Title:
ROOF VENTILATION SYSTEM FOR TILED ROOF
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A roof ventilation for a roof having roof tiles with air channels is disclosed. The roof includes a roof supporting structure, a plurality of roof tiles, and at least one vent tile. The plurality of roof tiles reside over the roof supporting structure. The roof tiles include air channels formed therethrough which are in ventilating communication with one another. The least one vent tile resides over the roof supporting structure. Each of the at least one vent tile includes a first upper plate, a second upper plate, and a lower plate. The first and second upper plates are spaced apart from each other, forming a ventilating access. The second upper plate has a first opening and the lower plate has a second opening. The first opening is in ventilating communication with the second opening and with at least one of the air channels. The ventilating access and the first and second openings together permit airflow between regions above and below the roof. The at least one of the air channels is substantially aligned with a space between the upper and lower plates.



Inventors:
Daniels, William Boone (Languenan, FR)
Application Number:
11/932980
Publication Date:
05/01/2008
Filing Date:
10/31/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/748.1
International Classes:
E04D1/30
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ADAMOS, THEODORE V
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KNOBBE MARTENS OLSON & BEAR LLP (IRVINE, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A roof structure for a tiled roof of a building, the structure comprising: a roof supporting structure; and a plurality of roof tiles over the roof supporting structure, each of the roof tiles comprising an upper plate, a lower plate, and an air channel formed through the roof tile between the upper and lower plates, the roof tiles being arranged in a plurality of groups, wherein the roof tiles and air channels of each group of roof tiles are adjacently positioned so that the air channels of each group are in ventilating communication with one another and collectively form an air passage within the roof; wherein at least one of the roof tiles comprises a vent tile comprising: a first upper plate; a second upper plate underlying the first upper plate, the first and second upper plates having a gap therebetween, the second upper plate including a first opening; and a lower plate including a second opening, the lower plate positioned below the second upper plate with an air channel defined therebetween, the first opening being in ventilating communication with the second opening via the air channel of the vent tile, wherein the gap and the first and second openings together permit airflow between regions above and below the roof.

2. The structure of claim 1, wherein the roof tiles and air channels of a first of the groups of roof tiles are substantially aligned, and wherein one of the roof tiles of the first group of roof tiles comprises the vent tile.

3. The structure of claim 2, wherein the roof tiles of the first group are substantially aligned in a direction extending substantially parallel to a ridge of the roof.

4. The structure of claim 2, wherein the roof tiles of the first group are substantially aligned in a direction extending substantially perpendicular to a ridge of the roof.

5. The structure of claim 2, wherein the vent tile is interposed between two of the roof tiles of the first group of roof tiles.

6. The structure of claim 2, wherein the vent tile is positioned at an end of the first group of roof tiles.

7. The structure of claim 2, wherein the air passage of the first group of roof tiles substantially extends from a ridge to an eave of the roof.

8. The structure of claim 7, wherein the vent tile of the first group is located near one of the ridge and the eave of the roof.

9. The structure of claim 7, wherein an end of the air passage of the first group is open at the eave of the roof to an exterior of the building.

10. The structure of claim 1, wherein the roof tiles cover substantially the entire roof supporting structure, and wherein the air passages of the groups of roof tiles are formed throughout the roof.

11. The structure of claim 1, wherein the roof supporting structure comprises battens supporting the roof tiles.

12. The structure of claim 1, wherein the roof supporting structure comprises a roof deck supporting the roof tiles, and wherein the roof deck has an aperture in ventilating communication with the second opening of the vent tile.

13. The structure of claim 1, wherein the first opening comprises louvers in the second upper plate.

14. The structure of claim 1, wherein the vent tile further comprises a screen covering at least one of the first and second openings.

15. The structure of claim 1, wherein the vent tile comprises a metal.

16. The structure of claim 1, wherein the vent tile comprises a material the same as that of the roof tiles that are not vent tiles.

17. The structure of claim 1, wherein the vent tile has substantially the same shape as that of the roof tiles that are not vent tiles.

18. The structure of claim 1, wherein the vent tile mimics an appearance of the roof tiles that are not vent tiles.

19. The structure of claim 1, wherein the plurality of roof tiles comprise at least one roof tile comprising at least one cap section and at least one pan section, and wherein the vent tile includes the same number of cap sections and pan sections as the at least one roof tile.

20. The structure of claim 19, wherein the first upper plate, the second upper plate, and the lower plate of the vent tile together resemble one of the at least one cap section of the at least one roof tile.

21. A vent tile comprising: a first upper plate; a second upper plate underlying the first upper plate, the first and second upper plates having a gap therebetween, the second upper plate including a first opening; a lower plate opposing the second upper plate, the lower plate including a second opening; and sidewalls connecting the second upper plate to the lower plate, wherein the second upper plate, the lower plate, and the sidewalls together define an air channel formed through the vent tile, and wherein the first and second openings are in ventilating communication with each other through the air channel.

22. The vent tile of claim 21, further comprising at least one spacer interposed between the first and second upper plates.

23. A method of providing a roof structure for a tiled roof of a building, the method comprising: providing a roof supporting structure; providing a plurality of roof tiles over the roof supporting structure, each of the roof tiles comprising an upper plate, a lower plate, and an air channel formed through the roof tile between the upper and lower plates; arranging the roof tiles in a plurality of groups; and adjacently positioning the roof tiles and air channels of each group so that the air channels of each group are in ventilating communication with one another and collectively form an air passage within the roof, wherein providing the plurality of the roof tiles comprises providing a vent tile comprising: a first upper plate; a second upper plate underlying the first upper plate, the first and second upper plates having a gap therebetween, the second upper plate including a first opening; and a lower plate including a second opening, the lower plate positioned below the second upper plate with an air channel defined therebetween, the first opening being in ventilating communication with the second opening via the air channel of the vent tile, wherein the gap and the first and second openings together permit airflow between regions above and below the roof.

24. The method of claim 23, wherein adjacently positioning the roof tiles and air channels of each group comprises substantially aligning the roof tiles of a first group of roof tiles, and wherein one of the roof tiles of the first group of roof tiles comprises the vent tile.

25. The method of claim 23, wherein the vent tile has substantially the same shape as that of the roof tiles that are not vent tiles.

Description:

CLAIM FOR PRIORITY

This application claims the priority benefit under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) of Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/856,223, filed Nov. 1, 2006. The full disclosure of this priority application is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This application relates generally to building ventilation and specifically to roof ventilation.

2. Description of the Related Art

Energy efficiency is a serious consideration in building design. Buildings require ways to minimize energy requirements to maintain comfortable living spaces. Certain buildings have a roof and an attic underneath the roof. One of the most common energy losses in such buildings is due to heat transfer through the attic. In warm climates, heat builds up in the attic from solar energy incident on the roof. In colder climates, moisture builds up in the attic, robbing the insulation of much of its R value.

Recently, ventilation systems have been incorporated to enhance the insulation of a roof. Such ventilation systems remove heat and/or moisture build-up in the attic, thus minimizing energy losses due to heat transfer through the attic.

Certain buildings include a roof with roof tiles having air channels. The air channels are formed through the roof tiles, and are in ventilating communication with one another. The air channels provide insulation between regions above and below the roof. Such buildings, however, may still have heat or moisture build-up in the attic. Therefore, there is still a need to provide a ventilation system that properly ventilates the attic. There is also a need to provide a ventilation system which minimally detrimentally affects the appearance of a roof design and is applicable to various types of roofs, while offering low installation costs relative to other ventilation systems.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Preferred embodiments of the present invention provide a roof structure for a tiled roof of a building. In accordance with a preferred embodiment, a roof structure is provided comprising a roof supporting structure and a plurality of roof tiles over the roof supporting structure. Each of the roof tiles comprises an upper plate, a lower plate, and an air channel formed through the roof tile between the upper and lower plates. The roof tiles are arranged in a plurality of groups. The roof tiles and air channels of each group of roof tiles are adjacently positioned so that the air channels of each group are in ventilating communication with one another and collectively form an air passage within the roof. At least one of the roof tiles comprises a vent tile comprising a first upper plate, a second upper plate underlying the first upper plate, and a lower plate including a second opening. The first and second upper plates have a gap therebetween. The second upper plate includes a first opening. The lower plate is positioned below the second upper plate with an air channel defined therebetween. The first opening is in ventilating communication with the second opening via the air channel of the vent tile. The gap and the first and second openings together permit airflow between regions above and below the roof.

In accordance with another preferred embodiment, a vent tile is provided comprising a first upper plate, a second upper plate underlying the first upper plate, a lower plate opposing the second upper plate, and sidewalls connecting the second upper plate to the lower plate. The first and second upper plates have a gap therebetween. The second upper plate includes a first opening. The lower plate includes a second opening. The second upper plate, the lower plate, and the sidewalls together define an air channel formed through the vent tile. The first and second openings are in ventilating communication with each other through the air channel.

In accordance with yet another preferred embodiment, a method of providing a roof structure for a tiled roof of a building is provided. The method comprises providing a roof supporting structure. Then, a plurality of roof tiles are provided over the roof supporting structure. In addition, each of the roof tiles comprises an upper plate, a lower plate, and an air channel formed through the roof tile between the upper and lower plates. The roof tiles are arranged in a plurality of groups. The roof tiles and air channels of each group of roof tiles are adjacently positioned so that the air channels of each group are in ventilating communication with one another and collectively form an air passage within the roof. Providing at least one of the roof tiles comprises providing a vent tile comprising a first upper plate, a second upper plate underlying the first upper plate, and a lower plate including a second opening. The first and second upper plates have a gap therebetween. The second upper plate includes a first opening. The lower plate is positioned below the second upper plate with an air channel defined therebetween. The first opening is in ventilating communication with the second opening via the air channel of the vent tile. The gap and the first and second openings together permit airflow between regions above and below the roof.

For purposes of summarizing the invention and the advantages achieved over the prior art, certain objects and advantages of the invention have been described above and as further described below. Of course, it is to be understood that not necessarily all such objects or advantages may be achieved in accordance with any particular embodiment of the invention. Thus, for example, those skilled in the art will recognize that the invention may be embodied or carried out in a manner that achieves or optimizes one advantage or group of advantages as taught herein without necessarily achieving other objects or advantages as may be taught or suggested herein.

All of these embodiments are intended to be within the scope of the invention herein disclosed. These and other embodiments of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments having reference to the attached figure, the invention not being limited to any particular preferred embodiment(s) disclosed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a building with a tiled roof having vent tiles in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a roof structure having vent tiles;

FIG. 3A is an exploded perspective view of one embodiment of a cap section of a vent tile;

FIG. 3B is a top plan view of the cap section of the vent tile of FIG. 3A;

FIG. 3C is a top plan view of the second upper plate of the cap section of the vent tile of FIG. 3A;

FIG. 3D is a cross-sectional view of the cap section of the vent tile of FIG. 3A, taken along the line 3D-3D;

FIG. 3E is a cross-sectional view of the cap section of the vent tile of FIG. 3A, taken along the line 3E-3E;

FIG. 4A is a cross-sectional view of the roof structure of FIG. 2, taken along the line 4A-4A;

FIG. 4B is a cross-sectional view of the roof structure of FIG. 2, taken along the line 4B-4B;

FIG. 5A is a cross-sectional view of one embodiment of a roof tile.

FIGS. 5B-5D are cross-sectional views of embodiments of vent tiles.

FIG. 6A is a perspective view of another embodiment of a roof structure having a vent tile; and

FIG. 6B is a perspective view of yet another embodiment of a roof structure having a vent tile.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 1 shows a building 1 with a roof 2 according to one embodiment. The roof 2 comprises two fields 3a and 3b that are joined at their upper ends to define a ridge 4. Lower edges 5 of the fields are referred to as “eaves.” The fields 3a and 3b comprise a roof supporting structure (not shown) covered with tiles 20 (e.g., clay or concrete). The roof is suitable for having one or more vent tiles 10 according to one embodiment of the invention. Also, skilled artisans will appreciate that the vent tiles may be provided in a wide variety of different types of roofs, including those not having ridges or sloped fields. In FIG. 1, a plurality of vent tiles 10 are lined up on the field 3 a along the ridge 4 and eave 5 of the roof 2. The vent tiles 10 are preferably provided in each field 3a, 3b. In other embodiments, the vent tiles 10 may be positioned alternatively or additionally on different parts of the field 3a, 3b, depending on the ventilation needs.

FIG. 2 illustrates a portion of the roof 2 according to one embodiment. The illustrated portion of the roof 2 includes roof tiles 20 supported by a roof supporting structure 30. Some of the roof tiles 20 comprise the aforementioned vent tiles 10. As used herein, the reference numeral 20 refers to roof tiles that are not vent tiles 10, unless otherwise indicated. However, it should be understood that each vent tile 10 is preferably a specialized roof tile 20. The roof tiles 20 are arranged in columns and rows. The vent tiles 10 are positioned between two of the roof tiles 20 both in the horizontal direction and in the vertical direction. It will be appreciated that the positions of the vent tiles 10 may vary depending on the ventilation needs. The roof supporting structure 30 supports both the vent tiles 10 and the roof tiles 20.

In FIG. 2, each roof tile 20 includes a cap section 20a and a pan section 20b. When the tiles 20 are assembled, the tiles' cap sections 20a form cap columns, and the tiles' pan sections 20b form pan channels. Rainwater tends to flow downward within the pan channels. In an alternative embodiment, each roof tile 20 includes two or more cap sections 20a and two or more corresponding pan sections 20b. The vent tiles 10 preferably have the same number of cap sections 10a and pan sections 10b as the roof tiles 20, preferably in the same size and shape so as to blend in visually and functionally with the roof tiles 20.

Referring to FIG. 3A, a cap section 10a of a vent tile 10 includes a first upper plate 11a, a second upper plate 11b, spacers 16, a lower plate 12, and sidewalls 13. The first upper plate 11a covers the second upper plate 11b with a gap therebetween. The second upper plate 11b opposes the lower plate 12 with a space therebetween. The sidewalls 13 include a first sidewall 13a and a second sidewall 13b opposing each other. The second upper plate 11b, the lower plate 12, and the two sidewalls 13a, 13b, together define a channel 17 formed through the cap section 10a of the vent tile 10. While not shown in FIG. 3A, a pan section can be attached or formed integrally with one of the sidewalls 13a, 13b. Also, the vent tile 10 can include any number of cap sections and pan sections, preferably matching the number, size, and shape of cap and pan sections of the roof tile 20.

The first upper plate 11a forms a cover of the cap section 10a of the vent tile 10. The illustrated first upper plate 11a is convex when viewed from above. In other embodiments, the first upper plate may have various other shapes and configurations. The first upper plate 11a may be formed of, without limitation, a metal, clay, a plastic material, or a combination of two or more of the foregoing.

In addition, the first upper plate 11a may have a downwardly depending baffle or flange 18 at its lower edge. The flange 18 may be configured to allow airflow underneath it while preventing ingress of rain or snow.

The second upper plate 11b forms an upper part of the cap section 10a of the vent tile 10. The illustrated second upper plate 11b is shaped substantially similar or in conformity with the first upper plate 11a. In other embodiments, the second upper plate may have various other shapes and configurations. The second upper plate 11b may be formed of, without limitation, a metal, clay, a plastic material, or a combination of two or more of the foregoing.

The second upper plate 11b has a first opening 14a penetrating therethrough. The first opening 14a permits airflow between the channel 17 and a region above the vent tile 10, as will be better understood from later description herein. In certain embodiments, the first opening 14a may include louvers. The louvers include a number of narrow slits formed in parallel to one another. It will be appreciated that the shape, number, and position of the slits can be varied, depending on the design of a vent tile. The first opening 14a may be covered by a screen 15a to prevent entry of insects, vermin, and debris larger than the screen openings (FIG. 3C).

Referring to FIG. 3E, the spacers 16 provide a gap between the first and second upper plates 11a, 11b, thereby forming a ventilating access therebetween. In the illustrated embodiment, the spacers 16 support the first upper plate 11a above the second upper plate 11b, forming a space throughout between the upper plates 11a, 11b. This configuration provides ventilating access in all directions from the cap section 10a of the vent tile 10. In other embodiments, the ventilating access may be limited to a certain direction(s) from the cap section 10a of the vent tile 10, e.g., down, left or right. A skilled artisan will appreciate that the configuration of the spacers 16 can be adapted to the design of the ventilating access. The spacers 16 may be attached to the first and second upper plates 11a, 11b in any suitable manner. In certain embodiments, the spacers 16 may be formed integrally with one or both of the upper plates 11a, 11b. The spacers 16 may be formed of, without limitation, a metal, a plastic material, or a combination of the foregoing.

The lower plate 12 forms a lower part of the cap section 10a of the vent tile 10. The illustrated lower plate 12 is flat in shape. In other embodiments, the lower plate may have various other shapes. The lower plate 12 may be formed of, without limitation, a metal, clay, a plastic material, or a combination of two or more of the foregoing. Preferably, the lower plate 12 is formed of the same material as that of the upper plates 11a, 11b.

Referring to FIGS. 3D and 3E, the lower plate 12 has a second opening 14b penetrating therethrough. The second opening 14b permits airflow between the channel 17 and a region below the lower plate 12. Referring to FIG. 3D, the illustrated second opening 14b is covered by a screen 15b to prevent entry of insects, vermin, and debris larger than the screen openings.

The sidewalls 13 connect the second upper plate 11b to the lower plate 12. In the illustrated embodiment, the sidewalls 13 are integrally formed with the second upper plate 11b and the lower plate 12. The sidewalls 13 may be secured to the second upper plate 11b and the lower plate 12, using any suitable securing means. The sidewalls 13 may be formed of, without limitation, a metal, clay, a plastic material, or a combination of two or more of the foregoing. Preferably, the sidewalls 13 are formed of the same material as that of the second upper plate 11b and/or the lower plate 12. Preferably, the sidewalls 13, second upper plate 11b, lower plate 12, and adjoining pan section(s) and additional cap section(s) (if any) are formed of the same material.

The channel 17, as shown in FIG. 3A, is in ventilating communication with the first and second openings 14a, 14b. In addition, the gap between the first and second upper plates 11a, 11b is in ventilating communication with the first opening 14a. This configuration permits airflow between regions above and below the roof 2. The regions below the roof 2 may include an attic or a living space of a building. The channel 17 is also configured to be in ventilating communication with air channels of the roof tiles 20, as will be better understood from later description herein.

Referring to FIG. 4A, each of cap sections 20a of the roof tiles 20 includes an upper plate 21, a lower plate 22, and sidewalls 23. The upper plate 21 opposes the lower plate 22 with a space therebetween. The sidewalls 23 include a first sidewall 23a and a second sidewall 23b opposing each other. The upper plate 21, the lower plate 22, and the two sidewalls 23a, 23b, together define an air channel 27 formed through the cap section 20a of the roof tile 20.

The upper plate 21 forms an upper part of the cap section 20a of the roof tile 20. The illustrated upper plate 21 is convex when viewed from above. In other embodiments, the upper plate may have various other shapes. Preferably, the upper plate 21 of the cap section 20a of the roof tile 20 has substantially the same shape as the first upper plate 11a of the cap section 10a of the vent tile 10. The upper plate 21 may be formed of, without limitation, clay, a metal, a plastic material, or a combination of two or more of the foregoing. Preferably, the upper plate 21 is formed of clay.

The lower plate 22 forms a lower part of the cap section 20a of the roof tile 20. The illustrated lower plate 22 is flat in shape. In other embodiments, the lower plate may have various other shapes. The lower plate 22 may be formed of, without limitation, clay, a metal, a plastic material, or a combination of two or more of the foregoing. Preferably, the lower plate 22 is formed of the same material as that of the upper plate 21.

The sidewalls 23 connect the upper plate 21 to the lower plate 22. In the illustrated embodiment, the sidewalls 23 are integrally formed with the upper and lower plates 21, 22. In other embodiments, the sidewalls 23 may be secured to the upper and lower plates 21, 22, using any suitable securing means. The sidewalls 23 may be formed of, without limitation, clay, a metal, a plastic material, or a combination of two or more of the foregoing. Preferably, the sidewalls 23 are formed of the same material as that of the upper plate 21 or the lower plate 22. Preferably, the upper plate 21, lower plate 22, and sidewalls 23 are formed of the same material.

FIG. 4A illustrates a cross-section of the roof 2 of FIG. 2, taken along the line 4A-4A. The roof tiles 20 are arranged parallel to one another on the roof supporting structure 30. The vent tiles 10 are interposed between two of the roof tiles 20 in the illustrated cross-section. Referring to the embodiment of FIG. 4A, the first and second openings 14a, 14b of the vent tiles 10 are in ventilating communication with apertures 35 of the roof supporting structure 30. In addition, the ventilating access between the first and second upper plates 11a, 11b is in ventilating communication with the first opening 14a of the second upper plate 11b. This configuration permits airflow between regions above and below the roof 2, and thus reduces heat or moisture build-up in the regions below the roof 2. The regions below the roof 2 may include an attic or a living space of a building.

FIG. 4B is a cross-section of the roof 2 of FIG. 2, taken along the line 4B-4B. In this embodiment, the roof tiles 20 are arranged in lines (or “columns” or “groups”) extending between the eave and ridge (not shown) of the roof 2. The roof tiles 20 are arranged such that the air channels 27 of the roof tiles 20 of each aligned group of roof tiles are in ventilating communication with one another to collectively form air passages extending within the roof. As described above, the air channels 27 are optionally located within the cap sections 20a of the roof tiles 20. This configuration provides insulation throughout the roof 2. Preferably, one or more of the roof tiles 20 in each aligned group of roof tiles 20 is replaced by a vent tile 10. Thus, the air channels 27 of the roof tiles 20 are also in ventilating communication with the first opening 14a and second opening 14b of the vent tile 10. This configuration permits ventilation of the air channels 27 of the roof tiles 20. The ventilation of the air channels 27 facilitates ventilation of the building while preserving the insulative effect of the air passages, each of which is defined by a group of air channels 27 (of roof tiles 20) and one or more air channels 17 (of vent tiles 10).

In FIG. 4B, the vent tile 10 is positioned vertically between two of the roof tiles 20. In another embodiment, the vent tile 10 may be located near the eave or ridge of the roof, as shown in FIG. 1, and may have only one neighboring roof tile 20. In certain embodiments, two or more vent tiles 10 may be provided in an aligned group or column of roof tiles 20. The vent tiles 10 may be provided in every aligned group or column of roof tiles 20 throughout the roof. In another embodiment, the vent tiles 10 may be provided in every other aligned group or column of roof tiles 20. A skilled artisan will appreciate that the number and positions of the vent tiles 10 may vary depending on the ventilation needs.

Referring back to FIG. 4A, cap sections 10a of the vent tiles 10 and cap sections 20b of the roof tiles 20 can be positioned between pan sections 10b, 20b. More specifically, each pan section 10b can be positioned between two cap sections 10a or between a cap section 10a and a cap section 20a, and each pan section 20b can be positioned between two cap sections 20a or between a cap section 20a and a cap section 10a. The illustrated pan section 10b, 20b includes an upper plate 41, a lower plate 42, and a central wall 48, but other configurations are possible. The illustrated upper plate 41 is concave when viewed from above. The lower plate 42 is flat in shape. The central wall 48 connects the upper plate 41 with the lower plate 42. The upper plate 41, the lower plate 42, and the central wall 48 together define air channels 47. These air channels 47 can be in ventilating communication with the air channels 47 of a neighboring roof tile (not shown). This configuration provides further insulation of the roof.

FIG. 5A illustrates one embodiment of a roof tile 520 having two cap sections 501 and two pan sections 502. The cap sections 501 and the pan sections 502 may be all integrated with one another, forming a single piece, and are preferably formed integrally. They may be fixed to one another using any suitable fastening means. Examples of the fastening means include, but are not limited to, bolts, nuts, nails, screws, adhesives, and solder. This combined structure permits ease of handling and installing. In other embodiments, however, the cap sections 501 and the pan sections 502 may be provided separately. A skilled artisan will appreciate that various configurations of tile structures are possible.

FIGS. 5B-5C illustrate various embodiments of vent tiles 510B, 510C, 510D configured to blend in visually and functionally with the roof tile 520 of FIG. 5A. Each of the vent tiles 510B, 510C, 510D has two cap sections 501, 503 and two pan sections 502. The cap sections 501, 503 and the pan sections 502 may be all integrated with one another, forming a single piece, and are preferably formed integrally.

The vent tile 510B of FIG. 5B includes two ventilating cap sections 503 and two pan sections 502. The vent tile 510C of FIG. 5C includes one non-ventilating cap section 501, one ventilating cap section 503, and two pan sections 502. The vent tile 510D of FIG. 5D also includes one non-ventilating cap section 501, one ventilating cap section 503, and two pan sections 502. The ventilating cap section 503 and the non-ventilating cap section 501 of the vent tile 510D, however, have an opposite arrangement from those of the vent tile 510C. It will be appreciated that various other configurations of vent tiles are possible.

The vent tile 10, as shown in FIGS. 2-5, may have the same shape as that of the roof tiles 20. The vent tile 10 preferably mimics the appearance of the roof tiles 20. This configuration avoids detrimentally affecting the appearance of the roof. In another embodiment, however, the vent tile may have a different shape and size to meet ventilation and/or decorative needs.

The roof supporting structure supports both the vent tiles 10 and the roof tiles 20. Referring to FIG. 6A, a roof 600A includes a roof supporting structure comprising a roof deck 30. The illustrated roof deck 30 directly supports the vent tiles 10 and the roof tiles 20. In this embodiment, the roof deck 30 includes apertures 35 over which the vent tiles 10 are placed. The apertures 35 are in ventilating communication with the second openings 14b of the vent tile lower plates 12, as shown in FIG. 4A. This configuration permits airflow between regions above and below the roof 600A.

In another embodiment, the roof supporting structure may further include battens interposed between the roof deck 30 and the tiles 10, 20. The battens may run parallel to one another and to the eave and ridge of the roof. The battens may directly support the tiles 10, 20. The battens are preferably configured to not interrupt the air passages collectively formed by the air channels 27 of the roof tiles 20.

In certain embodiments, the roof supporting structure may also include a radiant barrier layer. The radiant barrier layer may reside over and substantially across the roof supporting structure. The radiant barrier layer includes a radiant barrier material that reflects radiant heat away from the roof. The radiant barrier material may comprise a sheet or coating. The coating may be formed of a paint blended with a radiant barrier additive. The radiant barrier material may preferably include a highly reflective material, such as aluminum. The radiant barrier layer may further include a substrate material such as kraft paper, plastic films (e.g., polypropylene and polyethylene), or cardboard. Another type of radiant barrier layer comprises bubble wrap with one or both sides covered with aluminum foil. In certain embodiments, the radiant barrier layer is reinforced by fiber to increase the durability and ease of handling. The radiant barrier may also include apertures in ventilating communication with the apertures of the roof deck 30 and the second openings 14b of the vent tile lower plates 12.

Referring to FIG. 6B, the roof supporting structure may include rafters 60 and battens 50 without a roof deck. The battens 50 directly support the tiles 10, 20. In this embodiment, no aperture is required in the roof supporting structure because the spaces between the battens are open for airflow. In certain embodiments, the roof supporting structure may also include a radiant barrier layer attached to either or both of the rafters and battens. The configuration of the radiant barrier layer may be as described above with reference to FIG. 6A.

The roof tiles described above (e.g., 10, 20) may be installed in a roof as follows. In one embodiment where the roof supporting structure has only rafters and battens without a roof deck or a radiant barrier, the vent tiles 10 are simply installed sequentially with the roof tiles 20.

In another embodiment where the roof supporting structure comprises a roof deck and/or a radiant barrier layer, apertures (e.g., 35) are formed through the deck and/or the radiant barrier layer. Then, the roof tiles 20 and vent tiles 10 are mounted thereon. The vent tiles 10 are installed at the apertures such that the second openings 14b of the vent tile lower plates 12 are aligned with the apertures. A skilled artisan will appreciate that various other steps or processes may be used for installing the roof tiles 20 and the vent tiles 10.

According to the embodiments described above, the roof structure includes vent tiles mimicking the appearance of roof tiles. This configuration enhances the insulating of the roof without detrimentally affecting the appearance of the roof. It will be understood that the appearance of the vent tiles and roof tiles can be different than that of the tiles 10, 20 disclosed herein.

Although this invention has been disclosed in the context of certain preferred embodiments and examples, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the present invention extends beyond the specifically disclosed embodiments to other alternative embodiments and/or uses of the invention and obvious modifications thereof. Thus, it is intended that the scope of the present invention herein disclosed should not be limited by the particular disclosed embodiments described above, but should be determined only by a fair reading of the claims that follow.





 
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