Title:
Membrane for use in the construction of buildings
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A membrane (1) for use in the construction of buildings is described. The membrane (1) is provided with an alignment means (2, 3) to align the membrane (1) with a structure (7) of a building to which the membrane is to be attached. The distance (A) between the edge of the membrane (1) and the alignment means (2) may be equal to that specified by local building regulations for overlap between the membrane (1) and the building structure.



Inventors:
Grant, Matthew Bruce (Waitakere City, NZ)
Application Number:
12/222535
Publication Date:
02/26/2009
Filing Date:
08/11/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/408, 52/741.3, 29/592
International Classes:
E04B1/64
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
FONSECA, JESSIE T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BIRCH, STEWART, KOLASCH & BIRCH, LLP (FALLS CHURCH, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A membrane for use in the construction of buildings, the membrane provided with at least one alignment means to align the membrane with a structure of a building to which the membrane is to be attached.

2. The membrane of claim 1, wherein the alignment means extends substantially parallel to an edge of the membrane.

3. The membrane of claim 2 wherein the alignment means extends substantially parallel to an edge of the membrane at a distance of between 20 mm and 200 mm from the edge of the membrane.

4. The membrane of claim 3 wherein the alignment means extends substantially parallel to an edge of the membrane at a distance of between 50 mm and 150 mm from the edge.

5. The membrane of claim 1 wherein the alignment means includes a visual indicator.

6. The membrane of claim 5 wherein the alignment means is printed on the membrane.

7. The membrane of any claim 1 wherein the alignment means comprises at least one mark or line.

8. The membrane of claim 7 wherein the alignment means comprises a series of lines or marks.

9. The membrane of claim 7 wherein the alignment means includes at least one line of text and/or other indicia.

10. The membrane of claim 5 wherein the alignment means is produced by a change in opacity of the membrane.

11. The membrane of claim 10 wherein the alignment means comprises a transparent or translucent window in a relatively opaque membrane.

12. The membrane of claim 1 wherein the alignment means includes a non-visual indicator.

13. The membrane of claim 12 wherein the alignment means includes a tactile indicator.

14. The membrane of claim 13 wherein the tactile indicator is embossed or depressed on the membrane.

15. The membrane of claim 1 wherein the alignment means is a combination of a visual and a non-visual alignment means.

16. The membrane of claim 1, wherein there is only one alignment means spaced either 50 mm or 150 mm from the edge.

17. The membrane of claim 1 wherein the membrane has two or more alignment means.

18. The membrane of claim 17 wherein the two or more alignment means are substantially similar.

19. The membrane of claim 17 including: (a) A first alignment means extending substantially parallel to but spaced from an edge of the membrane; and, (b) a second alignment means extending substantially parallel to but spaced from an opposite edge of the membrane.

20. The membrane of claim 19 wherein the first alignment means extends substantially parallel to an edge of the membrane at a distance of substantially 50 millimetres from the edge of the membrane, and the second alignment means extends substantially parallel to an opposite edge of the membrane at a distance of substantially 150 millimetres from the edge of the membrane.

21. The membrane of claim 17 including: (a) A first alignment means extending substantially parallel to but spaced from an edge of the membrane; (b) a second alignment means extending substantially parallel to but spaced from an opposite edge of the membrane; and, (c) at least one further alignment means extending substantially parallel to the first two alignment means and created between the first two alignment means.

22. The membrane of claim 1 wherein at least one of the alignment means extends parallel to and spaced apart from an edge of the membrane, wherein the spacing is selected to be substantially equal to a minimum distance specified by a building regulation for overlap between adjacent building membranes.

23. The membrane claim 1 wherein at least one of the alignment means extends parallel to and spaced apart from an edge of the membrane, wherein the spacing is selected to be substantially equal to a minimum distance specified by a building regulation for a building membrane to overlap from a bottom plate of a building structure.

24. The membrane of claim 1 wherein the membrane is preformed.

25. A method of applying a membrane according to claim 1 to a building structure, the method comprising positioning the membrane on a surface of the building structure so that the alignment means is aligned with an indicator on the surface, and attaching the membrane to the surface.

26. The method of claim 25 wherein the indicator is a horizontal edge or surface of the building structure.

27. The method of claim 25 wherein the indicator is an edge of another membrane already attached to the building.

28. The method of claim 25 when used to apply the membrane to an external surface of a building frame.

29. The method of claim 25 when used to apply the membrane to an internal surface of a building.

30. A method of manufacturing a membrane for use in the construction of buildings, the method including the step of providing the membrane with at least one alignment means to assist in aligning the membrane with a surface of a building.

31. The method of claim 30 including the step of selecting a distance between an edge of the membrane and at least one of the at least one alignment means to be substantially equal to a minimum distance specified by a building regulation, code or compliance document, for overlap between adjacent building membranes.

32. The method of claim 30 including the step of selecting a distance between an edge of the membrane and at least one of the at least one alignment means to be substantially equal to a minimum distance specified by a building regulation, code or compliance document for a building membrane to overlap from a bottom plate of a building structure.

33. The membrane of claim 8 wherein the alignment means includes at least one line of text and/or other indicia.

34. The membrane of claim 18 including: (a) A first alignment means extending substantially parallel to but spaced from an edge of the membrane; and, (b) a second alignment means extending substantially parallel to but spaced from an opposite edge of the membrane.

35. The membrane of claim 18 including: (a) A first alignment means extending substantially parallel to but spaced from an edge of the membrane; (b) a second alignment means extending substantially parallel to but spaced from an opposite edge of the membrane; and, (c) at least one further alignment means extending substantially parallel to the first two alignment means and created between the first two alignment means.

Description:

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

Building membranes that are waterproof, or have at least some weatherproof properties, are frequently used to help weatherproof buildings. For example, they can be applied to an external wall before an external cladding is fixed to the wall or applied to a roof surface before the roofing material, such as corrugated steel, tiles or slates, is fixed to the roof.

Typically, the building membrane is supplied in the form of a sheet or a continuous roll that is positioned on the surface to be covered and fixed in place using suitable fixing means, such as fasteners which could be staples, nails or any other type of fastener suitable for the material to which the membrane is to be fixed.

To maximise the weatherproof properties, the membrane should be taut when fixed to the appropriate surface. Furthermore, the membrane should be applied in such a manner to minimise the number of crinkles or partial folds that may facilitate the ingress of moisture over time.

It can be difficult to apply the membrane to a long surface, such as the side of a building, in a continuous crinkle/fold free manner. For example, if the membrane is slightly out of alignment when initially fastened to the building frame (for example a vertical edge), then it will need to be partially folded (thus introducing crinkles) as it is extended axially and fastened along the side of a building.

Additional difficulties can arise when there are building regulations in a particular jurisdiction defining the positioning of the membrane with respect to the building structure to which it is applied. For example, the regulations may define that the membrane must overlap the bottom plate of a building structure by a specific amount. The regulations may further define that subsequent membranes must overlap the first membrane by a specific amount.

Building membranes of the prior art are often marked with branding indicia. However, the nature and positioning of this indicia means that it is not useful in assisting with the alignment of the membrane relative to the building structure and/or other building membranes.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the invention to avoid or mitigate at least some of the disadvantages of existing building membranes and/or existing methods of applying a membrane to building structures, or to at least provide a useful choice.

Other objects of the present invention may become apparent from the following description, which is given by way of example only.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

According to one aspect of the present invention there is provided a membrane for use in the construction of buildings, the membrane provided with an alignment means to align the membrane with a structure of a building to which the membrane is to be attached.

Preferably the alignment means extends substantially parallel to an edge of the membrane.

Preferably the alignment means extends substantially parallel to an edge of the membrane at a distance of between 20 mm and 200 mm from the edge of the membrane.

Preferably the alignment means extends substantially parallel to an edge of the membrane at a distance of between 50 mm and 150 mm from the edge.

Preferably the alignment means includes a visual indicator.

Preferably the alignment means is printed on the membrane.

Preferably the alignment means comprises at least one mark or line.

Preferably the alignment means comprises a series of lines or marks.

Preferably the alignment means includes at least one line of text and/or other indicia.

Preferably the alignment means is produced by a change in opacity of the membrane.

Preferably the alignment means comprises a transparent or translucent window in a relatively opaque membrane.

Preferably the alignment means includes a non-visual indicator.

Preferably the alignment means includes a tactile indicator.

Preferably the tactile indicator is embossed or depressed on the membrane.

Preferably the alignment means is a combination of a visual and a non-visual alignment means.

Preferably there is only one alignment means spaced either 50 mm or 150 mm from the edge.

Preferably the membrane has two or more alignment means.

Preferably the two or more alignment means are substantially similar.

Preferably the membrane includes:

    • (a) A first alignment means extending substantially parallel to but spaced from an edge of the membrane; and,
    • (b) a second alignment means extending substantially parallel to but spaced from an opposite edge of the membrane.

Preferably the first alignment means extends substantially parallel to an edge of the membrane at a distance of substantially 50 millimetres from the edge of the membrane, and the second alignment means extends substantially parallel to an opposite edge of the membrane at a distance of substantially 150 millimetres from the edge of the membrane.

Preferably the membrane includes:

    • (a) A first alignment means extending substantially parallel to but spaced from an edge of the membrane;
    • (b) a second alignment means extending substantially parallel to but spaced from an opposite edge of the membrane; and,
    • (c) at least one further alignment means extending substantially parallel to the first two alignment means and created between the first two alignment means.

Preferably at least one of the alignment means extends parallel to and spaced apart from an edge of the membrane, wherein the spacing is selected to be substantially equal to a minimum distance specified by a building regulation for overlap between adjacent building membranes.

Preferably at least one of the alignment means extends parallel to and spaced apart from an edge of the membrane, wherein the spacing is selected to be substantially equal to a minimum distance specified by a building regulation for a building membrane to overlap from a bottom plate of a building structure.

Preferably the membrane is preformed.

According to a second aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of applying a membrane according to the first aspect to a building structure, the method comprising positioning the membrane on the surface of the building structure so that the alignment means is aligned with an indicator on the surface, and attaching the membrane to the surface.

Preferably the indicator is a horizontal edge or surface of a building structure.

Preferably the indicator is an edge of another membrane already attached to the building.

Preferably the method is used to apply the membrane to an external surface of a building frame.

Preferably the method is used to apply the membrane to an internal surface of a building.

According to a third aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of manufacturing a membrane for use in the construction of buildings, the method including the step of providing the membrane with at least one alignment means to assist in aligning the membrane with a surface of a building.

Preferably the method includes the step of selecting a distance between an edge of the membrane and at least one of the at least one alignment means to be substantially equal to a minimum distance specified by a building regulation, code or compliance document for overlap between adjacent building membranes.

Preferably the method includes the step of selecting a distance between an edge of the membrane and at least one of the at least one alignment means to be substantially equal to a minimum distance specified by a building regulation, code or compliance document for a building membrane to overlap from a bottom plate of a building structure.

Preferably the compliance document is the Department of Building and Housing Acceptable Solution No.E2/AS1 or an equivalent.

According to a further aspect of the present invention there is provided a membrane for use in the construction of buildings substantially as herein described with reference to the accompanying Figures.

According to a still further aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of applying a building membrane to a building structure substantially as herein described, with reference to FIGS. 4 and 5.

Further aspects of the invention, which should be considered in all its novel aspects, will become apparent from the following description given by way of example of possible embodiments of the invention.

Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, throughout the description and the claims, the words “comprise”, “comprising”, and the like, are to be construed in an inclusive sense as opposed to an exclusive or exhaustive sense, that is to say, in the sense of “including, but not limited to”.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1: Shows a membrane with alignment means comprising two continuous lines.

FIG. 2: Shows a membrane with alignment means comprising two broken lines.

FIG. 3: Shows a membrane with alignment means comprising four broken lines.

FIG. 4: Shows the membrane of FIG. 2 applied to a building structure, with one of the alignment means aligned to an edge of the building structure.

FIG. 5: Shows a second membrane of the type shown in FIG. 2, applied to a building structure to which a membrane has already been applied, and aligned with one of the alignment means on the already applied membrane.

FIG. 6: Shows a further embodiment of the membrane of the present invention, with alignment means comprising two lines of text.

FIG. 7: Shows a further embodiment with alignment means comprising two lines of symbols.

FIG. 8: Shows a still further embodiment with alignment means comprising two lines of alternative symbols.

BEST METHODS FOR PERFORMING THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 shows a membrane 1 with alignment means 2 and 3. The membrane 1 can be any membrane used in the construction of buildings and may be applied and secured to internal or external surfaces. An example of the type of membrane used in the construction of buildings includes breathable vapour permeable membranes that control moisture/water transfer. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the membrane is a prefabricated sheet available in a continuous roll or individual pre-cut sheets. The membrane may be secured to the building structure using suitable fasteners, such as staples.

The example depicts each alignment means 2, 3 as continuous solid lines printed on the membrane. Alternatively, the alignment means 2, 3 may be a series of broken lines as shown in FIG. 2, or any other suitable type of indicator. The indicator is preferably visible, but could be a tactile indicator, for example raised or depressed marks on the surface of the membrane. By way of example, the alignment means 2, 3 may be printed, embossed or depressed onto the surface of the membrane.

Alternatively, the alignment means may be provided by a change in opacity of the membrane. For example, the alignment means may be a transparent or translucent window in a substantially opaque membrane.

Further examples of the alignment means may include a combination of visible and tactile indicators. For example the alignment means may comprise a broken line that is both embossed and printed on the membrane 1. Alternatively, the membrane might comprise two or more different alignment means, for example, alignment means 2 (as shown in FIG. 1) may be a printed line and alignment means 3 may be a depressed line.

The position of the alignment means 2, 3 may be dictated by a required overlap. For example, a jurisdictional regulation may require that membrane 1 overlaps a surface or an edge by a distance X (not shown). If alignment means 2 extends substantially parallel to membrane edge 4 (FIG. 1), at a distance A, wherein distance A is substantially equal to X, then the alignment means will indicate the stipulated overlap. Similarly, alignment means 3 extends substantially parallel to edge 5 at a distance B from the edge 5. This allows the membrane 1 to be aligned with further edges or surfaces or additional membranes. The distance B may also be dictated by the overlap required by jurisdictional building regulations, codes or compliance documents, for example the required overlap of an overlapping membrane. For example, in one embodiment the distance B may be equal to the overlap set out by the “Department of Building and Housing Acceptable Solution No.E2/AS1” or an equivalent.

Referring next to FIG. 3, in a further embodiment, the membrane 1 may comprise additional alignment means 6, extending substantially parallel between alignment means 2 and 3. This may have advantages if the membrane 1 has to be reduced in size prior to application. For example, the membrane 1 can be cut and the additional alignment means may still be used to align the cut membrane with a surface. Alternatively, the additional alignment means 6 may be used to indicate alternative and/or additional required overlaps.

FIG. 4 shows how the membrane 1 can be applied to a building structure, generally referenced by arrow 7. In this example, the alignment means 2 can be aligned with the lower edge of the bottom plate 8 of the building structure 7, and the membrane 1 secured to the structure 7 using suitable fasteners such as staples (not shown). The alignment means 2 extends along the membrane 1, so the membrane 1 can be applied and secured with a constant uniform overlap A along the bottom plate 8 of the building structure 7.

FIG. 5 shows how a further the membrane 1A can subsequently be applied to the building structure 7. The lower edge of the second building membrane 1A can be aligned with the alignment means 3 of first membrane 1. The alignment means 3 extends along membrane 1, so the second membrane 1A can be applied and secured with a constant uniform overlap B all the way along membrane 1.

By way of example, in New Zealand the building regulation compliance document Department of Building and Housing Acceptable Solution No.E2/AS1 stipulates that the building membrane must overlap the bottom plate of a building structure by at least 50 millimetres and subsequently applied overlapping membrane must overlap the already applied membrane by at least 150 millimetres. Accordingly, in New Zealand it may be convenient for distance A to equal 50 mm and distance B to equal 150 mm. However, in alternative embodiments distance A may be as little as 30 mm or even 20 mm.

Referring next to FIG. 6, the alignment means may include lines of text or other indicia 9, 10. The lines of text or indicia may be orientated so that either the top edge 11 or bottom edge 12 can be used to align the membrane.

Referring next to FIG. 7, in another embodiment the alignment means may include one or more lines of symbols 13, 14. Any suitable part of the symbols may be used as the edge of the alignment means. In the embodiment shown the top edge of the upper line 14 and the lower edge of the lower line 13 of symbols may be used to align the membrane 1. However, it may be convenient to use a central portion of some other symbol shapes, for example the symbols shown in FIG. 8. As is shown in FIG. 8, it is not necessary that the symbols, text or other indicia are continuous along the membrane, as long as any spaces are kept relatively small.

Advantages of the invention include assisting with the application of a membrane to a building structure. The membrane of the invention can be more easily aligned then applied to a surface of a building structure substantially without crinkles or folds. Further advantages of the invention include facilitating the application of a membrane to a building structure, where a uniform overlap is required between the membrane and an edge or surface of the building structure. Furthermore, the membrane of the invention facilitates the application of further subsequent membranes, where a uniform overlap is required between the subsequent membrane and already secured membranes.

Where in the foregoing description, reference has been made to specific components or integers of the invention having known equivalents, then such equivalents are herein incorporated as if individually set forth.

Although the invention has been described by way of example with reference to a preferred embodiment, modifications and variations may be made to the invention without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention.