Title:
Transportable building with higher roof
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A transportable building module including structure defining a floor sub-frame (13) and at least one wall structure (16) about a room space. The building module further includes at least one roof sub-module (20). This roof sub-module is hingedly mounted to the wall structure for pivotal movement between an extended position and a retracted transport position, in which retracted transport position the height of the building module is less than when the roof sub-module is in its extended position. In separate aspects, there are disclosed a transportable building with a separate roof module, and a building with a transversely arranged roof module beam.



Inventors:
Napier, Donald Stewart (Bayswater, AU)
Application Number:
09/965625
Publication Date:
03/27/2003
Filing Date:
09/26/2001
Assignee:
NAPIER DONALD STEWART
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/79.1, 52/64
International Classes:
E04B1/344; E04B1/348; E04B7/24; (IPC1-7): E04B7/16
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
CHAPMAN, JEANETTE E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MERCHANT & GOULD P.C. (MINNEAPOLIS, MN, US)
Claims:

The claims defining the invention are as follows:



1. A transportable building module including structure defining a floor sub-frame and at least one wall structure about a room space, the building module further including at least one roof sub-module, wherein said at least one roof sub-module is hingedly mounted to said wall structure for pivotal movement between an extended position and a retracted transport position, in which retracted transport position the height of the building module is less than when said roof sub-module is in said extended position.

2. A transportable building module according to claim 1, wherein said roof sub-module is disposed to define all or part of a pitched roof for the building.

3. A transportable building module according to claim 1 or 2, wherein said roof sub-module includes one or more gable end-wall assemblies that pivot down, outside a wall of the building module, with the roof sub-module as it is lowered.

4. A transportable building module according to claim 3, wherein said roof sub-module including the gable end-wall(s) acts as a single rigid beam structure.

5. A transportable building module according to any preceding claim further including internal walls having fold-down upper segments to allow the roof sub-module to move to the transport condition.

6. A transportable building module according to any preceding claim, wherein said roof sub-module defines a cathedral ceiling.

7. A transportable building module according to any preceding claim, wherein said roof sub-module includes an enclosed roof cavity.

8. A transportable building module according to claim 7, wherein said roof cavity is adapted to provide a ventilation path for the building.

9. A transportable building module according to claim 8, further including one or more ventilation fans to exhaust air to the building exterior from the roof cavity.

10. A transportable building module according to any preceding claim, wherein said roof sub-module includes a series of rafters spaced to define a sloping roofline, and, if provided, the roof cavity.

11. A transportable building module according to any preceding claim, wherein said roof sub-module includes a plurality of rafters hingedly mounted to the wall structure by respective hinge pins.

12. A transportable building module according to any preceding claim, further including a verandah or porch sub-roof segment hingedly mounted to the wall structure or roof sub-module for pivotal movement between a retracted position substantially adjacent the wall structure, and an extended position projecting laterally outwardly from the roof sub-module.

13. A transportable building module according to claim 12, wherein in said extended position said roof sub-frame partially counterbalances the roof sub-module about the latter's hinge axis.

14. A transportable building including two or more of building modules according to any preceding claim, arranged to be linked side-by-side to form the building, each of the building modules being transported separately to a site at which the building is or is to be erected.

15. A method of erecting a building including at least partially constructing the building at a first site as an assembly of building modules according to the any one of claims 1 to 13, separating the modules and transporting them separately to a second site, locating the modules and reforming said assembly at the second site, and pivoting the roof sub-modules of the building modules to their extended positions and fastening them at those positions.

16. A transportable building including one or more main modules defining a floor sub-frame, one or more wall structures and a roof sub-frame about a first space, and one or more roof modules each separable from but cooperable with said one or more main modules for attachment to said roof sub-frame of said one or more main modules to define an upper roof space above said first space, wherein said roof sub-frame defines a support to receive the or each said roof module by craning the roof module(s) into position on said support.

17. A transportable building according to claim 16 which is a single storey building.

18. A transportable building according to claim 16 or 17, wherein the or each said roof module is independent of the main module in its transport condition.

19. A transportable building according to claim 16, 17 or 18, wherein said roof module is disposed to define a pitched roof for the building.

20. A transportable building according to any one of claims 16 to 19, comprising two or more of said main modules arranged to be linked side-by-side to form the building, each such main module having been transported separately to the erection site.

21. A transportable building according to claim 20, wherein said roof module rests substantially symmetrically on the respective main modules to provide a roof ridge for the building.

22. A transportable building according to any one of claims 16 to 21, wherein said roof space is adapted to contain or contains services.

23. A transportable building according to any one of claims 16 to 22, wherein said roof cavity is adapted to provide a ventilation path for the building.

24. A transportable building according to claim 23, further including one or more ventilation fans to exhaust air to the building exterior from the roof cavity.

25. A transportable building according to any one of claims 16 to 24, wherein said roof module includes a series of rafters spaced to define a sloping roofline and the roof cavity.

26. A transportable building according to any one of claims 16 to 25, wherein said main module includes a roof sub-frame that is partially gabled or pitched in its transport condition so as to partly define a sloping roofline.

27. A transportable building according to any one of claims 16 to 26, wherein the roof module is constructed as a load-bearing span beam assembly.

28. A transportable building according to claim 27 wherein said roof module extends transversely to the main roof line of the building.

29. A method of erecting a building according to any one of claims 16 to 28, including at least partially constructing the building at a first site, separating the modules, and transporting the main modules and the roof module to a second site, locating the main module at the second site, and craning the roof module onto the main module to form a building having a pitched roof.

30. A building having a roof that defines a longitudinally extending ridge, and a roof module constructed as a load-bearing beam assembly arranged to extend across an interior space of the building in a direction transversely of said longitudinally extending ridge.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates generally to transportable buildings, and in one aspect is especially applicable to the provision of transportable buildings with pitched or gabled roofs.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] It is known to pre-construct houses or other buildings at a base yard and then to transport the buildings by road, either whole or in two or more modules, to a client's allotment. According to one approach, a house is provided in transportable half-modules with sloping roofs which are brought together on-site to form a house with a conventional pitched roof. A transportable house is a very satisfactory means of providing a house in a more remote or difficult location where building expenses on site may be higher than elsewhere. This approach differs from those in which buildings are erected from components or opened eg folded out from wholly collapsed assemblies.

[0003] A principal constraint in the design of transportable houses is the strict dimensional limit set by road transport authorities. One difficulty lies in providing a transportable module with a pitched roof within the dimensional limit without compromising the ceiling height of the module. Due to these height restrictions, transportable buildings have had to be designed with limited ceiling heights and/or low pitched roofs, often leaving little or no room for heating/cooling duct work within the roof space. Further, some public buildings such as schools have minimum specifications for the ceiling height of the buildings so that it is difficult to meet the external height restriction and the internal ceiling minimum within a practical configuration of transportable building module.

[0004] A further problem in providing larger public buildings such as school rooms in transportable form is the large size and mass of the beam and rafter structures required to span the wide roof space.

[0005] The structure disclosed in UK patent publication 2257170 allows for a higher pitched roof by having the upper portion of the roof trusses in a pivotably collapsible form. Australian patent application 10702/92 discloses a transportable house with separable lower and upper storey modules.

[0006] It is an object of the invention, at least in one or more embodiments, to provide for a transportable building in which a pitched roof of substantial inclination, or similar, can be provided without offending against a prescribed dimensional limit for road transport.

[0007] It is a further object of the invention, at least in one or more embodiments, to ameliorate the requirement to provide large and heavy span sections in transportable public buildings and the like.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] In a first aspect, the invention accordingly provides a transportable building module including structure defining a floor sub-frame and at least one wall structure about a room space, the building module further including at least one roof sub-module, wherein said at least one roof sub-module is hingedly mounted to said wall structure for pivotal movement between an extended position and a retracted transport position, in which retracted transport position the height of the building module is less than when said roof sub-module is in said extended position.

[0009] In its extended position, the roof sub-module is preferably disposed to define all or part of a pitched roof for the building. Advantageously, the roof sub-module includes one or more gable end-wall assemblies that pivot down, outside a wall of the building module, with the roof sub-module as it is lowered, eg. until the roof sub-module rests on the wall. Preferably, the roof sub-module including the gable end-wall(s) acts as a single rigid beam structure.

[0010] The building module may include internal walls having fold-down upper segments to allow the roof sub-modules to move to the transport condition.

[0011] Preferably, the invention further provides a transportable building including two or more of said building modules arranged to be linked side-by-side to form the building, each of the building modules being transported separately to a site at which the building is or to be erected.

[0012] In one embodiment, the roof sub-module may define a cathedral ceiling. In another, it may include an enclosed roof cavity. Advantageously, this roof cavity is adapted to contain or contains services, eg. wiring and plumbing. Advantageously, the roof cavity is adapted to provide a ventilation path for the building. There may be one or more ventilation fans to exhaust air to the building exterior from the roof cavity. The fans may be at one or both ends of the roof cavity.

[0013] The roof sub-module advantageously includes a series of rafters spaced to define a sloping roofline, and, if provided, the roof cavity.

[0014] Preferably the roof sub-module includes a plurality of rafters hingedly mounted to the wall structure by respective hinge pins. Advantageously each of the hinge pins passes through a rafter and a wall frame stud, pole or other upright.

[0015] Advantageously, the building module further includes a verandah or porch sub-roof segment hingedly mounted to the wall structure, or more preferably to the roof sub-module, for pivotal movement between a retracted position substantially adjacent the wall structure, and an extended position projecting laterally outwardly from the roof sub-module. In the latter position, the roof sub-frame may partially counterbalance the roof sub-module about the latter's hinge axis.

[0016] The invention still further provides, in a second aspect, a method of erecting a building including at least partially constructing the building at a first site as an assembly of building modules according to the first aspect of the invention, separating the modules and transporting them separately to a second site, locating the modules and reforming said assembly at the second site, and pivoting the roof sub-modules of the building modules to their extended positions and fastening them at those positions.

[0017] In a third aspect, the invention provides a transportable building, preferably single storey, including one or more main modules defining a floor sub-frame, one or more wall structures and a roof sub-frame about a first space, and one or more roof modules each separable from but cooperable with said one or more main modules for attachment to said roof sub-frame of said one or more main modules to define an upper roof space above said first space, wherein said roof sub-frame defines a support to receive the or each said roof module by craning the roof module(s) into position on said support.

[0018] Preferably, the or each said roof module is independent of the main module in its transport condition. In use, the roof module is disposed to define a pitched roof for the building.

[0019] Preferably, there are two or more of said main modules arranged to be linked side-by-side to form the building, each such main module having been transported separately to the erection site. The roof module advantageously rests substantially symmetrically on the respective main modules to provide a roof ridge for the building.

[0020] Advantageously, said roof space is adapted to contain or contains services, eg. wiring and plumbing.

[0021] Advantageously, said roof cavity is adapted to provide a ventilation path for the building. There may be one or more ventilation fans to exhaust air to the building exterior from the roof cavity. The fans may be at one or both ends of the roof cavity.

[0022] The roof module advantageously includes a series of rafters spaced to define a sloping roofline and the roof cavity.

[0023] The main module may include a roof sub-frame that is partially gabled or pitched in its transport condition so as to partly define a sloping roofline. In this manner, a series of rafters may extend upwardly and inwardly of the wall sub-frames so as to form a truncated gable. The roof module is then attached to the truncated gable so as to form a substantially contiguous roofline. This manner of construction permits a higher pitched roof and variously profiled rooflines. In an alternative embodiment, a roof ridge defined by the roof module extends transverse to the sloping rooflines of the main module(s).

[0024] The roof module may be constructed as a load-bearing span beam assembly.

[0025] The invention still further provides in a fourth aspect, a method of erecting a building according to the third aspect of the invention including at least partially constructing the building at a first site, separating the modules, and transporting the main modules and the roof module to a second site, locating the main module at the second site, and craning the roof module onto the main module to form a building having a pitched roof.

[0026] In a further aspect, the invention provides a building having a roof that defines a longitudinally extending ridge, and a roof module constructed as a load-bearing beam assembly arranged to extend across an interior space of the building in a direction transversely of said longitudinally extending ridge.

[0027] The terms “frame” and “sub-frame” herein are broadly employed and may refer, eg, to a frame of timber or metal beams and/or other components, or to a panel structure, or to a slab frame eg a tilt slab, or to any structure serving as a supporting frame or core.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0028] The invention will now be further described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0029] FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic side elevation of a four-module transportable building according to a first embodiment of the first aspect of the invention, in which the left hand module, as viewed, has its roof sub-module extended and the right hand module has its roof sub-module in its retracted transport condition;

[0030] FIG. 2 is a view of two building modules separated and placed on respective truck trays for transport, one module having its roof sub-module already in its retracted transport condition;

[0031] FIG. 3 is an internal fragmentary view illustrating the use of jacks to lower the roof sub-module for transport;

[0032] FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic transverse cross-section showing the pair of building modules of FIG. 2 erected as an assembled building;

[0033] FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary three-dimensional schematic view of a preferred arrangement for hingedly mounting the roof sub-modules;

[0034] FIG. 6 depicts the complementary construction of internal walls for embodiments of the first aspect of the invention;

[0035] FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic side elevation of another embodiment highlighting the single beam structure of the roof sub-module in the first aspect of the invention;

[0036] FIGS. 8 and 9 are a simple diagrammatic cross-sectional view through a segment of a transportable house with a removable roof module provided according to an embodiment of the third aspect of the invention, showing the configuration respectively during construction and after erection on site;

[0037] FIG. 10 is a simple diagrammatic three-dimensional view of an embodiment of a building embodying the invention;

[0038] FIG. 11 depicts an alternative arrangement of the third aspect of the invention in which the roof module is a span beam assembly; and

[0039] FIG. 12 illustrates, in a front and side elevation, a variation of the arrangement of FIG. 11 in which the ridge of the roof module extends transversely of the roofline.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0040] FIG. 1 illustrates, in cross-section, a segment of a partially erected single storey transportable building, for example a schoolroom, according to one embodiment of the first aspect of the invention, formed by a pair of four modules 10, 12 and a pair of similar rear modules (not visible). Each of the four main modules 10, 12 includes a floor sub-frame 13 fitted with panel flooring and a wall structure 16 about a room space 15 (FIG. 4), and a hingedly mounted roof sub-module 20. Wall structure 16 includes appropriate external cladding such as weatherboards.

[0041] The normal practice is to construct most of the house, including internal walls and fittings, at a base yard, and to then transport the house, in separate modules 10′, 12′, for re-erection and reassembly on a pre-prepared foundation, for example an array of stumps 90, at a client's allotment. FIG. 2 shows a two-module building after the modules 10, 12 have been separated and placed on truck trays 40 ready for transport.

[0042] With reference in part to FIG. 4, each roof sub-module 20 is a self-contained unit comprised of several spaced rafters 24, a ridge beam 55, in this case in the form of a truss, linking the upper-ends of the rafters, an internal ceiling lining 25, and external cladding 26 such as corrugated steel sheets. In the particular embodiment illustrated, to provide a cathedral ceiling effect, the ceiling lining 25 is fixed atop the rafters 24, and the external roofing is secured to longitudinally extending hidden battens fixed to the rafters but disposed above lining 25.

[0043] Each of the roof sub-modules 20 is hingedly mounted to the wall structure 16 of its module utilising respective hinge pins 35 (FIGS. 4 and 5) to directly pivot respective rafters of the roof sub-module to poles, wall studs, or other uprights 30 of the wall structure. This is particularly illustrated in FIG. 5, where the uprights 30, which are depicted as well-spaced rectangular-section (eg. box tubular section) steel poles, project above the wall top plate 32 to receive hinge pins 35, while the rafters in turn overhang the top plate. A suitable hinge pin 35 is a steel bolt of appropriate length and strength.

[0044] The hinged mounting of the roof sub-module 20 allows it to be pivoted downwardly to a retracted transport position (the left module in FIG. 2) in which the rafters lie substantially horizontally and the overall height of the module is substantially reduced. In this transport position, the module 20 can be transported on a tray truck 40 with minimal height clearance. FIG. 3 depicts how strategically disposed jacks such as 100 can be utilised to lower the roof sub-module under full control. Alternatively, a crane might be used where appropriate.

[0045] At the erection site, the roof sub-module 20 can be pivoted upwardly, e.g. by extending jacks 100, again to its fully extended position (the right module in FIG. 2) to form the pitched roof. With two modules brought to a complementary position opposite each other, the two complementary roof sub-modules with opposite slopes can be fastened together in their raised position, either by bolting together their respective ridge beams 55, linking the upper ends of the rafters of each module, to form a solid ridge beam 45, or by means of transverse collar ties 47 (FIG. 4). Appropriate ridge capping 50 can be secured in place to complete sealing of the roof.

[0046] Where one end of the building module 10, 12 is to substantially coincide with an end of the building, the roof sub-module includes a gable end-wall 62 (FIG. 5) comprising sheeting or planks 64 bracing a triangular ladder beam frame 63. This frame comprises an end rafter 63a, a bottom plate 50 and vertical ties 52. This gable end-wall, attached to the roof sub-module, pivots or drops down outside the end wall 17 of the building module as the roof sub-module is lowered, until ridge beam 55 rests on the end wall of the house. The end-wall thereby supports the roof sub-module, and must therefore be adequately braced and of adequate strength to support the roof sub-module. The gable end-wall also adds weather protection during transport.

[0047] Internal walls 110 can be provided by the complementary construction illustrated in FIG. 6: to accommodate the lowering of roof module 20, a drop-down upper section 112 of wall 110 is hingedly mounted at 114 so it can be folded down out of the way. Once in final position, the hinges 114 can be removed, and a picture rail positioned to overlay the join.

[0048] It will be seen that the roof sub-module, including especially gable end-wall(s) 62 and ridge truss beam 55, acts as a single rigid beam structure bridging walls (external or internal) on which this rigid beam rests. This single rigid beam structure is highlighted diagrammatically in FIG. 7. Moreover, the provision of the gable end-wall assembly 62 on the roof sub-module avoids any need to build the end-wall on site after the roof sub-module has been raised into position.

[0049] It will of course also be understood that, were it desired that the building had an enclosed roof cavity rather than a cathedral ceiling, the respective intermediate rafters could also be part of half-trusses.

[0050] Module 10′ includes a hinge-up verandah or porch roof 70 (FIGS. 4 and 5) of the kind disclosed in Australian patent 539799. This verandah or porch roof would typically have multiple spaced sub-rafters 72 directly hinged by hinge pins, eg. bolts, 74 to the outer overhanging ends of matching roof rafters 24. This verandah or porch roof is pivotable between a retracted position against the outside face of the side wall (FIG. 2, at left) and a raised position (FIGS. 4 and 5) which can be maintained with respective verandah posts 76 installed on site. A benefit of this verandah or porch roof is that it effectively provides a weight counterbalance for the roof sub-module 20 about the pivot axis of hinge pins 35: this may permit roof sub-module 20 to be raised and lowered by two or three workers without the need of a crane or jacks.

[0051] An advantage of the direct pivoting attachment of the main roof rafters to the side wall is that this arrangement strengthens the roof sub-module when lifting and creates a truss effect. Without this, it would be necessary to make the swing-up roof sub-module a lot heavier, increasing costs and creating a difficulty in lifting without a crane.

[0052] Instead of the open construction illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 5, roof sub-module 20 may alternatively define a roof cavity, which may be used to contain services for the building such as wiring and plumbing. Ventilation fans may also be provided within the roof cavity to exhaust hot air from the roof cavity to the building exterior. In such an embodiment, ventilation openings (not shown) are provided in the ceiling to allow rising hot air from the building interior to enter the roof cavity from where it is exhausted to the exterior of the building.

[0053] It will be appreciated that the height of modules 10, 12; 10′, 12′ with roof sub-module 20 lowered does not exceed the dimensional limits prescribed for buildings during transport, yet when constructed the building is capable of meeting the minimum ceiling height requirement of public buildings and provides an aesthetically pleasing building with a substantial pitch. The increased height of the end wail of the building provides additional advantages such as providing extra wall space for blackboards in schoolrooms, for example. It will further be appreciated that multiple cooperable sets of modules 10, 12; 10′, 12′ with roof sub-modules 20 may be provided and joined longitudinally to extend the length of the building. Even for a given length of modules more than one roof sub-module per building module may be necessary or preferred.

[0054] In the event that it is desired to remove the building from its erection site—which may arise for example with a building being used as a temporary school building—the modules are able to be separated, and the roof sub-modules pivoted down again to facilitate transport to a new site.

[0055] FIG. 8 illustrates, in cross-section, a segment of a single storey transportable building, for example a schoolroom, according to an embodiment of the third aspect of the invention, formed by a pair of main modules 210, 212 and roof module 220. Each of the main modules 210, 212 includes a floor sub-frame 213 fitted with panel flooring, and a wall structure 216. Wall structure 216 includes appropriate external cladding such as weatherboards.

[0056] Each of the main modules 210, 212 further includes a roof sub-frame 214, 215 comprising longitudinally extending supporting beams 218, 219 and a series of spaced inclined rafters 238, 239. Each of the roof rafters 238, 239 is supported by wall structure 216 and beam 218, 219, and forms a truncated gable for the building when main modules 210, 212 are linked side-by-side. Rafters 238, 239 support roofing panels 295. As described below, roof sub-frames 214, 215 serve to receive one or more roof modules 220. As before, the normal practice is to construct most of the house including a roof and internal walls and fittings, at a base yard, and to then transport the house, in separate modules 210, 212 and 220, for re-erection on a pre-prepared foundation at a client's allotment.

[0057] Roof module 220 includes a frame unit 222 having a series of transverse ceiling joists 224 and upwardly extending sloping rafters 226 that meet to form ridge 228. Central collar ties 229 are also provided. Longitudinal beams (not shown) may be provided as required. In this embodiment, roof module 220 is located on, supported by and fastened to longitudinally extending load supporting beams 218, 219.

[0058] Supporting beams 218, 219 are preferably connected to each end wall of the building. The supporting beams 218, 219 may be further associated with underlying additional pillars or internal walls (not shown).

[0059] Roof module 220 may take any suitable shape but is preferably generally symmetrical and, as depicted in FIG. 9, forms a continuous roof-line when attached to the roof sub-frames 214, 215. The exterior of roof module 220 is comprised of further roof cladding 297 suitable for the purpose, for example panels of glass or a galvanised or colour bond steel. Roof module 220 further includes ridge cap 221. The lower ends 223, 225 of the roof cladding of roof module 220 preferably overlap the upper ends of each of the outer roof panels 295, when the building is constructed. This overlap preferably substantially seals the connection between roof module 220 and roof sub-frames 214, 215 and provides protection against the weather. The connection between roof module 220 and roof rafters 244, 246 may also be sealed with a suitable sealant.

[0060] Roof module 220 is generally used to contain services for the building such as wiring and plumbing. Ventilation fans 270 may also be provided within the roof cavity to exhaust hot air from the roof cavity to the building exterior. In this embodiment, ventilation openings (not shown) are provided in the ceiling held by joists 224 to allow rising hot air from the main modules 210, 212, to enter the roof cavity where it is exhausted to the exterior of the building. These ventilation openings may be spaced such that during transport of the roof module 220 by truck, the wheels of the truck can pass partially through the openings, further reducing the height of the module 220 during transport.

[0061] As before, the house is first constructed at a base site to ensure each of the modules is correctly sized. The house is then dismantled and transported by truck in three modules 210, 212, 220 and re-erected at the client's allotment on a suitable foundation, for example an array of stumps 299. Main modules 210, 212 are first located on stumps 299 and secured together before roof module 220 is lifted by crane 294 to be received by roof sub-frames 214, 215 and fastened thereto.

[0062] It will be appreciated that the height of main modules 210, 212 and the width of main modules 210, 212 and roof module 220 is such that the modules do not exceed the dimensional limits prescribed for buildings during transport and when constructed the building meets the minimum ceiling height requirement of public buildings and provides an aesthetically pleasing building with a substantial pitch. The increased height of the end wall of the building provides additional advantages such as providing extra wall space for blackboards in schoolrooms, for example. It will further be appreciated that several cooperable sets of main modules and roof modules may be provided and joined longitudinally to extend the length of the building. Even for a given length of modules 210, 212, more than one roof module may be necessary or preferred.

[0063] FIG. 11 depicts an alternative arrangement of the third aspect of the invention in which the roof module is a span beam assembly 220′. An alternative is shown in FIG. 12, in which the ridge of the roof module extends transversely of the roofline. In these arrangements, the side frames 250 of beam 220′ are braced by longitudinally extending panels 255 of timber or metal ply. Beam 220′ can vary in depth and is capable of spanning, e.g., 14 metres. It is thereby possible, using very lightweight material, to build an open hall, say 14 m×10 m. In the arrangement of FIG. 12, transversely aligned beam roof module 220″ has translucent end panels or windows 260 to enhance the light level in the hall interior. The cavity created is also useful for enclosed duct work or other services.

[0064] The construction of FIG. 12 is generally useful for larger open buildings, whether transportable or conventionally built in situ. With the large span required, an upper level module conventionally requires either a very large truss or a portal frame, both expensive options. Transversely aligned roof module 220″ provides a novel alternative, and at the same time provides a bracing beam assembly for a building having a large open space within.