Title:
Building constructions
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A building construction e.g. for providing a temporary shelter for disaster victims, includes two side walls and two end walls, a roof structure, and a floor structure, the construction being deliverable to a site for erection, in a stowed condition and being erectable on site to a condition for use.



Inventors:
Jankovskis, Lee Rudolf (Midway, GB)
Bates, Alexander Jonathan (Kingsley Moor, GB)
Cronkrite, Adam (Peatmoor, GB)
Burton, Diane Marie (Willington, GB)
Application Number:
11/410366
Publication Date:
11/23/2006
Filing Date:
04/25/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H1/00; E04B1/344
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KENNY, DANIEL J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MARSHALL, GERSTEIN & BORUN LLP (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A building construction which includes two side walls and two end walls, a roof structure, and a floor structure, the construction being deliverable to a site for erection, in a stowed condition and being erectable on site to a condition for use, the construction including a first part which includes a first portion of the floor structure, and an end wall attached to or integral with the first portion of the floor structure at each of two opposite edges of the first portion of the floor structure, and a second part which includes a second portion of the floor structure and a side wall attached to or integral with the second portion of the floor structure at each of two opposite side edges of the second portion of the floor structure, and the second part including the roof structure attached to or integral with each of the side walls, and wherein in the stowed condition the first and second floor structure portions being arranged one on top of the other, the two end walls being folded on top of the floor structure with one end wall on top of the other, and the side walls and roof structure including a plurality of folds which extend from end to end and permit the side walls and roof structure to be folded towards the folded end walls, and in the erected condition, the end walls are moved to be upright and the side walls and roof structure are unfolded so that the side walls are upright, whereby a space is created by the end and side walls which is spanned by and closed by the roof structure.

2. A construction according to claim 1 wherein the first part of the construction is provided as a unitary first part.

3. A construction according to claim 2 wherein the unitary first part is provided in a material which is scorable to permit folding and unfolding of the end walls relative to the first portion of the floor structure.

4. A construction according to claim 3 wherein the material is a double skinned plastic which has ribs extending between and integrally connected to the two skins, the material being made foldable by cutting one of the walls.

5. A construction according to claim 4 wherein the material is used with the ribs extending transversely of the direction of the folds.

6. A construction according to claim 1 wherein the second part of the construction is provided as a unitary second part.

7. A construction according to claim 6 wherein the material is a double skinned plastic which has ribs extending between and integrally connected to the two skins, the material being scored and thus made foldable, by cutting one of the walls.

8. A construction according to claim 7 wherein the material is used with the ribs extending transversely of the direction of the folds.

9. A construction according to claim 1 wherein the roof structure includes three portions with folds between them, and folds are provided where the roof structure and each of the side walls meet, and where the second floor structure portion and the side walls meet.

10. A construction according to claim 9 wherein one of the side walls has a fold.

11. A construction according to claim 9 wherein in the stowed condition, the side walls and roof structure are folded to lie within the area of the second floor structure portion.

12. A construction according to claim 1 wherein the end walls each have secured to them a cord or handle to facilitate erection of the building construction by pulling the inwardly folded end walls to an upright condition.

13. A construction according to claim 1 wherein interlocking formations are provided along each of the side edges of the end walls and the end edges of the side walls to retain the building structure in its erected condition

14. A construction according to claim 1 wherein interlocking formations are provided between the end walls and the roof structure.

15. A construction according to claim 1 wherein when in the erected condition, the meeting edges of the end walls and side walls and end walls and the roof structure are sealed with an adhesive tape.

16. A construction according to claim 1 wherein at least one of the end or side walls is provided with a door made by cutting a rectangular opening around top, bottom and one side only, and scoring the fourth side, so that a door is provided which is hinged without any hinge fittings being required.

17. A construction according to claim 1 wherein the building construction is erected on a base to which the floor structure is secured.

18. A plurality of packs each including a building construction in a stowed condition, which includes two side walls and two end walls, a roof structure, and a floor structure, the construction being deliverable to a site for erection, in the stowed condition and being erectable on site to a condition for use, the construction including a first part which includes a first portion of the floor structure, and an end wall attached to or integral with the first portion of the floor structure at each of two opposite edges of the first portion of the floor structure, and a second part which includes a second portion of the floor structure and a side wall attached to or integral with the second portion of the floor structure at each of two opposite side edges of the second portion of the floor structure, and the second part including the roof structure attached to or integral with each of the side walls, and wherein in the stowed condition the first and second floor structure portions being arranged one on top of the other, the two end walls being folded on top of the floor structure with one end wall on top of the other, and the side walls and roof structure including a plurality of folds which extend from end to end and permit the side walls and roof structure to be folded towards the folded end walls, and in the erected condition, the end walls are moved to be upright and the side walls and roof structure are unfolded so that the side walls are upright, whereby a space is created by the end and side walls which is spanned by and closed by the roof structure.

19. A method of providing a temporary building utilising a building construction which includes two side walls and two end walls, a roof structure, and a floor structure, the construction being deliverable to a site for erection, in a stowed condition and being erectable on site to a condition for use, the construction including a first part which includes a first portion of the floor structure, and an end wall attached to or integral with the first portion of the floor structure at each of two opposite edges of the first portion of the floor structure, and a second part which includes a second portion of the floor structure and a side wall attached to or integral with the second portion of the floor structure at each of two opposite side edges of the second portion of the floor structure, and the second part including the roof structure attached to or integral with each of the side walls, and wherein in the stowed condition the first and second floor structure portions being arranged one on top of the other, the two end walls being folded on top of the floor structure with one end wall on top of the other, and the side walls and roof structure including a plurality of folds which extend from end to end and permit the side walls and roof structure to be folded towards the folded end walls, and in the erected condition, the end walls are moved to be upright and the side walls and roof structure are unfolded so that the side walls are upright, whereby a space is created by the end and side walls which is spanned by and closed by the roof structure, the method including delivering to a site the building construction in its stowed condition, placing the floor structure on the ground or on base therefor, pulling the end walls to an upright condition thereby unfolding the side walls and the roof structure, securing edges of the end and side walls where they meet, to each other.

20. A method according to claim 19 which includes securing edges of the side walls and the roof structure where they meet with adhesive tape, and/or sealing meeting edges of the side and end walls, and of the end walls and roof structure, with adhesive tape.

21. A method according to claim 19 which includes securing the floor structure of the building construction to a base, which is anchored relative to the ground, and/or anchoring the construction relative to the ground using guy ropes.

Description:

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a building construction and more particularly to a building construction which is provided prefabricated in a stowed condition for easy and swift erection.

Yet more particularly but not exclusively the invention relates to a building construction for providing shelter in the wake of a disaster. Immediately following any disaster, there is often a need for shelter, which if provided rapidly, can result in lives being saved, or at least discomfort being relieved.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

Prefabricated building constructions are known which are provided as flat-packs, but these tend to be for providing building constructions for medium to long term use, and thus are relatively expensive and require skill to erect them. Also, temporary shelters are known which are provided by tents, but again these can be difficult to erect in difficult conditions, and generally require a level of knowledge and skill to erect.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to a first aspect of the invention we provide a building construction which includes two side walls and two end walls, a roof structure, and a floor structure, the construction being deliverable to a site for erection, in a stowed condition and being erectable on site to a condition for use, the construction including a first part which includes a first portion of the floor structure, and an end wall attached to or integral with the first portion of the floor structure at each of two opposite edges of the first portion of the floor structure, and a second part which includes a second portion of the floor structure and a side wall attached to or integral with the second portion of the floor structure at each of two opposite side edges of the second portion of the floor structure, and the second part including the roof structure attached to or integral with each of the side walls, and wherein in the stowed condition the first and second floor structure portions are arranged one on top of the other, the two end walls being folded on top of the floor structure with one end wall on top of the other, and the side walls and roof structure including a plurality of folds which extend from end to end and permit the side walls and roof structure to be folded towards the folded end walls, and in the erected condition, the end walls are moved to be upright and the side walls and roof structure are unfolded so that the side walls are upright, whereby a space is created by the end and side walls which is spanned by and closed by the roof structure.

Thus a simple unfoldable structure is provided which may readily be delivered to a site and erected with the minimum of skill and tools.

Preferably the first part of the construction is provided as a unitary part, for example in a material which may be scored to permit folding and unfolding of the end walls relative to the first portion of the floor structure. One such suitable material is a double skinned e.g. polyethylene plastic which has ribs extending between and integrally connected to the two skins, such as is sold under the trade name “Twinplast”. Such material may readily be made foldable by scoring e.g. by cutting one of the walls. Such material is adequately light for ready transportation for example by air, whilst being mainly waterproof and windproof thus making this an ideal material for providing a shelter. Preferably the material is used with the ribs extending transversely of the direction of the folds.

The second part of the construction may also be provided as a unitary part, again such as “Twinplast”, and preferably with the side walls, the second portion of the floor structure and the roof structure integrally provided with any joint required to enable this, made so that tools are not required on site to make any joint.

In a preferred example, the roof structure includes three portions with folds between them, and folds are provided where the roof structure and each of the side walls meet, and where the second floor structure portion and the side walls meet. One of the side walls may have a fold, so that in the stowed condition, the side walls and roof structure are folded to lie within the area of the second floor structure portion.

The end walls may each have secured to them, preferably towards an edge of the end wall which when the construction is erected, is uppermost, a cord or handle to facilitate erection of the building construction by pulling the inwardly folded end walls to an upright condition. It will be appreciated that as the end walls are beneath the side walls and roof structure when the construction is in the stowed condition, by pulling the end walls to upright positions, this will cause the second part to be unfolded.

Interlocking formations may be provided along each of the side edges of the end walls and the end edges of the side walls, and if desired between the end walls and the roof structure, to retain the building structure in its erected condition. If desired, when in the erected condition, the meeting edges of the end walls and side walls and end walls and the roof structure may be sealed with an adhesive tape, to provide protection against wind ingress. However, where the construction is made of a plastic material, connections between the walls and roof may alternatively be made by welding if suitable tools are available.

At least one of the end or side walls may be provided with a door, by for example cutting a rectangular opening around the top, bottom and one side only, and scoring the fourth side, so that a door is provided which is hinged without any hinge fittings being required.

Window openings may be provided by cutting through a side and/or end wall, and any window opening may readily be closed by securing a see-though panel over the window opening, for example using adhesive tape.

Thus the building construction may be provided as a pack including adhesive tape, e.g. on a roll.

If desired, the building construction may be erected on a base to which the floor structure may be secured. In use, such a base may be anchored relative to the ground so as to provide a secure footing for the building construction. The base may be provided with the building construction or separately. For example, a plurality of building constructions in accordance with the invention may be provided as packs in stowed conditions on a pallet to a site. Any base(s) may be provided in the packs, on the pallet, or on a separate pallet for simultaneous delivery to the site with the building construction packs.

According to a second aspect of the invention we provide a plurality of packs each including a building construction of the first aspect of the invention in a stowed condition, on a pallet.

According to a third aspect of the invention we provide a method of providing a temporary building utilising a building construction of the first aspect of the invention, the method including delivering to a site the building construction in its stowed condition, placing the floor structure on the ground or on base therefor, pulling the end walls to an upright condition thereby unfolding the side walls and the roof structure, securing edges of the end and side walls where they meet, to each other.

The method may include securing edges of the side walls and the roof structure where they meet, and may include sealing meeting edges of the side and end walls, and of the end walls and roof structure, with adhesive tape.

The method may include securing the floor structure of the building construction to a base, which may be anchored relative to the ground, and or anchoring the construction relative to the ground using guy ropes which may be provided in the building construction pack or separately.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Embodiments of the invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is an illustrative view of a pallet having a plurality of building constructions in accordance with the invention, each in a stowed condition, stacked thereon;

FIGS. 2a and 2b are respectively, illustrative perspective views of first and second parts of a building construction in accordance with the invention prior to assembly;

FIGS. 3a and 3b are illustrative views showing how a building construction in accordance with the invention is erected;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an erected building construction in accordance with the invention, anchored to the ground;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary view through a wall of the building construction showing how the material of the wall may be folded;

FIG. 6 is an illustrative view of an erected building construction in accordance with the invention and a base therefor.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to the drawings, a building construction 10 for providing a temporary shelter, for example in the wake-of a disaster, is provided. A plurality of such constructions each in a stowed condition, may be stacked as packs 11 on a pallet 12 for delivery to a site, as illustrated in FIG. 1. On arrival at a site, the building constructions 10 may be erected readily and swiftly, and without the need for skills or tools, to provide a temporary shelter, as hereinafter described. In FIG. 4, an erected construction is shown, which has been anchored to the ground by guy ropes 14 which have ground anchors g, which guy ropes and anchors 14, G may be provided in the building construction 10 pack 11 on the pallet 12, or separately, or these may be locally sourced.

The building construction 10 includes first and second parts 15, 16 which are separately fabricated and then assembled together. In FIG. 2a the first part 15 is shown. This has a first floor structure portion 18 which in this example, and as is preferred, is rectangular. Integrally provided at each of two opposite side edges 19, 20, are respective first and second end walls 21, 22. Thus the first part is unitary.

The entire first part 15 in this example is integrally made in a double skinned polyethylene or other plastic material which has cross ribs extending internally between the two skins. Such a material is available commercially under the trade name “Twinplast”.

In FIG. 5 there is illustrated an end view of the material where this has been folded. The two skins are illustrated at S1 and S2, and the internal ribbing at R. One of the skins S1 has been cut, transversely of the direction of extent of the ribs R in this example, to enable the material to be folded. Thus the material is in effect scored, with the uncut skin S2 providing a hinge to permit the material to be folded. The overall thickness of the material may be for example, up to ten millimetres, and the material being plastic is generally waterproof and wind proof, and having internal air spaces between the ribs R, provides good insulation against heat or cold.

The material may be made by extrusion, and additives may be provided to provide fire proofing, a colour of choice, and any other desired property.

For a reason to be explained, to each of the end walls 21, 22 there is secured a cord C1, C2 or alternatively handles may be provided. The cords C1, C2 or handles are positioned towards the upper ends of the end walls 21, 22.

Referring again to FIG. 2a, the material is scored and folded where the side edges 19, 20 of the floor and the end walls 21, 22 coincide, to permit the first part 15 to be folded into and out of a stowed condition as described below, the folds each extending from side to side along the side edges 19, 20.

The second part 16 of the construction 10 is similarly made of “Twinplast” or the like, and includes a second generally rectangular floor structure portion 26 which is integral at side edges 27, 28 thereof, with first and second side walls 30, 31, which may be scored and thus folded relative to the second floor structure portion 26 to and from a stowed condition. The first side wall 30 is integral along a top edge 34 with a roof structure 35, along which edge 34 there is a score line about which the side wall 30 may be folded. The roof structure 35 includes two scores and thus folds 38, 39, and extends in overlapping fashion, downwardly beyond the upper edge 40 of the other side wall 31, the overlapping roof structure portion 41 being scored and folded along the upper edge 40 of the second side wall 31, and being connected to the second side wall 31 by for example, rivets 42, although these could be adhered, welded or otherwise connected together.

Thus the second construction part 16 provides a loop including the first and second side walls 30, 31, the second floor structure portion 26 and the roof structure 35, in a unitary second part 16. The roof structure 35 has flat top portion T, and first and second inclined roof portions I1 and I2 which each extend downwardly in the construction 10 to the respective first and second side wall 30, 31, thus spanning the space between the side walls 30, 31.

In this example, the second side wall 31 to which the overlapping roof structure portion 41 is connected, itself has a score and fold 43 intermediate the second floor structure portion 26 and the roof structure 35. Each of the folds 27, 28, 34, 38, 39, 40 and 43 of the second construction part 16 extend from end to end of the construction, whereas the folds 19, 20 of the first part 15 extend from side to side. The two construction parts 15, 16 are assembled with the first part 15 being placed inside the second part 16 with the first floor structure portion 18 of the first part 15 on top of the second floor structure portion 26 of the second part 16, with the end walls 21, 22 extending from the ends of the second construction part 16 loop.

The respective floor structure portions 18, 26 are connected by any desired means, such as fasteners, and/or adhesive and/or welding (the plastic “Twinplast” material may readily be welded). Thus the floor structure 18, 26 is a double thickness of material providing a robust and well insulated floor. The construction 10 is then folded to a stowed condition as follows.

First, the end walls 21, 22 are inwardly folded over the first floor structure portion 18. Then the second construction part 16 is collapsed by folding along the various folds 27, 28, 34, 38, 39, 40 and 43 in zig-zag fashion, until the construction 10 assumes the stowed condition indicated in FIG. 3a. In this condition, the first side wall 30 which does not have the intermediate fold 43, will lie on the uppermost end wall 21, 22, as will that portion of the other second side wall 31 between the intermediate fold 43 and the second floor structure portion 26. On top of the first side wall 30 will lie the first inclined roof portion I1, and on top of the portion of the second wall portion 31 between the intermediate fold 43 and the second floor structure portion 26, lies the remainder of the second side wall 31 to which the overlapping roof part 41 is connected. On top of the first inclined roof portion I1, and on top of the portion of the second wall portion 31 to which the overlapping roof part 41 is connected, lies the second inclined roof portion I2 and the top portion T of the roof structure 35, relatively folded, with the top portion T beneath the second inclined roof portion I2.

The construction may be secured in this condition by vacuum packing, and/or by packing web, or may be retained in this condition merely by other such packs being placed on top, with all of the packs being secured to a pallet as illustrated in FIG. 1.

In the packed or stowed condition, the construction 10 may be delivered to a site where a shelter is required, for example by air. Upon delivery, the construction 10 may readily and swiftly be erected as follows.

First the pack needs to be placed on the ground in the orientation shown in FIG. 3a, and any shrink wrap or other packaging needs to be removed.

The cords C1 and C2 which may have been placed within the pack, need to be retrieved, and then simply by pulling outwards on the cords C1 and C2, the end walls 21, 22 may be raised into an upright orientation, at the same time, causing the second construction part 16 to become unfolded and to assume the erected condition indicated in FIG. 3b.

The construction 10 may be retained in its erected condition by any desired means. However, in the example, as indicated in FIG. 3b, along the upright edges of the end 21, 22 and side walls 30, 31, interlocking tags and apertures 45 may be provided, which interlock to maintain the erected condition. To seal the upright end and side wall edges where they meet, adhesive tape may be applied, which tape may have been provided in the construction 10 pack or separately as desired.

Thus immediately, a construction 10 is provided to give some shelter against the elements. Multiple constructions 10 may be connected to each other if desired, side by side and/or end to end.

Various modifications and refinements are possible.

In FIG. 4, it can be seen that a door 46 has been provided, by cutting though the first side wall 30 around three sides of a rectangle, whilst only cutting through one skin of the first side wall 30 along the fourth (upright) side 47 of the rectangle. Thus the uncut skin provides a hinge along the side 47 so that no special hinge fittings are required. The door 46 may be provided in the first side wall 30 upon construction fabrication, prior to packing the construction 10, or on site if a suitable tool (knife) is available. Instead of or as well as providing a door 46 in the first side wall 30, one may be provided in an end wall 21, 22, or the second side wall 31, preferably avoiding the intermediate fold 43. The door 46 may be closable by a simple velcro fastening or otherwise.

One or more windows can similarly be provided, or a panel of side or end wall may be completely removed if desired and the resulting opening covered with a see-through plastic sheet, e.g., attaching this by adhesive tape for example.

In FIG. 3b it can be seen that the cords C1, C2 have been utilised for attaching to guy ropes for anchoring the construction to the ground.

In FIG. 6, another proposal for anchoring the construction 10 to the ground is illustrated. In this example, the construction 10 is erected on a base 50 which may have been previously anchored to the ground by pegs for example. The base 50 provides a footing for the construction 10. The floor structure 18, 26 of the construction 10 is secured to the base 50 as or once the construction 10 is erected, e.g. by fasteners, adhesive or however. The base 50 may be provided instead of or as well as the cords C1, C2 and/or guy ropes 14 and ground anchors 15 as desired.

The base 50 may be in the form of a simple platform, or configured for example as a tray and thus may be used to collect rain water. A plurality of bases may be provided on a separate pallet 12 to the plurality of construction packs 11, or bases 50 may be incorporated into the construction packs as desired.

If desired, instead of the first and second parts 15, 16 of the construction being provided as unitary parts and preferably each fabricated from a single sheet of material as described, these may be provided by separate components which are assembled to make-up the construction 10, although the construction as described is preferred for ease and swiftness of erection.

Although the invention has particularly been devised for use as a temporary shelter to shelter for example, victims of a disaster, the construction 10 could have more general uses where an inexpensive and easy and swift to erect construction is required, for examples as a tool shed, a workman's hut, or otherwise, and if inexpensive enough, may be a ready replacement for a tent in some circumstances.