Title:
Method of building a building
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of producing a finished building from a skeletal building structure made up of a plurality of vertically spaced floor slabs, each having an upper surface, is disclosed. A wall supporting structure is secured to the floor slabs, and exterior wall panels are secured to the wall supporting structure to define a plurality of enclosed regions bounded by an upper slab, a lower slab and a surrounding wall comprising a plurality of the exterior wall panels. Each enclosed region has an interior that is isolated from wind and precipitation relative to the environment surrounding the skeletal building structure. From positions on the upper surfaces of the floor slabs and within the enclosed regions, interior wall components are installed on at least one of an interior side of the external wall and the wall supporting structure.



Inventors:
Lysyuk, Dmytro Romanovich (Brantford, CA)
Application Number:
11/331205
Publication Date:
08/17/2006
Filing Date:
01/13/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/745.13
International Classes:
E04B1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GILBERT, WILLIAM V
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Brooks Kushman (Southfield, MI, US)
Claims:
1. A method of producing a finished building, the method comprising the steps, in order, of: (a) providing a skeletal building structure, the skeletal building structure comprising a plurality of vertically spaced floor slabs, each vertically spaced floor slab having an upper surface; (b) securing a wall supporting structure to the floor slabs; (c) securing exterior wall panels to the wall supporting structure to define a plurality of enclosed regions, each enclosed region bounded by an upper slab, a lower slab and a surrounding wall comprising a plurality of the exterior wall panels, each enclosed region having an interior that is isolated from wind and precipitation relative to an environment surrounding the skeletal building structure; (d) from positions on the upper surfaces of the floor slabs and within the enclosed regions, installing interior wall components on at least one of an interior side of the external wall and the wall supporting structure.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein step (b) is carried out from positions on the upper surfaces of the floor slabs.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein step (c) is carried out from positions on the upper surfaces of the floor slabs.

4. A method of installing walls on a skeletal building structure where the skeletal building structure comprises a plurality of vertically spaced floor slabs, the method comprising the steps of: (a) securing main joist supports to each of the floor slabs, the main joist supports arranged in vertically aligned columns, each vertically aligned column comprising at least two vertically adjacent main joist supports; (b) securing main joists to the main joist supports, each main joist extending substantially vertically between at least two vertically adjacent main joist supports; (c) securing secondary joist supports to at least one pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs, each pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs comprising a first floor slab and a second floor slab located above the first floor slab, the secondary joist supports being arranged in vertically paired sets such that each vertically paired set of secondary joist supports comprises a lower secondary joist support disposed on a first floor slab in a pair of floor slabs and an upper secondary joist support disposed on a second floor slab in the pair of floor slabs, the upper secondary joist support disposed above and in vertical alignment with the lower secondary joist support, the paired sets of secondary joist supports being positioned according to a desired shape of a wall; (d) installing secondary joists and railings, the secondary joists being secured to the secondary joist supports, the secondary joists extending substantially vertically between the paired sets of secondary joist supports, the railings being supported by the secondary joists, the railings extending substantially vertically; (e) securing exterior wall panels to the railings and to the main joists to define an exterior wall; and (f) installing interior wall components.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein in step (a) the main joist supports are positioned to project outwardly beyond the exterior edge surfaces of the floor slabs.

6. The method of claim 4 or 5, wherein step (f) comprises the sub-steps of (i) installing insulation on an interior surface of the exterior wall; and (ii) installing an interior wall interiorly of the insulation and supported by a floor slab.

7. The method of claim 4 or 5, wherein each floor slab in the plurality of vertically spaced floor slabs has an upper surface and a lower surface and wherein in step (c), the secondary joist supports are secured to the upper surface of the first floor slab and to the lower surface of the second floor slab of each pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs.

8. The method of claim 4 or 5, wherein each floor slab in the plurality of vertically spaced floor slabs has at least one exterior edge surface, and wherein in step (c), the secondary joist supports are secured to the at least one exterior edge surface of the first floor slab and to the at least one exterior edge surface of the second floor slab of each pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs.

9. The method of claim 6, wherein the sub-step (f)(i) of installing insulation on an interior surface of the exterior wall comprises the further sub-steps of: (i) installing at least one insulation support member on the interior surface of the wall; (ii) installing a first layer of insulation so that it is supported by the at least one insulation support member; and (iii) adhering a second layer of insulation to an interior surface of the first layer of insulation.

10. The method of claim 4, wherein step (d) comprises the sub-steps, in any order, of: (i) securing hinge supports to the secondary joists; (ii) securing hinges to the hinge supports, and; (iii) securing railings to the hinges; followed by the sub-step of (iv) aligning the railings and tightening the hinges.

11. The method of claim 4, wherein step (d) comprises the sub-steps of: (i) providing a plurality of hinge/hinge support assemblies (ii) securing the hinge/hinge support assemblies to one of the secondary joists or the railings; (iii) securing the hinge and hinge support assemblies to the other of the secondary joists or the railings; and (iv) aligning the railings and tightening the hinges.

12. The method of claim 4, wherein the plurality of vertically spaced floor slabs includes a base slab supporting the skeletal building structure on a ground surface and a roof slab defining a roof supporting surface of the skeletal building structure, and wherein: (i) step (a) further comprises the sub-step of securing main joist supports to the base slab and the roof slab; and (ii) step (c) further comprises the sub-steps of (I) securing vertically paired sets of secondary joist supports to the base slab and to a floor slab adjacent to and above the base slab, and (II) securing vertically paired sets of secondary joist supports to the roof slab and to a floor slab adjacent to and below the roof slab.

13. A method of installing walls on a skeletal building structure wherein the skeletal building structure comprises a plurality of vertically spaced floor slabs each having an upper surface, the method comprising the steps of: (a) from at least one position on an upper surface of at least one floor slab in at least one pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs, securing main joist supports to each floor slab in the at least one pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs to form columns of vertically adjacent main joist supports; (b) from at least one position on an upper surface of at least one floor slab in the at least one pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs, securing main joists to the main joist supports, each main joist extending substantially vertically between at least two vertically adjacent main joist supports; (c) from at least one position on an upper surface of at least one floor slab in the at least one pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs, securing vertically adjacent, oppositely-faced pairs of secondary joist supports to each floor slab in the at least one pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs, so that each pair of secondary joist supports comprises a lower secondary joist support disposed on a first floor slab in a pair of floor slabs and an upper secondary joist support disposed on a second floor slab in the pair of floor slabs, the second floor slab being located above the first floor slab; (d) from at least one position on an upper surface of at least one floor slab in the at least one pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs, installing secondary joists and railings, the secondary joists being secured between vertically adjacent pairs of secondary joist supports, the railings being supported by the secondary joists and extending substantially vertically; (e) from at least one position on an upper surface of at least one floor slab in the at least one pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs, securing exterior wall panels to the railings and to the main joists to define an exterior wall; and (f) from at least one position on an upper surface of at least one floor slab in the at least one pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs, installing interior wall components.

14. The method of claim 12, wherein step (f) comprises the sub-steps of (i) installing insulation on an interior surface of the exterior wall; and (ii) installing an interior wall interiorly of the insulation and supported by a floor slab.

15. The method of claim 13, wherein each floor slab in the plurality of vertically spaced floor slabs also has a lower surface and wherein in step (c), the secondary joist supports are secured to the upper surface of the first floor slab and the lower surface of the second floor slab of each pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs.

16. The method of claim 13, wherein each floor slab in the plurality of vertically spaced floor slabs has at least one exterior edge surface, and wherein in step (c), the secondary joist supports are secured to the at least one exterior edge surface of the first floor slab and the second floor slab of each pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs.

17. The method of claim 14, wherein the sub-step of installing insulation on an interior surface of the exterior wall comprises the further sub-steps of: (i) installing at least one insulation support member on the interior surface of the wall; (ii) installing a first layer of insulation so that it is supported by the at least one insulation support member; and (iii) adhering a second layer of insulation to an interior surface of the first layer of insulation.

18. The method of claim 13 wherein step (d) comprises the sub-steps, in any order, of: (i) securing hinge supports to the secondary joists; (ii) securing hinges to the hinge supports, and; (iii) securing railings to the hinges; followed by the sub-step of (iv) aligning the railings and tightening the hinges.

19. The method of claim 13 wherein step (d) comprises the sub-steps of: (i) providing a plurality of hinge/hinge support assemblies (ii) securing the hinge/hinge support assemblies to one of the secondary joists or the railings; (iii) securing the hinge and hinge support assemblies to the other of the secondary joists or the railings; and (iv) aligning the railings and tightening the hinges.

20. The method of claim 13, wherein the plurality of vertically spaced floor slabs includes a base slab supporting the skeletal building structure on a ground surface and a roof slab defining a roof supporting surface of the skeletal building structure, and wherein: (i) step (a) further comprises the sub-step of securing main joist supports to the base slab and the roof slab; and (ii) step (c) further comprises the sub-steps of (I) securing vertically paired sets of secondary joist supports to the base slab and to a floor slab adjacent to and above the base slab, and (II) securing vertically paired sets of secondary joist supports to the roof slab and to a floor slab adjacent to and below the roof slab.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/649,967, filed Feb. 7, 2005, and the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

FIELD

The present invention relates to construction of buildings.

INTRODUCTION

A known method for creating a ventilated aluminum, tile or other panel facade for a building employs a technique in which the existing wall of the building is decorated, i.e. finished, with insulation and covered by different exterior finishes like aluminum, ceramic, granite, brick or glass etc. In this known method, all of the substructure, such as joists, railings, anchors, insulation and other wall components such as insulation and external panels are installed from the outside of the building. In most cases, this will require the use of swing stages, scaffolding, safety lines and belts, hoists or jeylifts. In addition, the construction workers will be affected by seasonal and daily weather changes, because they are exposed to the elements, particularly wind and precipitation.

As a result of these difficulties, the productivity of the construction crew can be limited by the capacity of the equipment and by uncontrollable weather changes. In addition, the use of the above system of building construction places limits on ability to carry out quality control activities.

SUMMARY

The present invention provides a method of producing a finished building from a skeletal building structure comprising a plurality of floor slabs.

According to the method of the present invention, while a crane may be used to hoist various pieces into position, all or substantially all of the assembly and installation work is preferably carried out solely by workers positioned on the upper surfaces of the floor slabs. Thus, the present method can reduce or eliminate the need for workers to use scaffolding or other structures on the exterior of the building. In essence, according to the present invention, a building is constructed from the outside in. When following the method of the present invention, the building substructure, including exterior panels (aluminum, ceramic, granite, brick, etc.), insulation and interior walls, may be assembled from the inside the building. Once the exterior panels have been installed, they provide protection from the surrounding environment as the workers install the remaining interior wall components.

In one aspect, the present invention is directed to a method of producing a finished building. The method comprises the steps, in order, of providing a skeletal building structure comprising a plurality of vertically spaced floor slabs each having an upper surface, securing a wall supporting structure to the floor slabs and securing exterior wall panels to the wall supporting structure to define a plurality of enclosed regions. Each enclosed region is bounded by an upper slab, a lower slab and a surrounding wall comprising a plurality of the exterior wall panels, and each enclosed region has an interior that is isolated from wind and precipitation relative to the environment surrounding the skeletal building structure. From positions on the upper surfaces of the floor slabs and within the enclosed regions, interior wall components are installed on at least one of an interior side of the external wall and the wall supporting structure.

The steps of securing a wall supporting structure to the floor slabs and securing exterior wall panels to the wall supporting structure to define a plurality of enclosed regions is preferably carried out from positions on the upper surfaces of the floor slabs.

In another aspect, the present invention is directed toward a method of installing walls on a skeletal building structure where the skeletal building structure comprises a plurality of vertically spaced floor slabs. Main joist supports are secured to each of the floor slabs. The main joist supports are arranged in vertically aligned columns, with each vertically aligned column comprising at least two vertically adjacent main joist supports. Main joists are secured to the main joist supports, with each main joist extending substantially vertically between at least two vertically adjacent main joist supports. Secondary joist supports are secured to at least one pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs, with each pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs comprising a first floor slab and a second floor slab located above the first floor slab. The secondary joist supports are arranged in vertically paired sets such that each vertically paired set of secondary joist supports comprises a lower secondary joist support disposed on a first floor slab in a pair of floor slabs and an upper secondary joist support disposed on a second floor slab in the pair of floor slabs, with the upper secondary joist support disposed above and in vertical alignment with the lower secondary joist support. The paired sets of secondary joist supports being positioned according to a desired shape of a wall. Secondary joists and railings are installed, the secondary joists being secured to the secondary joist supports and extending substantially vertically between paired sets of secondary joist supports. The railings are supported by the secondary joists, and extend substantially vertically. Exterior wall panels are secured to the railings and to the main joists to define an exterior wall, and interior wall components are installed on an interior surface of the exterior wall.

Preferably, the main joist supports are positioned to project outwardly beyond the exterior edge surfaces of the floor slabs. Also preferably, the step of installing interior wall components comprises the sub-steps of installing insulation on an interior surface of the exterior wall and installing an interior wall interiorly of the insulation and supported by a floor slab. Preferably, the sub-step of installing insulation on an interior surface of the exterior wall comprises the further sub-steps of installing insulation support members on the interior surface of the wall, installing a first layer of insulation so that it is supported by the insulation support members, and adhering a second layer of insulation to an interior surface of the first layer of insulation.

Each floor slab in the plurality of vertically spaced floor slabs has an upper surface and a lower surface, and in one embodiment on the method of the present invention, the secondary joist supports are preferably secured to the upper surface of the first floor slab and to the lower surface of the second floor slab of each pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs.

Each floor slab in the plurality of vertically spaced floor slabs has at least one exterior edge surface, and in another embodiment of the present invention, the secondary joist supports are secured to the at least one exterior edge surface of the first floor slab and to the at least one exterior edge surface of the second floor slab of each pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs.

In one embodiment of a method according to the present invention, the step of installing the secondary joists and railings comprises the sub-steps, in any order, of securing hinge supports to the secondary joists, securing hinges to the hinge supports, and securing railings to the hinges, followed by the sub-step of aligning the railings and tightening the hinges.

In an alternative embodiment of a method according to the present invention, the step of installing the secondary joists and railings comprises the sub-steps of providing a plurality of hinge/hinge support assemblies, securing the hinge/hinge support assemblies to one of the secondary joists or the railings, securing the hinge/hinge support assemblies to the other of the secondary joists or the railings, and aligning the railings and tightening the hinges.

Preferably, the plurality of vertically spaced floor slabs includes a base slab supporting the skeletal building structure on a ground surface and a roof slab defining a roof supporting surface of the skeletal building structure. Also preferably, the step of securing main joist supports to the floor slabs includes the sub-step of securing main joist supports to the base slab and the roof slab, and the step of securing secondary joist supports to the floor slabs includes the sub-steps of securing vertically paired sets of secondary joist supports to the base slab and to a floor slab adjacent to and above the base slab, and securing vertically paired sets of secondary joist supports to the roof slab and to a floor slab adjacent to and below the roof slab.

In yet another aspect, the present invention is directed to a method of installing walls on a skeletal building structure where the skeletal building structure comprises a plurality of vertically spaced floor slabs each having an upper surface. From at least one position on an upper surface of at least one floor slab in at least one pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs, main joist supports are secured to each floor slab in the at least one pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs to form columns of vertically adjacent main joist supports. From at least one position on an upper surface of at least one floor slab in the at least one pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs, main joists are secured to the main joist supports, with each main joist extending substantially vertically between at least two vertically adjacent main joist supports. From at least one position on an upper surface of at least one floor slab in the at least one pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs, vertically adjacent, oppositely-faced pairs of secondary joist supports are secured to each floor slab in the at least one pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs, so that each pair of secondary joist supports comprises a lower secondary joist support disposed on a first floor slab in a pair of floor slabs and an upper secondary joist support disposed on a second floor slab in the pair of floor slabs, with the second floor slab being located above the first floor slab. From at least one position on an upper surface of at least one floor slab in the at least one pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs, secondary joists and railings are installed, with the secondary joists being secured between vertically adjacent pairs of secondary joist supports, and with the railings being supported by the secondary joists and extending substantially vertically. From at least one position on an upper surface of at least one floor slab in the at least one pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs, exterior wall panels are secured to the railings and to the main joists to define an exterior wall. From at least one position on an upper surface of at least one floor slab in the at least one pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs, interior wall components are installed.

Preferably, the step of installing interior wall components comprises the sub-steps of installing insulation on an interior surface of the exterior wall, and installing an interior wall interiorly of the insulation and supported by a floor slab.

Each floor slab in the plurality of vertically spaced floor slabs also has a lower surface, wherein the secondary joist supports are secured to the upper surface of the first floor slab and the lower surface of the second floor slab of each pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs.

Each floor slab in the plurality of vertically spaced floor slabs has at least one exterior edge surface, wherein the secondary joist supports are secured to the at least one exterior edge surface of the first floor slab and the second floor slab of each pair of vertically adjacent floor slabs.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The skilled person in the art will understand that the drawings, described below, are for illustration purposes only. The drawings are not intended to limit the scope of the applicant's teachings in any way.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a portion of a skeletal building structure comprising a plurality of floor slabs each having main joist supports secured thereto;

FIG. 2 is a top view of a portion of a floor slab of the skeletal building structure of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side view of a portion of a floor slab of the skeletal building structure of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a top view of a floor slab of the skeletal building structure of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 shows the skeletal building structure of FIG. 1 with main joists positioned to be secured to the main joist supports;

FIG. 6 shows the portion of the floor slab shown in FIG. 2 with a main joist secured thereto;

FIG. 7 shows the portion of the floor slab of FIG. 3 with a main joist secured thereto;

FIG. 8 shows the floor slab of FIG. 4 with a main joist secured thereto;

FIG. 9 is a top view of a floor slab having main joists, main joist supports and secondary joist supports secured thereto;

FIG. 10 is a top view of a portion of the floor slab of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a side cross sectional view of a portion of the floor slab of FIG. 9;

FIG. 12 is a bottom view of the floor slab of FIG. 9.

FIG. 13 is a side cross sectional view of a bottom portion of the floor slab of FIG. 9;

FIG. 14 is a side cross sectional view of a top portion of the floor slab of FIG. 9;

FIG. 15 is a top view of the floor slab of FIG. 9, with secondary joists secured to the secondary joist supports;

FIG. 16 is a side cross sectional view of portions of two floor slabs each having secondary joist supports secured thereto with a secondary joist secured between the secondary joist supports;

FIG. 17 is a top view of a portion of the floor slab of FIG. 15;

FIG. 18 is a perspective view of a secondary joist having a hinge support secured thereto;

FIG. 19 is a top view of a portion of the floor slab of FIG. 15, with a hinge support secured to the secondary joist;

FIG. 20 shows the secondary joist of FIG. 18 having hinges secured to the hinge supports;

FIG. 21 is a side view of a portion of the secondary joist of FIG. 20;

FIG. 22 shows the portion of the floor slab of FIG. 19, with a hinge secured to the hinge support;

FIG. 23 shows the secondary joist of FIG. 20 with a railing positioned to be secured to the hinges;

FIG. 24 shows the portion of the secondary joist of FIG. 21, with a railing secured to the hinges;

FIG. 25 shows the portion of the floor slab of FIG. 22, with a railing secured to the hinge;

FIG. 26 is a perspective view of a pair of secondary joist supports having hinge supports secured thereto, with hinges secured to the hinge supports, railings secured to the hinges, and exterior wall panels secured to the railings;

FIG. 27 is a top view of a portion of an assembly comprising a floor panel having secondary joist supports secured thereto, with secondary joists secured to the secondary joist supports, hinge supports secured to the secondary joists, hinges secured to the hinge supports, railings secured to the hinges, and exterior wall panels secured to the railings;

FIG. 28 shows the assembly of FIG. 27 with insulation support members secured to the railings;

FIG. 29 is a side view of a portion of the assembly of FIG. 28;

FIG. 30 shows the assembly of FIG. 28 with a first layer of insulation supported by the insulation support members;

FIG. 31 is a side view of a portion of the assembly of FIG. 30;

FIG. 32 is a perspective view of an insulation panel having adhesive adhered thereto;

FIG. 33 shows the assembly of FIG. 30 with adhesive adhered to the first layer of insulation;

FIG. 34 shows the portion of the assembly of FIG. 31 with a second layer of insulation adhered to the first layer of insulation;

FIG. 35 shows the assembly of FIG. 33 with a second layer of insulation adhered to the first layer of insulation;

FIG. 36 shows the assembly of FIG. 35 with a brick interior wall;

FIG. 37 shows the assembly of FIG. 35 with a light block interior wall;

FIG. 38 shows the assembly of FIG. 35 with a drywall interior wall.

DESCRIPTION OF VARIOUS EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIG. 1, a skeletal building structure is shown generally at 10. The skeletal building structure 10 comprises a plurality of vertically spaced floor slabs denoted generally by 12. Each floor slab 12 has an upper surface 14, a lower surface 16 and at least one exterior edge surface 18. A plurality of columns 20 supports the vertically spaced floor slabs 12. Typically, the floor slabs 12 and columns 20 will be composed of steel-reinforced concrete, although any material suitable for building construction may be used. The skeletal building structure 10 may be made by any means known in the art.

As can be seen in FIG. 1, the skeletal building structure 10 has a floor slab 12a which is a base slab and whose lower surface 16 rests on, for example, a building foundation. Similarly, the floor slab 12b is a roof slab, the upper surface 14 of which would comprise a roof, or a support for a roof, of a finished building. The floor slab 12c is an intermediate floor slab disposed between the base slab 12a and the roof slab 12b. While the skeletal building structure 10 shown in FIG. 1 has only a single intermediate floor slab 12c, one skilled in the art will appreciate that a skeletal building structure 10 may have any number of intermediate floor slabs 12c, depending on the number of floors that will be present in the finished building. According to an aspect of the present invention, a wall supporting structure is secured to the floor slabs.

In a preferred method according to the present invention, the initial step is to secure main joist supports 22 to the floor slabs 12. The main joist supports 22 are preferably secured to the floor slabs 12 so as to be outwardly spaced therefrom. This outward spacing provides the needed distance between the floor slab 12 and what will become the exterior surface of the wall, so as to accommodate structure such as insulation and internal and external wall panels.

Preferably, the main joist supports 22 are secured to the exterior edge surfaces 18 at the corners 24 of the floor slabs 12. Alternatively, the main joist supports 22 can be secured to the upper surface 14 or lower surface 16, or both the upper surface 14 and the lower surface 16, of a floor slab 12. As can be seen in FIG. 1, the main joist supports 22 are arranged in vertically aligned columns, with each column comprising two vertically aligned main joist supports 22. Preferably, installation of the main joist supports 22 is done floor-by-floor, with mutual leveling of the main joist supports 22. Also preferably, the main joist supports are installed by workers positioned on the upper surfaces 14 of the floor slabs 12.

Now referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, detail of the structure of a preferred embodiment of the main joist supports 22 is shown. Each main joist support 22 preferably comprises an L-shaped mounting plate 26 secured by way of brackets 28a and 28b and fasteners 30 to the exterior edge surface 18. Fasteners 30 are of a type suitable for anchoring the main joist support 22 to a floor slab 12 with sufficient strength to withstand the stresses to which it will be subjected. These stresses will become apparent to one skilled in the art as the remainder of the method is explained below.

The mounting plates 26 of the main joist supports 22 need not have an L-shape, but may have any suitable shape. For example, where the main joist supports 22 are to be affixed to a curved exterior edge surface 18, they may have a curved shape. An L-shape is particularly suitable when the main joist supports 22 are to be affixed to the corners 24 of the floor slabs 12.

The brackets 28a and 28b may be affixed to mounting plate 26, and to each other, by any suitable means. For example, they may be welded or riveted. The main joist supports 22 and brackets 28a and 28b may be composed of any suitable material, for example aluminum or galvanized building-grade steel of sufficient strength.

The next step according to the method of the present invention is to secure the main joists 40 to the main joist supports 22, as shown in FIGS. 5 to 8. The main joists 40 may be secured to the main joist supports 22 by any suitable means, such as screws, bolts, rivets or welding. As can be seen, when installed, each main joist 40 extends substantially vertically between at least two vertically adjacent main joist supports 22. In particular, a given main joist 40 will typically be supported by two main joist supports 22, but may be supported by three or more main joist supports 22. The main joists 40 and the main joist supports 22 will of course have complementary shapes, and will typically define the shape of the corners of the building being constructed. Like the main joist supports 22, the main joists 40 may be constructed of any suitable material, such as aluminum or galvanized building-grade steel. As with the main joist supports 22, the main joists 40 are preferably installed by workers positioned on the upper surfaces 14 of the floor slabs 12. One skilled in the art will appreciate that while a crane of other apparatus may be used to hoist the main joists 40 into position, the actual installation is preferably carried out from the upper surface 14 of the floor slab 12.

Once the main joists 40 have been secured, the next step in the method of the present invention is to install the secondary joist supports 50. As shown in FIG. 9, string lines 52 may be placed between the main joists 40. These string lines 52 are used to assist in positioning the secondary joist supports 50. Other means, for example laser alignment, may also be used to position the secondary joist supports 50. The secondary joist supports 50 are positioned according to the planned shape of the wall, which in the case of a straight wall will follow the string line 52. The string line 52 defines the limit of the exterior surface of the wall, and the secondary joist supports 50 are positioned relative to the string line 50 to provide adequate space for installation of additional wall components, as will be described below. The secondary joist supports 50 are spaced a specific distance apart from each other and from the main joists 40.

Now referring to FIGS. 10 and 11, each secondary joist support 50 may comprise a base plate 54 and an upright joist mounting plate 56. The secondary joist supports 50 may be secured to the floor slabs 12 by way of fastener 58. Alternately, welding or adhesive may be used to secure the secondary joist supports 50 to the floor slab 12, depending on the materials used.

The secondary joist supports 50 are secured to pairs of vertically adjacent floor slabs 12, or, in the case of a single-storey structure, a single such pair. Each pair of floor slabs 12 comprises a first floor slab 12 and a second floor slab 12 located above the first floor slab 12. For example, referring to FIG. 1, base floor slab 12a and intermediate floor slab 12c would comprise a first pair of floor slabs 12, and intermediate floor slab 12c and roof floor slab 12b comprise a second pair of floor slabs 12. As is the case with the intermediate floor slab 12c, each intermediate floor slab 12c will generally be part of two pairs of floor slabs 12, because in a first pair that intermediate floor slab 12c will be the lower floor slab 12, and in a second pair that intermediate floor slab 12c will be the upper floor slab 12. In contrast, the base floor slab 12a and the roof floor slab 12b will each be part of only one such pair of floor slabs 12. As was noted above, in a multi-storey building, multiple intermediate floor slabs 12c would be present, in which case there would be vertically adjacent pairs of intermediate floor slabs 12c as well.

Now referring to FIGS. 12, 13 and 14, the secondary joist supports 50 are preferably secured to the upper surface 14 of the first floor slab 12 and the lower surface 16 of the second floor slab 12 of each pair of floor slabs 12. Alternatively, suitably modified secondary joist supports 50 could be secured to the exterior edge surface 18 of each floor slab 12. In such a case, the secondary joist supports 50 may each comprise separate units as shown in the figures, or a single unitary component (not shown) may have an upper portion and a lower portion each comprising a secondary joist support.

The secondary joist supports 50 are arranged in vertically paired sets such that each set of secondary joist supports 50 comprises a lower secondary joist support 50l disposed on a first floor slab 12 in a pair of floor slabs 12, and an upper secondary joist support 50u disposed at a lower surface 16 of a second floor slab 12 in the pair of floor slabs. The upper secondary joist support 50u in each set is disposed above and vertically opposite the lower secondary joist support 50l. This can be seen in FIGS. 13 and 14, and also in FIGS. 9 and 12, where FIG. 9 shows an upper surface 14 of a first floor slab 12, and FIG. 12 shows a lower surface 16 of a second floor slab 12, and the pattern of upper secondary joist supports 50u matches that of the lower secondary joist supports 50l. It will be understood by one skilled in the art that the secondary joist supports 50 will also be secured to the upper surface of the base slab 12a and the lower surface of the roof slab 12c.

The next step according to the method of the present invention is to secure the secondary joists 60 to the secondary joist supports 50. FIG. 15 shows the general position of the secondary joists 60, which are positioned in accordance with the string line 52. As shown in FIG. 16, the secondary joists 60 extend substantially vertically between paired sets of secondary joist supports 50.

Now referring to FIG. 17, the secondary joists 60 preferably have a right-angled, C-shaped cross section comprising two parallel wall-supporting portions 62 and an intermediate portion 64 between and at right angles to the wall-supporting portions 62. For clarity, the wall-supporting portion 62 disposed toward the exterior of the building is denoted by 62e, and the wall-supporting portion 62 disposed toward the interior of the building is denoted by 62i. The secondary joists 60 may be secured to the secondary joist supports 50 by way of fasteners 66 secured through the intermediate portion 64 of the secondary joist 60 and the joist mounting plate 56 on the secondary joist support 50. The fasteners 66 may be screws, bolts or rivets, or alternate securing means, such as adhesive or welding, may be used.

According to the method of the present invention, the next step is to secure hinge supports 70 and hinges 72 to the secondary joists 60. With reference now to FIGS. 18 and 19, hinge supports 70 are secured to secondary joists 60 by way of fasteners 74. The hinge supports 70 are preferably L-shaped, comprising a joist mounting portion 76 that is secured to a secondary joist 60, and a hinge mounting portion 78 at a right angle to the joist mounting portion 76. The hinge support 70 is preferably composed of metal, but may be made from any suitable material. Fastener 74 may be any suitable fastener. Alternatively, other attachment means, such as spot welding or a suitably strong adhesive, may be used. Optionally, the hinge supports 70 may be secured to the secondary joists 60 before the secondary joists 60 are installed.

Next, the hinges 72 are secured to the hinge supports 70 by way of fasteners 80, as shown in FIGS. 20, 21 and 22. The hinges 72 do not pivot relative to the hinge supports 70, but cooperate with the hinge supports 70 to provide a leveling function, as will be explained further below. Preferably, the hinges 72 are L-shaped, and comprise a support mounting portion 82 and a railing mounting portion 84 at a right angle to the support mounting portion 82. The support mounting portion 82 of the hinge 72 is secured by way of the fasteners 80 to the hinge mounting portion 78 of the hinge support 70.

The next step according to the present invention is to secure railings 90 to the hinges 72, as shown in FIGS. 23 to 25. This may be done by means of suitable fasteners 92, such as rivets, bolts or the like. Referring specifically to FIG. 25, it can be seen that each railing 90 preferably comprises a mounting portion 94 for mounting to the railing mounting portion 84 of a hinge 72. Extending outwardly at approximately right angles from the mounting portion 94 are two spacer portions 96. A panel mounting portion 98 extends at approximately a right angle from each spacer portion 96. The railings 90 may be made of metal or any other suitable material.

In a preferred embodiment, the hinges 72 can be leveled so that their railing mounting portions 84, and hence the attached railings 90, will be parallel to the exterior wall supporting portion 62e of the secondary joist 60 on which the hinges 72 are mounted. Preferably, the hinges 72 and hinge supports 70 do not pivot relative to each other, and it can be seen that the placement of fasteners 80, as shown in FIGS. 23 to 25, will prevent such pivoting. Rather, the hinges 72 are preferably initially loosely secured to the hinge supports 70 by fasteners 80, thereby permitting small adjustments of the precise position of each railing 90 so that all the railings 90 are properly aligned. The fasteners 80 are then tightened so that each hinge 72 is tightly secured to its respective hinge support 70 so as to maintain the respective railing 90 in position. Thus, the railings 90 are supported by the secondary joists 60, and extend substantially vertically.

One skilled in the art will recognize that the hinges 72 and hinge supports 70 may be provided in a pre-attached form, i.e. a single combined hinge component (not shown) comprising a hinge 72 and a hinge support 70 loosely secured together by fasteners 80. In addition, other pre-attachment arrangements may be used. For example, the hinge supports 70 may be secured to the secondary joists 60 before the secondary joists 60 are secured to the secondary joist supports 50. In such a case, the hinges 72 could be secured to the hinge supports 70 either before or after the secondary joists 60 are installed. Similarly, the hinges 72 could be secured to railings 90 before the railings 90 are installed. If this were done, the hinge supports 70 could also be secured to the hinges 72 before the railings 90 are installed. Another alternative is to provide an assembly in which a railing 90 is secured to a hinge 72, the hinge 72 is loosely secured by fasteners 80 to a hinge support 70, and the hinge support 70 is secured to a secondary joist 60. This assembly could then be installed in a single step, similar to that used for installing a secondary joist alone as described above. The position of the railing 90 could then be adjusted and the hinge 72 and hinge support 70 tightened. Thus, one skilled in the art will appreciate that there are a wide variety of ways in which the railings 90, hinges 72, hinge supports 70 and secondary joists 60 can be installed, while still achieving the objects of the present invention.

Preferably, workers positioned on upper surfaces 14 of the floor slabs 12 install the railings 90 and secondary joists 60.

Now referring to FIGS. 26 and 27, the next step, after installation of the railings 90, is securing exterior wall panels 100 to the railings 90 to define an exterior wall. The exterior wall panels 100 may be aluminum cassettes, ceramic tiles, boards, siding, or any other suitable type of external panel. Exterior wall panels 100 are shown secured to the railings 90 in FIGS. 26 and 27. The exterior wall panels 100 have an exterior surface 104 and an interior surface 106. Preferably, the panels 100 are secured to the railings 90 by way of suitable fasteners 102 that pass through one of the two panel mounting portions 98 of the railing 90 and into the panel 100. Alternatively, other attachment means, such as a suitable adhesive, may be used. Each exterior wall panel 100 preferably has its ends 108 secured to adjacent railings 90, so that each panel 100 will span the distance between railings 90. Alternatively (not shown), an exterior wall panel 100 may extend across more than two railings 90.

Each exterior wall panel 100 is preferably shaped at its side edges 108 to interlock with the side edge 108 of an adjacent panel once installed on a railing 90 so as to form a moisture-resistant seam (this interlocking is not shown in the figures). The top edges of each exterior wall panel are preferably shaped to interlock with the bottom edges of adjacent panels in a similar manner to that of the side edges 108. The exterior wall panels will, of course, be appropriately sized to facilitate mating of their various edges. Optionally, a sealant may be applied at the side-to-side and top-to-bottom junctions of the exterior wall panels 100. For example, any suitable moisture-resistant, building-grade caulking substance may be used.

Specialized exterior wall panels (not shown) may be secured to the main joists 40 to span the distance between the main joists 40 and the nearest adjacent secondary joists 60. These specialized exterior wall panels would preferably have edges adapted to interlock with the edges of the standard exterior wall panels 100. The specialized exterior wall panels may comprise a single panel shaped to overlie and extend beyond the edges of the respective main joist 40, or may comprise a set of two panels each having first and second side edges, and which interlock in front of the main joist 40 at their first side edges while their second side edges extend beyond the edges of the respective main joist 40. Alternatively, the main joists 40 may themselves have edges shaped to interlock with the edges of the standard exterior wall panels 100, so that no specialized exterior wall panels are necessary.

If desired, some or all of the exterior wall panels 100 may have apertures (not shown) defined therein for installing windows, or may have windows pre-installed. If apertures are provided in the wall panels 100 for installing windows, it is preferred that the windows be installed as soon as possible after the wall panels have been secured in place, so that the apertures do not compromise the protection against the elements afforded by the wall panels 100.

While the wall panels 100 may be lifted into position by a crane or other mechanism, it is preferred that the wall panels 100 be installed by workers positioned on the upper surfaces 14 of the floor slabs 12.

One skilled in the art will appreciate that once the exterior wall panels 100 have been installed, there will be defined a plurality of enclosed regions each bounded by an upper slab 12, a lower slab 12 and a surrounding wall made up of a plurality of exterior wall panels 100. Because of the interlocking edges 108 of the exterior wall panels 100, each enclosed region will have an interior that is isolated from wind and precipitation, relative to the environment at the building location, thereby facilitating the provision of a comfortable working environment for a construction crew working therewithin. As will be appreciated by one skilled in the art, the remaining steps according to the present invention are preferably carried out from within the enclosed region.

With reference now to FIGS. 28 and 29, the next step in the method of the present invention is to install insulation on the interior surface 106 of the exterior wall 100. In a preferred embodiment of the present method, insulation support members 110 are secured to the panel mounting portions 98 of the railings 90, on the opposite side to that on which the exterior wall panels 100 are secured. In this sense, the railings 90 may be considered to form part of the exterior wall of the building. Alternatively, the insulation support members may be secured directly to the wall panels 100. The insulation support members 110 may take the form of an elongate ledge 111 having a lip 112. The insulation support members 110 are of course made of a material having appropriate thermal properties, so as to avoid thermal bridging or other undesirable effects.

Now referring to FIGS. 30 and 31, a first layer of insulation 114 is placed in the insulation support members so as to be positioned against the interior surface 106 of the exterior wall panel 100, or, if the first layer of insulation 114 is to be spaced from the interior surface 106, against the railings 90.

With reference now to FIGS. 32, 33, 34 and 35, once the first layer of insulation 114 has been placed into position, an additional layer or layers of insulation may be installed interiorly of the first layer 114. As shown in FIGS. 32 and 33, in one embodiment of the present method a suitable adhesive 120 is applied to the interior insulation surface 118 of the first layer of insulation 114. As shown in FIGS. 34 and 35, a second layer of insulation 122 may then be affixed to the first layer of insulation 114. If necessary, pins 130 may be used to secure the second layer of insulation 122 to the first layer of insulation 114 while the adhesive 120 sets. The pins 130 can then be removed or, if they are constructed from a material that will not affect the thermal properties of the insulation layers 114 and 122, may be left in the insulation.

As can be seen particularly in FIGS. 34 and 35, each panel of the second layer of insulation 122 extends beyond the first layer of insulation 114 in both horizontal and both vertical directions. Each panel of the second layer of insulation 122 may overlap one or more than one panel of the first layer of insulation 114. The second layer of insulation 122 is preferably placed in a horizontal interference fit between horizontally adjacent pairs of hinges 72 and hinge supports 70. Thus, the insulation assembly comprising the second layer of insulation 122 adhered to the first layer(s) of insulation 114 is maintained in position by the insulation support members 110 and by the horizontal interference fit of the second layer of insulation 122 between horizontally adjacent pairs of hinges 72 and hinge supports 70. Additional support for the insulation may be provided by the interior walls 140, as described below.

It is preferred that the installation of the insulation support members 110 and of the insulation layers 114, 122 be carried out by workers positioned on the upper surfaces 14 of the floor slabs 12, within the enclosed regions defined by the wall panels 100 and floor slabs 12.

With reference now to FIGS. 36, 37 and 38, the final step according to the method of the present invention is to install interior walls 140 interiorly of the innermost insulation layer 122, and supported by the floor slabs 12. The interior walls 140 may be any known type of wall, depending on the desired interior design of the building. For example, the interior wall 140 may be a brick wall 140a, as shown in FIG. 36, a lightweight block wall 140b, as shown in FIG. 37, or a drywall wall 140c, as shown in FIG. 38. Preferably, the interior walls 140 are installed by workers positioned on the upper surfaces 14 of the floor slabs 12, within the enclosed regions defined by the wall panels 100 and floor slabs 12.

As described above, the various steps of the present invention may, and preferably are, carried out by workers positioned on the upper surfaces of the floor slabs 12. Although a crane may be used to hoist various pieces, such as the main joists 40 and exterior wall panels 100, into position, the actual assembly and installation work is preferably carried out solely by workers positioned on the upper surfaces of the floor slabs 12, and not by workers occupying scaffolding or other structures on the exterior of the building. In other words, in accordance with aspects of the present invention, a building is constructed from the outside in.

One skilled in the art will appreciate that various additional components and steps could be used in accordance with the method of the present invention. For example, thermal bridges may be added, or additional hinges or supports may be used to improve the thermal, structural or moisture exchange properties of the building facade. Additionally, specific apertures or retaining members could be provided for other equipment to be included in the structure, such as electrical cabling, lighting, fresh water and sewage pipes, air conditioning and ventilation ducts. Various decorative features could also be provided.

While the applicant's teachings are described in conjunction with various embodiments, it is not intended that the applicant's teachings be limited to such embodiments. On the contrary, the applicant's teachings encompass various alternatives, modifications, and equivalents, as will be appreciated by those of skill in the art.