Title:
RELOCATABLE BUILDING WALL CONSTRUCTION
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A relocatable wall construction includes a center sheet (preferably magnesium oxide), vertical strips, floor and ceiling attachment strips, and tongue-and-groove connectors for joining adjacent aligned panels (also called vertical strips). Fasteners connect components together, and can include magnets, bolts, screws clips, and/or hook-tabs. Magnetic tape can be used for releasable attachment to outer sheets, along with fibrous sound-deadening material for noise reduction and slots for providing adjustment for non-uniform floors and ceilings.



Inventors:
Porter, William H. (Saugatuck, MI, US)
Application Number:
12/465070
Publication Date:
11/19/2009
Filing Date:
05/13/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/782.1, 52/506.06
International Classes:
E04C2/52; E04B2/58; E04C2/38
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FERENCE, JAMES M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PRICE HENEVELD LLP (GRAND RAPIDS, MI, US)
Claims:
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. A wall for dividing an area in a building having a floor and a ceiling, comprising: a planar center panel; studs attached to opposing sides of the center panel, and at least one of the center panel and the studs being attached to the floor and to the ceiling; and second and third panels removably attached by releasable fasteners to the strips to define with the center panel spaces on opposite sides of the center panel for routing utilities.

2. The wall defined in claim 1, wherein at least one of the second and third panels are attached to the studs with magnets.

3. The wall defined in claim 1, wherein the second and/or third panels are attached with screws.

4. The wall defined in claim 1, wherein the second and third panels are attached with non-threaded clips.

5. The wall defined in claim 1, wherein the second and third panels are attached with adhesive.

6. The wall defined in claim 1, wherein the second and third panels are attached with at least one of magnets, screws, or clips.

7. A wall construction for a building comprising: at least three sheets positioned adjacently in three parallel planes; strips between and connecting the three sheets to define spaces for utilities, outer ones of the at least three sheets being removable for providing access to the spaces for servicing utilities; and utilities in the spaces, including at least one of electrical, communication, plumbing, ventilation ducts, and heat transfer components.

8. The wall defined in claim 7, wherein the sheets are made from at least one of drywall, magnesium oxide, cement board, wood, wood composite, polymeric composite, and particulate composite.

9. The wall defined in claim 7, wherein a center one of the at least three sheets is semipermanently attached to a floor and ceiling with fasteners such as screws or nails.

10. The wall defined in claim 7, wherein the strips include vertical metal channels or studs that reinforce the wall.

11. The wall defined in claim 7, wherein the at least three sheets include a center sheet, and the utilities are mounted to the center sheet.

12. The wall defined in claim 7, wherein the at least three sheets include a center sheet which acts as a noise and security barrier in the wall construction.

13. The wall defined in claim 7, wherein the at least three sheets include a center sheet which is attached to a floor and ceiling of the building.

14. The wall defined in claim 7, wherein the at least three sheets include a center sheet which is fire-resistant material and also including sound-deadening material located in the spaces between the sheets.

15. The wall defined in claim 7, including a fibrous material placed in the spaces and adapted to reduce sound transmission through the wall construction.

16. The wall defined in claim 7, wherein the strips extend vertically and at least some of the strips are positioned at edges of the sheets, the edge-positioned strips defining one of a tongue-and-groove for mating engagement with an adjacent identical wall construction.

17. The wall defined in claim 7, wherein the strips extend vertically and include apertures for passing utilities horizontally therethrough

18. The wall defined in claim 7, wherein the at least three sheets include at least four sheets, two of which define an interior of the wall construction and provide sound reduction and improved security and privacy.

19. The wall defined in claim 7, wherein the at least three sheets include a center sheet, and wherein at least certain ones of the strips attach to the center sheet and to the building floor and ceiling, the certain one strips being vertically extended and adjustable to allow for ceiling height changes.

20. The wall defined in claim 7, wherein the at least three sheets are made primarily of organic material, and include magnetic components for magnetic attachment to metal on the strips

21. A relocatable wall construction comprising: a center sheet defining a vertical plane; and vertical studs attached on one or both sides of the center sheet; the studs including notches so that long rigid piping or conduit can be placed in the notches and routed along the wall.

22. The wall defined in claim 21, including outer sheets attached to an outer surface of the studs for aesthetically covering the wall construction.

23. The wall defined in claim 22, wherein the outer sheets are removably attached to the studs.

24. The wall defined in claim 23, wherein the outer sheets include magnets for removable attachment to the studs.

Description:

This application claims benefit under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) of provisional application Ser. No. 61/053,200, filed May 14, 2008, entitled RELOCATABLE BUILDING WALL CONSTRUCTION, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

The present invention concerns relocatable building walls configured for utilities.

The walls of traditional houses and commercial buildings are permanent, making it difficult to rearrange and reallocate their interior space. Further, it is difficult and expensive to access, maintain and/or add services and utilities (e.g., electrical, communications, and plumbing). However, the inhabitants of buildings undergo changing lifestyles. In homes, as the family grows, there is a need for more rooms and/or different rooms as well as different utilities. As the family leaves, the home may have other needs, such as the need for home offices and/or grandparent apartments. In condos, there may be owners that want more or less space, or rearranged rooms/space. Also the space in condos may change to commercial, or be changed from commercial into condo space.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a wall that is accessible from either side for services without disturbing the other side. The wall is designed to have a low noise transmission coefficient with three or more planes and a noise-reducing blanket of fibrous material. The wall with its three rigid planes can be made very fire-resistant for meeting building codes.

In one aspect, the center plane includes semi-permanently-attached sections and the outside planes are easily removed with no visible fasteners or battens or ugly seams. Panels can butt right up next to each other in alignment such that their joints are minimal. The finish surfaces on the outer plane panels can be prefinished with veneers, wallpaper, paint, and/or other decorative surfaces. The outer surface may also be a textured surface that has a low noise reduction coefficient.

Preferred materials for this invention are: a) magnesium oxide planar surfaces, b) mineral wool noise filler blanket reductions, c) steel studs to the center plane, d) magnets for attachment and for fixed attachment to the outer plane of the magnesium oxide sheets, and placed for magnetic adherence to the metal studs. However, other materials may be used to reduce cost, or that are preformed, or that are treated or made with performance enhancement, if found appropriate.

These and other aspects, objects, and features of the present invention will be understood and appreciated by those skilled in the art upon studying the following specification, claims, and appended drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a wall construction embodying the present invention, and

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of same, while FIG. 1B is a perspective view of the inner wall assembly with outer sheets removed to better show interior components.

FIG. 2 is a side view of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a top view of FIG. 1, and FIGS. 4-5 are modified versions of same.

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary top view of a completed wall that includes fibrous sound-proofing therein, and

FIG. 7 is an enlarged view of a portion of FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a side view of a modified wall including attachment to a ceiling, and FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a component shown in FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a sheet with magnetic strips thereon.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a modified wall construction not unlike FIG. 1.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a modified wall stud.

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a modified wall construction.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIGS. 1-1B are perspective views of a wall construction 20 embodying the present invention. Components include: interior center planar sheet 1 (also called panel, preferably made of magnesium oxide but could be gypsum, drywall or other material), vertical standoff and reinforcing strips 2 (also called brackets or studs, and can have a channel or “Z” shape or other structural beam shape), floor attachment strips 3 (also called brackets), ceiling attachment strips 4 (also called brackets), tongue-and-groove strip system 5 for joining panels (also called vertical strips), and fasteners 6 (such as magnets, bolts, screws, clips, hook-and-loop material, or hook-tabs) for attachment to metal strips. Bracket strips 3 and 4 include holes or slots for vertical height adjustment and attachment of wall, such as to compensate for changes and non-uniformity of floor and ceiling. The outer sheets (sheets 9) are not shown in FIG. 1B to better reveal inner components of the inner wall assembly 21, but see FIGS. 1, 1A, 2, 7, and 8. It is contemplated that the strips 2 can include pre-cut holes, slots, openings, or apertures to facilitate horizontal routing of utilities along the walls (see holes 22 and T-notches 23 in FIGS. 12-13). Alternatively, holes/slots/etc. can be cut or added on-site as needed.

FIGS. 2 and 8 are side views of FIG. 1 showing top and bottom portions of the wall as connected to a floor and ceiling, respectively. Components include: magnetic tape 10 attached to outer sheets 9 (also called panels), floor fasteners 11 (also called bolts), floor attachment strips 12 with flange for attracting magnet or other attachment, floor 13, fibrous sound-deadening material 14 (also called batting), slotted holes 15, ceiling 16, and ceiling fasteners 17. It is contemplated that the illustrated long sections of magnetic tape 10 can be replaced with short sections, patches, spot magnets, and/or applied in any desired pattern to optimize retention, removal, and minimize cost.

FIG. 3 is a top view of FIG. 1, and FIGS. 4-5 are modified versions of same. Components in FIG. 3 include: adhesive 8 attaching strips to center planar sheet, and external planar sheet 9 (also called planal surface). In FIG. 3, the brackets 2 are positioned opposite each other, and several fasteners 6 are extended through the opposing brackets 2 and center sheet 1. In FIG. 3, each fastener 6 has a shaft that extends through the sheet 1 and through the abutting flange of the opposing brackets 2 for securing the brackets 2 to the sheet 1. The fasteners 6 are spaced vertically on the sheet 1 for attaching each opposing pair of brackets 2 to the sheet at multiple locations, and further there are two or more brackets 2 which extend top to bottom of the sheet 1 and which are spaced horizontally apart a desired distance, such as 24 inches or the like. FIG. 4 is similar to FIG. 3 but with the brackets 2 being spaced in alternating positions along its horizontal length (as contrasted to the opposed brackets 2 in FIG. 1). A different set of fasteners 6 attaches each bracket 2 to the sheet 1. FIG. 5 includes attachment structure in the form of adhesive or magnetic strips 10 (or can be magnetic sections or pads or hook and loop material).

In each of FIGS. 3-5, a half of the inner flange of the end-most brackets 2 (i.e. the flange abutting the sheet 1 on each side) engages the sheet 1, while a remaining half of the inner flange extends horizontally to form a side-facing pocket. This pocket is shaped to matably receive an edge of the next panel section. Notice the right end of the sheet 1 does not include brackets 2, but instead is configured to engage the side-facing pocket described above.

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary top view of a completed wall that includes fibrous sound-proofing therein, and FIG. 7 is an enlarged exploded view of an abutting portion of two adjacent panels similar to that in FIG. 6. FIG. 8 is a side view of a modified wall including attachment to a ceiling, and FIG. 9 is an enlarged perspective view of a ceiling attachment bracket 4 as shown in FIG. 8. FIG. 9 discloses that the hole can be elongated to form a slot in the ceiling bracket 4 in order to allow adjustment to compensate for height variances in the ceiling.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the inside surface of an outer sheet, the outer sheet having an arrangement of magnetic strips 10 on its interior surface and positioned for magnetic attraction to steel strips 2. Notably, the magnetic strips 10 can extend continuously around a perimeter of the panel 9, and also extend transversely (vertically and/or horizontally) across the panel 9. However, it is contemplated that short magnetic strips or pads can also be used . . . or a combination thereof. It is also contemplated that a scope of the present concept includes other attachment devices such as hook-and-loop material, sticky-pads, adhesive, and the like, though presently magnets are believed to provide better accuracy and more positive securement of the outer panel.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a modified wall construction not unlike FIG. 1, including a double thick structural center panel arrangement. It is contemplated that the center panel arrangement can include a pair of two sheets (1) bonded or attached together. Also, the center sheet 1 can be a thicker panel (or a combination of doubled-up panels) than the outer sheets 9. Components were previously identified.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a modified wall stud, where the stud has a “Z” shaped cross section and includes a plurality of apertures (holes) 22 in its outwardly-oriented center flange for passing through utilities along the wall construction. The illustrated holes are pre-cut during manufacture to facilitate on-site installation of utilities.

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a modified wall construction, where the studs or vertical strips have “T” shaped notches 23 defining a necked slot for ingress/egress and a recessed area for receiving and holding the horizontally-running utilities 24. The utilities can be conduit as shown. Also, the slots can be aligned for receiving a rigid conduit (e.g., a water-carrying pipe), or alternatively can be misaligned such as for receiving and positively retaining a bendable electrical or communication wire (without the need for additional fasteners). The marginal material forming the apertures/slots can include a bent-over flange to reduce sharp edges that may cut a utility line, or may include a plastic insert that acts as a sleeve or grommet to protect items routed through the apertures/slots.

It is to be understood that variations and modifications can be made on the aforementioned structure without departing from the concepts of the present invention, and further it is to be understood that such concepts are intended to be covered by the following claims unless these claims by their language expressly state otherwise.





 
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