Title:
DOOR ASSEMBLY FOR A PORTABLE SHELTER WITH ARCHED VESTIBULE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A door assembly is disclosed for installation in a portable shelter with an arched vestibule. The door assembly comprises: an upper door support member, a lower door support member, a door in a frame secured to the upper and lower door support members, and a partition covering areas of an opening between the shelter and vestibule on each side of the door and above the upper door support member. The upper door support member is secured to a shelter frame below an arched horizontal member thereof across the opening between the shelter and the vestibule, and the lower door support member is secured to the shelter frame across the bottom of the opening. The door assembly may be supplied as a kit for retrofitting the portable shelter with the arched vestibule to include the door.



Inventors:
Ballard, Terry M. (Eugene, OR, US)
Kruysman, Theodore C. (Eugene, OR, US)
Neckels, Nathan (Eugene, OR, US)
Woods, Nathan (Eugene, OR, US)
Application Number:
11/382693
Publication Date:
02/14/2008
Filing Date:
05/10/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/79.1
International Classes:
E04H6/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KENNY, DANIEL J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DAVID S ALAVI (2852 WILLAMETTE ST #402, EUGENE, OR, 97405-8200, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A door assembly installed in a portable shelter with an arched vestibule, the door assembly comprising: an upper door support member secured to a shelter frame below an arched horizontal member thereof across an opening between the shelter and the vestibule; a lower door support member secured to the shelter frame across the bottom of the opening between the shelter and the vestibule; at least one door in a door frame, the door frame being secured to the upper and lower door support members; and flexible shelter material forming a partition covering areas of the opening on each side of the door frame and between the arched horizontal member and the upper door support member.

2. The door assembly of claim 1, wherein the door, door frame, and partition are sealed so that the shelter may be used as an isolation enclosure.

3. The door assembly of claim 1, further comprising a pair of angled brackets for securing the ends of the upper door support member to the arched horizontal member.

4. The door assembly of claim 1, wherein the door assembly is adapted for being repeatedly installed in and uninstalled from the shelter and vestibule while leaving the shelter and vestibule substantially undisturbed.

5. The door assembly of claim 1, wherein the shelter and vestibule comprise a portion of a modular shelter system.

6. The door assembly of claim 1, wherein the upper and lower door support members are substantially straight.

7. A portable shelter with an arched vestibule, comprising: an assembled shelter frame comprising vertical members and upper and lower horizontal members, wherein at least one upper horizontal member is arched; an assembled vestibule frame connected to the shelter frame so that the arched upper horizontal member partly defines an opening between the shelter and the vestibule; an upper door support member secured to the shelter frame below the arched horizontal member across the opening between the shelter and the vestibule; a lower door support member secured to the shelter frame across the bottom of the opening between the shelter and the vestibule; at least one door in a door frame secured to the upper and lower door support members; flexible shelter material forming sides and a roof on the shelter frame, and forming sides and an arched roof on the vestibule frame; and flexible shelter material forming a partition covering areas of the opening on each side of the door frame and between the arched horizontal member and the door support member.

8. The shelter of claim 7, further comprising a second door assembly on the vestibule so that the vestibule is arranged as an airlock-type structure.

9. The shelter of claim 8, further comprising a second shelter connected to the vestibule through the second door assembly.

10. The shelter of claim 8, wherein the second door assembly includes an exterior door.

11. The shelter of claim 7, wherein the door, door frame, and partition are sealed so that the shelter may be used as an isolation enclosure.

12. The shelter of claim 7, further comprising a pair of angled brackets for securing the ends of the upper door support member to the arched horizontal member.

13. The shelter of claim 7, wherein the door assembly is adapted for being repeatedly installed in and uninstalled from the shelter and vestibule while leaving the shelter and vestibule substantially undisturbed.

14. The shelter of claim 7, wherein the shelter and vestibule comprise a portion of a modular shelter system.

15. The shelter of claim 7, wherein the upper and lower door support members are substantially straight.

16. A method for installing a door assembly in a portable shelter with an arched vestibule, the method comprising: securing an upper door support member to a shelter frame below an arched horizontal member thereof across an opening between the shelter and the vestibule; securing a lower door support member to the shelter frame across the bottom of the opening between the shelter and the vestibule; securing a door frame with at least one door to the upper and lower door support members; and securing flexible material to the shelter frame, the door frame, the upper door support member, or the lower door support member so as to form a partition covering areas of the opening on each side of the door frame and between the arched horizontal member and the upper door support member.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein the vestibule includes a second door assembly SO that the vestibule is arranged as an airlock-type structure.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein a second shelter is connected to the vestibule through the second door assembly.

19. The method of claim 17, wherein the second door assembly includes an exterior door.

20. The method of claim 16, wherein the door assembly is installed in a previously-assembled shelter and vestibule shelter as a retrofit while leaving the shelter and vestibule substantially undisturbed.

21. The method of claim 16, wherein the door, door frame, and partition are sealed so that the shelter may be used as an isolation enclosure.

22. The method of claim 16, wherein the ends of the upper door support member are secured to the arched horizontal member by a pair of angled brackets.

23. The method of claim 16, further comprising repeatedly installing and uninstalling the door assembly from the shelter and vestibule while leaving the shelter and vestibule substantially undisturbed.

24. The method of claim 23, wherein floor areas of the shelter and the vestibule form a contiguous area when the door assembly is uninstalled.

25. The method of claim 23, wherein the arched member defines the upper portion of the opening between the shelter and vestibule when the door assembly is uninstalled.

26. The method of claim 16, wherein the shelter comprises a portion of a modular shelter system.

27. The method of claim 16, wherein the upper and lower door support members are substantially straight.

28. A kit for retrofitting with a door assembly a portable shelter with an arched vestibule, the kit comprising: an upper door support member; hardware for securing the upper door support member to a shelter frame below an arched horizontal member thereof across an opening between the shelter and the vestibule, and for securing the lower door support member across the bottom of the opening between the shelter and the vestibule; a lower door support member arranged for being secured to the shelter frame across the bottom of the opening between the shelter and the vestibule; at least one door and a corresponding door frame, the door frame being arranged for being secured to the upper and lower door support members; and flexible shelter material shaped so as to form a partition covering areas of the opening on each side of the door frame and between the arched horizontal member and the door support member.

29. The kit of claim 28, further comprising instructions directing a user to: secure the upper door support member to the shelter frame below the arched horizontal member thereof across the opening between the shelter and the vestibule; secure the lower door support member to the shelter frame across the bottom of the opening between the shelter and the vestibule; secure the door frame with the door to the upper and lower door support members; and secure flexible material to the shelter frame, the door frame, the upper door support member, or the lower door support member so as to form the partition.

30. The kit of claim 28, wherein the door, door frame, and partition are arranged to be sealed so that the shelter may be used as an isolation enclosure.

31. The kit of claim 28, further comprising a pair of angled brackets for securing the ends of the upper door support member to the arched horizontal member in a substantially horizontal arrangement.

32. The kit of claim 28, wherein the door assembly is adapted for being repeatedly installed in and uninstalled from the shelter and vestibule while leaving the shelter and vestibule substantially undisturbed.

33. The kit of claim 28, wherein the shelter and vestibule comprise a portion of a modular shelter system.

34. The kit of claim 28, wherein the upper and lower door support members are substantially straight.

Description:

BACKGROUND

The field of the present invention relates to portable shelters. In particular, a door assembly is disclosed herein for installation between a portable shelter and an attached vestibule.

Portable shelters are used extensively as temporary housing, medical facilities, or storage facilities, and for other purposes. The need for such temporary structures or facilities may arise in many different circumstances, e.g., response and recovery after a natural disaster, industrial accident or other man-made disaster, terrorist attack, and so forth. Modular shelter systems offer flexibility in configuring multiple portable shelters into larger structures of varying size or configuration, enabling such shelters to fulfill a variety of needs. Examples of such modular shelter systems include HO- and HS-Series shelters from Western Shelter Systems, which may be connected to each other by vestibule structures to form larger shelter structures.

In many circumstances it is desirable that joined shelters form a single contiguous area including the areas of the joined shelters as well as the area of vestibule(s) connecting them. The Western Shelter Systems vestibules and shelters are designed to provide such a contiguous area, with an open passage between each shelter and adjoining vestibule that has no frame member across the bottom of the passage and that has an arched upper portion to provide headroom. In other circumstances, separation of space may be necessary or desirable. For example, if a set of connected portable shelters is to be used as a temporary medical facility, it is typically desirable to separate various spaces within the structure, e.g., for limiting spread of or exposure to infectious or chemical agents, for maintaining a sterile surgical environment, for isolation containment, or for other reasons. Depending on the reasons for isolating a particular space within the shelter system, a ventilation system may be employed for supplying filtered air in either a positive- or negative-pressure arrangement. The efficacy of such an arrangement depends at least in part on the ability to separate a portion of the interior space of the shelter that is to be isolated.

It is therefore desirable to provide a door assembly for installation in an opening between a portable shelter and a connected vestibule. It may be desirable that the door assembly be adapted for installation in a modular shelter system, or to be repeatedly installed and uninstalled. It may be desirable that the door assembly be installed in the portable shelter as original equipment, or as a retrofit. It may be desirable to provide components of the door assembly in kit form for retrofitting. It may be desirable that the door assembly be sealable so that the shelter may be used as an isolation containment enclosure.

SUMMARY

A door assembly is disclosed for installation in a portable shelter with an arched vestibule. The door assembly comprises: an upper door support member, a lower door support member, a door in a frame secured to the upper and lower door support members, and a partition covering areas of an opening between the shelter and vestibule on each side of the door and above the upper door support member. The upper door support member is secured to a shelter frame below an arched horizontal member thereof across the opening between the shelter and the vestibule, and the lower door support member is secured to the shelter frame across the bottom of the opening.

A method for installing a door assembly in a portable shelter with an arched vestibule structure comprises: securing the upper door support member to the shelter frame below the arched horizontal member across the opening between the shelter and the vestibule; securing the lower door support member to the shelter frame across the bottom of the opening; securing the door frame with the door to the door support members; and securing flexible material to the shelter frame, the door frame, or the door support members, so as to form the partition. A kit for retrofitting the portable shelter with the arched vestibule to include the door comprises the upper and lower door support members, hardware for securing the upper door support member to the shelter frame below the arched horizontal member and for securing the lower door support member to the shelter frame; the door and door frame; and flexible shelter material shaped so as to form the partition covering areas of the opening on each side of the door frame and between the arched horizontal member and the door support member.

Objects and advantages pertaining to door assemblies for portable shelters and vestibules may become apparent upon referring to the exemplary embodiments illustrated in the drawings and disclosed in the following written description or claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates schematically a frame for a portable shelter and a connected arched vestibule, including a door assembly.

FIG. 2 illustrates schematically a portable shelter and a connected arched vestibule, including a door assembly.

FIG. 3 illustrates schematically two portable shelters connected by a vestibule, including door assemblies.

FIG. 4 illustrates schematically a portable shelter and a vestibule, including a door assembly and an exterior door.

FIGS. 5A and 5B illustrate schematically an upper door support member and mounting hardware therefor.

FIG. 6 illustrates schematically a lower door support member and mounting hardware therefor.

The embodiments shown in the Figures are exemplary, and should not be construed as limiting the scope of the present disclosure and/or appended claims.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

A frame 10 for a portable shelter is schematically illustrated in FIG. 1. The assembled frame comprises vertical members 12, upper horizontal members 14, and lower horizontal members 16. At least one of the upper horizontal members is arched (labeled 17 in the Figures). Attached to the shelter frame 10 is a frame 18 for an arched vestibule, with the arched upper horizontal member 17 partly defining the opening between the shelter and the vestibule. The remainder of the vestibule frame is truncated in the FIGS. 1 and 2 for clarity. An upper door support member 32 is secured to the shelter frame below the arched horizontal member 17 across the opening between the shelter and the vestibule, and a lower door support member 34 is secured to the shelter frame across the bottom of the opening between the shelter and the vestibule. A door frame 36 with at least one door 38 is secured to the upper and lower door support members 32/34 (a pair of doors 38 is shown in the Figures). The upper and lower door support members 32/34, the door and door frame 36/38, and material forming a partition 40 between the shelter and vestibule are collectively referred to as door assembly 30 (partition 40 not shown in FIG. 1, but shown in FIG. 2 and described hereinbelow).

Once the shelter frame 10 and the vestibule frame 18 are assembled, flexible shelter material 20 is typically placed on the frames to form the sides and roof of the shelter 42 (shown partially cut-away in FIG. 2) and to form the sides and arched roof of the vestibule (omitted from FIG. 2 for clarity). The shelter material 20 can be of any suitable type (e.g. canvas, nylon, plastic, and so on, including composites, laminates, or combinations thereof). Additional shelter material is secured to the shelter frame 10, the door frame 36, the upper door support member 32, or the lower door support member 34 to form a partition 40 covering areas of the opening on each side of the door frame 36 and between the upper door support member 32 and the arched member 17.

The partition 40, door frame 36, and door 38 can be arranged to be substantially sealed (when the door 38 is closed), limiting or substantially preventing airflow between the shelter 42 and the vestibule. This may be necessary or desirable, for example, when the shelter is used as an isolation containment system. A ventilation system can be provided supplying negative or positive atmospheric pressure to the interior of the shelter, depending on the particular circumstances of the shelter's use as an isolation containment system. Substantial sealing of the door assembly 30 and partition increases the effectiveness of the atmospheric pressure gradient as a means for isolating the interior volume of the shelter from its surroundings (or vice versa). The isolation functionality of the shelter 42 may be further enhanced by installing a second door assembly at the other end of the vestibule, forming an airlock-type structure. The second door assembly may be substantially similar to the first door assembly, or may be of a different type.

The door assembly can be installed between a shelter and vestibule that comprise a portion of a modular shelter system. Examples of such modular portable shelter systems are the HO- and HS-Series portable shelters supplied by Western Shelter Systems of Eugene, Oreg. These systems are described in detail in User Instruction Manuals published by Western Shelter Systems for HS-Series shelters (document WS-MANHS published July 2005), for HO-Series shelters (document downloaded via Internet in April 2006), and for a Vestibule Connector VC-WS20-1935 (document WS-MANVC published March 2006). Each of these three manuals is incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein. In such modular shelter systems, multiple shelters or vestibules may be connected in a variety of configurations as needed or desired. A vestibule frame 18 serving as a connector between two shelter frames 10 (example shown in FIG. 3) would typically have an opening at each end where it is connected to each of the connected shelters. A door assembly 30 as disclosed herein is shown installed at each end of such a connecting vestibule, forming an airlock-type structure connecting the two shelters. A vestibule connected to only one shelter can serve as an entryway (example shown in FIG. 4; frames only shown). A door assembly 30 as disclosed herein is shown installed at the opening between the vestibule (defined by frame 18) and the shelter (defined by frame 10), and together with an exterior door assembly 46 of the vestibule can form an airlock-type structure.

The door assembly 30 may be supplied and constructed as a part of the shelter and vestibule, or may be a later retrofit to the shelter and vestibule. The components for the door assembly can be supplied as a kit for retrofitting the shelter and vestibule with the door assembly. Such a kit may typically include the door support members 32/34, the door(s) 38 and door frame 36, shelter material shaped so as to form the partition 40, and hardware for connecting the upper and lower door support members 32/34 across the opening between the shelter and the vestibule. The kit can further include instructions for retrofitting the shelter and vestibule with the door assembly.

The upper and lower door support members 32/34 are typically substantially straight members arranged substantially horizontally when secured to the shelter frame for installing the door assembly 30. Any suitable hardware may be employed for securing the door support members 32/34 to the shelter frame across the opening 11 between the shelter and the vestibule. FIGS. 5A and 5B illustrate an example of angled brackets 33 for securing the upper door support member 32 the shelter frame below the arched member 17. FIG. 6 illustrates an example of brackets 35 for securing the lower door support member 34 to the shelter frame. Other suitable brackets may be employed. When supplied as a kit for retrofitting, brackets 33 or 35 are typically specifically adapted for securing the door support members 32 or 34 to the shelter frame of the retrofitted shelter. For example, the brackets 33 and 35 shown in FIGS. 5A, 5B, and 6 may be employed for retrofitting the shelters and vestibule supplied by Western Shelter Systems described hereinabove. The door assembly may be adapted or arranged so that it may be repeatedly installed and uninstalled from the shelter and vestibule while leaving the shelter and vestibule substantially undisturbed. In other words, the door assembly 30 may be adapted or arranged for being installed in or uninstalled from a previously-assembled shelter and vestibule without requiring any disassembly of the shelter or vestibule. This capability may be of particular utility when used with a modular shelter system that may be reconfigured as needed or desired. Removal of the lower door support member 34 when uninstalling the door assembly 30 provides contiguous floor areas of the shelter and vestibule, resulting in unimpeded access between the shelter and vestibule for rolled or dragged objects. Removal of the upper door support member 32 when uninstalling the door assembly 30 provides headroom beneath the arched member 17 in the opening between the shelter and vestibule.

It is intended that equivalents of the disclosed exemplary embodiments and methods shall fall within the scope of the present disclosure and/or appended claims. It is intended that the disclosed exemplary embodiments and methods, and equivalents thereof, may be modified while remaining within the scope of the present disclosure or appended claims.

For purposes of the present disclosure and appended claims, the conjunction “or” is to be construed inclusively (e.g., “a dog or a cat” would be interpreted as “a dog, or a cat, or both”; e.g., “a dog, a cat, or a mouse” would be interpreted as “a dog, or a cat, or a mouse, or any two, or all three”), unless: i) it is explicitly stated otherwise, e.g., by use of “either . . . or”, “only one of . . . ”, or similar language; or ii) two or more of the listed alternatives are mutually exclusive within the particular context, in which case “or” would encompass only those combinations involving non-mutually-exclusive alternatives.

For purposes of the present disclosure or appended claims, the words “include”, “including”, and so on shall be construed as being open-ended, e.g., “including” shall be construed as “including but not limited to”.





 
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