Title:
STRUCTURE HAVING A CONFINED SPACE WITH IMPROVED THERMAL, FIRE AND SOUND RESISTANCE PROPERTIES
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A structure including a first building unit; a second building unit; and a confined space between the building units. The units may be oriented horizontally or vertically. In an embodiment, the confined space is substantially filled with an organic containing material having a verified minimum installed density of greater than about ½ pound per cubic foot. In an embodiment, the confined space is substantially filled with an organic containing material comprising greater than about 20 percent organic material. Also in an embodiment, the structure comprises a structure connecting the confined space to the first unit and the second unit. The confined space provides improved fire, thermal and acoustic resistance properties.



Inventors:
Bowman, David J. (Charlotte, NC, US)
Burroughs, Frank C. (Waxhaw, NC, US)
Application Number:
11/928713
Publication Date:
04/30/2009
Filing Date:
10/30/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/787.11
International Classes:
E04B2/28; E04B2/92; E04C2/00
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 comprising: (a) a first building unit; (b) a second building unit; and (c) a confined space between the building units, the space substantially filled with an organic containing material having a minimum installed density of greater than about ½ pound per cubic foot, whereby said confined space provides improved fire, sound, or thermal resistance and combinations thereof.

2. The structure according to claim 1, further including a structure connecting the confined space to the first unit and the second unit.

3. The structure according to claim 1, wherein the confined space is a fire resistance rated, confined space.

4. A confined space for a structure, the structure comprising an interior support structure and an outer membrane on each side of the interior support structure, the confined space filled with an organic containing material comprising greater than about 20 percent organic material, whereby the confined space provides improved fire, sound, or thermal resistance and combinations thereof.

5. The confined space according to claim 4, wherein the organic containing material is selected from the group consisting of fibrous material, granular material, pellet material, agglomerated material, aggregated material, closed cell foam, open cell foam, fire retardants, binders and mixtures thereof.

6. The organic containing material according to claim 4, wherein the organic containing material may include an inorganic material.

7. The confined space according to claim 6, wherein 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.

8. The confined space according to claim 4, wherein the organic containing material is a low-conductivity material.

9. The confined space according to claim 8, wherein the low-conductivity material is a thermally resistant material.

10. The confined space according to claim 8, wherein the low-conductivity material is an acoustically transmission resistive material.

11. The confined space according to claim 8, wherein the low-conductivity material is an electrically non-conductive material.

12. A structure comprising: (a) a first building unit; (b) a second building unit; (c) a confined space between the building units, the confined space substantially filled with an organic containing material comprising greater than about 20 percent organic material; and (d) a structure connecting the confined space to the first unit and the second unit, whereby the confined space provides improved fire, sound, or thermal resistance and combinations thereof.

13. The structure according to claim 12, wherein the structure includes an upper structure attached to the top edge of the confined space and a lower structure attached to the bottom edge of the confined space.

14. The structure according to claim 13, wherein the upper structure is a floor assembly, roof truss, or gable assembly.

15. The structure according to claim 13, wherein the lower structure is a foundation, base, or floor.

16. The structure according to claim 12, wherein the first building unit is an occupiable space.

17. The structure according to claim 16, wherein the occupiable space is residential.

18. The structure according to claim 17, wherein the residential occupiable space is a town home.

19. The structure according to claim 17, wherein the residential space is a first floor.

20. The structure according to claim 12, wherein the second building unit is an occupiable space.

21. The structure according to claim 20, wherein the occupiable space is residential.

22. The structure according to claim 21, wherein the residential occupiable space is a town home.

23. The structure according to claim 21, wherein the residential occupiable space is a second floor.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

(1) Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to a structure having building units and a confined space between the building units, and, more particularly, to a fire resistance rated, confined space located between the building units.

(2) Description of the Prior Art

Multi-family residential constructions typically include separation walls and floors constructed of wood members and having an insulating material 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, 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. Likewise, large single-family homes include a similar structure between floors of the home especially where cathedral ceilings are incorporated into the structure.

One purpose of such a construction of a confined space is to provide a fire resistance separation between adjacent building units 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 separation walls and floors for fire resistance. A construction meeting this test that requires only outer membranes would be more cost effective.

Other purposes for such a construction include sound proofing and thermal insulation.

Thus, there is a need for a confined space for a structure, the structure comprising an interior support structure and an outer membrane on each side of the interior support structure, the confined space filled with an organic containing material. There also remains a need for a fire resistance rated, confined space, a thermal resistant confined space, and a sound resistant confined space.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a structure comprising: a first building unit; a second building unit; and a confined space between the building units. The confined space provides improved fire, sound, or thermal resistance, and combinations thereof. In an embodiment, the confined space is substantially filled with an organic containing material having a verified minimum density of greater than about ½ pound per cubic foot. In an embodiment, the confined space is substantially filled with an organic containing material comprising greater than about 20 percent organic material. Also in an embodiment, the structure comprises a structure connecting the confined space to the first unit and the second unit. The confined space may be fire resistance rated.

The organic containing material may be selected from the group consisting of fibrous material, granular material, pellet material, agglomerated material, aggregated material closed cell foam, open cell foam, fire retardants, binders and mixtures thereof. The organic containing material may also include inorganic material. The inorganic material may be selected from the group consisting of fiberglass, rock wool, pearlite, mineral wool, asbestos, cementitious materials, associated binders, fire retardants, and mixtures thereof. The organic containing material may be a low-conductivity material. The low-conductivity material may be a thermally resistant material. The low-conductivity material may be an acoustically transmission resistive material. The low-conductivity material may be an electrically non-conductive material.

The structure may include an upper structure attached to the top edge of the fire resistance rated, confined space and a lower structure attached to the bottom edge of the fire resistance rated, confined space. The upper structure may be a floor assembly, a roof truss, or a gable assembly. The lower structure may be a foundation, a base, or a floor. The first building unit may be an occupiable space. The occupiable space may be residential. The residential occupiable space may be a town home. The residential space may be a second floor. The second building unit may be an occupiable space. The occupiable space of the second building unit may be residential. The residential occupiable space of the second building unit may be a town home. The occupiable space of the second building unit may be a first floor.

Accordingly, one aspect of the present invention is to provide a structure including: a first building unit; a second building unit; and a confined space between the building units. The confined space is substantially filled with an organic containing material having a verified minimum density of greater than about ½ pound per cubic foot. The confined space may also provide improved fire, sound, or thermal resistance or combinations thereof. 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 confined space without the material versus the confined space with the material.

Another aspect of the present invention is to provide a confined space for a structure. The structure includes an interior support structure and an outer membrane on each side of the interior support structure. The confined space is filled with an organic containing material comprising greater than about 20 percent organic material. The confined space may also provide improved fire, sound, or thermal resistance or combinations thereof.

Yet another aspect of the present invention is to provide a structure including a first building unit, a second building unit, a confined space between the building units and a structure connecting the confined space to the first unit and the second unit. The confined space is substantially filled with an organic containing material comprising greater than about 20 percent organic material. The confined space may also provide improved fire, sound, or thermal resistance or 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 a vertical confined space constructed according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional, side view of the vertical confined space;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional, side view of the vertical confined space showing the organic material between the outer membranes in locations where an interior support structure is not located;

FIG. 4 is a front perspective view of a structure having a horizontal confined space constructed according to an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 5 is a schematic representation of a cross-sectional, side view of the horizontal confined space.

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.

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.

FIG. 1 shows a structure having a confined space, generally designated 10, constructed according to the present invention. In the preferred embodiment, the confined space 18 is a fire resistance rated, confined space. The structure 10 having a confined space includes a first building unit 12 and a second building unit 14. Additional building units 16 may also be part of the structure.

The first building unit 12 and the second building unit 14 may be occupiable spaces, which may be residentially occupiable spaces such as town homes. A town home 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. A confined space 18, constructed according to the present invention, may be located between each building unit 12, 14, 16. The first building unit may be a first town home and the second building unit may be a second town home.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the fire resistance rated, confined space 18 shown in FIG. 1 with a structure 20 connecting the first building unit 12 and the second building unit 14. More specifically, FIG. 2 shows a cross-sectional view where interior support structures 22 are located. The structure 20 connecting the first building unit 12 to the second building unit 14 may comprise a beam attached to the top of the fire resistance rated, confined space. The structure may further include an interior support structure 22 and an outer membrane 24 on each side of the interior support structure 22. The structure may also include an “upper structure” 32 attached to the top edge of the confined space and a “lower structure” 30 attached to the bottom edge of the confined space. The “upper structure” 32 may be a floor assembly, a roof truss, or a gable assembly. The “lower structure” 30 may be a floor assembly, a foundation, or a base.

The confined space may be filled with an organic containing material. The organic containing material may be an organic containing material having a verified minimum installed density of greater than about ½ pound per cubic foot. The organic containing material may comprise greater than about 20 percent organic material. The organic containing material may be selected from the group consisting of fibrous material, granular material, pellet material, agglomerated material, aggregated material, closed cell foam, open cell foam, fire retardants, binders and mixtures thereof.

The inorganic material may be selected from the group consisting of fiberglass, rock wool, pearlite, mineral wool, asbestos, cementitious materials, fire retardants, binders and mixtures thereof.

The organic containing material may be a low-conductivity material. The low-conductivity material may be a thermally resistive material. The low-conductivity material may be an acoustically transmission resistant material. The non-conductive material may be an electrically non-conductive material. As used herein, low-conductivity, thermally resistive, acoustically transmission resistant and electrically non-conductive is relative to vacant air space at ambient temperature.

As best seen in FIG. 3, the confined space 18 is filled with organic containing material 17. The organic containing material 17 fills the space between the outer membranes 24 and between the interior support structures 22.

FIG. 4 depicts the structure with a confined space 10 having upper unit 40 and lower unit 42 separated by horizontally confined space 44. As seen in FIG. 5, interior support structures 22 and outer membranes 24 are horizontally oriented thereby providing improved thermal, fire and sound resistance properties between units that are vertically oriented. Although not shown, organic material 17 of horizontal confined space 44 would be found in voids between outer membranes 24 and interior support structures 22, similar to FIG. 3.

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.