Title:
Placing Device Building System and Method of Constructing a Multi-Storey Building
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A placing device (1) for placing building elements (2) in constructing a multi-storey building comprises a lifting means (4) for lifting a prefabricated building element (2), a moving means (7) for moving the placing device (1) into and out of a lower storey of the multi-storey building, the lower storey being arranged under an upper storey, a rotary means (8) for rotating the building element (2) about a normal to a floor plane of the lower storey, a vertical adjustment means (20) for vertically adjusting the building element (2), and a control means (14) for controlling the placing device (1) for placing the building element (2) according to a predetermined pattern. A building system and a method of constructing a multi-storey building are also disclosed.



Inventors:
Simfors, Andreas (Göteborg, SE)
Lagerqvist, Ove (Luleå, SE)
Jonsson, Carl (Limhamn, SE)
Camper, Håkan (Bjärred, SE)
Gräslund, Jonas (Hässelby, SE)
Larsson, Jörgen (Timmele, SE)
Fritzon, Mikael (Hesingborg, SE)
Tureson, Per (Lerum, SE)
Jönsson, Per-ola (Växjö, SE)
Johansson, Pertt (Göteborg, SE)
Espling, Rikard (Stockholm, SE)
Kindberg, Roland (Kalmar, SE)
Junkers, Sven (Västra Frölunda, SE)
Axelsson, Thomas (Stockholm, SE)
Application Number:
12/224810
Publication Date:
07/02/2009
Filing Date:
03/08/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
414/800
International Classes:
E04G21/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SADLON, JOSEPH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HARNESS, DICKEY & PIERCE, P.L.C. (RESTON, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A placing device for placing building elements in constructing a multi-storey building wherein it comprises: a lifting means for lifting a prefabricated building element, a moving means for moving the placing device into and out of a lower storey of the multi-storey building, the lower storey being arranged under an upper storey, a rotary means for rotating the building element about a normal to a floor plane of the lower storey, a vertical adjustment means for vertically adjusting the building element, and a control means for controlling the placing device for placing the building element according to a predetermined pattern.

2. A placing device as claimed in claim 1, in which the moving means comprises wheels for movement along rails arranged in the floor plane of the lower storey.

3. A placing device as claimed in claim 1, in which the moving means comprises caterpillar tracks.

4. A placing device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a lateral displacement means for displacing the building element parallel to the floor plane.

5. A placing device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a longitudinal displacement means for displacing the building element in a plane parallel to the floor plane.

6. A placing device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a rotating means for rotating the building element about a normal to the floor plane.

7. A placing device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a pivot means for turning the building element in a plane perpendicular to the floor plane.

8. A placing device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a tilting means for turning the building element in a plane perpendicular to the floor plane.

9. A placing device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a transverse displacement means for displacing the wall element parallel to the floor plane.

10. A placing device as claimed in claim 1, in which the control means comprises a programmable control unit for controlling the placing device according to a predetermined coordinate system.

11. A placing device as claimed in claim 1, in which the lifting means Comprises suction cups for holding the building element.

12. A placing device as claimed in claim 1, in which the lifting means comprises at least one mandrel for engagement in a recess at an underside of the building element.

13. A placing device as claimed in claim 1, in which the lifting means comprises lowerable arms for lifting floor structure elements.

14. A placing device as claimed in claim 5, in which the longitudinal displacement means and the pivot means comprise a common bearing.

15. A building system for constructing a multi-storey building, comprising a placing device as claimed in claim 1 and at least two lifting devices for lifting the building element when it is placed according to the predetermined pattern.

16. A building system as claimed in claim 15, further comprising lifting towers arranged along an outside of the multi-storey building.

17. A building system as claimed in claim 16, further comprising tie rods which interconnect two lifting towers arranged on opposite sides of the multi-storey building.

18. A method of constructing a multi-storey building, in which an upper storey is constructed and raised before a lower storey is constructed under the raised upper storey wherein a placing device lifts by a lifting means a prefabricated building element from a storage place, that the placing device moves the building element to a placement position in the lower storey according to a predetermined pattern by moving itself inside the lower storey and/or rotating the lifting means about a normal to a floor plane of the lower storey, and that the placing device places the building element in the placement position.

19. A method as claimed in claim 18, in which the storage place is outside the multi-storey building.

20. A method as claimed in claim 18, in which the building element is a wall element or a floor structure element.

21. A method as claimed in claim 18, in which the building element is selected from the group consisting of a bathroom module, a kitchen module, a stair module and an elevator module.

22. A method as claimed in claim 18, in which the placing device finely adjusts the position of the building element by lateral displacement of the building element parallel to the floor plane.

23. A method as claimed in claim 18, in which the placing device finely adjusts the position of the building element by longitudinal displacement of the building element parallel to the floor plane.

24. A method as claimed in claim 18, in which the placing device finely adjusts the position of the building element by rotating the building element about a normal to the floor plane.

25. A method as claimed in claim 18, in which the placing device finely adjusts the position of the building element by turning the building element in a plane perpendicular to the floor plane.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a placing device for placing building elements in constructing a multi-storey building. The invention also relates to a building system for constructing a multi-storey building. The invention further relates to a method of constructing a multi-storey building, in which an upper storey is constructed and raised before a lower storey is constructed under the raised upper storey.

TECHNICAL BACKGROUND

Multi-storey buildings are traditionally constructed from the bottom to the top, and one of the first steps is usually to perform the foundation work. The foundation can, for example, be a slab on the ground or a basement foundation, on which the first storey (i.e. the ground floor) of the multi-storey building is constructed. Then, on top of the first storey, a second storey is built which is supported by structural concrete elements belonging to the first storey.

Concrete elements are subsequently placed or cast on the underlying elements until a desired number of storeys is obtained, and as the building grows higher building elements are lifted increasingly higher up by means of conventional cranes. In many cases interior fittings are also lifted up and placed on the floor level where they are to be mounted.

Scaffolding and other security details are often mounted at the outside of the building, which is time-consuming and expensive but necessary to obtain a safe working environment.

A general problem of prior-art building methods is that it is often relatively time-consuming and thus expensive to construct a multi-storey building. Furthermore, much nonproductive work is performed in the form of scaffold erecting, material handling, crane lifting and also rework due to erroneously performed working operations.

Building elements which are lifted into the building by crane have to be exactly positioned by hand. This increases the labour costs and also constitutes a source of risk for the erectors.

Another problem is that both the building and the building workers are exposed to weather, which in turn results in a number of problems.

Prior-art building methods also suffer from drawbacks such as the danger of people or objects falling from a high place, which may cause both material damage and personal injury to workers who either fall or are hit by falling objects.

A further drawback of prior-art methods of constructing multi-storey buildings is the increased risk of accidents involved in working with cranes.

Another problem of prior-art building methods is that perishable materials cannot be mounted until the building is covered and initial moisture dried out. This leads to long construction times and high costs.

Therefore building methods are developed in which the storeys are built in reverse order. According to such a method, the construction starts with the foundation work. Then, on the foundation, the uppermost storey and the roof are built. The uppermost storey is subsequently raised by one floor, after which the construction of the second uppermost storey is initiated below the uppermost storey. The construction then proceeds in this manner until a desired number of storeys is obtained and is completed by the building of the ground floor. The walls and the floor structures are cast in situ. A method of this type is disclosed, for instance, in U.S. Pat. No. 3,828,513.

One drawback of these “reverse” building methods is that they use in-situ concrete, which demands a great deal of work on the work site. In addition, casting concrete in situ requires much equipment, for instance, in the form of pumps and forms. There is also a risk of casting errors leading to rework. Another problem of casting in situ is that the concrete must dry, which increases the construction time. Prefabricated building elements cannot be used, since the “reverse” building process makes it impossible for cranes to lift building elements into the storey which is currently being constructed as it is hidden under the storeys that are already built.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One object of the present invention is to remedy or at least mitigate the above-described problems.

A particular object is to provide a device which makes it possible to construct multi-storey buildings more effectively.

Another object is to provide an improved building system, which makes it possible to construct multi-storey buildings more effectively.

Yet another object of the invention is to indicate an improved method of constructing multi-storey buildings.

These objects are achieved by a placing device according to claim 1. Preferred embodiments are defined in dependent claims 2-14.

The objects are also achieved by a building system according to claim 15 and preferred embodiments thereof defined in dependent claims 16 and 17.

The objects are further achieved by a method according to claim 18. Preferred variants of the method are defined in dependent claims 19-25.

The placing device according to the invention comprises:

a lifting means for lifting a prefabricated building element,

a moving means for moving the placing device into and out of a lower storey of the multi-storey building, the lower storey being arranged under an upper storey,

a rotary means for rotating the building element about a normal to a floor plane of the lower storey,

a vertical adjustment means for vertically adjusting the building element, and

a control means for controlling the placing device for placing the building element according to a predetermined pattern. By this device, it is possible to place in an efficient manner prefabricated building elements for constructing a multi-storey building, in which a lower storey is constructed under a finished upper storey.

The moving means of the placing device can comprise wheels for movement along rails arranged in the floor plane of the lower storey. It is thus possible to easily provide safe movement of the placing device.

Alternatively, the moving means can comprise caterpillar tracks, which allow free movement of the placing device.

According to preferred embodiments of the invention, the placing device comprises various means for moving and turning the building element, such as a lateral displacement means for displacing the building element parallel to the floor plane, a longitudinal displacement means for displacing the building element in a plane parallel to the floor plane, a rotating means for rotating the building element about a normal to the floor plane, a pivot means for turning the building element in a plane perpendicular to the floor plane, a tilting means for turning the building element in a plane perpendicular to the floor plane, or a transverse displacement means for displacing the wall element parallel to the floor plane. With the aid of these means, it is possible to finely adjust the position of the building element in various directions.

The control means of the placing device can comprise a programmable control unit for controlling the placing device according to a predetermined coordinate system. Owing to this, the placing can be automated for increased precision and safety.

The lifting means advantageously comprises suction cups for holding the building element. The building elements can thus be held in a very safe manner.

The lifting means can comprise at least one mandrel for engagement in a recess at an underside of the building element. This further increases the holding safety.

According to an embodiment, the lifting means comprises lowerable arms for lifting floor structure elements. Owing to this, the lifting means can be specially adjusted for safe movement of floor structure elements.

The longitudinal displacement means and the pivot means advantageously comprise a common bearing. The construction of the placing device can thus be very compact.

The inventive building system comprises a placing device according to the invention and at least two lifting devices for lifting the building element when it is placed according to the predetermined pattern. With such a building system, it is possible to effectively position and hold building elements which are to be mounted.

Lifting towers are advantageously arranged along an outside of the multi-storey building. By means of the lifting towers, the finished storeys can be raised before the construction of the next storey begins, without the need of any entrances in the storeys for lifting devices. In addition, their location at the outside of the building allows free space inside the building, which means that all the building elements required can be lifted into position from the inside of the storey currently being built, without being obstructed by lifting devices passing through the building.

The building system can further comprise tie rods which interconnect two lifting towers arranged on opposite sides of the multi-storey building. Owing to this, the horizontal forces occurring when raising the finished storeys can be absorbed.

The inventive method of constructing a multi-storey building is characterised in

that a placing device lifts by a lifting means a prefabricated building element from a storage place,

that the placing device moves the building element to a placement position in the lower storey according to a predetermined pattern by moving itself inside the lower storey and/or rotating the lifting means about a normal to a floor plane of the lower storey, and

that the placing device places the building element in the placement position. This method makes it possible to construct a multi-storey building in an efficient and safe manner with reduced manual labour input. As the building elements are prefabricated, the construction time is reduced and better manufacturing tolerances are possible.

The storage place of the building elements is advantageously outside the multi-storey building, which makes it easier to select a suitable unloading place and which allows the work site to be more accessible.

The building element can be a wall element or a floor structure element, which allows efficient construction of a storey.

The building element can also be selected from the group consisting of a bathroom module, a kitchen module, a stair module and an elevator module, for increased prefabrication of the multi-storey building.

Advantageously, the placing device finely adjusts the position of the building element by lateral displacement of the building element parallel to the floor plane and/or longitudinal displacement of the building element parallel to the floor plane and/or rotating the building element about a normal to the floor plane and/or turning the building element in two planes perpendicular to the floor plane. By these motions the position of the building element can be precisely adjusted.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the following, the invention will be described in more detail with reference to the accompanying schematic drawings which for the purpose of exemplification show presently preferred embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view, seen obliquely from the rear, of a placing device according to the invention.

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the placing device.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view, seen obliquely from the front, of the placing device.

FIG. 4 is an elevational view, seen from the side, of the placing device.

FIG. 5 is an outline diagram which illustrates the various motions of the placing device.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing parts of a building system according to the invention.

FIG. 7 is a sectional view showing parts of the building system.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The placing device 1 shown in FIG. 1 is adapted for positioning prefabricated building elements of reinforced concrete, such as floor structure elements 2, in constructing a multi-storey building 3 (see FIG. 7). The placing device 1 is essentially composed of a lifting means 4 supported by a rotary arm 5, which is mounted on a carriage 6.

The carriage 6 has wheels 7 for moving the placing device 1 along rails (not shown) in a floor plane G of the multi-storey building 3. The arm 5 is rotatably connected to the carriage 6 via a bearing 8, so that the arm 5 and the lifting means 4 supported by the arm 5 can be rotated about a normal N to the floor plane G.

The lifting means 4 has two lifting forks 10, which each are provided with a mandrel 11 for engagement with a hole or a groove at the underside of the wall element 9. For as precise engagement as possible, the wall element should be formed with a hole at each end of its underside, but in view of the manufacturing tolerances of the wall elements it is suitable to have instead a hole at one end of the wall element and a groove at the other end. One of the mandrels 11 can thus be engaged in the groove, so that the wall element 9 can be held in a safe manner, in spite of any dimensional deviations. To hold the wall element 9 in a safe manner, the lifting means 4 also has suction cups 12 which can retain the wall element 9 by suction.

The lifting means 4 is in the position shown in FIG. 1 which is adapted for lifting and moving wall elements 9 (see FIG. 6), but by lowering two lowerable arms 13 the lifting means can be adapted for lifting and moving floor structure elements 2. In that case, the floor structure element 2 rests on the lowered arms 13.

The placing device 1 has a control unit 14, which makes it possible to remote-control the motions of the placing device 1, for instance by means of a hand control, for placing the building element 2, 9 according to a predetermined pattern, which is laid down in a construction drawing.

The placing device 1 has several degrees of freedom in the motion pattern of the lifting means 4 and the building element 2 supported by the lifting means 4. The motion pattern is seen more clearly in FIG. 5. Besides the fact that the placing device 1 can execute a movement (arrow a) into and out of the storey C in question with the aid of the moving means consisting of the wheels 7 and the rails (not shown) in the floor plane G, and that the arm 5 can be rotated via the bearing 8 in a rotary motion (arrow b) about the normal N to the floor plane G, the lifting means 4 and the building element 2 supported by the lifting means 4 can be moved and rotated in a number of different ways.

Using a lateral displacement means in the form of a rack 15, the arm 5 can be displaced laterally (arrow g), perpendicularly to the motion into and out of the storey C provided by the wheels 7. Furthermore, the arm 5 can be lengthened and shortened in a longitudinal displacement motion (arrow c) by means of a bearing 16 and two hydraulic cylinders 17, so that the lifting means 4 is moved in a direction parallel to the movement of the placing device 1 into and out of the storey C. In this manner, it is possible to obtain a finer adjustment of the position of the building element 2 in this direction compared to what is possible using the wheels 7.

The same bearing 16 as that used for lengthening and shortening the arm 5 is used as a pivot means 18 for turning (arrow d) the lifting means 4 in a plane perpendicular to the floor plane G.

It is possible to provide a rotation (arrow e) of the lifting means about the normal N to the floor plane G by a rotating means in the form of a bearing 19. The same bearing 19 can be used together with hydraulic cylinders 20 as vertical adjustment means for vertically adjusting (arrow f) the lifting means 4.

A transverse displacement means 21 can displace the building element 2 on the lifting means 4 in a direction (arrow h) parallel to the floor plane G for fine adjustment of the position of the building element 2 on the floor plane G.

A tilting means in the form of a bearing 22 allows tilting of the lifting means 4 and the building element 2 supported by the lifting means 4 in a turning motion (arrow i) in a plane perpendicular to the floor plane G and perpendicular to the plane in which the above-mentioned pivoting motion (arrow d) of the arm 5 takes place.

Owing to the various motions of the placing device 1, the placement of the heavy concrete element 2 can be controlled both roughly and finely.

Besides the placing device 1, the inventive building system also includes lifting devices in the form of two jacks 23 per wall and a number of lifting towers 24. The lifting towers 24 are placed along the outside of the multi-storey building 3. The lifting devices 23 are placed on the floor plane G for receiving a wall element 9, one at each end of the wall element 9. The lifting devices 23 temporarily raise the wall element 9 placed by the placing device 1 so that the lifting towers 24 can engage the lower edge of the wall element 9.

The inventive building method according to which the building system is intended to operate will now be described. The building method is based on the principle of building the storeys of the multi-storey building 3 in reverse order. As seen in FIG. 7, the finished storeys A and B are raised to make room for the construction of the next storey C under the two upper storeys A and B.

The placing device 1 can be moved by means of the wheels 7 into and out of the lower storey C (see FIG. 7) which is being constructed under a raised, previously built upper storey B. The placing device 1 fetches a building element, such as a floor structure element 2, from a storage place outside the multi-storey building 3. The placing device 1 is then moved into the lower storey C. The arm 5 is rotated by the rotary means 8 about the normal N to the floor plane G so that the floor structure element 2 attains approximately the position in which it is to be placed. The position of the floor structure element 2 is then finely adjusted by the various possibilities of movement of the placing device 1, as described above, and the floor structure element is lowered down to its position. When the floor structure element 2 is placed, the placing device 1 is moved out of the storey C to fetch more floor structure elements 2 and wall elements 9. The placing device 1 can, of course, also be used for placing other building elements, such as kitchen modules, bathroom modules, stair modules and elevator modules (not shown). When the wall element 9 has reached its place, it is raised by the placing device 1 towards the already built upper storey B. When all the building elements 2, 9 of the storey C are placed, they are interconnected and cast together while being lifted by the lifting devices 23. The building elements 2, 9 of the lower storey C are also interconnected and cast together with the previously constructed upper storey B. The lifting towers 24 are then connected to the lower edge of the placed wall elements 9 to stepwise raise, by repeated engagement, all the finished storeys A, B, C by a bit more than one storey H to make room for the construction of the next storey. While the next storey is being constructed, the work in the lowermost C of the finished storeys can be completed, for instance electrical work, heating, ventilation and sanitary installations and paint work.

By this method and the inventive placing device, it is possible to construct a multi-storey building in a very efficient way. Moreover, very good precision of the positioning of the building elements 2, 9 can be achieved.

The construction of the placing device 1 is particularly compact, among other things because the lengthening/shortening of the arm 5 can be provided by the same bearing as the pivoting motion of the arm 5.

The location of the lifting towers 24 at the outside of the building 3 allows the space inside the building 3 in the storey C just being built to be free and not being disturbed by lifting devices passing therethrough. This makes it possible to place, by means of the placing device 1, all the building elements required, wall elements 9 and floor structure elements 2 as well as prefabricated modules, such as kitchens, bathrooms and elevators. If instead the lifting device had been placed inside the building 3, with entrances through the floor structures of the storeys, it would have been possible to place the wall elements 3 by means of the placing device but it would have been necessary to place the floor structure elements in some other way. At the same time, the placing device 1 facilitates the use of exterior lifting towers 24, since it can work inside the storey C which is currently being built and place the building elements 2, 9 required without being obstructed by the lifting towers 24.

It can be noted that the method of operation of the placing device 1 differs in principle from that of conventional cranes in that the building elements 2, 9 are placed starting from the inside of the storey C and working out to the place where the walls are to be raised, whereas conventional cranes are placed outside the building and lift the building elements from the outside in. Conventional cranes cannot be used in building methods in which the storeys are built in reverse order, since the crane has not got access to the storey which is under construction as it is located under already built storeys. In addition, conventional cranes lift the building element at one point only, which means that the building element can rotate freely and tip. In the final placement of the building element, the erectors have to guide the lifted building element by hand, which involves working environment risks, in particular when handling heavy concrete elements.

In summary, it can be concluded that by using the invention it is possible to provide a building, which during construction, is protected from weather, which results in shorter construction times due to less need of drying out and the possibility to mount moisture-sensitive materials earlier, to automate the construction of the building with exact positioning of the building elements and to mount both the structural building elements and prefabricated modules, such as bathrooms and kitchens, by means of the same device.

It will be understood that a number of modifications of the inventive embodiments described herein are possible within the scope of the invention, which is defined by the appended claims.

For example, instead of wheels 7, the placing device 1 can have caterpillar tracks (not shown). Then there is no need for rails in the floor plane G and the placing device 1 can move freely. The lateral displacement of the arm 5 can, of course, be provided by other means than by racks 15, for instance by wheels and rails.

The controlling of the placing device can be automated. In that case, the control unit 14 can be programmable for controlling the placing device 1 in a predetermined coordinate system. This control could be based directly on suitably designed drawings.

The suction cups 12 can be connected to lights (not shown) which are lit when a sufficient negative pressure is attained to indicate when the wall element 9 is secured.

In FIG. 7, only two lifting towers 24 are shown but naturally more lifting towers can be used, suitably at least four. If four lifting towers 24 are used, they can, for instance, be placed in the centre at each side of a four-sided multi-storey building 3.

When two opposite lifting towers 24 are raising the finished storeys, they can be interconnected by tie rods to absorb the horizontal forces occurring in the lifting, since the lifting takes place from the outside of the building, i.e. eccentrically. Alternatively, each lifting tower can be anchored to the ground.