Title:
METHODS AND STRUCTURES FOR REUSING WORKER HOUSING
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method for converting a worker housing module including a roof rafter to modify the appearance thereof, the method comprising: providing a worker housing module previously used to house workers in a dormitory style arrangement; exposing an outboard end of the roof rafter; and connecting a roof rafter extension to extend beyond the outboard end of the roof rafter to increase a roof eave projection on the structure.



Inventors:
Adams, Wade (Calgary, CA)
Application Number:
11/750736
Publication Date:
11/29/2007
Filing Date:
05/18/2007
Assignee:
ATCO STRUCTURES INC. (Calgary, CA)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ADAMOS, THEODORE V
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BENNETT JONES LLP (CALGARY, AB, CA)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An eave extension for extending the length of the eave on a structure including a roof rafter with an end, the eave extension comprising: a roof sheathing extension support; and a connector for securing to the structure to support the roof sheathing extension supported in a position extending from the roof rafter end.

2. The eave extension of claim 1 wherein the roof sheathing extension support includes a board and the connector includes a web extending from the board to fit about the roof rafter.

3. The eave extension of claim 2 wherein the board includes an end formed to butt against an end face of the roof rafter.

4. The eave extension of claim 2 wherein the web includes a pair of sheet form members secured on either side of the board and extending out beyond the board to form a slot therebetween to accept the roof rafter.

5. A worker housing unit comprising: an outer wall; a plurality of internal walls positioned to define at least four bedrooms therein; a roof rafter supported above the outer wall; and an eave extension connectable to an end of the roof rafter, the eave extension including a length of board and a connector for securing the board to the end of the roof rafter.

6. The worker housing unit of claim 5 wherein the connector includes a web extending from the board to fit about the end of the roof rafter.

7. The worker housing unit of claim 5 wherein the board includes an end formed to butt against an end face of the roof rafter.

8. The worker housing unit of claim 6 wherein the web includes a pair of sheet form members secured on either side of the board and extending out beyond the board to form a slot therebetween to accept the roof rafter.

9. The worker housing unit of claim 5 wherein the eave extension is connected by fasteners to the roof rafter.

10. The worker housing unit of claim 5 wherein the eave extension is attached to follow an existing pitch formed by the roof rafter.

11. The worker housing unit of claim 5 wherein the eave extension includes a soffit support surface.

12. The worker housing unit of claim 5 wherein the eave extension includes a facia support surface at an end of the board.

13. The worker housing unit of claim 5 wherein the eave extension further includes a lateral support surface.

14. The worker housing unit of claim 13 wherein a portion of the connector extends out beyond the lateral support surface.

15. The worker housing unit of claim 13 wherein the eave extension is installed on the worker housing unit with the connector engaging the end of the roof rafter and the lateral support surface adjacent the outer wall.

16. The worker housing unit of claim 5 having a width from a side limit to the end of the roof rafter no greater than 14 feet.

17. The worker housing unit of claim 16 wherein the side limit is an interface portion of the unit through which the unit is secured to an adjacent unit to form a worker housing module.

18. A method for converting a worker housing module including a roof rafter to modify the appearance thereof, the method comprising: providing a worker housing module previously used to house workers in a dormitory style arrangement; exposing an outboard end of the roof rafter; and connecting a roof rafter extension to extend beyond the outboard end of the roof rafter to increase a roof eave projection on the structure.

19. The method of claim 18 wherein exposing an outboard end includes removing at least in part a facia.

20. The method of claim 18 wherein exposing an outboard end includes removing at least in part a portion of roof sheathing.

21. The method of claim 18 wherein the worker housing module includes a plurality of worker housing units.

22. The method of claim 18 wherein the worker housing units have a width from a side limit to the outboard end of the roof rafter no greater than 14 feet.

23. The method of claim 18 wherein increasing a roof eave projection includes creating a roof eave projection where one previously did not exist.

24. The method of claim 18 wherein connecting includes securing a board to the outboard end of the roof rafter to increase its length.

25. The method of claim 18 wherein connecting includes installing a lateral support surface adjacent an outer wall of the worker housing module.

26. The method of claim 18 wherein during connecting the extension is attached to follow an existing pitch formed by the roof rafter.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to worker housing and, in particular, structures and methods relating to constructing and reusing worker housing and worker housing modules.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Worker housing structures are known by many names including bunk houses, workmen dormitories, living containers, man camp accommodation and industrial housing to name a few. Specifically, worker housing structures are accommodations for work persons temporarily housed at a site that has insufficient existing accommodation facilities. The worker housing structures include sleeping and ablution facilities for the work persons. Generally, worker housing is in the form of complexes each complex configured to contain, for example, 60 or more workers on each level. Each complex is formed of several individual manufactured modules joined together. Each module is in turn formed of two worker housing units joined together. The units may be sized to be readily transportable over public roadways, railways or by boat. For example, in many jurisdictions, a unit may not exceed 12′6″ wide, 60′ long, and 13′ wide in order to be within economic transportation constraints (i.e. not requiring a permit).

The size and configuration of each module and complex is usually determined by the manufacturers of worker housing to provide the most economical solution to the parameters governing worker accommodation for a specific site or project. Consequently, the requirements determining the configuration of worker housing modules and their detailed construction are variables specific to each site at which they will be used, including for example, the natural environment, the terrain, the level of comfort desired for the workmen, the logistics required to get the units and supplies to the work site, the length of the project, the requirements of labor guilds (trade unions), the local Building Codes, and the financial constraints set by the entity responsible for the cost of construction of the total project. Generally, those responsible for, or having jurisdiction over, a specific project will define the site-specific criteria with respect to housing the workforce and the manufacturers of the workers living modules or others having access to previously manufactured worker housing, will offer equipment that meets the site-specific criteria.

Manufactured worker housing modules are sometimes reused after their initial use to accommodate workers at other construction projects having housing parameters similar to those governing the original one. Usually, the housing modules have to be reused in their original configuration or with minor modifications to meet minor differences in site conditions, governing bodies or criteria requested by the client responsible for their reuse as worker housing. Manufacturers have concentrated on providing reuse in the same application as the initial use. In particular, to enhance the reuse of manufactured worker housing, the manufacturers of workers living modules and those responsible for the specific projects, have sought to standardize many of the building requirements so that they do not vary significantly from one specific project to the next. Also, manufactures, have at times planned for reuse by considering generalized criteria other than those defined for the initial use to ensure that the worker housing modules may be reused on projects in other geographical areas and that they will meet site specific criteria or be readily modified to meet special criteria required of the various agencies having jurisdiction in the area of reuse.

The manufacturers usually sell or lease the worker housing equipment for the duration of the specific project. They move the equipment to the specified site, make it operational at the site and provide operational support during the equipment's use. When the equipment is no longer needed, the manufacturers sometimes buy back the equipment and/or move it to a predetermined location, usually a marshaling yard, sometimes a significant distance from the project site. Other times, where it is difficult or costly to move the units or the units are so site-specific as to render them of little value for reuse, the worker housing modules are simply abandoned or discarded. After particularly large projects, many modules are discarded or abandoned due to oversupply. Many modules are also discarded or abandoned from projects in remote locations, but are generally of little value due to specific design for reuse only as a dormitory for housing numerous persons.

When planning and constructing a worker housing module that is later to be used as a residential structure, consideration had to be given to both the initial industrial use and the future residential use. In the initial use, the structure has to maintain rigid structural integrity that allows it to be moved from a manufacture site sometimes thousands of miles away to a site where it will be used. At the same time, the structure must also allow reconfiguration for reuse as a residential structure.

Oftentimes the need to conveniently transport the worker housing modules limits the manufactured width of the structure. This limitation often results in a reduction of the size of the eave, which is the edge of the roof projecting over the outside wall of the building.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with one broad aspect of the present invention, there is provided an eave extension for extending the length of the eave on a structure including a roof rafter with an end, the eave extension comprising a roof sheathing extension support and a connector for securing to the structure to support the roof sheathing extension supported in a position extending from the roof rafter end.

In accordance with another broad aspect of the present invention, there is provided a worker housing unit comprising: an outer wall, a plurality of internal walls positioned to define at least four bedrooms therein, a roof rafter supported above the outer wall and an eave extension connectable to an end of the roof rafter, the eave extension including a length of board and a connector for securing the board to the end of the roof rafter.

In accordance with another broad aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for converting a worker housing module including a roof rafter to modify the appearance thereof, the method comprising: providing a worker housing module previously used to house workers in a dormitory style arrangement, exposing an outboard end of the roof rafter, connecting a roof rafter extension to extend beyond the outboard end of the roof rafter to increase a roof eave projection on the structure.

It is to be understood that other aspects of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, wherein various embodiments of the invention are shown and described by way of illustration. As will be realized, the invention is capable for other and different embodiments and its several details are capable of modification in various other respects, all without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. Accordingly the drawings and detailed description are to be regarded as illustrative in nature and not as restrictive.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Referring to the drawings wherein like reference numerals indicate similar parts throughout the several views, several aspects of the present invention are illustrated by way of example, and not by way of limitation, in detail in the figures, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a section through one embodiment of a worker housing module;

FIG. 2 is a section through a residence according to one aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an eave extension according to one aspect of the present invention; and

FIG. 4 is a side elevation of the eave extension of FIG. 3 with one side web removed and in an installed position on a structure.

DESCRIPTION OF VARIOUS EMBODIMENTS

The detailed description set forth below in connection with the appended drawings is intended as a description of various embodiments of the present invention and is not intended to represent the only embodiments contemplated by the inventor. The detailed description includes specific details for the purpose of providing a comprehensive understanding of the present invention. However, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced without these specific details.

The invention considers reuse of worker housing in similar, or the same, applications at other sites or other projects as well as parameters governing reuse for alternate secondary purposes usually common to the area of initial use. Alternate secondary uses for manufactured worker housing modules according to the present invention can be, for example, office, commercial, smaller or reconfigured worker housing or residential family housing. For example, secondary uses can include structures having, for example, a combination of sleeping, messing, ablution and/or assembly areas for a population living within the confines of a specific building comprising one or more modules.

In one embodiment, for example, the invention allows for the conversion of a worker housing complex to structures for housing families that may need housing at or may be indigenous to the area of initial use of the complex. The structures can be, for example, configured as conventional detached, semi-detached or attached residential homes. The ability to reuse worker housing as family housing may offer significant economical benefits to the people responsible for the initial project, if the manufactured worker housing modules can be used in this manner in an area at or near the project site, including mitigating the costs of transporting the modules to another project and/or the costs of disposal if reuse as worker housing is not a viable option.

Some considerations for the planning, construction, and reuse of worker housing complexes are described in applicant's Canadian patent application 2,417,593, filed Jan. 29, 2003.

Worker modules and complexes are formed from worker units. The units may be constructed to be of a size suitable for transport, but are joined together at the job site to form the worker housing modules and complexes. A unit to be assembled into a worker housing complex has a size that allows it to be moved from a manufacturing plant to a job site where it will be used. This sometimes requires the unit to be transported thousands of miles. Due to transport restrictions, a unit has generally a limited width. As such, the eave is therefore generally minimized to permit the greatest width to be invested in the external walls and in the internal structure. While the eave may not be of particular interest for the worker housing structure, the eave may be of significant interest to a resident of family housing constructed from the reused worker housing unit.

Referring to FIG. 1, a worker housing module is shown, which is formed from at least a pair of units connected approximately along an interface plane, indicated at I. During transport and before the units are secured together to form the module, the units may be open and define a side limit along interface I. The module can include a roof formed from trusses 104 supported at least in part by exterior, outer walls 12. A worker housing unit also generally includes a plurality of internal walls 14, such walls 14 defining in many worker housing units dormitory-style accommodation including at least part of a centre hallway running from end to end in the unit, at least four bedrooms and possibly rooms for messing, ablution, working and/or gathering.

A truss 104 may be formed in various ways, but generally may include a roof rafter 140 including an inner end 140a and an outer end 140b. As will be appreciated a roof rafter may be alternately be termed a sloped chord, an inclined chord, a top chord, and various combinations thereof. In a worker housing module, the distance d that outer end 140b projects beyond the outer wall 12 on which it is supported may be minimized to reduce the effective projected size, also termed an overhang, of the structure's eave and thereby the width of the unit from interface I to outer end 140b. For example, as shown in the illustrated embodiment, the eave may be almost non-existent with overhang distance d being near 0. As noted, this arrangement may be selected to ensure that the worker housing units remain below the width acceptable for transport and with the major portion of their width defining the inner living space and wall structural requirements. Generally, a unit for transport including any eave thereon should be of a width w of less than 14 feet or possibly equal to or less than 12.5 feet.

When converting such worker units and modules to a residential dwelling, it may be desirable to change the appearance of the structure, for example, to less resemble a worker housing unit/module and/or to more closely resemble a standard house. One method of altering the appearance of the worker housing is to extend the projecting distance d of the eaves. With reference to FIG. 2, for example, the roof may be extended adjacent outer ends 140b of the rafters to increase the eave projection to a distance dext such that the structure may resemble a standard residential house. The extended length of the roof can, most conveniently, be increased by adding to the lengths of the roof rafters 140 and/or the roof sheathing 144, and/or by connecting an extension thereto and/or to the outer wall 12. For example, extensions such as boards 146 (as shown), metal tubes, sheathing, supports, etc. may be connected to the rafters, the sheathing and/or the outer wall by fasteners 148 (as shown), connectors, adhesives, straps, clips, webs, braces, etc.

In one embodiment, a worker housing structure including a roof rafter may be converted to a residence for a secondary purpose, by exposing an outboard end of a roof rafter, connecting a roof rafter extension to extend beyond the existing roof rafter end to create a roof eave projection on the structure. Thereafter, the roof rafter extension may be sheathed with any of roof sheathing, roofing, facia, soffit, etc.

To expose the roof rafter outboard end 140b, the existing facia 150 (FIG. 1), eaves trough, trim, roofing, etc. may have to be removed in whole or in part.

The roof rafter extension may be prepared on site as by cuffing boards (2×4, 2×6, wood, metal or polymeric rods, tubes, etc.) which are then secured to the structure. Alternately, in one embodiment, fabricated extensions may be used that are formed in a condition ready for securing to the exposed ends of the rafters.

With reference to FIGS. 3 and 4, an eave extension 156 is illustrated for extending the length of the eave on a structure such as is shown in FIG. 1 including a roof rafter 140 with an end 140b. The eave extension may include a roof sheathing support surface 160 and a connector, an example of same is described below, for securing to the structure to position the roof sheathing support surface in a position extending from the existing roof rafter end 140b.

In the illustrated embodiment, eave extension 156 is formed of a length of board 164 forming a roof sheathing support surface 160 and a pair of rigid surface webs 166, formed of material such as boards, wood sheeting, plywood, metal, structural plastic, straps, clips, brackets, etc., connected on either side of the board and extending therefrom to form an opening 162 between the webs extending beyond board 164. The opening 162 creates a slot that acts as a connector so that the extension can be positioned over end 140b of a rafter and secured thereon as by use of fasteners 148. In particular, when outer end wall/roof materials are removed, rafter end 140b is exposed with a space on either side. Webs 166 can be placed on either side of the exposed rafter so that the rafter extends into opening 162 and the webs are adjacent the rafter so that fasteners can be secured therethrough into the rafter, to secure the extension to the exposed end of the rafter.

Extension 156 including board 164 and webs 166 can be formed to permit the extension to fit onto and extend from the existing rafters for example to substantially follow a pitch corresponding to the existing roof pitch and a size to work with the original structure. For example, in one embodiment, board 164 can be selected to correspond with any required roof engineering parameters and opening 162 can be selected to fit easily over end 140b of the rafter on which it is to be installed. Board 164 may have an end 164b formed as by, for example, shaping, cutting and/or angling to butt against an end face 140c of rafter end 140b such that, as will be appreciated, the materials can be formed to transfer load such as to support the extension and any weight placed thereon. Webs 166 can be mounted on board 164 to urge installation of the extension to the rafter along a corresponding roof pitch. For example, the upper edge of webs 166 can extend from board 164 at an angle α relative to end 164a that corresponds with the roof pitch angle β (FIG. 1) in the structure on which the extension is to be installed.

Since the worker housing structures can be constructed with a plan for conversion, eave extensions may be prefabricated with consideration to the structure parameters such as rafter size, roof pitch, original and desired eave projected distance, etc.

If desired, as illustrated, extension 156 includes a soffit support surface 170, for example, provided by a lower board 172. A facia support surface 174 may also or alternately be provided, as by approximately forming ends of boards 164 and/or 172. Webs 166 may be formed to also secure lower board 172 or lower board 172 may be secured in some way to board 164.

If desired, a lateral support surface 176 may be provided to transfer load to an end of truss 104 or against side wall 12. A notch may be formed in the eave extension to allow installation of same with a lateral support surface. For example, webs 166 may extend out beyond lateral support surface 176 to ensure that there is sufficient material forming opening 162 to allow the extension to be slipped over the end of the rafter. Lateral support surface 176 can therefore be stepped back from the extension of webs 166 to extend adjacent or against an end of truss 104 or against outer wall 12.

The previous description of the disclosed embodiments is provided to enable any person skilled in the art to make or use the present invention. Various modifications to those embodiments will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the generic principles defined herein may be applied to other embodiments without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Thus, the present invention is not intended to be limited to the embodiments shown herein, but is to be accorded the full scope consistent with the claims, wherein reference to an element in the singular, such as by use of the article “a” or “an” is not intended to mean “one and only one” unless specifically so stated, but rather “one or more”. All structural and functional equivalents to the elements of the various embodiments described throughout the disclosure that are known or later come to be known to those of ordinary skill in the art are intended to be encompassed by the elements of the claims. Moreover, nothing disclosed herein is intended to be dedicated to the public regardless of whether such disclosure is explicitly recited in the claims. No claim element is to be construed under the provisions of 35 USC 112, sixth paragraph, unless the element is expressly recited using the phrase “means for” or “step for”.





 
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