Title:
FIRE, ACOUSTIC, AND THERMAL RESISTANT CONSTRUCTION
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A structure having an area separation wall including: a first building unit; a second building unit; and an area separation wall having only outer membranes. Preferably, the area separation wall is fire resistance rated. The outer membranes provide acoustic attenuation without adversely affecting the fire resistance of the area separation wall. The area separation wall provides improved thermal resistance. In one embodiment, the area separation wall includes: an interior support structure and at least one outer membrane on each side of the interior support structure. The outer membranes provide acoustic attenuation. Between the outer membranes is a substantially organic material barrier. The structure may also include a tying structure connecting the area separation wall to the first unit and the second unit.



Inventors:
Bowman, David J. (Charlotte, NC, US)
Application Number:
11/930315
Publication Date:
04/30/2009
Filing Date:
10/31/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/404.1, 52/787.11
International Classes:
E04B1/74; E04B2/28; E04B2/92; E04C2/00; E04H1/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAPMAN, JEANETTE E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MACCORD MASON PLLC (GREENSBORO, NC, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A structure having an area separation wall, said structure comprising: (a) a first building unit; (b) a second building unit; and (c) an area separation wall having only outer membranes, said outer membranes also providing acoustic attenuation whereby the area separation wall provides improved fire, thermal and acoustic resistance and combinations thereof.

2. The structure according to claim 1, further including a tying structure connecting said area separation wall to said first unit and said second unit.

3. An area separation wall for a structure, said area separation wall comprising: (a) an interior support structure; (b) at least one outer membrane on each side of said interior support structure, said outer membranes providing acoustic attenuation; and (c) a substantially organic material barrier between said outer membranes whereby the area separation wall provides improved fire, thermal, and acoustic resistance and combinations thereof.

4. The area separation wall according to claim 3, wherein said interior support structure includes at least two structural interior support members including a plurality of spaced apart, vertical members.

5. The area separation wall according to claim 4, wherein said plurality of vertical members are spaced apart no more than about 24 inches.

6. The area separation wall according to claim 4, wherein the plurality of vertical members are 2×10 or less thickness dimension of a material selected from the group consisting of wood, metal, other building materials, and combinations thereof.

7. The area separation wall according to claim 4, wherein said plurality of vertical members further include cross bracing at about the mid height of said plurality of vertical members.

8. The area separation wall according to claim 4, further including a physical gap between said structural, interior support members.

9. The area separation wall according to claim 3, wherein each of said outer membranes are fire resistant wallboard.

10. The area separation wall according to claim 9, wherein said fire resistant wallboard is a gypsum wallboard (GWB) Type X or Type C as defined in ASTM C11 (Committee C11 on Gypsum and Related Building Materials and Systems).

11. The area separation wall according to claim 10, wherein said gypsum wallboard conforms to ASTM Test C-36-96.

12. The area separation wall according to claim 3, wherein said substantially organic material barrier is selected from the group consisting of cellulosic material, fibrous material, granular material, pellet material, aggregated material, agglomerated material, closed cell foam, open cell foam, fire retardants, binders and mixtures thereof.

13. The area separation wall according to claim 3, wherein said substantially organic material barrier is a natural material.

14. The area separation wall according to claim 13, wherein said natural material is cellulosic.

15. The area separation wall according to claim 3, wherein the substantially organic material barrier includes an inorganic material.

16. The area separation wall according to claim 15, wherein said inorganic material is selected from the group consisting of fiberglass, rock wool, pearlite, mineral wool, asbestos, cementitious materials, fire retardants, binders, and mixtures thereof.

17. The area separation wall according to claim 3, wherein said substantially organic material barrier is an acoustically transmission resistive material.

18. The area separation wall according to claim 3, wherein there are an unequal number of like outer membranes.

19. The area separation wall according to claim 3, wherein the outer membranes are of unequal thickness or are made of unlike materials.

20. The area separation wall according to claim 3, wherein the outer membranes are made of unlike materials and are of unequal thickness.

21. A structure having an area separation wall, said structure comprising: (a) a first building unit; (b) a second building unit; (c) an area separation wall; said area separation wall including: (i) an interior support structure; (ii) at least one outer membrane on each side of said interior support structure, said outer membranes providing acoustic attenuation; and (iii) a substantially organic material barrier between said outer membranes; and (d) a tying structure connecting said area separation wall to said first unit and said second unit, whereby the area separation wall provides improved fire, sound, or thermal resistance and combinations thereof.

22. The structure according to claim 21, wherein said tying structure includes a top plate attached to the top edge of said area separation wall and a bottom plate attached to the bottom edge of said area separation wall.

23. The structure according to claim 22, wherein said tying structure and said top plate forms a double top plate.

24. The structure according to claim 22, wherein said top plate and said bottom plate are less than about 10 feet apart.

25. The structure according to claim 21, wherein said building units is an occupiable space including residential and a town home.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

(1) Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to a structure having a fire resistance rated, area separation wall and, more particularly, to a fire resistance rated, area separation wall for a structure which also provides acoustic attenuation and thermal resistance without adversely affecting the fire resistance of the area separation wall.

(2) Description of the Prior Art

Multi-family residential constructions typically include a separation wall constructed of wood members and having a material barrier between the units. These wood members may include dual two-by-four framing with a drywall surface on both sides of the framing. In most cases, this type of construction requires that the drywall be attached to the interior surface of the framing before the framing is placed upright to serve as a wall. After the framing is placed upright, insulation material may be positioned in the framing, and later an additional drywall membrane is fastened to the outside of the framing to complete an interior wall. This process is expensive, labor-intensive and time consuming.

One purpose of such a dual membrane construction of an area separation wall is to provide a fire resistance separation between adjacent spaces to meet federal, state and local regulations concerning the fire resistance of such a construction. Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL), an independent, not-for-profit product safety testing and certification organization, has been testing products for public safety for more than a century. Because UL has an undisputed reputation as the leader in U.S. product safety and certification, it is advantageous to obtain classification of a building product by UL. One UL test, ANSI/UL 263 (ASTM E119 and NFPA 251), involves rating such a separation wall for fire resistance. If a separation wall including only outer membranes could be developed that is sufficiently fire resistant to gain UL classification for more than two hours, such a separation wall would be less costly to construct than a conventional separation wall. Additionally, there is a need for providing walls that provide acoustic attenuation, especially as more and more condominiums and townhouses having shared walls are built.

Another purpose of such a dual membrane construction of an area separation wall is to provide improved acoustic and thermal resistance.

Thus, there is a need for a structure having an area separation wall, the structure including a first and second building units and an area separation wall having at least one outer membrane. There is also a need for an area separation wall that provides acoustic attenuation and improved thermal resistance without adversely affecting the fire resistance of the area separation wall.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a structure having an area separation wall including: a first building unit; a second building unit; and an area separation wall having only outer membranes. The area separation wall provides improved fire, thermal, and sound resistance. The outer membranes provide acoustic attenuation without adversely affecting the fire resistance of the area separation wall.

In an embodiment, the area separation wall includes: an interior support structure; at least one outer membrane on each side of the interior support structure, the outer membranes providing acoustic attenuation; and a substantially organic thermal material barrier between the outer membranes. The structure may further include a tying structure connecting the area separation wall to the first unit and the second unit.

In an embodiment, the tying structure may include a top plate attached to the top edge of said area separation wall and a bottom plate attached to the bottom edge of said area separation wall. The tying structure and said top plate may form a double top plate. The top plate and said bottom plate may be less than about 10 feet apart.

In an embodiment, the first building unit is an occupiable space and the occupiable space is residential. The residential occupiable space may be a town home. The second building unit may be an occupiable space. In an embodiment, the occupiable space is residential. The residential occupiable space is a town home.

The interior support structure may include at least two structural interior support members. The structural interior support members may include a plurality of vertical members. The plurality of vertical members may be spaced apart. The plurality of vertical members are spaced apart no more than about 24 inches. Preferably, the plurality of vertical members are 2×4 wood. The plurality of vertical members may be 2×4 metal.

The plurality of vertical members may be 2×10 or less thickness dimension of a material selected from the group consisting of wood, metal, other materials, and combinations thereof. The plurality of vertical members further include cross bracing at about the mid height of said plurality of vertical members. There may be a physical gap between said structural interior support members.

In a preferred embodiment, the outer membranes are fire resistant wallboard. Preferably, the fire resistant wallboard is a gypsum wallboard (GWB) Type X or Type C as defined in ASTM C11. The gypsum wallboard conforms to ASTM Test C-36-96. Preferably, the substantially organic material barrier is selected from the group consisting of fibrous material, granular material, pellet material, aggregated material, agglomerated material, closed cell foam, open cell foam, fire retardants, binders and mixtures thereof. The substantially organic material barrier may be a natural material. The natural material is cellulosic. In an embodiment, the substantially organic material barrier includes an inorganic material. The inorganic material is selected from the group consisting of fiberglass, rock wool, pearlite, mineral wool, asbestos, cementitious materials, fire retardants, binders, and mixtures thereof. Preferably, the substantially organic material barrier is an acoustically transmission resistive material.

In an embodiment, there are an unequal number of like outer membranes. The outer membranes may be of unequal thickness. The outer membranes may be made of unlike materials. In an embodiment, the outer membranes may be made of unlike materials and are of unequal thickness.

Accordingly, one aspect of the present invention is to provide a structure having an area separation wall. The structure may include: a first building unit; a second building unit; and an area separation wall having only outer membranes, the outer membranes also providing acoustic attenuation. The area separation wall provides improved fire, thermal and sound resistance and combinations thereof.

Another aspect of the present invention is to provide an area separation wall for a structure. The area separation wall may include: an interior support structure; and at least one outer membrane on each side of the interior support structure. The outer membranes provide acoustic attenuation; and a substantially organic material barrier between the outer membranes. The area separation wall also provides improved fire, thermal and sound resistance and combinations thereof.

Still another aspect of the present invention is to provide a structure having an area separation wall. The structure may include: a first building unit; a second building unit; and an area separation wall. The area separation wall may include: (i) an interior support structure; (ii) at least one outer membrane on each side of the interior support structure, and (iii) a substantially organic material barrier between the outer membranes; and a tying structure connecting the fire resistance rated, area separation wall to the first unit and the second unit. The outer membranes may provide acoustic attenuation. The area separation wall also provides improved fire, thermal and sound resistance and combinations thereof.

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.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a structure having an area separation wall constructed according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the area separation wall for a structure shown in FIG. 1 including a tying structure;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the area separation wall for a structure shown in FIG. 1 without a tying structure;

FIG. 4 is a side view of an embodiment of the area separation wall for a structure shown in FIG. 1 without a tying structure and with an additional outer membrane on a side of the area separation wall;

FIG. 5 is a side view of an embodiment of the area separation wall for a structure shown in FIG. 1 without a tying structure and with an additional outer membrane on each side of the area separation wall; and

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional, side view of the confined space showing the organic material between the outer membranes in locations where an interior support structure is not located.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

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,” “left,” “right,” “upwardly,” “downwardly,” and the like are words of convenience and are not to be construed as limiting terms.

As used herein “improved” fire, sound or thermal resistance refers to a measurable increase in fire resistance, sound resistance or thermal resistance when comparing the present invention with only outer membranes to a conventional area separation walls as described herein. Moreover, “low-conductivity”, “thermally resistive”, “acoustically transmission resistant”, “electrically non-conductive”, and the like are relative to conventional area separation walls which are composed of more than outer membranes.

Referring now to the drawings in general and FIG. 1 in particular, it will be understood that 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 structure having an area separation wall, generally designated 10, is shown constructed according to the present invention. In the preferred embodiment, the area separation wall is a fire resistance rated, area separation wall. More preferably, the fire resistance rated, area separation wall is a 2½, 3, 3½ or 4 hour or longer rated firewall according to ASTM E119-2003.

The structure having an area separation wall includes a first building unit 12 and a second building unit 14. Additional building units 16 may also be part of the structure 10. The first building unit 12 and second building units 14 may be occupiable spaces, which may be residentially occupiable spaces, such as town homes. A town house is generally defined by the 2000 International Residential Code as a single-family dwelling unit constructed as a group of three or more attached units in which each unit extends from foundation to roof with open space on at least two sides. An area separation wall 18, constructed according to the present invention, is located between each building unit 12, 14, 16.

FIG. 2 is a side view of one embodiment of the area separation wall 18 including an interior support structure 22 having at least one outer membrane 24 on each side of the interior support structure 22, and a material barrier 26 between the outer membranes 24.

In an embodiment, there are only outer membranes. In other words, the outer membranes are on the outside of the wall studs rather than having a membrane on each side of both wall studs.

In a preferred embodiment, the material barrier 26 is a substantially organic material barrier.

The interior support structure 22 includes at least two structurally independent interior support members 28. The structurally independent interior support members 28 include a plurality of vertical members such as conventional 2×4. The 2×4 may be made of wood or metal. Alternatively, the plurality of vertical members may be 2×10 or less thickness dimension and constructed of wood, metal, or other materials. The plurality of vertical members may be spaced apart less than about 24 inches and may include cross bracing 30 at about their mid height. The area separation wall 18 includes a physical gap 32 between the structurally independent interior support members 28. The plurality of vertical members may be staggered to aid in acoustic transmission resistance.

Sound travels as a compression wave through air. When sound strikes a barrier such as a wall, vibrations occur. Thus, wall studs can act as a conduit for acoustic transmission. However, by staggering the wall studs, acoustic transmission resistance is increased.

A tying structure 34 connects the first unit 12 and the second unit 14. The tying structure 34 may be a conventional 2×8. The tying structure is overlaid top plates 37 that is attached to the top edge of the interior support members 28. A bottom plate 36 is attached to the bottom edge of the interior support members 28. Also, the maximum height of the area separation wall preferably is 10 feet, whereupon another wall would begin.

In other embodiments, other tying structures may be used. For instance, other tying structures may be necessary where the occupiable spaces are staggered either horizontally or vertically. Also, other membrane configurations may exist where, for example, part of the fire rated area separation wall is exposed as an exterior wall on one side, and not exposed, or as an interior wall, on the other side. Such a configuration may occur when two adjoining town homes or other structures connected to either side of a fire rated area separation wall are staggered vertically or horizontally, thus exposing part of the wall to the exterior environment on one side with no exterior exposure on the other side. This would likely result in the membranes on the exterior side consisting of exterior cladding, building paper and other materials not normally associated with fire wall construction and performance.

The outer membranes 24 preferably are a fire resistant wallboard, including Type X or Type C gypsum wallboard (GWB) as defined in ASTM C11. The gypsum wallboard preferably conforms to ASTM Test C-36-96. However, other types of wallboard may be used. A single outer membrane may be placed on either side of the interior support structure. However, as seen in FIG. 5, two or more outer membranes may be placed on either side of the interior support structure. As seen in FIG. 4, unequal numbers of outer membranes may be placed on either side of the interior support structure. For instance, a single outer membrane 24 may be placed on one side of the interior support structure. In a preferred embodiment, two or more outer membranes 24 may be placed on each side of the interior support structure. The use of multiple outer membranes 24 on each side of the interior support structure aids in acoustic transmission resistance, fire resistance and thermal resistance.

The outer membranes may be of unequal thicknesses on either side of the interior support structure. In an embodiment, the outer membrane on either side of the interior support structure may be of different materials.

The substantially organic material barrier 26 between the outer membranes 24 may be selected from the group consisting of fibrous material, granular material, pellet material, aggregated material, agglomerated material, closed cell foam, open cell foam, fire retardants, binders and mixtures thereof. The substantially organic material barrier 26 may be a natural material. The natural material may be cellulosic. The substantially organic material barrier 26 may be an acoustically transmission resistant material.

The substantially organic material barrier 26 may also include inorganic materials. The inorganic material is selected from the group consisting of fiberglass, rock wool, pearlite, mineral wool, asbestos, cementitious materials, fire retardants, binders, and mixtures thereof.

In the embodiment of FIG. 6, the substantially organic material barrier completely fills the area between the outer membranes.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the preferred embodiment of the area separation wall 18 that does not include a tying structure 34 connecting the first unit 12 and the second unit 14. Instead, the area separation wall 18 described in FIG. 3 includes a separate top plate 37 attached to another top plate 37 that is attached to the top edge of the interior support members 28. In both embodiments, a bottom plate 36 is attached to the bottom edge of the interior support members 28. Also, in both embodiments, the maximum height of the area separation wall preferably is 10 feet, whereupon another wall would begin.

As can be seen, the top of the area separation wall can be formed either by a top plate 37 overlaid with a tying structure 34 or by a top plate 37 overlaid with a second top plate 37 separated by an inch. Thus, there are two configurations. One is with a single top plate 37 and a tying structure 34 that joins the two walls (shown in FIG. 2) and the other is two separate top plates with a space between them (shown in FIG. 3). In either case, this results in a double top plate being formed.

As best seen in FIG. 6, the material barrier 26 may completely fill the area between the outer membranes 24 as well as the area between the interior support structure 22 as seen in FIG. 2.

Certain modifications and improvements will occur to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the foregoing description. It should be understood that all such modifications and improvements have been deleted herein for the sake of conciseness and readability but are properly within the scope of the following claims.