Title:
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR RAISING BUILDINGS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus for lifting and lowering buildings includes first and second beam support frames. Each support frame includes a horizontal base adapted to rest on the ground, a vertical beam guide extending upward from the base, a beam support member engaged in the vertical beam guide such that the beam support member moves substantially vertically up and down in the beam guide, and a jack mechanism operative to move the beam support member up and down. A beam having a length selected for use to raise a selected building has a first end supported by a beam support member of the first support frame, and a second end supported by a beam support member of the second support frame.



Inventors:
Wensel, Monty (REGINA, CA)
Labelle, George William (REGINA, CA)
Application Number:
12/019859
Publication Date:
07/30/2009
Filing Date:
01/25/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/741.1, 254/98
International Classes:
E04G23/06
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
MAESTRI, PATRICK J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP (Charlotte, NC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A beam support frame apparatus for supporting a building moving beam, the apparatus comprising: a substantially horizontal base adapted to rest on the ground; a substantially vertical beam guide extending upward from the base; and a beam support member engaged in the vertical beam guide such that the beam support member moves substantially vertically up and down in the beam guide; wherein the beam support member is configured to support an end portion of the beam to move the beam up and down.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a jack mechanism operative to move the beam support member up and down in the beam guide.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the jack mechanism comprises one of a screw jack, a hydraulic jack, and a mechanical jack.

4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein the jack mechanism comprises a screw jack comprising: right and left substantially vertical threaded rods rotatably supported in an upper portion of the beam guide, and having threads engaged in threaded apertures defined by the beam support member; and a drive operative to rotate the threaded rods in the threaded apertures to raise the beam support member.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising beam guide braces adapted to attach to the beam guide to support the beam guide in a vertical orientation.

6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein the beam guide braces comprise: a base extension connected to the base and extending laterally along the ground; a sloped angle brace connected at a lower end to the base extension and connected at an upper end thereof to the beam guide.

7. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the beam guide includes an adjustable stop operative to engage the beam guide below the beam support member to prevent the beam support member from moving down beyond the stop.

8. A building moving beam apparatus comprising: first and second beam support frames, each support frame comprising: a substantially horizontal base adapted to rest on the ground; a substantially vertical beam guide extending upward from the base; a beam support member engaged in the vertical beam guide such that the beam support member moves substantially vertically up and down in the beam guide; and a jack mechanism operative to move the beam support member up and down; a beam having a length selected for use to raise a selected building and having a first end supported by a beam support member of the first support frame, and having a second end supported by a beam support member of the second support frame.

9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein the jack mechanism comprises one of a screw jack, a hydraulic jack, and a mechanical jack.

10. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein the jack mechanism comprises a screw jack comprising: right and left substantially vertical threaded rods rotatably supported in an upper portion of the beam guide, and having threads engaged in threaded apertures defined by the beam support member; and a drive operative to rotate the threaded rods in the threaded apertures to raise the beam support member.

11. The apparatus of claim 8 further comprising beam guide braces attached to the beam guide to support the beam guide in a vertical orientation.

12. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein the beam guide braces comprise: a base extension connected to the base and extending laterally along the ground; a sloped angle brace connected at a lower end to the base extension and connected at an upper end thereof to the beam guide.

13. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein the beam guide includes an adjustable stop operative to engage the beam guide below the beam support member to prevent the beam support member from moving down beyond the stop.

14. A method of raising a building, the method comprising: providing first and second beam support frames, each support frame comprising: a substantially horizontal base adapted to rest on the ground; a substantially vertical beam guide extending upward from the base; a beam support member engaged in the vertical beam guide such that the beam support member moves substantially vertically up and down in the beam guide; and a jack mechanism operative to move the beam support member up and down; positioning a beam under the building such that the beam extends beyond first and second sides of the building; positioning the first support frame on the first side of the building and supporting a first end of the beam on a beam support member of the first support frame; positioning the second support frame on the second side of the building and supporting a second end of the beam on a beam support member of the second support frame; and operating the jack mechanisms on the first and second support frames to raise the building.

15. The method of claim 14 comprising positioning a plurality of beams supported by support frames at spaced locations along a length of the building.

16. A method of adding a story to a building comprising substantially vertically raising the building according to the method of claim 15 to a vertical distance above a desired height of the new story; constructing the new story under the building; and lowering the building onto a top of the new story.

17. The method of claim 14 wherein the jack mechanism comprises one of a screw jack, a hydraulic jack, and a mechanical jack.

18. The method of claim 17 wherein the jack mechanism comprises a screw jack comprising: right and left substantially vertical threaded rods rotatably supported in an upper portion of the beam guide, and having threads engaged in threaded apertures defined by the beam support member; and a drive operative to rotate the threaded rods in the threaded apertures to raise the beam support member.

19. The method of claim 14 further comprising attaching beam guide braces adapted to attach to the beam guide and to the base to support the beam guide in a vertical orientation.

20. The method of claim 19 wherein the beam guide braces comprise: a base extension connected to the base and extending laterally along the ground; a sloped angle brace connected at a lower end to the base extension and connected at an upper end thereof to the beam guide.

21. The method of claim 14 comprising providing an adjustable stop operative to engage the beam guide below the beam support member to prevent the beam support member from moving down beyond the stop, and comprising raising the beam support member upward to expose a higher stop engagement location below under the beam support member, and moving the stop from a lower stop engagement location to the higher stop engagement location.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD AND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention is in the field of building construction and in particular a method and apparatus for raising a building such that same can be moved on to a transport vehicle, or to provide access for working on the building foundation.

For various reasons it is known to raise buildings located on one location, and place the buildings on a transport vehicle to move same to a new location. Similarly it is known to raise buildings to provide access for repairing foundations, basements, or the like located under the building.

When raising a moderate sized building, typically a pair of building moving beams is placed under the building, spaced from each end of the building so that the building overhangs the beams on each end, and spaced from each other so that the beams and building are oriented so that each beam bears an appropriate portion, preferably about one half, of the weight of the building. In larger buildings more beams can be added and spaced appropriately.

In order to place the beams under the building it is usually required to provide access holes through the foundation of the building. Basement windows can be used, or an access holes can be made in the foundation walls so that a beam can be pushed in through an access hole in one side and out through the access hole on the opposite side. The beams are selected to extend out past the building on each side to locations where the ground is satisfactory to support jacks to raise the beams. Typically a jack is used to exert an upward force on each end of the beam, and as the beam rises, blocks are placed under each end of the beam so that if the jack fails, the beam will fall only a short distance. When the jack has reached its vertical limit of movement, the beam is lowered on to blocks, and blocks are provided under the jack so that the jack can again be used to lift the beam. It is apparent that as the vertical distance the building moves increases, it is required to provide a broader base for the blocks and jacks to avoid stability problems. Jacking and blocking to raise the building relatively evenly is typically an arduous task, since the blocks are cumbersome, and the operators must constantly move from jack to jack.

When moving a building to a transport vehicle, the vertical distance necessary to move the building is often fairly moderate, and so can commonly be satisfactorily achieved without undue stability problems. When repairing foundations however, or placing new basements under existing buildings, the vertical movement distance required to provide satisfactory access under the building can be excessive. As a result it is often necessary to move the raised building laterally off the foundation to provide satisfactory access. This lateral movement significantly increases the complexity of the operation, compared to simply raising the building vertically, since wheels, rollers or the like must then be provided and configured to support the building, and must in turn be supported for lateral movement while carrying the considerable weight of the building. After the foundation repair is complete, the building must be moved back over the foundation and properly located laterally so that the building can be lowered to the proper location on the foundation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a building moving beam apparatus that overcomes problems in the prior art.

In a first embodiment the present invention provides a beam support frame apparatus for supporting a building moving beam. The apparatus comprises a substantially horizontal base adapted to rest on the ground, a substantially vertical beam guide extending upward from the base, and a beam support member engaged in the vertical beam guide such that the beam support member moves substantially vertically up and down in the beam guide. The beam support member is configured to support an end portion of the beam to move the beam up and down

In a second embodiment the present invention provides a building moving beam apparatus comprising first and second beam support frames. Each support frame comprises a substantially horizontal base adapted to rest on the ground, a substantially vertical beam guide extending upward from the base, a beam support member engaged in the vertical beam guide such that the beam support member moves substantially vertically up and down in the beam guide, and a jack mechanism operative to move the beam support member up and down. A beam having a length selected for use to raise a selected building has a first end supported by a beam support member of the first support frame, and a second end supported by a beam support member of the second support frame.

In a third embodiment the present invention provides a method of raising a building. The method comprises providing first and second beam support frames, each support frame comprising a substantially horizontal base adapted to rest on the ground, a substantially vertical beam guide extending upward from the base, a beam support member engaged in the vertical beam guide such that the beam support member moves substantially vertically up and down in the beam guide, and a jack mechanism operative to move the beam support member up and down; positioning a beam under the building such that the beam extends beyond first and second sides of the building; positioning the first support frame on the first side of the building and supporting a first end of the beam on a beam support member of the first support frame; positioning the second support frame on the second side of the building and supporting a second end of the beam on a beam support member of the second support frame; and operating the jack mechanisms on the first and second support frames to raise the building.

The beam support frame supports a building moving beam in a vertical path so that the beam can safely and conveniently be raised an increased distance compared to methods and systems used in the prior art. Jacks can be incorporated in the frame to conveniently raise the beam support member and beam resting thereon.

A complete building moving beam apparatus comprising a beam supported on each end by support frame with jacks provides a stable system for raising a building which can provide increased vertical lifting distances, and provide improved access to the area under the building such that lateral movement of the building when repairing foundations and basements may not be required. The building can be left in a position above the original location, such that once the work is completed the building may simply be lowered vertically back down onto the repaired or replaced foundation or added story.

Sufficient vertical spacing between the foundation and building can also be provided to allow modification by adding a new first story to the building. Once the new first floor is completed, the building is lowered onto the top of the new first floor, and the original first floor of the building becomes the second floor of the modified building.

Adding a second story to, for example, a single story building in a conventional manner typically requires that the roof be removed and the new story added on top of the original first story. This method is often problematic since a typical building will not be constructed to support the second story on top of the original first story, and so considerable reinforcement will need to be done. Using the apparatus and method of the present invention, no structural modifications to the original building are required since the new story is under the original building, and when constructed is designed to support the original building on its top.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

While the invention is claimed in the concluding portions hereof, preferred embodiments are provided in the accompanying detailed description which may be best understood in conjunction with the accompanying diagrams where like parts in each of the several diagrams are labeled with like numbers, and where:

FIG. 1 is a schematic top view of an embodiment of a beam support frame of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a schematic front view of the embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a schematic end view of a complete building moving beam apparatus comprising a pair of the support frames of FIG. 1 and a beam positioned under a building;

FIG. 4 is a top view the building of FIG. 3 with two beams positioned under the building;

FIG. 5 is a schematic top view of an embodiment of a jack mechanism for use with the invention;

FIG. 6 is a front view of a beam support frame with the jack mechanism of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a schematic illustration of a method of the invention for adding a story to a building.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS

FIGS. 1 and 2 schematically illustrate a beam support frame 1 for supporting a building moving beam 3 of the type that is commonly positioned under a building to raise the building to transfer same to a transport vehicle, or to provide access to the area under the building, such as a foundation, basement, or the like. The frame 1 comprises a substantially horizontal base 5 adapted to rest on the ground 7. A beam guide 9 extends substantially vertically upward from the base 5. A beam support member 11 is engaged in the vertical beam guide 9 such that the beam support member 11 moves substantially vertically up and down in the beam guide 9. The illustrated beam support member 11 comprises a channel 13 attached to a cross plate 15. The illustrated beam guide 9 comprises four guide members 17 that in practice would in most cases be connected at top ends thereof by cross members which are not illustrated. The apparatus is configured such that the channel 13 extends between the guide members 17 in one direction and the cross plate 15 extends between the guide members 17 perpendicular to the channel 13, such that the beam support member 11 is prevented from moving laterally in any direction but is able to move vertically up and down in the beam guide 9. It is contemplated that other configurations of the beam guide and beam support member could provide the same function as well.

The beam support member 11 is configured to support an end portion of the beam 3 in the channel 13 to move the beam 3 up and down. A jack mechanism such as a conventional screw jack, hydraulic jack, mechanical jack, or the like, can be used to move the beam support member 11 up and down in the beam guide 9. In the illustrated embodiment the jack mechanism is incorporated in the support frame 1 by a pair of jacks 19, one on each side of the beam guide 9, attached to the support frame 1 such that the jacks 19 bear against the base 5 at their bottom ends and against the beam support member 11 at their top ends.

The illustrated beam guide 9 includes adjustable stops 21 operative to engage the beam guide 9 below the beam support member 11 to prevent the beam support member 11 from moving down beyond the stop 21. Thus if a jack 19 fails, the beam 3 and beam support member 11 will only fall to the stop 21. As the beam support member 11 moves upward in response to operation of the jacks 19, higher stop engagement locations are exposed below the beam support member 11, and the stop 21 is moved from a lower stop engagement location to the higher stop engagement location.

FIG. 3 schematically illustrates a complete building moving beam apparatus 10 for raising and lowering buildings. The apparatus 10 comprises first and second beam support frame 1A and 1B, and a beam 3 having a length selected for use to raise a selected building 25. The beam 3 has a first end 3A supported by a beam support member of the first support frame 1A, and has a second end 3B supported by a beam support member of the second support frame 1B.

In operation a beam 3 is positioned under the building 25 such that the beam 3 extends beyond first and second sides 25A, 25B of the building 25. The first support frame 1A is positioned on the first side 25A of the building to support the first end 3A of the beam 3 and the second support frame 1B is positioned on the second side 25B of the building to support the second end 3B of the beam 3.

The apparatus 10 will typically be used to raise one end of a building. FIG. 4 illustrates that when raising a building 25, a pair of the moving beam apparatuses 10 of FIG. 3, or three or more apparatuses 10 where the building is large, are spaced fore and aft under the building to support the building 25, and the jacks are operated to raise the building 25 to the desired vertical elevation as indicated by the dotted lines in FIG. 3.

FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrates an alternate jack mechanism 119 comprising right and left substantially vertical threaded rods 131 rotatably supported in an upper portion of the beam guide 109 provided by a top plate 133. The rods 131 are mounted in bearings 135 such that same rotate with respect to the plate 133. The rods 131 have threads engaged in threaded apertures 137 defined by the beam support member 111. A drive, such as motor 139, is operative to drive a chain 141 to rotate the threaded rods 131 in the threaded apertures 137 to raise the beam support member 111.

Screw jacks, such as the jack mechanism 119 of FIGS. 5 and 6 have the advantage that should the jack fail, the risk that the beam support member will fall is much reduced compared to hydraulic or mechanical jacks.

FIG. 6 also illustrates beam guide braces 51 adapted to attach to the beam guide 109 to support the beam guide 109 in the vertical orientation. While in all versions of the support frame the beam guide will be braced in the vertical position, where the vertical lift is higher than usual it may be desired to add extra bracing. The beam guide braces 51 comprise a base extension 53 that are connected to the base 105 and extend laterally along the ground 107. A sloped angle brace 55 connected at a lower end to the base extension 53 and connected at an upper end thereof to the beam guide 109.

The apparatus and method of the present invention allow a building to be raised to a significant height, such that foundation repair can be done without moving the building laterally. The present invention also provides a method, as schematically illustrated in FIG. 7, of adding a story 260 to a building 225. The method comprises using building moving beam apparatuses 210 as required to vertically raise the building 225 to a vertical distance H above a desired height H′ of the new story 260. The new story 260 is constructed under the building 225, and the building 225 is lowered onto the top of the new story 260.

The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous changes and modifications will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all such suitable changes or modifications in structure or operation which may be resorted to are intended to fall within the scope of the claimed invention.