 118 and 120 are depicted as each having eight struts, a lesser or greater number of struts can be used. The number of struts used can depend on the anticipated final structure to be formed using the apparatus. For example, the shape of the concrete structure to be produced, and the anticipated hydrostatic forces from the liquid concrete, will determine whether a lesser number of struts can be used (a large number of struts will accommodate more complex geometries, and will also resist greater hydrostatic loads).

[0088] Turning now to FIG. 6, a plan view of the truss module 120 of FIG. 2 is depicted in a plan view, but without the strut system depicted in FIG. 5. That is, FIG. 6 can be considered as the truss module 120 depicted in FIG. 1 minus the strut system depicted in FIG. 5. FIG. 6 allows the space frames 152 and 150 of FIG. 2 to be seen more clearly. The components of the truss module depicted in FIG. 6 include the end frames 144 and 142, the actuator frame 136, and the space frames 152 and 150 which place the respective end frames 144 and 142 in spaced-apart relationship from the actuator frame 136. End frames 144 and 142 are provided with connection brackets 199, allowing the apparatus 100 (FIG. 1) to be connected to adjacent, similar apparatus and therefore produce an integral concrete forming system (as will be described further below). Each space frame 150, 152 is pivotally connected to respective end frame 142, 144 by pins 238 at brackets 199, and each space frame 150, 152 is pivotally connected to the actuator frame 136 by pins 239. Further, each space frame 150, 152 is preferably comprised of adjustable length links 234, 236, allowing the end frames 142 and 144 to move in directions P and P′ relative to the actuator frame 136 (similar to movement of the strut actuators 196 and 198 relative to the shaft 186, as indicated in FIG. 5). To achieve this movement of end frames 142 and 144 relative to actuator frame 136, each space frame 150 and 152 can comprise adjustable links. Specifically, each space frame 150, 152 can include an upper forward adjustable link 236 (proximate the associate form, in this case form 116 of FIG. 2), and an upper distal adjustable link 234 (distal from form 116). Adjustable links 234 are preferably two-part adjustable links, having first part 234a and second part 234b which are pivotally connected to space frame cross member 247 by pivot pin 241. The use of a two-part adjustable link 234 allows a greater range of adjustability of the space frames 150, 152. Each space frame 150 and 152 is also provided with a complementary lower forward adjustable link (not seen in FIG. 6) and a lower two-part distal adjustable link (not seen in FIG. 6), to thereby generate adjustable, generally “box-shaped” (i.e., three dimensional) space frames 150, 152 between the respective end frames 142, 144 and the actuator frames 136 and 176 (FIG. 3). Preferably, the adjustable links 234, 236 are configured to be secured into their adjusted positions by pins, screws, clamps or other means which prevent relative movement between the sliding members of the adjustable links. Each space frame 150, 152 can also be provided with cross brace 247 and diagonal brace members 246 to provide additional structural rigidity to the space frames 150, 152 to thereby resist the hydrostatic forces imposed on the space frames by liquid concrete placed between the forms 114 and 116 (FIG. 1), which are imparted to the space frames via the actuators 196, 198 and 200 (FIG. 3). It will be appreciated that space frames 146 and 148 of truss module 118 (FIG. 2) can be constructed similarly to space frames 150 and 152 depicted in FIG. 6. The space frames 146, 148, 150 and 152 (FIG. 2), in conjunction with the actuator frames 134, 136, and the end frames 138, 140, 142 and 144, generally provide support for the deck modules 110 and 112 (FIG. 1), as described in more detail below.

[0089] Turning briefly to FIG. 10, a plan view of truss modules 118 and 120 is depicted, showing how the space frames 146 and 148 of truss module 118 articulate about actuator frame 134 to accommodate the convex shape of form 114, while space frames 150 and 152 of truss module 120 articulate about actuator frame 136 to accommodate the concave shape of form 116. However, it will be appreciated that the form ends of forms 114 and 116 will not align if the forms 114 and 116 are of the same length, due to the greater radius of form 116 than form 114. This situation can be addressed by the use of a form extender 299 which can be pivotally attached to module 120. The use of extender forms 299 increase the arc length of the outer form 116 to match-up with the arc length of the inner form 114.

[0090] The truss module structure 120 depicted in FIG. 6 supports the deck support system 204, and in the same manner the truss module structure 118 depicted in FIG. 1 supports the deck support system 202. As seen in FIG. 6, the deck support system 204 (which supports deck 112 of FIG. 1) comprises translatably associated deck support members 240 and 242 (two each) which are supported on space frames 150 and 152. Deck support members 240 are fixed to the end frames (142 or 144), and deck support members 242 are fixed to the actuator frame 136. Deck support members 240 and 242 are supported by space frame cross members 247, and are constrained by brackets 244. A similar configuration is employed for deck support system 202 (FIG. 2). Turning to FIG. 7, the truss module 120 of FIG. 6 is depicted in a rear view, but a number of the space frame components have been removed for clarity. FIG. 7 shows how the deck support members 240, 242 are supported on end frames 142 and 144, cross members 147, and actuator frame 136. In the view depicted in FIG. 10, it will be appreciated that the deck support members 240 and 242 of truss module 120 (see FIG. 6) will be been translated away from one another due to the expansion of the space frames 150 and 152, while the deck support members of the deck support system 202 of truss module 118 (see FIG. 2) will be translated closer to one another.

[0091] The deck support systems 202 and 204 (FIG. 2) can be used in conjunction with an adjustable-area decking system. Turning to FIG. 10, a plan view of the truss modules 118 and 120 of FIG. 2 are shown, but the truss modules 118 and 120 are shown in FIG. 10 as being adjusted into a curved shapes, and with adjustable-area deck plate systems 110 and 112 laid on top of the deck support systems (202 and 204, FIG. 2). Each deck plate system 110 and 112 (FIG. 10) includes a plurality of under-deck plates 294 which are preferably hingedly connected to the truss modules 118 and 120, and are placed in spaced-apart relationship from one another. The under-deck plates 294 can be perforated to allow water and concrete to fall away from the work surface. Placed over the gaps between the under-deck plates 294 are a series of over-deck plates 292 which are preferably hingedly connected to the truss modules 118 and 120. The over-deck plates 292, in combination with the under-deck plates 294, form a fan-type work deck system 110, 112, which can accommodate the expanded, or contracted, or curved, or straight shapes of the truss modules 118, 120 by relative movement of the deck plates 292 and 294 to one another. The deck plates can be fabricated from metal, such as expanded steel grating, or from a non-metallic material such as fiber reinforced plastic (“FRP”), which provides less friction between the upper-deck plates and the lower-deck plates. A non-metallic deck plate material also allows a degree of flexibility in the deck plates (within the plane of the deck plates) to accommodate changes in geometry of the associated truss module on which the work deck is supported. In addition to the fan-type deck plate systems 110 and 112, the truss modules can be provided with telescoping handrail systems 166 and 168 to allow the handrails at the outer edges of the work decks 110, 112 to also accommodate the change in size of the truss modules 118, 120 as they are placed in different configurations. As seen in FIG. 3, the work decks 110 and 112 are supported by, but not fixed to, the deck support systems (respectively, 202 and 204) so that the work decks (110, 112) are slidably disposed with respect to (i.e., can move in directions P and P′ relative to) the truss modules (respectively, 118, 120), but in conjunction with the respective forms 114 and 116. That is, the work decks 110, 112 are free to translate along with respective forms 114 and 116 relative to respective truss modules 118 and 120. Hinged connection 162 (between work deck 110 and form 114) and hinged connection 164 (between work deck 112 and form 116) allow the work decks 110 and 112 to stay in a relatively fixed position with respect to the forms (respectively, 114 and 116). In this way, as the forms 114 and 116 are translated in directions P and P′ (FIG. 3), the work decks 110 and 112 stay in close proximity to the associated form (114 or 116), thus eliminating a gap between the form and the work deck, as results in prior art concrete forming apparatus.

[0092] Turning to FIG. 8, a side elevation detail of attitude control module 130 of FIG. 1 is shown. As described above, the attitude control modules 130, 132 (FIG. 1) can also be considered as reaction force members to facilitate pulling the forms 114, 116 away from the face of the concrete structure “W” using the actuators 196, 198 and 200. As shown in FIG. 8, attitude control module 130 is connected to truss module 118 at flange 178. Attitude control module 130 comprises main frame 248, which supports upper attitude control actuator 260 and lower attitude control actuator 264. Actuators 260 and 264 engage respective attitude positioning shafts (“attitude positioners”) 254 and 256, which can be threaded shafts (similar to shaft 184, FIG. 3). When shafts 254 and 256 are threaded, then actuators 260 and 264 can be jack-screw actuators, similar to actuator 200, described above. Actuators 260 and 264 are preferably set in a fixed position in frame 248. Positioning shafts 254 and 256 are depicted as being fitted with wheels 266, which allow the attitude module 130 to track along the finished concrete wall “W”. Wheels 166 can be replaced with pads to reduce the number of moving parts, but wheels 166 can cause less damage to the face of the wall “W” as the apparatus 100 moves upward. Further, a combination of wheels and pads can be used. In this instance the wheels can be spring-loaded so that they are biased towards the climb-rod 99, and therefore contact the formed wall “W” when the forms 114, 116 translate outward and away from the formed concrete wall. However, when the forms 114 and 116 are translated towards the formed wall “W”, the spring-loaded wheels will be pressed into the attitude control modules 130, 132, and the pads will contact the formed wall. In another embodiment, the wheels 26 of the attitude control modules 130, 132 can be replaced with caterpillar tractor-type treads, which allows the reaction force of each of the attitude control modules to be spread over a larger surface area of the formed wall “W”. As is apparent, radial attitude control module 132 of FIG. 1 can be constructed similarly to attitude control module 130 of FIG. 8 (described above).

[0093] The attitude control modules 130 and 132 can be attached to the actuator frames 174, 176 (FIG. 3), end frames 138, 140, 142, 144, FIG. 2), and/or the space frames (146, 148, 150, 152, FIG. 2). The attitude control modules 130 and 132 can also be an integral part of the truss modules 118, 120 so that they are not “attached to” the truss modules, but are part of the truss modules. In this latter instance, the attitude control module frame 248 is but an extension of the truss module 118, and connection flanges 178 are not present. Attitude control modules 130 and 132 can also be a modular or integral extension of yoke 106.

[0094] In operation, attitude control actuators 260 and 264 can be used to individually position the radial attitude positioning shafts 254 and 256, and thereby alter the position of the apparatus 100 with respect to the climb rod 99 (FIG. 1). Further, the attitude control actuators 260 and 264 (in radial control modules 130 and 132) can be used in conjunction to cause the attitude positioning shafts 254 and 256 to push the forms 114 and 116 towards or away from the evolving wall “W”.

[0095] Turning now to FIG. 9, a side elevation detail of the yoke jacking system 108 of FIG. 1 is depicted. The yoke jacking system 108 is connected to the first and second arms 268 and 270 of the yoke 106 by flanges 262 and 274. As depicted, the yoke jacking system 108 comprises a yoke actuator frame 258 which supports upper and lower climb actuators 272. Climb actuators 272 can be annular screw jacks or hydraulic jacks which can alternately grip the climb pipe 99 to effect upward movement the yoke 106 in direction “Y” along the axis of the climb pipe 99. Climb actuators 272 can be operated in discrete fashion to effect a “jump-form” type operation of the concrete forming apparatus 100, or they can be operated in a continual fashion to effect a continuous “slip-form” casting mode. Turning again to FIG. 3, as was described previously, the yoke 106 of FIG. 1 is attached to the truss modules 118 and 120 by yoke flanges 180.

[0096] Preferably, yoke 106 is pivotally attached to lower yoke flanges 180, and is adjustably connected to upper yoke flanges 180. This is depicted in FIG. 8, which shows a ball-joint type pivot hinge 273 which is placed between the lower yoke attachment bracket 180 and the lower end of the yoke arm 286. The yoke positioning device further comprises an actuator 275 which causes relative movement between the yoke 106 and the truss module 118. The preferred direction of movement is into and out of the plane of the sheet on which the figure is drawn. In this way, in a side view of the truss module 118 of FIG. 8, the yoke 106 can be moved pivotally in either a clockwise or a counterclockwise rotational direction relative to the lower pivot connection 273. Since the yoke is anchored to the climb rod 99 (FIG. 9), the truss module 118 will be moved (rather than the yoke), allowing sway control of the apparatus 100 as the yoke actuators 272 move the apparatus 100 in the upward “Y” direction. As can be appreciated, a similar arrangement as that shown in FIG. 8 can be provided for truss module 120. In this way the climbing device 108 can be plumbed or adjusted in directions “R1” or “R2” (FIG. 3) with the attitude control modules and, in plan view, in directions orthogonal to “R1” and “R2” (i.e., into and out of the plane of the sheet on which FIG. 3 is drawn) with the tangential or sway control effected by actuator 275 acting about the lower ball-joint type pivot hinge 273 referenced to a predetermined reference point, such as a point on the ground, by using yoke adjustment devices. The yoke adjustment devices can be made additionally adjustable in the “R1” and “R2” directions to augment the attitude control effected by the attitude control modules 130 and 132, for example, with threaded nuts on a threaded shaft, wherein the nuts are placed between each yoke arm (268, 270) and each flange 180 in conjunction with sway control devices 273 and 275 so that the nuts can be used to urge the yoke arms in a direction (“inward” or “outward”) relative to the flange 180. It will be appreciated that a further means of tangential or sway control (i.e., in a direction into and out of the plane of the sheet upon which FIG. 3 is drawn) can be accomplished in a global or system sense by attitude control modules 130, 132 of associated forming apparatus 100 oriented with a vector component in the direction of the sway of climbing device 108 into or out of the plane of the sheet upon which FIG. 3 is drawn. As an example, the attitude control modules stabilizing yokes 106B and 106D in localized directions “R1” and “R2” along the short sides of system 350 of FIG. 12, especially near the corners, can accomplish the sway control of yokes 106A and 106C along the long sides of system 350. In a like manner, the attitude control modules stabilizing the yokes 106A and 106C in localized directions “R1” and “R2” along the long sides of system 350, especially those nearest the corners, can accomplish the sway control of yokes 106B and 106D along the short sides of system 350.

[0097] As previously discussed, FIG. 10 shows how the truss modules 118 and 120 can be configured using the adjustable struts (155, 156, 206, 208, 158, 160, 210, 212, etc. of FIG. 2) and the space-frame adjustable links (234, 236), described above, for placing the apparatus 100 in a radial arc shape. By connecting several so-shaped apparatus 100 together, a closed-circle concrete forming apparatus can be formed, and the assemblage of the discrete concrete forming apparatus into the closed-circle concrete forming apparatus can then be used to generate a vertical silo.

[0098] In addition to the standard concrete forming apparatus 100 depicted in FIGS. 6 through 10, specialized concrete forming apparatus can be provided, in accordance with the present invention. FIG. 11 depicts one such specialized apparatus 300. The apparatus 300 of FIG. 11 is shown in a plan view, and the yoke (106, FIG. 1) and work-decks 110, 112 (FIG. 1) have been removed for clarity. The apparatus 300 of FIG. 11 is specially constructed to form corners of a concrete structure, and includes a first truss module 318 which supports forms 314a and 314b, and a second truss module 320 which supports forms 316a and 316b. As can be seen, truss module 318 is longer than truss module 320. Accordingly, shortened truss modules (similar to module 120 of FIG. 2, but having only a single set of upper and lower struts) can be connected to end frames 142 and 144 of truss module 320 in respective areas A1 and A2, so that the end frames of the shortened truss module 320 will align with the end frames 138 and 140 of truss module 318. Truss module 318 essentially comprises two of the truss modules 118 (FIG. 2) joined together at a truss pivot assembly 338. That is, truss module 318 comprises space frame and strut assemblies 346 and 348 which are joined together at truss pivot assembly 338. Truss sub-module 346 supports form section 314a, and truss sub-module 348 supports form section 314b. Form sections 314a and 314b are hingedly joined at hinge 340, allowing the form sections 314a and 314b to form a sharp angle, rather than a curved shape (as in FIG. 10). Likewise, truss module 320 comprises standard space frames 150 and 152, as described above, but space frame 150 supports form section 316a, while space frame 152 supports form section 316b. Form sections 316a and 316b are hingedly joined at hinge 339, allowing the form sections 316a and 316b to form a sharp angle. The form sections 314a, 314b, 316a and 316b together form a corner area “C”. If a sharp outside corner is not desired, then a rounding form can be placed between form sections 316a and 316b to round the corner. Each space frame 346, 348 of truss module 318 of the corner forming apparatus 300 can be articulated at least 45 degrees about a centerline “CL” which joins form hinges 340 and 339, and likewise each space frame 150, 152 of truss module 320 can be articulated at least 45 degrees about the centerline “CL”. In this way corners of varying angles can be produced with the corner forming apparatus 300.

[0099] Since actuator frame 337 of truss module 320 of FIG. 11 does not have a corresponding actuator frame in the truss module 318, the yoke assembly (such as 106 of FIG. 1) which is used to lift the apparatus 300 upward along the climb rod (e.g., climb rod 99 of FIG. 1) is preferably located where two actuator frames correspond (i.e., where two actuator frames are located adjacent one another between truss modules). Turning to FIG. 12, a plan view of a system 350 of a concrete structure forming apparatus in accordance with the present invention is depicted. The system 350 is generally configured to produce a rectangular, vertical concrete structure. The system 350 comprises four corner forming apparatus 300A, 300B, 300C and 300D. It is noted that corner forming apparatus 300A and 300B are joined along the long-dimensioned side of the rectangular form 350 by straight forming apparatus 100A, 100B, 100C, 100D, and so on. At the short-dimensioned sides of the rectangular form 350, truss modules 318A and 318D of corner forming apparatus 300A and 300D are joined directly together. However, the truss modules 320A and 320D of corner forming apparatus 300A and 300D are not joined directly together, but instead are provided with supplementary truss modules 120N and 120M. Likewise, whereas truss modules 318A and 318D are joined to respective straight forming apparatus 100A and 100Z, supplementary truss modules 120P and 120Q are provided to allow the outside truss modules 320A and 320D of corner-forming apparatus 300A and 300D to connect to the straight forming apparatus 100A and 100Z. As can also be seen in FIG. 12, each concrete forming apparatus that comprises part of the overall system 350 is not necessarily provided with a yoke. Specifically, along the long-dimensioned sides of the rectangular shape 350 only every other straight forming apparatus is provided with a lifting yoke (e.g., apparatus 100A and 100C are provided with respective yokes 106A and 106C, while forming apparatus 100B and 100D are not provided with yokes). However, along the short-dimensioned sides of the rectangular form 350, yokes 106B and 106D are connected to respective inner truss modules 318A and 318D, as well as to respective outer supplemental truss modules 120N and 120M. As can be seen by the example provided in FIG. 12, the number and location of yokes provided in any concrete forming system which includes concrete forming apparatus of the present invention will be governed by considerations such as the thickness of the concrete structure being formed and the final shape of the structure. The number and location of yokes will also be governed by: (1) resolving the hydrostatic forces of concrete exerted on the forms (114, 116) over the span of the truss modules (118, 120) to the yokes (106); (2) the gravity loads supported by each truss module 118, 120 (e.g., the loads on the work decks 110, 112); and (3) the stability of the overall concrete-forming system as the weight of the system bears on the climb rods (99).

[0100] Although I have described above a specific embodiment of a concrete forming apparatus of the invention, it will be appreciated that another embodiment of the present invention provides for a concrete forming module (such as 102 of FIG. 1) which can be used to retract concrete forms away from a concrete structure (or a partial concrete structure) which has been formed, or to move concrete forms into place to form a concrete structure. The module 102 includes a concrete form (114, FIG. 1) and a first actuator frame 134. The module 102 further includes a first form-translating actuator 200 which is supported by the actuator frame 134. A first elongated form-translating member (shaft 184), which is engaged by the form translating actuator 200, has a first end connected to the form 114. The form-translating actuator 200 is configured to move the form-translating member 184 relative to the actuator frame 134, to thereby translationally move the form 114 relative to the actuator frame 134. Preferably, the module 102 further includes a second actuator frame 174 which is spaced-apart from the first actuator frame 134, and connected to the first actuator frame, by a main frame 248. In this case the module 102 has a second form-translating actuator (200) supported by the second actuator frame 174, and a second elongated form-translating member (shaft 188) having a first end connected to the form 114 proximate a lower edge of the form (the first translating member 184 being connected to the form 114 proximate an upper edge thereof). The second form-translating member 188 is engaged by the second form-translating actuator 200 (lower), and the second form translating actuator (lower 200) is configured to move the second form-translating member (188) relative to the second actuator frame 174. Preferably, when two form translating actuators (200 upper and lower) are provided, the first and the second form translating members (184, 188) are each connected to the form 114 by a hinged connector (e.g., pin 192), allowing the form to “tilt”, such as indicated by 116a in FIG. 3.

[0101] The concrete forming module 102 can further include a first space frame (146, FIG. 2) connected to the first side of the actuator frame 134, and a second space frame 148 connected to the second side of the actuator frame. A first end-frame 138 can be connected to the first space frame 146 distal from the actuator frame 134, and a second end-frame 140 can be connected to the second space frame 148 distal from the actuator frame 134. A work deck 110 (FIG. 1) can be supported by the actuator frame 134 and the first and second end frames (138, 140).

[0102] Yet another embodiment of the present invention provides for a concrete forming module (such as module 102) which can be used to shape a semi-flexible concrete form into a curvilinear shape to thereby allow casting of various geometries of structures, all using the same form module. The concrete forming module 102 includes a semi-flexible concrete form (such as form 114, which can be made of steel of a sufficient thinness that it can be resiliently deformed into a desired shape). The module 102 includes an actuator frame (such as frame 134, FIG. 2), and a form-shaping actuator supported by the actuator frame. The form-shaping actuator can be any of actuators 196, 198 or 200. The module 102 further comprises an elongated form-anchoring member (such as shaft 184) having a first end connected to the form 114 at an anchor point (e.g., at pin 192, FIG. 3). The form-anchoring member 184 is connected to the actuator frame 134. This connection of the form-anchoring member 184 to the actuator frame 134 can be either a fixed connection, or a moveable connection. The module 102 further includes a form-shaping member (such as strut 155, 156, 206 or 208 of FIG. 2) having a first end connected to the form 114 (as at form support members 222, 224, 226 or 228 of FIG. 5), and a second end connected to the form shaping actuator (e.g., 196, 198 or 200). The connection of the form-shaping member (e.g., strut 155, 156, 206 or 208) to the form shaping actuator (e.g., 196, 198 or 200) can either be direct, as in the case of actuators 196, 198 (FIG. 3), or indirect, as in the case of actuator 200 (where the connection is through the form-anchoring member (shaft 184)). The form-shaping actuator (196, 198 or 200) is configured to produce relative movement between the second end of the form-shaping member (e.g., the end of strut 155 which is closest to the actuator frame 134, as seen in FIG. 2) and the anchor point (e.g., pin 192, FIG. 3) to thereby urge the form 114 into a curvilinear shape.

[0103] In this latter embodiment the form-shaping actuator can be configured to move within the actuator frame to effect movement of the second end of the form-shaping member (e.g., strut 155) relative to the anchor point (e.g., pin 192). Specifically, actuator 196 or 198 can be used in the manner described above, wherein the “form-anchoring member” (shaft 184) is held stationary by actuator 200, so that actuation of the jack-screw actuator (196 or 198) causes the actuator 196, 198 to move within the actuator frame 134 on guides 194 (FIG. 3). Alternately, the form-shaping actuator can be configured to move the elongated anchor member relative to the actuator while the actuator remains stationary. This can be accomplished by using actuator 200 to move the “form anchoring member” (shaft 184) relative to the actuator frame 134.

[0104] I will now describe how the apparatus described above can be operated.

[0105] I) Mobilization-Demobilization

[0106] Concrete forming apparatus of the present invention, such as apparatus 100 of FIG. 1, will typically be mobilized to and from a construction site in a state of advanced assembly. Several standard modules 102, 104 can be connected in a chain (as in modules 100A, 110B, 100C of FIG. 12) and transported in a straight format on a semi-trailer with the opposed form faces (114, 116) set closely together and the actuator shafts (184, 186, 188, 190 of FIG. 3) retracted fully into the actuator frames (134, 136, 174, 176) to minimize the width of the module pair (102, 104). Yokes 106 can be shipped in halves (e.g., arms 268 and 270 of FIG. 9 shipped separately), with the jacking subassembly 108 attached to one of the frame halves. Climb pipes 99 (FIG. 1) can be stacked as pipe. Attitude control modules 130 and 132 (FIG. 1) and other components can be stacked on pallets.

[0107] II) Set-Up

[0108] Each module chain (comprised of several standard apparatus modules 102, 104 in opposed pairs) can be lifted as a unit off of a semi trailer onto the foundation “F” (FIG. 1) or nearby on a flat, level surface. These module chains can then be manually configured, module-by-module, into the intended geometric format that will effect the reinforced concrete wall or shell segment of the structure, or an entire structure such as shown in FIG. 12. Actuation of the modules 102, 104 into the desired geometry is accomplished by setting struts (155, 156, 206, 208, 158, 160, 210 and 212) to a predetermined length and setting strut actuators (196, 198) to the predetermined location along actuator shafts (184, 186, 188, 190). The adjustable links (234, 236, FIG. 6) of the space frames (146, 148, 150, 152, FIG. 2) are allowed to telescope relative to one another during this actuation process to set the form geometry. Extender form adaptors such as 372 (FIG. 10A) and end-of-wall adaptors (not shown, and which are used to closed the open ends between forms 114 and 116 to constrain concrete between the forms when the forms are not arranged in a closed shape, as in FIG. 122) can then be attached to the required form ends. Any required incremental length modules (e.g., 120M, 120N, 120P and 120Q of FIG. 12) are inserted within and between the various module chains to effect the exact curvilinear structural length desired. The adjustable links 234, 236 (FIG. 6) of the truss modules 118, 120 can then be locked in place to freeze the structural shape. These module chains are then lifted into place straddling the foundation dowel rebar (which typifies the base of most reinforced concrete structures), and typically also a form height of completely-installed horizontal structure reinforcing steel (“rebar”) (since there is little or no access to install this reinforcing steel after the forms 114, 116 are in place). As these module chains and individual modules are landed on the foundation, they can be rough-leveled. The free ends of the module chains and individual modules are then pinned together with pins at common end frame anchor flanges 199 (FIG. 6), adjoining work deck panels (such as 296, FIG. 10) are set in place, and the adjoining handrail is attached together. After the entire segment length (or whole structure length) of modules 102, 104 are in place and pinned together, the modules are then fine-leveled (or set to a desired wall slope) by shimming under each flange of the end frames (e.g., 142, 144) and under the actuator frames (134, 136). Yoke modules 106 are then lowered into place at their prescribed support location along the jump-slip form system (see FIG. 12, for example) and are attached and plumbed radially to a reference point, such as the end frame pairs (140, 144 of FIG. 2), specifically, the lower pair of actuator frames (174, 176) or at the frame support points (180, FIG. 3). The yokes 106 are then plumbed tangentially to the truss modules 118, 120 by adjusting the upper support point (proximate upper flange 180) relative to lower support point (proximate lower flange 180). Next, a climb pipe 99 (FIG. 1) is lowered down through the yoke jacking assembly 108 to the foundation “F”. The initial climb pipe 99, as well as subsequent spliced climb pipes, can be sized to stick up above the top of the yoke 106 by several form heights, so as to reduce the frequency of splicing subsequent climb pipes. The climb pipe 99 is plumbed tangentially (into or out of the plane of the sheet upon which FIG. 3 is drawn), and plumbed radially (in directions “R1” and “R2” of FIG. 3) (or set to a predefined radial slope for sloped walls), inherently by its reference to the bores on the upper and lower yoke jacks (272, FIG. 9) through which the climb pipe 99 has been placed. Next, modular power and control units are mounted along the work decks (110, 112, FIG. 1) and connected to the truss module actuators (196, 198, 200), the attitude control module actuators (260, 264, FIG. 8), yoke jacks 272, and GPS or other geometric monitoring and control systems. Any other support subsystems such as, but not limited to, welder leads, cutting torch gas lines, and climate control lines (forms can be provided with a climate control system to facilitate hot and cold weather concreting) can also be attached between modules 102 and 104 at this time. The final activity before beginning construction of the reinforced concrete structure is to prepare the forms with a release agent, and globally actuate the forms 114, 116 into place relative to the support truss structures 118 and 120. To insure a proper preload between the forms (114, 116) and support truss modules (118, 120) on the initial concrete lift (when in discrete casting mode), the bottom back edge of the forms (114, 116) at their middle and ends is preferably braced to the concrete foundation “F” (FIG. 1) with concrete anchors. Subsequent preload (for the discrete casting mode) is accomplished by thrusting the bottom edge of the form face 114, 116 against the top edge of the evolving concrete structure (such as wall “W”, FIG. 1) after it has achieved adequate strength. The preload can compensate for deflection or “bulging” of the forms 114, 116 due to the hydrostatic forces of the liquid concrete as it is deposited between the forms.

[0109] III) Operation

[0110] There are two primary modes of operation of the apparatus of the present invention: discrete casting and continuous casting, which are performed by the apparatus to achieve either vertical segmental casting of discrete concrete segments, or casting of the entire structure all-at-once. I will now describe each of these modes separately.

[0111] a) Discrete Casting Mode

[0112] The set-up (described above) will have generally prepared the apparatus 100 for casting the first lift or jump of concrete, lifts being typically the form height in classical jump-forming, but in the case of the “jump-slip machine” (apparatus 100, or 350 for example), the forms on subsequent lifts are overlapped somewhat with the previous pour to allow preloading of the forms against the cured concrete, and to effect smoother, less noticeable, horizontal joints than is typically the case for prior-art jump forming wherein the forms are placed directly above one another (with no overlap). Prior to pouring concrete, any block-outs (e.g., door, windows, etc.) or embedments are placed between the forms 114 and 116, and fastened to the form faces with fasteners, and any spreaders (as discussed below) are attached to the forms 114, 116. The first “lift” is then poured into the void area 90 (FIG. 1) between the forms (114, 116) by way of a concrete pump truck trunk or a concrete bucket, and then vibrated until the form height is achieved. Although the support truss modules (118 and 120) and yoke system 106 will generally be relatively rigid and will have been preloaded by the actuators (196, 198 and 200) relative to the form modules (114, 116) to achieve tight geometric thickness control of the concrete section, even tighter dimensional tolerances at the top of forms 114, 116 can be achieved by placing rigid steel spreaders at stiffener members (170, 222, 224, 226 and 228, FIG. 5) at the top of the forms around the perimeter of the forms before a pouring. While sufficient time passes to cure the just-poured concrete to a specified minimum strength before releasing the forms 114, 116 for the next lift, reinforcing steel (“rebar”) can be placed for the next lift of concrete. Access to place reinforcing At and pour concrete is provided on both sides of the evolving structural section on the work decks 110, 112. The work decks 110, 112 can be supplied with concrete and reinforcing steel, and other materials, by way of individual equipment such as mobile cranes and concrete pump trucks or, more preferably, it can be supplied with a specialized modular tower crane which is located so that the swing of the boom of the crane has sufficient access to all parts of the segment or whole structure (e.g., structure 350 of FIG. 12). Being modular in nature, the tower crane will be able to self-increment its height. At such time as the reinforcing steel for the second lift is in place and the first lift has attained adequate strength, the forms 114, 116 are released away from the cured concrete, and can also be tilted as described in association with FIG. 3 (see tilted form 116a). End-of-wall adapters and end-of-segment adaptors (which close the open the ends of forms 114, 116 to constrain concrete between the forms when the forms are not arranged in a closed configuration as depicted in FIG. 12) are also then released from the apparatus 100, and rotated away from the cast concrete, and any end-of-segment end plates 281 (a moveable end-of-segment adapter) are lifted to the next level. Before raising the jump-slip system 100, the forms (114, 116) are preferably cleaned and oiled by personnel on the work-decks 110, 112 for the next lift. (Cleaning before raising the machine to the next level prevents loose concrete and oil from contaminating the cold joints.) The top edge of the cured concrete of the first lift is also cleaned of any loose concrete so that the bottom edge of the forms 114, 116 will interface cleanly with this edge and form a tight overlap. The jump-slip machine (100 of FIG. 1, or 350 of FIG. 12) can then be raised to the next level by activating the yoke jacks 272 (FIG. 9). As the control of the system is intended to be automated, an operator can instruct a programmable logic controller (“PLC”) to execute the lift, and all forms will automatically be raised to the predetermined elevation. Elevation can be monitored through an array of GPS sensors that locate the forms 114, 116 in three dimensions to thereby maintain the intended structure geometry. Following the initial lift, there will now be sufficient room between the form system (truss modules 118 and 120) and the foundation “F” to attach the attitude control modules 130, 132 (FIG. 1) using anchor flanges 178 (FIG. 3). This arrangement of mounting the attitude control modules 130, 132 immediately below the yoke module 106 provides a rigid mounting, and will result in high dimensional control of the evolving structure by the modules 130, 132. However, due to openings or obstructions in the resulting structure where the radial attitude control modules 130, 132 cannot thrust off of the structure, the attitude control modules may need to be mounted to the truss modules 118, 120 adjacent to the yoke arms 268, 270 (FIG. 9) on nearby actuator frames (frames 134, 136 of an adjacent apparatus 100), or on the end frames (138, 140, 142, 144, FIG. 2)), or on the spaces frames (146, 148, 150, 152, FIG. 2). Once the attitude control modules 130, 132 are attached, they can then be connected to the power and control system, and the PLC can be instructed to effect a full radial alignment of the jump-slip system by way of simultaneously or iteratively actuating these attitude control modules (130, 132) using actuators 260, 264 (FIG. 8). This radial alignment, in combination with the yoke-climb pipe 99 tangential or sway alignment and vertical progression (height of climb module 108), generally fully aligns the jump-slip machine in three dimensions along the entire form perimeter. The form modules 114, 116 are then actuated back into the structure-forming position, and the bottom edge of the forms are pre-loaded against the top edge of the first concrete lift over a specified overlap distance that will not overload the just-poured concrete. Again, any block-outs or embedments can be inserted and fastened at this time, and spreaders can be attached to the form tops. Concrete is then poured again, as described above, and the discrete casting process is repeated until the full structure height is effected. Climb pipe 99 can be periodically spliced onto the existing climb pipe with threads and/or welds. Because the intended structure height may not be a precise multiple of the “effective form height ” (i.e., the actual height of the forms 114, 116 minus the overlap), the final pour may be poured to only some fraction of the effective form height.

[0113] b) Continuous Casting Mode

[0114] The set-up, described above, will generally have prepared the jump-slip machine (100 of FIG. 1, 350 of FIG. 12, for example) for continuous-mode casting. Typically the jump-slip standard module pairs (102, 104) will be delivered to the construction site as described in the “set-up”, above, but they will have form liners, such as plywood, attached to the form faces 114, 116 to allow a continuous release of the concrete as it is formed. During the set-up, the forms 114, 116 will have been actuated into a format that is relieved downward (i.e., the tops of forms 114 and 116 will be slightly tilted towards one another, opposite of the direction of tilt indicated by form 116a in FIG. 4). This will allow a smooth transition of the form past the concrete, which will be in various stages of setting-up and curing as the structure is being formed. As with the discrete casting mode described above, prior to pouring concrete any block-outs or embedments are placed within the forms and fastened to the form faces 114, 116 in the first form height. Unlike the discrete casting mode, in continuous casting operation subsequent block-outs or embedments can be inserted in between the forms 114, 116 amongst the continuous process of installing rebar and pouring concrete. Continuous casting is initiated with the pouring of nearly the full form height, and any final geometric changes to the structural width are made at this time while the concrete is in a fluid state by moving the individual strut actuators 196, 198 in or out using actuators 200, and, to a limited extent, moving the strut actuators in or out relative to the actuator shafts 184, 186, 188, 190 by actuating the actuators 196 and/or 198. Reinforcing (“rebar”) is installed essentially continuously and simultaneously with the pouring of concrete. The reinforcing progression should stay above the forms 114, 116 a sufficient distance to allow inspection of the reinforcing before it is cast in concrete. In an automatic control mode, the PLC can be pre-set to activate simultaneously all yoke jacks 272 to effect a continuous upward pregression of the jump-slip system 100 at a predetermined rate, which can be modified at any time to slow-down or speed-up the casting process to match the rate at which the personnel are installing the reinforcing and concrete, or depending on variances in concrete curing times. As the jump-slip system gets high enough off the foundation, the radial attitude control modules 130, 132 can be attached (as described above) and connected to the power and control system. The radial attitude control modules 130, 132 can then become an active part of the PLC-controlled alignment system and, together with the tangential control and elevation control, they can continuously maintain the jump-slip system 100 in the predetermined geometry within the allowed tolerances. When the height of the evolving structure permits, fixed or trolley-type swing scaffolds can be attached to the lower actuator frames (174, 176, FIG. 3) and the end frames (138, 140, 142, 144, FIG. 2) to allow any required finishing of the slip-formed concrete surface. The continuous casting process then proceeds as described above until the desired structure height is achieved. As with discrete casting mode, climb pipe segments 99 are periodically spliced on to the previous climb pipe to maintain the yoke jacks 272 with a climb member to effect vertical or near vertical progression of the apparatus 100.

[0115] IV) Take-down

[0116] After the concrete structure has been formed, the jump-slip form system (comprising a plurality of connected apparatus 100, or variations thereof such as corner forming apparatus 300A of FIG. 12) can then be lifted down from the completed reinforced concrete segment (or the completed whole structure) in module chains with a mobile crane or specialized tower crane. Near the ground the radial alignment control modules (130, 132) and any swing scaffolds are preferably removed from the truss modules 118 and 120. Then the yokes 106 can be lifted to the ground. The protruding climb pipes 99 can then be cut off flush with (or recessed into) the formed structure and patched over. The remainder of the take-down is essentially the reverse of “set-up”, described above.

[0117] The apparatus described above, and variations thereon described in my U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/131,838, as well as alternate embodiments described below, can be used to fabricate vertical concrete building support structures (“building support structures”). These building support structures allow high-rise buildings to be constructed which avoid many of the problems described above with respect to prior art high-rise buildings and their methods of construction. I will now describe additional methods and apparatus of the present invention which can be used to construct such building support structures and the resultant buildings. I will also describe the buildings themselves, which include many advantageous aspects over prior art high-rise buildings. By “high-rise building” I mean a structure for housing people and/or equipment, and which is by standard definition 12 or more stories high. A “story” is generally considered to be approximately 3-4 meters (10-13 feet) in height. While each story of such a building is typically defined by a floor and a ceiling, in some instances a floor and associated ceiling can be spaced apart by multiple stories. For example, the lobby of a high-rise office building can span 6 meters (approx. 20 feet) or more in height, thus making the lobby a “two-story” (or more) lobby. In some applications (such as an industrial plant) a high-rise building can have sections where there are no defined floors or ceilings. Although the methods and apparatus of the present invention are particularly useful for constructing high-rise buildings, they can be used to equal effect to construct buildings that do not fit the above definition of “high-rise building”.

[0118] Turning now to FIG. 13, a side elevation view of a high-rise building 10 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention is depicted. The building includes a plurality of “floors” 11, and rests on a foundation “F”. Turning to FIG. 14, a plan sectional view of the building 10 of FIG. 13 is depicted. The building 10 includes a vertically oriented building support structure 20 which is supported on the foundation (“F”, FIG. 13) and supports the “floors” 11. By “floor” I mean a building space defined by a floor surface 12 and a ceiling surface. Typically, in office and residential buildings, a concrete slab will define the ceiling surface of a first floor, as well as the floor surface of the next higher vertically oriented floor. As will be described further below, multiple (or single) floors can be contained in a building module which can be supported by the building support structure 20. The building support structure 20 depicted in FIG. 14 has a perimeter wall 22 which (as depicted) consists of 4 wall segments arranged in a square closed-shape when viewed in the horizontal cross section depicted in FIG. 14. The perimeter wall 22 has an outward-facing outer surface 22o, and an inward-facing inner surface 22i. The perimeter wall 22 defines an open inner area 21 (i.e., the entire area bounded by the inner surface 22i of perimeter wall 22). The support structure 20 depicted in FIG. 14 further includes interior walls 24. As depicted, the “interior walls” 24 can be considered as two intersecting walls, each wall having a first end and a second end in contact with the inner surface of the perimeter wall 22. In this way, each interior wall 24 bifurcates the open inner area 21 of the building support structure 20. The building support structure 20 further includes a floor diaphragm 32 which is disposed within the open inner area 21 and is connected to the building support structure 20 at the inner surface 22i of the perimeter wall 22. The floor diaphragm 32 can be used for multiple purposes, described below. For example the floor diaphragm 32 can provide walkways to allow people to access elevator shafts 28 which can be placed in the open inner area 21. In this case, openings (not shown) can be provided in the perimeter wall 22 to allow personnel to move from the floor surface 12 to the walkways or hallway floor panels 32. As can be seen, the floor diaphragm 32 does not need to have contiguous contract with the perimeter of the inner surface 22i of the perimeter wall 22, but can have void areas. When multiple floor diaphragms have void areas which align, then a continuous, open vertical passageway 26 can be formed through the building 10. These open vertical passageways 26 can be used to receive service passageways (not shown). Examples of “service passageways” include, without limitation, water pipes, electrical conduits, HVAC air ducts, stairways, elevator shafts 28, etc. Thus, some or all of the utilities for the building can be placed in the inner open area 21 of the building support structure 20. This is a particularly advantageous arrangement since the utilities will thus be protected by the perimeter wall 22. For example, if a fire is burning in the primary floor space 12, the utilities (which can include water for extinguishing the fire) located in the inner area 21 will not be affected to the point where they can no longer fulfill their function.

[0119] Turning to FIG. 15, a partial side sectional view of the building 10 depicted in FIGS. 13 and 14 is shown. FIG. 15 depicts the top several floors 11 (or “stories”) of the building 10. The building support structure 20 is visible, as are the elevator shafts 28, the floor diaphragms 32, and the open vertical passageways 26. In one embodiment, floor slabs for each floor can be attached to the perimeter wall 22 of the building support structure 20. In a preferred embodiment, depicted in FIG. 15, one or more floors 11 (actually, sections of floors) are provided in the form of a “building module” 58. Turning briefly to FIG. 19, a detail of the upper right corner of the building 10 depicted in FIG. 15 is shown. Two building modules 58 are shown in side view. The upper building module 58 includes floors n, n−1 and n−2, which are defined by floor slabs 12. The lower building module 58 includes floors n−3, n−4 and n−5, which are also defined by floor slabs 12. Building modules 58 can be juxtaposed to the outer surface of the perimeter wall 22, and can be attached to the perimeter wall in a number of different manners, as will be described further below. Generally, the building modules 58 are attached to the building support structure 20 in a cantilevered fashion. That is, the building modules 58 are cantilevered off of the perimeter wall 22. Supports 60 (such as steel cables or metal rods, for example) can be attached to the floor slabs and the perimeter wall 22, as well as to module interior walls 53, to provide additional support for the building module 58 from the building support structure 20. As can be seen, floor “n−3” is actually defined by a space between the upper and lower building modules 58. A facade 52 covers the outward-facing ends of each building module 58. The facade can include windows and other design panels which provide the building 10 with its outward appearance.

[0120] A building in accordance with the present invention is not limited to the use of building modules (such as modules 58 of FIG. 15) for the primary useable space of the building. Rather than modularize the useable space, a separate “floor” can be attached to the building support structure of the present invention. For example, the modules 58 of FIG. 15 can be considered as separate floors. I will use the expression “floor” to include any type of structure which is attached to the building support structure and provides useable space. Typically, a “floor” will be a concrete panel (typically pre-stressed) which defines the floor space of an office or an apartment. A “floor” can also include a steel structure (either solid plate steel, a steel frame, or a combination thereof). Other types of “floor” configurations can also be used (wood structures, composite structures, etc.) The “floor” does not need to be a continuous panel, but can have openings (such as a work deck in a process plant). In any event, “floors” are attached to the outer surfaces of the building support structure of the present invention by being supported in a cantilevered manner. This can be accomplished by using tension rods or cables (60, FIG. 19) or simple angular bracing which attached at a first end to the outer surface of the building support structure, and as a second end to the “floor”. Such angular bracing can be provided below a floor (to put the bracing in compression), above a floor (as in FIG. 15) to put the bracing in tension, or a combination. A notable feature of the present invention is that a first, lower floor or building module attached to a building support structure of the present invention does not necessarily (and preferably does not) bear any load of a second, higher floor or building module. That is, floors or building modules attached to the building support structure of the present invention are not dependent on one another for support. Preferably, for two vertically adjacent floors or building modules, a first one of the floors or building modules will bear 10% or less of the weight of the immediately adjacent floor or building module above it. This feature allows each floor or building module to be individually designed, in shape and functionality, independent of the shape and functionality of the other floors or building modules.

[0121] As can be seen in FIG. 19, a gap 56 can be provided between adjacent building modules 58. This gap 56 can allow slight rotational movement (i.e., clockwise or counterclockwise, as viewed in FIG. 19) of one building module 58 with respect to the other. For example, if wind or seismic loads deflect the upper portion of the building 10 of FIG. 13 in a right-ward direction (i.e., producing clockwise rotation of the upper portion of the building 10), then the gap 56 of FIG. 19 will tend to be reduced. This arrangement allows flexibility of the building 10, which allows the building to more easily accommodate seismic and wind loads. As will be described further below, a stop-element can be placed in the gap 56 so that after a preselected amount of building deflection is encountered, further deflection will be resisted. For example, an elastomeric compound can be placed in the gap area 56. As the building deflects in the manner just described and the building modules 58 come closer together at the outward-facing ends (at facade 52), the elastomeric compound will be compressed, thus resisting further deflection of the building. A flexible facade element (not shown), such as a bellows, an elastic sheet, or a sliding sheet arrangement, can be provided at facade elements 56 in order to cover the gap 56 and resist intrusion of ambient air and rain into the area between building modules 58.

[0122] Turning to FIG. 16, a side view of the upper portion of building support structure 20 of FIG. 14 is shown. FIG. 16 shows how openings 30 can be formed in the perimeter wall 22, allowing access to the floor diaphragms 32 (only one of which is shown in FIG. 16). The openings 30 can be, for example, personnel openings at the location where a building module (58, FIG. 19) is located juxtaposed to the outer surface of the perimeter wall 22, to thereby allow personnel to move between the building module and the open inner area 21 within the building support structure 20. For example, if stairways and/or elevator shafts are located in the open inner area 21, then personnel can move from residential or office building modules to the elevators or stairs. Likewise, the openings 30 can allow service personnel to access utilities and the like which can be located in service passageways (conduits, pipes, ducts, etc.) placed in the inner open area 21. In another embodiment, described more fully below, the openings 30 can be vehicle openings to allow vehicles access to the inner open area 21, in which vehicle ramps can be located to allow vehicles to move upward or downward in the building to vehicle parking spaces on designated parking floors. The access openings 30 can also be used to provide utilities from service passageways within the inner open area 21 to the building modules supported on the building support structure 20.

[0123] Turning to FIG. 17, a detail of the upper left corner of the building support structure 20 depicted in plan view in FIG. 14 is shown. FIG. 17 depicts a cross sectional plan view of the corner of perimeter wall 22, showing one embodiment of how the perimeter wall 22 can be configured. As shown, the perimeter wall 22 includes a cast, reinforced concrete central support shell 36 which can be cast using the apparatus described above with respect to FIGS. 1-12. The perimeter wall 22 further includes an outer coating 34 of ceramic or other fire protective material on the exterior of the concrete shell 36, as well as an inner coating 35 of ceramic or other fire protective material on the interior of the concrete shell 36. As the concrete shell 36 is cast, post tension tendon ducts 38 can be placed in the concrete shell 36. The post tension tendon ducts 38 can be provided with a ceramic or other heat protective lining 37.

[0124] Turning to FIG. 18, a side elevation, sectional view of the corner of the building support structure 20 of FIG. 17 is shown. The building support structure 20 is supported on a foundation “F”, which is located in a subterranean location (beneath the surface 41 of the surrounding terrain). The foundation “F” can include a spread foundation or pile cap 47 which is supported on piles or caissons 40. In order to maintain the concrete in the perimeter wall 22 of the support structure 20 in constant compression, even during earthquakes and under wind loads, the perimeter wall (and any interior walls within the support structure 20) are preferably post-tensioned. Accordingly, the perimeter wall 22 can include post-tension tendon ducts 38, in which post-tension tendons 44 can be placed. The process of post-tensioning concrete structures is well known in the art, and need not be described in detail. Generally, in post-tensioning, one end of a post-tension tendon is typically anchored at one end or side of a concrete structure, and the other end of the tendon is connected to a jack, such as a hydraulic jack, at the other end or side of the structure. The jack pulls on the tendon until a predetermined tension is achieved in the tendon, at which time the tendon is anchored to the structure at the jacking end. The jack can then be removed, or can be left in place for later adjustment of the tension in the tendon. Accordingly, post-tension tendons 44 can pass from the top of perimeter wall 22, where a post-tension anchor (or jack) 48 is located, to the bottom of the perimeter wall. Preferably, the post-tension tendons 44 pass through the foundation pile cap 47 in order to additionally secure the perimeter wall 22 to the foundation “F”. The lower ends of tendons 44 are connected to jack (or post-tension anchor) 46. That is, the post-tensioning jack can be either item 48 at the top of the perimeter wall 22, or item 46 at the bottom of the perimeter wall 22 (and thus the post-tension anchor is alternately item 46 or item 48). Further, items 48 and 46 can both be post-tensioning jacks. In an alternative arrangement, an intermediate post-tension jack/anchor 50 can be provided so that as the perimeter wall is evolved upward, it can be post-tensioned. The lower post-tensioning jack/anchor 46 can be accessed via a tunnel 42 which provides a crawl-space 43. In addition to post-tensioning the perimeter wall 22, the foundation 47 can also be post-tensioned by providing foundation post-tensioning ducts 49 and foundation post-tensioning tendons 45.

[0125] Of particular note is how the building support structures of the present invention handle the relatively large out-of-plane bending and associated high transverse shears and rotational deflections due to the force couple reactions created when supporting the horizontally cantilevered dead and live loads of a “floor” or building module. The building support structure of the present invention can be described as a “thick shell structure”, versus a “thin shell structure.” These expressions are well understood in the art of designing structures. Generally, load analysis of a thin shell structure does not take into account the thickness of the support member, whereas load analysis of a thick shell structure does. Since thin shell concrete structures are not suited to handle large transverse shears, they must be thickened significantly to receive these force couples. This “thickening” can be effectively accomplished in several ways: (1) by centering the force couple reactions along an inherent stiffened section of the wall as occurs at a corner or where an orthogonal wall butts into the wall (see wall intersects that occur along lines a, b, c and a′, b′ and c′ of FIG. 14), (2) by thickening the wall several fold along its height and width to enable it to handle these large force couple reactions anywhere along its face (e.g. see the perimeter wall 622 of FIG. 38 which is made “thick” by providing concrete-saving voids 623), (3) by providing thickened horizontal sections of the wall where these large forces are reacted to the wall, thus transferring this load laterally in beam action to adjacent, orthogonal walls or intermediate stiffener walls (e.g. at the threshold diaphragm level 632 of the support structure of FIG. 38), or (4) by reacting the force couple reactions at discrete floor levels where the floor diaphragms stiffen the wall and transfer these loads to adjacent orthogonal walls. The building support structure of this invention can be designed to handle these couple force reactions in any of the four ways mentioned above. Methods 1 and 4 are the least desirable because they unnecessarily constrain the location of where building modules and floors can be attached to the support structure. Method 2 alone, or in combination with method 3, provide the means to attach building modules or floors virtually anywhere on the outer surface of the building support structure of the present invention.

[0126] It is not common practice to cantilever floors or building modules from the frame structure of prior art thin-shell building support structures, since there is no standard load path to react the large out of plane bending and transverse shear loads in the vertical load bearing or column members of those structures. That is, the columns and shear cores of prior-art high-rise buildings are principally designed to handle axial loads, and not large bending loads along the columns or shear cores. The fourth method (described above) would be the only logical means of handling these force couple reactions from the cantilevered modules within the context of the prior art, but the typical floor diaphragm in the prior art is not designed to handle these types of loads.

[0127] There are examples of relatively thick shell “towers” in the prior art, but there are no prior art examples of a thick shell type building which cantilevers the usable space (a “floor” or building module) from a thick shell support structure. Accordingly, the present invention includes a building having a building support structure which is a thick shell concrete structure. The building support structure can be a closed form structure having a perimeter wall (such as wall 22 of FIG. 14), or it can be an open shape structure (described below). The building includes “floors” that are supported in a cantilevered manner from the building support structure.

[0128] FIGS. 13 and 14 depict a high-rise building 10 which is essentially square-shaped in a horizontal cross section (FIG. 14). The building support structure 20 of FIG. 14 is also depicted as being essentially square-shaped in a horizontal cross section. However, there is no requirement that either the building, or the building support structure, of the present invention be essentially square-shaped in a horizontal cross section. Turning to FIG. 20, a side elevation view of another high-rise building 62 in accordance with the present invention is depicted. The building 62 is supported on foundation “F”, and includes floors 63 which are not all of the same width. The side profile of the building 62 can be described as a “double hourglass” shape. Since the primary support for the floors of a building in accordance with the present invention is provided by an inner building support structure, fewer constraints are placed on the side profile shape of the resultant building. In the prior art, most of the support for the floors of a high-rise building is provided by steel members located at the outer periphery of the building. Accordingly, these prior art buildings have side profiles which are generally straight. While some prior art high-rise buildings have a stepped shape, the steps are generally limited to narrowing the horizontal cross section of the building as the height is increased. That is, prior art high-rise buildings generally do not have upper floors that are wider than lower floors. Two horizontal cross sections of the building 62 of FIG. 20 are depicted in FIGS. 21 and 22. In FIG. 21, the floor 63a is essentially elliptical in a horizontal cross section, while in FIG. 22 the floor 63b is essentially circular in a horizontal cross section. However, both floors 63a and 63b are supported by the same building support structure 20, which is essentially square in a horizontal cross section.

[0129] Turning to FIG. 23, a horizontal cross section of another building 64 in accordance with the present invention is depicted. The building 64 includes a building support structure 66 which includes an outer perimeter wall 68. Outer perimeter wall 68 forms a closed shape that is generally circular in a horizontal cross section. The building support structure depicted in FIG. 23 further includes an inner perimeter wall 72, and radial spoke interior walls 70 which connect the outer perimeter wall 68 to the inner perimeter wall 72. The outer perimeter wall 68, inner perimeter wall 72, and radial spoke interior walls 70 define primary open inner areas 74, in which floor diaphragms can be located (similar to floor diaphragms 32 of FIG. 14). The inner perimeter wall 72 further defines a secondary open inner area 75 in which service passageways, such as elevator shafts 73, utility conduits, and other services can be located. The building support structure 66 depicted in FIG. 23 thus provides additional structural support over the building support structure 20 of FIG. 14, due primarily to the presence of the inner perimeter wall 72. The inner perimeter wall 72 of building support structure 66 also provides an additional level of protection for service passageways located within the secondary open area 75. Accordingly, in the event the integrity of the outer perimeter wall 68 is compromised, service passageways located within the secondary open area 75 will still be protected by inner perimeter wall 72.

[0130] Building 64 of FIG. 23 includes building modules 76 which are supported by building support structure 66. Building modules 76 are depicted as producing a floor in an octagonal shape when viewed in a horizontal cross section of the building 64. However, it will be appreciated that the building modules supported by the building support structure 66 can produce horizontal cross sectional shapes of any shape, including, by way of example only, rectangular, circular, and elliptical shapes.

[0131] The building support structure 20 shown in FIGS. 15 and 18 depict a building support structure having a perimeter wall 22 of constant thickness and horizontal cross sectional shape throughout the entire height of the building 10. However, this is not a requirement of the present invention. That is, the thickness of the perimeter wall of the building support structure, as viewed in a horizontal cross section, can to vary with the height of the building support structure. Further, the horizontal cross sectional area of the building support structure can also vary with the height of the building support structure. This is depicted in FIG. 24, which shows a side elevation sectional view of a building support structure 80 supported on a foundation “F”, in accordance with the present invention. As depicted in FIG. 24, the building support structure 80 includes a bottom, first section 80a having perimeter walls of a first thickness, and a middle, second section 80b having perimeter walls of a second thickness, the second thickness being less than the first thickness. The building support structure 80 further includes an upper, third section 80c which has a horizontal cross sectional area less than the horizontal cross sectional area of the first and second sections 80a and 80b of the building support structure 80. The upper section 80c of the building support structure 80 can be supported on the middle section 80b by an intermediate building support structure platform 81. Since the lower section 80a of the building support structure 80 supports the bulk of the weight of a building supported by the building support structure 80, the thickness of the perimeter walls of section 80a are preferably thicker than the perimeter walls of sections 80b and 80c. Likewise, since the greatest moments (overturning forces) due to wind and seismic loads will be encountered where the building support structure 80 is jointed to the foundation “F”, the horizontal cross sectional area of section 80a is preferably greater than the horizontal cross sectional area of either section 80b or 80c.

[0132] FIGS. 14 and 23 depict building support structures (respectively, structures 20 and 66) which have horizontal cross sections of a closed shape (specifically, a square shape (FIG. 15), and a round shape (FIG. 23)). By “closed shape” I mean a shape defined by a wall (or walls) that enclose an area. FIG. 26 depicts yet another closed shape of a horizontal cross section of a building support structure 84, being a triangular shape. Other closed shapes can also be used, including without limitation, a rectangle, an ellipse, and a pentagon. In addition to having a horizontal cross section of a closed shape, building support structures in accordance with the present invention can also have a horizontal cross section of an open shape. By “open shape” I mean a shape defined by a wall (or walls) which does not enclose an area. FIG. 25 depicts one example of a horizontal cross section of a building support structure 82 which is an open shape. Building support structure 82 essentially includes two intersecting straight walls (not unlike interior walls 24 of the building support apparatus 20 of FIG. 14). The building support structure 82 of FIG. 25 does not include a perimeter wall which encloses an area, and so the shape can be called an “open shape”. As indicated in FIG. 23, a building support structure in accordance with the present invention can include a plurality of perimeter walls (walls 68 and 72), as well as interior walls (70). In addition to closed shapes and open shapes, a building support structure in accordance with the present invention can have a horizontal cross section of a combined opened and closed shape. An example of such a shape is depicted in FIG. 27, which depicts a horizontal cross section of a building support structure 86. The building support structure 86 includes the closed shape triangular perimeter wall 84 of FIG. 26, as well as a secondary, inner triangular closed perimeter wall 83. Attached to the apexes of the outer triangular perimeter wall 84 are three open shape extensions 87, which project outward from the apexes of the triangular wall 84. The configuration depicted in FIG. 27 can provide greater support for floors or floor modules supported on the outward-facing surfaces of the perimeter wall 84, and can also provide greater resistance to overturning moments (due to wind or seismic loads, for example). Common to all of these building support structures, and to a building support structure in accordance with the present invention, is that they include a floor support wall or walls defining floor support surfaces. For example, the building support structure 20 of FIG. 14 includes floor support wall 22 (perimeter wall 22) defining a floor support surface (outward-facing surface 22o). Further, floors (or building modules, or both) are supported from the floor support surface in a cantilevered manner.

[0133] Turning to FIG. 28, an isometric diagram depicts how the building 10 of FIG. 13 can be constructed according to the present invention. The building support structure 20 is evolved upward in direction “X”, and can be produced using the apparatus 100 of FIG. 1, and other apparatus described herein. As the building structure 20 evolves upward, building modules 58 can be lowered into position for attachment to the outward-facing surface of the perimeter wall 22. Cranes 88 can be used to lower the building modules 58 into place. Although cranes 88 are depicted as being supported by the perimeter wall 22, a preferred embodiment for placing a crane is described further below. The configuration depicted in FIG. 28 allows building modules 58 to be constructed at an off-site location and then be brought to the building construction site for mounting on the building support structure. Cranes 88 can move upward in direction “U” as building modules 58 are added to the support structure 20.

[0134] Yet another building that can be constructed according to the present invention is depicted in a side elevation view in FIG. 29. The building 400 of FIG. 29 has a centrally located building support structure 420 which has a perimeter wall 422. Turning briefly to FIG. 30, a cross sectional diagram of the building 400 is depicted, and it can be seen that the perimeter wall 422 is a closed shape having an outer surface 422o that is generally rectangular (square) and an inner surface 422i that is generally round. Openings 430 in the perimeter wall do not extend the height of the structure 420 (i.e., they are located similarly to opening 30 in building support structure 20 of FIG. 16). Therefore, the horizontal cross sectional shape of building support structure 420 is a closed shape, notwithstanding the suggestion in FIG. 30 that the building support structure 420 is two separate parts. Returning to FIG. 29, the perimeter wall 422 defines an inner open area 450 within the building support structure, with floor diaphragms 432 allowing access from the building modules to the open inner area 450. The building support structure 420 is supported by a foundation “F”, which is shown in detail in FIG. 28A. The foundation “F” includes a pile cap 404 which is supported on piles or caissons 70. Access tunnels 403 are defined in the pile cap 404 to allow workers to access post-tensioning jacks and/or anchors. Preferably, the perimeter walls 422 are post-tensioned to the foundation “F” using post-tension tendons 406d. Further, the pile cap 404 is preferably a post-tensioned concrete structure having orthogonally oriented horizontal post-tensioning tendons 406a and 406c, as well as vertical post-tensioning tendons 406b. As depicted, the foundation “F” is located a distance below the ground level “G” of the surrounding terrain.

[0135] Supported on the building support structure 420 are a plurality of building modules. A variety of different types of building modules are depicted. Between the foundation “F” and the ground level “G”, parking floor building modules 410, 411 and 415 are supported, at least partially, on the perimeter wall 422. Three different types of parking floor module are depicted, although typically only one configuration will be used. Parking floor module 410 is a purely cantilevered design, wherein the entire floor module is supported by the perimeter wall 422. Floor module 411 is supported at a first end by the perimeter wall 422, and at a second end by support 499, which can be anchored to a subterranean retaining wall 402. Subterranean retaining wall 402 can be anchored to the surrounding ground by tendons 413. Floor module 411 can be of a lighter design than floor module 410 due to the fact that floor module 411 is supported at both ends. Finally, floor module 415 is similar to floor module 411 in that it is supported at both ends, the support at the second end being a column 498 which rests of the bottom of the retaining structure 402. The various levels in the subterranean parking area 408 can be accessed via the inner open area 450, as will be described more fully below.

[0136] In general, each building module contains at least one floor slab 412 which is located at the level of an access opening (430, FIG. 30) to allow movement of people and/or vehicles from the building modules into and out of the inner open area 450. Building modules 458a and 458c (FIG. 29) are two-story, two-floor modules, and building module 458b is a four-story, four-floor module. The reasons for having building modules of different story counts is that the modules can be fabricated by different entities, or can have different design specifications. For example, the four-story module 458b can be a module of office space intended to be leased out to a single entity, in which case the leasing entity can have preconfigured the office layout (walls, etc.) for all four floors. On the other hand, two-story modules 458a and 458c can all be leased to different entities, in which case each leasing entity can desire to preconfigure its own module. Building module 458f is a three-story, three floor module, and module 458d is a four-story, one floor module. One use of building module 458d can be as a ballroom. Building modules 458e are two-story, two floor modules, but have floor slabs 412 which extend farther from the perimeter wall 422 than do the floor slabs of the other building modules. Building modules 458e thus can provide the building 400 with a side profile having a certain amount of relief (as compared to the side profile of building 10 of FIG. 13, for example). Preferably, the building modules are 6 stories (approx. 18-24 meters, or 60-78 feet) or less in height, and are also preferably not more than one-fifth of the height of the overall height of the building support structure to which they will be attached.

[0137] Turning briefly to FIG. 30, davits (or cranes) 492 can be supported from the building support structure (or the apparatus used to for the building support structure). These davits can be used to lift building modules (such as modules 458a-g of FIG. 29) into place. Moreover, the davits allow building support modules to be lifted into place in a highest-first mode. That is, with respect to FIG. 29, a first building module 458a can be lifted in place and attached to the building support structure 420. Thereafter, a second building module 458c (immediately underneath module 458a) can be lifted in place and attached to the building support structure 420. One advantage of this arrangement is that should the second module slip during installation, it will not damage any modules beneath it (there preferably being no modules beneath it when the second module is being installed).

[0138] Between each building module and the adjacent building module a gap 56 is preferably provided, so that the building modules are not in direct contact with one another. Preferably, a compressible or moveable element 418 is provided in the gap area 56 to seal the area between adjacent modules. The compressible or moveable element can be, for example, a solid elastomeric member, or a hollow extruded resilient member. As described above, the gap 56 is provided between adjacent modules to allow a given amount of desirable “sway” (movement in directions “Y”) to the building 400. When sway reaches a certain point, the gap 56 on one side of the building will be closed, and the structure will then stiffen to resist additional undesirable sway. However, since the building support structure 420 will sway about a pivot point located at the foundation “F”, any building module located at or below the ground level “G” can encounter resistance from the surrounding terrain, resulting in buckling of the floor slab in the building module. To address this problem, a variety of solutions can be employed. For example, with respect to the parking level building modules 410, 411 and 415, it will be seen that each floor slab can move laterally (i.e., in directions “Y”) without becoming compressed (and thus buckling). With respect to building modules located at the ground level “G”, one solution is indicated by building module 458h, which is placed directly on a separately supported concrete slab 424. As can be seen, building module 458h is not rigidly connected to the perimeter wall 422. However, a flexible coupling can be provided between the module 458h and the perimeter wall 422 to provide access from the module to the open inner area 450 (via an opening, not shown). Another solution to the ground level building module situation is indicated by module 458g, which is a two-story, two floor module. As can be seen, module 458g is not attached at the ground level “G”, but is in fact attached to the perimeter wall 422 one story up from the ground level, creating a space 497 between the module 458g and the ground level “G”. A facade element 496 can be attached to the outward-facing end of the module 458g, and the facade element 496 can approach (but preferably not directly contact) the ground “G”. A flexible element (not shown) can be inserted in the area between the bottom edge of the facade element 496 and the ground “G” to allow relative movement between the facade element 496 and the ground “G”. As is apparent, other configurations can also be provided which will reduce the chance for building modules located at and below the ground level “G” to become damaged due to movement of the building support structure 420.

[0139] Near the top of the building support structure 420, diaphragms 495 can be formed to seal off a void 414 within the inner open area 450 of the support structure 420. This void area 414 can be used to hold water or the like, to thus facilitate fire fighting and also to provide an inertial mass to resist sway of the building 400 due to seismic forces. A roof cap 416 can be placed over the uppermost diaphragm 495 not only for aesthetic reasons, but also to cover and protect the anchors of the post-tensioning tendons 406d.

[0140] Turning to FIG. 30, a horizontal cross section through building modules 458c of building 400 is depicted. As can be seen, there are floor modules 458c attached to the building support structure 420 at this level. A fire resistant material 423 can be placed around the outer surface of the perimeter wall 422 to protect post-tensioning tendons, and structural steel 445 in the wall 422, as well as the service passageways placed within the inner open area 450 defined by the perimeter wall 422. A floor diaphragm 432 can be placed within the inner open area 450, and access openings 430 can allow people to move from the building modules 458c to the inner open area 450, and visa versa. Service passageways placed within the inner open area 450 can include a stairwell 436, elevator shafts 494, and utility ducts 442 which can contain utilities such as electrical conduits, water pipes, HVAC air ducts, and telecommunications cables. The utility ducts 442 can be accessed by access doors 434. Post-tensioning tendons 438 can be used to support the floor modules 458c from the perimeter wall 422 of the building support structure, as will be described more fully below.

[0141] Turning to FIG. 31, a detail of the building support structure 420 depicted in FIG. 30 is shown. Embedded within the perimeter wall 422 is a vertically ascending spiral of reinforcing steel (“rebar”), horizontal reinforcing steel 448, and post-tensioning tendon conduits 444. Climb pipes 446 can also be incorporated within the perimeter wall 422, which function as climb pipe 99 of FIG. 1, described above and described more fully below. The building module support tendons 438 can also be embedded within the perimeter wall 422, and can be provided with post-tension jack attachment connections 452, which can be accesses via the access opening 430.

[0142] While the building modules can be attached to the building support structure using conventional means such as bolting or welding together steel plates, or a slot-and-flange configuration, an alternate (or additional) means of securing the building modules to the building support structure can employ post-tension tendons. FIG. 32 depicts a side elevation cross section of the upper right corner of the perimeter wall 422 of FIG. 30, and shows one manner of connecting the building module 458c to the building support structure 420 using post-tensioning tendons. The following discussion will make reference not only to FIG. 32, but FIG. 33 (being a detail of the building module/perimeter wall junction 465), and FIG. 34 (being a cross section of the building module/perimeter wall junction depicted in FIG. 33). With reference to FIG. 32, a post-tension tendon duct 460 is located in the perimeter wall 422. During fabrication of the building module 458c, a hollow module chord 480 is fabricated into the floor element of the module. A bundle of cables (tendon) 438 (FIG. 34) are anchored inside the hollow module chord 480 with end-anchor 462 (FIG. 32) and intermittent shear plates 464, as well as fire resistant grout 468. The cables 438 protrude beyond the left end (as seen in FIG. 32) of the building module chord 480 so that they can be received within tendon duct 460. As the module 458c is lifted into place (as in FIG. 28, for example), cables 438 dangling from the building module chord 480 are inserted into tendon duct 460 and pulled into the duct with a lead line until the module 458c is in place. Anchor block 452 is inserted around the end of the tendon 438, and the anchor block 452 is seated within a capture seat 453 in preparation for tensioning the building module 458c to the building support structure 420. The position of the module 458c relative to the building support structure 420 can be set according to survey, and with the aid of vertical adjuster 478 (FIG. 34) and lateral adjuster 482 (which together act on the fluted duct extender 476), as well as variable thickness shims (not shown) at the junction 465. As the cables 438 are tensioned at anchorage 452, adjusters 478 and 482 temporarily counter react any cable side thrust due to misalignment as well as the gravity loads of the module 458c as the crane support of the module 458c is released during the tensioning process. After the initial phase of tensioning is accomplished, grout 470 can be injected into the open area of chord 480 through an appropriately located orifice 472. If it is desired that the cable 438 be readily removable in the future to replace a module (as in the case of replacing a damaged module or upgrading a modular processing plant, for example) the tendon duct 460 can be plugged at the bell end of duct extender 476 (FIG. 34) prior to assembly of the module 458c onto the support structure 420 so that fire resistant permanent grout 470 does not ingress into tendon duct 460. After grout 470 sets up, a protective but light strength grout 474 can be injected from anchor 452 such that it fills the entirety of duct 460 and the area in the extension tube 476 around cable 438. This type of grout allows the cable 438 to be removed without damage in the future. If however, it is desired that the grout 474 be permanent, then grout 470 can be allowed to flow and set-up throughout ducts 460 and 476, as well as in the area 470. In this way, the grout can act as a secondary protection in the event the anchor 452 were affected by fire or explosion. Anchor 452 is afforded fire protection with a grout cast over it within capture seat 453, as well as drywall, cement, or plaster protection 454.

[0143] Turning now to FIG. 35, a plan view of an apparatus 500 of the present invention which can be used to construct the building support structure 420 of the building 400 of FIG. 31 is depicted in a plan view. FIG. 36 depicts a side elevation sectional view of the apparatus 500. The apparatus 500 of FIG. 35 should be compared to the apparatus 350 of FIG. 12, described above. It will be apparent that the apparatus 350 of FIG. 12 includes ganged apparatus 100 (FIG. 1) having yokes 106A, 106B, etc., interspersed with sets of truss modules (100B, 100D, etc.) not having yokes, and corner forming apparatus 300A, 300B, etc. Of note is that the apparatus 350 includes opposing first and second concrete forms (e.g., 114a and 116a) which are joined by yokes, resulting in an open inner area 351. By contrast, the apparatus 500 of FIG. 35 includes truss modules 502a, 502b, 502c and 502d which are connected by corner-forming truss modules 520a, 520b, 520c and 520d. Truss modules 502a, 502b, 502c 502d, 520a, 520b, 520c and 520d support outside concrete form 514, which is arranged in the shape of a square (to form the square outer surface of building support structure 420 of FIG. 31). However, whereas each of the outer truss modules of the apparatus 350 of FIG. 12 generally has a corresponding inner truss module supporting an inner concrete form, in the apparatus 500 the truss modules 502a, 502b, 502c 502d, 520a, 520b, 520c and 520d do not have corresponding inner truss modules. Rather, the apparatus 500 includes an insert concrete form 516, which is depicted here as being circular in shape and is (or can be) inserted into the open inner area 450 which is defined by the outer concrete forms 514. Further, whereas opposing parallel concrete forms (e.g., 114a and 116a) of the apparatus 350 of FIG. 12 are generally joined by a yoke (e.g., 106A) which is oriented essentially orthogonal to the forms, in the apparatus 500 of FIG. 35 the yokes (503a, 503b, etc.) do not span between opposing parallel concrete forms 514. In the configuration depicted in FIG. 35, the yokes (503a, 503b, etc.) join the truss modules that support form 514 near the outer corners of the apparatus 500.

[0144] In general, the apparatus 500 includes a plurality of inward-facing concrete forms 514 arranged adjacent to one another and in a closed-perimeter formation. Although the closed-perimeter shape is depicted in FIG. 35 as being a square, other shapes can also be employed, such as, by way of example only, a rectangle, a circle, and ellipse, and a hexagon. The apparatus 500 further includes a plurality of truss modules 502a, 502b, 502c 502d, 520a, 520b, 520c and 520d, which are preferably (but not necessarily) connected to one another to form an integral assembly of truss modules. Each truss module is associated with a respective inward-facing concrete form 514. The truss modules can support a work deck 510, which can be configured similarly to the work deck 110 of FIG. 10. The apparatus 500 also includes a plurality of actuator devices, which are not shown in FIG. 35 but can be similar to the actuator devices 196, 198 and/or 200, described above with respect to FIG. 3. Each actuator device is mounted on a respective truss module 502a, 502b, 502c 502d, 520a, 520b, 520c and 520d, and is configured to translationally move the associated inward-facing concrete 514 form with respect to the respective truss module. Apparatus 500 includes an insert concrete form 516 which is arranged in a closed-perimeter shape (here, a circle, but other shapes can also be used). The insert concrete form 516 is configured to be located within the closed-perimeter formation produced by the plurality of inward-facing concrete forms 514. As depicted, apparatus 500 further includes a yoke system 506, which connects truss modules 502a, 502b, 502c 502d, 520a, 520b, 520c and 520d to the insert concrete form 516. The apparatus 500 further includes a plurality of climbing devices (508a through 508h of FIG. 35, of which 508a through 508d can be seen in FIG. 36) which are attached to the yoke system 506. The climbing devices 508a, 508b, etc. are configured to engage associated climb rods (in FIG. 35, climb rods 99a-99h) to thereby move the apparatus 500 along the climb rods, generally (but not necessarily) in an upward direction.

[0145] The yoke system 506 depicted in FIGS. 35 and 36 includes yoke arms 503a through 503h, which are each connected to a truss module (e.g., 502a, 502b, etc.) at a first end, and each support a climbing device (e.g., 508a through 508d, FIG. 36) at a second end. Orthogonally oriented yoke arms which are located near a common corner (e.g., arms 503g and 503a, FIG. 35) are joined together by the climbing devices (e.g., 508c and 508d), as well as by a corner connecting member 504a which connects the climbing devices (all of which can be seen in side view in FIG. 36). The yoke system 506 includes four corner connecting members 504a thought 504d. Generally parallel yoke arms which are located on the same side of the apparatus 500 are connected together by side connecting members 512a through 512d.

[0146] The apparatus 500, as viewed in FIG. 36, can also include a plurality of attitude positioners 531 configured to contact a portion of a building support structure (such as structure 420) formed by the apparatus. Attitude positioners 531 can function similarly to attitude positioners 254, described above with respect to FIG. 8. The attitude positioners 531 (FIG. 36) can be supported by the truss modules, or they can be supported by attitude control modules 530, which can function similarly to attitude control module 130 of FIG. 8. Each attitude positioner 531 can have an associated attitude control actuator 533 (similar to actuators 260 and 264 of FIG. 8). The attitude control actuators 533 are supported by a respective associated truss module, and can be supported either directly by the truss module, or indirectly by the frame of the attitude control modules 530.

[0147] As suggested by FIG. 36, the attitude positioners 531 can also be used as force reactors to allow the truss modules 502b and 502d to push the concrete forms 514 away from the outer face of the evolving structure 420. However, the insert concrete form 516 is not configured to retract from the wall in the same manner, and so a method of freeing the insert form 516 from the evolving structure 420 is preferably provided. One method is indicated in FIG. 36, which shows how the insert concrete form 516 has a slight outward taper to the form as a function of height. In this manner, once the insert form 516 is broken free of the structure face by moving the form 516 upward slightly, there will be a separation between the form and the face of the structure allowing the form 516 to move freely upward. However, once the insert form is moved to the location for the next casting, there will be a slight gap between the top of the evolving structure 420 and the bottom of the insert form 516. This is depicted in FIG. 37A, which is a detail from FIG. 36 and shows the area at the top of the evolving structure 420, the bottom of the insert form 516, and the gap 535 there between. In order to plug the gap 535 so that the next level of the structure in 420 can be poured without concrete running out of the gap, an inflatable elastomeric seal or bladder 524 can be provided, which is oriented opposite the inward facing form 514 and is attached to the insert form 516 by a rigid perimeter plate 526. The bladder 524 can be inflated compartmentally or in total via orifices 528. The seal 524 can be inflated to expand and meet the concrete 420, thus sealing the gap 535. This is depicted in FIG. 37B, which shows the bladder 524′ in the inflated position.

[0148] Another method to facilitate upward movement of the insert form (and which can provide additional benefits, described below) is to provide the insert concrete form with a lift system, allowing the insert concrete form to be moved vertically with respect to the inward-facing concrete forms. That is, while climbing devices 508a-h can move the whole apparatus 500 upward (including the insert concrete form 516), the concrete form lift device allows independent movement of the insert concrete form 516 (i.e., in direction “X”, FIG. 36). In the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 35 and 36, the insert concrete form lift system includes a plurality of lift devices 523a-d supported on the yoke system 506 (and specifically in the example shown, on the corner connecting members 504a-d of the yoke system 506). The lift system further includes lift members 522a-d which are connected to the insert concrete form 516 and are engaged by the plurality of lift devices 523a-d. The lift devices 523a-d can be, for example, jack screws, and the lift members 522a-d can be threaded rods which are engaged by the jack screws. Other types of lift devices can also be used, such as, by way of example only, a winch, a hydraulic cylinder, and a rack and pinion gear drive.

[0149] Turning now to FIG. 38, a horizontal cross section of another concrete building support structure 620 in accordance with the present invention is depicted. The support structure 620 includes a perimeter wall 622 which is made of hollow-core wall segments. More specifically, the perimeter wall 622 defines elongated, vertically oriented hollow chambers 623 which are disposed between the perimeter wall outer surface 622o and the perimeter wall inner surface 622i. The chambers 623 are separated by a web 633, and preferably span the vertical height of the support It structure 620. The use of the elongated hollow chambers has several benefits. Mainly, the use of the chamber 623 reduces the weight of the support structure 620, as well as the quantity of concrete required to build the structure. The elongated chambers 623 can also be used to house service passageways, such as electrical conduits, pipes, air ducts, communications cables, elevator shafts, and, in large chambers, stairwells. When tension cables are used to mount the building modules to the perimeter wall 622 similar to FIG. 32, then preferably the tension cables pass through the web portion 633 of the wall 622, rather than through the open chambers 623.

[0150] FIG. 39 depicts a partial side elevation view of the support structure 620 of FIG. 38. As can be seen, openings 630 can be formed in the perimeter wall 622 at selected open chambers 623. The perimeter wall 622 defines an open inner area 650 (FIG. 38). As with the building support structure 20 of FIG. 14, the open inner area of the building support structure 620 can be provided with floor diaphragms and service passageways. Access openings 630 (FIG. 39) can provide access from building modules supported on the perimeter wall outer surface 622o to chamber 623 and/or the open inner area 650. When an access opening 630 is provided to allow ingress and egress for the central area 650, and when the access opening 630 is located at one of the elongated chambers 623, then an access platform or threshold diaphragm 632 is formed within the hollow chamber 623.

[0151] Turning to FIG. 40, a plan view of a structure forming apparatus 600 that can be used to form the building support structure 620 of FIG. 38 is depicted. In general, the apparatus 600 is similar to the apparatus 350 of FIG. 12. That is, apparatus 600 includes a plurality of the structure forming apparatus 100 (FIG. 1) and four of the corner-forming apparatus (300, FIG. 11) connected together in a square shape. In order to more clearly show special features included in the apparatus 600 of FIG. 40, many of the details already shown in FIGS. 1-12 have been removed (for example, the truss modules are not shown in FIG. 40). The apparatus 600 includes an inward-facing concrete form 614 (similar to form 114 of FIG. 1) and an outward-facing concrete form 616 (similar to form 116 of FIG. 1). The apparatus 600 also includes an outer work deck 610 and an inner work deck 612 (similar to respective work decks 110 and 112 of FIG. 10). A yoke system (comprising yokes 606a, 606b, 606c, etc.) allows the entire apparatus 600 to move upward along climb rods 99. In order to form the hollow chambers 623 in the structure 620 of FIG. 38, insert concrete forms 618 are provided. Insert forms 618 are depicted as cylindrical forms, and are suspended in the area between the outer form 614 and the inner form 616 such that the insert form 618 is spaced-apart from inward-facing forms 614 and 616. More specifically, an outer rail 627, and an inner rail 628, suspend the insert form 618 by brackets 611. The outer and inner rails 627 and 628 can be attached to the upper edge of respective outer and inner concrete forms 614 and 616 or more typically the yoke system 606 as shown in FIG. 43. Operation of these forms 614, 616 can be much like that of the insert concrete form depicted in FIGS. 35 and 36 wherein lift systems 522 and 523 are employed to translate the insert form 618 upward. Release mechanisms include relief type insert forms as well as elastomeric forms as given in FIG. 42. In order to form periodic access platforms (632, FIGS. 38 and 39) in selected elongated chambers (623, FIG. 39), a specialized platform forming insert form 695 can be provided. The operation of the platform insert forms 695 will be described more fully below.

[0152] Turning to FIG. 41, a partial side sectional view of the structure forming apparatus 600 of FIG. 40 is depicted. The apparatus 600 is depicted in the process of constructing the building support structure 620 of FIGS. 38 and 39. The view depicted in FIG. 41 shows only one side of the perimeter wall 622, and the section is taken through one of the hollow chambers 623 in which access platforms 632 are to be formed. In FIG. 41 truss module assemblies 602 and 604 are visible, and are shown supporting respective concrete forms 614 and 616, as well as respective work decks 610 and 612. Yoke 606a connects the truss modules 602 and 604, and climbing devices 608, supported by the yoke 606a, allow the apparatus 600 to climb upward along (and descend along) the climb rods 99. The platform-forming insert form 695 is supported by lifting devices, such as jack screws 640, which can climb along climb rods 99, allowing the platform insert form 695 to be raised and lowered independently of forms 614 and 616.

[0153] Apparatus 600 can also be provided with one or more cranes 648. Crane 648 can be used to lift materials (such as buckets of concrete and reinforcing steel) to the work area, and can also be used to lift building modules for attachment to the outward-facing surface of the perimeter wall 622 (similar to the depiction in FIG. 28). The crane 648 can also be used to lift building materials (such as service passageways, utility conduits, pipes, air ducts, stairway assemblies, and elevator shafts, for example) into the open inner area 650, as well as into the hollow chambers 623 (FIG. 38). As depicted in FIG. 41, the crane 648 is supported by the yoke system, which includes yoke 606a and climbing devices 608. A crane support member 642 is supported on the steel flanges which support the climbing devices 608, and a crane base support 644 is supported on the crane support member 642. In one configuration, the crane support member 642 can be connected to other crane support members by rails 691, allowing the crane to move on rollers 652 along the top of the perimeter wall 622 (i.e., in a direction into and out of the sheet on which the figure is drawn). A rotational bearing 689 mounted on the crane base support 644 can allow the crane 648 to rotate clockwise or counter-clockwise (as viewed from above). In one variation, the crane support member 642 can be circular in shape, and the crane can thus rotate on the crane support member using rollers. As the apparatus 600 progresses upward while constructing the building support structure 620, additional lengths of climb rod can be attached to the tops of the existing climb rods 99. While FIG. 41 depicts the crane 648 as being supported on the yoke system (indirectly through rails 691 and crane support member 642), in one variation the crane 648 can be supported directly from the climb rods 99. This latter arrangement allows the crane 648 to move vertically independent of the yoke system (606a, 606b, etc., FIG. 40) and the truss modules 602 and 604. In this case stability of the crane 648 can be accomplished by maintaining the crane relatively close to the yokes 606a, 606b, etc. and therefore relying on the attitude control system (e.g., attitude control modules such as 130 and 132 of FIG. 1) of the forming apparatus 600 (FIG. 41), or by utilizing a separate attitude control type system for the crane 648 which can be similar to the attitude control device 130 described above with respect to FIG. 8.

[0154] As depicted in FIG. 41, the platform insert form 695 is configured to contact the inward-facing concrete forms 614 and 616 at diametrically opposed locations. This allows the insert form 616 to essentially “block out” the opening 630 (FIG. 39) that will allow ingress and egress for the open area 650 from the outer surface 622o of the perimeter wall 622. FIG. 42 depicts a side elevation sectional view of a specialized platform-forming insert form 695A that can be used in the apparatus 600 of FIG. 40. The insert form 695A includes side panels 687 (which block out the sides of an access opening, such as opening 630 of FIG. 39), and bracing 660 which stiffens the side panels. In the example depicted in FIG. 42, the insert form 695A is provided with separate lifting members 662, rather than using the climb rods 99 of FIG. 40. The insert concrete form 695A includes rigid back-plates 658, and vertically oriented expansible bladders 656 fitted over the back-plates 658 so as to form a sealed chamber 661 there between. The sealed chambers 661 can be filled with a fluid (such as hydraulic fluid) to cause expansible bladders 656 to expand outward and contact the inward-facing concrete forms 614 and 616 (FIG. 40). This will prevent liquid concrete entering the area where the access opening (630, FIG. 39) is to be formed. After a concrete pour is made and the concrete has set to a sufficient self-supporting hardness, the fluid can be released from the sealed chambers 661, allowing the expansible bladder 656 to relax, thus facilitating upward movement of the insert form 695A.

[0155] While FIG. 39 depicts the access openings 630 as being periodically formed in the perimeter wall 622 along selected hollow chambers 623, in one variation the access openings 630 can be formed in solid sections of perimeter wall 622. In this variation the platform-forming insert form 695A of FIG. 42 is preferably provided with a lift device (connected to lifting members 662) to allow the insert form 695A to be raised out of the area between the inward-facing forms 614 and 616 (FIG. 40), to thereby allow solid perimeter wall sections to be formed. In the variation wherein the access openings 630 are periodically formed along selected hollow chambers 623 in the perimeter wall 622 (as in FIG. 39), then provisions need to be made to form the hollow chamber 623, with periodic access openings 630, and access platforms 632. In this latter variation, the platform-forming insert 695A (FIG. 42) can be rigidly connected to the inward-facing forms 614 and 616 in the same manner that the chamber-forming insert forms 618 (FIG. 40) are rigidly connected to forms 614 and 616 by rails 627 and 628 (FIG. 38). Further in this variation, the expansible bladders 656 (FIG. 42) can be configured to retract a distance “T” (FIG. 41) from the inward-facing forms 614, 616 when fluid pressure is relieved from the sealed chamber 661 (FIG. 42). When the bladder 656 (FIG. 42) is thus retracted, a void area of thickness “T” will thus be provided between the insert form 695A and the inward-facing forms 614, 616, allowing liquid concrete to fill this area and form perimeter wall components of thickness “T” (FIG. 38) between the surfaces (622o, 622i) of the wall 622 and the hollow chamber 623. In this way, the insert form 695A of FIG. 42 can be used to alternately form the hollow chamber 623, or the access opening 630 (FIG. 39).

[0156] When the access opening 630 (FIG. 39) is formed within one of the hollow chambers 623, then an access platform concrete form is preferably provided to form the lower surface of the access platform (632, FIG. 38). FIG. 41 depicts access platform lower forms 693, which can be placed in the evolving hollow chamber 623 to thus provide a form for the lower surface of the access platforms 632. Access platform lower forms 693 can either be permanent forms (i.e., left in place after the access platform 632 is formed), or removable forms (i.e., removed after the concrete which forms the access platform 632 has hardened sufficiently to allow the form 693 to be removed).

[0157] Turning now to FIG. 43, a side elevation sectional view of a building support structure forming apparatus 700 in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention is depicted. Apparatus 700 can be used to construct a building support structure 720, which can be similar to the building support structure 420 of FIG. 30. Apparatus 700 of FIG. 43 is also depicted in a partial side elevation view in FIG. 44, which will be discussed concurrently with FIG. 43. The apparatus 700 of FIGS. 43 and 44 is similar to the apparatus 500 of FIG. 36, except as will be described below. Structure forming apparatus 700 includes inward-facing forms 714, which are supported by respective truss module systems 702 (similar to truss module system 102 of FIG. 1), which include attitude control modules 730A (similar to attitude control module 130 of FIG. 1). Truss module systems 702 are connected to one another by yoke 706A. Insert form 695A (of FIG. 42) is supported between forms 714 by support rods 662, which are in turn engaged by lift devices 740, which allow the insert form 695A to be moved in direction “X” independently of forms 714. Lift devices 740 are attached to a yoke cross member 746, which is connected to the left and right arms of yoke 706A. A crane 748 (FIG. 44), similar to crane 648 of FIG. 41, can be mounted on a crane support base 744, which is in turn supported by a crane support member 742. Crane support member 742 is in turn supported on yoke-connecting members 781, which rest on top of yoke 706A, as well as on top of an adjacent yoke 706B (FIG. 44). Crane rails 791 are connected to crane support member 742, and allow crane 748 to move in directions “Y” (FIG. 44) with respect to the evolving building support structure 720. The yokes (706A and 706B) on which the yoke-connecting members 781 rest are not provided with climb devices (such as yoke 606a of FIG. 41, which has climb devices 608). Rather, the yoke-connecting members 781 are connected to an intermediate yoke 706C, which supports the climbing device 708. Climbing device 708 can be used, either alone or in conjunction with adjacent climbing devices, to move the apparatus 700 vertically along climb rods 99. Yoke cross member 746 can be mounted on insert form rails 715, allowing the insert form 695A to also be moved horizontally in directions “Y” (FIG. 44) independently of movement of the crane 748 in directions “Y”. It will be appreciated that a system as depicted in FIGS. 43 and 44 can also be used in the apparatus 600 of FIG. 40, wherein yokes 606a and 606b of FIG. 40 are replaced with yokes 706A and 706B of FIG. 44. Consequently, an intermediate yoke (such as yoke 706B of FIG. 44) will be placed between yokes 606a and 606b of FIG. 40.

[0158] One example of the usefulness of the apparatus 700 of FIGS. 43 and 44 is depicted in FIG. 45, which is a side elevation sectional view similar to FIG. 43. In FIG. 45 the evolving building support structure 720 has perimeter walls 722 which define an inner open area 750. When the yoke 706A is moved into or out of the plane of the sheet on which the figure is drawn, then a crane (such as crane 748 of FIG. 44) can be used to lower a service passageway module 730 into the open area 750. The service passageway module 730 can then be connected to other service passageway modules 730, which have been previously placed in the open area 750 between perimeter walls 722. Alternately, a service passageway module 730 can be placed on top of the evolving structure, and the next vertical casting of perimeter walls can then be cast around the passageway module 730, essentially using the sides of the module 730 as inner concrete forms. The service passageway module 730 can include any or all of the service passageways previously mentioned, including staircases, elevator shafts, utility conduits, pipes, etc. In this way, the construction of a building (such as building 400 of FIG. 29) can be performed in a modularized manner, allowing building modules (e.g., 458a, 458b, 458c, etc.) and service passageways modules (730, FIG. 45) to be constructed off-site and brought to the building construction site.

[0159] The apparatus 700 (as well as other apparatus described herein) allow for the construction of buildings having certain advantageous ingress-egress features. Turning to FIG. 46, a plan sectional view of a building 800 in accordance with the present invention is depicted. The view depicted in FIG. 46 can correspond to a section at any of the subterranean building module parking levels 408 depicted in FIG. 29, as well as above-ground parking levels. More specifically, the building 800 includes building support structure 820 similar to building support structure 620 of FIG. 38. The building support structure 820 defines an inner, open area 850. The building support structure 820 further supports a building module 858 which includes vehicle parking areas 839. The perimeter walls 822 of the building support structure 820 defines vehicle openings 840 therein at the location where the building module 858 is located juxtaposed to the outer surface of the perimeter walls 822, to thereby allow vehicles to move between the building module 858 and the open inner area 850 within the building support structure 820. The building support structure open inner area can be provided with service passageways, such as staircases 834 and elevator shafts 836. Pedestrians can move between the parking areas 839 and the service passageways (stairs 834, and/or elevators 836) via personnel openings 830 in the perimeter wall 822. Dividing walls 837 separate the vehicle passageways 840 from the pedestrian areas (near elevators 836 and stairs 834). A vehicle ramp, such as the spiral or helical ramp 842, can be located within the open inner area 850 of the building support structure 820 to allow vehicles “V” to ascend and descend within the open inner area of the building support structure. This configuration of providing a helical ramp 842 within the open inner area 850 allows vehicles to quickly move upward or downward through the parking levels, rather than having to traverse each floor 812 in moving from one level to the next. For example, if an individual has a pre-assigned parking space 839 on the third lower level, then the individual can drive directly down to the third lower level, bypassing the first and second lower levels. It will be appreciated that vehicle openings 840 can be accesses by one or more openings (not shown) in the outer facade 801 of the building module 858 to allow vehicles to enter the building 800. Further, if vehicle openings in the outer facade 801 are provided on a lobby level of the building 800 (for example, where building module 458h of FIG. 29 is located at ground level “G” in FIG. 29), then the dividing walls 837 (FIG. 46) can be extended to the outer facade 801, and parking spaces 839 will not be provided on the lobby level. Vehicles can also be provided access to the building 800 through exterior ramps (not shown) that lead to an upper level above the lobby level, or to a lower level below the lobby level. When vehicle access to the parking levels is provided on a level other than the lobby level, and parking levels are located both above and below the lobby level, then vehicle openings 840 into the inner area 850 at the lobby level can be eliminated, such that vehicles bypass the lobby level when moving between the upper and lower parking levels.

[0160] While the apparatus described above with respect to FIGS. 1-12, 35-36 and 40-45 can be used to form building support structures in accordance with the present of invention, other apparatus can be used as well. FIGS. 47A through 50 depict two alternate apparatus that can be used to construct building support structures of the present invention. Turning to FIG. 47A, a plan view of one such apparatus 900 in accordance with the present invention is depicted. The building support structure forming apparatus 900 differs primarily from the apparatus 500 (FIG. 36) and 600 (FIGS. 40 and 41) in that the apparatus 900 does not include a yoke system (such as yoke system 506 of FIG. 36). In FIG. 47A, apparatus 900 is depicted as forming the building support structure 420 of FIG. 31. Inward-facing concrete forms 914a-d are used to form the outer surface 422o of the perimeter wall 422 of structure 420, and an insert form (not shown, but similar to insert form 516 of FIG. 35) can be used to form the inner surface 422i of perimeter wall 422. The insert form can be supported by the form trusses 902a-d by slideable brackets, allowing the form trusses to move translationally while keeping the insert form in place. Forms 914a-d are each supported on respective form trusses 902a-d. Each form truss 902a-d is moveably supported at each end by a support collar (collars 906a-d). Each support collar is mounted on a vertical lift tower (lift towers 904a-d). FIG. 48 depicts a side elevation, sectional view of the apparatus 900 of FIG. 47A, showing the apparatus 900 forming the support structure 420. The lifting towers 904a-d can be supported on a platform 919, which can be the foundation for the building support structure 420, or can be a “structure step” (i.e., a platform attached to the evolving support structure 420 at a vertical location above the location of the foundation).

[0161] The assembly of forms 914a-d, form trusses 902a-d, and support collars 906a-d is configured to climb upward (in direction “X”) along the lifting towers 904a-d, and can also move downward in the opposite-X direction. This climbing (and descending) motion can be effected in a number of different manners. For example, the lifting towers 904a-d can have a rack (not shown) fitted to them, and a driven pinion (not shown) can be fitted to the support collars 906a-d and can engage the rack to drive the support collars along the climbing towers. In another arrangement, a hoist can be mounted to the top of the lifting towers 904a-d and can be attached to the support collars 906a-d (such as by cables) to hoist (and lower) the support collars. Accordingly, the apparatus 900 includes a lifting device (not shown) configured to lift the support collars 906a-d with respect to the lifting towers 904a-d. As depicted in FIG. 48, the lifting towers 904a-d can be periodically braced against the evolving structure 420 for lateral support by supports 916. Also as depicted in FIGS. 47A and 48, at least one of the lifting towers 904d can be sized to support a crane 910. The crane 910 can be used to facilitate the construction of the building support structure 420, as well as the construction of building modules or floors cantilevered from the outer surface 422o of the perimeter wall 422. Preferably, the crane 910 is a self-lifting crane, which uses a crane lifting device 912 to move the crane upward along lifting tower 904d.

[0162] The structure forming apparatus 900 of FIG. 48 further includes form actuators 918, which are located at the junction between the form trusses 902a-d and the support collars 906a-d. The form actuators 918 are configured to move the truss forms 902a-d (and consequently, the associated forms 914a-d) laterally with respect to the support collars 906a-d. This is depicted in FIG. 47B, which is similar to the plan view of the apparatus 900 depicted in FIG. 47A, except that in FIG. 47B the forms 914a-d, and respective form trusses 902a-d, are depicted as being in retracted positions 914a′-914d′ and 902a′-902d′. Preferably, at least one form actuator 918 is located at each junction where a form truss 902a-d (FIG. 47A) meets a support collar 906a-d. However, form actuator 918 can be located only at a single end of a form truss, and the other end can be fitted to a follower (such as a rail). The form actuators can be any type of device configured to move one object translationally with respect to the other, including, without limitation, a rack-and-pinion configuration, a hydraulic cylinder, and a worm-screw drive. This configuration (depicted in FIGS. 47A through 48) allows the forms 914a-d to thrust against the lifting towers 904a-d in order to free the forms from the just-formed structure segment so that the forming apparatus 900 can be moved upward to form the next segment.

[0163] Another apparatus 950 that can be used to form building support structures of the present invention is depicted in plan view in FIG. 49. FIG. 50 depicts a side elevation, sectional view of the apparatus 950 of FIG. 49, but with the forms retracted from the position shown in FIG. 50. FIG. 49 depicts the a apparatus 950 forming a building support structure 420 (the building support structure described in FIG. 31). As can be seen, the apparatus 950 of FIGS. 49 and 50 is essentially a hybrid of the combined apparatus 900 (FIGS. 47A and 48) and 500 (FIGS. 35 and 36). Specifically, the apparatus 950 includes a yoke system 956 (FIG. 49) (not present in the apparatus 900 of FIG. 48, but present in the apparatus 500 of FIG. 35), as well as the collar-truss configuration of apparatus 900 (which is not present in the apparatus 500). More specifically, the apparatus 950 of FIGS. 49 and 50 includes inward-facing forms 964a-d which are supported on form trusses 952a-d. Each truss form 952a-d is moveably supported at each end by a support collar 968a-d, similar to the manner in which form trusses 902a-d of FIG. 47A are moveably supported by the support collars 906a-d. Further, the apparatus 950 includes form actuators 970 (FIG. 50) which are configured to move the form trusses 952a-d laterally with respect to the support collars 968a-d, in the same manner that actuators 918 of FIG. 48 move form trusses 902a-d. The apparatus 950 includes a yoke system 956, which includes yoke arms 956a-d. Yoke arms are fitted with climbing devices 958 (FIG. 50) which are configured to engage climb rods 99 and move the apparatus 950 in the upward “X” direction. The yoke system 956 is suspended above, and connected to, the support collars 968a-d via yoke spacers 954a-d. Accordingly, the yoke system moves the whole apparatus 950 along the climb rods 99, while allowing the form trusses (and the forms) to move laterally and independently of the yoke arms 956a-d.

[0164] The apparatus 950 of FIG. 50 can further include attitude control modules 974 which are connected to the support collars 968a-d. The attitude control modules 974 include attitude positioners 961 (similar to attitude positioners 254/266 of FIG. 8). The attitude control modules 974 can also slideably engage the form trusses 952a-d. Thus, the attitude control modules 974 can maintain the attitude positioners 961 in contact with the evolving structure 420 as the forms 964a-d (and form trusses 952a-d) are moved away from the outer face 422o of the structure 420, as depicted in FIG. 48.

[0165] Although the apparatus 900 and 950 are depicted in respective FIGS. 47 and 49 as being configured to form a four-sided closed shape support structure 420, these apparatus can be configured to form a closed shape support structure having only three sides (such as support structure 26 of FIG. 84), or more than four sides. Yet another embodiment of the present invention provides for a method of constructing a building (as for example, but not limited to, buildings 10, 400 and 800 of respective FIGS. 13, 19 and 46). The method includes forming a vertical concrete building support structure (as for example, but not limited to, building support structures 20, 66, 80, 82, 84, 86, 420, 620 and 820 of respective FIGS. 14, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 30, 38, and 46). The building support structure can be formed using the apparatus of the present invention, described above. Exemplary apparatus include apparatus 100, 350, 500, 600 and 700 of respective FIGS. 1, 12, 35, 41 and 43. The method also includes attaching, preferably in a cantilevered manner, a plurality of vertically-arranged building modules to the building support structure. Exemplary building modules include modules 58, 458a-h and 858 of respective FIGS. 15, 29 and 46. The method can further include providing a gap between vertically adjacent building modules, as depicted by gap 56 between building modules 458c and 458e on the right side of building 400 of FIG. 29.

[0166] In one embodiment the building support structure can be formed so as to have a perimeter wall which, in a horizontal cross section, comprises a closed shape defining an outer surface and an open inner area. For example, building support structure 620 (FIG. 38) has a perimeter wall 622 which, when viewed in a horizontal cross section as in FIG. 38, forms a closed shape (essentially, a square having truncated corners) having an outer surface 622o and an inner surface 622i. The inner surface 622i of the building support structure 620 defines the open inner area 650. In this configuration the building modules can be attached to the building support structure by supporting them in a cantilevered fashion from the outer surface of the perimeter wall. The building modules can be attached to the building support structure using conventional methods such as welding, brackets, and/or steel beams. However, the method of the present invention also provides for supporting the building modules from the outer surface of the perimeter wall by attaching the building modules to the building support structure using a post-tension tendon which passes through the perimeter wall, as depicted in FIGS. 32-34 and described above.

[0167] The method can further include forming a plurality of floor diaphragms in the open inner area. For example, floor diaphragm 432 is formed in the open inner area 450 of the building support structure 420 of FIG. 30. One method of forming the floor diaphragm was described above with respect to FIG. 41, wherein an insert form 695 is placed between wall forms 614 and 616, and a concrete wall segment 622 is poured. Afterwards, the insert form 695 is moved upward with respect to the side forms 614 and 616, and a floor diaphragm form 693 is placed in the open area 623 between the walls 622. Concrete is then poured between the side forms 614, 616 m and on top of the diaphragm form 693 to form the floor diaphragm 632. Two such diaphragms 632 can be cast in relative proximity to define a containment space or vessel which can be used for storing liquids such as water or for storing bulk solids, similar to the manner in which solids or liquids are stored in a silo or bin. In this way, multiple containment vessels can be constructed in direct vertical proximity or with space there between provided for material reclaiming (for example, reclaiming bulk solids via a gravity-type conical reclaimer or other means).

[0168] This method of constructing a building can also include attaching building modules in a cantilevered manner from the inside surface of the perimeter wall, as well as from other interior walls of the building support structure. For example, balconies or offices overlooking a central atrium within inner open area (such as area 650 of the support structure 620 of FIG. 38).

[0169] The method of constructing a building can also include forming a plurality of access openings through the perimeter wall to allow passage between the building modules and the open inner area. For example, access openings 430 can be formed in building support structure 420 of FIG. 30, and access openings 630 can be formed in building support structure 620 of FIG. 39. The access openings can be formed using a concrete insert form in the manner described above with respect to FIGS. 40-42. While the access opening can also be formed by cutting holes in the perimeter wall, the method of using concrete insert forms is less time consuming and does not result in wasted concrete, as would result by cutting openings in the wall after the wall is formed.

[0170] The building constructing method of the present invention can also include installing service passageways in the open inner area. For example, in FIG. 30 service passageways, including stairways 436 and elevator shafts 494, are depicted as being installed in the open inner area 450 of the building support structure 420. Other service passageways that can be installed (not depicted in FIG. 30) can include electrical conduits, pipes (such as water pipes), air ducts, and communications cables. Water pipes can include not only water for drinking and sanitary uses, but also water for fire fighting purposes, and waste-water (i.e., sewage) pipes. Other types of service passageways can include pipes for conducting fire fighting foam. These latter types of service passageways can be installed in the utility ducts 442 of FIG. 30, for example. When the building is a commercial processing building, then material handling service passageways (or example, conveyors) can also be located within the open inner area. In one embodiment the service passageways can be provided in the form of service passageway modules (e.g., service passageway modules 730 of FIG. 45), in which event the service passageways are installed in the open inner area by connecting together a plurality of the service passageway modules in the manner depicted in FIG. 45. When the apparatus for constructing the building includes a crane (such as crane 648 of apparatus 600 of FIG. 41), then the crane can be used to lower the service passageways modules into the open inner area within the building support structure. Alternately, the crane can lower a service to passageway module into place, and then the next vertical stage of the building support structure can be formed around the just-placed module.

[0171] While the above invention has been described in language more or less specific as to structural and methodical features, it is to be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the specific features shown and described, since the means herein disclosed comprise preferred forms of putting the invention into effect. The invention is, therefore, claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the proper scope of the appended claims appropriately interpreted in accordance with the doctrine of equivalents.