Title:
Graphic designs on covering elements for roofs of buildings or facades
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a method for preparing a graphic design 1 on a plurality of contiguous covering elements 4 forming the outer surface of a roof of a building or a facade by the well-aimed application of parts of the design 1 to the outer surface of the covering elements 4, wherein the graphic resolution of the design 1 is smaller than the outer surface of said covering element 4, and further to a roof of a building or a facade comprising a plurality of contiguous decorative elements 5 forming the outer surface thereof, obtainable by the above method.



Inventors:
Pelzer, Marc (Waterford, IE)
Janzen, Stefan (Wetter, DE)
Application Number:
11/204218
Publication Date:
03/23/2006
Filing Date:
08/15/2005
Assignee:
Clion Ireland Holding Ltd. (Waterford, IE)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04D1/00
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, CHI Q
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Harness Dickey and Pierce, PLC (P.O.Box 828, Bloomfield Hills, MI, 48303, US)
Claims:
1. A method for preparing a graphic design on a plurality of contiguous covering elements forming the outer surface of a roof of a building or a facade, or by a well-aimed application of parts of the design to the outer surface of the covering elements, wherein the graphic resolution of the design is smaller than the outer surface of said covering element.

2. The method according to claim 1, characterized in that roofing tiles, roof metal sheets and/or roof shingles, facade elements, polymer sheets and films are employed as said covering elements.

3. The method according to claim 1, characterized in that an image, a photograph, a flag and/or an ornament is employed as said design.

4. The method according to claim 1, characterized in that the design is applied to the covering elements and/or the base support by applying a design carrier provided with a design or by scattering and fixing colored granules or sand onto the base support and/or the covering elements.

5. The method according to claim 4, characterized in that said method comprises the following steps: a) applying a design to the design carrier in the form of a sheet or in the form of the outer surface of a covering element; b) optionally dividing the design carrier into pieces having the size of the outer surface of the covering elements; c) applying the design carrier provided with the design to the base support or the covering elements, in the latter case to form decorative elements; d) optionally dividing the base support carrying the design carrier provided with the design to form decorative elements into pieces having the size of the outer surface of the covering elements; and e) laying the individual decorative elements onto the roof of the building or the facade.

6. The method according to claim 4, characterized in that said method comprises the following steps: a) the well-aimed application and fixation of a graphic design with colored granules or sand to one or more covering elements or the base support, wherein decorative elements are formed in the former case; b) optionally division of the base support provided with the design to form individual decorative elements; and c) laying the decorative elements onto the roof of the building or the facade.

7. The method according to claim 5 or 6, characterized in that said covering elements or decorative elements are prepared from the base support by punching.

8. The method according to claim 7, characterized in that pigmented granules are employed.

9. The method according to claim 4, characterized in that a paper or plastic sheet is employed as said design carrier.

10. The method according to claim 4, characterized in that a bituminous sheet is employed as said base support.

11. The method according to claim 4, characterized in that said base support or covering element is embossed or deformed.

12. A roof of a building or a facade comprising a plurality of contiguous decorative elements forming the outer surface thereof, obtainable by the method according to claim 1 4, 5 or 6.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of European Patent Application No. No. EP 04 019 874.9, filed Aug. 21, 2004 The disclosure(s) of the above application(s) is (are) incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a method for preparing a graphic design 1 on a plurality of contiguous covering elements 4 of a roof of a building or a facade, and to the roofs of buildings or facades obtained thereby.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Mainly in the U.S.A., it is widespread to apply images on roofs of buildings by laying differently colored roofing tiles or shingles on a roof to form an image. The resolution of the image is determined by the respective differently colored roofing tiles. Thus, an image having a finer resolution is not possible.

The preparation of designs on roofs of buildings using differently colored roofing tiles is also found in the patent specifications U.S. Pat. No. 1,583,563, U.S. Pat. No. 1,893,944 and U.S. Pat. No. 6,253,512 B1, wherein the individual roofing tiles or roof shingles have uniform colors. Therefrom, it again results that the graphic resolution of the design formed is limited by the individual roofing tiles.

In U.S. Pat. No. 5,615,523 A, a wood-like appearance of shingles is produced by making grooves into the surface of roof shingles.

Also in U.S. Pat. No. 5,813,183 A, the optical impression of natural materials is produced by creating structures on the surfaces of roof shingles. The structure-providing material or additional filler materials may be pigmented. In this method, the design is limited to individual covering elements by the preparation method and does not extend over a plurality of the covering elements of a roof.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Thus, it is the object of the present invention to provide a method by which a highly resolved graphic design which extends over a plurality of covering elements can be applied to roofs of buildings and facades.

Further areas of applicability of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description provided hereinafter. It should be understood that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating the preferred embodiment of the invention, are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will become more fully understood from the detailed description and the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 shows a schematic representation of variant 1) of the course of the process.

FIG. 2 shows a schematic representation of variant 2) of the course of the process.

FIG. 3 shows a schematic representation of variant 3) of the course of the process.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The following description of the preferred embodiment(s) is merely exemplary in nature and is in no way intended to limit the invention, its application, or uses.

In a first embodiment, the above object is achieved by a method for the preparation of a graphic design 1 on a plurality of contiguous covering elements 4 forming the outer surface on a roof of a building or a facade by the well-aimed application of parts of the design 1 to the outer surface of the covering elements 4, wherein the graphic resolution of the design 1 is smaller than the outer surface of said covering element 4.

Thus, the graphic design is not produced by applying the whole graphic design 1 to the individual covering elements 4 so that it is represented repeatedly on individual covering elements 4 of the roof or the facade. Also, the graphic design 1 is not formed by applying a more or less random design, such as the texture of wood or the structure of natural rock, to an individual covering element 4, and then an overall impression of a sham material is produced by applying these similar covering elements 4 to a roof of a building or a facade.

Rather, the method according to the invention is characterized in that the graphic design 1 is prepared on a plurality of contiguous covering elements 4 forming the outer surface on a roof of a building or a facade, whereby the overall optical impression of the graphic design 1 is achieved only by the combination of the contiguous covering elements 4. Due to the fact that the graphic resolution of the designs 1 is smaller than the outer surface of the covering elements 4 in the method according to the invention, the graphic designs 1 can be applied to the surface of the roof or the facade with substantially more detail than has been the case to date, since previously the known designs could be applied to roofs or facades merely by using differently colored covering elements 4. Thus, in the known methods, the individual covering elements 4 have uniform colors. In contrast, in the method according to the invention, parts of the design 1 having a minimum structural size which is smaller than the outer surface of the covering elements 4 are applied in a well-aimed manner to individual covering elements 4.

Advantageously, roofing tiles, roof metal sheets and/or roof shingles, facade elements, polymer sheets and films, especially bituminous roof shingles, are employed as said covering elements 4, because these generally form a significant fraction of covering elements 4 for roofs of buildings or facades. The bituminous roof shingles which are wide-spread in the U.S.A. are particularly preferred for fixing the design-providing material on these roof shingles.

Preferably, an image, a photograph, a flag and/or an ornament is employed as said design 1. By using such designs 1, especially photographs, an individual roof or an individual facade can be realized. It is just by the high graphic resolution of the method according to the invention in which the details of the design 1 are significantly smaller than an individual covering element 4, and especially by the use of photorealistic images as said graphic design 1, that the eyes can be deceived to such an extent as to perceive completely different roof types, facades or other geometric shapes than are actually present as the roof or facade. This is done quite in the tradition of trompe l'oeil painting. Thus, with the method according to the invention, it is possible to produce the impression of a hipped roof can be produced on a gable roof, for example. For example, the design and the shape of the roof area or facade area to be transformed can be digitalized and processed by means of a computer program in such a way that a corresponding printing installation can print, for example, a plastic or paper sheet, which can subsequently be applied to the sheet-like base support 3, optionally with a transparent protective sheet. In the image processing, problems of perspective can be counterbalanced by the shape of the roof or facade.

Preferably, the design 1 is applied to the covering elements 4 and/or a base support 3 by applying a design carrier 2 provided with a design to the covering elements 4 and/or the base support 3 or by scattering and fixing colored granules or sand onto the base support 3 and/or the covering elements 4. Then, decorative elements 5 are obtained by this method.

Decorative elements 5 within the meaning of the invention are covering elements or facade elements 4 to which a design carrier 2 provided with a design 1 or the design 1 itself without a carrier has been applied. Covering elements 4 may in turn be formed by cutting base supports 3 to size.

Advantageously, the design carrier 2 may be a plastic or paper sheet, the base support 3 may be a polymer sheet, preferably a bitumen sheet, and the covering elements 4 may be selected from the group consisting of roofing tiles, roof metal sheets and roof shingles or facade claddings.

In particular, the well-aimed application of parts of the graphic design 1 by scattering and fixing colored granules or sand onto the base support 3 and/or the covering elements 4 is particularly advantageous since granules or sand as color vehicles are particularly weather-resistant and durable.

The method according to the invention advantageously comprises the following steps:

a) applying a design 1 to the design carrier 2 in the form of a sheet or in the form of the outer surface of a covering element 4;

b) optionally dividing the design carrier 2 into pieces having the size of the outer surface of the covering elements 4;

c) applying the design carrier 2 provided with the design to the base support 3 or the covering elements 4, in the latter case to form decorative elements 5;

d) optionally dividing the base support 3 carrying the design carrier 2 provided with the design to form decorative elements 5 into pieces having the size of the outer surface of the covering elements 4; and

e) laying the individual decorative elements 5 onto the roof of the building or the facade.

Thus, there are at least the following possibilities for the course of the process up to step d):

Variant 1) of the course of the process: The design 1 is applied to a sheet-like design carrier 2, for example, a sheet with a large surface area. The design carrier is in turn applied to a base support 3 having the same size, which is then divided into pieces having the size of the outer surface of the covering elements 4 to form the decorative elements 5 (see FIG. 1).

In the top view designated with a), FIG. 1 shows a design 1, for example, a photograph of the letter A, on a design carrier 2. In FIG. 1 c), which is a cross-sectional view, the design carrier 2 provided with the design 1 has been applied to a base support 3. In FIG. 1 d), the cutting to size after this step is represented. There are (also in a cross-sectional view) the decorative elements 5 which consist of the covering elements 4 and the divided design carriers 2 provided with a design 1.

Variant 2) of the course of the process: The design 1 is applied to a sheet-like design carrier 2. The latter is divided into pieces having the size of the outer surface of the covering elements 4. The latter are in turn applied to covering elements 4 to form the decorative elements 5 (see FIG. 2).

FIG. 2 a) again shows a design carrier 2 with a design 1. After the cutting to size, the cut pieces of the design carrier 2 provided with the design 1 are obtained (FIG. 2 b). Finally, in FIG. 2 c), these cut pieces have been applied to covering elements 4, the decorative elements 5 being represented in accordance with FIG. 1 c).

Variant 3) of the course of the process: The design 1 is applied to design carriers which have the shape of the outer surface of a covering element 4. These design carriers 2 are in turn applied to covering elements 4 to form decorative elements 5 (see FIG. 3).

FIG. 3 again shows a design 1 on an already cut, i.e., divided, design carrier 2. In FIG. 3 c), these cut pieces have been applied to covering elements 4, so that decorative elements 5 in accordance with FIG. 1 c) are also represented.

The position in space of the design 1 can be adapted to the circumstances. Thus, the design 1 may be in the space between the covering element 4 and the design carrier 2, or else on the outer surface of the sandwich consisting of the design carrier 2 and the covering element 4.

In a further preferred embodiment, the method according to the invention comprises the following steps:

a) well-aimed application and fixation of a graphic design 1 with colored granules or sand to one or more covering elements 4 or the base support 3, wherein decorative elements 5 are directly formed in the former case;

b) optionally division of the base support 3 provided with the design 1 to form individual decorative elements 5; and

c) laying the decorative elements 5 onto the roof of the building or the facade.

In the method according to the invention, the covering elements 4 or decorative elements 5 are advantageously prepared from the base support 3 by punching. Thus, the base support 3 can be easily processed into decorative elements 5 even after the design carrier 2 has been applied.

Advantageously, pigmented granules are employed as said colored granules, because not only the natural colors of the granules employed but also any other color can be employed in this way. As a scattering technique for the well-aimed application of the graphic design 1 by means of the pigmented granules, a process which is analogous to the known ink-jet printing method can be employed.

In the method according to the invention, a paper or plastic sheet is advantageously employed as the design carrier 2. A plastic sheet, such as a decorative sheet, can be applied as a laminate to the base support 3 or the covering elements 4. The sheet can be printed first and subsequently backed onto the base support 3 or the covering elements 4. Also, a metal foil can be employed to produce a metal effect in the graphic design 1.

Preferably, bituminous sheets are employed as base supports 3 in the method according to the invention. Colored sand or colored granules can be scattered and fixed thereon particularly easily, whereupon especially polymer sheets can be punched particularly easily to form decorative elements 5, such as roof shingles provided with the design 1.

In the method according to the invention, the base support 3 or the covering element 4 may also be embossed or deformed. By such three-dimensional deforming, the optical illusion or another graphic design 1 can be additionally enhanced.

In a further embodiment, the above mentioned object is achieved by a roof of a building or a facade comprising a plurality of contiguous decorative elements 5 forming the outer surface, obtainable by the above described method.

EXAMPLE 1

A photorealistic image or photograph is printed as a graphic design 1 onto a plastic sheet as a design carrier 2 by a multicolor printing method. During the designing of the photograph 1 or the photorealistic image 1 and during the printing, the later cutting pattern of the plastic sheet 2 and the laying geometry of the roof shingles 4 are taken into account. In a second step, this printed plastic sheet 2 is laminated onto a bituminous sheet as a base support 3. Subsequently, roof shingles or facade elements are punched out as decorative elements 5 from the polymer sheet 3 provided with the printed plastic sheet 2. During the punching, the roof shingles 5 are numbered. After a laying plan has been established from the design 1 and the numbers, the roof shingles or facade elements provided with partial designs are laid as decorative elements 5 onto a roof of a building or a facade.

EXAMPLE 2

Granules with different colors are scattered or sprayed onto a bituminous sheet as a base support 3 and fixed to form the image of a photograph or a photorealistic image as a graphic design 1. During the application, the later cutting pattern of the bituminous sheet 3 and the laying geometry of the roof shingles or facade elements 4 are taken into account. Subsequently, the roof shingles or facade elements are punched out as decorative elements 5 from the bituminous sheet 3. During the punching, the roof shingles or facade elements 4 are numbered. After a laying plan has been established from the design 1 and the numbers, the roof shingles or facade elements provided with partial designs are laid as decorative elements 5 onto a roof of a building or a facade.

The description of the invention is merely exemplary in nature and, thus, variations that do not depart from the gist of the invention are intended to be within the scope of the invention. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the spirit and scope of the invention.