Trilithic and/or twin shell dome type structures and method of making same
Kind Code:

Trilithic Shell, Twin Shell, Multiple Shell, Curvilinear Shell as well as Free-formed Structures described herein each employ an inflatable membrane having a peripheral edge secured to an outer foundation base. An ultra-light membrane (air-form) having a network of internal cross connecting restraints is additionally secured to the inner foundation base to permit a novel and unique curvilinear surface. Pressurization then creates the backdrop upon which various urethane layers are applied which when laced with rigidifying tubes become the defining backdrop beneath which numerous cross connecting braces which when snapped into position effectively lock an inner framework to an outer framework thereby producing a self supporting truss like structure both compatible with either current dome construction and/or conventional construction practices. Shotcrete being then sprayed from the interior over said urethane coated backdrop forms highs at framework intersections and natural lows in between followed by the insertion of inflated cell tubes which span the created network of horizontal and vertical cavities are next over sprayed with urethane foam necessary to form the next natural backdrop over which two or more shotcrete/steel reinforced separate yet cross connected planes may be achieved. Such multiple yet independent rigid layers now having thousands of inner-connecting cross braces through which interior voids become natural chase-ways effectively displace 50% or more of what might otherwise be solid concrete as would be the case with all prior art thin shell structures and/or conventional stem wall construction practices. Such Free Formed curve-linear structures effectively reduce material and labor costs by as much as 50%, eliminate snap-through or oil-can buckling tendencies, enhance overall structural capacity, eliminate all height to diameter restraints, permit larger structures, facilitate floor suspension and attachment, and allow mechanical, electrical and HVAC distribution through interior chase-ways which cannot be achieved with prior art concrete thin shell single thickness structures and/or conventional stem wall, construction practices to date.

Defever, Michael D. (Waukesha, WI, US)
Defever, Ryan Michael (Bonduel, WI, US)
Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/16; E04B1/35; E04B1/32; (IPC1-7): E04B1/32
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Primary Examiner:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
1. A method of constructing a freeform structure comprising, the steps of constructing a light weight air-form by incorporating sewn in sleeves into which tubular reinforcements are inserted and bound to said sleeve by a resinous material thereby creating an internal network system through which restraining lines are passed so as to achieve an air-form weighing several time less then previous art air-forms while securing peripheral edge of said air-form to the outside base foundation, while additionally securing internal restraining lines to the inside base foundation so that while under pressure outward expansion of the air-form is restricted by said internal network system being placed in longitudinal as well as and latitudinal tension, thereby forming subsequent layers of insulated foam material on an inner surface of the inflated form, securing a reinforcing mesh to an inner surface of said foam layer, temporarily attaching a second horizontal rebar, attaching cross connecting braces (USIS Braces) to said reinforcing mesh, un-attaching said second horizontal rebar and locking said horizontal into the USIS Receiver Socket, followed by inner vertical rebar placements to produce a second layer of said reinforcement mesh or multiple layers necessary to create steel framed cavities or voids separating said independent multiple (two or more) layers of steel reinforcement, applying one or more layers of a cementitious material to the “outermost” inner mesh framework against the backdrop of urethane foam to a depth sufficient to embed said reinforcing mesh while building thickness at intersections where horizontal, vertical and cross bracing rebar connect, inserting un-inflated cell tubes between said created steel framed cavities, inflating said cell tubes, filling space external said cell tubes and within the created vertical channels formed into the outer shotcrete shell with a lightweight urethane or other material to displace what would normally be concrete thereby displacing weight and creating a second flat backdrop surface or multiple flat backdrop surfaces to which again one or more layers of a cementitious material are to be applied to a depth sufficient to embed said reinforcing mesh whereby achieving a multiple shell like structure.

2. A method as defined in claim 1 including the steps of securing a plurality of tension lines thereby creating an internal network system to restrain and stabilize an air-form in preparation for urethane foam layers and/or similar applications, said internal network system having 4 way intersections to which tubes are connected to create patterns through which tension lines extend and secure to base thereby strengthening the air-form necessary to apply a resin coating an underlying urethane foam application thereby resulting in a more durable foam shell requiring less interior air pressure.

3. A method as defined in claim 2 wherein each of said hanger members having an extended length over the conventional length to include a larger base portion then the conventional size hangers, while disposed against said 1st foam layer, to including an improved method over the conventional practices by applying a second layer of insulation being colored to assist in achieving more uniform thickness application thereby resulting in more uniform suspension of imbedded hangers within said foam material while eliminating possible air pressure penetration to the exterior to cause a distortion free exterior surface.

4. A method as defined in claim 1 wherein said air-form consisting of an internal network of restraints comprised of sewn in fabric sleeves, imbedded tubes, inserted tension lines, internal resin coating having a cooperative relation with said inflatable form so as to permit inflation to a lesser degree and without either an external restraints or internal caged ribs.

5. A method as defined in claim 1 &4 wherein internal restraints permit the air-form to be constructed lighter and therefore inflated to a lesser pressure then conventionally practiced methods thereby eliminating the need for external restraints resulting in minimal curvature or arching between the internal framed supports, eliminating external wire restraints that require an exterior finish coating, whereby eliminating snap through buckling and/or oil can buckling as the two separated shells are constructed independently, are cross braced, become self supporting, and provide several times the conventional load bearing strength per square foot of surface area.

6. A method as defined in claim 1 wherein said cross bracing consisting of individually snapped into place Universal Snap In Standard (USIS Braces) thereby connecting an outer shell or layer with a separated inner shell or layer by way of several hundred or as many as several thousand steel bars and/or other composite material bars which together form a truss like connection between two or more spherical, half spherical, barrel, half barrel, oval, elliptical, cylindrical, flat wall and/or free formed surfaces thereby producing structural load capacities several times greater then conventional dome shell practices, hence the designation Twin Shell Structure, Multiple Shell Structure, Trilithic Dome Shell and/or free formed curve-linear structures most appropriately define this new technology.

7. A method as defined in claim 1 whereby cavities are created between shells and more specifically between USIS Braces which connect two or more shell surfaces thereby allowing un-inflated ribbons of polyethylene film or similar displacement type material to extend from one point to another point in either a vertical, horizontal and/or laterally in direction whereupon the space between such extended inflated voids through which said cross bracing extends, and once filled with a light weight insulation such as urethane or similar polymer and/or lightweight cementitious mixture resulting in the displacement of concrete weight yields a structural truss relationship between said multiple shells thereby providing structural capacities several times greater then conventional dome structure presently provide and/or hope to provide.

8. A method as defined in claim 1, claim 6 and claim 7 wherein said USIS Brace is constructed in a manner that may structurally connect an outer separated concrete shell like form to an inner separated concrete shell like form while simply snapping into position and thereby retaining both vertical and horizontal adjustability to include the capacity to receive an inserted interlocking circumferential rebar which when connected to its vertical interface forms a self supporting framework and perfectly aligned cavities through which inflated cell tubes may extend to create eventual chase-ways.

9. A method as defined in claim 1 and claim 8 wherein inserted cell tubes constructed of polyethylene film or similar type plastic in various diameter sizes are manufactured by method of heat sealing or joining both ends whereby one end receives an inserted inflator tube that can be simply cauterized once the desired pressure is achieved, whereby such tube is used to define both the size and upward curvature of what is to become a chase-way by method of being installed between an outer shell surface of concrete and an inner shell framework of steel rebar and separated by numerous rows of cross connecting USIS Braces which traverse back and forth to connect an outer shell to what will become an inner shell once the void separating one cell tube to the next is filled with a displacement material such as urethane foam and or light weight concrete as a method to displace weight and to effectively achieve a second flat surface to which a second application of shotcrete is to be applied to render an inner shell surface.

10. A method as defined in claim 1 wherein said air-form has a generally circular periphery secured to said base, said form being configured to establish a dome shape when inflated and restrained by internal network system comprised of sewn seams, stitched sleeves, inserted tubes, which when restrained by a plurality of tension lines extending generally radially from the base foundation along the underside of the said air-form through said tubes imbedded in said sleeves to an apex coupler thereby connecting to a spring-loaded-tension device and then back down through said tubes imbedded in said sleeves along the underside of said the air-form to connect to the opposite side base foundation, and a plurality of second tensions lines extending substantially circumferentially of the dome shape generally concentric with the apex thereof, said first and second tension lines being in generally transverse overlapping relation and merely overlapping a connectivity is a function of the 4 way interconnect that receive both horizontal and vertical tube placements which comprise the internal network which underlies designated seams to form defined pattern of support.

11. A method as defined in claim 1 including the step of interconnecting said internal network as defined in claim 10 thereby reducing the conventional air pressure thus permitting a lighter weight air-form to be used whereby permitting larger spans to be without use of an exterior restraining cable system or internal caged beam supports whereby a larger urethane shell may be applied to a lighter air-form thereby permitting a greater amount of initial rebar to be suspended until such time as the self supporting framework as defined in claim 8 can be assembled, wherein the application of steel and shotcrete are not a function of what the air-form can support rather what the self supporting frame and the initial outer most layer of shotcrete can support until the cell tubes as defined in claim 7 are placed thereby permitting a second-application of shotcrete to an inner shell thereby providing a structural” capacity several times greater then all other conventional methods allow while effectively eliminating any difficulty associated with snap through buckling and/or oil can buckling, while additionally diminishing the conventional and prevailing height to diameter restrains at the same time.

12. A method of laser projecting not only all critical placements within a dome structure but also locating and implanting attachment points throughout interior surface, strategically placing both truss receivers from which drop rods are suspended, metal ground plates to which floors are to be quickly attached, as well as all window and door openings which must be defined before any work may commence.

13. A method of constructing light weight truss frames assemblies that can be made at ground level and levitated into position once the layout work has been completed in accordance with claim 12.

14. A method of levitating assembled truss frames as defined in claim 1 and 13, thereby elevating said frames to a desired floor height as defined in claim 13 whereby DC high torque motors are used to revolve a gear reduction process comprised of a specially designed Truss Pin that is engineered to climb welded together segments of structural Acme Drop Rods extending from the ground level of the dome to a designated elevation or height at which time such truss members and their associated attachment flanges, bearings, and ground plates meet and are thereafter secured as defined in claim 1.

15. A method of constructing a dome building comprising the steps of securing a peripheral edge of an inflatable form to a external base, securing an internal restraining network to the internal base foundation, inflating said light weight air-form under low pressure into a dome shape so that outward expansion of the form is restricted by said restraining members, applying a application of resinous material to the combined sleeves, ribs, and tubing to comprise a unified network of restraint, forming a first layer of insulation foam material on an inner surface of the inflated form, applying hanger brackets having longer and softer wire by means of laser placement device, securing a reinforcing mesh to an inner surface of said foam layer, using laser locating devices to place drop rod receiver, window and door locations, floor locations, ground plate locations, skylight locations, applying a second and third or more layers of light weight urethane or similar copolymer, placing horizontal outer rebar in a circumferential manner, placing vertical outer rebar to strategically positioned hanger brackets through use of laser spotting, placing cross connecting SIS Braces to secure outer shell to a second or third inner shell, placing internal horizontal rebar temporarily, placing internal vertical rebar to USIS Brace and Horizontal rebar using one common wire attachment, placement of cellular foam caps over internal intersections, spraying outer layers of shotcrete through all layers of rebar, placement of cell tubes within crated voids, application of urethane foam between cell tubes, applications of shotcrete to the second interior shell backdrop, of FIG. 6

16. A dome structure made in accordance with the method of claim 15.



Present invention relates to conventional stem wall construction practices, roof shell construction practices, tunnel construction, and more specifically to concrete dome shell structures which are most commonly referred to as Thin Shell structures within in the industry.

Such structures to date typically have been constructed utilizing numerous and/or various construction methods whereby a single shell thickness of concrete is achieved. Essentially, varying methods of layering dissimilar materials necessary to define the outer dimension of such structures and in particular dome structures have been used for decades by spraying concrete for example to either the inside and/or outside of a form.

Structures for example being typically constructed by inflating an air-form, followed by applying an insulating urethane foam material to the interior of said air-form, followed by securing a reinforcing mesh and/or rebar to said urethane foam layer, followed by one or more layers of a cementitious material being applied to effectively embed the reinforcing mesh into one thickness, are current methods generally known in the industry.

Numerous Thin Shell dome structures for example are in use today, however, their radius of curvature limitations (height of the dome shell having to be at least 35% of the diameter) has severely restrained their overall use and acceptance by architects, contractors and the general buying public. Secondly, while Thin Shell structures have utilized varied amounts of rebar and creative configurations for both vertical and horizontal rebar placements in order to achieve spans of up to approximately 300 feet in diameter, said Thin Shell structures are still no match for conventional construction methods due to numerous unresolved limitations that still have not been remedied. For Example: Load capacities have been typically adjusted by either, increasing the quantity of imbedded steel rebar, enlarging the diameter of said steel rebar, decreasing the space between said steel rebar placements, and/or gradually increasing the overall concrete single shell thickness that contains said steel rebar reinforcements until the shell can no longer support itself. However, through all of the Thin Shell modifications over the past decades, nobody has to date proposed the use of two or more separated yet parallel interlocking dome shells thereby achieving a truss like condition as a means of obtaining greater structural strength. Moreover, all attempts to conquer curvature restraints and size limitations for larger domes structures by South and/or all others referenced in South's Background of the invention, U.S. Pat. No. 5,918,438 issued on Jul. 6, 1999 have proved futile as evidenced by the fact that no dome structures larger than 300′ in DIA have been yet constructed. More specifically, all attempts to increase a Thin Shell's diameter size and/or the Thin Shell's inherent strength have been limited to manipulating long standing methods of constructing a single thickness Thin Shell structure be it either adding various types of structural support above and/or below a single thickness thin shell dome like structure, while conventional construction practices likewise rely on increasing wall thickness just as roofing truss systems grow in size and weight to support larger structures.

In pursuit of building beyond 300 or 400 feet in diameter U.S. Pat. No. 5,918,438 issued to South on Jul. 6, 1999 discloses that: “a concept of caged steel and concrete beams being fashioned below a single thin shell as a more particular method of making larger dome structures to be feasible”. In reality, however the caged beams necessary to support such a single thickness dome like structure would themselves weigh several times the weight of the thin shell they are designed to support, while the same dramatic escalation of weight also impedes larger conventional construction by increasing both material and labor in the same manner.

South's prior art U.S. Pat. No. 4,324,074 issued Apr., 13, 1882 likewise could not accommodate structures larger then 300′ in diameter, while additionally being restrained by the 35% height to diameter limitations. It is therefore significant to note that no 300′ to 400′ or larger DIA domes, nor any other structure having heights less then 35% of their diameters have been built to date.

In U.S. Pat. No. 5,918,438 under BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION page 1, South incorporates by references both U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,277,219 and 4,155,967 which were the previous prior art toward also increasing the diameter and strength of dome-like structures by adding steel reinforcement to a single thickness of concrete to achieve what in the industry is termed a (thin shell) structure. Therein South discloses on page 1. paragraph 2, that: “in many applications, such structures provided significant economic advantages over conventional building practices that typically utilize lumber, bricks, concrete blocks and the like to implement conventional rectangular or other generally square corner structural configurations”. Mr. South then continues: “The economic advantages of buildings constructed with inflatable forms having insulation foam and concrete layers applied to their inner surfaces are derived in part from the relatively short period of time required to construct such buildings as compared with conventional building techniques”. South, however, avoids mentioning that to implement his new art as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,918,438, issued on Jul. 6, 1999 both materials and labor associated with his new art will be viewed as prohibitive as compared to all other conventional art. South then continues to disclose: “In general, such dome type building structures are made by securing the periphery of the inflatable form to a footing or foundation, inflating the form, applying an insulating foam layer against the interior surface of the inflated form, attaching a relatively rigid reinforcing grid or mesh to the interior surface of the cured foam layer, and thereafter applying one or more cementitious layers, as by spraying shotcrete to the foam layer so as to embed the reinforcing mesh and/or rebar whereby providing a self-supporting shell-like dome structure” which implies that the actual application of shotcrete is quite essential to obtaining self support. South goes on to further clarify in his background of the invention page 1, paragraph 3: “Dome shaped building structures of the aforementioned type have proven to be structurally sound and particularly environmentally compatible due to their relatively high thermal efficiency”. South then discloses further in his second sentence of page 1 paragraph 3, that: “One drawback to these known dome structures is that they are restrictive in size. As the inflatable air-form is made larger to produce a larger diameter dome, such as a diameter exceeding 300-400 feet, the higher air pressure required to inflate and raise the heavier form may cause the form to tear. In addition if the wall thickness of a large size dome shells were made sufficiently thick to theoretically provide the necessary strength for self-support, the weight of the additional concrete may well exceed its increased strength so that inward buckling occurs, generally termed “snap through” or “oil can” buckling”.

South suggests in U.S. Pat. No. 5,918,438 that developing a restraining cable system and the resulting concept of constructing underlying caged beams of steel and concrete under the “Thin Shell” to be a “far better method and/or improvement over all previous attempts made to overcome the limitations of such dome-type buildings” which use such as, but not limited to, rigid skeletal frameworks of struts or tubular members to define the contour of the desired shell as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,408,793 by way of reference to U.S. Pat. No. 4,442, 059, wherein it is disclosed that: “struts or tubular members being secured together at intersections by clamps with the lower struts fixed to a base or foundation. An air-impervious membrane envelope is provided within the framework and is inflated to place the struts or tubular members in tension. A coating, such as a fiber-reinforced resin or cement, is applied to the outside surface of the membrane to cover both the membrane and framework. After the desired coating thickness is allowed to set, the air pressure is released and the membrane removed, whereupon, the struts or tubular members return to a non-tensioned state and detach from the exterior coating material on the membrane. The inner surface of the construction may then be sprayed with resin to cover at least the strut connecting clamps”.

Furthermore, U.S. Pat. No. 5,408,793 discloses that: “a dome structure wherein a membrane is inflated to a desired dome shape against radial members made of steel wire, wire rope or glass or carbon fibers and having their bottom ends secured to a base on which the dome is built. The interior and exterior surfaces of the inflated membrane are coated with a rigidifying material such as shotcrete which hardens to form a structural composite layer with the membrane and radial wires embedded in the rigid composite layer. Circumferential high-tensile tensioning elements may be applied around the structure internally of the composite layer to counteract outwardly directed bursting forces created by materials contained within the finished dome”. The above disclosures clearly demonstrate that the general approach and focus again has been toward strengthening the single thickness “thin shell” structure in order to span larger diameters.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,918,438, also discloses that: “while dome structures of the type disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,442,059 and 5,408,793 has enabled domes of larger size to be constructed, they have not altogether eliminated the problem of snap-through or oil can buckling as very large domes, such as domes having base diameters significantly greater than 300 feet, are constructed. Such domes South states “have the further disadvantage that they are relatively complex and expensive to make, as compared to a dome structure as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,155,967 which cannot be constructed in excess of 300′ in diameter”. South, however, does not emphasize that his U.S. Pat. No. 5,918,438 having both an exterior cables system as well as its massive interior caged ribs system must be first free hand assembled externally, then free hand assembled internally before carefully and artistically spraying literally dozens of successive layers of shotcrete to achieve a dimensionally consistent beam width, one rib at a time—layer upon layer, which is logically more complicated, more time consuming and certainly much more demanding labor wise then any prior art he references to therein, be it U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,442,059, 5,408,793, and/or 4,155, 967. Moreover it just may be the precise reason why such a caged beam structure still has not been constructed to date.

Thus, a dome structure of the type to be later disclosed herein, which can be constructed to accommodate diameters approaching 1000 feet in diameter, is the result of a complete redesign of all aspects of the dome construction process. By foregoing the heavier air-form, eliminating exterior restraining cables, eliminating massive concrete and steel internal ribs and dispensing with the concept of gradually thickening a single thickness dome shell in lieu of a Multiple Shell Type structure, herein after referred to as (MST) structure, a truss like assembly is realized whereby a structural rebar framework becomes essentially self supporting, load capacities increase several times over and the combined concrete/steel weight per sq./ft of surface area diminishes appreciably for either conventional and/or dome type structures. Said “MST structures resolve not only the overall diameter limitations, the previously mentioned height not to exceed: 35% of the diameter limitations, but also the “snap through buckling and/or “oil can buckling drawbacks thereby. permitting numerous other novel concepts and methods of construction to be additionally implemented since structures may now provide the load carrying capacity necessary to support such measures. For Example: Efficient floor truss assembly methods, advanced bearing point suspension systems, floor truss levitation and attachment methods, skylight placement methods, stair well suspension concepts, partition wall placement methods, mechanical, electrical and HVAC distribution methods, and “wind driven natural ventilation methods” that effectively harness the thermal mass energy stored within the MST structure can now be easily employed. Therefore the above technologies would provide a substantial advancement over any of the current dome building art forms as either disclosed in either U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,918,438, 4,442,059, 4,155,967 or 5,408,793.


A general object of the present invention is to provide a novel free-formed curve-linear roof like structure, tunnel structure MST dome like structure and/or free formed space over incorporating multiple shell layers and method of making same that enables a substantially larger size shell-like dome structure to be constructed then heretofore obtainable.

A more particular object of the present invention is the following method of constructing multiple combinations of separated yet interconnected shell layers, whereby the resulting structures load bearing strength, overall diameter size, height to diameter restraints, floor suspension limitations, skylight opening limitations, as well as the resulting efficient distribution of mechanicals such as but not limited to electrical plumbing and HVAC become significantly improved then heretofore obtainable, by use of the following:

    • a. A novel light weight inflatable yet high strength air-form membrane having equal distant sections that are double reinforced and sleeved intermittently to accept an internal tubular grid assembly through which tension lines are drawn so as to provide larger diameter spans without tearing then heretofore obtainable.
    • b. A novel concept of interconnected cross bracing herein defined as Universal Snap In Standards (USIS Braces) that results in either a free standing “twin shell” dome like 'structure, “multiple shell” or “Trilithic shell” shell like structure, thereby providing far superior load bearing strengths then heretofore obtainable.
    • c. The novel insertion of inflated cell tubes thereby creating voids for the exact purpose of eliminating concrete volume whereby significant weight displacement is achieved, thereby causing structural strengths to escalate dramatically, also proves to be a substantial advancement over previous art then heretofore obtainable.

Accordingly, several other objects and advantages of the novel multiple shell innovation which results in improved structural strength and the reduction of height to diameter restraints present themselves and are therefore included because they have not been heretofore obtainable and they are:

    • a. A novel system for suspending numerous floors or levels may be now employed due to this highly strengthened interconnected multiple shell structure then heretofore obtainable.
    • b. A novel method of levitating floors constructed at ground level up and into position and thereafter quickly connecting said floors to the multiple shell structure in an efficient manner due to the improved structural capacities and weight transference abilities associated using multiple shell assemblies as disclosed herein, then heretofore obtainable.
    • c. A novel method of distributing electrical, plumbing and HVAC throughout the multiple shell structure may now result at any time after the concrete shell is completed as cell tube voids within the dome (between shell layers) serve as vertical chase-ways permitting more efficient placement of mechanicals then heretofore obtainable.
    • d. A novel method of utilizing natural external wind pressure to cause internal air circulation within the Multiple Shell structure thereby harnessing millions of BTU's of thermal energy stored within the mass of the MTS structure then heretofore obtainable.

Briefly: In constructing such a superior strength multiple shell structure the peripheral edge of a new lightweight air-form typically weighing several times less then conventional air-forms is secured to the base or foundation over which the multiple shells is to be constructed. The lightweight air-form while incorporating slightly oversized stitched tubes or sleeves at designated seams produces an equal distant pattern of support. Once the lightweight air-form is inflated, rigid thin wall urethane or type similar tubes are inserted into said stitched sleeves thereby producing a cross pattern of support after which the insertion of vertical tension lines being first secured to the base foundation while secondly horizontal tension lines are circumferentially strung whereby the combined effect is to both limit and restrain movement of the air-form during the construction process. Thereafter, and upon slightly increasing the air-form interior pressure whereby creating a slight but noticeable exterior cross pattern to emerge on the outer shell, a urethane elastomeric penetrating resin is applied from the inside to both adhere and bind sleeves, seams and inserted urethane tubing together. Once fully cured the lightweight air-form becomes even more stabilized and strengthened after which the first of three additional urethane foam applications in color coded layers are applied successively which insures a more uniform thickness application while permitting one to more easily distinguish between one application and the next.

Thereafter the installation of internal horizontal and vertical rebar as generally known and disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,277,219 and 4,155,967 are incorporated while the lengths of such previously disclosed hanger brackets are extended substantially in accordance with the herein defined novel method of both attaching and aligning said rebar in both a more expedient and efficient manner then heretofore been obtainable

Once the outer horizontal and vertical rebar framework has been attached by way of such lengthened hanger brackets the strategic application of Universal Snap In Standards (USIS Braces) serve to create the unique cavity or separation between the outer rebar reinforcement framework and an inner reinforcement framework. Once the inner-most horizontal rebar is snapped into the USIS brace receiver, the inner vertical rebar can be quickly attached thereby causing a multiple shell framework that is virtually self supporting. Shotcrete being then sprayed through the inner framework builds surface thickness over the outer framework and against the light weight and strengthened air-form which has become essentially a backdrop upon which shotcrete is applied, while specific attention is given to applying more shotcrete thickness at intersecting points where the USIS Braces connect to both vertical and horizontal rebar thus reinforcing all such attachment points to the outer shell framework. The resulting appearance will be that of highs and lows in vertical rows around the perimeter of the multiple shell structure. Thereafter flat (un-inflated) cell tube (ribbons of polyethylene film) will be next drawn from the floor upward and between the created rectangular cavities on toward the apex of the structure. After inflation of said cell tubes the voids separating each inflated cylinder will be sprayed with either lightweight 1.5 lb density urethane foam and/or lightweight shotcrete consisting of cement and Styrofoam and less aggregate depending on intended use of said cell tube void. The inner resulting surface once leveled over with urethane foam will appear just as the outer application of urethane foam appeared before the first coating of shotcrete was applied. This new second surface will then receive a second inner thickness of 6,000 PSI shotcrete thereby creating the inner wall of the inner shell portion of a Multiple Shell Type structure.

Further features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention taken with the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numbers designate like elements throughout the several views.


FIG. 1 is a perspective left side frontal view of a 400′ DIA approximate size Multiple Dome Shell type structure that may be constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a representative fragmentary vertical sectional view from the peripheral foundation through to the apex of a Twin Shell and/or as may be defined a Multiple Shell Type Structures of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view through a Floor Truss/Cross Member intersection of FIG. 2 in accordance with one embodiment by which Vertical Drop Rods connect to floors which are suspended from the Multiple Shell Type structure.

FIG. 4 is a more detailed fragmentary vertical perspective view taken through the wall of the dome shell of FIG. 2 and is representative of the manner in which all component materials such as but not limited to: Universal Snap In Standards or (USIS Braces), Cell Tubes (inflated polyethylene cylinders or voids), Urethane Foam Layers, Horizontal and Vertical Rebar, Hanger Brackets, Reinforcement Rebar, High Strength Shotcrete, pre-positioned Knock Out Plugs, pre-positioned Tension Tubes, and Restraining Cables are all systematically assembled to efficiently construct a Multiple Shell Like structure using far less labor.

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view illustrating the manner in which connecting rows of “universal snap in standard” (USIS Brace) attach to vertical re-bars, which are connected to horizontal re-bars which extend circumferentially around the perimeter of the outer shell of the structure of FIG. 2. FIG. 2 represents only one embodiment consisting of two shells (outer and inner) being interconnected together, however, three or more (multiple shells) may be also fashioned in the same manner whereby achieving even greater structural capacity as would be required with domes approaching 1000 feet in diameter.

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view illustrating the manner in which vertically placed rows of “cell tubes” (inflated polyethylene tubes or voids) are positioned equal distant between the outer and inner shell frameworks of steel re-bar and likewise positioned equal distant between the inserted rows of USIS Braces of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a representative fragmentary vertical sectional view near the apex of the dome shell showing a “drop rod receiver” implanted and secured back by way of rebar to both the outer and inner walls of FIG. 2.

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view, on an enlarged scale, through the wall of FIG. 2 which is representative in accordance with one embodiment of the manner in which Truss Beams connect to both the inner and outer walls of a Twin Shell and/or Multiple Shell Type Structure of FIG. 2.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view, on an enlarged scale, through a connecting floor truss and its cross member truss of FIG. 2 which is representative in accordance with one embodiment of the manner of which Truss Braces” support Floor Truss intersections and thereby effectively suspending such floor systems from a Twin Shell and/or Multiple Shell structure.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view on an enlarged scale of the interior side of the inflated air-form once both vertical and horizontal tension tubes have been inserted through the sewn in sleeves, joined with 4 way cross connects, over-sprayed with penetrating resin, restrained by tension lines and made ready for the first application of urethane foam.

FIG. 11 is a perspective drawing further defining FIG. 10, wherein, Stanchion Cups, Rebar Hold-down Cinches and Cable Crimps are employed to restrain and stabilize the air-form, while elastomeric penetrating resin bonds said components together

FIG. 12 is a perspective view illustrating in accordance with one embodiment a technique for the “inner cross connection of horizontal and vertical sleeved seams associated with the air-form membrane tension lines”.

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view illustrating in accordance with one embodiment a technique for “circumferentially cross-connecting vertical tension lines over horizontal tension lines of FIG. 12. The lower of the two drawings defines the membrane folds and method of assembly to include a locking stitch pattern which permits the internal sleeve to uniformly run parallel to all seams.

FIG. 14 is a perspective view, to illustrate the manner of connecting a plurality of internal tension lines at the apex of a given dome shell thereby limiting and/ or restraining the air-form from outward pressure and/or movement during either a Twin Shell and/or Multiple Shell construction process;.

FIG. 15 is a top view of the truss frame intersection in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. This view shows the typical placement of a reduction motor at a Drop Rod Intersection for purposes of lifting an entire floor from numerous Drop Rod locations simultaneously when synchronized with all other such lifting points.

FIG. 16 is a fragmentary sectional view, on an enlarged scale, through a connecting floor truss and its cross member truss of FIG. 3 which is representative in accordance with one embodiment of the manner of which floor systems are constructed at ground level on strategically positioned Assembly Standards which thereby insure that all floors are dimensionally constructed exactly the same making installation simple.

FIG. 17 is a perspective drawing of the Universal Snap In Standard Brace Snap Clip (USIS Brace Snap Clip) of FIG. 5 to include the new method of connecting USIS Braces to horizontal and vertical rebar assemblies associated with either, Twin Shell Structures, Multiple Shell structures, Trilithic Structures, Free-formed Curve-linear Structures, Tunnel Structures, Conventional Roof Over Structures and/or Curve-linear Space Over structures.

FIG. 18 is a fragmentary transverse sectional view, on an enlarged scale of an interconnecting 4 way intersection through which, horizontal and vertical tension lines extend.

FIG. 19 is a fragmentary sectional view of a laser pointing device that permits the exact layout of all truss rod receivers when placed perfectly level on top of the strategically situated Assembly Standards. Accordingly the construction of all floors within any Twin Shell and/or Multiple Dome Shell structure can be precisely duplicated using these two simple devices in conjunction with one another.

FIG. 20 is a perspective drawing showing the sealed end of a Cell Tube protruding from a dispensing carton thereby depicting a method by which they may be drawn up and through rebar cavities with the use of a simple line cord just prior to actual tube inflation.

FIG. 21 is a perspective drawing of the Cellular Poly-Foam Caps which may be snapped over all inner horizontal and vertical intersection to protect said intersections from unwanted foam and/or shotcrete over-spray during the construction process.

FIG. 22 is a perspective drawing of the Drop Rod Alignment Jig used to join, weld, and finish grind joints between sections of acme threaded drop rod.

FIG. 23 is a more detailed perspective drawing of the suspension components associated with FIG. 9 and is primarily representative of the Truss Pin Assembly group which supports the weight of individual floor intersections during the levitating process.

FIG. 24 is a more detailed perspective view, on an enlarged scale, through the wall of FIG. 2 at the base in accordance with one embodiment of the manner of securing both vertical tension tubes to the inner base foundation while also securing the air-form to the outer fringe of the base foundation.

FIG. 25 is a fragmentary sectional view thru a truss coupler that is threaded over all welded joints after the above floor has been lifted into position.

 8.Twin Shell and/or Multiple1
Shell Type Structures
 9Shotcrete Outer Shell1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 20
10Shotcrete Inner Shell1, 2, 4, 6, 7
11Air-Form1, 2, 4, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 24
12Air lock1
13Foundation1, 2, 4, 10, 11, 24
14Crushed Limestone2
15Polyethylene film2
16Urethane vapor barrier2
17Air-Form Lock down1, 2, 24
Bracket, nut & washer.
18Horizontal Lock Down1, 2, 24
“Restraining Rebar”
19Neoprene Backing Shoulder
of Neoprene and Neoprene
Compression Washer2, 24
20Sewn Seam/of the Air-Form4, 10, 11, 12, 13, 24
21Sewn-in- Sleeve/of the Air-4, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 18, 24
22Horizontal/Urethane/Tension1, 2, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, 18
23Vertical/Urethane/Tension1, 2, 4, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13,
Tube.14, 18, 24
24Tension Cable2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 24
25Stanchion Cup2, 6, 10, 11, 24
25ARebar Cinch2, 6, 10, 11, 24
25BCable Crimp2, 6, 10, 11, 24
26Urethane 4 Way Cross Connect10, 12, 13, 18
26ACross Connect Access Port12, 13, 18
27Urethane Elastomeric2, 4, 6, 11, 13, 24
Penetrating Resin
282 LB density polyurethane2, 4, 6, 7
foam (outer shell)
29Long Wire - Broad Plate2, 4, 5, 6, 17
Hanger bracket
30Urethane foam 1.5 LB Density2, 4, 6, 7
(Outer Shell)
30AUrethane foam 1.5 LB Density4, 6
(Inner Shell)
31Urethane foam 1.5 LB Density2, 4, 6, 7
(Outer Shell)
31AUrethane foam 1.5 LB Density4, 6
(Inner Shell)
32Rebar/Horizontal/Outer Shell2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17, 20
33Rebar/Horizontal/Inner Shell2, 4, 6, 7, 20, 21
34Rebar/Vertical/Outer Shell2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17, 20
35Rebar/Vertical/Inner Shell2, 4, 6, 7, 20, 21
36USIS Universal Snap in2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17, 20, 21
37Cell Tube Interior Void4, 6, 7, 8
38Cell Tube1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 20
39Truss Rod Receiver2, 7
40Tie Back Rods for Truss2, 7
41Truss flange2, 8
42Truss ball joint2, 8
43Ground plate2, 8
44Truss Slides2, 8
45Truss Pin Assembly15, 23
45ATruss Pin Sleeve Segment2, 3, 9, 16, 23
46Truss bearing2, 9, 15, 16, 23
47Truss beam2, 3, 8, 9, 15, 16
48Truss coupler2, 7, 25
49Truss sprocket2, 9, 15, 16
50Truss Brace2, 3, 9, 15, 16
51.DC high torque motor2, 9, 15, 16
(variable speed)
52Drive gear2, 9, 15, 16
53Acme drop rod (threaded)2, 3, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 25
54Universal Snap Clip (USIS4, 5, 6, 17
Clip) for SIS Braces
55Assembly Standard2, 15, 16, 19
56Knock Out Plug for Cell2, 4, 6, 7
57Acrylic Elastomeric Exterior2, 4, 6, 11, 13, 24
58Interior Base2, 10, 11, 24
59Air-Form Quadrant Sections1, 10
60USIS Brace Receiver Socket2, 4, 5, 7, 20
61Drop Rod Alignment and22
Welding Jig
62Leveling Bolts16
63Galvanized Corrugated2, 8
Metal Decking
64Wire Weld Joint2, 8, 19
65Stick Weld Joints2, 3, 9
66Reinforced Cross Bracing2, 8
67In Floor Electrical Conduit2, 8
68In Floor Radiant Heat Tube2, 8
69Lightweight Concrete2, 8
70Thread Alignment/Grinding22
71Acme Drop Rod Joint Grindernot shown
72Tension Nut of the Assembly16
72ATension Washers16
73Tension Spring of the2, 16
Assembly Standard
74Slotted Surface Area of the
Assembly Standard15, 16, 19
75Grey Iron shank of the Truss16, 23
76Bronze Sleeve of the Truss16, 23
77Threaded holes in the Grey23
Iron Shank
78Horizontal/Vertical Spottingnot shown
79Vertical Spotting Lasers19
(singular device)
80Poly Foam Caps21
81Rebar Stop & Shotcrete at2, 8
Perimeter Shell
82Cell Tube Dispenser20
83Spring Loaded Line Tension2, 7, 14
84Apex Restraining Frame2, 7, 14
85Laser Spotting Device19
86Vertical Laser Chase19
87Laser Surface Plate19
88Calibration Screws19
89On/Off Button19
90Final Shotcrete Application2, 8
after floor installations
91Drainage Tile2
92Retention Sleeves at Apex2, 7, 14
Restraining Frame
93Grid Layout hole2, 16
94Styrofoam blocking7


Referring now to the drawings, and in particular to FIGS. 1 and 2, a Twin Shell, Multiple Shell and/or Trilithic Dome Shell type structure constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention is indicated generally in FIG. 1 and shall be herein after referred to in general as a Multiple Shell Type structure or (MST) structure.

The MST structure illustrated in FIG. 1, takes the form of a generally semi-spherical shaped dome building having a circular base defined by a footing or foundation 13 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 10, 11, 24) that is preferably formed from concrete to establish the desired base diameter and is sized to support the weight of the dome and to withstand various weather and environmental conditions to which such structures may be subjected.

Briefly the MST structure is constructed by first setting the foundation footing 13 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 10, 11, 24) after which a light weight and structurally reinforced air-impervious inflatable air-form 11 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 24) is secured at its peripheral edge to the footing in an air-tight relation therewith. An internal restraining system consisting of sewn in sleeves 21 (FIGS. 4, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 18, 24) sewn into the sewn seam 20 (FIGS. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14) of the air-form into which extruded urethane tubing 22 &23 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 18, 24) is inserted through which tensions cables 24 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 24) are drawn and secured VIA the interior side of the air-form to the interior base 58 (FIGS. 2, 10, 11, 24) at the interior side of the foundation thereby effectively limits and restrains the outward force being applied to the air-form 11 FIGS. (1, 2, 4, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 24). Horizontal/Vertical Urethane tension tubes 22-23 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 24) being laced through sewn in sleeves 21 (FIGS. 4, 6, 10, 12, 13, 18, 24) absorb the minimal force that is needed to hold the air-form in place until the 1st application of a urethane elastomeric penetrating resin 27 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 11, 13, 24) has been applied followed by a, 2nd application of urethane foam 1.5 lb density 30 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7) and finally a 3rd application of urethane foam 1.5 lb density 31 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7) while long wire broad plate metal hanger brackets 29 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7) are installed only between the 1st and 2nd application of urethane foam. The network of tension cables 24 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 24) collectively termed restraining elements, are configured to allow pressurized inflation of the air-form while limiting and restraining the extent of outward inflationary pressure to a defined configuration being the air-form quadrant section 59 (FIGS. 1, 10). Such quadrant sections serve to eliminate any possible tearing and/or rupturing by limiting the stresses within a given quadrant to the much stronger framework which is supported internally by tension lines which extend from one side to the other.

After inflating the air-form 11 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 24) a network of rigid urethane tubes 22-23 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7, 11,12, 13, 18, 24) are inserted through sewn in sleeves 21 (FIGS. 10, 11, 12, 13, 18, 24 which are sewn into the air-form seams 20 (FIGS. 4, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 18, 24) thereby allowing inserted tension cables 24 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 24) to restrain the outward expansion and or lateral movement of the inflated air-form during the construction process. The placement of an Apex Restraining Framework 84 (FIGS. 2, 7, 14) of an appropriate size necessary to interconnect all opposing tension cables 24 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 24) to spring loaded line tension device 83 (FIGS., 2, 7, 14) thereby establishing a uniform amount of tension to each opposing side of the air-forms urethane tension tubes 22-23 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 18, 24). Adjusting said tension is accomplished by ratcheting the vertical tension cable 24 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 24) from the base at one side of the dome while the tension cable line extends upward and connects to a spring loaded line tension device 83 (FIGS. 2, 7, 14) that spans the apex restraining frame 84 (FIGS. 2, 7, 14) and returns back down the direct opposite side of the dome shell. Since the vertical lines pull freely through the oversized urethane tension tubes 22-23 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 18, 24), the ratchet can be cranked with,a torque wrench in order to establish uniform tension levels across all tension lines. In doing so each side of the shell becomes equally balanced due to the spring loaded tension device 83 (FIGS. 2, 7, 14) equally splitting the combined load per line. Lastly, retention sleeves at the apex restraining frame 92, (FIGS. 2, 7, 14), and stanchion cups 25 (FIGS. 2, 6, 10, 11, 24) into which said urethane tensions tubes 22-23 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 24) are inserted ultimately become bonded together by means of spray applied urethane elastomeric penetrating resin 27 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 11, 13, 24) thereby causing the extruded urethane tubing 22-23 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 18, 24) to effectively adhere to the perforated sewn in sleeves 21 (FIGS. 4, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 18, 24) causing the interconnected network of restraining elements to effectively restrain the excessive expansion of individual air-form quadrant sections 59 (FIGS. 1, 10) Once the first urethane elastomeric penetrating resin coating 27 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 11, 13, 24) has cured a slight increase in the internal pressure of the dome structure effectively causes the air-form quadrant sections 59 FIGS. 1, 10) to pooch whereby a distinctive pattern emerges on the exterior of the air-form 11 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 24). Thereafter a 1st layer of urethane foam in a 2 lb density 28 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7) may be applied after which the actual placement of long wire broad plate hanger brackets 29 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 17) are located by method of directing a precision (commonly available) horizontal/vertical laser spotting device circumferentially to allow exact establishment of horizontally and vertically intersections at which point said long wire broad plate hangers brackets 29 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 17) are affixed. Next a 2nd application of urethane foam 1.5 lb density 30 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7) and a 3rd application of urethane foam 1.5 lb density 31 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7) followed next by circumferentially attaching all horizontal outer rebar 32 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17, 20) commencing at the lowest level on up to the apex of the dome shell by means of wrapping or twisting said long wire broad plate hanger bracket 29 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 17) a two full turns around the horizontal re-bar commencing from the under side going to the front, up and then to the rear, and then forward again thus leaving the remaining length of wire pointing inward horizontally and essentially ready for the attachment of said vertical outer re-bars 34. (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17, 20).

Once said horizontal rows reach 20′ in height, the outer most vertical re-bars 34 are stood vertical in place by positioning the lower end of the re-bar on the base foundation, while wire tie connecting said vertical rebar 34 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17, 20) to similarly placed vertical rebar protruding upward from the concrete foundation ring 13 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 10, 11, 24). The standing end of said vertically standing rebar is thereby attached to the outer horizontal rebar 32 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17, 20) and directly to the left of the protruding long wire broad plate hanger bracket 29 FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 17). The remaining 8” portion of the long wire broad plate hanger bracket 29 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 17) that was not used to secure the horizontal re-bar into position will now be used to lock the vertical outer shell rebar 34 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7, 20) into position as well. By simply continuing to wrap the outer vertical outer shell re-bar 34 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7, 20) with the remaining long wire broad plate hanger bracket wire 29 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 17), a secure and precisely located outer shell cross member configuration is achieved.

Next the temporary suspension of all horizontally intended inner re-bars 33 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7, 20, 21) are temporarily attached VIA hooks to the outer rebar framework half distant between all exterior horizontal rows prior to the placement of universal snap in standards or USIS Braces 36 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6,7, 17, 20, 21).

Next the actual installation of the universal-snap-in-standards or (USIS Brace) 36 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 20, 21) proves to be a very quick and efficient process and does not compare to any previous art. The individual braces being snapped onto the previously positioned outer vertical re-bars 34 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17, 21) by means of semi-rigid universal Snap Clip 54 (FIGS. 4, 5, 6, 17) allows the universal snap in standard (USIS Brace) 36 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17, 20, 21) to freely rotate from left thereby facilitating the expedient task of pulling the previously mentioned (temporarily attached) horizontal inner re-bars 33 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7, 20, 21) inward and thereby quickly and efficiently snapping such internal horizontal re- bars 33 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7, 20, 21) into their respective USIS brace receiver sockets 60. (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 7, 20).

Next step is the situating of the inner vertical re-bar 35 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7, 21) in the same manner that the outer vertical re-bars 34 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17, 20) were previously installed, only the inner vertical re-bars must be secured by either hand wiring and/or the preferable use of a hand held automatic wire tie machine thereby locking the USIS Braces Receiver Socket 60 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 7, 20) to the interior horizontal circumferential rebar 33 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7, 20, 21) along with the vertical positioned inner rebar 35 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7, 20, 21) in one simple operation. This installation procedure is begun at the lowest level while working upward to the apex of the dome shell thereby causing the combined assembly namely both outer and inner constructed re-bar frameworks to become completely self supporting and therefore no longer dependent primarily on either the in place air-form, its internal pressure, and/or the strength of the previously applied foam urethane shell 28 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7)-30 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7)-31 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7) as in previous art, to support either the completed Multiple Dome Shell framework and/or other free formed structures. The framework therefore essentially becomes self supporting, while the air form and the previously applied urethane shell remain as a mere attached backdrop to which the sprayed applied outer shotcrete shell 9 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 20) may then be applied. However, before commencing the application of shotcrete, it is important that all inner framework intersections be protected with Poly Foam Caps 80 (FIG. 21) or foil wrap to prevent fouling such joints with either concrete and/or urethane. After all universal snap in standards (USIS braces) 36 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17, 20, 21) within a horizontal row have been installed and locked into position whereby the inner most circumferential rebar is locked into outward tension, the next row up may proceed in the same manner thereby repeating the operation until all rows are completed all the way to the apex of the dome subject to the following preparatory work.

All ground plates 43 (FIGS. 2, 8) must be either mechanically connected to the rebar frameworks of both inner and outer shells. The ground plate 43 (FIGS. 2, 8) surface must be covered with a 2″ applied thickness of Styrofoam sheet having four tapered edges on all sides to facilitate access later once the interior shotcrete surface has hardened, while implanted overhead truss rod receivers 39 FIGS. 2, 7) must be corked with 3″ long rubber booted rod plugs, while all permanently imbedded mechanicals must be mechanically attached to the inner framework. Next a first thin application of outer shotcrete 9 FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 20) needs to be sprayed directly through the inner as well as the outer re-bar frameworks whereby the outer shotcrete layer 9 will accumulate on the previously mentioned urethane backdrop 31. (FIGS. 2, 6, 6, 7). The successive layers of shotcrete thickness will eventually fully embed all other outer circumferentially first applied outer horizontal re-bar 32 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 17, 20) while special attention is given to building a much greater thickness of shotcrete where either universal snap in standards (USIS braces) 36 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17, 20, 21) connect to the vertical outer rebar 34 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 20) thereby causing a high to low vertical rows around the perimeter of the outer reinforced framework as particular attention is given to covering all exposed urethane as well as filling any cavity caused due to the placement of ground plates 43 (FIGS. 2, 8) and/or truss rod receivers 39 (FIG, 2, 7) being secured back to both outer and inner re-bar frameworks as in (FIGS. 2, &17) by means of re-bar tie back rods 40. (FIGS. 2, 7).

Next the insertion of vertically positioned cell tubes 38 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 20) are achieved by placing pre-manufactured roll length and wall thickness engineered cell tubes 38 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 20) into cell tube dispenser cartons 82 (FIG. 20) at the interior base 58 (FIGS. 2, 10, 11) side of the foundation ring 13 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 10, 11, 24) while locking dispensers squarely between the inner vertical re-bars below the lowest row of USIS braces 36. (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17, 20, 21). The prefabricated cell tube 38 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 20) being heat sealed at the upper most point and having an attachment grommet installed, thereby connects to a line cord which runs from strategically positioned cell tube dispenser's protruding attachment grommet to a designated height above by being strung through the erected framework cavity consisting of the outer rebar framework and the inner framework and separated by vertically placed USIS Braces 36 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17, 20, 21) and then dropping vertically back down to the ground. As any or all line cords are pulled downward its corresponding cell tube rises (unrolls) from its pre-positioned carton whereby the un-inflated ribbon of polyethylene film moves upward inside a framework of steel consisting of the outer horizontal rebar 32 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17, 20) and inner horizontal re-bars 33 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7, 20, 21) and cross connecting USIS Braces 36 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7, 21that are attached to outer vertical rebar 34 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17, 20) and inner vertical re-bars 35 of (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7, 20, 21). Some cell tubes 38 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 20) will extend all the way to the apex, while others will terminate at different levels consistent with the diminishing pattern of vertical rebar that results due to the natural curvature the shell and/or free formed structure, while horizontally curved yet vertical stem walls will all extend full height. Once satisfactorily inflated, the inlet tube at the base is pinched off with a heat sealing tool that prevents air from escaping or alternately air pressure may be maintained throughout the encapsulation process.

The next step is the application of either light weight urethane foam and or light weight shotcrete being applied through the inner horizontal rebar 33 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7, 21) and vertical rebar 35 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7, 20, 21) framework whereby directing only enough urethane foam initially to adequately center and hold a given cell tube within its defined cavity. Said first application will consist of a minimal thickness of 1.5 LB Density foam urethane applied in a color coded yellow 1.5 lb density 30A (FIGS. 4, 6) followed by a second 1.5 lb density foam application only color coded in a tan 31A (FIGS. 4, 6) followed by a third application of 1.5 lb density foam application in yellow urethane 30A (FIGS. 4, 6) and lastly a final application of 1.5 lb density urethane foam in tan again 31A (FIGS. 4, 6) whereupon all tube surfaces are concealed and thereby render a second flat backdrop upon which the inner shotcrete layer 10 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 6, 7) may be commenced once all intersections that were protected with poly foam caps 80 (FIG. 21) have been removed.

Next is the application of shotcrete to the secondary urethane backdrop to create the internal shotcrete shell 10 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 6, 7) is commenced while making certain that the final finish applications have progressively lesser amounts of ⅜ “or 6 mm gravel so as to achieve a smoother or more uniform interior surface appearance.

Once, the interior shotcrete shell 10 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 6, 7) is completed and cured for the prescribed period of time, the installation of acme or similar type drop rods 53 (FIGS. 2, 3, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 25) may commence. By first removing the 3” rubber boots, which both block and provide access to the recessed truss rod receiver ports 39 (FIGS. 2, 7)—the appropriate diameter acme threaded rods may be inserted and threaded into all pre-positioned truss receivers 39 (FIGS. 2 & 7). As rods are inserted and extended downward to the base level of the dome a thread alignment jig 70 (FIG. 22) is used to connect one threaded acme rod to the next wherein the ends of each acme drop rod 53 (FIG. 22) is tapered to a point thereby permitting the acme rods to be welded together both securely and without misalignment. A specially designed die grinder 71 (Not drawn) once attached to said thread alignment jig 70 (FIG. 22) will effectively grind off any slag or obstructing weld material that might otherwise deter the passage of the threaded truss pin assembly 45 (FIG. 23) and or truss rod couplers 48 (FIG. 25) which are both specifically engineered to both climb and pass over any such weld joints. Such truss couplers 48 (FIG. 25) are revolved up the Drop Rods to override the connection points whereby further stabilizing all future integrity of the weld joint just after each successive floor has been elevated up and into position.

The particular layout of all suspension points specifically engineered into a given structure will be first laid out on the floor of the dome shell by use of grid lay out holes 93 (FIGS. 2, 16) Such holes are precisely located directly below each vertical load distribution point by physically drilling an appropriately sized locator hole into the finished concrete floor and/or pilaster location depending on sequence of floor installation. An assembly standard 55 (FIGS. 2, 15, 16, 19) will be eventually positioned over the grid layout hole 93 (FIGS. 2, 16) thereby providing efficient assembly platforms upon which all floor truss assembly will follow as well as providing the precise surface to which a Vertical Spotting Device 79 (FIG. 19) is inserted and used to precisely project the location at which a truss receiver will be installed directly overhead. Once all truss receivers are installed, all acme drop rod drops 53 (FIGS. 2, 3, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 25) will be extended all the way down to the floor.

Once all Acme drop rods 53 (FIGS. 2, 3, 7, 9, 10, 15, 16, 22, 23, 25) are in place the construction of floors to be lofted into position may commence. The truss floor assembly process begins by first disconnecting the vertical acme drop rod from the assembly standards 55 (FIGS. 2, 15, 16, 19). First the Tension Nut 72 (FIG. 16) is backed off relieving the load on the tension spring 73 (FIG. 16) thereby permitting the vertical acme drop rod 53 (FIG. 16) tension spring 73 (FIG. 16), washers 72A (FIG. 16), and nut 72 (FIG. 16) to be removed. The pre-assembled truss brace 50 (FIGS. 2, 3, 9, 15, 16) through which the truss pin assembly 45 (FIG. 23) consisting of a grey iron pad 75 (FIG. 23) bronze threaded cylinder 76 (FIG. 23), truss bearing 46 (FIG. 2, 9, 15, 16, 23) and sleeve segments 45A (FIGS. 2, 3, 9, 16, 23) are first installed after which a truss sprocket 49 (FIGS. 2, 9,15, 16) is attached to the underside of the grey iron pad 75 (FIGS. 16, 23) and is elevated (revolved) up the Acme Rod to just above the height of the assembly standard 62 (FIG. 16) This maneuver permits the vertical drop rod 53 (FIGS. 16, 23) to be swung back into the slotted surface area of the assembly standard 74 (FIGS. 10, 15, 16, 19) whereby the truss tension spring 73 (FIG. 16), truss washers 72A (FIG. 16), and truss tension nut 72 of (FIG. 16) may be re-secured to the assembly standard 55 (FIG. 16) thereby achieving its originally tensioned state.

Next the attachment of independently controlled and monitored high torque DC motors 51 (FIGS. 9,16) by which a 3″ DIA drive gear 52 (FIGS. 9, 15, 16) connected to an appropriately sized truss sprocket 49 (FIGS. 2, 9, 15, 16) to achieve a 8 to 1 reduction from a 500 to 1700 RPM or otherwise sufficiently designed motor thereby permitting a rate of rise ranging between 9 and 22 feet per hour. This concept allows for efficient and expedient construction of all floors at ground level and/or bench height in the most beneficial manner. Such prefabricated floor truss assemblies consisting of galvanized corrugated metal decking 63 (FIGS. 2, 8) being wire welded into place, whereupon, electrical conduit, radiant heat tubes are efficiently positioned, and mechanically fastened to light gauge mesh wire, before partition walls are placed reduces labor cost dramatically over having to construct floors at various heights within domes and/or conventional structures.

Once the floor truss assembly has been elevated, leveled and locked into position and said truss flanges 41 (FIGS. 2-8) are welded back to the ground plates 43 (FIGS. 2, 8) the perimeter edges are then sprayed from the underside with shotcrete 90 (FIGS. 2, 8) to fully support every lineal foot of perimeter metal decking abutting the perimeter concrete shell. Additionally, truss couplers 48 (FIGS. 2, 7, 25) are easily revolved up the drop rods by placing such couplers in advance of truss pin sleeve segments 45A or as height stops prior to floors being elevated into position. Once floor is positioned truss coupler 48 (FIGS. 2, 7, 25) will automatically trigger individual motor stop commands to the control panel monitoring the lifting process. Such couplers may be then hand revolved up to span (cover) all welded joints between floors.

The remaining step of pumping each floor assembly with lightweight self leveling concrete which is also a quick process, while a similar spray application may be used to surface interior Z panel type wall partitions either before or after the floors are elevated into position.

Overall, the outwardly convex bubble-like portions of the external form having a slightly lesser radius of curvature as compared to the nominal diameter of the overall dome will not in and of themselves resist inward buckling of the dome shell, however, the implementation of the herein defined interconnected multiple shell system whereby the outer shell is cross connected to an inner shell with literally thousands of USIS braces 36 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17, 20, 21), will significantly eliminate snap-through-buckling and/or oil can buckling, while also allowing lower profile dome shell heights in relation to diameter to be effectively achieved.

The plastic insulation foam layer 30 and 31 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7) are techniques described more fully in U.S. Pat. No. 4,155,967, however, the application of urethanes 30A and 31A (FIGS. 4, 6) thereby surrounding or encapsulating cylindrical inflated cell tubes 38 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 8) in conjunction with universal snap in standards (USIS braces) 36 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17, 20, 21) bring to bear a totally new dimension that is not in any way like prior art methods of constructing either single thickness thin shell dome like structure and or concrete vertical stem walls and associated hollow tube Spancrete type prefabricated segment sections associated with conventional construction.

This new art form allows for the creation of multiple shell configurations having two, three or more shells which are separated by cell tube interior voids 37 (FIGS. 4, 6, 7, 8) or chase-ways which may be free formed into place by means of a curvilinear surface backdrop upon which shotcrete is spray applied whereby eliminating weight yet interconnecting a universal snap in standard (USIS brace) 36 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 7, 17, 20, 21) system of prefabricated steel reinforcement rebar thereby permitting live load capacities to increase in excess of 10 fold because a truss like relationship are achieved over vast surfaces without interruptions as are presently experienced by all prior art.

The illustrated dome building structure 8 (FIG. 1) includes access means in the form of an entrance door or air lock 12 (FIG. 1) it being understood that the access means is formed in a manner so as not to impede inflation of the form 11 and may take substantially any desired configuration and size.

Windows and/or sky lights and ventilating openings not shown) may be provided in the finished dome building by adhering flexible/lightweight Poly-foam segment sections herein defined as Styrofoam blocking 94 (FIG. 7) to the air-form 11 (FIG. 1) after the second outer layer of urethane foam 30 (FIGS. 2, 7) has been applied as is known in the industry.

The inflatable air form 11 (FIG. 1) is preferably made from a light-weight air and liquid impermeable flexible sheet or membrane such as a cross laminate plastic, a reinforced plastic coated fabric such as polyvinyl chloride impregnated with Dacron, or other suitable materials.

The peripheral edge of the air form 11 (FIG. 1) may be releasably secured in air tight relation to the footing or foundation 13 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 10, 11, 24) by a suitable air form lock down bracket 17 FIGS. 1 & 24) that holds a suitable horizontal restraining rod 18 (FIG. 24) that extends around the foundation. The lower peripheral edge of the inflatable form may be retained within the peripheral recess formed as a part of the footing or foundation 13 (FIGS. 2, 24) or secured against a peripheral vertical surface on the foundation as shown in FIGS. 2 & 24.

The multiple shell type structure 8 (FIG. 1) consisting of two or possibly multiple shells may be formed on site and of substantial size. For Example, the MST structure may have a base diameter substantially less then or in excess of 300 feet, such as upwards of approximately 1000 feet or even greater subject to multiple two ore more shell configurations. A barrel shaped dome configuration may have a width of approximately 600 feet or greater and substantially unlimited length subject to multiple shell configurations which can be now designed to accommodate either individual dome shell structures as well as conventional structures by means of multiple vertical stem wall construction, curvilinear roof over designs and/or massive curvilinear space over concepts as would be the case with building an enclosed community and/or self sustaining enclosed microcosm.

The MST structure 8 (FIG. 1) has an internal network of restraining horizontal tubes 22 (FIGS. 2, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, 18) and vertical restraining tubes 23 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 1824) through which inserted tension cables 24 (FIGS. 2, 4, 6) pass to both restrain and prevent movement during the construction phase. This combined network enables the Air-form 11 (FIG. 1) to span large areas without tearing yet free of external restraint and/or the need for excessive air pressure within during the construction phase due to the inherent strength of the interconnecting multiple shells structural framework that may be efficiently assembled by using one universal snap in standard (USIS brace) 36 (FIGS. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 17, 20, 21) and common steel rebar. This new construction technology reaches far beyond building residential and commercial structures in that it can be used to achieve vast space-over coverage under which a community of homes may be now constructed to achieve a more secure neighborhood than our present gated communities, while reducing construction costs and heating costs by as much or more than 50% of present cost.

While, preferred embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described herein, it will be understood to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the invention in its broader aspects.

Various features of the invention are defined in the following claims.