Title:
Truss lock floor systems and related methods and apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Top-down construction techniques are disclosed for providing panelized building systems. The systems can include pre-manufactured floor and stem wall panels that can built to a desired specification, e.g., according to site-specific requirements. The floor panels can include height-adjustable members to raise/lower portions of one or more panels to a desired height relative to an underlying surface. The floor panels can be leveled, locked together, and then remaining portions of a building structure can be built around the floor panels in a top-down process. The height-adjustable members can include pier and jack system that includes a jack screw, a sleeve, and a pier. Related grout system are also disclosed.



Inventors:
Walter, Richard (Gardnerville, NV, US)
Application Number:
11/489322
Publication Date:
01/24/2008
Filing Date:
07/19/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KENNY, DANIEL J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COOLEY LLP (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A panelized building system comprising: one or more prefabricated floor panels; one or more height-adjustable members disposed on the one or more floor panels for adjusting the height of the one or more floor panels; and a prefabricated stem wall, wherein the prefabricated stem wall includes one or more sections.

2. The floor system of claim 1, wherein the one or more building panels are composite panels.

3. The floor system of claim 1, further comprising a foundation footing for supporting the one or more sections of the prefabricated stem wall.

4. The floor system of claim 2, wherein the one or more composite floor panels include steel reinforcement members.

5. The floor system of claim 4, wherein the steel reinforcement members include an open-web truss.

6. The floor system of claim 2, wherein the one or more composite floor panels include cement.

7. The floor system of claim 6, wherein the one or more composite floor panels include a Portland-type cement.

8. The floor system of claim 2, wherein the one or more composite floor panels include a non-Portland type cementatious binder.

9. The floor system of claim 8, wherein the one or more composite floor panels include GigaCrete™.

10. The floor system of claim 1, further comprising a grout channel disposed on a lateral surface of at least one floor panel.

11. The floor system of claim 10, wherein the grout channel includes a channel disposed on a lateral surface of each of two or more abutting floor panels.

12. The floor system of claim 10, wherein the grout channel includes a channel disposed on a lateral surface of at least one floor panel and a supporting foundation stem wall.

13. The floor system of claim 10, further comprising an injection fitting configured and arranged to deliver grout to the grout channel.

14. The floor system of claim 10, further comprising an epoxy containing grout disposed within the grout channel.

15. The floor system of claim 1, further comprising one or more fasteners configured and arranged to attach adjacent floor panels to one another.

16. The floor system of claim 1, wherein the one or more height-adjustable members each include a jack and pier system.

17. The floor system of claim 16, wherein the jack and pier systems comprises a jack screw, a sleeve, and a pier connected to the jack screw, wherein sleeve is connected to a building panel, wherein the pier includes a weight-bearing surface, and wherein the jack screw is threadedly received by the sleeve and configured and arranged to adjust the position of the weight bearing surface relative to the building panel connected to the sleeve.

18. The floor system of claim 17, wherein the sleeve is connected to a truss disposed on the building panel.

19. The floor system of claim of claim 13, wherein the injection fitting includes a spring-loaded member adapted to admit grout applied to the fitting under pressure and to seal the fitting when grout is not applied.

20. A top-down method of constructing a panelized floor system, the method comprising: preparing a building pad at a construction site for construction of a building; building one or more composite floor panels at a location remote from the construction site; positioning the one or more floor panels at a desired height above the building site with height-adjustable members; fabricating a foundation footing on the construction site; and positioning a pre-cast foundation stem wall between one or more of the floor panels and the foundation footing.

21. The method of claim 20, further comprising forming a channel for receiving grout in an outer surface of the one or more floor panels.

22. The method of claim 21, further comprising injecting grout into a channel.

23. The method of claim 20, wherein building one or more floor panels comprises incorporating one or more trusses within a floor panel.

24. The method of claim 23, wherein incorporating one or more trusses includes incorporating one or more trusses having an open-web.

25. The method of claim 20, wherein constructing one or more floor panels comprises incorporating a binder in the one or more floor panels.

26. The method of claim 25, wherein incorporating a binder comprises incorporating a cement.

27. The method of claim 26, wherein incorporating a cement includes incorporating a Portland-type cement.

28. The method of claim 25, wherein incorporating a binder includes incorporating a non-Portland type cement.

29. A grout channel system for forming a seal between panelized building system components, the grout channel comprising: a first grout channel for receiving grout, wherein the first grout channel is disposed on a lateral surface of one or more floor panels; and a second grout channel for receiving grout, wherein the second grout channel is disposed on a lateral surface of one or more floor panels or foundation stem walls adapted to be positioned adjacent the lateral surface including the first grout channel.

30. The grout channel system of claim 29, further comprising a grout disposed within the first or second grout channels.

31. The grout channel system of claim 30, wherein the grout includes an epoxy.

32. The grout channel system of claim 29, further comprising an injection fitting configured and arranged to provide grout to the first or second grout channels.

33. The grout channel system of claim 32, wherein the injection fitting includes a spring-loaded member adapted admit grout applied to the fitting under pressure and to seal the fitting the when grout is not applied.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present disclosure relates in general to methods and systems useful in the construction of buildings and structures, for example, residential or commercial buildings. Embodiments of the present disclosure are variously directed to panelized or modular building systems and related top-down construction methods. Systems according to the present disclosure can provide floors, walls, roofs, and grout channels.

BACKGROUND

Previous construction techniques for most building have been “bottom-up” techniques in which a building site is first scrapped and cleaned, a building pad is then prepared and after the building pad is prepared, an engineer or foundation contractor prepares/designs a layout of the foundation for excavation. The time for the layout typical is at least a day. Subsequent to the layout, the foundation is trenched and the spoils are removed. This process also typically requires a day. After the foundation trench is prepared, an engineer or foundation contractor typically set batter boards for elevation and string lines. The forms are set and then adjusted for squareness. Reinforcing steel is then situated in place within the forms. Bolts are set and hardware is usually installed at this point.

A foundation check can be requested or performed at this point in the construction process, and needed corrections may be made to the foundation. The concrete for the foundation can then be cast/poured in the forms on-site. A waiting period is required to allow the concrete to cure. Then the forms are subsequently stripped and cleaned, with the time period required for construction of the foundation typically being one to two weeks.

In such previous construction techniques, the first load of lumber is ordered and arrives at the construction site after or simultaneously with the preparation of the foundation. The lumber is stacked in the proper order, with the sill plate first and then post and girder material on top and then the joist, blocking, and lastly the sub floor. The completeness and order of the material has to be verified. Damage to the material is a common occurrence during the stacking/ordering processes. Also, required fasteners, e.g., nails, bolts, washers, etc., must be checked.

After verification of the type and order of such construction materials, a carpenter typically checks the foundation for squareness and height. Often because of time demands, dimensional tolerances of plus or minus 1.0 inches or greater are accepted. Such deviations from designed dimensions can lead to large amounts of material waste and time spent addressing the problems. For example, lumber typically is delivered from a sawmill in increments of two feet. For example, is a joist is desired to be 12′ 9″ in length, a 14′ would be ordered, with the end being lapped or cut to fit with the excess being scrap lumber. It is common for waste lumber production to account for as much as 5% or more of a typical construction project.

The construction of the foundation typically takes about five or six weeks, resulting with girders ready for plumbing and HVAC installation. At this point in the construction process, the sub floor still has not been installed and a plumber will need to take measurements for plumbing and do the rough-in for the plumbing. A sheet metal contractor typically performs similar measurements. After passing inspection, an insulation contractor typically will then add floor insulation.

Subsequent to the plumbing, sheet metal, and/or insulation, the sub floor is typically added and then the building walls are located on the layout. Often, it will be discovered that correction of the plumbing is required. Additionally, it may be discovered that the layout doesn't fit because the building is not square enough. If not corrected, the out of square nature of the floor/foundation may be incorporated into the rooms, propagating the error.

The above described inadequacies in construction, e.g., misalignment, material waste, etc., can lead to increased cost, which is obviously a disadvantage in the fast-paced and commercially competitive construction industry. Further, the time required for foundation and floor construction is unnecessarily long, e.g., typically around a month in length for a single story building of 2,000 square feet, without plumbing and HVAC. Typical construction costs can range from $17 to $20 or more per square foot.

Even after construction with such prior art techniques, the end product is: (1) made of wood and therefore is subject to mold, dry rot, termites, warping, movement (which may produce undesirable product and noise), and fire damage susceptibility; (2) most likely to not be square or level, and depending on the weather may be water soaked before framing can be completed and a roof installed; and (3) can be very expensive to maintain or repair.

What is needed therefore are systems, methods, and apparatus that address the shortcomings and problems noted previously in association with the prior art.

SUMMARY

Aspects of the present disclosure are directed to systems, methods, and apparatus that address the shortcomings and problems noted previously in association with the prior art construction techniques and systems.

Embodiments of the present disclosure are directed to systems, methods, and apparatus useful for top-down construction techniques utilizing one or more factory manufactured (pre-made or prefabricated) floor panels that can be built to a desired specification, e.g., sized or arranged according to site-specific requirements. The floor panels can include one or more height-adjustable members that function to raise/lower portions of the one or more sub panels, so that the floor may be positioned at a desired height relative to the ground and leveled. In exemplary embodiments, the floor panels can include a desired composite structure, such as steel reinforced concrete. The height-adjustable members can include a pier and jack system that include a jack screw, a sleeve, and an extendable supporting pier.

Methods of construction are also provided by the present disclosure. Such methods can include top-down techniques that include preparing a building site; building one or more floor panels remotely from the building site; fabricating a foundation footing; positioning the one or more floor panels at a desired height over the building site; and subsequently positioning a pre-cast foundation stem wall between the one or more floor panels and the foundation footing.

Embodiments according to the present disclosure may include a grout system useful for sealing the joints or connections between adjacent floor panels and/or between one or more floor panels and a supporting foundation stem wall. In exemplary embodiments, a grout system can include a grout channel formed from respective grooves in adjacent faces of two floor panels and/or a floor panel and a stem wall supporting that floor panel. The grout system can include a suitable grout material, for example, an epoxy-containing grout or epoxy component.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Aspects of the disclosure may be more fully understood from the following description when read together with the accompanying drawings, which are to be regarded as illustrative in nature, and not as limiting. The drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed on the principles of the disclosure. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a plan view depicting an embodiment of a floor system according to the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a side view depicting a cross section of a portion of the floor system of FIG. 1 taken along cutting line 2-2;

FIG. 3 is a side view depicting a cross section of a portion of the floor system of FIG. 1 with a height-adjustable member and grout channel shown;

FIG. 4 is a side view depicting a cross section of a representative floor system according to the present disclosure at different heights relative to a construction site;

FIG. 5 is a side view depicting multiple floor systems of the present disclosure as stacked for transport; and

FIG. 6 depicts a method of installing a floor system in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

It should be understood by one skilled in the art that the embodiments depicted in the drawings are illustrative and variations of those shown as well as other embodiments described herein may be envisioned and practiced within the scope of the disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Embodiments of the present disclosure provide panelized building systems that are constructed by top-down construction techniques described herein. Building systems according to the present disclosure can be used for floors, walls, and roofs for buildings of both residential and commercial types, as well as others.

Top-down techniques/methods in which pre-made floor panels having height-adjustable members are positioned at a desired height over a job site can be used to construct one or more portions of a building, e.g., floors, roofs, and walls. Subsequent portions of the building can then be built around the positioned floor panels as part of a top-down construction process according to the present disclosure.

In general, for any given work site, a number of such pre-made floor panels can be designed and fabricated in a setting remote from the work site, e.g., a factory. Floor panels according to the present disclosure can include height-adjustable members and/or structure for receiving such, and can be referred to as truss-lock systems. The one or more pre-made panels can then be transported to the work site and positioned above the desired location by positioning/operating the height-adjustable members so that each floor panel is held up over the underlying surface.

The floor panels can be secured or attached to one another if desired. A foundation stem wall, which may also be pre-made, can then be placed under the floor section(s). Use of the height-adjustable members can allow for the floor panels to be positioned as desired, e.g., leveled, over a work site surface, without the need for preparation and installation of an underlying support surface, e.g., concrete slab.

In exemplary embodiments, e.g., as shown and described for FIGS. 2-5 herein, a height-adjustable member may be configured as a jack and pier system, though the height-adjustable member may have other suitable configurations. Also, in exemplary embodiments, a grout channel system may be used for forming a grout channel to facilitate attachment and/or sealing of the floor panels to one another and/or related supports such as foundation stem walls.

FIG. 1 is a plan view depicting an embodiment of a floor system according to the present disclosure. The system 100 can include multiple floor panels 110(1) to 110(4), which may be positioned adjacent to one another, for example abutting at joints 112(1) to 112(3) as shown. Height-adjustable members 120 may be present at suitable locations, as indicated. As needed or desired, additional structural reinforcements/supports may be incorporated into the floor panels, e.g., helix anchors 130 as required by a soil engineer, etc. After installation of the panels 110(1)-110(2) to the desired height at the job site, the panels may be adjusted and connected together, e.g., laser leveled, and bolted together.

With continued reference to FIG. 1, each of the panels may be configured in a desired size and may include a desired composite. For example, reinforced concrete of a desired composition, e.g., concrete of a specified strength with a Portland-based cement or other type of structural/binder with a desired type of reinforcement may be used. As an example of a typical size of a floor panel, one might be 24 feet (meters) in length and eight feet (meters) in width.

In exemplary embodiments, the composite material used for a floor panel can include GigaCrete™, as currently available from GigaCrete, Inc. of Las Vegas, Nev. USA, or other approved/suitable structural binding type material(s). The GigaCrete binder is not Portland-cement based but rather, is a different cementatious binder consisting of commonly found nontoxic elements available from many locations throughout the world. One of the key properties of the GigaCrete type of binder is its superior strength relative to Portland-based cement. This allows cementatious building products to be manufactured without the use of heavy aggregates. In many cases, recycled materials, such as bottom ash and fly ash, can be utilized as filler materials. This allows for the development of cementatious building products that are lighter and stronger than conventional Portland-based materials. In addition, the GigaCrete binder requires the use of less water than conventional Portland-based cement.

In exemplary embodiments, the floor panels can be printed or marked at the factory to indicate the desired building plan including location of walls, appliances, fixtures, electrical layout, and/or reflected ceiling plan to aid building construction in the field. For example, FIG. 1 shows the location of a bathroom 190 with fixtures 191, a kitchen 192 with fixtures 193, and a corner staircase 194. The floor panels 110(1)-110(4) can include a standard grid 180 as well as custom load points, e.g., for the desired location of height-adjustable members (or piers) 120 that can be built and/or installed at the factory during fabrication of the related floor panel. This pre-marking of the panels can ensure the exact location of the needed support, in accordance with job-site requirements. The height-adjustable members 120 can also serve as pickup points for off-loading from a transporting vehicle, e.g., truck, and placing the panel in the field without damage. The locations of desired components, e.g., steel truss systems as well as heating system layout may be color printed on each panel to ensure that neither system is damages during or after construction. Special layouts, material locations, and/or room dimensions as well as specifications or notes can also be printed on the panels at the factory. Such layouts can include but are not limited to door and window locations and sizes, etc.

With continued reference to FIG. 1, exemplary embodiments of floor panels according to the present disclosure can include so-called hydronic heating, for example as indicated by grid 180. Hydronic, or radiant, floor heating is a method of heating a home, shop, or other building with the heat concentrated in the floor. It works by embedding special tubing in a concrete foundation or in a thin concrete mixture on top of a wood-framed floor. A suitable liquid, most commonly heated water, flows through this tubing, warming the thermal mass of the concrete. In some applications, a food-grade antifreeze mixture can be used for hydronic heating.

For a top-down construction process of the floor system 100, trenchings, footings, and panelized stem wall may be added after the floor panels 110(1)-110(2) are put in place in the field, as described in further detail for FIGS. 2-3.

FIG. 2 is a side view depicting a cross section of a portion of the floor system 100 of FIG. 1 taken along cutting line 2-2. Floor panels 110(1) and 110(2) are shown positioned above an underlying job site surface 10 and connected at a joint 112(1). A portion or section of a foundation stem wall 140 may be positioned to support floor panel 110(1) on a job site footing or pier 20. While not shown, a similar foundation stem wall and footing/pier could be used to support floor panel 110(2).

As shown, the floor panels may include suitable reinforcement 114. Reinforcement can include steel, e.g., in the form of rebar or other shapes, and may be of any suitable alloy composition. The floor panels can also include suitable trusses 160. The trusses 160 can be attached to, partially embedded within, or fully embedded within a floor panel, as shown at joint 112(1). Suitable holes/apertures may be formed in the trusses 160 shown at joint 112(1) to facilitates attachment or locking of the panels 110(1), 110(2) together at the desired position/height. Suitable bolts or other fasteners may be used for attaching the panels, and such fasteners may pass through a portion of the grout channel 150.

The floor system can also accommodate seismic supports that may be required by local building codes. For example, helix anchors 130 may be connected to a floor panel 110(1) at desired locations or spacings and driven into the underlying surface 10 to a desired depth, as shown.

With continued reference to FIG. 2, a grout system, e.g., in the form of a grout channel may be located at desired locations on one or more lateral surfaces of a floor panel, e.g., panel 110(1). The grout channel 150 can be injected with a suitable filler, e.g., grout and/or a bonding epoxy. The filling of the grout channel 150 may take place after the panels are installed, e.g., laser leveled, and bolted together at the job-site.

As noted previously, reinforcement may be used in the floor panels. Suitable reinforcement can include common rebar and other forms of steel/composite reinforcement. In exemplary embodiments, the trusses 160 can include MegaJoist™ open-web trusses/joists, as commercially available directly or under license from TCMP Building Systems, Inc. of Burlington, Ontario Canada. Other open-web trusses and/or common C or I beam joists may also be used as reinforcement.

While wall 140 is shown as being flush with the top surface of floor panel 110(1), the wall 140 can extend upward for as many floors as desired or to a desired height. In this way, panelized building systems/methods according to the present disclosure can be construct buildings of an desired arbitrary height.

FIG. 3 is a side view depicting a cross section of a portion of the floor system 100 of FIG. 1, with height-adjustable member 120 and a grout system 150 shown. The height-adjustable member 120 can be configured as a jack pier system including a jack screw 122, a sleeve 124 extending through and/or connected to panel 110(1), and a load bearing pier 126 connected to the screw 122. The pier 126 includes a load bearing surface that can be brought into contact with the work site surface, e.g., building pad, underlying the floor system 100. The jack screw 122 may be threadedly received by the sleeve 124 and configured and arranged to adjust the position of the weight bearing surface of the pier 126 relative to the building panel 110(1) connected to the sleeve.

In exemplary embodiments, the jack screw 122 may include a non-removable portion that need-not be removed after the pier is set at a desired position relative to the floor panel. Further, in exemplary embodiments, the sleeve 124 may be positioned against a truss 160 for additional support and/or structural stiffness, as shown.

With continued reference to FIG. 3, further detail of a grout system 150 according to the present disclosure is shown. The grout system 150 can include a channel formed on a lateral surface of each of abutting floor panels, e.g., panels 110(1) and 110(2), and/or between a lateral face of a floor panel and a wall portion, e.g., stem wall section 140. Suitable grout 155, e.g., one including an epoxy, may be provided to the grout systems 150.

In conjunction with the grout system 150, a connection bolt (not shown) connecting the adjacent panels may be added in the field, e.g., before supplying or injecting grout 155 into the grout channel. In exemplary embodiments, an injection fitting (not shown) may be included for the grout system that includes a spring-loaded member adapted admit grout 155 applied to the fitting under pressure and to seal the fitting the when grout is not applied.

FIG. 4 is a side view depicting a cross section of a representative floor system 400 according to the present disclosure. Two floor panels 410(1) and 410(2) are shown connected at a joint 412 and positioned over any underlying building pad 10 at a desired height “A”. A foundation stem wall section 440 and footing 20 are indicated in phantom lines. Height-adjustable members 420(1)-420(2) are shown located at desired location on the panels 410(1) and 410(2). The height-adjustable members 420(1)-420(2) may each include a jack screw 422, a sleeve 424, and a pier 426.

As shown in FIG. 4, the jack screw 422 and pier 426 can be positioned at different distances relative to the related floor panel 410(1), e.g., by adjusting the jack screw 422. A first location B may correspond to one useful for stacking and shipping multiple panels from a factory to a job site. A second position C may correspond to one in which the panels 410(1) and 410(2) are located and set for a desired height at a job site prior to installation of foundation stem walls, e.g., wall section 410 and/or a foundation footing/pier 10. The raised position of the jack screws 422 are shown with phantom lines for clarity.

FIG. 5 is a side view depicting multiple floor systems 500 of the present disclosure as stacked for transport. FIG. 5 shows the piers of the height-adjustable members 520(1)-520(8) retracted for shipping and off-loading, e.g., as from a flat bed 50 of a truck.

As is shown, the height-adjustable members 520(1)-520(8), can allow multiple floor panels 510(1)-510(4) to be stacked in a compact configuration as might be useful when transporting the floor panels from a factory to a desired job site, e.g., by way of a flat bed trailer 50. After off-loading from such a vehicle, all jacks would typically be screwed into position and adjusted, positioning each floor panel to a desired height/level to fit a building pad at a job site. The height-adjustable members 520(1)-520(8) could then be used to adjust the height and/orientation of an associated, raising or lowering the connected part of the floor panel a desired amount, e.g., plus or minus four or more inches. The floor panels 520(1)-520(8) would be bolted together, leveled, and adjusted as necessary for site conditions according to building methods, e.g., of FIG. 6, of the present disclosure.

FIG. 6 depicts a method of installing a floor system 600 in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. In embodiments of the method of construction, a job site is prepared 602. The preparation of the job site can include scraping and cleaning a building pad, and optionally leveling the pad. One or more floor panels can be built 604 remotely from the job site. For example, one or more composite building panels having a desired composite structure may be fabricated in a factory off-site from the job site. The one or more floor panels can be positioned 606 above the job site by way of height-adjustable members. The one or more floor panels may further be connected together in position at the job site, e.g., by way of bolts. A foundation footing may be fabricated 608 underneath the assembled floor panel(s). A pre-cast foundation stem wall may be positioned 610 between the assembled floor panel(s) and the foundation footing, which would typically be wet set (cast in place on the jobsite).

It should be understood that construction methods according to the present disclosure can include additional or substitute operations/actions relative to the ones shown and described for method 600 of FIG. 6. For example, after positioning above the job site at a desired height and leveled, the panels can be bolted together. Grout may be injected into a grout channel positioned between abutting floor panels and/or between a floor panel and a supporting stem wall section, in exemplary embodiments.

Accordingly, embodiments of the present disclosure can allow for various advantages over the prior art. Quality control and labor savings can be realized by building floor panels and/or foundation stem walls in a factory environment, e.g., because no time is lost due to inclement weather conditions. Floor/wall systems may be unitized, square, and flat to a desired degree, e.g., within 0.125 inches in 100 feet. The foundation supports needed for the field are factory installed in the floor panels. Like an equipment trailer, the panels are raised using a set of screw jacks (which lower the supporting piers in place and raise the panels to the desired height) and which are left in place for floor/building support. A rigid frame can be included. Heating systems such as hydronic heating can be factory installed in the floor/wall systems. Field layout is not required.

Construction times can been be reduced relative to prior bottom-up construction methods. For example, embodiments can allow off loading and setting of floor panels in place in the field, e.g., at a residential construction site, in a single day. The panel heights can be adjusted with built-in support systems using structural jacks on the same day that the off loading takes place. Plumbing, trenching, and installation of the foundation footings/anchors can be performed quickly after the panels are leveled. No layout is required as the trench/footing matches the outer perimeter of the assembled panels. The pre-cast foundation panels and footing can be cast in one day. Because some of the work is overlapped, the typical project can be completed in a shorter time, e.g., one week, relative to prior art construction techniques that might take a month. Construction costs can be significantly reduced using embodiments of the present disclosure, for example, the cost per square foot may be about $12-$15 for a given project.

Further, floor and/or wall surfaces according to the present disclosure can be insulated and/or sound resistant. Warping, twisting, and/or squeaking of the floor surfaces can be reduced or eliminated. Labor, material, and/or maintenance costs can also be reduced relative to prior art construction techniques. Floors, roofs, and/or walls of any type of building may be built according to embodiments of the present disclosure.

While certain embodiments have been described herein, it will be understood by one skilled in the art that the methods, systems, and apparatus of the present disclosure may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit thereof. For example, while the height-adjustable members have generally been described as jack and pier systems, one of skill in the art will understand that other suitable configurations can be used, such as hydraulic jacks, pawl and ratchet configurations, etc.

The present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive of the present disclosure.