Title:
RECONFIGURABLE BLAST RESISTANT BUILDING
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A reconfigurable blast resistant building is disclosed. Shear walls are stationed at the ends of the building to provide rigid support. Intermediate removable panels are detachably attached in seriatim between the shear walls. Each intermediate panel comprises a blast-resistant body having a front wall and a pair of side walls. One of the side walls has an outwardly extending flange, and the other side wall has an inwardly extending flange for abutting against the outwardly extending flange of an adjacent panel to cover the joint between the two panels and protect the inside of the building from being directly exposed to a blast force.



Inventors:
Smit, Brian John Richard (Calgary, CA)
Application Number:
12/644570
Publication Date:
07/01/2010
Filing Date:
12/22/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/588.1
International Classes:
E04H9/04; E04C2/38; E04B2/82
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BARLOW, ADAM G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BLAKE, CASSELS & GRAYDON LLP (TORONTO, ON, CA)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A panel for a reconfigurable blast resistant building comprising a blast-resistant body having a front wall and a pair of side walls; one of said pair of side walls having an outwardly directed flange, and the other of said pair of side walls having an inwardly directed flange for abutting against an outwardly directed flange of an adjacent panel.

2. The panel of claim 1 wherein said inwardly directed flange of said panel is spaced closer to said front wall of said panel than said outwardly directed flange of said panel by an amount substantially equal to the thickness of said outwardly directed flange, whereby when said inwardly directed flange of said panel is abutted against said outwardly directed flange of said adjacent panel, said front wall of said panel is substantially flush with a front wall of said adjacent panel.

3. The panel of claim 2 wherein said body is made of steel.

4. A blast resistant wall for a blast resistant building comprising panels of claim 2 fastened in seriatim.

5. The blast resistant wall of claim 4 wherein said panels are detachably attached in seriatim using a mechanical fastener.

6. A reconfigurable blast resistant building comprising permanently fixed shear walls stationed at opposite ends of said building, and panels of claim 2 fastened in seriatim between said shear walls.

7. The reconfigurable blast resistant building of claim 6 wherein said panels are detachably attached in seriatim using a mechanical fastener.

8. The reconfigurable blast resistant building of claim 7 wherein said permanently fixed shear walls include a shear wall comprising a blast-resistant panel having opposite vertical edges, a first channel connected to one of said opposite vertical edges, and a second channel connected to the other of said opposite vertical edges; said blast-resistant panel offset from edges of said first channel and said second channel to define an overhanging portion, the overhanging portion covering a joint between said shear wall and an adjacent shear wall.

9. The reconfigurable blast resistant building of claim 8 wherein said blast-resistant panel is inset from an outer edge of the first channel by a length l1 and overhangs an outer edge of said second channel by said distance l1 to define the overhanging portion, the overhanging portion connecting to a surface of a first channel of the adjacent shear wall.

10. The reconfigurable blast resistant building of claim 9 wherein said blast-resistant panel is welded to said first channel and said second channel.

11. The reconfigurable blast resistant building of claim 10 wherein at least one reinforcing member is welded to said blast-resistant panel between said first channel and said second channel.

12. A kit for constructing a reconfigurable blast resistant building comprising shear walls permanently fixed to upper and lower structural beams, and panels of claim 2 for detachable attachment in seriatim between said shear walls.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/140,735 filed on Dec. 24, 2008, and incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to blast resistant buildings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

Blast resistant buildings are known in the art for providing protection to personnel working in an explosively hazardous area. Traditionally, such buildings have been constructed of steel and/or concrete and have been designed for permanent placement at a specific site. However, in industries such as the petroleum or chemical processing industry, as well as in mining and in other industries, there are often construction projects and other turnaround operations that require the temporary placement of a blast resistant building in an area that has the potential for blast overpressure. Therefore, portable blast resistant buildings have been designed specifically for temporary placement at such locations. These buildings are typically designed to comply with recommended practices such as those specified in API RP 752 and API RP 753. The buildings are usually the size and shape of a trailer and are therefore suitably sized for shipment to their destined location.

Portable blast resistant buildings currently available are factory assembled by permanently welding steel panels together to form a self-contained unit. This unit is then shipped as a completed or near-finished product to its destined location. Whilst such a design allows for relatively quick field installation and occupancy shortly after arriving at its destined location, due to the permanent welded construction, the layout of the building cannot be reconfigured or modified. For example, the location of blast resistant doors and inner walls may not be moved after the building is assembled. Therefore, such buildings are unable to be customized on site for a particular application. If a new configuration of a building is required, for example, for a new operation or for a new phase in the construction, the current building cannot be reconfigured to suit this application. Instead, a new building is assembled and shipped from the factory, which is both time consuming and expensive.

It is an object of the present invention to obviate or mitigate at least some of the above disadvantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In general terms, the present invention provides a reconfigurable portable blast resistant building. Permanent shear walls are stationed at each end of the building to provide structural support, and removable intermediate panels are assembled between the shear walls as desired to customize the location of doors and inner walls. The removable panels detachably attach next to each other in an overlapping nesting arrangement to cover the joint between adjacent panels and protect the inside of the building from being directly exposed to a blast force. The protection of such joints is necessary to ensure the building remains blast resistant. Preferably, the shear walls and intermediate panels are made of steel, and preferably adjacent intermediate panels are detachably attached using a mechanical fastener such as a nut and bolt.

Such a structure allows the building to be customizably assembled on site and/or allows the building to be reconfigured to meet the needs of a new application, while at the same time remaining blast resistant due to the provision of the overlapping nested removable panels and the permanent shear walls.

In one aspect of the invention, there is provided a panel for a reconfigurable blast resistant building comprising a blast-resistant body having a front wall and a pair of side walls. One of the pair of side walls has an outwardly directed flange, and the other of the pair of side walls has an inwardly directed flange for abutting against an outwardly directed flange of an adjacent panel.

In another aspect of the invention, there is provided a reconfigurable blast resistant building comprising permanent shear walls stationed at opposite ends of the building for providing support to the building. Panels of the type described above are placed in seriatim between the shear walls.

In yet another aspect of the invention, there is provided a blast resistant wall for a blast resistant building comprising panels of the type described above placed in seriatim.

In still another aspect of the invention, there is provided a kit for constructing a reconfigurable blast resistant building comprising shear walls permanently fixed to upper and lower structural beams, and panels of the type described above for placement in seriatim between the shear walls.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Embodiments of the invention will now be described by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is perspective view of a reconfigurable portable blast resistant building;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the building of FIG. 1 at a horizontal plane indicated by section line A-A on FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the building of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a floor plan of the building of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a cross-section of the building of FIG. 1 taken along line C-C in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a single shear wall unit;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a single intermediate panel;

FIG. 8 is a partially exploded perspective view showing the connection between an intermediate panel and a supporting I-beam;

FIG. 9 is a partially exploded perspective view showing the connection between a shear wall unit and a supporting I-beam;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view showing two buildings stacked to form a two story unit; and

FIG. 11 is a perspective view showing three buildings connected side by side.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring first to FIG. 1, a perspective view of a reconfigurable portable blast resistant building 2 is shown having permanently fixed shear walls 4 at opposite ends 8 and intermediate panels 10 detachably attached in seriatim between shear walls 4. The shear walls 4 extend between upper and lower structural hoops 15 that extend about the periphery of the building 2. Each hoop 15 is constructed from four I-beams 16, which form a rectangle having dimensions corresponding to the perimeter of the building 2. Shear walls 4 comprise steel shear wall units 6 reinforced and fastened together at joints 217 in a manner explained in detail below. Each shear wall 4 comprises eight units 6. Four units 6 are arranged on each end 8 of building 2, and two unit 6 are situated on side walls adjacent each corner of building 2.

The span between the shear walls 4 may be configured to suit the particular needs using intermediate panels 10. For example, one or more door openings 12 may be placed where desired between shear walls 4. In FIG. 1, two door openings 12 are shown. A blast-resistant door assembly (not shown) is installed in each opening 12. Such doors assemblies are known in the art.

FIG. 2 shows a plan view of building 2 at a horizontal plane indicated by section line A-A on FIG. 1. FIGS. 2(b) to 2(h) show enlarged details of those areas indicated in FIG. 2(a).

Turning first to FIG. 2(b), adjacent shear wall units 6 are shown connected together. A perspective view of a portion of a single shear wall unit 6 is shown in FIG. 6. Each shear wall unit 6 comprises a panel 200 with channels 216 welded to the vertical edges of each panel 200. Angle iron reinforcing members 212a and 212b are also welded to panel 200 in order to provide additional reinforcement against a blast pressure wave. Adjacent shear wall units 6 are connected together using a plurality of bolts 218 that pass through the web of the channels 216. Each panel 200 is offset from the ends of channels 216 by a distance l1 so that the panel overhangs the channel along one edge and is inset from the channel 216 by a distance l1 along the opposite edge. Therefore, when two adjacent units are bolted together via bolts 218, joint 217 is covered by a panel 200.

When connecting two shear wall units 6 at a 90 degree angle, as in FIG. 2(c), one channel 216 from each unit 6 is removed and an arrangement 204 of three angle irons is used as a connecting member. One angle iron is welded to each panel 200 with a leg extending inwardly from the panel 200. A third angle iron connects the two orthogonal legs via bolts 206. Protective seals 208 are welded over joints 210.

The channels 216 on units 6 conveniently provide a simple interface for detachably attaching an intermediate panel 10 or interfacing with a door opening 12.

FIG. 2(d) shows the interface between a channel 216 and the right edge of door opening 12. A suitable blast-resistant door (not shown) typically includes a frame comprising rectangular steel tubing 13 (shown in broken lines in FIG. 2(d)). The steel tubing 13 is bolted to upper and lower hoops 15 and abuts against channel 216 at interface 231. Conveniently, due to offset l1, panel 200 extends over abutting interface 231 between channel 216 and steel tubing 13, as shown in FIG. 2(d). Alternatively, when shear wall unit 6 interfaces with the left edge of a door opening, a flange (not shown) is bolted or welded to channel 216 to extend over abutting interface 231.

FIG. 2(h) shows the interface between a shear wall unit 6 and an intermediate panel 10. Channel 216 abuts against and is bolted to side wall 22 of panel 10. A seal 228 is welded over joint 230.

As mentioned above, the shear walls 4 are permanently fixed to the hoops 15 to provide structural support to building 2. The shear walls 4 may be permanently fixed to hoops 15 by welded joints or by bolts, as described in more detail below. On the other hand, intermediate panels 10 are detachably attached to each other and to hoops 15 and therefore easily removed and rearranged.

Adjacent intermediate panels 10 are shown detachably connected together in FIG. 2(e). A perspective view of single intermediate panel 10 is shown in FIG. 7. Panel 10 is preferably made from steel and comprises a front wall 20 and two side walls 22 and 24. Extending from side wall 22 is inwardly directed flange 26 and extending from side wall 24 is outwardly directed flange 28. Inwardly directed flange 26 is spaced closer to front wall 20 by length l2, which is substantially equal to the thickness of outwardly directed flange 28, in order to allow flange 26 to snugly nest against flange 28 of adjacent panel 10 while keeping the front walls 20 of adjacent panels 10 flush. Bolts 30 detachably join nested flange 26 to adjacent flange 28. Although not usually necessary, bolts may also join adjacent panels 10 along joint 32. The nesting of flange 26 against flange 28 ensures that joint 32 is covered and that the inside of building 2 is not directly exposed to a blast force. Therefore, when a pressure wave from an explosion reaches building 2, the pressure wave is unable to penetrate between adjacent panels 10 and undermine the protection provided by the steel panel structure. The nesting flanges 26 and 28 provide a seal between adjacent panels 10. By having such a structure, adjacent panels 10 may be detachably attached using simple mechanical fasteners such as bolts 30 while at the same time form the seal necessary between adjacent panels 10 to maintain the blast resistant properties of the building.

FIG. 2(f) shows the interface between intermediate panel 10 and the right edge of a door opening 12. The steel tubing 13 of the frame of the blast resistant door is bolted to upper and lower hoops 15 and abuts against sidewall 22 at interface 233. A flange 222 is attached to front wall 20 of intermediate panel 10 and projects over and covers abutting interface 233 thereby preventing the inside of building 2 from being directly exposed to a blast force.

A modified panel 10a is utilized for interfacing with the left edge of a door opening 12, as shown in FIG. 2(g). Panel 10a differs slightly from panel 10 shown in FIG. 2(e) in order to interface with door opening 12. Specifically, outwardly directed flange 28 is absent from panel 10a, but is replaced with an inwardly directed flange 26a. The steel tubing 13 of the frame of the blast resistant door may then abut against sidewall 24 at interface 235. Flange 222 covers abutting interface 235.

Turning now to FIG. 3, a rear view of building 2 is shown in FIG. 3(a), and a cross-section through line B-B of FIG. 3(a) is shown in FIG. 3(b). Shear wall units 6 and intermediate panels 10 are bolted to the bottom face of upper I-beam 16 via bolts 304 and 306 respectively. A partially exploded perspective view of these connections is shown in FIGS. 8 and 9. As shown in FIG. 8, a steel plate 305 is welded to the top of each intermediate panel 10. Bolts 306 connect plate 305 to the lower face of I-beam 16. Similarly, as shown in FIG. 9, a steel plate 303 is welded to the top of each shear wall unit 6. Bolts 304 connect plate 303 to I-beam 16. The shear wall units 6 are permanently fixed to hoop 15. This may be facilitated by covering bolts 304 or using tamper-proof bolts. It is also contemplated that plate 303 may instead be welded to I-beam 16.

Upper hoop 15 also provides an upper peripheral frame to support roof panels 14. Roof panels 14 preferably have the same structure as intermediate panels 10, although they are typically not removable or reconfigurable since the overall length and width of building 2 cannot be modified due to the permanent nature of shear walls 4. Roof panels 14 are either bolted or welded to the top of upper hoop 15.

Turning next to FIG. 4, a floor plan of building 2 is shown. Corrugated steel decking 404 is mounted on steel beams 406, which are supported by lower hoop 15. FIGS. 4(b) to 4(f) show enlarged details of those areas indicated in FIG. 4(a). FIG. 5 shows a cross-section of building 2 taken along line C-C in FIG. 1. Shear wall units 6 and intermediate panels 10 bolt to lower I-beam 16 using the same configuration used to connect units 6 and panels 10 to upper I-beam 16. That is, a steel plate 305 is also welded to the bottom of each intermediate panel 10, and bolts 306 connect plate 305 to lower I-beam 16. Similarly, a steel plate 303 is also welded to the bottom of each shear wall unit 6, and bolts 304 connect plate 303 to lower I-beam 16.

As shown in FIG. 4(b), and also in FIG. 5, lifting lug 408 is mounted to lower I-beam 16. This allows building 2 to be easily transported once assembled. For example, a cord may be placed through eyelet 410 in each lifting lug 408, and then by pulling the cord using a crane, the building may be lifted onto or off of a truck.

Conveniently, upper and lower hoops 15 allow multiple buildings 2 to be easily stacked to form a multistory blast resistant building. Two buildings 2 stacked to form a two story building is shown in FIG. 10. To construct the building shown in FIG. 10, roof panels 14 are simply removed from ground story building 2, and upper hoop 15 serves as the lower hoop of the second story building 2.

Additionally, multiple buildings 2 may be connected side by side to increase the occupancy space. One such embodiment is shown in FIG. 11. Three buildings 2a, 2b, and 2c, each having shear walls 4a, 4b, and 4c respectively, are connected together to form a blast resistant building of larger dimensions. Intermediate panels 10 are removed from the back side of building 2a and the front side of building 2c. All intermediate panels are also removed from building 2b. Shear walls 4b are then connected to shear walls 4a and 4c along joints 5a and 5b respectively. It will be appreciated that flanges (not shown) may need to be installed to cover joints 5a and 5b in order to prevent the inside of the building from being directly exposed to a blast force through these joints.

It will be appreciated that interior and exterior finishes to shear walls 4 and intermediate panels 10 will be installed as necessary to meet the climatic, code compliance, and architectural requirements of the building 2. For example, Structurally Insulated Panels or an equivalent may be installed on the exterior of building 2 in order to provide required climatic insulating resistance and sound insulating resistance required by the particular project. It will also be appreciated that the thickness of shear wall panels 200 and intermediate panels 10 will be chosen to suit the blast-resistant requirements of the particular project. For example, the thickness of shear wall panels 200 may be appropriately designed to suit the direction and magnitude of the potential blast force.

In use, the building 2 is assembled and shipped as a completed unit from the factory, or may instead be shipped disassembled or partially assembled and assembled on site. Conveniently, if the building 2 is being transported disassembled or partially assembled, then the size of the fully assembled building 2 is not limited by the restrictions imposed by transporting a fully assembled building. This allows the envelope of building 2 to be larger and/or shaped differently than prior art portable blast-resistant buildings that are transported from the factory as a fully assembled completed unit.

The shear walls 4 and hoops 15 are permanently connected to provide a structurally rigid frame for the building. The shear walls 4 are dimensioned to provide the shear strength necessary to resist the forces imposed on the building 2 under blast conditions. The hoops 15 also provide structural rigidity for the floor and roof and allow buildings 2 to be stacked on one another. The connection of the shear walls to the hoops may be accomplished by welding, or, conveniently, by a bolted connection. Where a bolted connection is used, a tamperproof fastener is used to inhibit removal of the shear walls, or the bolted connection is placed in a location that inhibits casual access to the bolts. In this way the integrity of the structure is ensured if the overall configuration is changed.

With the shear walls 4 installed, the layout of building 2 may be customized to suit the particular application or to make the building more suitable for its particular occupants. For example, consider the embodiment described in FIGS. 1 to 9. If one wished to add a third door opening half way between the two door openings 12, one could simply remove the appropriate number of intermediate panels 10, install panel 10a, and form an interface with the right and left sides of the door frame in the manner shown in FIGS. 2(f) and 2(g). If one wished to remove this third door opening at a later date, the intermediate panels 10 could simply be re-installed. In making such modifications, the blast-resistant properties of the building 2 are maintained due to the overlapping nesting structure of steel panels 10 and 10a. Similarly, although not shown in FIGS. 1 to 9, intermediate panels 10 may be installed in the interior of the building as desired or as needed to meet the blast-resistant requirements of the project. Therefore, the interior layout of building 2 can also be reconfigured to suit the occupant's changing needs. These changes can be made without adversely affecting the basic structure provided by the shear walls 4 and hoops 15. As such, recertification of the building is not required each time the configuration is changed.

Although the invention has been described with reference to certain specific embodiments, various modifications thereof will be apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as identified in the claims appended hereto.

Notably, it will be appreciated that the design shown in FIGS. 1 to 9 represents one specific embodiment. In particular, the number of panels and/or the dimensions shown in the drawings will vary depending on the design requirements. For example, a different size or number of shear wall units may be necessary depending on the design of building, and the number and size of intermediate panels will vary depending on the design.