Title:
Matrix frame/panel skin building structure
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A matrix frame system for carrying skin structure on the outside of the frame in a plural-story building. The system features plural stand-off mounts anchored to such a frame at regular, spaced, row-and-column locations located near connection nodes between columns and beams in the frame. Each mount includes an outwardly looking, mount-defining face which occupies an upright matrix support plane, which plane is spaced outwardly of, and at a defined angle to, the adjacent outside “plane” of the associated building frame. Also included in the system are plural, generally planar (including “angular planar”) matrix frame panels each having plural perimetral corners disposed adjacent different mount-defining faces in a different stand-off mounts, with pluralities of such corners of different and adjacent panels meeting at, and disposed adjacent, different, single, common mount-defining faces in different single stand-off mounts. Each frame panel has at least one pair of perimetral corners attached respectively to two different ones of the mount-defining faces. The concept of planarity for the frame panels, as used herein, applies not only to uni-planar panels, but also to angularly configured (angular planar) panels, such as corner panels, which are formed from a pair of individually planar sections.



Inventors:
Simmons, Robert J. (Hayward, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/818014
Publication Date:
10/14/2004
Filing Date:
04/05/2004
Assignee:
SIMMONS ROBERT J.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/24; (IPC1-7): E02D27/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
AMIRI, NAHID
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JON M. DICKINSON, P.C. (PORTLAND, OR, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. Matrix frame surface structure for the outside of the structural frame in a plural-story building, where that structural frame also has an inside, and includes upright columns interconnected with generally horizontal beams at connection nodes distributed in a known row-and-column pattern disposed toward the outside of the structural frame, and with such columns and beams generally defining upright outside frame planes for the frame, said matrix frame surface structure, said surface structure, when disposed in operative condition on such a structural frame, comprising for at least a portion of one of such upright, outside, defined frame planes in the structural frame, plural stand-off mounts operatively anchored to the structural frame at selected, regular, spaced row-and-column locations disposed adjacent such connection nodes, and each including an outwardly facing, substantially planar mount-defining face organized so as to occupy and define, at least partially, and along with other like mount-defining faces, an upright matrix support plane which is spaced outwardly of, and at a defined angle to, the just-mentioned portion of one of such defined frame planes in the structural frame, and plural, generally planar matrix frame panels each having plural perimetral corners each disposed adjacent a different mount-defining face in a different stand-off mount, with pluralities of said corners of different and adjacent panels meeting at, and disposed adjacent, different, single, common mount-defining faces in different single stand-off mounts, and with each said frame panel having at least one pair of perimetral corners attached respectively to two different ones of said mount-defining faces.

2. The surface structure of claim 1, wherein said defined angle has a value of substantially zero degrees.

3. The surface structure of claim 1 which further includes plural nut-and-bolt sets, some of which play a role in the operative anchoring of said mounts to the structural frame, and others of which play a role in the attaching of said perimetral corners in said at least one pair of such corners in each of said frame panels to said different ones of said mount-defining faces.

4. The surface structure of claim 3, wherein, relative to the inside and the outside of the structural frame, each of said nut-and-bolt sets is fully accessible from the inside of the structural frame.

5. The surface structure of claim 4, wherein components including outwardly extending connecting tabs are joined to the structural frame adjacent the mentioned connection nodes, and said stand-off mounts are anchored to the frame through such tabs and the mentioned some nut-and-bolt sets.

6. The surface structure of claim 1, wherein those said perimetral corners of said frame panels which are attached to said mount-defining faces are so attached through attachment structures which permit a limited amount of selective, reversible, up-and-down and left-and-right positional adjustment of those corners relative to, and in planes substantially paralleling those of the mount-defining faces, of the immediately associated stand-off mounts.

7. The surface structure of claim 1, wherein said stand-off mounts are anchored to the structural frame through anchoring structures which permit a limited amount of selective, reversible, inward-and-outward positional adjustment of the mounts relative to the mentioned defined frame plane portion associated with the structural frame, so as to accommodate positioning of the mounts' respective substantially planar mount-defining faces to be substantially co-extensive with said matrix support plane.

8. The surface structure of claim 7, wherein those said perimetral corners of said frame panels which are attached to said mounting faces are so attached through attachment structures which permit a limited amount of selective, reversible, up-and-down and left-and-right positional adjustment of the corners relative to, and in planes substantially paralleling those of, the mount-defining faces of the immediately associated stand-off mounts.

9. The surface structure of claim 8, wherein said frame panels each includes an elongate, overhead, generally laterally and horizontally extending, principal beam component which is configured initially for hang-mounting of the associated frame panel by gravity on a pair of laterally spaced, generally horizontally next-adjacent stand-off mounts.

10. The surface structure of claim 9, wherein said frame panels are generally rectilinear, with each including an elongate base beam component which is spaced from and generally parallel to the frame panel's said overhead principal beam component, and said overhead and base beam components in each frame panel are equipped with interconnect structures whereby, under circumstances wherein there exists a condition of vertical-stack, confronting, positional adjacency respecting base and overhead beam components in two different frame panels, said interconnect structures promote vertical-stack registry between pairs of vertically next-adjacent frame panels.

11. The surface structure of claim 10, wherein, to promote the mentioned condition of vertical-stack registry between pairs of vertically next-adjacent frame panels, the interconnect structure with which each overhead beam component is equipped takes the form of at least one upwardly projecting prong element located at a selected location disposed along that beam component's length, and the interconnect structure with which each base beam component is equipped, also at a selected location disposed along its length, takes the form of at least one vertical pass-through aperture which is adapted to receive such a prong element, and it is a condition of operative interrelationship between such a prong element and such an aperture, resulting from extension of the prong element into and upwardly through the aperture, which promotes the mentioned condition of vertical-stack frame panel registry.

12. The surface structure of claim 11, wherein each said prong element has a long axis and is externally screw-threaded, and which further comprises, in cooperative relationship with each said prong element, circumsurround structure which axially circumsurrounds the prong element, with said circumsurround structure including at least one threaded, nut-like component which is threadedly engaged with said prong element in a manner which assists in relatively vertically positioning and stabilizing the associated, two vertically next-adjacent frame panels relative to one another.

13. The surface structure of claim 1, wherein said frame panels form armatures suitable for the selective support of different, selectable structural-frame surface-skin structures.

14. The surface structure of claim 1, wherein said frame panels have perimetral sizes and configuration which are modular in relation to one another.

15. A surface-structure system for attachment as an installation to the components in the frame of a plural-story building, said system comprising a collection of modularity-based frame panels which have known perimeter-modularity characteristics including plural, defined perimetral mounting sites, and plural stand-off mounts secured in a selected, distributed and related modularity-based pattern to the outsides of such components, said mounts including mount-defining faces each designed attachably to receive and effectively to mount plural perimetral mounting sites present respectively in plural frame panels, said mounts and frame panels being constructed, in terms of their respective connectabilities to such a building frame and to one another, to enable plural-orthogonal-axis, relative-positional adjustments so as to afford a characteristic of modular adjustment granularity with respect to the resulting spatial disposing of the surface-structure-system frame panels relative to the building frame.

16. The system of claim 15, wherein said mounts, mount-defining faces and perimetral mounting sites are characterized, when operatively inter-related in an installation, in a condition wherein plural mount-defining sites operatively engage each mount-defining face as a modular cluster which is effective to define, and to telegraph effectively to other such clusters, a predetermined, particular-nature spatial disposition for frame panels in the system relative to an associated building frame.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This case claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/461,316, filed Apr. 8, 2003, by the same inventor named in the present Regular U.S. Patent Application, for “Matrix Frame/Panel Skin Building Structure”. The entirety of that provisional case is hereby incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This invention pertains to a matrix frame system, and more particularly to a matrix frame surface structure, or surface-structure system, which may be employed to define the outside surface of a plural-story building. The system of this invention is designed to carry and support the outside surface-skin features of a plural-story building, which features can include anything there desired, such as a selected finishing material, windows, various architectural details, etc.

[0003] Advances in various large-building construction techniques, and in related materials and associated joinery used in such structures, along with significant improvements in the realm of harnessing the accuracy and speed capabilities of digital computers, further coupled with the rising costs of employing large teams of on-site skilled laborers, unite to fuel a strong focus on simplifying and speeding the assembly of plural-story buildings.

[0004] The present invention takes directed aim at these construction matters of current interest and concern. It proposes an extremely simple, remarkably accurate, and very quickly implementable system, referred to as the above-mentioned matrix frame system, for building and securing a surface-support framework structure to the main column and beam frame structure of a plural-story building. Though many specific materials might be chosen for implementing this system, the current preferred implementation involves making the various components of the system out of an appropriate steel material—one which will collaborate quite well with the usual steel materials that are employed in main building frames.

[0005] The system of the invention is modular in nature, and includes prefabricatable, modularity-based frame panels, in appropriate modularly inter-relatable and compatible sizes which, during installation, are initially hung by gravity (hang-mounted) on appropriately configured stand-off mounts. These mounts are arranged in a kind of row-and-column, and modularity-based, fashion, or pattern, to the main frame in a plural-story building, and are disposed at locations which are closely adjacent, preferably, the nodal sites of interconnection that exist between upright columns and horizontally extending beams in that frame. The stand-off mounts furnish outwardly facing and generally planar faces which are referred to herein as mount-defining faces that are intended to lie accurately within what is referred to as an upright matrix support plane. This matrix support plane preferably substantially parallels, and is spaced outwardly from, a confrontingly adjacent, associated outside plane of an underlying main building frame, referred to herein as a defined, upright, outside plane for that main frame. Typically this defined plane is that which is occupied by the outwardly facing surfaces of the columns in a building's main frame.

[0006] The matrix frame panels, which are modular in nature, as was suggested above, are designed nominally to hang by gravity initially on the stand-off mounts, with the rear sides of these panels essentially co-aligning with the just above mentioned matrix support plane.

[0007] Essentially, only extremely modest and simple tools are needed to attach the stand-off mounts to a building frame, and to assemble the matrix frame panels with and to the stand-off mounts. Such attachment and assembly is accomplished by simple nut-and-bolt connections that can easily be established utilizing, effectively, just wrenches, and employing relatively unskilled labor. The assembly process promoted by this invention is very speedy in nature. Appropriate, and very quickly attainable, preferably planar alignment of matrix frame panels outwardly of the main frame in a building can be accomplished by the fact that the present invention provides basically three-orthogonal-axis adjustability at the points of interconnection between (a) matrix frame panels, and the mentioned stand-off mounts and (b) the stand-off mounts and a main building frame. Very specifically, the stand-off mounts are created in such a fashion that, through manipulation of nut-and-bolt connections in relation to short, elongate slot-like holes, or apertures, their mount-defining faces can be shifted laterally inwardly and outwardly through an appropriate range relative to a main building frame. As will be seen, the specific structures that are provided to establish final securement of matrix frame panels in place on the stand-off mounts, and to stabilize vertically next-adjacent panels, also utilizing relatively simple nut-and-bolt connections, accommodate a limited amount of up-and-down and side-to-side selective orthogonal adjustment. When the stand-off mounts are all properly positioned on a main building frame, the mentioned mount-defining faces become coplanar throughout the system adjacent each main structural-frame “outside plane”, and thus function with matrix frame panels to telegraph proper coplanarity and appropriate positioning for all matrix frame panels.

[0008] These and other features and advantages which are attained and offered by the present invention will become more fully apparent as the description which now follows is read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] FIG. 1 is a fragmentary isometric view of one orthogonal corner portion of a plural-story main building frame, illustrating a preferred and best mode embodiment of the invention mounted in place on this frame. Specifically, FIG. 1 provides a kind of overall view of major componentry in the system of this invention, showing what were referred to above as stand-off mounts, and also showing two different categories of matrix frame panels. One of these frame panels is shown in an outwardly exploded condition relative both to the remainder of the system of the invention, and to the fragmentarily shown building frame.

[0010] FIG. 2 is a larger scale, isometric and fragmentary view illustrating details of a stand-off mount constructed in accordance with the present invention. This figure also shows, disposed in an unattached condition and spaced laterally outwardly from the illustrated stand-off mount, one of the perimetral corners, as well as a small portion, of a generally planar, rectangular matrix frame panel which forms part of the system of the invention.

[0011] FIG. 3 is a fragmentary elevation, drawn on about the same drawing scale as that which is employed in FIG. 1, further illustrating essentially the same arrangement which is pictured in FIG. 1, but from another point of view.

[0012] FIG. 4 is an enlarged, fragmentary detail generally illustrating the area encircled by the single-headed arrow marked 4 in FIG. 3.

[0013] FIG. 5 is a fragmentary view, on a larger scale than that which is employed in FIG. 4, taken generally from the left side of FIG. 4 and looking to the right, illustrating a matrix frame panel in four different conditions relative to a stand-off mount. Solid lines are employed to show three of these conditions, and dashed lines are employed to show the fourth condition. Two of the solid-line conditions shows states of attachment between a pair of vertically aligned and “stacked” matrix frame panels and a stand-off mount. The other solid-line condition illustrates the lower matrix frame panel disconnected relative to the pictured stand-off mount, and positioned to be installed with lateral, inwardly directed motion. The small, fragmentary showing (upper part of the drawing figure) of the dashed-line condition illustrates how, with respect to the same kind of frame panel as is shown in solid lines, what is known as “blind-wall”, or “blind-side”, assembly can take place in the region of a main structural frame which is very closely adjacent a neighboring building. FIG. 5 also shows how nut-and-bolt assemblies, or sets, can be handled/manipulated entirely from the inside of a plural-story main building frame, so as to permit full installation of the surface structure of the present invention from the inside of that frame.

[0014] FIG. 6 presents an isometric view of an isolated example of one of the two different types of matrix frame panels that are illustrated in FIG. 1, and specifically a frame panel which is uni-planar.

[0015] FIG. 7 is an isometric view, on about the same scale which is employed in FIG. 6, illustrating an isolated view of the other, second type of matrix frame panel which is shown in FIG. 1. This other type or panel is corner-angular, and includes two intersecting sections each of which is uni-planar.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0016] Turning now to the drawings, and referring first of all to FIGS. 1-5, inclusive, indicated generally at 10 is a plural-story frame in a building, to which frame is attached a matrix frame surface structure, or system, 12 which is constructed in accordance with a preferred and best-mode embodiment of the present invention. Frame 10 includes a plurality of laterally spaced, upright, generally square-cross section, tubular columns 14 which, through horizontal I-beams 16, are interconnected, at obviously apparent connection nodes, such as nodes 17, herein essentially at, or closely adjacent, the horizontal planes which define the interfaces between vertically-next-adjacent floor levels in frame 10.

[0017] These I-beams and columns are specifically interconnected through outwardly projecting flanges or tabs, provided in pairs of angle-iron-like components 18 (see particularly FIGS. 2 and 5) which have inner flanges that are secured, as by welding, to the outside faces of the mentioned columns. The outwardly projecting tabs in components 18 are designated 18a, and the flanges just mentioned which are welded to faces in the columns are designated 18b. Outwardly projecting tabs 18a each includes a vertically arranged column of plural spaced throughbores, such as those shown at 18c (see FIG. 5). As can be seen, it is through specific pairs of properly laterally spaced projecting tabs 18a,—the ones which extend from one column toward an adjacent column—that I-beams 16 are anchored to the columns 14 by nut-and-bolt sets, such as those shown at 20 (see particularly FIG. 2).

[0018] Touching on a particular point here now with respect to this first specific mention of a nut-and-bolt set (20), as will become apparent, different collections of nut-and-bolt sets play an advantageous role in the assembly and convenient uniting of pieces and parts in the system of this invention. Just-mentioned nut-and-bolt sets 20 do not form part of this collection, but three other nut-and-bolt sets 22, 23, 24 do, and they will be discussed shortly.

[0019] Frame 10 has inner and outer sides which are shown, respectively, at 10A, 10B (see FIGS. 1-3, inclusive). An interesting and significant feature of the invention, which will become more fully apparent as the description which is now under way continues, is that the system of the present invention can be installed on the outside of a frame, such as on the outside of frame 10, entirely from the inner side of a frame, such as from inner side 10A of frame 10. It is also an interesting and significant feature of the invention that attachment to a frame of the entire surface structure system of the present invention can be accomplished through the employment of simply manipulable nut-and-bolt sets, and can be performed quickly and competently by relatively modestly skilled labor. Another notable feature is that, as will also become apparent, little detailed assembly instruction to workers is required to augment the very intuitive nature of the system. In a sense, the system components, and how they “go together”, speak for themselves.

[0020] Turning attention now to the construction of structure, or system, 12, this system includes two principal categories of components. One of these categories takes the form of a plurality of specially configured stand-off mounts 26, and the other takes the form of a plurality of differently configured frame panels, such as the two different kinds of frame panels shown at 28, 30 in the drawings. More in detail will be said about these frame panels shortly, but generally speaking, frame panels 28 are uni-planar and rectilinear, and panels 30, which are also referred to herein as being rectilinear, are angular in nature to define right-angled, outside corners in the system of the invention. Inside corner panels, not specifically illustrated herein, are similar in construction. All frame panels function as armatures for supporting other, “outside-exposed” building surface structure.

[0021] Considering the construction of stand-off mounts 26, and looking most especially at FIG. 2, each includes an upright spine 26a which is appropriately through-machined to provide a vertical and linear array of slightly horizontally elongate (slot-like) holes, or apertures, 26b which accommodate anchoring, through briefly previously mentioned nut-and-bolt sets 22 as shown, to the appropriate pairs of previously mentioned, appropriately spaced, confronting component tabs 18a. These particular tabs 18a extend outwardly away from the outer side of frame 10. Joined, as by welding, to the outer upright edges of spines 26a are generally planar mounting plates 26c, each of which includes what is referred to herein as a planar mount-defining face 26d. Extending through each of plates 26c are pairs of keyhole apertures 26e which are laterally spaced as shown (see FIG. 2). Looking for a moment especially at FIG. 5 in the drawings, the outwardly facing faces of previously mentioned columns 14 lie, depending upon where they are located in frame 10, in a common plane 32, referred to herein as a frame plane. Frame plane 32, as pictured in FIG. 5, is vertical, and is substantially normal to the plane of FIG. 5. In the drawing figures herein, surface structure system 12 is principally shown, but only fragmentarily so, mounted adjacent a portion of frame plane 32.

[0022] Continuing with what is shown probably best in FIG. 5, mount-defining faces 26d, when the mounts are properly anchored in place, lie coextensive with a plane 34 which is referred to herein as a defined upright matrix support plane. Plane 34 herein, is somewhat, though not very much, spaced outwardly relative to plane 32, and is substantially parallel to that plane. Another way of expressing this is to say that planes 32, 34 are disposed substantially at an angle of O-degrees relative to one another.

[0023] As is pictured by a short, horizontal, double-headed arrow 36 in FIG. 5, slot-like apertures 26b, together with appropriate adjustments made in nut-and-bolt sets 22, permit a limited amount of inward and outward lateral adjustment of mounts 26 so as to enable proper positioning of mount-defining faces 26d (to lie co-extensive with plane 34). As will be appreciated, proper “planar positioning” of mount-defining faces 26d, once the installation of the matrix frame panels begins, tends to telegraph proper planar positioning for all of these frame panels.

[0024] Turning attention now to frame panels 28, 30 per se, focusing attention particularly on FIGS. 6 and 7, and beginning with frame panel 28, each panel 28 is generally planar and rectangular, and includes upper and lower, elongate, beam components such as those shown at 28a, 28b, respectively. Component 28a is referred to as an overhead principal beam component, and component 28b as a base beam component. These two beam components, as can be seen, are vertically spaced apart as illustrated herein, and are disposed with their long axes substantially parallel to one another.

[0025] Extending appropriately vertically between, and interconnecting, beam components 28a, 28b, are plural uprights, such as those shown at 28c. These uprights, along with a pair of horizontally extending elements, such as those shown at 28d, define, in panel 28, window openings, such as those shown at 28e.

[0026] In general terms, it should be understood that matrix frame panels, like panels 28, which are designed to support and carry the outermost skin structure in a building, can be designed with a number of different specific configurations and in different sizes to accomplish this. For example, panels very much like panels 28 may be created which do not have a construction that is designed to accommodate, for example, a window.

[0027] Overhead beams components 28a are square and tubular in cross section, and base beam components 28b take the form of upwardly facing, generally U-shaped channels.

[0028] Before continuing with additional details relating to the frame panels, to their interconnections with one another, and to their connections with the stand-off mounts in structure 12, one thing to note is that each of mounts 26 herein, that is in this preferred embodiment of the invention, is mounted on (anchored to) frame 10 essentially on the outer side of this frame, closely adjacent each one of the nodes 17 of interconnection between columns 14 and I-beams 16. Very particularly, the stand-off mounts of this invention are distributed, therefore, in a kind of modularity-characterized, or modularity-based, row-and-column arrangement, or pattern which is rectilinear in pattern, and which is distributed, effectively, regularly over those outside surface areas of frame 10 which are intended to have components in system 12 attached. The specific pattern of modularity employed is a matter of choice, and can be selected to suit different particular installations.

[0029] In relation to this row-and-column, modularity-characterized distribution of mounts 26, the various frame panels, such as the two kinds of panels which have been mentioned already herein, are also modularity-characterized. In particular, they are characterized in the sense that they are sized and shaped perimetrally so that what is referred to herein as their perimetral corners (there are four of them), also called mounting sites, each comes into close-facing contiguity with four different stand-off mounts, and more specifically, with respect to four different mount-defining faces 26d in the four different stand-off mounts within structure 12. This is very clearly evident from, especially, FIGS. 1 and 3 in the drawings. As can be seen also especially well in FIGS. 1 and 3, next-adjacent frame panels, whether horizontally adjacent, or vertically adjacent in a stack, are closely spaced with respect to one another, effectively to form what might be thought of as a tiled continuum throughout structure 12 disposed over the outside surfaces of frame 10. Generally speaking, four perimetral corners of four different frame panels meet adjacent a single, common mount-defining face in a single stand-off mount. This cluster of four such meeting corners is referred to herein as a modularity cluster.

[0030] Continuing now with further details that have yet to be described, and including references now to all of the drawing figures, appropriately attached to what effectively are the rearwardly facing walls of the tubular overhead principal beam components, such as components 28a, are paired nut-and-bolt sets 23 (previously mentioned). This can be seen especially well for one of these sets (two positions shown) in FIG. 5. Preferably also, the heads of the bolts in these sets are disposed inside components 28a, where they are welded, or otherwise suitably affixed, against the possibility of movement, such as rotation about the long axes of the shanks in the bolts. A weld which accomplishes this is shown generally at 38 in FIG. 5. Nut-and-bolt sets 23 are also referred to herein as attachment structures.

[0031] This particular arrangement, with the bolt heads in nut-and-bolt sets 23 disposed and stabilized against motion inside of beam components 28a, is the preferred arrangement where panels 28 are to be installed by moving them laterally toward frame 10. Where, however, they are to be installed on the blind side of a frame, it is desirable that the nuts in these sets be anchored to the insides of beam components 28a so that, initially, there is no nut-and-bolt structure projecting from the rear sides of components 28a. More will be said about this shortly.

[0032] With these nut-and-bolt sets 23 thus in place (bolt heads inside components 28a), and with the nuts in the sets turned a short distance onto the threaded, outwardly extending shanks in the bolts in these sets (see especially FIG. 5), the matrix frame panels are installed simply by manipulating them, generally as is indicated by curved arrow 40 in FIG. 5, laterally inwardly each toward a pair of stand-off mounts so as to cause the partially screwed on nuts in sets 23 to pass through the upper large area regions of keyhole apertures 26e which are appropriately sized for this purpose. A frame panel is then simply lowered slightly under the influence of gravity to become seated in place and effectively hung (hang-mounted) on a pair of mounts 26. When it comes time to secure the frame panels rigidly in place, among other securing activities which are performed and which will be described shortly, the nuts in nut-and-bolt sets 23 are tightened to draw overhead beam components 28a snugly against the respective confronting mount-defining faces 26d in mounts 26. This is a condition which is shown in the lower one of the three solid-line conditions pictured for a frame panel 28 in FIG. 5.

[0033] As will apparent from looking at FIG. 5, and was mentioned earlier, this very same lower frame panel is shown in two conditions/positions in solid lines in FIG. 5, the right hand position being one displaying the panel frame not yet in a mounted condition, and the left hand one showing this frame panel in a mounted and secured condition for the panel. With reference made just for a moment to FIG. 2, wherein at 41 a tri-orthogonal-axial relative positional adjustability capability is illustrated, this illustration is intended to point out yet another significant feature of the present invention. This feature is that, effectively, within a plane 43 which substantially parallels previously mentioned planes 32, 34, and which plane (43) is substantially normal to the in-and-out positional adjustability represented in FIG. 5 by arrow 36, there is sufficient lateral clearance provided between the shanks of the bolts in nut-and-bolt sets 23 and the surrounding walls of a keyhole aperture, such as apertures 26e, in mounts 26, to permit each frame panel, at least one which is of a variety like frame panel 28, to be adjusted upwardly-and-downwardly, and from side-to-side so as to be easily adjustable into an appropriate final position in a fully assembled structure 12. Thus, and as is made clearly evident by the orthogonal-axis presentation shown at 41 in FIG. 2, each matrix frame panel of the uni-planar variety is effectively fully adjustable in a limited range relative to the three, usual orthogonal axes, so as to enable the ending configuration of an installed surface structure 12 to be accurately and precisely disposed relative to the outer side of a plural-story building frame, such as frame 10. It should also be apparent from the description so far given that all mounting and positional adjustments which have been described so far can be performed completely from the inside of frame 10.

[0034] Further associated with overhead beam components 28a are two pairs of previously mentioned nut-and-bolt sets 24, each of which pairs is disposed closely adjacent opposite lateral ends of a beam component 28a. The threaded shanks in the bolts in these sets, shown at 24a in FIGS. 2, 5-7, inclusive, thus project upwardly above the upper surfaces of beam components 28a. These upwardly projecting bolt shanks are also referred herein as prong elements. Shanks 24a have long axes, one of which is shown at 24c in FIG. 5. The nuts, such as nuts 24b, in nut-and-bolt sets 24 are screwed down onto these projecting shanks. These nuts are also referred to herein circumsurround structure, and individual nuts 24b are also referred to as nut-like components. Preferably, the heads of the bolts in sets 24 are located within the interior of beam components 28a, and are therein welded against relative motion. For this purpose, bolt-head welds similar to those previously described are also employed at these locations.

[0035] Provided within base beam components 28b are two vertical pass-through apertures shown herein at 42 which, within each given frame panel, lie essentially along previously mentioned axis 24c. These apertures, together with nut-and-bolt sets 24, collectively constitute what are referred to herein as interconnect structures.

[0036] With prong elements 24a extending upwardly from beam components 28a in place, and apertures 42 located as just described, then, with respect to a pair of vertically next-adjacent, stacked frame panels 28, the prong elements that project upwardly from the lower one of such two frame panels extend into the apertures 42 in the overhead frame panel to effect a kind of positive stack-position registry between next-adjacent, vertically stacked panels. The nuts in nut-and-bolt sets 24 can be adjusted by turning nuts 24b on threaded shanks (prong elements) 24a to define a positive vertical spacing accurately between vertically next-adjacent frame panels. Additional compatible nuts, such as the additional nut 24b shown in FIGS. 2 and 5-7, inclusive, placed within the upwardly facing channel of each base beam component 28b, can be tightened downwardly toward the lower nut 24b to complete the process of securing each matrix frame panel in place.

[0037] Projecting prong elements 24a can also very handily function as so-called “pick bolts” that can be grasped by appropriate load-handling devices to raise and position the associated frame panels for assembly by workers.

[0038] Focusing attention on FIG. 5 to explain further herein a special construction opportunity which is afforded by the present invention, the fragmentary portions of frame 10 and system 12 which appear in this figure, coupled with the upper, dashed-line image of a frame panel 28, are intended to illustrate, among other things, what was mentioned earlier herein as the capability of the present invention to be used remarkably successfully on the blind side of a building.

[0039] In particular, and as has also been previously mentioned, such a blind side is one which is very close to a next-door building, and in FIG. 5, such a close, next-door building is shown fragmentarily at 44. What can clearly be seen here is that, even in this kind of a “close quarters” situation, the fact that the components of system 12 can be completely installed from the inside of frame 10 allows easily for the relatively simple installing and finishing of the outside of a plural-story building. With the dispositions of nut-and-bolt sets 23 being organized in the arrangement briefly outlined above where the nuts are within the insides of beam components 28a, initially there are no bolt projections from these beam components. As a consequence, frame panels, such as frame panels 28 (see the dashed-line image), can be lowered easily from overhead, as indicated by arrow 45 in FIG. 5, to “drop” directly down into appropriate facing proximity to the mount-defining faces in the stand-off mounts. With a panel so lowered and aligned properly, a worker from inside frame 10 can “insert” and tighten a bolt to affix such a lowered panel in place. This capability of the system of the present invention is extremely advantageous in many building situations.

[0040] It should be appreciated that while the frame panels in system 12, as illustrated herein, are presented simply in their “core, armature” forms, i.e., without any attached, final outside finishing materials, such finishing materials will typically have been affixed to these panels before panel installation.

[0041] Turning now to frame panel 30 as shown in FIG. 7, this frame panel is specifically designed herein to be used as an outside, right-angle corner frame panel, as seen in FIG. 1. From the clearly discernable construction of panel 30 illustrated in FIG. 7, this pictured construction will make evident to those skilled in the art how an inside corner panel, somewhat like panel 30, may be constructed. Other corner-panel configurations are, of course, possible.

[0042] Thus panel 30 includes an overhead principal beam component 30a which is right-angular in nature, and a base beam component 30b which is also right angular in nature. In other respects than “angularity”, these overhead and base beam components are generally similar to the correspondingly relatively positioned, previously described beam components 28a, 28b, respectively. Uprights, such as those shown at 30c, extend vertically between, and interconnect, components 30a, 30b. Beam component 30a has associated with it previously described nut-and-bolt sets 23, 24, and beam component 30b has associated with it previously described apertures 42.

[0043] The matrix frame surface structure of the invention is thus now fully described. It features positionally adjustable, modularly distributed stand-off mounts that anchor to the outside of a main building frame, and modularly-characterized frame panels which are hangable by gravity on the mounts, and positionally adjustable in principally two orthogonally related directions relative to the stand-off mounts. Nut-and-bolt sets are employed to secure the matrix frame system components in place, and these are fully accessible to permit assembly and installation of the system easily from the inside of a building frame. Only wrenches and modestly skilled labor are required for installation, and the system components, in a sense, intuitively self-instruct workers how to position and secure them. Uni-planar frame panels can readily be installed on the blind side of a building frame.

[0044] With connectors, such as angle-iron components 18, properly positionally attached to a main building frame, accurate placement of the matrix system components is assured. The system components readily lend themselves to off-site shop fabrication, and great precision, ensuring ease of proper system assembly, can be enhanced if computers are employed in the making of these components. The system lends itself to such computer-enhanced making.

[0045] Clearly to be understood is that the specific configurations of the system components illustrated herein can take on a number of different configurations.

[0046] Thus, while a preferred and best-mode embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described herein, it is appreciated that variations and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention.