Title:
Building-above-land for protecting vegetation and environment
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A change from building-on-land to building-above-land reserves land (12) for vegetation (16A, 16B, 16C) the earth's solar system, and natural environment. High columns (26A, 26C) are mainly for short vegetation (16B) to grow under buildings (18A, 18C, 18D, 18E). Low columns (26B) are mainly for tall and extra tall vegetation (16A, 16C) to grow over buildings (18B, 18C, 18D, 18E). High columns (26A, 26C) and low columns (26B) can support buildings (18C, 18D) together and reserve land (12) for different vegetation (16A, 16C, 16B). Columns (26A, 26B, 26C) can be developed into various supporting structures (52A, 52B, 52C, 52D) and supporting-greenhouses (54A, 54B, 54C) that can create indoor ecosystem, reduce cost for heating, increase arable land in barren areas, and keep conventional building styles, conveniences and privacy. Substitutes (26E, 26D, 34″, 54D) are also available to support roads (24A, 24B) and building (18F). Columns can support most architectural structures, keep natural environment in cities, and reduce pollution and global warming. Building-above-land can attract people to live near working places, shorten commuting distances, cut budgets, and align human activities with the design of Mother Nature. Building-above-land is financially acceptable.



Inventors:
Sun, Yijing (Dublin, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/484515
Publication Date:
01/17/2008
Filing Date:
07/11/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GILBERT, WILLIAM V
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Yijing Sun (Dublin, OH, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A method for protecting environment, comprising: constructing a support to keep a building above a plot of land and reserve said land for vegetation and the solar system of the earth, whereby a change from building-on-land to building-above-land allows vegetation to transform solar energy, absorb heat, produce oxygen, produce food, adjust climate, clean atmosphere, reduce pollution, feed wild animals, and provide pleasant surroundings on said land for humans to enjoy both architectural achievements and natural environment.

2. The method for protecting environment of claim 1 wherein said land can: (a) retain its original vegetation, remain in its state, and further be improved with horticultural and agricultural techniques if necessary; (b) retain vegetation for forests; (c) retain vegetables and crops for farmland; (d) restore vegetation to downtown areas.

3. The method for protecting environment of claim 1 wherein said building can be designed in different sizes, shapes, and styles to satisfy humans and allow sufficient vegetation to get sunlight and grow on said land.

4. The method for protecting environment of claim 1 wherein said building can have: (a) windows installed on the eastern side and the sunny side of said building for privacy in a neighborhood; (b) skylights installed for improving ventilation; (c) basement built under the top layer of said land for vegetation.

5. The method for protecting environment of claim 1 wherein said support is: (a) selected from the group comprising columns, piles, piers, beams, supporting structures, and supporting-greenhouses to support said building; (b) made out of qualified building materials according to building codes and constructed with legal architectural techniques.

6. The method for protecting environment of claim 1 wherein said support can position said building at different heights for vegetation to grow under and/or over said building.

7. The method for protecting environment of claim 1 wherein said support can position: (a) said building above vegetation; (b) said building under branches of vegetation; (c) part of said building above shorter vegetation and part of said building under branches of taller vegetation.

8. The method for protecting environment of claim 1 wherein said support can support a part of said building above a part of said land for vegetation and the solar system of the earth when said building cannot be totally built above said land for certain reasons.

9. The method for protecting environment of claim 1 wherein said support has designs to support: (a) a road above ground in downtown areas to restore land to vegetation and the solar system of the earth; (b) a road above ground in downtown areas to reserve land for vegetation and the solar system of the earth; (c) architectural structures above ground to restore land to vegetation and the solar system of the earth; (d) architectural structures above ground to reserve land for vegetation and the solar system of the earth.

10. The method for protecting environment of claim 5 wherein said columns play a key role in providing: (a) a means for protecting vegetation and the solar system of the earth, the root of human life; (b) a means for protecting the supplier of energy, oxygen and healthy environment; (c) a means for absorbing heat, reducing global warming, and adjusting climate; (d) a means for cleaning atmosphere, reducing pollution, and conserving water; (e) a means for getting fresh vegetables, fruits, and flowers around said building, and reducing shopping, trading, packaging, transportation, refrigeration, energy consumption and pollution; (f) a means for reserving and increasing natural surroundings for work, living, exercise, hobby, leisure time and health; (g) a means for easy access to said building; (h) an educational means for accessing natural environment and loving the blessing of Mother Nature; (i) a means for protecting wild animals; (j) a means for building cities and keeping natural environment in cities; (k) a means for convenience of update, remodel, maintenance, and relocation of said building; (l) a means for reducing temperature in cities and cutting expenditure on air conditioning; (m) a means for increasing arable land, vegetation and livable areas in barren areas; (n) a means for attracting people to live near working places in short commuting distances; (O) a means for reducing traffic, accidents, energy consumption, pollution, global warming, health problems and many other problems; (p) a means for aligning human activities with the design of Mother Nature; (q) a means for increasing jobs in line with the design of Mother Nature and reducing jobs violating the design of Mother Nature; (r) a means for improving relationship between man and nature; (s) a means for reducing natural disasters; (t) a means for improving relationships among human beings; (u) a means for accepting, enjoying, and taking care of the blessing of Mother Nature.

11. The method for protecting environment of claim 10 wherein said short commuting distances provide: (a) a means for saving time and energy on commuting; (b) a means for increasing leisure time; (c) a means for reducing pollution and global warming; (d) a means for reducing traffic accidents and other traffic problems; (e) a means for cutting family expenditure and government budget on administration, gasoline supply, highway control, insurance, security, environment protection, health care and other aspects; (f) a means for reserving land for vegetation, agriculture, natural environment, and other species of life.

12. The method for protecting environment of claim 5 wherein said supporting-greenhouse has sufficient transparent surfaces and sufficient space for vegetation to get sufficient sunlight in a temperature controlled environment, and supply warm fresh air to said building.

13. The method for protecting environment of claim 12 wherein said supporting-greenhouse provides: (a) a means for establishing an indoor ecosystem; (b) a solar energy heater that supplies warm fresh air to said building and disposes of carbon dioxide from said building through vents; (c) a means for simplifying ventilation facilities (d) a means for reducing energy consumption and cost for heating; (e) a means for living in barren area; (f) a means for extending the solar system of the earth; (g) a means for increasing working season and hours of vegetation and the solar system of the earth; (h) a means for making said building similar to a building on land in privacy and appearance, and easy to be accepted by the public.

14. The method for protecting environment of claim 13 wherein said vents are closable screen vents installed mainly on sunny side and sunless side between said supporting-greenhouse and said building for adjustable air circulation and prevention of insects and animals.

15. Method building-above-land for protecting the solar system of the earth, comprising: (a) reserving a plot of land and spaces on said land for sufficient vegetation to get sunlight and grow on said land, (b) constructing an architectural structure above said land and beyond said spaces with columns to ensure sufficient sunlight to said vegetation.

16. The method building-above-land for protecting environment of claim 15 wherein said columns can be developed into various supporting structures and supporting-greenhouses, and have substitutes available.

17. The method building-above-land for protecting environment of claim 15 wherein said columns can support a part of said architectural structure above a part of said land based on a principle that the more percentage of said land is reserved for vegetation, the more solar energy can be transformed and deposited by the solar system of the earth, and a little piece of said land reserved for vegetation is better than nothing reserved for vegetation and the solar system of the earth.

18. An environment-protecting instrument comprising: a. under ground part that reserves land for vegetation and provides a foundation, and b. above ground part that is based on said foundation to reserve spaces and sunlight for vegetation and directly support an architectural structure above said land and beyond said spaces for said vegetation to get sunlight, whereby a historical conflict between building and vegetation can be solved.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

Not Applicable

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

Not Applicable

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention relates to the field of construction, specifically to building-above-land which reserves land for vegetation, the solar system of the earth, and natural environment to reduce pollution and global warming.

2. Prior Art

Conventionally, buildings, roads, and cities are built on land instead of above land and take land away from vegetation. Due to the rapid urbanization since the 20th century, architectural structures have caused a substantial loss of fertile land and severally damaged the solar system of the earth.

The earth is like a huge space station which is the prime home building of us, human beings. The atmosphere is its roof and all vegetation growing on the surface of the earth composes its solar system. Vegetation transforms solar energy and provides us with food oxygen, wood, coal, animals, and oil. During the procedure, vegetation absorbs heat and carbon dioxide, clean air and water, reduce pollution, and adjust climate. These functions are critical and these “free lunches” are more important than human products. It is suicide to take land away from vegetation and damage the solar system of the earth.

Conventional buildings are built on land and in the way of sunlight for vegetation. They have severely bothered the work of the solar system of the earth, and brought about a series of deterioration. When natural environment is swept out by construction in urban areas, even we ourselves do not like to live in cities that we build. In order to live close to natural environment, many people move out of towns. As a result, long commuting distances need more fertile lands for roads, more natural environment are destroyed, and a lot of time and energy are wasted on long commuting without any fun. Tremendous money, labor, and materials are spent for gasoline supply, traffic control and insurance. Heavy traffic further increases environmental pollution, global warming, and health problems. It does not make sense to bury land and natural environment right under buildings, cities and our feet, and then drive a long distance every day to live out of town for natural environment.

A conventional building on land also causes an unhealthy indoor-condition. No matter how nice a building is oxygen is the most critical necessity of life—lack of oxygen for only a few minutes will kill a human life, while lack of water and food needs several days even several weeks to end a human life. A conventional building on land takes land away from vegetation, reduces the resource of oxygen, and further separates dwellers from outside air. Though ventilation facilities are widely installed, they are simply unable to play the role of vegetation and produce fresh air for good health.

Environment pollution and global warming have aroused concerns worldwide. Inventors have presented methods to incorporate vegetation in structures and urban settings. However, none of inventions have been found able to stop buildings, roads and cities from taking land away from vegetation and natural environment.

U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,135,330 to Aoyama (1979), 5,287,650 to Moriguchi et al. (1994), 5,608,989 (1997), and 5,724,766 (1998), both to Behrens, disclose rooftop gardens that let vegetation grow on flat roofs. U.S. Pat. No. 4,800,675 to Feil et al. (1989) shows a method that uses roofing plate for vegetation to grow on rooftops. U.S. Pat. No. 4,918,889 to Lundstrom et al. (1990) discloses a design that arranges garden areas on stories of a high-rise building.

Vegetation retaining walls that let vegetation grow on walls have also been proposed—for example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,295,296 to Kinghom (1981), 4,665,647 to Behrens et al. (1987), 5,257,476 (1993), 5,579,603 (1996), both to Fukuzumi, 5,484,234 to Worden (1996), 5,647,695 to Hilfiker et al. (1997), 5,836,126 to Harkenrider et al. (1998), 6,725,601 to Chick (2004), belong to this group of inventions.

These inventions cannot change the convention of building-on-land that takes land away from vegetation. Buildings, roads, and cities are still in the way of sunlight for vegetation, and the earth's solar system is increasingly damaged. The speed and scale that these inventions add vegetation on to roofs and walls cannot compare with the speed and scale that buildings, roads and cities conquer land and destroy natural environment worldwide. The following several disadvantages limit these inventions.

Roofs, walls, and stories are not the natural places for vegetation to grow. A big number of plants cannot be planted on those architectural structures. Also, extra costs are inevitable. Soil has to be moved upstairs, buildings must be solid enough to carry added weight of soil, water and vegetation, and roofs and walls need special design and extra maintenance. As the result, these inventions cannot convince the public and builders.

Another disadvantage of these inventions is the limited species of vegetation that can grow on roofs, stories and walls. Definitely, big trees and forests cannot grow on roofs, stories and walls. All these inventions do not let vegetation grow on land naturally and make things more complicated. Therefore, the historical conflict between architectural structures and vegetation is still there, and conventional building-on-land keeps damaging the solar system of the earth. These inventions cannot cut the root cause of many problems and deeply influence many aspects such as transportation, energy consumption, agriculture, forestry, environmental protection, insurance, security, economy, budget cut, health, values, education, leisure time, and wild life protection.

In certain areas such as southeast coasts in America and southwest rural areas in China, some buildings are built above land with some support structures. However, those buildings built above land are not to reserve land for vegetation and the solar system of the earth, but to protect the buildings and dwellers against storm, tide, moisture and wild animals. The land under those buildings is usually covered with concrete for parking, storage or some other purposes. Those buildings, in fact, still take land away from vegetation. Intersecting roads are also built above land with supporting structures, while the land under those roads is not reserved for vegetation and environment either.

The techniques of building above land have been there, while the concept and the sense of reserving land for vegetation and the solar system of the earth are missed. Therefore, the techniques have not been used to protect land, vegetation and the earth's solar system. On a plot of land and property, the most valuable things are not man-made buildings, but the land and vegetation that Mother Nature designed for us. Indeed, a conventional building on land just takes a piece of land away from the solar system of the earth, while millions and millions of conventional buildings on land have taken millions and millions of acres of land away from vegetation and severely damaged the solar system of the earth. Conventional buildings on land have been seriously bothering our energy supplier's work and causing global warming. The prime home building designed and built by Mother Nature for us has been severely polluted and damaged.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

Accordingly, several objects and advantages of my invention are:

    • (a) to provide buildings above the surface of the earth to reserve land for vegetation and the solar system of the earth;
    • (b) to provide buildings above land that can convince the public of the necessity and benefits of the change from building-on-land to building-above-land;
    • (c) to let various vegetation of all sizes grow on land instead of on walls or on roofs;
    • (d) to provide buildings above land that retain conventional easy access, conveniences, facilities, and privacy;
    • (e) to provide buildings above land with good sunshine and other conventional comforts;
    • (f) to be able to provide supports costing no more than conventional foundations to support buildings above land for vegetation;
    • (g) to be able to position buildings at different heights for different vegetation to grow under and/or over the buildings;
    • (h) to provide a variety of supports that can keep a variety of architectural structures above the surface of the earth to reserve land and water for vegetation;
    • (i) to provide columns that can be developed into various supporting structures and supporting-greenhouses;
    • (j) to be able to let people enjoy nature environment at home and in cities;
    • (k) to be able to produce fresh vegetables, fruit, and flowers downstairs and reduce shopping, trading, packaging, transportation, refrigeration, pollution and expenditure;
    • (l) to be able to use water that has been used in a building above land to irrigate vegetation, conserve water, and reduce water pollution;
    • (m) to provide an education program for children and adults to access and love land, vegetation, and natural environment, the root of life and the products of Mother Nature;
    • (n) to provide supporting-greenhouses that make buildings above land similar to buildings on land in appearance, style, and privacy;
    • (o) to provide supporting-greenhouses that create indoor ecosystems for buildings above land;
    • (p) to provide supporting-greenhouses that supply warm fresh air to buildings above land and reduces heating cost;
    • (q) to provide supporting-greenhouses that increase arable land, livable areas, and working hours of vegetation;
    • (r) to provide supporting-greenhouses that extend the solar system of the earth;
    • (s) to provide a way to develop a city and keep natural environment in a city,
    • (t) to provide convenience to maintenance, update and relocation of a building;
    • (u) to provide pretty living areas for people to live near working places;
    • (v) to shorten commuting distance, save time and energy on commuting, increase leisure time, reduce pollution and global warming, reduce traffic accidents and problems, cut family expenditure and government budget (on administration, gasoline supply, highway control, insurance, security, environment protection, health care, etc.), and keep more land for vegetation, agriculture, natural environment, and other species of life;
    • (w) to reduce global warming;
    • (x) to remove a historical conflict between buildings and vegetation;
    • (y) to align human activities with the design of Mother Nature to improve the relationship between man and nature and the relationships among humans.

Further objects and advantages of my invention will become apparent from a consideration of the drawings and ensuing description.

SUMMARY

In accordance with the present invention, building-above-land can reserve land for vegetation. Columns play a key role in supporting a building above land to reserve the land for the solar system of the earth. Therefore, the historical conflict between buildings and vegetation can be solved, and we can enjoy architectural achievements without damaging natural environment.

In the drawings, closely related figures have the same number but different suffixes. The drawings only present buildings located on the Northern Hemisphere to illustrate windows installed in the eastern side and the southern side. All the following drawings are not to scale.

DRAWINGS—FIGURES

FIG. 1A and FIG. 1B are a perspective view and a side view of a building above land with high columns supporting it above short vegetation.

FIGS. 1C, 1D, and 1E are perspective views of three high supporting structures developed from high columns.

FIG. 2A is a perspective view of a building above land with low columns supporting it for tall vegetation to grow over it (tall vegetation is not shown).

FIG. 2B is a back view of the building above land illustrated in FIG. 2A under the branches of tall vegetation.

FIG. 2C is a perspective view of a low supporting structure developed from low columns.

FIG. 3A is a side view of a building above land, part under the branches of tall vegetation and part above short vegetation, with low columns and high columns supporting it.

FIG. 3B is a top view of the building above land shown in FIG. 3A, part under the branches of tall vegetation and part above short vegetation.

FIG. 3C is a perspective view of a supporting structure that is a combination of a low supporting structure and a high supporting structure.

FIG. 3D is a side view of a building above land, part under the branches of extra tall vegetation and part above short vegetation, with low columns and high columns supporting it.

FIG. 3E is a top view of the building above land shown in FIG. 3D, part under the branches of extra tall vegetation and part above short vegetation.

FIG. 3F is a side view of a building, part on land and part above land for vegetation with the support of high columns.

FIG. 4A is a perspective view of a building above land with a supporting-greenhouse supporting it.

FIG. 4B is a perspective view of a supporting-greenhouse.

FIG. 4C is a top view of closable screen vents installed on the sunny side and sunless side between the building and the supporting-greenhouse illustrated in FIG. 4A.

FIG. 4D is a side view of a building above land with low columns and a supporting-greenhouse supporting it for tall vegetation and short vegetation.

FIG. 4E is a side view of a building above land with low columns and a supporting-greenhouse supporting it for extra tall vegetation and short vegetation.

FIG. 5A is a perspective view of a section of a road above land with footers, low piers, and beams supporting it for tall vegetation to grow over it (guard rails and tall vegetation are not shown).

FIG. 5B is a cross-sectional view of the section of the road shown in FIG. 5A under the branches of tall vegetation (guard rails are not shown).

FIG. 5C is a top view of the section of the road illustrated in FIG. 5A under the branches of tall vegetation (guard rails are not shown).

FIG. 5D is a perspective view of a section of a road above land with footers, high piers, and beams supporting it for short vegetation. (guard rails are not shown).

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a building above land with the support of a supporting-greenhouse developed from a beam structure.

DRAWINGS—REFERENCE NUMERALS

    • 12 land
    • 16A tall vegetation
    • 16B short vegetation
    • 16C extra tall vegetation
    • 18A building above land and vegetation
    • 18B building above land and under the branches of vegetation
    • 18C building above land, part above shorter vegetation and part under the branches of taller vegetation
    • 18D building above land, part above shorter vegetation and part under the branches of extra tall vegetation
    • 18E building partially above land
    • 18F building above land supported with a beam structure
    • 20 window
    • 22 skylight
    • 23A stairs
    • 23B steps
    • 24A road above land with low supports
    • 24B road above land with high supports
    • 26A high column having pile foundation 26B low column having pile foundation
    • 26C high column
    • 26D high pier
    • 26E low pier
    • 30 footing
    • 30′ footer for low pier
    • 30″ footer for high pier
    • 31 foundation
    • 32 slab
    • 34 beam
    • 34″ beam having under ground portion 34′ beam for road
    • 46 window frame
    • 48 glass
    • 49 floor of building
    • 50A closeable screen vent on sunny side
    • 50B closeable screen vent on sunless side
    • 52A shed-shaped high supporting structure
    • 52B frame-shaped high supporting structure
    • 52C low supporting structure
    • 52D a combination of a low supporting structure and a high supporting structure
    • 53 opening for stairs
    • 54A supporting-greenhouse developed from high columns
    • 54B supporting-greenhouse supporting a higher part of a building above land
    • 54C supporting-greenhouse supporting a part of a building
    • 54D supporting-greenhouse developed for beams
    • 55 under ground part of a building

DETAILED DESCRIPTION—FIGS. 1A-1E—BASIC EMBODIMENT

All embodiments of the present invention are made out of qualified materials according to building codes and constructed with legal architectural techniques. A support supporting a building above land for vegetation is at the very core of all embodiments of the present invention, while columns play a key role. A support is composed of an under ground part and an above ground part. The under ground part retains sufficient soil of a plot of land for vegetation and provides a foundation to the above ground part. The above ground part ensures spaces and sunlight to vegetation and provides a direct support to a building. As long as building codes are obeyed and sufficient soil, space, and sunlight are reserved for sufficient vegetation, a support and a building on it can be designed and constructed variously. Through application of existing architectural technology, this invention embodies the values of land, space, sunlight, and vegetation in its all embodiments. All building materials and architectural techniques applied are familiar to architects and builders. How to apply the familiar building materials and architectural techniques to retain and involve the natural functions of land, space, sunlight, and vegetation is the core and spirit of this invention. I presently prefer that most components of a support are molded from concrete with reinforcement steel embedded in the concrete. Timber should be used as less as possible.

The basic embodiment of building-above-land of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 1A (perspective view) and FIG. 1B (side view). The underground portions of high columns 26A are vertically driven into land 12 in certain depth for foundation. Normally, columns 26A as well as columns used in the same way in the following embodiments are driven deeply to refusal or resistance. The drawings are not to scale and do not show the total depths. The portions of high columns 26A remaining on land 12 is high and strong enough to support building 18A above land 12 and vegetation 16B, and ensure sufficient space and sunlight to short vegetation 16B. To keep a reasonable height of high columns 26A above land 12, short vegetation 16B such as vegetables, low fruit trees, and bushes are selected. Short vegetation 16B can be original plants retained on land 12 or planted. If tall trees have to be selected, the height of high columns 26A above ground needs to be high enough for the tall trees to get sufficient space and sunlight unless they are frequently trimmed.

To transform sunlight shining down on land 12, sufficient vegetation is needed. When land 12 is a plot of barren land and plants need to be planted, the soil of land 12 should be improved. When land 12 has vegetation growing on it, it can remain in its state, and further be improved with horticultural and agricultural techniques if necessary. When original vegetation on land 12 is tall vegetation, low supports and low buildings can be selected. Low embodiments will be illustrated later.

The number and size of high columns 26A depend on building codes, and spaces and sunlight for short vegetation 16B. The higher the above ground portions of high columns 26A are the more spaces short vegetation 16B can get. However, the stability, cost, and appearance of building 18A will be influenced. The horizontal dimensions of building 18A can cooperate with high columns 26A to shorten the heights on ground and ensure spaces and sunlight to short vegetation 16B. To keep building 18A above land 12 at a reasonable height, one horizontal dimension of building 18A can be reasonably limited to certain length while the other can be used to increase square feet. This limitation will be solved in following embodiments. When the limited horizontal dimension of building 18A is from the north to the south, the height of high columns 26A above ground and the limited horizontal dimension of building 18A should ensure sufficient sunlight to short vegetation 16B in summer. The point is that short vegetation 16B should be able to get sufficient sunlight all year round. When the limited horizontal dimension of building 18A is from the east to the west, season and attitude are not two factors related to sunlight for vegetation 16B. For the same reason, stairs 23A should also be installed out of the way of sunlight for low vegetation 16B.

If building 18A is a family house or a small building, windows 20 can be installed only on the sunny side and the eastern side. Skylights 22 can improve ventilation when no windows installed on the western side and sunless side. This way makes windows of buildings avoid facing to each other and increase privacy in a neighborhood. Most people do not like to live too closely and lose privacy, and too far away either and feel lonely. Windows installed in this way provide ideal distances for people to live together and keep privacy. Private natural surroundings and peaceful neighborhood can let people live close to reduce long commuting distances. When building 18A is a big building or people want to have windows in all directions, windows can still be installed on all sides.

Building 18A can be a high-rise multi-storey building and the height does not influence sunlight for short vegetation 16B. However, high building 18A does cause large shade. Though some plants can live in shade, a reasonable vertical dimension of building 18A is recommended to reduce the influence on nearby vegetation growing around building 18A.

FIG. 1C is a perspective view of four high columns 26A that support building 18A illustrated in FIG. 1A. Columns can be developed into various supporting structures.

FIG. 1D is a perspective view of high supporting structure 52A which is developed from high columns 26A shown in FIG. 1C with slab 32 horizontally connected to their tops. The horizontal dimensions of slab 32 can be longer or shorter than their corresponding dimensions of a building located on it as long as building codes are obeyed and vegetation can get sufficient sunlight to grow on land 12 under lab 32.

FIG. 1E is a perspective view of another high supporting structure 52B. High columns 26C have replaced high columns 26A illustrated in FIGS. 1C and 1D. High columns 26C are different from high columns 26A and based on foundation 31 and footing 30 constructed under ground on land 12. High columns 26C and four horizontal beams 34 that have replaced slab 32 illustrated in FIG. 1D constitute frame-shaped high supporting structure 52B. Different from conventional foundations, foundation 31 and footing 30 retain the soil of land 12 for vegetation. The soil of land 12 can be deepened and improved to compensate for the portion of land 12 used for foundation 31 and footing 30.

Space under footing 30 and foundation 31 is available for constructing basement as long as the top layer of land 12 is deep enough for the roots of vegetation.

Supporting structures are not limited to these three embodiments. The foundations of columns and supporting structures can be designed variously as long as sufficient soil is reserved for vegetation and building codes are obeyed. The above ground structures of columns and supporting structures can also be designed differently as long as sufficient space and sunlight are ensured to vegetation and building codes are obeyed. A supporting structure can also be designed to support a number of buildings and other architectural structures as long as building codes are obeyed and the land under the supporting structure is reserved for vegetation.

Trimming and removing some weak and unhealthy vegetation among crowded woods are useful horticultural techniques to create spaces for buildings above land. The premise is that trimmed vegetation can keep growing healthy and sufficient vegetation is retained on land to transform solar energy.

Operation—FIGS. 1A-1E

One critical function of land is its vegetation-nurturing function. One critical function of vegetation is its solar-energy-transforming function. The most critical function of building-above-land is retaining the critical functions of both land and vegetation. All vegetation growing on the surface of the earth composes the solar system of the earth, the root of human life. Building-above-land of this invention is to protect the root of human life.

Columns play a key role in building-above-land of this invention to support a building above a plot of land and reserve the land for vegetation and the solar system of earth. Columns can be developed into various supporting structures and supporting-greenhouses. Substitutes such as piles, piers, and beams are also available. Supporting-greenhouses can be developed from high columns, high supporting structures, and other high supports.

As shown in FIG. 1A, the under ground portions of high columns 26A work as piles and retain soil for vegetation. The above ground portions of high columns 26A directly support building 18A above land 12 and ensure space and sunlight to low vegetation 16B. Building 18A provides horizontal reinforcement to sustain high columns 26A against the horizontal forces such as wind and seismic forces. This kind of pile foundation can protect and reserve land 12 well for vegetation. However, the cost is high.

As shown in FIG. 1D, land 12 supports high columns 26A, and high columns 26A support slab 32. Slab 32 provides horizontal reinforcement to supporting structure 52A and will directly carries a building above land 12. One horizontal dimension of slab 32 can be adjusted to certain length to reduce the height of supporting structure 52A. The other horizontal dimension of slab 32 can be extended to increase square feet.

A building located on slab 32 is separated from moisture in land 12. Also access to the bottom of the building becomes easy. So, maintenance, update, remodel, and relocation of the building above land become easy. That will be helpful for people to update and remodel their buildings at their locations instead of moving away for new models and increasing commuting distances.

As shown in FIG. 1E, foundation 31 and under ground portions of columns 26C joint together to provide a support to the above ground part of structure 52B and retain soil for vegetation. Footing 30 disperses the weight of supporting structure 52B and its load. Foundation 31 also protects the soil surrounded by foundation 31. In cold areas and cold season, foundation 31 can help to keep the soil at a necessary temperature with supporting-greenhouse which will be discussed later. Beams 34 provide horizontal reinforcement against the horizontal forces and will directly carry a building above land 12. Supporting structure 52B uses more land than supporting structure 52A shown in FIG. 1D. Fortunately, deepening and improving the soil of land 12 can compensate for the portion of land 12 for foundation 31 and footing 30. One advantage is that foundation 31 and footing 30 cost less than the foundation of supporting structure 52A shown in FIG. 1D.

All embodiments of supporting structure discussed above have two basic functions: supporting a building above land and reserving the land for vegetation. The land can keep its natural function to nurture vegetation, and vegetation can work on the land to transform solar energy and produce fresh air, vegetables, fruits, crops, and flowers for us. Therefore, related shopping, trading, packaging, transportation, refrigeration, energy consumption and pollution can be reduced. Vegetation also absorbs heat, reduces global warming, adjusts climate, cleans atmosphere, reduces pollution, conserves water and provides healthy natural surroundings that are good for health, work, living, exercise, hobby, leisure time, education and peace. A healthy and pleasant natural environment at home let residents, especially children to access and love land, vegetation, fresh air, wild life, and other products of nature and/or god.

Columns can cost no more than a conventional foundation of a building on land and supporting structures are also financially affordable. What they protect is the solar system of earth, the root of human life, and the design of Mother Nature. These embodiments of this invention illustrate how to apply existing architectural technology to embody the values and retain the functions of the products of Mother Nature. When natural environment, nice buildings, and peaceful neighborhood are available in cities, people do not need to live out of town and tolerate long commuting distances. Consequently, reduced traffic will reduce pollution, health problems, global warming, traffic accidents, energy problems, budget, and waste of time. When land keeps nurturing vegetation and sufficient vegetation can work for us, jobs violating the design of Mother Nature can be reduced and leisure time will increase. Enjoyable and significant jobs in line with the design of Mother Nature can also increase. On the contrary, when less and less land and vegetation work for us, and the solar system of the earth is damaged, endless environmental problems, health problems, social problems, and unnecessary painful and destructive jobs inevitably drive us crazy, since we violate the design and reject the blessing of Mother Nature.

FIGS. 2A-4C—Alternative Embodiments

Another embodiment of building-above-land of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 2A (perspective view without vegetation) and FIG. 2B (back view including vegetation). The underground portions of low columns 26B are vertically driven into land 12 in certain depth for foundation. The portions of low columns 26B remaining on land 12 are low to position building 18B above land 12 but under the branches of tall vegetation 16A. Reasonable trim applied to tall vegetation 16A can increase space for building 18B and help the growth of tall vegetation 16A. Some weak and unhealthy vegetation can be removed from crowded forests for spaces of building 18B and health of tall vegetation 16A. The premise is that the branches of tall vegetation 16A are sufficient to cover building 18B and transform sunlight shinning down on land 12. Low columns 26B and steps 23B also provide as easy access to building 18B as to a building on land. Fences can be installed between low columns 26B for security purpose.

One horizontal dimension of building 18B can be limited to certain acceptable length for the branches of tall vegetation 16A to cover building 18B. Another horizontal dimension of building 18B can be used to increase the square feet of building 18B. Building 18B cannot be very high since its height is limited by tall vegetation 16A. However, for most family houses, spaces under the branches of tall vegetation are high enough. Extra tall vegetation provides more spaces than tall vegetation and the portions of low columns 26B remaining on land 12 can be high enough for low vegetation such as mushrooms and grass to grow on land 12 under building 18B.

FIG. 2C shows low supporting structure 52C that can be used to support building 18B illustrated in FIGS. 2A and 2B. All high supporting structures have their corresponding low supporting structures. Different from high columns, high supporting structures, and supporting-greenhouses, low columns and low supporting structures are mainly used to reserve land for tall and extra tall vegetation and forests. Low columns and low supporting structures also provide easy access to buildings above land.

Another alternative embodiment of building-above-land of this invention is illustrated in FIG. 3A (side view). A combination of low columns 26B and high columns 26A supports building 18C. Low columns 26B position the low part of building 18C under the branches of tall vegetation 16A, and high columns 26A support the high part of building 18C for low vegetation 16B to get sufficient sunlight and space to grow under the high part of building 18C. As shown in FIG. 3B, the branches of tall vegetation 16A cover the low part of building 18C and low vegetation 16B grows under the high part of building 18C. Therefore, land 12 is well covered by vegetation and solar energy on land 12 can be well used by vegetation 16B and 16A, while building 18C can get good shine and be easy of access. FIG. 3C shows supporting structure 52D that is a combination of a low supporting structure and a high supporting structure to support a building like building 18C shown in FIG. 3A and FIG. 3B. A number of supporting structures can also be combined together as long as they are not in the way of each other for sunlight.

Another alternative embodiment of building-above-land of the present invention is shown in FIG. 3D (side view) and FIG. 3E (top view). This embodiment is similar to the embodiment shown in FIG. 3A and FIG. 3B. The difference is that building 18D has more square feet than building 18C shown in FIG. 3A and FIG. 3B since extra tall vegetation 16C provides more spaces under the branches than tall vegetation 16A.

FIG. 3F shows an embodiment that building 18E has only a part supported above land 12 with columns 26A and land 12 has only a part reserved for vegetation 16C and the solar system of the earth. The under ground part 55 of building 18E takes a part of land 12 away from vegetation 16C. When a building cannot be totally built above land for certain reasons, this embodiment can be used. The principle of this invention is that the more percentage of a plot of land is reserved for vegetation, the more solar energy can be transformed and deposited by the solar system of the earth, and a little piece of the land reserved for vegetation is better than nothing reserved for vegetation. This embodiment plays the role and reserves a percentage of a plot of land for vegetation and the solar system of the earth.

FIG. 4A shows another alternative embodiment of building-above-land of this invention. Building 18A is based on supporting-greenhouse 54A that is developed from high columns 26A illustrated in FIG. 1C. High columns, high supporting structures, other high supports can be developed into supporting-greenhouses. Four beams 34 are connected to four high columns 26A one by one on or a little under the surface of land 12. Window frames 46 are installed between high columns 26A and between beams 34 and building 18A. Large pieces of glass 48 are installed on window frames 46. Other transparent materials can also be used to substitute for glass 48. Frames 46 can be turned open during hot weather. Between building 18A and supporting-greenhouse 54A, closeable screen vents on sunny side 50A and closeable screen vents on sunless side 50B are installed. Deck can be built inside supporting-greenhouse 54A as long as it is not in the way of sunlight for vegetation.

In cold areas, good insulating glass is recommended for Glass 48. Supporting-greenhouse can be developed from high support structure 52B shown in FIG. 1E which has foundation. If necessary, foundation slab can be constructed under the foundation. Foundation and foundation slab can keep the soil inside a supporting-greenhouse at certain temperature. Irrigation and drainage systems are installed in supporting-greenhouse 54A. Irrigation and drainage systems can also be installed to other embodiments of this invention. Water used in building 18A can be used to irrigate vegetation growing on land 12 to reduce waste of water. When attention is paid to the water for irrigating own vegetable and fruits, water pollution can be reduced. Supporting-greenhouse 54A also provides a significant educational program for children and adult to access and love land, vegetation, and natural environment.

In addition to supporting building 18A above land 12 and protecting land 12 for vegetation, supporting-greenhouse 54A increase privacy and make a building above land look like a building on land. That makes building-above-land easy to be accepted by the public. Supporting-greenhouse 54A also brings about an indoor ecosystem and provides oxygen, vegetables, fruits, and flowers.

Supporting-greenhouse 54A works like a special solar energy heater providing warm fresh air and disposing of carbon dioxide. Air inside supporting-greenhouse 54A can be freshened by vegetation and warmed up by sunlight through glass 48. With good insulating glass and building materials, warm fresh air in supporting-greenhouse 54A can be well kept inside and automatically rise up into building 18A through closable screen vents on sunny side 50A. Carbon dioxide in building 18A can sink down into supporting-greenhouse 54A by itself through closable screen vents on sunless side 50B. This way keeps inside warm and fresh, and reduces energy consumption and heating cost. This way can also simplify ventilation, especially for small buildings such as family houses. During night and cold weather, vents 50A and 50B can be closed to keep warm air inside building 18A if vegetation in supporting-greenhouse 54A can accept low temperature. Supporting-greenhouses 54A and other supporting-greenhouses of this invention contribute to the removal of the historical separation between dwellers and natural environment caused by a conventional building on land.

Another important function is that supporting-greenhouse 54A can be built in barren areas and tough climate to increase arable land, vegetation and livable areas on earth. That will extend the solar system of the earth and increase the working season and time of vegetation. That will reduce the pressure of population in many aspects.

FIG. 4B is a perspective view of supporting-greenhouse 54A that supports building 18A illustrated in FIG. 4A. FIG. 4C is a top view of closable screen vents on sunny side 50A and closable screen vents on sunless side 50B installed between supporting-greenhouse 54A and building 18A illustrated in FIGS. 4A and 4B. When building 18A is a high building, supporting-greenhouse 54A should be correspondingly enlarged in order to increase warm fresh air supply and dispose of increased carbon dioxide. Otherwise, supporting-greenhouse 54A can only exchange air with some rooms of building 18A. When building 18A is a high building, supporting-greenhouse 54A can supply warm fresh air and dispose of carbon dioxide through ventilation system if necessary.

FIG. 4D—Preferred Embodiment

FIG. 4D shows the preferred embodiment of this invention that is developed from the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3A. High columns 26A in FIG. 3A have been developed into supporting-greenhouse 54B that has the similar functions of 54A illustrated in FIG. 4A. Closable screen vents on sunless side 50B are installed on a position lower than closable screen vents on sunny side 50A. If necessary, supporting-greenhouse 54B can be enlarged to cover more space, supply more warm and fresh air, and dispose of more carbon dioxide.

FIG. 4E—Alternative Preferred Embodiment

FIG. 4E shows another embodiment that is developed from the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3D. This embodiment is similar to the preferred embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4D. Tall vegetation is more than extra tall vegetation and embodiment in FIG. 4D is more practical than the embodiment in FIG. 4E. That is the reason why I select the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4D as the preferred embodiment of this invention. Furthermore, extra tall vegetation is growing up from tall vegetation. When tall vegetation grows, building 18C illustrated in FIG. 4D can be built up first; when tall vegetation grows up into extra tall vegetation, more rooms can be added and building 18C illustrated in FIG. 4D can be developed into building 18D shown in FIG. 4E. This way can reduce financial pressure on young people when they have no children or have young children.

FIGS. 5A, 5B, 5C, 5D, 6—Additional Embodiments

Roads and most other architectural structures can also been constructed above ground to reserve land, space, and sunlight for vegetation. Though the cost is high, roads above land are necessary in urban areas to increase vegetation and reduce pollution in cities. The more crowed a city is the more roads, buildings, and other architectural structures need to be constructed above land to increase vegetation and natural environment in cities.

Conventional road materials and construction techniques can be used to construct roads above ground to reserve land, space, sunlight for vegetation. Size and number of footers, piers, beams and other supporting components depend on building codes. When a road above land is constructed under the branches of tall vegetation, the width of a road or a lane should allow the branches of tall vegetation to cover the road or the lane. However, tall vegetation should not bother the view of driving. Highways and other roads for high speed traffic should be constructed above low vegetation for safety purpose and ensure sufficient sunlight to the low vegetation. As long as land can be well reserved for vegetation and roads can be supported above land safely, supporting structures and roads can be designed variously.

FIG. 5A is a perspective view of a section of road 24A above land 12. Footers 30′, low piers 26E, and beams 34′ comprise supporting structures support road 24A and reserve land 12 for tall vegetation. Tall vegetation and guard rails along both sides of road 24A are not shown in FIG. 5A. FIG. 5B is cross-sectional view of road 24A shown in FIG. 5A. FIG. 5C is a top view of the section of road 24A shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B under the branches of tall vegetation 16A. The branches of tall vegetation 16A cover land 12 and the roots of tall vegetation 16A penetrate land 12. As long as road 24A does not bother tall vegetation 16A to grow roots in land 12, road 24A can be constructed very close to land 12 even without piers 26E and directly based on footers 30′. Road 24A can be constructed in urban areas for low and medium speed traffic.

FIG. 5D shows a sectional view of road 24B constructed high above land 12 and let short vegetation 16B grow on land 12 under road 24B. Footers 30″, high piers 26D, and beams 34′ comprise supporting structures support road 24B and reserve land 12 for tall vegetation. Short vegetation 16B can get sufficient spaces and sunlight to grow on land 12 under road 24B. Guard rails along both sides of road 24B are not shown in FIG. 5D. Road 24B can be constructed in cities for high speed traffic.

Roads above land can be directly connected to buildings above land and provide a very convenient access to buildings above land. Many activities in cities can be well carried out above land and natural environment can be restored and reserved in cities.

Referring now to FIG. 6 is a perspective view of building 18F on supporting-greenhouse 54D that is developed from a beam supporting structure instead of columns. Building 18F can be designed variously as long as it can be supported above land 12 safely for vegetation to get sufficient space and sunlight to grow on land 12 inside and outside supporting-greenhouse 54D. Two vertical A-shaped beam frames are parallel to each other and linked with three horizontal beams 34. Beams 34″ of the two A-shaped beam structures have under ground portions in land 12 for foundation. This embodiment shows an example of some other kinds of supports. Supports for buildings above land are not limited to these embodiments as long as they can support a building above land safely and reserve land for vegetation.

CONCLUSION, RAMIFICATIONS, AND SCOPE

Accordingly, the reader will see that building-above-land of this invention can change the conventional building-on-land and protect the solar system of the earth based on the following possibilities: (a) space and sunlight on the surface of the earth are enough for both buildings and vegetation; (b) buildings are not necessary to be built on land while land is necessary and possible to be reserved for vegetation; (c) a plurality of columns can cost no more than a conventional foundation of a building on land; (d) buildings above land can keep all facilities and conveniences of conventional buildings on land; (e) buildings above land are as easy of access as conventional buildings on land; (f) rooms of buildings above land can get good sunshine; (g) supporting-greenhouses make buildings above land look like buildings on land and easy to be accepted by the public; (h) supporting-greenhouses retain privacy and provide indoor ecosystems for families and working places.

Building-above-land of this invention is a flexible way to share land and space with all species of vegetation with different heights. Columns, supporting structures, and other supports can position buildings: (a) above land and vegetation to protect farmland and short vegetation; (b) under branches of tall and extra tall vegetation to protect forests and tall and extra tall vegetation; (c) part above short vegetation and part under the branches of tall and extra tall vegetation. Farmland and forests can remain in their state during construction and reserved in cities. Various plants of different heights can grow on land naturally instead of on walls or on roofs artificially and expensively.

Building-above-land of this invention can reserve land for vegetation on a large scale with great speed. When millions and millions of people and thousands and thousands of builders realize the benefits and possibilities of building-above-land for vegetation, the conventional destructive building-on-land can stop and building-above-land for vegetation can restore vegetation worldwide.

Building-above-land for vegetation also makes maintenance, remodel, update, and relocation of a building easy. People do not need to move far away and tolerate long commuting distances for new models and natural environment. Supporting-greenhouses also further provide indoor ecosystem and remove the conventional separation between dwellers and natural environment.

Building-above-land of this invention provides a new way to use land and develop a city. Groups of columns, piers, supporting structures, and supporting-greenhouses can be constructed and pre-located in certain areas according to plans for buildings and roads built on them later. Those columns, piers, supporting structures, and supporting-greenhouses themselves can present new and beautiful landscapes with different architectural designs.

Land has been occupied and sealed by buildings and roads in urban areas can also been restored to vegetation. The above embodiments can be referred to for restoring land under buildings and roads to vegetation and the solar system of the earth. No downtown areas should be deserted and keep taking land away from vegetation and the solar system of the earth. Farmland, gardens, forests, and natural environment can be well reserved in cities.

The reader can see that building-above-land of this invention is economical, practical, and significant, and millions and millions of acres of land can be reserved for the solar system of the earth to reduce global warming. Mankind can enjoy the design and blessing of Mother Nature in a right way.

Consequently, building-above-land of this invention has a list of advantages in that

    • it provides a solution to the historical conflict between buildings and vegetation;
    • it protects the root of human life, vegetation and the solar system of the earth that do so many great things for us: (a) supplying energy, oxygen, and natural environment; (b) absorbing heat, reducing global warming, and adjusting climate; (c) cleaning atmosphere, reducing pollution, and conserving water;
    • it provides a way to produce fresh vegetables, fruits, and flowers under a building, and reduce shopping, trading, packaging, transportation, refrigeration, energy consumption, and pollution;
    • it provides a way to reserve and increase natural surroundings for work, living, exercise, hobby, leisure time, and health;
    • it provides an education program for children and adults to access natural environment and love the blessing of Mother Nature;
    • it provides a way to develop cities and keep natural environment in cities;
    • it provides a way to reduce temperature in cities and cut expenditure on air conditioning;
    • it provides easy access to a building above land by means of low columns, low supporting structures, and other low supports;
    • it provides good sunshine to a building above land by means of high columns, high supporting structures, and other high supports that can position a building above vegetation;
    • it retains privacy and favorable building styles and make the change from building-on-land to building-above-land easy to be accepted by the public;
    • it provides convenience for people to maintain, remodel, update and even relocate houses and buildings;
    • it increases arable land, vegetation and livable areas in barren areas;
    • it makes people like to live near working places and in short commuting distances;
    • it provides a way to reduce traffic, traffic accidents, energy consumption, pollution, global warming, and health problems;
    • it provides a way to save time and energy on commuting;
    • it provides a way to increase leisure time;
    • it provides a way to cut family expenditure and government budget on administration, gasoline supply, highway control, insurance, security, environment protection, health care and other aspects;
    • it provides a way to reserve land for agriculture, natural environment and other species of life;
    • it provides supporting-greenhouses to establish indoor ecosystem that is good for work, living, exercise, hobby, leisure time and health;
    • it provides supporting-greenhouse that is a support to a building above land and a solar energy heater to supply warm fresh air to a building on it and dispose of carbon dioxide from the building;
    • it provides supporting-greenhouse that can reduce energy consumption and cost for heating;
    • it provides a way of irrigation that use water that have been used in the building to water vegetation, conserve water, and reduce water pollution;
    • it provides supporting-greenhouse that can produce fresh vegetables, fruits and flowers and reduce waste and pollution in shopping, trading, packaging, transportation, and refrigeration;
    • it provides supporting-greenhouse that can improve soil and increases arable land;
    • it provides supporting-greenhouses that is a means for living in barren area;
    • it provides supporting-greenhouses that increase vegetation in barren area, enlarge the solar system on earth, and increase the working season and time of vegetation;
    • it provides supporting-greenhouse that makes a building above land similar to a building on land in privacy and appearance, and easy to accepted by the public;
    • it increases jobs in line with the design of Mother Nature and reduces jobs violating the design of Mother Nature;
    • it provides a way to align human activities with the design of Mother Nature;
    • it provides a way to improve relationship between man and nature;
    • it provides a way to reduce natural disasters
    • it provides a way to reduce health problems;
    • it provides values that the products of Mother Nature are much more important than human products;
    • it helps to improve relationships among human beings;
    • it provides a way to accept, enjoy, and take care of the blessing of Mother Nature.

Although the description above contains many aspects and specificities, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention but as merely providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this invention. For example, a supporting structure can be built on a steep stone slope of a hill and use the scope as a part of support; many supporting structures can linked together to keep many buildings and roads above a big area of land for vegetation.

Thus the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents, rather than by the examples given.