Title:
NET-ZERO ENERGY MECHANICAL CORE AND METHOD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pre-fabricated service module suitable for use in a multi-story building, includes (a) a chassis dimensioned to be stacked with another pre-fabricated service module to match the floors of the multi-story building; (b) a waste and ventilation subassembly providing access to bathroom and kitchen waste rough-in plumbing and ventilation; (c) a water and electrical subassembly providing access to water and electrical supplies; and (d) a ducts and fan subassembly providing access to a heating and air circulation system.



Inventors:
Malpas, William (Berkeley, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/567341
Publication Date:
09/16/2010
Filing Date:
09/25/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/173.3, 52/220.2, 52/745.1
International Classes:
E04C2/52; E04B2/56
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20040148876Sound barrierAugust, 2004Mcmanus et al.
20070283659Modular truss systemDecember, 2007Whyte et al.
20060150533Double-layer fireproof curtain apparatusJuly, 2006Lin et al.
20120073235APPARATUS FOR PREMOUNTING OF LOCKING ELEMENTS TO A PANELMarch, 2012Hannig
20110248119STRUCTURAL CONNECTORS AND METHODS OF USING SAMEOctober, 2011Stol et al.
20020124476Valley diverter for a gutter coverSeptember, 2002Iannelli
20090223155Building Construction Applications for Porous MaterialSeptember, 2009Perry et al.
20160319533COLLAPSIBLE CONSTRUCTION MODULENovember, 2016Colonna et al.
20090120022Window Structure For Inhibiting Flood WatersMay, 2009Dudash
20080190064HURRICANE PANEL CLIP AND HOOKAugust, 2008Craig et al.
20070107359Panels to be engaged with each other through a locking elementMay, 2007Zhang



Primary Examiner:
MINTZ, RODNEY K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAYNES AND BOONE, LLP (Dallas, TX, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A pre-fabricated service module suitable for use in a multi-story building, comprising: a chassis dimensioned to be stacked with another pre-fabricated service module to match the floors of the multi-story building; a waste and ventilation subassembly providing access to bathroom and kitchen waste rough-in plumbing and ventilation; a water and electrical subassembly providing access to water and electrical supplies, the water and electrical subassembly including electrical connections customized for a thermal control system for at least a portion of the multi-story building, including electrical connections to a controller, sensors and thermal actuators; and a ducts and fan subassembly providing access to a heating and air circulation system.

2. A pre-fabricated service module as in claim 1, further comprising recesses for medicine cabinets.

3. A pre-fabricated service module as in claim 1, further comprising a backing sufficiently strong for accessible or adaptable grab bars.

4. A pre-fabricated service module as in claim 1, wherein the chassis is-precision cut to a predetermined tolerance.

5. A pre-fabricated service module as in claim 1, wherein piping in the waste and ventilation subassembly comprises cast iron.

6. A pre-fabricated service module as in claim 1, wherein piping in the water and electrical subassembly comprises copper.

7. A pre-fabricated service module as in claim 1, further comprising sound isolation pads for sound isolation in piping of the subassemblies.

8. A pre-fabricated service module as in claim 1, wherein the chassis includes shaft wall studs and shaft wall liners.

9. A pre-fabricated service module as in claim 1, wherein the waste and ventilation module comprises two or more components selected from the group consisting of tub and shower rough-in plumbing, floor-mounted toilet rough-in plumbing, lavatory rough-in plumbing, kitchen sink rough-in plumbing, waste and ventilation risers, and sound isolation for waste and ventilation piping.

10. A pre-fabricated service module as in claim 1, wherein the water and electrical subassembly comprises two or more components selected from the group consisting of hot water supply and hot water circulation risers, cold water riser, hot and cold water fixture supplies, and sound isolation for the water piping.

11. A pre-fabricated service module as in claim 1, wherein the water and electrical subassembly comprises two or more components selected from the group consisting of pre-wired plugs, switches and light fixture boxes, and conduit and conductors a the Photo Voltaic system.

12. A pre-fabricated service module as in claim 1, wherein the ducts and fan subassembly comprises two or more components selected from the group consisting of ducts for the air circulation system, kitchen range hood exhaust duct, bath exhaust fans and ducts, bath fan chase riser, fire and sound caulking at duct penetrations, and dryer vent.

13. A pre-fabricated service module as in claim 1, wherein the ducts and fan subassembly includes fittings which are pretested to a pre-defined specification in the pre-fabricated service module prior to shipping to a job site.

14. A pre-fabricated service module as in claim 1, wherein hot water taps in that portion of the multi-story building are located at predetermined positions, and wherein a hot water supply is connected to the water and electrical subassembly such that a total distance from the hot water supply to the hot water taps are less than a specification value.

15. A method for providing access to essential services in a multi-story building, comprising: providing a chassis dimensioned to be stacked with another pre-fabricated service module to match the floors of the multi-story building to form a pre-fabricated service module; including in the pre-fabricated service module a waste and ventilation subassembly providing access to bathroom and kitchen waste rough-in plumbing and ventilation; including in the pre-fabricated service module a water and electrical subassembly providing access to water and electrical supplies, the water and electrical subassembly including electrical connections customized for a thermal control system for at least a portion of the multi-story building, including electrical connections to a controller, sensors and thermal actuators; including in the pre-fabricated service module a ducts and fan subassembly providing access to a heating and air circulation system; installing the pre-fabricated service module in a selected floor of the building; and connecting fixtures on the selected floor to respective one of the waste and ventilation subassembly, water and electrical subassembly and ducts and fan subassembly.

16. A method as in claim 15, wherein the waste and ventilation module comprises two or more components selected from the group consisting of tub and shower rough-in plumbing, floor-mounted toilet rough-in plumbing, lavatory rough-in plumbing, kitchen sink rough-in plumbing, waste and ventilation risers, and sound isolation for waste and ventilation piping.

17. A method as in claim 15, wherein the water and electrical subassembly comprises two or more components selected from the group consisting of hot water supply and hot water circulation risers, cold water riser, hot and cold water fixture supplies, and sound isolation for the water piping.

18. A method as in claim 15, wherein the water and electrical subassembly comprises two or more components selected from the group consisting of pre-wired plugs, switches and light fixture boxes, and conduit and conductors a the Photo Voltaic system.

19. A method as in claim 15, wherein the ducts and fan subassembly comprises two or more components selected from the group consisting of ducts for the air circulation system, kitchen range hood exhaust duct, bath exhaust fans and ducts, bath fan chase riser, fire and sound caulking at duct penetrations, and dryer vent.

20. A method as in claim 15, further comprising pre-testing, in the pre-fabricated service module, fittings in the ducts and fan subassembly to a pre-defined specification prior to shipping to a job site.

21. A method as in claim 15, wherein hot water taps in that portion of the multi-story building are located at predetermined positions, and wherein a hot water supply is connected to the water and electrical subassembly such that a total distance from the hot water supply to the hot water taps are less than a specification value.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application is related to and claims priority of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/100,648, entitled “Mechanical and Electrical Core and Method,” by W. Malpas, filed on Sep. 26, 2008, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to modular housing unit design. In particular, the present invention relates to the design of a modular component that provides functional units (e.g., kitchens and bathrooms) access to essential services (e.g., electrical, gas, water and ventilation systems).

2. Discussion of the Related Art

Existing pre-fabricated service modules are each a pre-assembled collection of the basic components of a dwelling unit which provide accesses to water and waste (sanitation) systems exist. Such a module comes pre-tested, and provides standard hook-ups to the services at predetermined positions, so that the module is substantially ready for connection when delivered to the building site. Such pre-fabricated service modules enjoy the benefits of mass production (i.e., low cost and relatively high, reproducible quality) relative to conventional construction methods, where accesses to the services are built at the building site and more or less custom-designed for each building unit, No pre-fabricated module is believed to exist which also provide access to electrical and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) services, in addition and water and waste services, or which is designed for multi-story constructions.

SUMMARY

A pre-fabricated service module suitable for use in a multi-story building, includes (a) a chassis dimensioned to be stacked with another pre-fabricated service module to match the floors of the multi-story building; (b) a waste and ventilation subassembly providing access to bathroom and kitchen waste rough-in plumbing and ventilation; (c) a water and electrical subassembly providing access to water and electrical supplies; and (d) a ducts and fan subassembly providing access to a heating and air circulation system.

A pre-fabricated service module according to the present invention organizes plumbing, electrical, and HVAC trades and services in one compact, efficient area, and is designed for easy assembly to reduce costs. The pre-fabricated module approach obviates the need to cut, and avoids competition by different trades over valuable wall space. The chassis containing the service subassemblies are precisely cut, so as to allow stacking for multi-story installation. Extensive use of sound absorption materials and design minimize sound transmission from unit to unit in a multi-unit building.

The present invention is better understood upon consideration of the detailed description below, in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an axonometric view of pre-fabricated service module 100, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows chassis 1 without the installations of the services.

FIG. 3 shows the waste and ventilation subassembly 300 that is incorporated into pre-fabricated service module 100 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 illustrates water and electrical subassembly 400 that is incorporated into pre-fabricated service module 100 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 illustrates ducts and fans subassembly 500 that is incorporated into pre-fabricated service module 100 of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

According to one embodiment, a pre-fabricated module providing access to water, waste (sanitation), electrical and HVAC systems of a housing is provided. In this embodiment, most of the mechanical and electrical components are contained in a simple, clean assembly, which is assembled in a off-site manufacturing facility and brought to the building site for installation.

FIG. 1 is an axonometric view of pre-fabricated service module 100, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 1, pre-fabricated service module includes (a) chassis 1, which is cut by precision computer numerically controlled (CNC) machinery; (b) backing 2 to allow installation of handicapped accessible or adaptable grab bars, (c) tub and shower mixer rough-in 3, (d) floor-mounted toilet rough-in 4, (e) lavatory rough-in 5, (f) kitchen sink rough-in 6 (not shown), (g) waste and ventilation risers 7, (h) sound isolation for waste and ventilation piping 8 (not shown), (i) hot water supply and hot water circulation risers 9, (j) cold water riser 10, (k) hot and cold water fixture supplies 11, (l) washing machine box 12, (m) sound isolation for the water piping 13 (not shown), (n) pre-wired plugs, switches and light fixture boxes 14, (o) sound isolation pads for the electrical boxes 15 (not shown), (p) conduit and conductors for the Photo Voltaic (i.e., solar energy collection) system 16, (q) ducts for the air circulation system 17, (r) kitchen range hood exhaust duct 18, (s) recesses for medicine cabinets 19, (t) bath exhaust fans and ducts 20, (u) bath fan chase riser 21, (v) fire and sound caulking at duct penetrations 22 (not shown), and (23) dryer vent 23.

In one embodiment, cast iron piping is used in waste and ventilation piping and copper piping for water. The piping is isolated from Chassis 1 by isolation pads. Similarly, electrical boxes are wrapped in sound absorption pads. The mass of the shaft wall system further deadens any sound transmission from within the shaft and from unit to unit through the shaft. Low Sone bath fans are used with 26 gauge ducting to minimize the noise of air movement.

As seen from FIG. 1, the pre-fabricated service module of the present invention provides a full set of bathroom and kitchen fixture rough-ins plumbing, in addition to ducts for the air circulation system and exhaust fans, conduit and conductors for a photovoltaic system, and pre-wired plugs, switches and light fixture boxes for the electrical system. In one embodiment, access panels for maintenance are also provided.

Various configurations of mechanical and electrical subassemblies (i.e., subassemblies with variations in the selection or placements of components for each service) are available to accommodate different project requirements and designs. The connections from module to module, particularly between stacked upper and lower service modules, are facilitated by the careful design of the chassis dimensions and the precise manufacturing and locations of the chassis and included services.

FIG. 2 shows chassis 1, without the installations of the services. Chassis 1 may be provided by Type I (i.e., non-combustible) metal chassis, with metal shaft wall studs and shaft wall liner. Alternatively, Chassis 1 may also be provided by Type V (non-rated) or Type V (one-hour), wood chassis, with wood studs, metal tracks. Also shown in FIG. 1 are penetrations 1A in chassis top and bottom plates, which precisely locate services in the “X-Y” axis, and penetrations 1B in the horizontal gussets precisely locate services in the “Z” axis, and backing 2 for handicapped grab bar sand accessories

FIG. 3 illustrates waste and ventilation subassembly 300 that is incorporated into pre-fabricated service module 100 of FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. 3, waste and ventilation subassembly 300 includes tub and shower rough-in 3, floor-mounted toilet rough-in 4, lavatory rough-in 5, kitchen sink rough-in 6 (not shown), waste and ventilation risers 7, and sound isolation for waste and ventilation piping (not shown).

FIG. 4 illustrates water and electrical subassembly 400 that is incorporated into pre-fabricated service module 100 of FIG. 1. Water and electrical subassembly 500 includes hot water supply and hot water circulation risers 8, cold water riser 9, hot and cold water fixture supplies 10, sound isolation for the water piping 12 (not shown), pre-wired plugs, switches and light fixture boxes 14, and conduit and conductors for the Photo Voltaic system 16. As shown in FIG. 4, the efficient plumbing design and assembly minimize the distance required for hot water heating, thereby reducing overall energy required for domestic hot water, which typically accounts for up to 40% of home energy usage. In this embodiment, electrical connections for a controller for the thermal system of the floor on which pre-fabricated service module 100 is to be installed, and its associated sensors and activators are provided in water and electrical subassembly 400. These connections provide effective energy control and monitoring.

FIG. 5 illustrates ducts and fans subassembly 500 that is incorporated into pre-fabricated service module 100 of FIG. 1. Ducts and fan subassembly 500 includes ducts for the air circulation system 17, kitchen range hood exhaust duct 18, bath exhaust fans and ducts 20, bath fan chase riser 21, fire and sound caulking at duct penetrations 22, (not shown) and dryer vent 23. Air ducts in air circulation system 17 are assembled in the factory to meet high standards for low duct leakage and tight fittings, which reduce any energy loss from potential failure points. The assembly is pre-engineered and tested in the factory.

Therefore, multiple trades and services are organized in one compact, efficient area. Pre-fabricated service module 100 is designed to allow stacking in a building with multiple stories. Additional services may be configured into such service module, such as additional electrical, low-voltage, and rain water leaders.

To install a pre-fabricated service module of the present invention, precise, stacked openings are blocked-out in the floors, or openings are left in the roof. The pre-fabricated service module may be equipped with lifting rings for crane handling, skids for forklift or pallet jack handling, and flanges to mount to the floors. In a typical installation, the flanges are first unbolted and the pre-fabricated service module is maneuvered to the correct floor and properly aligned. The pre-fabricated service module is then secured by bolting the flanges to the floor. Alternatively, the flanges may be welded or fastened to the building frame. The pre-fabricated service module can also be further secured by having it in place before pouring of the floor, and cast into the concrete. The pre-fabricated service module can also be bolted on to plywood floor.

The above detailed description is provided to illustrate the specific embodiments of the present invention and is not intended to be limiting. Numerous variations and modifications within the scope of the present invention are possible. The present invention is set forth in the following claims.