Title:
WALL CONSTRUCTION
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A tilt-up wall panel for use in the construction of a building is disclosed. The panel includes a composite slab that includes (a) a profiled decking sheet and (b) concrete cast on the profiled decking sheet.



Inventors:
Kralic, John (New South Wales, AU)
Contouris, Samuel (South Australia, AU)
Application Number:
11/720783
Publication Date:
02/26/2009
Filing Date:
12/02/2005
Assignee:
BLUESCOPE STEEL LIMITED (Melbourne, AU)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/414, 52/745.06, 52/745.11
International Classes:
E04C2/06; E04B2/08; E04B7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GILBERT, WILLIAM V
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MICHAEL BEST & FRIEDRICH LLP (Mke) (MILWAUKEE, WI, US)
Claims:
1. A tilt-up wall panel for use in the construction of a building that includes a composite slab that includes (a) a profiled decking sheet and (b) concrete cast on the profiled decking sheet.

2. The wall panel defined in claim 1 further includes reinforcement, such as mesh and/or bars and/or fibres and/or cables, embedded in the concrete.

3. The wall panel defined in claim 1 wherein the profiled decking sheet is in the form of a single sheet, for example a roll-formed sheet or a press-formed sheet, that includes a plurality of flat pans and one or more than one lengthwise extending ribs that separate the pans.

4. The wall panel defined in claim 3 wherein the ribs are closed ribs.

5. The wall panel defined in claim 1 wherein the profiled decking sheet is in the form of a plurality of separate sheets connected together in side-by-side relationship.

6. The wall panel defined in claim 5 wherein each separate decking sheet includes a single pan and opposed side edge formations that are formed to enable adjacent sheets to be connected together in side-by-side relationship.

7. The wall panel defined in claim 1 including one or more than one member that is embedded in the concrete and is formed from a material that can more easily receive and retain screws or other mechanical fasteners to mount laths or other fittings to the wall panel than the cast concrete of the wall panel.

8. The wall panel defined in claim 7 wherein the mounting member is in the form of a batten glued or otherwise secured to an inner surface of the profiled decking sheet and embedded in the concrete.

9. The wall panel defined in claim 7 wherein the mounting member is in the form of a ferrule glued or otherwise secured to an inner surface of the profiled decking sheet and embedded in the concrete.

10. A wall of a building wall that includes an assembly of (a) one or more than one composite wall panel that includes a profiled decking sheet and concrete cast on the profiled decking sheet, the wall panel or wall panels being mounted on an underlying wall support structure and (b) an internal wall lining mounted to and spaced inwardly of the wall panel or wall panels so that there is a gap between the wall panel or wall panels and the lining.

11. The wall defined in claim 10 wherein the assembly includes one or more than one lath mounted to the wall panel or wall panels and to the lining that spaces the lining inwardly of the wall panel or wall panels.

12. A method of constructing a wall on a wall support structure that includes a rebate having a horizontal surface and a vertical surface, which method includes steps of: (a) positioning a composite slab wall panel, the wall panel including a profiled decking sheet and concrete cast on the profiled decking sheet, so that it rests on the horizontal surface of the wall support structure and extends vertically upwardly with the rib or ribs of the profiled decking sheet of the wall panel forming an internal face of the wall; (b) and connecting together the wall panel and the wall support structure with one or more than one connection means via engagement of the connection means with a rib or ribs of the wall panel.

13. The method defined in claim 12 wherein the connection means is a mechanical connection device that can engage the rib or ribs of profiled decking sheets of wall panels and facilitate connecting together wall panels and the wall support structure.

14. The method defined in claim 12 wherein the wall support structure includes a series of first access passages extending downwardly into the wall support structure inboard of the rebate and a series of second access passages extending outwardly from the first passages and forming openings in the vertical surface of the rebate.

15. The method defined in claim 14 wherein the connection device includes an elongate shaft that extends through one of the second passages and has an enlarged head at an outboard end that can be received in the rib or one of the ribs of the profiled decking sheet and, in use, includes a means for placing the shaft under tension and pulling the wall panel and the wall support structure together.

16. The method defined in claim 12 including successively positioning a plurality of composite slab wall panels connecting the panels to the wall support structure and forming the wall.

17. The method defined in claim 12 wherein the edges of composite slabs that form side edges of composite slab wall panels include complementary formations, such as tongue and groove formations, so that adjacent composite slab wall panels fit together in overlapping relationship at the side edges.

18. A method of constructing an at least partially completed roof on walls of a building, which method includes steps of: (a) positioning the roof or partially completed roof in a lowered position between opposed walls of the building with members on opposite sides of the roof or partially completed roof extending into one or more vertically-extending ribs of profiled decking sheets of composite slab wall panels, the wall panels each including a profiled decking sheet and concrete cast on the profiled decking sheet, of the opposed walls of the building, (b) raising the roof or partially completed roof to a required raised position, whereby the ribs of profiled decking sheets of wall panels act as vertically extending guides that guide the roof or partially completed roof to the raised position, and (c) connecting the roof or partially completed roof to the walls in the raised position.

19. (canceled)

Description:

The present invention relates to the construction of buildings.

The present invention relates particularly, although by no means exclusively, to the construction of low rise buildings, typically up to 5 stories.

The present invention relates more particularly, although by no means exclusively, to the construction of single story commercial buildings, such as factories, warehouses and retail stores.

The term “story” is understood herein to be not limited to a particular height and includes stories of any required height, including standard heights used widely in the building industry, and higher clearance heights used from time to time and often required in buildings used as factories, warehouses and retail stores.

The present invention is concerned with the construction of so-called “tilt-up” walls of buildings, including the structure of panels for forming the walls and a method of connecting the panels and to underlying building support structures to thereby form the walls.

The present invention is also concerned with the construction of the roofs of buildings.

Known pre-cast concrete tilt-up wall panels are either cast on a building site or off-site and thereafter transported to the site. In either case, on the building site the panels are positioned on an underlying support structure, typically a rebated concrete slab, to form the walls of the building. Thereafter, the roof of the building is constructed to complete the main structure of the building.

The present invention provides an alternative tilt-up wall panel that is in the form of a composite slab, as described herein.

According to the present invention there is provided a tilt-up wall panel for use in the construction of a building that includes a composite slab that includes (a) a profiled decking sheet and, (b) concrete cast on the profiled decking sheet.

Preferably the composite slab wall panel also includes reinforcement, such as mesh and/or bars and/or fibres and/or cables and/or any other suitable reinforcement, embedded in the concrete.

The reinforcement may be pre-tensioned.

The reinforcement may be post-tensioned.

The reinforcement may be connected directly to the profiled decking sheet, for example by being welded or mechanically fastened to the sheet. One particular example of such reinforcement is one or more than one channel member formed by roll forming or pressing steel that is fastened to the sheet so as to extend transversely to the sheet.

The reinforcement may also be positioned above and therefore not connected directly to the profiled decking sheet.

The profiled decking sheet may be in the form of a single sheet, for example a roll-formed sheet or a press-formed sheet, that includes a plurality of flat pans and one or more than one lengthwise extending ribs (open or closed) that separate the pans.

With the above arrangement, by way of example, the reinforcement may include one or more than one channel member formed by roll forming or pressing steel that is fastened to the ribs to extend transversely to the sheet.

The profiled decking sheet may also be in the form of a plurality of separate sheets connected together in side-by-side relationship.

By way of particular example, each separate decking sheet may include a single pan and opposed side edge formations that are formed to enable adjacent sheets to be connected together in side-by-side relationship.

The wall panel may include one or more than one member that is embedded in the concrete and is formed from a material that can more easily receive and retain screws or other mechanical fasteners to mount laths or other fittings to the wall panel than the cast concrete of the wall panel.

By way of example, the mounting member may be in the form of a batten glued or otherwise secured to an inner surface of the profiled decking sheet and embedded in the concrete.

By way of further example, the mounting member may be in the form of a ferrule glued or otherwise secured to an inner surface of the profiled decking sheet and embedded in the concrete.

The wall panel may also include one or more than one void in the concrete for receiving screws or other mechanical fasteners to mount laths or other fittings to the wall panel.

It is also noted that the ribs of the profiled decking sheet, particularly closed ribs, are another option for receiving screws or other mechanical fasteners to mount laths or other fittings to the wall panel.

The use of the above-described composite slab as a tilt-up wall panel has a significant number of advantages over the above-described concrete panels.

By way of example, the advantages include (a) a relatively short time is required to form composite slabs on or off a building site compared to the time required to form the above-described concrete panels, (b) the structure of composite slab panels, specifically the fact that the concrete is in compression and the profiled decking sheet is in tension when lifting, facilitates construction of walls from the panels, (c) the structure of composite slab panels, specifically the ribs of decking sheets of composite slabs, facilitates connecting panels to an underlying support structure and constructing roofs supported by the panels that form the walls, (d) composite slabs can be constructed to be relatively long and/or wide if constructed on site and therefore are not subject to constraints of transporting the slabs from a manufacturing location to a building site, (e) the internal and/or external surfaces of composite slabs can be finished, for example pre-painted or clad, and (f) accessories, such as shelf support systems, can be readily attached to the mounting members or voids or ribs of decking sheets of composite slabs.

The present invention also provides a wall of a building wall that includes one or more than one of the above-described composite slab wall panel or wall panels mounted on an underlying wall support structure.

The present invention also provides a wall of a building wall that includes an assembly of (a) one or more than one of the above-described composite slab wall panel or wall panels mounted on an underlying wall support structure and (b) an internal wall lining mounted to and spaced inwardly of the wall panels so that there is a gap between the wall panel or wall panels and the lining.

Preferably the assembly includes one or more than one lath mounted to the wall panel or wall panels and to the lining that spaces the lining inwardly of the wall panel or wall panels.

The present invention also provides a method of constructing a wall from a plurality of composite slab wall panels which takes advantage of the ribs of the profiled decking sheets of composite slab wall panels that include such ribs in order to connect the composite slab wall panels to an underlying wall support structure, such as a rebated concrete footing.

According to the present invention there is provided a method of constructing a wall on a wall support structure that includes a rebate having a horizontal surface and a vertical surface, which method includes steps of:

    • (a) positioning a composite slab wall panel, as described herein, so that it rests on the horizontal surface of the wall support structure and extends vertically upwardly with the rib or ribs of the profiled decking sheet of the wall panel forming an internal face of the wall; and
    • (b) connecting together the wall panel and the wall support structure with one or more than one connection means via engagement of the connection means with a rib or ribs of the wall panel.

The above-described method is based on the use of ribs of profiled decking sheets of wall panels to facilitate connecting together wall panels and the wall support structure.

The connection means may be any suitable mechanical connection device that can engage the rib or ribs of profiled decking sheets of wall panels and facilitate connecting together wall panels and the wall support structure.

The wall support structure may include a series of first access passages extending downwardly into the wall support structure inboard of the rebate and a series of second access passages extending outwardly from the first passages and forming openings in the vertical surface of the rebate.

With this arrangement, preferably the connection device includes an elongate shaft that extends through one of the second passages and has an enlarged head at an outboard end that can be received in the rib or one of the ribs of the profiled decking sheet and, in use, includes a means for placing the shaft under tension and pulling the wall panel and the wall support structure together.

The connection means is not confined to the above-described mechanical device and extends to other suitable mechanical devices such as wedge systems.

The connection means is also not confined to mechanical devices and extends to non-mechanical connection means in the form of chemical adhesives.

The wall panels may be constructed to be load-bearing or non-load bearing panels.

The wall panels may be pre-stressed or post-tensioned.

The wall panels may be arranged so that the ribs of the decking sheets are vertical or horizontal.

The wall panels may be part of internal or perimeter walls.

Preferably the method includes successively positioning a plurality of wall panels connecting the panels to the wall support structure and forming the wall.

Preferably the edges of composite slabs that form side edges of wall panels include complementary formations, such as tongue and groove formations, so that adjacent composite slab wall panels fit together in overlapping relationship at the side edges.

According to the present invention there is also provided a tilt-up wall that includes one or more than one of the above-described composite slab wall panels made by the above-described method.

The present invention also provides a method of constructing an at least partially completed roof on the walls of a building that is based on using ribs of the profiled decking sheets of composite slab wall panels as guides for raising the roof or partially completed roof from a lowered position to a raised position and holding the roof or partially completed roof in the position while the roof or partially completed roof is secured in place.

According to the present invention there is also provided a method of constructing an at least partially completed roof on walls of a building, which method includes steps of:

    • (a) positioning the roof or partially completed roof in a lowered position between opposed walls of the building with members on opposite sides of the roof or partially completed roof extending into one or more vertically-extending ribs of profiled decking sheets of composite slab wall panels, as described herein, of the opposed walls of the building,
    • (b) raising the roof or partially completed roof to a required raised position, whereby the ribs of profiled decking sheets of wall panels act as vertically extending guides that guide the roof or partially completed roof to the raised position, and
    • (c) connecting the roof or partially completed roof to the walls in the raised position.

The above-described method takes advantage of the ribs of profiled decking sheets of the wall panels having sufficient structural integrity to be able to be used as guides for raising the roof or partially completed roof into the raised position.

According to the present invention there is also provided a building having walls constructed from the above described tilt-up composite slab wall panels.

The present invention is described further by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a composite slab wall panel in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-section view of another embodiment of a composite slab wall panel in accordance with the present invention in a horizontal orientation;

FIG. 3 is a vertical cross-section view that illustrates a wall of a building that includes a composite slab wall panel in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a vertical cross-section view of a section of a wall and a roof of a building that includes the wall shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a cross-section of a partially constructed composite slab wall panel of the type shown in FIG. 2 with a polystyrene core positioned to form a window of the panel;

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the arrangement shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a partially schematic, vertical cross-section illustrating the construction of a two story building with a composite slab wall panel in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a vertical cross-section view that illustrates one embodiment of the method of constructing a wall of a building using the composite slab wall panel shown in FIG. 1 in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a horizontal cross-section view that illustrates the connection between the composite slab wall panel shown in FIGS. 1 and 8 and the wall support structure;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view that illustrates another, although not the only other possible, embodiment of the method of constructing a wall of a building using the composite slab wall panel shown in FIG. 1 in accordance with the present invention; and

FIG. 11 is a side elevation view that illustrates one embodiment of a method of constructing a roof rafter assembly on the walls of a building in accordance with the present invention.

The embodiment of a composite slab wall panel 3 shown in FIG. 1 is suitable for the construction of walls of single story commercial buildings, such as factories, warehouses and retail stores.

The wall panel 3 includes (a) a profiled roll-formed steel decking sheet 5 having a plurality of flat pans 7 and a plurality of lengthwise extending closed ribs 9 separating the pans, (b) a layer 11 of concrete cast on the profiled decking sheet 5, and (c) reinforcement (not shown), such as steel mesh and/or steel bars and/or steel (or other) fibres and/or cables, embedded in the concrete layer 11.

The wall panel 3 is formed with rebated sides 10 that enable adjacent wall panels 3 to be positioned side-by-side in an overlapping relationship.

The wall panel 3 may be cast on a building site or cast off-site and transported to the site. By way of example only, such wall panels 3 may be up to 6 metres or more wide.

FIG. 2 illustrates another, although not the only other possible embodiment of a composite slab wall panel 3.

The wall panel 3 is similar to the FIG. 1 wall panel in basic structure and includes (a) a steel decking sheet generally identified by the numeral 5, (b) a layer 11 of concrete cast on the profiled decking sheet 5, and (c) reinforcement 12 embedded in the concrete layer 11.

The steel decking sheet 5 shown in FIG. 2 includes four separate smaller sheets 5a connected together in side-by-side relationship. Each sheet 5a includes a single pan 7 with small lengthwise extending open ribs 14 and side edge formations 8 that enable adjacent sheets to be positioned in side-by-side overlapping relationship.

The wall panel 3 also includes a plurality of lengthwise-extending battens 16 formed from a compressed particle board or other suitable material for receiving screws and other suitable mechanical fasteners for mounting fixtures to the wall panel 3.

The selection criteria for the battens 16 is any material that can securely retain screws or other fasteners and is less difficult than concrete as a medium that can retain screws or other fasteners.

In terms of constructing the wall panel 3, the battens 16 can be glued conveniently to the inner surface of the profiled decking sheets 5a prior to pouring concrete onto the sheets 5a, thereby to hold the battens 16 in position as concrete is poured onto the sheets 5a.

The wall panel 3 also includes a plurality of ferrules 20 as additional mounting members. Again, the ferrules 20 can be glued to the inner surface of the profiled decking sheets 5a prior to pouring concrete onto the sheets 5a.

FIG. 3 illustrates a wall 18 constructed from a plurality of the composite slab wall panels 3 shown in FIG. 2 positioned in side-by-side relationship.

The wall 18 includes (a) a plurality of the wall panels 3, with the profiled decking sheets 7 positioned inwardly and the concrete faces 22 of the wall panels 3 forming an outer face of the wall, (b) an inner lining 26 of a suitable material, such as plaster board, connected to and spaced inwardly of the wall panel 3 so that there is an insulation gap 28 between the lining 26 and the wall panel 3, and (c) a plurality of horizontally extending laths 30 held by screws or other suitable mechanical fasteners extending into the internal battens 16 in the wall panel 3 and retaining the lining 26 in position.

FIG. 4 illustrates a section of a building that includes the wall 18 shown in FIG. 3 positioned on an underlying support structure 28, an open profile steel lintel 30 connected to an upper end of the wall 18 and defining a support for an inclined roof 32 and a ceiling 34 of a room of the building.

FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate a method of constructing a wall panel 3 of the type shown in FIG. 2 with a centrally-located rectangular window.

FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate a partially constructed wall panel 3. Specifically, the Figures illustrate (a) the profiled decking sheet 5 positioned on a floor, with a centrally located rectangular section cut out of the sheet in a required location for a window, (b) boards 36 positioned on opposite sides of the profiled decking sheet 5 and defining formwork for these sides of the wall panel 3, (c) a rectangular polystyrene block 40 positioned in the cut out opening in the profiled decking sheet 5 and forming a window-forming core, and (d) reinforcement mesh 12 positioned above the profiled decking sheet 5.

With reference to FIG. 6, the arrangement further includes two additional boards 36 positioned on the other two sides of the profiled decking sheet 5. The arrangement of the four boards 36 defines an outer perimeter formwork for the wall panel 3.

The above-described arrangement of the profiled decking sheet 5 and the boards 36 defines a mould for casting the wall panel 3.

In use, in order to complete construction of the wall panel 3, concrete is poured into the mould and is allowed to set. At an appropriate time the cast wall panel 3 and the block 40 are separated, thereby to complete construction of the wall panel 3 with a central window.

FIG. 7 illustrates a section of a two story building that includes (a) the wall 18 shown in FIG. 3 positioned on an underlying support structure 28, (b) an horizontally extending L-shaped lintel 60 mounted to an inner surface of the wall 18 via one or more than one fasteners (not shown) secured in ferrules 20 in the wall 18 at a first floor level of the building, and (c) a floor 62 supported on the lintel 60.

FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate one embodiment of a method of constructing a section of a wall of a building using the wall panel 3 having closed ribs 9 shown in FIG. 1.

The wall panel 3 is shown in FIG. 8 positioned, for example by means of a crane, above a wall support structure in the form of a rebated floor slab 13.

The wall panel 3 is oriented so that the profiled decking sheet 5 forms the internal face of the wall panel 3 and the ribs 9 of the decking sheet 5 are vertical.

The rebated floor slab 13 shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 includes a side rebate 15 that includes a horizontal surface 17 and a vertical surface 19. The arrow that extends from a lower end of the wall panel 3 in FIG. 8 indicates that the wall panel 3 is being lowered down towards the rebate 15 to rest on the horizontal surface 17.

The wall panel 3 is shown in FIG. 9 positioned on the horizontal surface 17 of the rebate 15 with a connection means in the form of a mechanical connection device 21 engaging one of the ribs 9 of the decking sheet 5 of the wall panel 3 and connecting together the wall panel 3 and the rebated floor slab 13.

Specifically, the connection device 21 acts under tension and holds the wall panel 3 against the vertical surface 19 of the rebate 15.

The connection device 21 shown in FIGS. 8 and 9 is in the form of a threaded bolt 23 having an enlarged head 25 in one dimension at one end of the bolt 23 and a nut 31 that is threaded onto the bolt 23 at the other end of the bolt 23. The connection device 21 is positioned in a horizontal access passageway 27 that extends inwardly from the vertical surface 19 of the rebate 15 and opens into a vertical access passageway 29 in the rebate 15. As can best be seen in FIG. 3, the access passageways 27, 29 form a T-shaped profile in horizontal section.

The method includes providing a plurality of such connection devices 21 at spaced intervals along the length of the rebate 15 and actuating the devices 21 to engage aligned ribs 9 of the decking sheet 5 of the wall panel 3.

In use, prior to lowering the wall panel 3 onto the horizontal surface 17 of the rebate 15, the connection devices 21 for the wall panel 3 are positioned as shown in FIG. 8 in the access passageways 27 with each bolt 23 rotated about its axis so that the major dimension of the enlarged head 25 is in a vertical direction. In this orientation the wall panel 3 can be lowered onto the rebate 15 so that the enlarged head 25 of each bolt 23 is received in an aligned rib 9 of the decking sheet 5 of the wall panel 3, as shown in FIG. 3.

Thereafter, in accordance with the method, each bolt 23 is rotated about its axis so that the major dimension of the enlarged head 25 is in a horizontal direction, as shown in FIG. 9.

Thereafter, in accordance with the method, the nut 31 on each bolt 23 is tightened by a spanner or other suitable tightening means extending into the access passageway 29 and thereby holds the wall panel 3 against the vertical surface 19 of the rebate 15.

The method is described in the context of positioning one wall panel 3 on an underlying support structure. In order to complete the construction of the wall, the method includes successively positioning additional wall panels 3 in side by side relationship.

FIG. 10 illustrates another embodiment of a method of constructing a section of a wall of a building using the wall panel 3 in accordance with the present invention.

The method illustrated in FIG. 10 includes forming the rebate 15 of the rebated concrete footing 13 using T-shaped void formers 43 at the positions for the connection devices 21. The use of the void formers 43 is a convenient option for forming the above-described access passageways 27, 29.

The void formers 43 may be (a) solid, (b) hollow shells that define the voids, or (c) shells that define the voids and include pre-installed connection devices 21 positioned in the void.

In situations in which the void formers 43 are solid, the method includes removing the void formers 43 after the rebate concrete sets to a required extent and locating T-shaped drop-in assemblies with installed connection devices 21 in the voids either prior to or after positioning a wall panel 3 on the rebate 15.

In a situation in which the void formers 43 are shells, the method includes removing the shells after the rebate concrete sets to a required extent and locating T-shaped drop-in assemblies with installed connection devices 21 in the voids either prior to or after positioning a wall panel 3 on the rebate 15.

In a situation in which the void formers 43 are shells with installed connection devices 21, the rebate 15 is ready for use as soon as the rebate concrete sets to a required extent.

The method illustrated in FIG. 10 also includes positioning one or more than one removable locating shoe 45 on the wall panel 3 at the location of one or more than one rib 9 that ultimately receives a connection device 21 and using the shoe or shoes 45 act to guide the wall panel 3 into position on the rebate 15.

The above-described methods of constructing the walls of a building significantly simplifies the construction of walls compared to known tilt-up walls and, moreover, securely connects walls to an wall support structure.

FIG. 11 illustrates one embodiment of a method of constructing a roof rafter assembly, generally identified by the numeral 47, on opposed side walls of a building in accordance with the present invention. The Figure illustrates a section of one side wall only of the arrangement. It can readily be appreciated that there is the same arrangement on the other side wall.

The roof rafter assembly 47 includes a main support beam 49 at each side of the assembly and a plurality of parallel purlins 51 connected at opposite ends to the support beams 49. The rafter assembly 47 also includes a guide member 51 extending from each end of the purlins 51. The guide members 51 are formed to extend into and be retained by the ribs 9 of the decking sheets 5 of wall panels 3. The ribs 9 are arranged vertically and form guides for the roof rafter assembly 47.

The method illustrated in FIG. 11 includes:

    • (a) positioning the roof rafter assembly 47 in a lowered position between the opposed side walls of the building with the guide members 51 extending into the ribs 9 of the decking sheets 5 of wall panels 3,
    • (b) raising the roof rafter assembly 47 to a required raised position by means of one or more hoist assemblies 55, with the ribs 9 guiding the roof rafter assembly 47 to the raised position, and
    • (c) connecting the roof rafter assembly 47 to the walls in the raised position.

The above-described method greatly simplifies the construction of a roof of a building. Specifically, the use of the ribs 9 of the decking sheets 5 of wall panels 3 makes it possible to at least substantially construct the roof on the ground and thereby minimises the amount of construction work above ground that is required. As a consequence, the method makes it possible to significantly improve safety and speed of roof construction.

Many modifications may be made to the embodiments of the present invention described above in relation to the drawings without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

By way of example, whilst the composite slab wall panel 3 shown in the FIG. 1 embodiment includes closed ribs 9, it can readily be appreciated that the present invention is not so limited and extends to arrangements in which the ribs are open ribs.

By way of further example, the present invention is not confined to the use of the battens 16 and the ferrules 20 shown in the FIG. 2 embodiment of the composite slab wall panel 3 as the mounting means for fixtures and extends to any suitable mounting means. By way of particular example, the closed ribs 9 of the FIG. 1 embodiment of the composite slab wall panel 3 may be used as a mounting means. By way of further example, the mounting means may be in the form of voids—with the mounting being effected between a fastener and the composite slab wall panel 3.

By way of further example, the present invention is not confined to the use of the particular connection device 21 shown in the Figures and extends to the use of any such device that can engage the ribs 9 of the composite slab wall panel 3 and act in tension to connect together the composite slab wall panel 3 and a wall support structure.

By way of further example, the present invention is not confined to particular forms of reinforcement shown in the Figures. In FIG. 2, the reinforcement 12 is in the form of steel mesh spaced above the steel decking sheets 5. The reinforcement may be any other suitable type that is spaced above or connected to the sheets. One particular example of the latter category is channel members formed by roll forming or pressing steel into top hat or other profiles and welding or otherwise connecting the members to the ribs of profiled steel decking sheets.

By way of further example, whilst the embodiment of the method of constructing a roof or part of a roof is described in FIG. 10 in the context of a roof rafter assembly 47, it can readily be appreciated that the present invention is not so limited and extends to constructing a complete roof and to modular sections of such a roof.