Title:
Protective barrier material having low visual impact
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A protective material for wrapping a building under construction, after construction, and building materials on a job site but not yet used in the framework construction. The protective material is formed from a synthetic composite sheet having a visual noise reductive colorization for providing low visual impact of the building under construction in its surrounding environment.



Inventors:
Leahy, Charles H. (Asheville, NC, US)
Application Number:
11/728656
Publication Date:
10/02/2008
Filing Date:
03/27/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04G21/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FIGUEROA, LUZ ADRIANA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NEO IP (DURHAM, NC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A film-like material for wrapping a building under construction comprising a synthetic material formed from a composite sheet wherein the material includes visual noise reductive colorization for providing low visual impact of the building under construction in its surrounding environment.

2. The material of claim 1, wherein the composite sheet provides a protective barrier that shields the building under construction from weather-related damage or deterioration.

3. The material of claim 1, wherein the composite sheet has a permeability that provides for breathability while still being water-resistant.

4. The material of claim 1, wherein the composite sheet is moisture-repellent.

5. The material of claim 1, wherein the composite sheet is continuous.

6. The material of claim 1, wherein the material is sectionally applied to the building under construction.

7. The material of claim 1, wherein the composite sheet is formed from a nonwoven fabric.

8. The material of claim 5, wherein the nonwoven fabric is laminated.

9. The material of claim 5, wherein the nonwoven fabric is chemically treated.

10. The material of claim 1, wherein the composite sheet further includes an elastomeric component.

11. The material of claim 1, wherein the material is applied to building materials prior to their use on the building under construction.

12. The material of claim 1, wherein the material having low visual impact is rated according to the level of visual differentiation between the material and the surrounding environment of the building under construction.

13. The material of claim 1, wherein at least one surface of the sheet includes a visual pattern.

14. The material of claim 1, wherein at least one surface of the sheet is textured.

15. The material of claim 1, wherein the material colorization includes camouflage patterning.

16. The material of claim 1, wherein the material colorization comprises earth tones.

17. The material of claim 1, wherein the material colorization is selected from the group consisting of stone, sand, clay, sage, forest, brown, gray, and combinations thereof.

18. The material of claim 1, wherein the material is approximately opaque.

19. The material of claim 1, wherein the opacity is at least about 75%.

20. A film-like material for wrapping building materials not yet being used in a building construction comprising a synthetic material formed from a composite sheet wherein the material includes an elastomeric component to ensure a secure fitting wrap over the building materials, wherein the material has a visual noise reductive colorization for providing low visual impact of the building materials not yet being used in a building construction.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to protective barrier materials used in construction. Further, the present invention relates to a synthetic housewrap material for use to protect buildings under construction, after construction, and building materials on a job site but not yet used in the framework construction.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Prior art housewrap materials are known. By way of example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,308,691 issued May 3, 1994 for Controlled Porosity, Calenderd Spunbonded/meltblown Laminates and U.S. Pat. No. 4,900,619 issued Feb. 13, 1990 for Translucent Housewrap.

Housewrap products of the prior art presently use bright or high contrasting color as “trade dress” to allow for the ready identification of their product from a distance. Additionally, the prior art housewarp materials include unique or custom logo schemes—the larger more distinguishable the better—for further differentiation of their product.

There is presently no attempt by the market to make their product “invisible” and blend seamlessly with the environment, since product competitive differentiation is the state of the art. This differentiation is occurring primarily in two different directions:

    • 1. Trade dress—the superficial appearance of the product where it is a race to figure out how to quickly and easily identify the manufacturer from farther and farther away; and
    • 2. Technical ability—the actual performance of the product in varying environmental conditions. Since this is not as readily apparent in a cost/benefit analysis it is a much higher burden to address by manufacturers.

However, none of the prior art materials provide low visual impact or colorization or opacity to ensure that the housewrap material blends into the surrounding environment so as to minimize the visual noise pollution. By sharp contrast and teaching away from the present invention, these prior art products include highly visible colorization and branding that is intended to stand out visually from the environment and competitive products.

By way of example, FIG. 1 shows a building under construction 10 having typical prior art housewrap 15 that uses bright and high contrasting color (in this case, a bright white color) to stand out visually from the environment and competitive products. A completed house 30 blends in with the environment, but the house under construction 20 stands out in stark contrast because of the prior art housewrap's 15 lack of low visual impact.

Communities are passing legislation restricting buildings on hillsides in response to complaints from citizens that development is unsightly and damaging their viewscape. (see attached article). By lessening the visual impact of development to communities developers would not be negatively impacted by ordinances constricting development. The community would benefit by lessening the amount of visual noise pollution they are exposed to daily.

Negative commercial effects include opposition to development in environmentally sensitive areas or to additional development where there is an appearance of overdevelopment due to the high noise pollution of these prior art housewraps. Thus, there remains a need to minimize visual impact or visual noise pollution with a colorization that minimizes impact or difference between the housewrap material and the surrounding environment.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A first aspect of the present invention is to provide a film-like material for wrapping a building under construction including a synthetic material formed from a composite sheet wherein the material includes visual noise reductive colorization for providing low visual impact of the building under construction in its surrounding environment.

A second aspect of the present invention is to provide a film-like material for wrapping building materials not yet being used in a building construction, the material formed from a synthetic composite sheet having an elastomeric component to ensure a secure fitting wrap over the building materials, wherein the material has a visual noise reductive colorization for providing low visual impact of the building materials not yet being used in a building construction.

Thus, the present invention provides a protective barrier for use in construction that further provides reduced or minimized visual impact within the surrounding environment.

These and other aspects of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art after a reading of the following description of the preferred embodiment when considered with the drawings, as they support the claimed invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a digital photo image of a building under construction having typical prior art housewrap that uses bright and high contrasting color to stand out visually from the environment and competitive products.

FIG. 2 is a digital photo image of a building under construction having the protective housewrap material in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In the following description, like reference characters designate like or corresponding parts throughout the several views. Also in the following description, it is to be understood that such terms as “forward,” “rearward,” “front,” “back,” “right,” “left,” “upwardly,” “downwardly,” and the like are words of convenience and are not to be construed as limiting terms.

By way of definition, as used herein a housewrap describes a protective barrier installed on a house under construction that will prevent outside moisture from penetrating to the house but allows moisture from inside the house envelope to escape. This barrier is sometimes, though not always, constructed of a non-woven web material such as spun-bonded polyethylene or melt-blown or spun-bonded polypropylene and is often laminated in layers of materials having different characteristics.

The present invention provides a film-like material for wrapping buildings under construction and/or building materials not yet being used in a building construction, the material formed from a synthetic composite sheet having a visual noise reductive colorization for providing low visual impact of the building under construction and/or the unused building materials in their surrounding environments. Additionally, the present invention provides a composite sheet material having an elastomeric component to ensure a secure fitting wrap over the building under construction and/or unused building materials, wherein the composite sheet material has a visual noise reductive colorization for providing low visual impact of the building under construction in its surrounding environment. In terms of explanation, by colorization, the present invention is typically but not exclusively referring to the background or dominant colorization of at least one surface, the outside surface of the material.

Preferably the material functions as a protective barrier for the building materials used during construction of the building and/or for unused building materials that may deteriorate or degrade during exposure to the weather or other elements, such as but not limited to ultraviolet (UV) light. Also, preferably the material functions as a breathable layer within the building framework to allow air, vapors, and/or moisture to pass unidirectionally from the interior of the structure outwardly. In this manner, the material provides weather resistance, water-resistance or water-repellence.

According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the film-like material for wrapping a building under construction and providing a protective barrier includes a synthetic material formed from a composite sheet wherein the material includes visual noise reductive colorization for providing low visual impact of the building under construction in its surrounding environment.

The composite sheet is formed according to methods and materials known in the art, such as set forth in U.S. Pat. No. 5,308,691 issued May 3, 1994 for Controlled Porosity, Calenderd Spunbonded/meltblown Laminates or U.S. Pat. No. 4,900,619 issued Feb. 13, 1990 for Translucent Housewrap, both of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety. Such a nonwoven composite material is preferably laminated or chemically treated to provide predetermined qualities and functionality. By contrast to these prior art constructions, the present invention may further include or otherwise incorporate some elastomeric component to ensure compressive fit or snugness of the material when applied to the building framework or materials on the construction site.

Preferably, the composite sheet provides a protective barrier that shields the building under construction from weather-related damage or deterioration. In terms of functionality, the composite sheet has a permeability that provides for breathability while still being water-resistant. Other functions like moisture-repellency, UV-resistance, and other weather/environmental protections are preferably additional or optional.

Typically, the composite sheet is continuous so that its application is seamless to the building; its availability and application on the construction site is provided in roll form for continuous sheet material. Alternatively, the materially may be sectionally applied to the building under construction.

A rating system for the material may be applied to indicate what level of reduced visual impact exists according to the level of visual differentiation between the material and the surrounding environment of the building under construction. The rating can be numeric or color-coded or both. For example, in a coastal setting, the level of reduced visual impact or matching between the material colorization and the surrounding environment would be higher or better (thereby indicating less difference visually) for sand colored material than for green. In a second example, in an urban setting, the material colorization is higher or better for reduced visual impact where the colorization includes gray or stone to match or correspond to the other buildings and concrete proximate the site. Also, for example, on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 matches the color tone and temperature of the immediate environment, such as a clay colored housewrap in the hills of Sedona, Ariz., or a forest camouflage patterned housewrap on a wooded mountainside in the summertime, and 5 would be a highly contrasting color such as white or pink housewrap on the same wooded mountainside.

Preferably, at least one surface of the sheet of the present invention includes a visual pattern and in one embodiment the pattern is a camouflage patterning suitable to minimize differences between the building under construction and its surrounding environment. In this case, camouflage patterning may include the characteristics of the surrounding environment and may be seasonal, such as by way of example and not limitation, winter terrain, summer forest, or desert.

Preferably, the present invention provides for situational camouflage, since the surrounding environment can vary widely from region to region and also by season. The camouflage schemes required for building environments may be different from any camouflage developed before. The community may not want bright pink or blue housewrap, so the appropriate pattern may be a blend of summer colors (shades of green for foliage, blue and white for sky), with blacks, browns and greys mixed in for urban association. Associating different camouflage schemes with different environments may be required in response to the urgings of the local communities.

Additionally and optionally, the composite sheet of the material may include at least one side that is textured to further visually blend or minimize differences between the material and the surrounding environment when viewed from a distance.

The material colorization for providing low visual impact or difference between the outside surface of the material and the surrounding environment of the building under construction generally include earth tones or natural tones, for example, including but not limited to stone, sand, clay, sage, forest, brown, gray, and combinations thereof. Additionally, urban settings may have metallic or concrete colorization to ensure best blending or minimization of visual impact.

Preferably, the material is approximately opaque, wherein the opacity ranges between about 50 and about 100%; alternatively, another level of general opacity is used, such as determined by TAPPI test T-519 om-86, of at least 75%, depending upon the surrounding environment and building materials colorization.

Referring now to the drawings in general, the illustrations are for the purpose of describing a preferred embodiment of the invention and are not intended to limit the invention thereto. As best seen in FIG. 1, a building under construction 20 is shown at least partially covered or encased with the housewrap material 25 of the present invention. The material 25 has a noise reductive colorization on the exterior or outward facing surface that is designed to minimize or provide a low visual impact or difference between the building under construction and its surrounding environment. As shown in FIG. 2, a completed house 30 blends in with the environment, and the house under construction also blends in with the environment because of the housewrap material's 25 visual noise reductive colorization that provides low visual impact of the building under construction 20 in its surrounding environment.

Certain modifications and improvements will occur to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the foregoing description. By way of example, while the material is preferably weather-resistant, it may also be treated or otherwise constructed to provide UV-resistance or UV-filtering or blocking to prevent degradation from sunlight, in particular where the building materials being covered by the housewrap of the present invention are subject to UV degradation. Also, camouflaged house wrap could be used as a cheap and effective alternative to quickly protect military vehicles, equipment or buildings. Also, hunters could use the housewrap material fitted with fasteners or elastomeric material for the enclosure of hunting supplies, vehicles or structures in the field.

The above mentioned examples are provided to serve the purpose of clarifying the aspects of the invention and it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that they do not serve to limit the scope of the invention. All modifications and improvements have been deleted herein for the sake of conciseness and readability but are properly within the scope of the following claims.