Title:
Partition system for a building space
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A partition system for dividing a building space, the building space having a floor, a ceiling and walls bounding the space between the ceiling and floor. The partition system includes self-supporting wire mesh paneling, which is attached to least one post that is mounted to the floor of the building space. Each post extends from the floor up to a predefined height that may be less than the height of the ceiling of the building.



Inventors:
Goddard, Derek (Beaconsfield, CA)
Application Number:
12/314929
Publication Date:
03/11/2010
Filing Date:
12/18/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/270, 52/745.13
International Classes:
E04B2/76; E04B2/74
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
STEPHAN, BETH A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SHLESINGER, ARKWRIGHT & GARVEY LLP (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A partition system in a building space, the building space having a floor, a ceiling and side walls bounding the space between the floor and the ceiling, said partition system comprising: a) at least one post having a lower end and an upper end, the lower end mounted to the floor of the building space, the upper end being freestanding without attachment to the ceiling of the building space; b) self-supporting wire mesh paneling mounted to said at least one post, said paneling including at least one panel of unframed, substantially flat wire mesh; c) wherein said at least one post and said paneling are arranged to define at least one wall dividing the building space.

2. A partition system as defined in claim 1, wherein said paneling extends over a length of at least one of said at least one wall.

3. A partition system as defined in claim 2, wherein said at least one post extends from the floor of the building space up to a predefined height that is lower than a height of the ceiling of the building space.

4. A partition system as defined in claim 3, wherein said at least one panel of unframed, substantially flat wire mesh is self-supporting.

5. A partition system as defined in claim 4, wherein each of said at least one panel is made up of vertical and horizontal wires that are joined where they cross, the wires between four and ten gauge in diameter.

6. A partition system as defined in claim 5, wherein the horizontal wires are characterized by a gauge that is heavier than that of the vertical wires.

7. A partition system as defined in claim 6, wherein the horizontal wires are six gauge in diameter and the vertical wires are 8 gauge in diameter.

8. A partition system as defined in claim 5, wherein the wires of each panel are spaced apart by a distance of between one and a half inches and three inches.

9. A partition system as defined in claim 3, wherein each of said at least one post includes a main tubular body member having a diameter that is between one and a half inches and four inches.

10. A partition system as defined in claim 3, wherein each of said at least one post includes a main tubular body member having a diameter that is at least three inches.

11. A partition system as defined in claim 10, wherein said main tubular body member is characterized by a square cross-section.

12. A partition system as defined in claim 9, wherein each of said at least one post has a plate member at its lower end that abuts against, and is anchored to, the floor of the building.

13. A partition system as defined in claim 12, wherein each of said at least one post is adjustable in length.

14. A partition system as defined in claim 2, wherein at least one of said at least one wall is defined by at least two spaced-apart posts, said self-supporting wire mesh paneling being mounted to each of said at least two spaced-apart posts.

15. A partition system as defined in claim 2, wherein said partition system includes a closure in one of said at least one wall, said closure mounted between first and second spaced-apart posts.

16. A partition system as defined in claim 3, wherein said partition system includes a plurality of posts, said partition system further including a cap structure mounted atop each post for joining together said plurality of posts.

17. A partition system as defined in claim 1, wherein said partition system includes a plurality of posts, said plurality of posts and said paneling arranged to define first and second adjoining walls dividing the building space, said paneling extending over the length of at least one of said adjoining walls.

18. A partition system as defined in claim 17, wherein said plurality of posts and said paneling are arranged to define one of a fully enclosed area and an open-sided area.

19. A partition system as defined in claim 18, wherein said partition system is positioned within the building space such that said plurality of posts and said paneling together with at least a portion of at least one of the building side walls define one of a fully enclosed area and an open-sided area.

20. A partition system as defined in claim 1, wherein at least one of said at least one wall of said partition system is attached to a side wall of the building.

21. A partition system as defined in claim 1, wherein said at least one post and said self-supporting wire mesh paneling are arranged to define a storage locker.

22. A partition system as defined in claim 1, wherein said at least one post and said self-supporting wire mesh paneling are arranged to define a set of storage lockers.

23. A partition system as defined in claim 1, wherein said at least one post and said self-supporting wire mesh paneling are arranged to define an installation that is selected from the group consisting of: a storage locker, a set of storage lockers, a wall, a stock cage, a perimeter guard, an open-sided cage and a corner.

24. A partition system as defined in claim 1, wherein said partition system includes at least two separate installations, each installation being formed of a respective arrangement of posts and self-supporting wire mesh paneling.

25. A partition system as defined in claim 23, wherein each of said at least two separate installations is selected from the group consisting of: a storage locker, a set of storage lockers, a wall, a stock cage, a perimeter guard, an open-sided cage and a corner.

26. A method for installing a partition system in a building space, the building space having a floor, a ceiling and side walls bounding the space between the floor and the ceiling, the partition system including at least one post and self-supporting wire mesh paneling, the paneling including at least one panel of unframed, substantially flat wire mesh, said method comprising: a) mounting the at least one post to the floor of the building; b) mounting the paneling to the at least one post, whereby the at least one post and the paneling are arranged to define at least one wall dividing the building space; c) adapting the partition system to a condition of the building space by cutting at least one panel of the paneling at the time of installation without affecting an integrity of the installed paneling.

27. A partition system for a building space, the building space having a floor, a ceiling and side walls bounding the space between the floor and the ceiling, said partition system comprising: a) at least one post adapted to be mounted to the floor of the building space; b) at least one panel of unframed, substantially flat wire mesh made up of vertical and horizontal wires that are joined where they cross, the horizontal wires being characterized by a gauge that is heavier than that of the vertical wires; c) wherein said at least one panel is mountable to said at least one post for defining at least one wall within the building space.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 11/826,083, filed Jul. 12, 2007, which claims the priority of Canadian application no. 2,582,839, filed Mar. 22, 2007, and each of which is incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to a partition system for dividing a building space, such as a basement or a warehouse.

BACKGROUND

Storage lockers are presently constructed with walls composed of wood or metal framing covered with panels of material to close in the locker storage space. The lockers are usually built against a wall of a building containing the lockers to have the building wall form the back wall of the locker. Adjacent lockers have a common side wall. The framing is rigid enough to define the shape of the locker.

Storage lockers are actually a type of partition system, since their purpose is to divide a large space into several, smaller self-enclosed spaces. The partition systems that are currently used to divide building spaces (such as a warehouse floor) into several separate areas are constructed with panels of lightweight wire mesh, where each panel is formed by welding the wire mesh into a rigid metal frame that supports the panel. Alternatively, instead of welding the wire mesh into a frame, the panels are formed by press braking the wire mesh material to define one or more bends in the material at specific and strategic locations, thereby adding strength to the unframed panels such that they become self-supporting. These panels can be arranged in, for example, straight-run, corner, three-sided or fully self-enclosed installations of varying sizes and shapes, in order to partition an open space according to custom layouts.

Unfortunately, storage locker and partition system construction using framing is relatively expensive. Furthermore, both the metal framing and the bends formed by press braking in unframed paneling make it very difficult if not impossible to modify or reconfigure the walls/panels of the lockers or partition systems at the time of installation in order to adapt to uneven floors and walls, pipes and ductwork close to the ceiling of the building space. Although it may be physically possible to cut a wall/panel in order to reduce a height/width or to remove a piece thereof, such modification/reconfiguration of the wall/panel deteriorates and possibly even sacrifices the integrity of the wall/panel, and thus of the partition system as a whole.

Consequently, there exists a need in the industry to provide an improved partition system for dividing a building space.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the invention to provide an improved partition system for dividing a building space that overcomes the drawbacks of the prior art.

In accordance with a broad aspect, the present invention provides a partition system in a building space, the building space having a floor, a ceiling and side walls bounding the space between the floor and the ceiling. The partition system includes at least one post and self-supporting wire mesh paneling. Each post has a lower end and an upper end, the lower end mounted to the floor of the building space, the upper end being freestanding without attachment to the ceiling of the building space. The self-supporting wire mesh paneling is mounted to the at least one post and includes at least one panel of unframed, substantially flat wire mesh. The at least one post and the paneling are arranged to define at least one wall dividing the building space.

In accordance with another broad aspect, the present invention provides a method for installing a partition system in a building space, the building space having a floor, a ceiling and side walls bounding the space between the floor and the ceiling, the partition system including at least one post and self-supporting wire mesh paneling, the paneling including at least one panel of unframed, substantially flat wire mesh. The method includes mounting the at least one post to the floor of the building and mounting the paneling to the at least one post, whereby the at least one post and the paneling are arranged to define at least one wall dividing the building space. The method also includes adapting the partition system to a condition of the building space by cutting at least one panel of the paneling at the time of installation without affecting an integrity of the installed paneling.

In accordance with yet another broad aspect, the present invention provides a partition system for a building space, the building space having a floor, a ceiling and side walls bounding the space between the floor and the ceiling. The partition system includes at least one post adapted to be mounted to the floor of the building space and at least one panel of unframed, substantially flat wire mesh made up of vertical and horizontal wires that are joined where they cross, the horizontal wires being characterized by a gauge that is heavier than that of the vertical wires. The at least one panel is mountable to the at least one post for defining at least one wall within the building space.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a storage locker, according to a non-limiting example of implementation of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the locker shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front view of the locker shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a top view of the locker shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an adjustable length post used in the locker of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of clips used to fasten wire panels to the posts;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of brackets used to attach wire panels to a building wall;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view showing a detail of the transom connection to the corner post;

FIG. 9 is a plan view of a storage locker, according to a variant example of implementation of the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a plan view of a storage locker, according to a further variant example of implementation of the present invention;

FIG. 11 is a plan view of the start of a set of lockers, according to yet another variant example of implementation of the present invention;

FIG. 12 is a plan view of a storage locker, according to another variant example of implementation of the present invention;

FIG. 13 is a cross-section view of a locker with a roof with the roof partly open, according to a non-limiting example of implementation of the present invention;

FIG. 14 is a top view of the locker with the roof, according to a non-limiting example of implementation of the present invention;

FIG. 15 is a detail perspective view showing a roof section attached to a wall panel;

FIG. 16 is a detail perspective view showing one roof section attached to another;

FIG. 17 is a top view showing a modification of the roof, according to a non-limiting example of implementation of the present invention;

FIG. 18 is cross-section view similar to FIG. 13 but showing a modification of the roof where it is recessed within the locker walls, according to a non-limiting example of implementation of the present invention;

FIGS. 19, 20 and 21 illustrate a storage locker, according to a variant example of implementation of the present invention;

FIG. 22 illustrates a set of free-standing storage lockers, according to the variant example of implementation shown in FIGS. 19-21;

FIG. 23 is a perspective view of a partition system for dividing a building space, according to a non-limiting example of implementation of the present invention;

FIGS. 24 and 25 are perspective views of variant types of installation of the partition system, according to non-limiting examples of implementation of the present invention;

FIG. 26 is a top plan view of a warehouse floor divided by various installations of the partition system, according to a non-limiting example of implementation of the present invention;

FIGS. 27A, B, C and D illustrate a base plate for mounting a post of the partition system to the floor, according to non-limiting examples of implementation of the present invention; and

FIG. 28 is a cross-section view of an anchor mounted in the base plate of FIG. 27, according to a non-limiting example of implementation of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a partition system for dividing a building space, such as a basement or a warehouse floor, into two or more separate areas, where this building space has a floor, a ceiling and walls bounding the space between the ceiling and floor. The partition system includes self-supporting wire mesh paneling, which is attached to least one post that is mounted to the floor of the building space. Each post of the partition system extends from the floor up to a predefined height that may be less than the height of the ceiling of the building space. The wire mesh paneling and posts of the partition system are arranged to define at least one installation. Each such installation may be fully enclosed or, alternatively, may have one or more open sides, as will be discussed in further detail below.

In a specific example, the partition system is arranged to define a storage locker, as per the non-limiting example of implementation of the present invention shown in FIG. 1. The locker 1 is adapted to be built in a storage area 3 such as in the basement of an apartment and/or condominium building. As shown in FIGS. 1 to 4, the storage area 3 in the building is defined by a floor 5, a ceiling 7, and walls, two walls 9, 11 of which are shown. The locker has at least four straight walls 13, 15, 17, and 19 joined to define a storage space 21. The floor area of the locker 1 defined by the walls 13, 15, 17 and 19 is usually rectangular but it could have a square or irregular shape as well.

At least two adjacent walls 13, 15 of the locker 1 have spaced-apart posts 23A, 23B, 23C extending between the floor 5 and ceiling 7 of the storage area 3. The posts are identical. The posts are spaced apart a standard distance, such as four feet for example. The posts are preferably adjustable in length as will be described and are fastened to both the floor 5 and ceiling 7. The walls 13, 15 are normally perpendicular to each other and joined at a first corner 25 where there is a post 23A common to both walls. The first wall 13 is an end wall of the locker and the second wall 15, which is longer than the first wall 13, is a side wall of the locker. The first wall 13 has two spaced apart posts 23A, 23B with a closure 27 mounted to and between the posts, the closure providing access to the locker storage space 21. The second post 23B is adjacent the fourth wall 19 of the locker. The second wall 15 also has two spaced apart posts 23A, 23B with wire mesh panelling 29 extending over its length, the panelling joined to the posts including the corner post 23A and extending to the third wall 17 of the locker. The third wall 17 of the locker, an end wall and opposite the first wall 13, is formed by a portion of the building wall 9. The fourth wall 19 of the locker, a side wall and opposite the second wall 15, is formed by a portion of the other wall 11 of the building. The third and fourth walls 17, 19 of the locker join to form a right angle second corner 31 of the locker diagonally opposite the right angle first corner 25 formed by the first and second walls 13, 15. The side wall 15 of the locker could have more than two posts 23A, 23C if the locker is made larger, as could the end wall 13.

The closure 27 has a door 35, the door hinged on one side 37 to the corner post 23A. There are co-operating latch means (not shown) on the other side 39 of the door 35 and on the second post 23B to be used to close and lock the door. The transom space above the closure 27 is closed by a self-supporting wire panel 40 fastened to the posts 23A, 23B in a manner to be described.

Specific to the present invention, the wire mesh panelling 29 preferably comprises wire mesh panels 41 of standard width, the width generally matching the standard spacing employed between the posts 23A, 23C. These panels 41 are unframed and are substantially flat, without any significant bends therein. A first panel 41A extends between the posts 23A, 23C and is fastened to both posts. A second panel 41B extends between the second post 23C and the end wall 17. The second panel 41B can be cut to fit the length between the second post 23C and the end wall 17 if the distance is less than the standard distance. The second panel is fastened to both the second post 23C and the end wall 17.

In more detail, each post 23A, 23B, 23C, as shown in FIG. 5, has a main tubular member 43 with a top leg 45 and a bottom leg 47 extending out from the top and bottom ends 49, 51, respectively of the member 43. The legs 45, 47 are telescopically mounted in the post member 43. The legs 45, 47 are substantially the same except for top leg 45 being longer than bottom leg 47 so only one leg will be described in detail. Bottom leg 47 has a mounting post 53 sized to snugly fit within the post member 43, and a mounting plate 55 extending across one end 57 of the mounting post 53. The mounting plate 55 has fastening openings 59 at its ends, one on either side of the mounting post 53. The tubular post member 43 has a square cross-section, as do the mounting posts 53 of the legs 45, 47.

Each post 23 is long enough to extend between the floor 5 and the ceiling 7 of the storage area 3 with the legs 45, 47 telescopically extended from the ends of the post member 43. Each post 23 can be mounted in position by first fastening the mounting plate 55 of the bottom leg 47 to the floor 5 with suitable fasteners (not shown) passing through the openings 57 and then mounting the post member 43, carrying the top leg 45, on the bottom leg 47. The top leg 45 is then extended from the top of the post member 43 to the ceiling 7 and its mounting plate 55 is attached to the ceiling with suitable fasteners (not shown). Finally, the post member 43 is raised several inches from the floor 5, relative to the top and bottom legs 45, 47 and then fastened in place with a screw 60 inserted through a wall of the post member 43 into the mounting post 53 of leg 45. The posts are mounted to have their inner wall, facing into the storage space, aligned. The post construction permits solid mounting of the posts to the floor and ceiling even if one of the floor or ceiling slopes or is otherwise uneven with respect to the other. While one telescopic post construction has been described, other constructions could be used. For example, the bottom leg 45 could be fixed to the post member 43. Then only the top leg 45 is telescopic. In another example, the screw 60 could be fastened to the bottom leg instead of to the top leg.

Each wire mesh panel 41, as shown in FIG. 6, is composed of evenly spaced apart vertical wires 61 transversely crossing evenly spaced apart horizontal wires 63. Note that the number of vertical wires 61 in each panel 41 may be equal to or different from the number of horizontal wires 63 in the respective panel 41. Furthermore, the vertical wires 61 of each panel 41 may be characterized by an interspacing distance that is different from that of the horizontal wires 63 of the respective panel 41, without departing from the scope of the present invention.

The wires of each panel 41 are normally made from steel and attached where they cross by spot-welding or the like to form squares 65 (or rectangles) small enough to prevent a person's hand from passing through. The squares/rectangles are preferably around two inches to a side although they can range from around one and half to three inches to a side, among other possibilities. The wires 61, 63 are around six or eight gauge in size but can range between four and ten gauge. The wider the spacing between the posts, the thicker the wire used. The wires are normally galvanized and thus do not require painting when cut. The panels 41 are normally constructed to have a vertical wire 61A adjacent each side edge 67 of the panel and a horizontal wire 63A adjacent each top and bottom edge. The panels are rigid enough to generally keep their shape during handling and installation. While steel wires are preferred the wires can be made from other material such as aluminum, plastic or a composite.

Wire clips 71 are used to attach the panels 41 to the posts 23A, 23B, etc. In a specific, non-limiting example of implementation, each clip 71 is generally ‘P’ shaped, when viewed from the top, with a pair of flat adjacent legs 73, 75 forming the stem of the ‘P’, the legs joined at one end by a loop 77 forming the loop of the ‘P’. The free ends of the legs 73, 75 have aligned holes 79 there through. The wire clips 71 are attached to each vertical wire 61A at the vertical edges 67 of the panels 41 at spaced apart vertical locations, starting at the top edge of the panel, and usually about two to three feet apart. There is usually a clip at or near the bottom edge of the panel as well. The clips are attached by manipulating the clip 71 to place the side edge wire 61A on the panel between the legs 73, 75 of the clip and into the loop 77. Each clip 71 is fastened onto the flat inner wall 81 of the post member 43 of the posts by a screw fastener 83 passed through the aligned holes 79 in the legs 73, 75. The flat wall 81 of the post member 43 faces into the storage space 21 and the clips 71 are within the storage space. It is important to note that various types and shapes of clips 71, as well as different methods of attachment, may be used to attach the panels 41 to the posts 23 without departing from the scope of the present invention.

The free end of the last panel 41B in the side wall 15 is attached to the second end wall 17 formed by part of the building wall 9 by brackets 85 and clips 71 as shown in FIG. 7. In a specific, non-limiting example of implementation, the brackets 85 are sections of angle members having a first leg 87 for attachment to the end wall 17 and a second leg 89 at right angles to the first leg 87 for attachment to the panel 41B with the clips 71. A vertical line of brackets 85 are attached to the end wall 17 by fasteners 91, such as screw fasteners, passing through fastener openings 93 in the first leg 87, the first leg 87 being flush against the wall 17. The brackets 85 are attached to have the second legs 89 aligned with the inner wall 81 of the posts 23A, 23C in the side wall 15, the brackets 85 being inside the locker when the locker is completed. The last vertical wire 67B in the free end of the panel 41B is held by clips 71 to the brackets 85 and thus to the end wall 17. The clips 71 are attached, via their legs 73, 75, to the second bracket leg 89 by fasteners 95; such as carriage bolts, passed through the aligned holes 79 in the clip legs 73, 75 and fastener openings 97 in the leg 89. Obviously, various different methods and mechanisms for attaching a panel 41 to a building wall are possible and can be used without departing from the scope of the present invention.

The transom panel 40 is attached to the posts 23A, 23B in the end wall 13 using the clips 71A. As shown in FIG. 8, the clips 71A are the same as clips 71 but can have longer legs 73A, 75A if needed. The clips 71A are attached to sides of the panel 40 by the loops 77, the loops 77 encircling the vertical end wire 95 in the sides of the panel 40. The legs 73A, 75A of the transom clips 71A pass under the side edge wire 61A of the panel 41 attached to post 23A and are attached to the flat inner wall 81 of the post member 43 of post 23A by suitable screw fasteners 83. The clips 71A on the post 23A are vertically spaced from the clips 71 fastening panel 41 to the post 23A. The other side of the transom panel 40 is attached to the flat inner wall of post 23B in a similar manner. It will be seen that the clips 71, 71A on the corner post 23A are inside the wire panel 41 and the transom 40.

The locker described is relatively small and narrow. The locker can be made larger by widening the end wall and by lengthening the side wall. As shown in the FIG. 9, the locker 101 has an end wall 113 that includes a panel section 141C extending from the second post 123B in the wall to the other side wall 119 of the locker formed by the other building wall 111. The panel section 141C is cut to the length needed to span the distance between the second post 123B and the side wall 119 and is fastened to the second post 123B by clips and to the second side wall 119 by brackets 185 fastened to the side wall and clips fastening the panel 141C to the brackets 185. The panel section 141C is aligned with the closure 127. The panel section 141C could be a standard width and the end wall 113 could terminate with a third post member (not shown) aligned with the first and second post members 123A, 123B and fastened directly adjacent the second side wall. The first side wall 115 could be lengthened by adding one or more additional posts aligned with the posts 123A, 123C.

The partition system defining a locker has been described as being mounted in a corner of a building. The locker could also be constructed to be mounted against one wall only of the building. As shown in FIG. 10, the locker 201 has second and third parallel side walls 215, 219 extending transversely out from the building wall 209, a portion of which forms an end wall 217 of the locker. The side walls 215, 219 are joined by an end wall 213 having a closure 227 therein. The side walls 215, 219 are constructed the same as the side wall 15 in the first embodiment shown in FIG. 1, with the posts 223 in the side walls 215, 219 attached to the floor 205 and ceiling of the building storage space and the wire mesh panels 241 attached to the posts 223 with clips and with the last panel 241B in each side wall 215, 219 attached to the building wall 209 with brackets 285 and clips. The end wall 213 could be as wide as the end wall 13 shown in the first example of FIG. 1 or could be wider as shown by the end wall 113 in the second example of FIG. 9.

The same construction of the partition system could be used to define a set of adjacent lockers, according to a variant example of implementation of the present invention. After the first corner locker 1 has been built, as shown in FIG. 1, additional lockers can be added. The first additional locker 301, as shown in FIG. 11, is added by merely building two additional walls 313, 315 onto the first locker 1. The first additional wall 313 is built as an extension of the first wall 13 in the first locker 1, using one additional post 323A and a closure 327 that extends between the one additional post 323A and the first corner post 23A in the first locker 1. The one additional post 323A itself forms a first corner post in the second locker 301. The second wall 315 is built the same as the first wall 15 in the first locker 1 with post 323 including the corner post 323A and wire mesh panels 341 and is parallel to the second wall 15 of the first locker. The second wall 315 abuts the building wall 9 and is attached thereto with brackets 385 and clips. A portion of the building wall 9 forms the third wall 317 of the second locker opposite the first wall 313. The second wall 15 of the first locker 1 forms the fourth wall 319 of the second locker 301, parallel to the second wall 315 of the second locker 301. Additional lockers are added in the same manner one after the other using two additional walls for each additional locker, incorporating one wall of the previous locker as a wall of the new locker and using a new portion of the building wall as the fourth wall of the new locker.

The additional lockers can have a width the same as the width of the locker shown in FIG. 1 or the same as the width of the locker shown in FIG. 9. The additional lockers can be added to the corner locker shown in FIG. 1 or to the building wall backed locker shown in FIG. 10.

In another variant example of implementation, the locker could be built free of the building walls if desired or, if needed, with all the walls of the locker solely formed of posts and wire mesh panels, there being a post at each corner of the locker common to two adjacent walls. As shown in FIG. 12, the locker 401 has side walls 415, 419 joined by end walls 413, 417. The end wall 413 has a closure 427 therein. The side walls 415, 419 have spaced-apart posts 423 attached to the floor 405 and ceiling of the storage space, with a corner post 423A and 423B at each end of each side wall and one or more intermediate posts 423C between the corner posts depending on the length of the side walls. The corner posts 423A, 423B of each side wall 415, 419 are common with the end walls 413, 417. The side walls 415, 419 each have wire mesh panels 441 extending between the posts 423 in each side wall, the wire panels being the same as the wire panels used in the example of FIG. 1. The wire panels 441 extend between adjacent posts 423 and are attached to the inner wall of the posts 423 with clips as in the example of FIG. 1. The end walls 413, 417 are also each composed of posts and wire mesh panels. If the locker is narrow, the end walls may each have only two spaced apart posts, the posts in the end wall 417 being the corner posts 423A in both side walls 415, 419 and the posts in the end wall 413 being the corner posts 423B in the side walls 415, 419. The closure 427 in the end wall 413 extends between the two common corner posts 423B. A transom (not shown) is provided above the closure 427, and attached to the corner posts 423B in the same manner the transom 40 is attached to the posts 23A, 23B as shown in FIG. 8, to complete the end wall 413. A wire panel 443 can extend between the common corner posts 423A in the side walls 415, 419 to form the end wall 417. The wire mesh panel 443 is attached to the posts 423A with clips in the same manner that the transom 40 is attached to the corner posts 23A, 23B as shown in FIG. 8. The clips attaching the wire panels and the transom to the posts are all located within the storage space. The locker could be made wider if desired with the end panels having one or more intermediate posts between their corner posts.

The locker 401 can have a width the same as the width of the locker shown in FIG. 1 or the same as the width of the locker shown in FIG. 9. A set of the free standing lockers can be made in generally the same manner as the set of lockers shown in FIG. 11 are made, with the exception that an additional end wall 417 is needed for each locker.

In yet another variant example of implementation of the present invention, any of the lockers described above can be provided with roofs if needed. As shown in FIGS. 13 to 16, a locker 401 by way of example, as described in FIG. 12, can be provided with a roof 449. The roof 449 is shown closed in FIG. 13. The roof is made of the same wire mesh panelling as the side walls 415, 419 of the locker. The roof 449 is in two half sections 451, 453. One half section 451 is hingedly mounted by hinge means 455 along one long side 457 to the top 459 of the side wall 415 as shown in FIGS. 13 and 15. The other half section 453 is hingedly mounted by hinge means 461 along one long side 463 to the top 465 of the other side wall 419. The hinge means 455 comprises the outer wire 467 defining the one long side 457 of the half roof section 451, the top wire 469 defining the top 459 of the side wall 415, and a plurality of longitudinally spaced apart clips 471 which are the same as the clips 71 previously described. The loop 473 of each clip receives the wires 467, 469 and the legs 475, 477 of the clip are joined by a nut and bolt fastener 479 to retain the wires in the loop. The wires 467, 469 are loosely held in the loops 473 allowing the roof section 451 to pivot about the top wire 469 of the side wall 415. The hinge means 461 is the same as the hinge means 455 using clips 471 to join the outer wire in the other roof section 453 to the top wire in the other side wall 419.

The roof sections 451, 453 can abut when pivoted to a horizontal position but preferably one section is slightly wider than the other so they slightly overlap when pivoted to a horizontal position as shown in FIG. 16. Clips 471 join adjacent wires 481, 483 from the roof sections 451, 453 respectively in the overlapping section to have the roof sections form the roof 449. The clips 471 extend over the length of the roof sections 415, 453 at predetermined intervals in the overlapped section. Normally, the roof 449 of the locker is located some distance below the ceiling 481 of the storage space to provide clearance for any sprinkler head 483 located over the locker as shown in FIG. 13. If there is sprinkler head 483 above the roof 449 of the locker and it needs to be serviced, the clips 471 joining the roof sections 451, 453 together are removed allowing both roof sections to swing down inside the locker, as shown by their dotted line position and arrows ‘A’ in FIG. 13, to rest against the side walls 415, 419 thus opening up the top of the locker.

Where a roof is to be provided for a locker having a side wall provided by a building wall, the roof section is hinged to the building wall with brackets similar to the brackets 85 employed to fasten the wire mesh panels of the side wall to the building wall as shown in FIG. 1. The hinge clips are attached to the outermost wire of the roof section and then bolted to the brackets which extend across the length of the locker on the building wall at spaced apart intervals.

To make it easier to mount and to open and close the roof 449, each roof section 451, 453 can be composed of two or more individual roof panels. Roof sections 451′, 453′ of roof 449′ are each composed of two roof panels 491, 492 and 493, 494 respectively as shown in FIG. 17. Each panel 491, 492 in roof section 451′ is opposite a similar panel 493, 494 in roof section 453′. Panels 491 and 493 overlap as do panels 492 and 494 when the roof 449′ is closed, the overlapping panels joined to each other by clips 471′ the same as clips 471 used to join roof sections 451, 453. Panels 491, 492 are hingedly connected along an outer side to the top of a side wall 415′ of a locker by hinge means 459′ in the same manner that roof section 451 was connected to side wall 415. Similarly panels 493, 494 are hingedly connected along an outer side to the top of a side wall 419′ by hinge means 461′ in the same manner that the roof section 453 was connected to side wall 419. The hinge means 459′, 461′ are the same as the hinge means 459, 461 used for the roof sections 451, 453 just not as long. The individual panels are easier to move than the half roof sections, and if there is a sprinkler head within the locker perimeter that needs servicing only the panels under the head need be moved to provide access to it and not the entire roof.

In some cases where the lockers are built in storage areas with eight foot ceilings, the locker roof may have to be recessed within the locker to provide clearance for any sprinkler heads. As shown in FIG. 18, in such a low storage area, the roof sections 451″, 453″, or the panels making up the roof sections, of the roof 449″ are hingedly mounted to the side walls 415″, 419″ of the locker 410″ well below, about two feet or so, the top 459″ of the side walls. The recessed roof 449″ would prevent the person using the locker 410″ from piling goods and possessions close to the sprinkler head 483″. Building codes normally require a suitable clearance for the sprinkler head.

Advantageously, the flat, unframed wire mesh panels in the side walls of the lockers make it very easy to accommodate piping or ducts in or near the ceiling of the building storage space at the time of installation of the lockers. Openings are easily cut the mesh from the top of the panel down to accommodate any pipes or ducts entering or leaving or traversing the lockers, without affecting the integrity of the panel.

In yet another variant example of implementation of the present invention, the partition system defines a storage locker that is unanchored at its upper end, in that it is not mounted to the ceiling of the building space. FIGS. 19, 20 and 21 are perspective, side and front views illustrating a non-limiting example of this variant storage locker 501, which is shown installed in the storage area 3 of the building that is defined by floor 5, ceiling 7 and walls 9, 11. The locker 501 is very similar to the locker 1 of FIG. 1, except that the spaced-apart posts 523A, 523B and 523C that are mounted to the floor 5 do not extend all the way up to the ceiling 7 of the storage area 3 and are not mounted to this ceiling 7. Rather, these posts 523A, 523B, 523C, which may be adjustable in length, extend up to a predefined height H′ that is less than the height H″ of the ceiling 7 and are unanchored or freestanding at their upper ends 524A, 524B, 524C. In other words, the upper ends 524A, 524B, 524C of the posts 523A, 523B, 523C are not attached to the ceiling 7 of the building.

As in the case of locker 1, the wire mesh paneling 529 of locker 501 is formed of substantially flat, wire mesh panels or sheets 541 of standard width, the width generally matching the standard spacing employed between the posts 523A, 523C. These panels 541 are fastened to the posts 523 and/or to a building wall in the same manner as described above with regard to storage locker 1. In a specific, non-limiting example, the wires of each wire mesh panel 541 range between four and ten gauge. For a wider spacing between the posts 523, as well as for a greater height H′, a thicker (heavier gauge) wire may be used, ensuring that the panels 541 are rigid enough to generally keep their shape during handling and installation. While steel wires are preferred, the wires can be made from other material such as aluminum, plastic or a composite, among other possibilities.

In a specific, non-limiting example of implementation of the present invention, each wire mesh panel 541 of the locker 501 is composed of spaced-apart horizontal wires transversely crossing spaced-apart vertical wires, where the horizontal wires are thicker than the vertical wires. Thus, the horizontal wires are characterized by a heavier gauge than the vertical wires. For example, a panel 541 may be composed of six gauge horizontal wires and eight gauge vertical wires, among other possibilities. The thickness/heaviness of the horizontal wires of the panel 541 provides the necessary strength and rigidity to the panel 541 to allow the panel 541 to be self-supporting and to generally keep its shape during handling and installation. This is particularly true since, upon installation, each panel 541 is mounted such that its horizontal wires run from one post or building wall to another post or building wall.

Note that although the number of horizontal wires in a panel 541 may be equal to the number of vertical wires in the panel 541, other constructions of the panels 541 are also possible and included in the scope of the present invention. More specifically, the number of horizontal wires in a panel 541 may differ from the number of vertical wires in the panel 541. Furthermore, while both the horizontal wires and the vertical wires may be evenly spaced-apart, the interspacing distance between adjacent wires may be different for the horizontal wires than for the vertical wires. For example, the vertical wires may be characterized by 3 inch interspacing, while the horizontal wires are characterized by 1½ inch interspacing, among many other possibilities.

The posts 523A, 523B, 523C, are substantially identical to the posts 23A, 23B, 23C of locker 1, except that there is no top leg extending from the top ends 524A, 524B, 524C thereof, since these top ends 524A, 524B, 524C are not anchored to the ceiling. Bottom leg 547, which is shown in detail in FIG. 27A, is telescopically mounted in the main tubular member 543 of the post 523. This bottom leg 547, which may also be referred to as a base plate, has a mounting post 553 sized to snugly fit within the post member 543, and a mounting plate 555 extending across one end 557 of the mounting post 553, the mounting plate 555 having at least two fastening or anchor openings 559. As seen in FIGS. 27B, 27C and 27D, mounting plate 555 may be characterized by various different sizes, shapes and arrangements of the openings 559, without departing from the scope of the present invention.

Each post 523 can be mounted in position by first fastening the mounting plate 555 of the bottom leg 547 to the floor 5 with suitable fasteners or anchors 556 passing through the openings 559 (see FIG. 28) and then mounting the post member 543 on the bottom leg 547. The post member 543 may then be raised such that the top end of the post 523 is at the predefined height H′, at which point the post member 543 can be fastened in place with a screw inserted through a wall of the post member 543 into the mounting post 553 of bottom leg 547 (not shown). Alternatively, for a height H′ that is greater than a specific height, for example 8 feet, the post member 543 may be welded to the mounting post 553 of bottom leg 547.

Although the upper ends 524 of the posts 523 are free standing, in that they are not anchored to the ceiling 7 of the building space, a cap structure 560 may be provided to interconnect all of the posts 523 at their upper ends 524. This cap structure 560, which may be an angle iron or a combination of several angle iron pieces, is designed to run along the top perimeter of the locker 501 for covering and joining together the upper ends 524 of the posts 523. It is important to note that this cap structure 560 is optional and may take on any one of various possible designs and types of physical implementation, without departing from the scope of the present invention.

The post construction and anchoring permits solid mounting of the posts 523 to the floor 5, such that the posts 523 can hold their position and support themselves, as well as the wire mesh paneling 529, without any mounting to the ceiling 7. For a greater height H′, posts 523 of greater diameter and larger anchors 556 may be used, ensuring sufficient support for the storage locker 501. In a specific example, each post 523 has a diameter of at least 3 inches. In another specific example, each post 523 has a diameter that is between 1.5 inches and 4 inches.

Continuing with the variant example of a storage locker that is unanchored at its upper end, the partition system may be constructed to define a set of adjacent storage lockers. FIG. 22 is a front plan view of a set of storage lockers 601 that are not anchored to the ceiling 7, according to a non-limiting example of implementation of the present invention. After the first locker 601A has been built, additional lockers 601B, 601C can be added by building additional walls with the posts 623 and wire mesh paneling, as discussed above with regard to the example of FIG. 11. Obviously, one wall of each locker 601A, 601B, 601C is provided with a closure 627 that extends between a pair of adjacent posts 623, for providing access to the storage space inside each storage locker 601. A transom 640 is provided above each closure 627 and attached to the respective posts 623, in order to complete each end wall. The walls of wire mesh paneling (not shown) are attached to the posts 623 and/or to a wall of the building in the same manner as described in the foregoing storage locker examples.

As seen in FIG. 22, each post 623 is mounted to the floor 5 in the same manner as described above with regard to storage locker 501. The height H′ of the posts 623, and thus of the storage lockers 601, is significantly lower than the height H″ of the ceiling 7. Since the top ends 624 of the posts 623 are not anchored to the ceiling 7, but rather are free standing, an optional cap structure 660 is provided to cover and interconnect these posts 623 at their top ends 624.

Recalling that the storage locker is but one example of a partition system according to the present invention, it is important to note that the various different examples of implementation of a storage locker that are described above may also apply more generally to other constructions of the partition system, which may include one or more installations of various different layouts.

FIG. 23 is a perspective view of a partition system 701, according to a non-limiting example of implementation of the present invention. In the example of FIG. 23, the partition system 701 is arranged within a building space to define a stock cage, which is very similar to a storage locker but much larger in size. More specifically, the posts 723 and wire mesh paneling 729 are arranged to define four walls 702, 703, 704 and 705 that fully enclose a space 721. A closure 727 is provided in end wall 703, extending between a pair of posts 723, for providing access to the space 721. Optionally, a roof structure (not shown) may be provided for the stock cage 701. The details of manufacture and installation for the posts 723, the wire mesh paneling 729, the closure 727, the roof structure, the mounting of the posts 723 to the floor 5 of the building space and the mounting of the paneling 729 to the posts 723 are consistent with those given above with regard to the various examples of implementation of the storage locker.

In the example of FIG. 23, the partition system 701 is mounted to the floor 5 of the building space but is unanchored at its upper end, as in the case of the example of storage locker 501. Thus, upper ends 724 of the posts 723 are free standing, in that they are not mounted to the ceiling (not shown) of the building space. Accordingly, details of the construction of the posts 723 and of the mounting of these posts 723 to the floor 5 of the building space are as described above with regard to storage locker 501. Furthermore, an optional cap structure 760 may be provided for covering and joining the upper ends 724 of all of the posts 723 of the partition system 701. In a variant example of implementation of partition system 701, the posts 723 of the partition system 701 may be anchored to both the floor 5 and the ceiling of the building space, as described above with regard to storage locker 1.

As discussed earlier, a partition system according to the present invention is arranged to define one or more installations, each of which may be characterized by any one of various different possible layouts. The partition system 701 shown in FIG. 23 is arranged to define a fully self-enclosed installation that may be positioned anywhere within the building space. Alternatively, the posts and wire mesh paneling of the partition system may be arranged to define a two-sided installation, as shown in FIG. 24, or a three-sided installation, as shown in FIG. 25, among many other possibilities. In yet another alternative, the posts and wire mesh paneling of the partition system may be arranged to define a single wall that may be straight (also referred to as a straight-run), zigzagging or curved, among other possibilities. This single wall could be used within the building space as a separator or a perimeter guard, either attached to one or more of the building walls or spaced apart therefrom.

Any one of the different possible types of partition system installations may be positioned with the building space such as to abut against one or more of the building walls. Taking for example the two and three-sided installations shown in FIGS. 24 and 25, these installations may be positioned with respect to one or more of the building walls such that the walls defined by the wire mesh paneling of the partition system together with the building walls form a fully enclosed installation, similar to the examples of storage locker 1 and storage locker 201 given above. Obviously, in such a scenario, one of the walls defined by the wire mesh paneling of the partition system must include a closure providing access to the interior of the fully enclosed installation. Alternatively, a two-sided or three-sided installation of the partition system such as that shown in FIG. 24 or FIG. 25 may be positioned within the building space such that the installation has one or more open sides, in which case the partition system does not require a closure built into one of the walls defined by the wire mesh paneling.

It is important to note that, for any type of installation of the partition system, the wire mesh paneling of the partition system may be arranged to define any number of walls and these walls may be positioned at different angles with respect to one another, without departing from the scope of the present invention. In other words, the open-ended or fully enclosed space defined by the partition system installation may be characterized by various different shapes, other than the standard square and rectangle shapes.

Furthermore, regardless of the type of installation of the partition system, the upper end of the partition system may be either unanchored or mounted to the ceiling of the building, without departing from the scope of the present invention. In the examples of FIGS. 24 and 25, the two-sided and three-sided installations are freestanding at their upper end, in that the posts are not mounted to the building ceiling, but rather extend up to a height that is significantly lower than the height of the building ceiling.

Advantageously, as in the case of the storage locker, by providing a partition system constructed of unframed, substantially flat panels of mesh wire that are self-supporting and attach to posts mounted in the floor, it is possible at the time of installation of the partition system to adapt the walls of the partition system to specific conditions and construction anomalies of the building space, such as for example the presence of piping or ducts or an uneven floor. More specifically, if necessary, the wire mesh panels can easily be cut to reduce in height and/or width a wall of the partition system, without compromising the integrity of the partition system. Thus, installation of the partition system is rendered much easier than in the case of prior art systems. Furthermore, the components of the partition system (including in particular the flat, unframed wire mesh panels and the posts) can easily and inexpensively be packaged and shipped to a point of installation.

For the sake of illustration, FIG. 26 is a top plan view of a partition system 800 installed in a warehouse, according to a non-limiting example of implementation of the present invention. The partition system 800 is arranged to define a plurality of distinct installations 802 (802A, 802B, 802C, 802D, 802E 802F), some of which are mounted to both the floor and the ceiling of the warehouse (such as the set of lockers 802A) and others of which are mounted only to the floor (such as the wall 802B). Certain installations 802 are fully enclosed (either self-enclosed by the walls of the wire mesh paneling or in combination with one or more of the building walls), while others are characterized by one or more open sides. For example, the stock cage 802C is fully self-enclosed, while the wall 802B is positioned with respect to three of the building walls to form a fully enclosed installation. Obviously, many different configurations for such a partition system 800 are possible, including more or less installations, additional or different types of installations, different installation layouts, etc.

While this invention has been described as having a preferred design, it is understood that it is capable of further modifications, and uses and/or adaptations of the invention and following in general the principle of the invention and including such departures from the present disclosure as come within the known or customary practice in the art to which the invention pertains, and as may be applied to the central features hereinbefore set forth, and fall within the scope of the invention or limits of the claims appended hereto.