Title:
CONCRETE BUILDING STRUCTURES
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A concrete building structure is formed or a concrete unit having a closed trapezoid shape of four interconnected sidewalls. The unit is formed of interconnected pre cast concrete sections or cast-in-place sidewalls. A pair of units may be arranged in an abutting side-by-side pair configuration. A plurality of units may be arranged in various configurations, inner and outer concentric rings and in a multi level tiered arrangement. Hallways are formed between adjacent units and may be covered by a deck.



Inventors:
Gillespie, Hubert R. (Rochester Hills, MI, US)
Application Number:
12/486010
Publication Date:
12/24/2009
Filing Date:
06/17/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/750
International Classes:
E04H14/00; E04H1/00; E04H3/00
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Primary Examiner:
WENDELL, MARK R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
YOUNG BASILE (TROY, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A building structure comprising: a concrete unit having a closed trapezoid shape formed of four interconnected sidewalls.

2. The building structure of claim 1 further comprising: a top deck supported on the sidewalls.

3. The building structure of claim 2 wherein the top deck comprises: at least one hollow core plank section.

4. The building structure of claim 2 further comprising: at least one support beam extending between at least two of the sidewalls.

5. The top deck section of claim 4 further comprising: at least one deck section supported by the at least one support beam.

6. The building structure of claim 1 wherein the unit comprises: a plurality of interconnected precast concrete sections.

7. The building structure of claim 1 wherein the unit comprises: cast-in-place sidewalls.

8. The building structure of claim 1 further comprising: substantially vertically extending coffers formed in at least one of the sidewalls and opening to an interior of the unit.

9. The building structure of claim 1 further comprising: a pair of units arranged in a side-by-side pair configuration.

10. The building structure of claim 9 wherein: a single common wall forms abutting portions of the pair of units.

11. The building structure of claim 10 further comprising: at least one substantially vertically extending open sided coffer formed in the common wall and facing inward into the interior of each of the pair of units.

12. The building structure of claim 1 wherein the sidewalls of the unit comprises: a pair of first equal-length non-parallel sidewalls formed by dividing a pair of inner and outer concentric circles into sixteen substantially identical volume units, and two intervening, substantially parallel sidewalls.

13. The building structure of claim 1 wherein the sidewalls of the unit further comprise: at least two equal length, non-parallel sidewalls interconnected by two substantially parallel sidewalls.

14. The building structure of claim 13 further comprising: first interior angles formed by one end of each of the pair of non-parallel sidewalls and one of the parallel sidewalls at an equal first angle; and second interior angles between opposed ends of the pair of non-parallel sidewalls and the other parallel sidewalls at a second equal angle.

15. The building structure of claim 1 further comprising a plurality of side-by-side abutting units arranged in a continuous unitary structure.

16. The building structure of claim 15 wherein: the plurality of units are arranged in a continuous circular ring.

17. The building structure of claim 15 wherein: the plurality of units are arranged in an irregular shape having opposed, spaced ends.

18. The building structure of claim 15 wherein: the plurality of units are arranged in a closed oval configuration.

19. The building structure of claim 15 wherein: the plurality of units are arranged in a substantially linear line having opposed ends.

20. The building structure of claim 15 further comprising: at least one hallway having at least one open end interposed between two facing sidewalls of two adjacent units.

21. The building structure of claim 20 further comprising: an upper deck disposed over and closing an upper end of the hallway.

22. The building structure of claim 21 further comprising: a lintel extending from each spaced sidewall of the two adjacent units into the hallway and supporting the upper deck.

23. The building structure of claim 15 further comprising: the plurality of units arranged in at least two stacked levels.

24. The building structure of claim 23 further comprising: at least one of a stairway and an elevator disposed between the at least two stacked levels.

25. The building structure of claim 23 further comprising: decking extending between inner walls of a plurality of units forming a closed configuration.

26. The building structure of claim 15 wherein: the plurality of side-by-side units are arranged in two concentric rings formed of a first inner ring and a radially outward spaced second ring.

27. The building structure of claim 26 further comprising: a circular deck disposed over a space formed between the first and second rings.

28. The building structure of claim 26 further comprising: a plurality of stacked levels of units formed in a concentric first and second rings.

29. The building structure of claim 28 further comprising: at least one of a stairway and an elevator disposed between at least two levels.

30. The building structure of claim 28 further comprising: decking extending between inner walls of a plurality of units forming a closed configuration.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO CO-PENDING APPLICATION

This application claims priority benefit to the Jun. 18, 2008 filing date of co-pending U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/073,485, in the name of Hubert Gillespie for “Concrete Building Structures”, the contents of which are incorporated herein in its entirety.

SUMMARY

Concrete building structures are disclosed.

In one aspect, the building structures in the form of a concrete unit having a closed trapezoid shape formed of four interconnected sidewalls. The concrete unit may be formed of a plurality of interconnected precast concrete sections or cast-in-place sidewalls

A top deck may be supported in the sidewalls. The top deck may include at least one hollow core plank section with one or more support beams extending between the sidewalls. Substantially extending vertically extending coiffures may be formed in at least one of the sidewalls. The coiffures open to the interior of the concrete unit.

A pair of units may be arranged in a side-by-side pair configuration. A single common wall may form abutting portions of the pair of units.

The sidewalls of each unit may include a pair of equal length, non-parallel sidewalls interconnected by two substantially parallel sidewalls. The pair of first equal length non-parallel sidewalls may be formed by dividing a pair of inner and outer concentric circles into 16 substantially identical volume units, with two intervening, substantially parallel sidewalls.

First interior angles are formed by one end of each of the pair of non parallel sidewalls and one of the parallel sidewalls. Second interior angles are formed between opposed ends of the non-parallel sidewalls at a first equal angle and other parallel sidewalls at a second equal angle.

A plurality of side-by-side abutting units may be arranged in a continuous unitary structure in the form of a continuous circular ring and a regular shape having opposed, spaced ends, a closed oval configuration in a substantially linearly line having opposed ends.

At least one hall way having at least one open end may be interposed between two facing sidewalls of two adjacent units. An upper deck may be disposed over and closing the hallway. A lintel may extend from each space sidewall the two adjacent units into the hallway to support the upper deck.

In another aspect, a plurality of units may be arranged in at least two stacked or tiered levels. At least one of a stairway or an elevator may be disposed between the at least two stacked levels. Decking may extend between the inner walls of a plurality of units forming a closed configuration.

In another aspect, a side-by-side arranged units may be arranged in two concentric circles formed of a first inner ring and a radially outward spaced second ring. A circular deck may be mounted over a space formed between the first and second rings of units. A plurality of stacked levels of units may be formed in at least one or both of the first and second rings. A stairway or an elevator may be disposed between at least two levels of units. Decking may extend between the inner walls of the plurality of units forming a closed unit configuration.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

The various features, advantages and other uses of the concrete building structures described hereafter will become apparent by referring the following detailed description and drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of one aspect of a single building module;

FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of the single building module shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a plan elevational view of the single building module shown in FIG. 1, with the deck removed;

FIG. 4 is a horizontal cross sectional view through the right rear corner of the single building module shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a lateral cross-sectional view of the single building module generally taken through the non-parallel walls of the single building module shown in FIG. 1-3;

FIG. 6 is a transverse cross sectional view generally taken through the parallel walls of the single building module shown in FIG. 1-3;

FIG. 7 is a plan elevational view of a three beam deck support aspect of the single building module shown in FIGS. 1-3;

FIG. 8 is a plan elevational view of another aspect of the single building module having a single deck support beam;

FIG. 9 is a plan elevational view of another aspect of the single building module having a two beam deck support;

FIG. 10 is a plan elevational view, with the upper decks removed, of a two side by side co-joined building module configuration;

FIG. 11 is an enlarged plan view of the circled area 11 in FIG. 10.

FIG. 12 is a transverse cross sectional view of another aspect of the building module using a cast in-place wall construction;

FIG. 13 is a plan elevational view showing another aspect of a deck construction used in the building module shown in FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional view of one of the deck planking generally along line 14-14 in FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a plan elevational view of one aspect of a plurality of building modules arranged in side by side circular ring configuration;

FIG. 16 is an enlarged plan elevational view of the circled area 16 in FIG. 15;

FIG. 17 is a cross sectional view generally taken along line 17-17 in FIG. 15;

FIG. 18 is a plan elevational view of another aspect of a circular ring configuration of building modules;

FIG. 19 is an enlarged plan elevational view of the circled area 19 in FIG. 18;

FIG. 20 is a cross sectional view generally taken along line 20-20 in FIG. 18;

FIG. 21 is a plan elevational view of another aspect of a circular ring configuration of building modules;

FIG. 22 is an enlarged plan elevational view of the circled area 22 in FIG. 21;

FIG. 23 is a cross sectional view generally taken along lines 23-23 in FIG. 21;

FIG. 24 is a plan elevational view of another aspect of the building modules in which the building modules are arranged in concentric rings;

FIG. 25 is an enlarged, partial, plan elevational view of the circled area 25 in FIG. 24;

FIG. 26 is a cross-sectional view generally taken along line 26-26 in FIG. 25;

FIG. 27 is a plan elevational view of another aspect of the double ringed configuration of building modules;

FIG. 28 is an enlarged, partial, plan elevation view of the area within the circle 28 in FIG. 27;

FIG. 29 is a cross sectional view generally taken along line 29-29 in FIG. 28;

FIG. 30 is a cross sectional view generally taken long line 30-30 in FIG. 28;

FIG. 31 is a plan elevational view of another aspect of the double ring configuration of building modules;

FIG. 32 is an enlarged, partial, plan elevational view of the area within the circle 32 in FIG. 31;

FIG. 33 is a side elevational view of a multi-tier, ring arrangement of building modules;

FIG. 34 is a side elevation view of the inner side of the outer ring of multi-tier arrangement of modules shown in FIG. 33;

FIG. 35 is a plan elevational view of the building modules shown in FIGS. 33 and 34;

FIG. 36 is an enlarged, plan elevational view of the circled area 36 in FIG. 35;

FIG. 37 is a cross-sectional view generally taken along line 37-37 in FIG. 36;

FIG. 38 is a plan elevational view of another configuration of side wall to side wall joined building modules;

FIG. 39 is a plan elevational view of yet another arrangement of side wall to side wall joined building modules;

FIG. 40 is a plan elevational view of another arrangement of side wall to side wall joined building modules;

FIG. 41 is a plan elevational view of another aspect of side wall to side wall joined building modules arranged in an oval shape;

FIG. 42 is a side elevational view of the oval configuration of building modules shown in FIG. 41, but in multi-tier configuration;

FIG. 43 is a partial side elevational view of the interior wall structure of the multi-tier configured building modules shown in FIG. 42; and

FIG. 44 is a partially broken away, lateral, cross-sectional view of the multi-tiered building module configuration shown in FIGS. 42 and 43.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIGS. 1-44 of the drawings depict various aspects of a concrete building structure made of pre-cast and/or cast-in-place concrete sections or cast as a one piece unitary structure which can be used to create uniquely configurable building structures formed of a single building module or unit, sometimes hereafter referred to as a “prime unit,” and for entire building structures including one or multiple levels each having multiple building modules.

It will be understood that the use of the term “concrete” hereafter to form the various building structures will mean any type of commercially available concrete, including any type of concrete composition suitable for building structures, including building structures formed of concrete, or concrete and other non-concrete materials, such as bricks, wood, composites, etc., or concrete with reinforced steel or rebar, or concrete sections, panels or beams which are formed of cast-in-place concrete with or without reinforced steel using pre-made forms, as well as precast concrete sections of any width and shape which are precast to the desired shape, thickness, and strength and then assembled to form the walls, deck, and roof of a building structure, and structured or engineered concrete sections which are precast into the desired shape and also assembled into the complete structure, and combinations of precast concrete sections, cast-in-place concrete sections and structural or engineered sections.

It will also be understood that the following description of a single building module or unit as having a trapezoidal shape will be understood to also cover building structures having trapezoid-like shapes with a closed periphery and four major sides.

“Trapezoidal” as used herein will be understood to mean a quadrilateral shape having two parallel and two non-parallel sides, with a first pair of equal interior angles and a second pair of different equal interior angles as well as shapes having a substantially quadrilateral-like appearance with four sides arranged in a closed shape, where the sides are linear, curved or multi-faceted.

The terms “inner, outer, side and top” will be understood to have their normal meaning in the orientation of a building structure and/or building module as described herein. In general, each building module will be described as having a first pair of non-parallel sidewalls and a second pair of parallel sidewalls, all four sidewalls interconnected at adjacent ends to form a closed building module or unit.

Referring now to FIGS. 1-3, there is depicted a single building module or unit 60, sometimes referred to hereafter as a “prime unit.” The module 60 has a plane configuration formed of a first pair of non-parallel sidewalls 62 and 64 and a second pair of parallel sidewalls, also referred to as a first inner wall 66 and a second outer wall 68.

Although the walls 62, 64, 66 and 68 are shown as being linear from end to end, it will be understood that any of the walls and, in particular, the two parallel walls 66 and 68, can have other shapes, such as curved, sinuous or multi-faceted similar to a bay window.

The sidewalls 62 and 64, while generally linear for abutting interconnection to other modules, as described hereafter, can also have non-linear shapes, particularly for stand-alone module configurations.

The walls 62, 64, 66 and 68 have opposed vertically extending ends which abut or are joined to each other at exterior edges 70, 72, 74 and 76 to form a closed periphery for the module 60. A deck 80 is placed over the upper edges of each of the walls 62, 64, 66 and 68 to close the interior of the module 60.

The module 60 is depicted in the drawing as having a trapezoidal shape, by way of example. The interior angles between the ends of the first inner wall 66 and the adjacent sidewalls 62 and 64 are equal. Likewise, the interior angles between the opposed ends of the second outer wall 68 and the adjacent sidewalls 62 and 64 are also equal, but different from the angles between the ends of the walls 62, 64, and 66.

By way of example, the trapezoidal shape of the module 60 shown in FIGS. 1-4 is a so-called equilateral trapezoid in that the length of the sidewalls 62 and 64 are equal.

The ability to interconnect a plurality of modules 60 into a circular ring or other shapes, as described hereafter, as well to provide a stand-alone module 60, all optimized for maximum interior volume of the module(s) 60 and a minimum exterior outer diameter footprint, results from dividing a circular arrangement of identical modules 60 arranged with the sidewalls 62 and 64 of each module 60 abutting the sidewalls 62 and 64 of adjacent modules 60, as shown in FIG. 15 into a plurality of segments between eight and twenty four-segments, with sixteen identical volume segments shown by way of example. This results in the equilateral trapezoid shape for the module 60 shown in FIGS. 1-4 with the above specified angles.

At the same time, the length of the walls 62, 64, 66, and 68 may be selected to provide a desired interior volume for each module 60. In this manner, the inner diameter of the ring of module 60 and the outer diameter of the ring of module 60 may be selected to provide a specific interior volume to each of the modules 60 to optimize or minimize the exterior diameter of the circular ring, while maximizing the interior dimensions of each module 60. This enables different inner and outer diameter dimensions to be selected for the circular ring to provide a single circular ring, or concentric inner and outer rings of modules as shown in FIG. 24 and described hereafter.

In all of the inner and outer diameter configurations of the module 60 arranged in circular rings or in adjacent, substantially identical, but spaced shapes formed of a plurality of adjacent module 60, interior angles between the sidewalls and the inner and outer walls 66 and 68 remain as described above. These angles provide an interior corner space at each interior corner of the module 60 which is open enough to facilitate full use of the interior corner space without being too small or tight an angle to prevent usage for furniture, etc.

The cross sectional view of FIG. 3 depicts an example of the joinder of the wall sides 62, 64, 66, and 68 together to form the edges 70, 72, 74, and 76. Also depicted in FIG. 3 is an exemplary interior wall arrangement which can be formed of wood, steel, or other building grade material to form any desirable room arrangement in the module 60.

As shown in FIGS. 1-3, the building module 60 may be provided with any number, shape and type of door or doors 82 and 84 on the first inner wall 66 and the second outer wall 68 as well as one or more types and sizes of the windows, all denoted by reference number 84, on the first inner wall 66 and second outer wall 68.

The doors 82 and 84 can be any size or shape, including single panel doors, double panel doors, sliding doors, etc. The windows 84 can be of any size, shape, and type and can be provided in any number on either of the walls 66 and 68.

As shown in FIG. 4, the vertically extending ends of each of the walls 62, 64, 66, and 68 form the joints 70, 72, 74, and 76 between facing ends of each of the walls 62, 64, 66, and 68, such as the facing ends 90 and 92 of the walls 64 and 68, and the facing ends 94 and 96 of the walls 64 and 66, respectively. The joints or edges 70, 72, 74, and 76 may be sealed, joined together by fasteners, such as bolts, steel rods, or by other construction techniques to seal and securely join the opposing ends of the walls 62, 64, 66 and 68 into a unitary, strong structure.

As also seen in FIG. 4, one or a plurality of inward opening coffers or recesses, all denoted by reference number 100, are provided in one or all of the sidewalls 62, 64, 66, and 68 of the module 60. The coffers 100 extend from a foot or solid base formed as part of the sidewall and spaced from the bottom edge of each of the walls 62, 64, 66, and 68 up to the top end of each wall or to a closed end spaced from the top edge or surface of each of the walls 62, 64, 66, and 68. Each coffer 100 may have perpendicular or inner tapering side edges extending from the inward surface 102 of each wall, such as wall 68, to an inner surface 104. The coffers 100 have a depth from the inward surface 102 of each of the walls, such as wall 68. to the inner surface 104, to provide an opening suitable for receiving heating and cooling ventilation equipment, wires, pipes, etc., without decreasing the overall strength of the walls.

FIGS. 5 and 6 depict the construction of one aspect of the deck 80. As shown in FIG. 5, which is a lateral cross sectional view of the module 60 taken non-parallel sidewalls 62 and 64, and FIG. 6 which is a transverse cross section through the parallel walls 66 and 68, the deck 80 includes, in one aspect, a multi-T-shaped precast deck section 110 which have a solid upper surface 112 and a plurality of depending ribs or stems 113. The deck sections 110 are supported on one or more beams 114 which are mounted in notches 116 formed in the walls 66 and 68 of the module 60 and extend completely between the walls 66 and 68.

The load bearing ends and optionally the outermost stem 113 of the outermost deck sections 110 are supported on ledges 117 formed in the sidewalls 62, 64, 66 and 68. An upper portion 111 of the sidewalls 62, 64, 66, or 68 closed off the open ends of the deck sections 110 between the stems 113.

FIG. 7 depicts a three-beam 114 aspect of the module 60. Three precast or engineered beams 114 formed of concrete, concrete and rebar, etc., are mounted in the notches in the walls 66 and 68 and support a plurality of pre-cast deck sections, with four deck sections 110a, 110b, 110c and 110d shown by way of example only.

In another aspect shown in FIG. 8, a single beam 114 is depicted. The beam 114 also supports a plurality of deck sections, with four deck sections 110a, 110b, 110c and 110d shown by way of example only.

FIG. 9 depicts another aspect having two beams 114 extending between and supported on the walls 62 and 68. The pair of beams 114 support a plurality of deck sections, with four deck sections 110a, 110b, 110c and 110d shown by way of example only. In this aspect, the deck sections 110a, 110b, 110c and 110d extend only between the support beams 114 and are not supported on the sidewalls 64 and 68 as in the previous aspects of the deck 80 shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. In this aspect, two additional deck sections 110E and 110F having a polygonal shape are supported between the support beams 114 and the walls 62, 64, 66, and 68.

Individual deck sections 110a, 110b, 110c etc, may be sealed at facing side edges by suitable sealing material. In addition, the deck sections 110a, 110b, etc., can be mechanically joined to each other by means of studs, and/or other concrete fasteners.

Referring back to FIGS. 5 and 6, the walls 62, 64, 66, and 68, with only wall 64 being shown in cross section in FIG. 5 and only wall 68 being shown in FIG. 6, are supported on a foundation 118 which can be formed in or on the ground 120. The walls 62, 64, 66, and 68 may be supported solely by their weight on the foundation 118 or by means of suitable masonry studs, fasteners, etc.

A floor 122, which may be a poured concrete floor, is placed on the ground 120 within the foundation 118 and between the walls 62, 64, 66 and 68.

In the aspect of the module 60 as shown in FIGS. 10 and 11, the walls 62, 64, 66 and 68 are cast in place in one or more sections on the building site, directly on the foundation 118. The concrete floor 122 is poured after the walls 62, 64, 66 and 68 have solidified.

In any of the arrangements of two side-by-side modules 60 in a single ring or other shaped configurations, inner and outer rings, or stacked, multi-level arrangements, the two adjacent, side-by-side, modules will have adjacent, substantially abutting sidewalls 62 and 64. Particularly when cast-in-place processes are used for forming the modules 60, the two adjacent walls 62 and 64 of a pair of side-by-side arranged modules 60 may be replaced by a single common wall 220 as shown in FIGS. 10 and 11. Spaced coffers 100 may be formed along each of the opposed surfaces 102 of the wall 222 facing inward into the adjacent pair of modules 60. The coffers 100 may be provided in any spacing, although a two-foot spacing for commonality of attaching inner wall surfaces, or running pipes, wires, and other building components through the coffers 110 is better suited for construction.

The coffers 100 may be lengthwise spaced from each other along the respective surfaces 102 of the adjacent modules 60, or provided in aligned pairs as shown in FIG. 13. In this construction, the aligned coffers 100 form spaced pier sections 222 which extend the full height and the full thickness of each wall 220. The aligned pair of coffers 100 form reduced thickness wall sections 224 which extend along the wall 220 along the length of the coffers 100. In this manner, shown in FIG. 12, the upper end of each coffer 100 opens into hollow spaces between the support beams 114 and the T-shaped deck sections 110 or below the planking 126, and an interior ceiling 135, shown in phantom, which could be a drop ceiling formed of a wire supported frame and removable panels, for example. Any suitable framing structure, drywall or other panels or materials may also be employed to form the ceiling 135. The interior space between the bottom of support beams 136 or the upper deck 80, and the ceiling 135 forms a mechanical space for passage of pipes, conduits, wires, heating and ventilation conduits, communication cables, etc., between the walls 62, 64, 66, and 68.

Referring now to FIGS. 12, 13 and 14, there is depicted another aspect of the building module 60 using a cast-in-place construction for the walls 62, 64, 66 and 68, and a portion of the upper deck 80. In this aspect, each of the walls 62, 64, 66 and 68, with only wall 62 being shown by example in FIG. 12 is cast-in-place on the foundation 118, with or without the coffers 100.

Notches 130 are formed at a position spaced from an upper edge 132 of the at least opposed pair of walls 66 and 68. The notches 130 receive one end of an engineered hollow core planking 136 which spans the space between the walls 66 and 68. A topping surface 138 formed of concrete or other material is placed on top of the planking 138 to form the upper surface of the deck 80 as well as the bottom floor surface of any upper levels, as described hereafter.

As shown in FIGS. 13 and 14, the planking 136 may be formed as structural concrete sections each noted by reference number 140. The concrete sections 140 of planking 136, as shown in FIG. 14, have a honeycomb configuration with a plurality of longitudinally extending bores 142 extending between opposed ends. Steel rods or studs may be inserted in smaller bores 144 disposed along the side edges of each of the sections 140 for interconnecting the side edges of two adjacent disposed deck sections 140.

The building module or prime unit 60 may be employed by itself as a single unit for human occupation as a home residence, office, or as a single storage unit. As shown in FIGS. 15-16, the trapezoidal shape of the building module 60 facilitates arrangement of a plurality of substantially identical modules 60 into different configurations for use in many different applications.

As shown in FIGS. 15-17 when a plurality of modules 60 are arranged in a side-by-side configuration with the shorter length inner wall 66 disposed inward most, the modules 60 can form a circular ring. The sidewalls 62 and 64 of each module 60 abut adjacent sidewalls 62 and 64 of the adjacent module 60 and may be disposed in a side-by-side non-connected configuration or joined together by means of studs or other concrete fastening methods. The circular ring configuration shown in FIG. 15 forms an interior space 150 which may be used as a courtyard accessible from all of the modules 60.

FIGS. 18-20 depict a similar circular ring arrangement of modules 60. In this aspect, however, modules 60 are arranged in pairs of abutted, side-by-side abutting modules 60. A radially extending hallway 154 is formed between the pairs of side-by-side arranged modules 60. The hallways 154 have sidewalls formed by the sidewalls 62 and 64 of two spaced modules 60. A lintel 158 may be formed or attached to the upper end of the exterior surface of each of the outer walls 62 and 64 of each pair of modules 60 to support a deck 160 which covers the radially extending hallway 154.

The deck 160, which is thinner than the deck 80 used in each of the modules 60, can be formed of a plurality of precast concrete sections or panels, or as hollow core planking. In addition, the decks 160 interconnect the plurality of modules 60 into a continuous circle or ring which adds continuity, rigidity, and strength to the ring arrangement of modules 60.

The hallways 154 facilitate easy access to the interior courtyard 150 as well as to any interior disposed doors of the individual modules 60.

FIGS. 21-23 depict a circular ring arrangement of a plurality of modules 60 in which hallways 154 are formed between the sidewalls 62 and 64 of each of the individual modules 60. The same hallway deck 160 is employed to cover the radially extending hallways 154 extending between each module 60.

The circular arrangement of a plurality of side-by-side disposed modules 60 may also be provided in concentric rings with two or more concentric rings, such as the inner and outer rings 170 and 172 shown by example in FIGS. 24-26-28. In this configuration, the inner diameter of the first inner ring 170 may be smaller than the inner diameter of the single ring shown in FIGS. 17-23. The second outer ring 172 has a larger diameter from a center point of the courtyard or interior space 150 than the outer diameter of the single ring configuration shown in FIGS. 17-23.

The interior volume and the length of each of the walls 62, 64, 66 and 68 forming each of the modules 60 used in the first inner ring 170 and the individual walls 176, 178, 180, and 182 of each of the modules 174 used in the second outer ring 172 may be different than the dimensions of the walls 62, 64, 66 and 68 for the module 60 in the single ring configuration shown in FIG. 15, for example. As shown in FIGS. 25 and 26, the modules 174 in the second outer ring 172 have a more elongated shape than the modules 60 in the first inner ring 170.

As shown in FIGS. 24 and 25, the modules 60 of the first inner ring 170 have a smaller length between the sidewalls 62 and 64 than that of the modules 60 shown in FIGS. 1-4. In this aspect, the support beams 114 can extend between the sidewalls 62 and 64 rather than the inner and outer walls 66 and 68. The deck sections 110 will then extend between the inner and outer walls 66 and 68. When the hollow core planking 136 is used to form the deck 140, the hollow cores 142 will extend in a direction spanning the sidewalls 62 and 64.

A circumferentially extending and generally circular hallway or space 184 is disposed between the outer walls 68 of the modules 60 in the first inner ring 70 and the inner walls 180 of the modules 174 in the second outer ring 172. The hallway 184 may be open between the decks 80 and 183 of the modules 60 and 174 or may be covered by a deck as described hereafter.

Each of the rings 170 and 172 may be formed without any radially extending hallways 154 as shown in FIGS. 24 and 25, or with hallways 154 alternating between each module 173 or 174 in FIGS. 31 and 32, or between adjacent pairs of modules 173 and 174 as shown in FIGS. 27 and 28. Each of the hallways 154 may be covered by a deck 160 as described above and as also shown in FIG. 23.

Referring to FIG. 30, the circumferential hallway 184 formed between the first and second rings 170 and 172 of modules 173 and 174 may be covered by a plurality of deck sections 186. The deck sections 186 may be similar to the radial hallway decks 160 shown in FIG. 29 and supported by lintels formed in or joined to and extending outward from the sidewalls 68 and 180 of the modules 60 and 174 in the first and second rings 170 and 172.

The individual modules 173 or 174, arranged, for example, in the circular ring-like configuration described above, may also be stacked on top of each other to form multiple levels or stories, such as the three levels shown by way of example only in FIGS. 33, 34 and 42-44. In this configuration, the modules 60 can be arranged, for example, in a single circular ring configuration or modules 173 and 174 can be arranged in concentric inner and outer rings 170 and 172. The modules 60 are arranged in stacked levels including a first level 190, a second or middle layer 192, and a third or upper layer 194. As seen in FIGS. 35-37, the modules 60 in each level 190, 192, 194 are arranged in abutting pairs with radially extending hallways 154 disposed between the outermost sidewalls 62 and 64 of each pair of adjoining modules 60. This is by way of example only, as the ring configuration of each level 190, 192, 194 of the modules 60 and 174 may be provided with any arrangement of hallways 154 or even without hallways.

The individual modules 60 may have any configuration and type of doors and windows. The outer walls 68 of the modules 60 in the second and third levels 192 and 194 would not normally include any doors unless an exterior balcony or deck surface is provided or connected to each such module 60.

The modules 60 in the first or lower level 190 would be provided with openable closures or doors 84 in the form of hinged doors, sliding doors, French doors, etc., in the walls 66, respectively, which open to ground level.

Likewise, doors would not be provided on the inner walls 66 of modules 60 in the second and third levels 192 and 194 60 unless a balcony or deck is provided. The modules 60 in the lower level 190 may have a door 82 on the inner wall 66 opening to the courtyard 150. Likewise, a door may be provided in the outer wall 182 of each module 174 and a second outer ring 172 opening to ground level.

Doors may be provided on the inner walls 180 of each of the modules 60 in the second and/or third levels 192 and 194 and in the second outer walls 68 of the modules 60 in the second and/or third levels 192 and 194 of the first inner ring 170 as long as stairways and/or elevators are provided to allow access between the first or ground level and the second and third levels 192 and 194.

Stairways 210 are shown by way of example in FIGS. 34-37 as extending between the ground and along the inner wall 180 of one module 174 in the circular hallway 184 between the inner and outer rings 170 and 172. The stairways 210 are supported at an upper end by the deck sections 186 covering the circular hallway 184 between the inner and outer rings 170 and 172. The stairways 210 pass through an opening formed in the deck sections 186 and may be provided in a single location or at spaced circumferential locations as shown in FIGS. 34-37. Other people moving devices, such as escalators, can be used in addition to or as a replacement for one or more of the stairways.

The stairways 210 or other people moving devices may be employed for a single ring, stacked arrangement of modules 60, as shown in FIG. 34, by employing a deck along the inner walls 66, or alternately, along the outer walls 68, of the second and third levels 192 and 194.

As mentioned previously, the trapezoidal shape of the modules 60 allows rearrangement of the modules 60 into many different configurations. As shown in FIG. 38 a plurality of modules 60 may be arranged in a straight line configuration 230 by inverting the orientation of every other module 60 so that the shorter length inner wall 66 of one module 60 is disposed in line with the longer length second outer wall 68 of the adjacent module 60. This alternating arrangement places the modules 60 in an adjacent disposed arrangement forming the straight line 230 arrangement.

The arcuate or circular ring structures described previously may be provided in shorter length arcs with shorter length straight line sections to form any irregular shaped configuration 232, which has a smoothly curved sinuous shape shown in FIG. 39. The irregular shape 232 includes alternating arcuate and straight sections formed of a straight section 234. Starting from a left end, an adjacent arcuate section 236 where the shorter length inner walls 66 are disposed at the same radial distance from a center point, an adjacent longer length arcuate section 238 where the orientation of the shorter length inner walls 66 of the modules 60 are reversed from the walls 66 of the module 60 in the adjacent arcuate section 236 to form a reverse arc or curve, another adjacent arcuate section 240 where the shorter length inner walls 66 are inverted from the shorter length walls 66 of the modules 60 in the arcuate section 238 to form another reverse arc or curve, another a shorter length arcuate segment 242 having the shorter length inner walls 66 inverted from the walls 66 of the modules 60 in the arcuate section 240, finally, a straight end section 244. It will be understood that the number of modules forming each of the segments 234, 236, 238, 240, 242, and 244 may be varied to suit available land surface area, grade conditions, or to provide a predetermined number of modules 60 in the complete structure 232, etc.

The alternating or opposed radially facing arcuate segments may also be arranged in a continuous closed, irregularly shaped configuration 250 as shown in FIG. 40. The configuration 250 of adjacent modules 60 have a star shape formed of four radially outward extending nodes 252, 254, 256 and 258 which are interconnected by radially extending, inverted valleys 260, 264, 266, etc. The modules 60 forming the nodes 252, 254, 256, and 258 have the smaller diameter inner walls 66 arranged at a common radial distance facing inward into the shape 250. Conversely, the valley segments 260, 264, etc., have the smaller diameter walls 66 facing outward of the shape 250. All of the segments 252-266 may be arranged in the same arcuate shape. Arcuate length and at the same radius, but with alternating radially extending orientations.

As shown in FIGS. 41-44, the modules 60 may be arranged in an oval shape 270 formed of two straight segments 272, 274 formed by alternately oriented modules 60, as described previously and shown in FIG. 40, which are joined at opposite ends by arcuate sections 276 and 278. The oval shape 270 may also provided with three levels, including a first bottom-most level 280, an intermediate level 282 and a top level 284, with three levels 280, 282, and 284 being shown by way of example only in FIGS. 42-44. A centrally located level access bay 288 formed of one or more sets of stairways and/or elevators are centrally arranged within the interior of the oval shape 270 of modules 60. The access bay 288 may include one or more stairwells 290, each including stairways and/or escalators extending between the various levels 280, 282, and 284, and one or more elevators 292, also opening to each of the levels 280, 282 and 284 of the modules 60. One access bay 288 may be separate from a second access bay 288 to space the stairwell 290 from the elevator 292.

At the opening of each access bay 288, whether it be from one of the stairwells 290 or from one of the elevators or escalators 292, decking may be provided between the access bay 288 and the adjacent modules 60. For example only, decking over the entire interior area 294 between the access bay 288 and the inner walls of the modules 60 in the oval shape 270 shown in FIG. 41 will allow access from doors in the inner walls 66 of each of the modules 60 to the access bay 288.

The decking 294 unifies the entire structure and increases the strength and rigidity of the building structure. In addition, the decking 294 increases the number of different uses of the building structure.

As shown in detail in FIG. 44, the modules 60 are depicted as being arranged in one of the arcuate end segments 276 or 278 or in a portion of a single circular ring. The modules 60 are also illustrated by example only as being arranged along a common wall 220 as a module pair with hallways 154 extending radially between opposed sides of each module pair. Three levels 280, 282 and 284 are depicted by example. One of the interior access bays 288 is depicted with only a single elevator 292 and a single stairway 290 for illustration only.





 
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