Title:
Installation apparatus and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Method and apparatus are disclosed for providing access for cable or conduit installation from a roof top 2 or a basement of a building to the building interior 20. The method comprises the steps of mounting a drilling apparatus 22 on the building roof top and above a wall 6 of the building, or in the basement and below the building wall. The drilling apparatus is then used to drill a bore 26 that extends from the roof top into the wall, or that that extends from the basement into the wall. At least one aperture 28 extending from the building interior into the wall can be provided and the building interior can then communicate with the bore. The drilling apparatus 22 can comprise a drill string 24 comprising a drill bit, a drill motor adapted to drive the drill string and a support frame 32 having a lower portion 34 adapted to be mounted on the roof top or in the basement, and an upper portion 36 adapted to support the weight of the drill string, substantially independently of the drill motor. The support frame can be adapted for vertical displacement of the upper portion relative to the lower portion to lower and raise the drill string during drilling.



Inventors:
Schillert, Paul Alexander (Matraville, AU)
Application Number:
11/440350
Publication Date:
12/14/2006
Filing Date:
05/24/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SPAHN, GAY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
K&L Gates LLP-Charlotte (P.O. Box 33144, CHARLOTTE, NC, 28233, US)
Claims:
1. A method for providing access for cable or conduit installation from a roof top or a basement of a building to the building interior, the method comprising the steps of: (a) mounting a drilling apparatus on the building roof top and above a wall of the building, or in the basement and below a wall of the building; (b) drilling with the drilling apparatus a bore that extends from the roof top into the wall, or that that extends from the basement into the wall; (c) providing at least one aperture extending from the building interior into the wall; and (d) communicating the building interior with the bore.

2. A method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the wall comprises an inner shell and an outer shell separated by a wall cavity, with the drilling step then comprising drilling a bore that extends from the roof top or basement into the wall cavity, and with the at least one aperture communicating the building interior with the bore via the wall cavity.

3. A method as claimed in claim 2 wherein the wall comprises a plurality of cavities between the inner shell and outer shell, the cavities being separated by one or more floor slabs, with the drilling step then comprising drilling a series of axial bore sections through the roof top and each of the floor slabs or, when commenced from the basement, through each of the floor slabs.

4. A method as claimed in claim 1 further comprising the step of running a cable or conduit from the roof top or the basement via the bore and aperture to the building interior.

5. A method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the building comprises a parapet erected above the wall, with the drilling apparatus being mounted above the parapet in use, wherein the drilling step comprises drilling a bore through the parapet and into the wall.

6. A method as claimed in claim 5 further comprising the step of providing a branch hole at the base of the parapet to facilitate access to the bore from the roof top.

7. A method as claimed in claim, 1 further comprising the step of, during the drilling operation, supporting the weight of a drill string in the drilling apparatus, substantially independently of a drill motor of the drilling apparatus.

8. A method as claimed in claim 1 further comprising the step of preparing an unlevel surface to be drilled within the wall by applying a plastic setting medium to the unlevel surface and substantially levelling the plastic setting medium.

9. A method as claimed in claim 8 further comprising the step of inserting a tamper via the bore, and tamping the plastic setting medium to be substantially level.

10. A method as claimed in claim 8 or 9 wherein an opening is made in the wall either from the building exterior or interior to facilitate installation of the plastic setting medium.

11. A method as claimed in claim 8 or 9 further comprising the step of centring the drill string by lowering a centre point device into the bore, forming an indent in the plastic setting medium with the centre point device as the plastic setting medium sets and centring a drill string of the drilling apparatus on the indent.

12. A method as claimed in claim 1 further comprising the step of monitoring the drilling operation by means of closed circuit TV cameras within the wall.

13. A method as claimed in claim 12 wherein the closed circuit TV cameras are passed into the wall via a drill pipe of the drilling apparatus or via the empty bore.

14. A method as claimed in claim 1 further comprising the step of fixing a tube within a bore section.

15. A method as claimed in claim 14 wherein slots are provided in the tube and sealant is pressed from within the tube and out via the slots to seal the tube within the bore section.

16. A method as claimed in claim 15 further comprising cutting flaps into the tube and bending the flaps outwardly to engage surfaces at the top and bottom of the base section, or twisting the tube in the bore hole as the sealant is pressed out.

17. A method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the drilling apparatus comprises a drill motor and a drill string, and the drill string comprises a drill pipe and a drill bit.

18. A drilling apparatus adapted to drill a bore from a roof top or a basement of a building into a wall of the building for cable or conduit access from the roof top or basement, the apparatus comprising: (a) a drill string comprising a drill bit; (b) a drill motor adapted to drive the drill string; (c) a support frame having a lower portion adapted to be mounted on the roof top or in the basement, and an upper portion adapted to support the weight of the drill string, substantially independently of the drill motor; wherein the support frame is adapted for vertical displacement of the upper portion relative to the lower portion to lower and raise the drill string during drilling.

19. Apparatus as claimed in claim 18 wherein the drill string further comprises one or more sections of drill pipe, with the drill bit being connected to a first such section.

20. Apparatus as claimed in claim 18 wherein the support frame upper portion comprises a mounting plate to which the drill motor can be mounted and at least one jack adapted to raise and lower the plate relative to the lower portion.

21. Apparatus as claimed in claim 20 comprising two jacks and two guide pins adapted to uniformly raise and lower the upper portion.

22. Apparatus as claimed in claim 18 further comprising a thrust bearing supported on the upper portion and adapted to transfer torque from the drill motor to the drill string, with a drill locking chuck being associated with the thrust bearing to lock the thrust bearing.

23. Apparatus as claimed in claim 18 further comprising a closed circuit TV camera adapted to be passed down the drill string to monitor the drilling progress and drilling environment.

24. Apparatus as claimed in claim 18 further comprising a plastic setting medium dispensing device adapted to be passed down the bore and to dispense a plastic setting medium at a surface to be drilled, with a tamper being adapted to be lowered into the bore for tamping the plastic setting medium and creating a substantially level surface, and with a centre point device being adapted to be lowered into the bore and to create an indent in the plastic setting medium as it sets.

25. Apparatus as claimed in claim 18 further comprising a compressed air spraying unit adapted to be inserted into the bore and to spray paint onto the interior surface of the bore.

26. Apparatus as claimed in claim 18 further comprising a dispensing device adapted to install and seal a tube within a section of the bore, with the tube having a plurality of slots cut therein to allow sealant to be pressed from within the tube to the tube exterior.

27. Apparatus as claimed in claim 26 wherein the dispensing device comprises a draw rod attached to a piston rod and piston, a piston housing slidably and axially mounted on the draw rod and adapted to receive the piston rod, and a boss around the piston housing adapted to receive an end of the tube, wherein the boss, tube and piston define a sealant chamber, and wherein drawing the piston rod into the piston housing presses sealant from the sealant chamber out of the tube via the slots.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is based upon Australian Patent Application No. 2004224962 dated Nov. 1, 2004, and published May 26, 2005.

1. Technical Field

An apparatus and a method are disclosed for installation of cables, conduits and the like. The apparatus and method have been primarily developed for use in providing access for cable and conduit installation from a roof top and/or basement of a building to the building interior and will be described hereinafter with reference to this application. However, it will be appreciated that the apparatus and method are not limited to this particular application.

2. Background Art

Cable and conduit installation in multi-storey buildings can be a particularly complex procedure. Existing methods include a continuous cavity cabling method, in which cables are run within the building cavity between the external wall and the internal wall. However, high rise buildings and smaller buildings with specific architectural features (eg. flat roofs with surrounding parapet walls or concrete floor slabs) can prevent implementation of the continuous cavity cabling method. In this and other circumstances, external cabling and conduits can be employed. However, externally mounted cabling and conduits can be aesthetically unpleasant and can potentially impact property values. Building management bodies can, for this reason, refuse cable and conduit installations.

Further, with the advent of pay TV and broadband services, the need for cable installation has increased dramatically.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

In a first aspect there is disclosed a method for providing access for cable or conduit installation from a roof top or a basement of a building to the building interior, the method comprising the steps of:

  • mounting a drilling apparatus on the building roof top and above a wall of the building, or in the basement and below a wall of the building;
  • drilling with the drilling apparatus a bore that extends from the roof top into the wall, or that that extends from the basement into the wall;
  • providing at least one aperture extending from the building interior into the wall; and
  • communicating the building interior with the bore.

When the term “roof” is employed herein, it should be appreciated that the roof in a given installation may in fact be defined by an overlying floor (eg. in a multi-storey building).

The drilling apparatus may comprise a drill motor and a drill string. The drill string may comprise a drill pipe and a drill bit.

The wall may comprise an inner shell and an outer shell separated by a wall cavity. In this form, the drilling step may comprise drilling a bore that extends from the roof top or basement into the wall cavity, and the at least one aperture may communicate the building interior with the bore via the wall cavity.

The wall may comprise a plurality of cavities between the inner shell and outer shell, the cavities being separated by one or more floor slabs. In this form, the drilling step may comprise drilling a series of axial bore sections through the roof top and each of the floor slabs or, when commenced from the basement, through each of the floor slabs.

The method may further-comprise the step of running a cable or conduit from the roof top or the basement via the bore and aperture to the building interior.

For buildings which comprise a parapet erected above the wall, the drilling apparatus may be mounted above the parapet and the drilling step may comprise drilling a bore through the parapet and into the wall. In this form, the method may further comprise the step of providing a branch hole at the base of the parapet to facilitate access to the bore from the roof top.

The method may further comprise the step of, during the drilling operation, supporting the weight of a drill string in the drilling apparatus, substantially independently of a drill motor of the drilling apparatus.

The method may further comprise the step of preparing an unlevel surface to be drilled within the wall by applying a plastic setting medium to the unlevel surface and substantially levelling the plastic setting medium. The method may further comprise the step of inserting a tamper via the bore and tamping the plastic setting medium substantially level. An opening may be made in the wall either from the building exterior or interior to facilitate installation of the plastic setting medium.

The method may further comprise the step of centring the drill string by lowering a centre point device into the bore, forming an indent in the plastic setting medium with the centre point device as the plastic setting medium sets and centring a drill string of the drilling apparatus on the indent.

The method may further comprise the step of monitoring the drilling operation by means of closed circuit TV cameras within the wall. The closed circuit TV cameras may be passed into the wall via a drill pipe of the drilling apparatus or via the empty bore.

The method may further comprise the step of fixing a tube within a bore section. This step may further comprise providing slots in the tube and pressing sealant from within the tube out via the slots to seal the tube within the bore section. This step may further comprise cutting flaps in to the tube and bending the flaps outwardly to engage surfaces at the top and bottom of the base section. This step may further comprise twisting the tube in the bore hole as the sealant is pressed out.

In a second aspect there is disclosed a drilling apparatus adapted to drill a bore from a roof top or a basement of a building into a wall of the building for cable or conduit access from the roof top or basement, the apparatus comprising:

  • a drill string comprising a drill bit;
  • a drill motor adapted to drive the drill string;
  • a support frame having a lower portion adapted to be mounted on the roof top or in the basement, and an upper portion adapted to support the weight of the drill string, substantially independently of the drill motor;

wherein the support frame is adapted for vertical displacement of the upper portion relative to the lower portion to lower and raise the drill string during drilling.

The drill string may further comprise a drill pipe to which the drill bit can be connected. Multiple sections of drill pipe can then progressively be connected into the string as drilling progresses through each floor, with the drill bit being connected to a first such section.

The support frame upper portion may comprise a mounting plate to which the drill motor can be mounted and at least one jack adapted to raise and lower the plate relative to the lower portion. The support frame may comprise two jacks and two guide pins adapted to uniformly raise and lower the upper portion. The at least one jack may be, for example, a hydraulic jack or a manual jack.

The apparatus may further comprise a thrust bearing supported on the upper portion and adapted to transfer torque from the drill motor to the drill string. The apparatus may further comprise a drill locking chuck associated with the thrust bearing to lock the thrust bearing.

The apparatus may further comprise a closed circuit TV camera adapted to be passed down the drill string (eg. via the drill pipe) to monitor the drilling progress and drilling environment.

The apparatus may further comprise a plastic setting medium dispensing device adapted to be passed down the bore and to dispense a plastic setting medium at a surface to be drilled.

The apparatus may further comprise a tamper adapted to be lowered into the bore for tamping the plastic setting medium and creating a substantially level surface.

The apparatus may further comprise a centre point device adapted to be lowered into the bore and to create an indent in the plastic setting medium as it sets.

The apparatus may further comprise a compressed air spraying unit adapted to be inserted into the bore and to spray paint onto the interior surface of the bore.

The apparatus may further comprise a dispensing device adapted to install and seal a tube within a section of the bore. The tube may have a plurality of slots cut therein to allow sealant to be pressed from within the tube to the tube exterior. The dispensing device may comprise a draw rod attached to a piston rod and piston, a piston housing slidably and axially mounted on the draw rod and adapted to receive the piston rod, and a boss around the piston housing adapted to receive an end of the tube, wherein the boss, tube and piston define a sealant chamber, and wherein drawing the piston rod into the piston housing presses sealant from the sealant chamber out of the tube via the slots. The piston may be a substantially conically shaped piston.

The apparatus and method defined herein have been primarily developed for use in providing access for cable and conduit installation from a roof or basement of a building to the building interior and, whilst primarily being described with reference to this application, are not so limited. In addition, the apparatus and method find broad application with a wide range of cables and conduits including electrical, computing and communications cables, and cables and conduits for utilities and other services, including cables, conduits and pipes for power, water, gas, oil, air and other media.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Specific embodiments of apparatus and methods for installation of cables and conduits will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a partial cross sectional view of a building demonstrating an example of the apparatus and method for installation of cables and conduits;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the support frame and thrust bearing of the apparatus for installation of cables and conduits;

FIG. 3 is a front view of the apparatus of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is a partial cross sectional view of a building demonstrating an example of levelling an unlevel surface for drilling in accordance with the apparatus and method for cable/conduit installation;

FIG. 5 is a similar view to FIG. 4 demonstrating the tamping step and device in accordance with the apparatus and method for cable/conduit installation;

FIG. 6 is a similar view to FIGS. 4 and 5 demonstrating the use of a centre point device in accordance with the apparatus and method for cable/conduit installation;

FIG. 7 depicts a centring drill in accordance with the apparatus and method for cable/conduit installation;

FIG. 8 is a partial cross sectional view of a building demonstrating a closed circuit camera in accordance with the apparatus and method for cable/conduit installation;

FIG. 9 depicts a tube and deployment device in accordance with the apparatus and method for cable/conduit installation;

FIG. 10 depicts the deployment device of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a partial cross sectional view of a building demonstrating the deployment of the tube of FIG. 9; and

FIGS. 12A-D show examples of images provided by the closed circuit camera of FIGS. 8.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 depicts an embodiment of the apparatus and method for cable/conduit installation applied to a multi-storey building. The apparatus and method are described hereafter in relation to a drilling operation taking place from a roof top area of the building. However, it should be appreciated that the operation can readily be conducted from a basement of a building where that basement allows for access to an overlying vertical external wall of the building. Only relatively minor variations to the apparatus and method may then be required.

The multi-storey building has a roof top area 2 above a roof 4. A vertical external wall 6 of the wall comprises an outer shell 8, an inner shell 10 and a wall cavity 12. The wall 6 is interrupted by horizontal floor slabs 14 extending completely through the wall 6, dividing the wall shells 8, 10 and wall cavity 12 into multiple segments.

A solid parapet 16 extends above the wall 6 on the roof top 2. A damp proof flashing 18 is provided in the wall cavity 12, extending outwardly and downwardly from the inner shell 10 to the outer shell 8 adjacent the floor slab 14. The flashing 18 diverts water running down the inner shell 10 in the cavity 12 from the inner shell 10 to the outer shell 8. The wall 6, roof 4 and floor slabs 14 together define a partitioned building interior 20.

In order to provide access for cable or conduit installation from the roof top 2 to the building interior 20, a drilling apparatus 22 having a drill string 24 is mounted above the parapet 16. The drill string 24 comprises a number of lengths of drill pipe screwed together in series and a drill bit at the distal end of the drill string. The drill bit comprises a 500 mm length of drill pipe with a diamond encrusted rim.

In use, the drilling operation is performed to drill a vertical bore 26 through the parapet 16, into the wall cavity 12 and through each of the floor slabs 14, thereby producing a series of axially aligned bore sections separated by the cavity 12. An aperture 28 is created in the inner shell 10 of the wall 6 by drilling, cutting or removing a portion of the inner shell 10. A horizontal branch hole 30 may also be made at the base of the parapet 16 by, for example, drilling with a diamond core drill. This allows a cable or conduit to be installed by running the cable or conduit from the roof top 2, via the branch hole 30, bore 26 and aperture 28, to the building interior 20. Once the branch hole 30 has been created, the bore 26 above the branch hole 30 is no longer required and may be filled in or concealed from above.

During the drilling operation, the weight of the drill string 24 is supported by the material being drilled. However, when the drill string 24 passes through, for example, the parapet 16 or a floor slab 14, the weight of the drill string 24 is borne by the drilling apparatus 22, which may place an excessive load on the drill motor. Therefore, referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, a support frame 32 may be provided to support the weight of the drill string 24 substantially independently of the drill motor. The support frame 32 includes a lower portion, shown here as a base plate 34, adapted to be mounted to a building roof top, and an upper portion, shown here as top plate 36, mounted for displacement relative to the base plate 34 by hydraulic jacks 38. Alternatively, manual jacks may be used. The top plate 36 is guided during the displacement by guide pins 40. The drill string 24 is rotatably mounted through the top plate 36 by a thrust bearing 42 and locked by a drill locking chuck 46 for axial rotation by the drill motor. The jacks 38 are connected to a control mechanism 46 to synchronise their operation. In use, the support frame 32, via the jacks 38, bears the weight of the drill string 24 via the thrust bearing 42, reducing the total load on the drill motor.

Unlevel surfaces, such as the flashings 18, may be encountered during the drilling operation. The flashings 18, located above the floor slabs 14 in the wall cavity 12, are inclined relative to the level floor slabs 14 in order to divert water from the inner shell 10 down towards the outer shell 8. When the drill string 24 is lowered to contact the flashing 18, the inclined surface of the flashing 18 may cause the drill string 24 to skate or skew and bend towards the outer shell 8.

Therefore, and referring to FIGS. 4 to 7, a plastic setting medium 50, such as the high bonding material Jetflex (Trade Mark of Sherwin-Williams), is applied to the flashing 18 in the area for drilling to provide a level surface 52. An opening may be created in the outer shell 8 or inner shell 10 of the wall 6 at the flashing site to facilitate application and levelling of the plastic setting medium 50. Sand may be added to the plastic setting medium 50 to aid the drilling thereof. The plastic setting medium 50 is applied via a feed pipe inserted into the bore 26. A tamping rod 54 having a rubber tamper 55 is lowered into the bore to press the setting medium 50 and create a level surface 52. During setting of the setting medium 50, a heavy steel centre point 56 is lowered into the setting medium 50 to create an indent 58 in the medium 50. A centring drill 60 having a masonry bit 62 is used to centre the drill string 24. The masonry bit 62 is aligned and received in the indent 58. The bore 26 can then continue to be drilled through the plastic setting medium 50, flashing 18 and floor slab 14 in continuous axial alignment.

Referring to FIG. 8, a closed circuit television camera 64 is used to monitor the progress of the drilling operation, by allowing the operator to inspect the cavity 12, to detect and identify surfaces to be drilled such as flashings 18 and to guide the drill string 24. The camera 64 may be inserted down the centre of the drill string or down the empty bore. A monitor 66 is provided to display images received by the camera 64.

The bore 26 may extend through a number of reinforced concrete floor slabs 14, which may make the steel reinforcements in the slab 14 susceptible to corrosion (known as concrete cancer). Further, it is not particularly desirable to have water running down through bore sections 26 when cabling or conduits are installed.

Therefore, referring to FIGS. 9 to 11, a tube 70 and deployment device 72 are provided to install the tube 70 in the bore section 26. The tube 70 is cut to a length that is longer than the bore section 26 into which it is to be inserted, so that the tube projects above the surface of the opening of the bore section 26 to prevent surface water running down the bore. The tube 70 has a plurality of slots 74 cut therein to allow sealant to be pressed from within the tube 70 via the slots 74 to the tube exterior. The tube 70 also has two sets of flaps 76, 78 cut adjacent each end of the tube 70. The flaps 76, 78 are adapted to bend outwardly of the tube 70 and engage the surfaces around the top and bottom of the bore section 26. The bottom flaps 76 catch on the underside of slab 14 and the top flaps 78 are forced outwardly as the sealant is pressed out. The flaps 76, 78 act to anchor the tube 70 within the bore section 26.

The deployment device 72 comprises a draw rod 80 connected to a piston rod 82. A piston housing 86 is slidably and axially mounted on the draw rod 80 and is adapted to receive the piston rod 82. The piston housing 86 further comprises a boss 88 adapted to receive and plug an end of the tube 70 such that the piston 84, tube 70 and boss 88 form a chamber 90.

During application, the tube 70 is mounted on the deployment device 72 and plugged at one end by the boss 88. The chamber 90 formed by the piston 84, tube 70 and boss 88 is at least partially filled with sealant. The deployment device is lowered into the bore section 26 until the bottom flaps 76 pass through the bore section 26 and engage the underside of the slab 14. The draw rod 80 is then drawn upwards, retracting the piston rod 82 into the piston housing 86. This compresses the chamber 90 and forces sealant out of the chamber 90 via the slots 74 and flaps 76, 78. When the piston rod 82 is fully retracted, the piston housing 86 is drawn upwards by the draw rod 80, unplugging the boss 88 from the tube 70 and leaving the tube 70 anchored and sealed within the bore section 26. By twisting the tube 70 as it is inserted, the sealant is spread around the bore surface, improving the seal within the bore. An opening may be made in the inner or outer shell of the wall at the bore section site to assist installation of the tube 70.

FIGS. 12A-D depict examples of images that can be recorded by the camera during the drilling operation, demonstrating how the camera is used to monitor and guide the drilling operation.

The apparatus and method have been described with reference to a specific type of building. However, the apparatus and method may be used on a variety of building types, whether the walls are completely solid, continuous cavity, slab to outside wall and whether or not the building has a parapet. Buildings with balconies allow easy access to the exterior of the wall, for circumstances requiring access to a site within the wall.

The apparatus and method described above enable access for cabling and conduits from a building roof top or basement with minimal effect to the building aesthetics. Cabling and conduits can be provided from the roof top or basement, through the wall to the building interior, without the need for visually displeasing internal or external wiring. The apparatus and method may also be embodied in many other forms.

In the claims which follow and in the preceding description, except where the context requires otherwise due to express language or necessary implication, the word “comprise” or variations such as “comprises” or “comprising” is used in an inclusive sense, i.e. to specify the presence of the stated features but not to preclude the presence or addition of further features in various embodiments of the apparatus and method.

Whilst a number of specific embodiments of apparatus and methods for installation of cables and conduits have been described, it will be appreciated by a skilled person that the installation apparatus and method can be embodied in many other forms.