Title:
System and method of repaneling a structure
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bracket or retrofitting panels to a structure is provided with first, second and top walls which define a channel. The channel is sized and shaped to enclose existing fasteners on the structure. A base flange may cantilever from the first or second walls and extend away from the first and second walls to enable a user to secure the bracket to the structure prior to placing new panels on the bracket. Another base flange may cantilever away from the second wall, toward the first wall, and be sized to place a leading edge portion of the base flange adjacent existing fasteners on the structure to locate the bracket before installation and prevent lateral movement of the bracket along existing panels.



Inventors:
Richmond, David E. (Marion, KS, US)
Application Number:
11/973907
Publication Date:
04/16/2009
Filing Date:
10/11/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/745.05
International Classes:
E04B1/38; E04D3/36
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
KATCHEVES, BASIL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THOMTE LAW OFFICE, L.L.C. (OMAHA, NE, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. In combination: a new building panel; a structure, having at least one existing building panel with an outwardly facing surface that is shaped to have a profile defined by elongated, alternating peaks and valleys, and at least one existing fastener; and a bracket comprising: first and second spaced-apart walls having upper and lower end portions, opposite end portions and a length extending between said opposite end portions; said lower end portions of said first and second walls being shaped and sized to marry the profile of the alternating peaks and valleys along the outwardly facing surface of the existing building panel when the bracket is positioned closely adjacent the outwardly facing surface of the existing building panel, and the length of said bracket is perpendicular to, lengths of the elongated alternating peaks and valleys of the existing building panel; and a top wall, having a width that extends between the upper end portions of said first and second walls; a first base flange operatively coupled with the lower end portion of said first wall or said second wall such that said first base flange cantilevers from said first wall or said second wall along a plane that is generally parallel with a plane along which said top wall extends; said first, second and top walls being coupled to one another so that they define a channel that extends at least partially along the length of the bracket; said channel being sized and shaped to enclose the at least one existing fastener.

2. The combination of claim 1 wherein said first and second walls are spaced from one another in an angular relationship wherein the upper end portions of said first and second walls are spaced from one another a first distance and the lower end portions of said first and second walls are spaced apart from one another a second distance, which is greater than said first distance.

3. The combination of claim 1 wherein said first base flange cantilevers away from said first and second walls.

4. The combination of claim 3 wherein said first base flange cantilevers away from the lower end portion of said first wall and a second base flange cantilevers from the lower end portion of said second wall along a plane that is generally parallel with a plane along which said top wall extends.

5. The combination of claim 4 wherein said second base flange cantilevers away from the lower end portion of said second wall toward said first wall.

6. The combination of claim 5 wherein said second base flange is provided with a leading edge portion and a depth that extends between said leading edge portion and the lower end portion of said second wall; the depth of said second base flange being provided so that, when the bracket is positioned closely adjacent the outwardly facing surface of the existing building panel, the leading edge portion of said second base flange may be positioned closely adjacent said at least one existing fastener and said at least one existing fastener may be positioned adjacent an axis that extends perpendicularly through an approximate center of the width of said top wall.

7. The combination of claim 1 wherein said first base flange cantilevers away from the lower end portion of said first wall toward said second wall.

8. The combination of claim 7 wherein said first base flange cantilevers away from the lower end portion of said first wall and a second base flange cantilevers from the lower end portion of said second wall along a plane that is generally parallel with a plane along which said top wall extends.

9. The combination of claim 8 wherein said second base flange cantilevers away from the lower end portion of said second wall toward said first wall.

10. The combination of claim 8 wherein said first base flange is provided with a leading edge portion and a depth that extends between said leading edge portion and the lower end portion of said second wall; the depth of said second base flange being provided so that, when the bracket is positioned closely adjacent the outwardly facing surface of the existing building panel, the leading edge portion of said second base flange may be positioned closely adjacent said at least one existing fastener and said at least one existing fastener may be positioned between the leading edge portion of said second base flange and a leading edge portion of said first base flange.

11. A method of retrofitting at least one new building panel and at least one new fastener to a structure having at least one existing building panel, with an outwardly facing surface that is shaped to have a profile defined by elongated, alternating peaks and valleys, which is secured to a frame member with at least one existing fastener, comprising: providing at least one bracket comprising first and second spaced-apart walls, having upper and lower end portions, coupled to one another by a top wall; and providing said at least one bracket with a channel, defined by said first, second and top walls, which extends at least partially along a length of said at least one bracket and is sized and shaped to enclose said at least one existing fastener; providing said lower end portions of said first and second walls with a shape that will marry the profile of the alternating peaks and valleys along the outwardly facing surface of the existing building panel when said brace is positioned closely adjacent, and perpendicular to, the alternating peaks and valleys of the at least one existing building panel; providing said at least one bracket with a first base flange that is operatively coupled with the lower end portion of said first wall or said second wall such that said first base flange cantilevers from said first wall or said second wall along a plane that is generally parallel with a plane along which said top wall extends; aligning said at least one bracket so that the length of said at least one bracket is positioned perpendicular to lengths of said elongated, alternating peaks and valleys, the profile of said bracket is married to the profile of the at least one existing building panel, and the at least one existing fastener is enclosed within said channel; positioning the at least one new building panel on the top wall of said at least one bracket; securing the at least one new building panel to said bracket and the frame member with the at least one new fastener.

12. The method of claim 11 further comprising: positioning said first base flange to cantilever away from said first and second walls; and securing said base flange to the at least one existing building panel prior to positioning the at least one new building panel on the top wall of said at least one bracket.

13. The method of claim 12 further comprising: providing said at least one bracket with a second base flange that cantilevers from the lower portion of said second wall along a plane that is generally parallel with a plane along which said top wall extends.

14. The method of claim 12 further comprising: positioning said second base flange to cantilever away from the lower end portion of said second wall toward said first wall; providing said second base flange with a leading edge portion and a depth that extends between said leading edge portion and the lower end portion of said second wall; and positioning the leading edge portion of said second base flange closely adjacent said at least one existing fastener when said at least one bracket is positioned closely adjacent the outwardly facing surface of the existing building panel to align said at least one bracket in a securing position prior to positioning the at least one new building panel on the top wall of said at least one bracket.

15. The method of claim 14 wherein said securing position positions said at least one existing fastener closely adjacent the leading edge portion of said second base flange and an axis that extends perpendicularly through an approximate center of the width of said top wall.

16. The combination of claim 11 further comprising: providing said first base flange to cantilever away from the lower end portion of said first wall toward said second wall; providing a second base flange that cantilevers from the lower end portion of said second wall along a plane that is generally parallel with a plane along which said top wall extends, away from the lower end portion of said second wall toward said first wall providing said second base flange with a leading edge portion and a depth that extends between said leading edge portion and the lower end portion of said second wall; and positioning the leading edge portion of said second base flange closely adjacent said at least one existing fastener when said at least one bracket is positioned closely adjacent the outwardly facing surface of the existing building panel to align said at least one bracket in a securing position prior to positioning the at least one new building panel on the top wall of said at least one bracket.

17. The method of claim 16 wherein said securing position locates said at least one existing fastener closely adjacent the leading edge portion of said second base flange and an axis that extends perpendicularly through an approximate center of the width of said top wall.

Description:

BACKGROUND

Lightweight steel-framed structures typically employ ribbed building panels to cover the roof and walls of the structure. Oftentimes, the building panels are constructed from metal, such as steel or aluminum. The building panels are formed to have a rib and valley profile to strengthen the building panels despite their thin construction.

Over time, due to natural deterioration or damage from various causes, the building panels on structures need to be replaced. However, the removal and replacement of the building panels consumes a great deal of labor and financial resources. Oftentimes, the best solution to the repair of a structure having deteriorating or damaged building panels is to simply retrofit the structure with new roof or wall panels by directly securing the new building panels to the existing building panels. In this manner, the labor and expense of removing the existing building panels can be saved.

One example of a system for retrofitting a structure with new building panels is taught by U.S. Pat. No. 5,367,848. The system is essentially provided with an elongated bracket having a Z-shaped cross-section. The bracket is designed to extend transversely across the existing building panels adjacent the location of a frame member. A series of notches are formed within the one generally vertical wall member of the Z-shaped bracket to allow the bracket to “nest” onto and over the ribbed profile of the existing building panel. A bottom wall portion extends outwardly from the bracket and is provided with apertures so that the user may secure the bracket to the existing building panel using a plurality of new fasteners. A top flange provides a mating surface for supporting the new building panel. A second series of new fasteners are used to secure the new building panel to the bracket. While the design of the bracket solved a number of problems existing in the art at the time it was introduced, it suffers from a number of deficiencies. First, the goal in retrofitting building panels is to reduce the overall labor and materials required to retrofit the new building panels onto the structure. The design of the Z-shaped bracket requires a full first course of fasteners to secure the bracket to the existing building panel. Then, a full second course of fasteners is required to secure the new building panel to the bracket. An additional deficiency with the bracket stems from its Z-shaped design. The bottom wall member is secured to the existing building panel alone. The new building panel is fastened only to the top wall member of the bracket. Accordingly, there is no direct structural connection between the new building panel and the frame member of the building. The strength of the connection between the new building panel and the building itself depends upon the strength of the bracket. Moreover, the Z shape provides only one vertically-oriented wall member, which provides a less than desirable level of stability when forces are exerted on the new building panels.

Another example of a system and method of retrofitting building panels is disclosed by U.S. Pat. No. 7,174,686, which is owned by the assignee of the present invention. That system is provided with a bracket having forward and rearward walls that are coupled to one another by a top wall, forming an open channel between the forward and rearward walls. In use, the bracket is disposed along the exterior surface of existing building panels such that a course of existing fasteners is disposed within the open channel of the bracket. One or more new building panels are then placed closely adjacent the top wall of the bracket and a single course of new fasteners is disposed through the new building panels, the bracket, the existing building panels, and a sub-frame of the building. This bracket design provides numerous improvements over other prior art brackets. However, the bracket design does not necessarily provide for accurate placement of the bracket, prior to the installation of the new building panels. An undesirable degree of lateral movement is permitted between the bracket and the course of existing fasteners in certain applications. Moreover, preferred methods of using this design of bracket do not always provide for optimal placement of the bracket to receive the final course of new fasteners that secure the new panels with the structure.

Accordingly, what is needed is a new system and method for retrofitting building panels to a structure that not only provides a convenient and accurate manner of retrofitting building panels but also decreases the labor and materials required to implement the system, while increasing the overall stability of the new building panels with respect to the structure.

SUMMARY

This Summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This Summary is not intended to identify key aspects or essential aspects of the claimed subject matter. Moreover, this Summary is not intended for use as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter.

The bracket of the present invention is provided for use in retrofitting new building panels to a structure having existing building panels that are fastened to frame members. The bracket is generally provided with a first wall and a second wall that are coupled to one another at their upper end portions by a top wall. The interconnection between the first, second and top walls defines a channel that extends along the length of the bracket. The bottom end portions of the first and second walls are selectively shaped to mimic the rib and valley profile of the existing building panels, permitting the bracket to substantially engage its lower end portion with the upper surface of the existing building panel.

One or more base flanges may be provided to cantilever from the lower end portions of the first and/or second walls. In one embodiment, the at least one base flange may cantilever away from the bracket so that it may be used with a small number of fasteners to pre-install the bracket prior to installation of the new building panels. Another embodiment of the base flange may cantilever inwardly, toward a center portion of the bracket. The channel is shaped and sized to substantially enclose the existing fasteners, which couple the existing building panel to the frame member. Accordingly, a single elongated bracket may be positioned to enclose a course of existing fasteners across the existing building panel. The inwardly cantilevered base flange may be positioned adjacent the course of existing fasteners, preventing the bracket from sliding forward or rearward with respect to the existing building panel and properly positioning the bracket. A single course of new fasteners is then used to secure the new building panel to the bracket and the existing building panel. In a preferred embodiment, the fasteners will also engage the frame member.

It is therefore one of the principal objects of the present invention to provide a bracket for retrofitting new building panels to a structure with a minimal amount of materials and labor.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a bracket for retrofitting building panels to a structure that can be adapted for use with existing building panels having nearly any profile.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a bracket that reduces the typical number of steps required for retrofitting building panels to a structure.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a bracket that provides at least one base flange that helps locate the bracket in position before new panels are secured to the bracket and a building structure.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a bracket for retrofitting new building panels to a structure that uses a base flange to temporarily secure the bracket to existing building panels, prior to placement of the new building panels.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a bracket for retrofitting new building panels to a structure that uses a base flange to engage existing fasteners on the structure to locate the bracket before its installation.

These and other objects of the present invention will be apparent after consideration of the Detailed Description and Figures herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Non-limiting and non-exhaustive embodiments of the present invention are described with reference to the following figures, wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the various views unless otherwise specified.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the bracket of the present invention as the same might be used to secure a new roof panel to an existing roof panel on a structure;

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the embodiment of the bracket of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top view of the bracket depicted in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of the bracket depicted in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the bracket depicted in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a partial end elevation view depicting one manner in which the bracket depicted in FIGS. 1-5 could be used to secure a new roof panel to an existing roof panel on a structure;

FIG. 7 is an isometric view of a second embodiment of the bracket of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a top view of the bracket depicted in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a side elevation view of the bracket depicted in FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of the bracket depicted in FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a partial end elevation view depicting one manner in which the bracket depicted in FIG. 7 could be used to secure a new roof panel to an existing roof panel on a structure;

FIG. 12 is an isometric view of a third embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 13 is a top view of the embodiment of FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 is a side view of the embodiment of FIG. 12;

FIG. 15 is an end view of the embodiment of FIG. 12; and

FIG. 16 is a partial end elevation view depicting one manner in which the bracket of FIG. 12 may be used to secure a new roof panel to an existing panel on a structure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Embodiments of the invention are described more fully below with reference to the accompanying figures, which form a part hereof and show, by way of illustration, specific exemplary embodiments. These embodiments are disclosed in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention. However, embodiments may be implemented in many different forms and should not be construed as being limited to the embodiments set forth herein. The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense in that the scope of the present invention is defined only by the appended claims.

The bracket 10 of the present invention is generally depicted in FIGS. 1-16 in various embodiments. A first embodiment of the invention is shown in FIGS. 1-6 while a second embodiment of the invention is shown in FIGS. 7-11 and a third embodiment of the invention is shown in FIGS. 12-16. Generally, the bracket 10 is provided with a first wall 12, second wall 14 and a top wall 16. The first wall 12, second wall 14 and top wall 16 are coupled to one another so that they define a channel 18 that extends along the length of the bracket 10. In a preferred embodiment, the lower end portions of the first wall 12 and the second wall 14 are shaped to have a profile that mimics a profile of the rib portions 20 and valley portions 22 of the existing building panels 24, as depicted in FIG. 1, so that the bracket 10 nests with the existing building panels 24.

At least one base flange 26 may be coupled with the lower end portion of either or both of the first wall 12 and the second wall 14. In one aspect, a first base flange 26′ may be provided to cantilever away from the first wall 12 and the second wall 14, such as depicted in FIG. 2. In another embodiment, the first base flange 26′ may be provided to cantilever away from the lower end portion of the first wall 12 toward the second wall 14, as depicted in FIG. 7. Another aspect of the invention provides for a second base flange 26″, which may be provided to cantilever from the lower end portion of the second wall 14. While it is contemplated that the second base flange 26″ could be provided to extend away from both the first wall 12 and the second wall 14, a preferred embodiment disposes the second base flange 26″ in a manner that cantilevers it away from the second wall 14 toward the first wall 12. One or more embodiments may make it desirable to use both a first base flange 26′ and a second base flange 26″. However, it is contemplated that only one of a first base flange 26′ or a second base flange 26″ may be used. In any embodiment, it will be preferred that any base flange 26 be provided to extend along a plane that is generally parallel with a plane along which the top wall 16 extends, as depicted in FIGS. 5 and 10. The term “generally parallel” is used as it is contemplated that minor angular positioning or bends in the top wall 16 or the base flange 26 or their orientation with respect to one another may cause a few degrees deviation from parallel, depending upon the circumstances and application at hand.

The channel 18 should be sized and shaped to substantially enclose one or more of the existing fasteners 28, which secure the existing building panels 24 to the frame member or purlin 30 of the structure. A new building panel 32 may then be placed into position against the top wall 16 of the bracket 10. As can be seen in FIGS. 1 and 7, the height of the bracket 10 defines the spaced relationship between the existing building panel 24 and the new building panel 32. Therefore, where a larger or smaller distance between the two building panels is desired, the height of the bracket 10 should be fabricated or adjusted accordingly. This may become particularly relevant where an insulative material is to be disposed between the existing building panel 24 and the new building panel 32. The insulative material may be one of several known insulative materials used generally in the construction industry and should be selected based upon the particular insulating and environmental conditions present for the given job site. The distance between the existing building panel 24 and the new building panel 32 will also become a consideration where the lifting and flexing effects of wind on the building panels is a concern.

In the embodiment of FIGS. 12-16, the base flange 26′″ cantilevers outwardly from the lower end portion of the first wall 12 and a base flange 26′″ cantilevers outwardly from the lower end portion of the second wall 14.

In use, the bracket 10 is simply positioned so that the profile of the lower end portion of the first wall 12 and the second wall 14 align with the profile of the existing building panel 24 and the channel 18 substantially encloses one or more of the existing fasteners 28. In one embodiment, the new building panels 32 may be placed against the top wall 16 and secured in place with new fasteners 34. However, in a preferred embodiment, the bracket 10 will be pre-located, using one or more base flanges 26, to ensure proper alignment of the bracket 10. In one aspect, the first base flange 26′ may be used to temporarily tack the bracket in position. With the first base flange 26′ extending away from both the first wall 12 and the second wall 14, a mounting flange is provided to receive a small number of new fasteners 34 that will secure the first base flange 26′ with at least an existing building panel 24, as depicted in FIG. 6. One or more openings 35 may be provided through the base flange 26′, where self-tapping fasteners are not used. Only a small number of fasteners 34 will be required, as permanent mounting will be afforded when the new building panels 32 are secured to the bracket 10 and the structure. Temporarily securing the bracket 10 prevents movement of the bracket 10 with respect to the structure while the new building panels 32 are being located onto the bracket 10.

In another preferred embodiment, however, a second base flange 26″ is provided, having a leading edge 36 and a depth that extends between the leading edge 36 and the lower end portion of the second wall 14. The bracket 10 is positioned closely adjacent the outwardly facing surface of the existing building panel 24 so that the leading edge 36 of the second base flange 26″ rests closely adjacent at least one existing fastener 28. The depth of the second base flange is preferably provided so that, when the leading edge 36 of the second base flange 26″ is positioned closely adjacent at least one existing fastener 28, the at least one existing fastener will be positioned adjacent, but not on, an axis that extends perpendicularly through an approximate center of the width of the top wall 16 of the bracket 10. The reasoning for this will become apparent on examination of FIGS. 6 and 11, as a new fastener 34 will later be passed through the center portion of the bracket 10. Accordingly, the second base flange 26″ will locate the bracket 10 such that inserting new fasteners along an approximate centerline of the bracket 10 will ensure that the new fasteners 34 are passed through the relevant structures, near the existing fasteners 28 and into the frame member 30. Positioning both the first base flange 26′ and second base flange 26″ to extend inwardly, as depicted in FIG. 11, permit both of the base flanges to serve as position locators. In such an instance, however, a sufficient space should be provided between the leading edges of both base flanges to not only permit the passage of head portions of the existing fasteners 28 but also take into account that existing courses of fasteners may deviate from a straight line.

Once the bracket 10 has been located with respect to the existing building panels 24 and the existing fasteners 28, new building panels 32 may be positioned atop the top wall 16 of the bracket 10. New fasteners 34 can be disposed through the new building panel 32 and into the bracket 10, existing building panel 24, and preferably the frame member 30 as well. However, it is contemplated that in certain applications, the new building panel 32 may be secured by engaging the fastener 34 with only the bracket 10 and the existing building panel 24. The fasteners 34 depicted in FIG. 6 is shown to be a self-tapping screw. However, standard roofing fasteners and the like may all be used, depending on the particular circumstances.

The first wall 12 and second wall 14 are depicted in FIGS. 5 and 10 as being spaced from one another in an angular relationship, wherein the upper end portions of the first wall 12 and second wall 14 are spaced from one another a distance that is greater than the distance between the lower end portions of the first wall 12 and second wall 14. However, variations to this shape are contemplated. For example, the first wall 12 and second wall 14 may be positioned to be generally parallel with one another. Moreover, the size and length of the top wall 16 may be varied to provide a larger or smaller surface upon which the new building panel 32 will rest. However, it is preferred that the first wall 12 and second wall 14 be of generally equal length and in a spaced-apart relationship so that a stable forward and rearward footing is provided, which resists forward or rearward tipping or flexing of the bracket 10 and the new building panel 32. The stability of the new building panel 32 is amplified when used with the bracket 10 and coupled to the frame member 30, as depicted in FIGS. 6 and 11. In this manner, the stability of the structure is enhanced by the shape of the bracket 10 but not solely dependent thereon.

Although the invention has been described in language that is specific to certain structures and methodological steps, it is to be understood that the invention defined in the appended claims is not necessarily limited to the specific structures and/or steps described. Rather, the specific aspects and steps are described as forms of implementing the claimed invention. Since many embodiments of the invention can be practiced without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, the invention resides in the claims hereinafter appended.