Title:
INSULATED BUILDING BLOCK AND WALL STRUCTURE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An innovative masonry block, such as a CMU, has a core of insulative material with masonry cladding, such as concrete, on lateral sides, and anchor elements, such as rigid bar members, may extend from the core to hold the cladding to the core. The core may also include a drain aperture extending from top to bottom, as well as a sloped top surface that serves to direct water to the drain. A plurality of such blocks can make a wall or other building structure having a pathway for water to travel through and out of the stacked blocks.



Inventors:
Sourlis, Tom (Highland, IN, US)
Johnson, Gary R. (Burns Harbor, IN, US)
Application Number:
14/157184
Publication Date:
07/17/2014
Filing Date:
01/16/2014
Assignee:
SOURLIS TOM
JOHNSON GARY R.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/582.1, 52/589.1, 52/604, 52/568
International Classes:
E04C1/39; E04C1/41
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FERENCE, JAMES M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MCDONNELL BOEHNEN HULBERT & BERGHOFF LLP (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A building block for construction, as for housing structures and walls thereof, comprising; a core member which is of thermal insulative material, said core member having a top, bottom, ends and lateral sides; a cladding fixed to at least said lateral sides;; said core member and said cladding forming a rigid block capable of supporting loads in a building structure made up of a plurality of said blocks stacked one upon another; a plurality of anchor elements extending from said core member lateral sides, said anchor elements providing attachments which become integrated with said cladding in the course of fixing said cladding.

2. The block of claim 1, wherein said core ends have an end structure which is keyed such that a first end of one block fits with a second end of another block in an engagement which is at least partially overlapping between said first and second ends.

3. The block of claim 2, wherein said end structure has a tongue-and-groove presentation at each core end, and there are multiple parallel tongues which fit into multiple parallel grooves.

4. The block of claim 1, wherein said core member has a channel formed in said top, where said top defines a top surface, said channel extending from a point on said top surface toward a lateral side and to a point on said lateral side below said top surface, said channel providing a path for water to exit from within the block in said building structure.

5. The block of claim 1, wherein said anchor elements are bars extending outwardly from said core member.

6. The block of claim 5, wherein said bars have an elongated part embedded within said core member with t-shaped portions on either end of said elongated part extending outwardly from said core member.

7. The block of claim 2, wherein said top and bottom have a structure which is keyed such that a top of one block has a shape that fits with a complementary shape of a bottom of another block.

8. The block of claim 1, further including at least one aperture extending through said core member between said top and bottom; wherein said core member is substantially solid except for said aperture extending through said core member, and at least one of said top and bottom define a surface which slopes downwardly to said aperture to thereby direct water that may be present in said building structure to said aperture.

9. A building block for construction, as for housing structures and walls thereof, comprising; a core member which is of thermal insulative material formed in an integral piece, said core member having a top, bottom, ends and lateral sides; a cladding fixed to at least said lateral sides, said cladding being of a masonry material; said core member and said cladding forming a rigid block capable of supporting loads in a building structure made up of a plurality of said blocks stacked one upon another; at least one aperture extending through said core member between said top and bottom; a plurality of anchor elements formed in said core member lateral sides, said anchor elements providing attachments which become integrated with said masonry material in the course of fixing said cladding; said top of said core member defining a top surface, said top surface having a slope toward said aperture to direct water that may be present in said building structure towards said aperture.

10. The building block of claim 9, wherein said anchor element comprises a dovetail slot formed in each said lateral side, such that masonry material in initial fluent form will enter into and solidify within each said slot to affix said cladding.

11. The building block of claim 10, wherein said core member further includes a hollow between said top and bottom, said hollow capable of receiving a rebar member therein extending through a plurality of said blocks in said building structure, said core member further including a web element internal to said core and extending within said hollow, said web element engaging with and positioning said rebar in use in said building structure.

12. A building block for construction, as for housing structures and walls thereof, comprising; a core member which is of thermal insulative material formed in an integral piece, said core member having a top, bottom, ends and lateral sides; a cladding fixed to at least said lateral sides; said core member and said cladding forming a rigid block capable of supporting loads in a building structure made up of a plurality of said blocks stacked one upon another; at least one hollow extending through said core member between said top and bottom; a plurality of anchor elements formed in said core member lateral sides, said anchor elements providing attachments which become integrated with said masonry material in the course of fixing said cladding; a channel formed in at least one end of said core and extending between said top and bottom; said top of said core member defining a top surface, said top surface having a slope toward said end channel to direct water that may be present in said building structure towards said aperture.

13. The building block of claim 12, wherein said cladding being of a masonry material.

14. The building block of claim 12, wherein said hollow is capable of receiving a rebar member therein extending through a plurality of said blocks in said building structure, said core member further including a web element internal to said core and extending within said hollow, said web element engaging with and positioning said rebar in use in said building structure.

15. A building structure formed of a plurality of masonry elements which are stacked one upon another, as for housing structures and walls thereof, comprising: a plurality of building blocks, said building blocks having a core member which is of thermal insulative material formed in an integral piece, said core member having a top, bottom, ends and lateral sides, with a cladding fixed to at least said lateral sides, said cladding being of a masonry material, a plurality of anchor elements formed in said core member lateral sides, said anchor elements providing attachments which become integrated with said masonry material in the course of fixing said cladding, at least one aperture extending through said core member between said top and bottom, each said end having a channel formed therein between said top and bottom; said core member and said cladding forming a rigid block capable of supporting loads in a building structure made up of a plurality of said blocks stacked one upon another; said aperture being generally centered in each said block, such that when said blocks are placed in rows one upon another, with blocks in each row being offset from an adjacent row by a half-block length, said apertures align with said end channels in vertical arrangement so as to provide a vertical pathway through said building structure.

16. The building structure of claim 15, further including a plug member having a hole extending between a plug top and bottom, said plug fitting in a space formed by channels of abutting ends of adjacent blocks in a row.

17. The building structure of claim 15, wherein said top of said core member defines a top surface, said top surface having a slope toward said aperture to direct water that may be present in said building structure towards said aperture.

18. The building structure of claim 15, further including a drain device, said drain device having a part sized to fit within an aperture of a block in the bottom of a block, and a part which extends generally laterally outboard from said block to direct water out of said building structure.

19. The block of claim 1, wherein said core is formed in an integral piece.

20. The block of claim 1, wherein said core is formed from two or more pieces which are joined together to make an integral core.

21. The block of claim 20, wherein said anchor elements are bars extending outwardly from said core member, said bars being located between said two or more pieces and becoming embedded when said pieces are joined.

22. A building block for construction, as for housing structures and walls thereof, comprising; a core member which is of thermal insulative material, said core member having a top, bottom, ends and lateral sides; a cladding fixed to at least said lateral sides; said core member and said cladding forming a rigid block capable of supporting loads in a building structure made up of a plurality of said blocks stacked one upon another; a plurality of anchor elements extending from said core member lateral sides, said anchor elements providing attachments which become integrated with said cladding in the course of fixing said cladding.

23. The block of claim 22, wherein said cladding is a masonry material.

24. The block of claim 23, wherein said core has an aperture extending between said top and bottom.

25. The block of claim 23, wherein said cladding is bonded to said core member.

26. The block of claim 25, wherein said bonding is an adhesive securement using an adhesive material.

27. The block of claim 25, wherein said bonding is a chemical bonding.

28. A building block for construction, as for housing structures and walls thereof, comprising; a core member which is of thermal insulative material, said core member having a top, bottom, ends and lateral sides; a cladding fixed to at least said lateral sides; said core member and said cladding forming a rigid block capable of supporting loads in a building structure made up of a plurality of said blocks stacked one upon another; a plurality of anchoring indented areas in said core member lateral sides, said anchoring indented areas providing attachment regions for said cladding in the course of fixing said cladding.

29. The block of claim 28, wherein said cladding is a masonry material.

30. The block of claim 29, wherein said core has an aperture extending between said top and bottom.

31. The block of claim 28 wherein said cladding is bonded to said core.

32. The block of claim 31, wherein said cladding is adhesively bonded to said core using an adhesive material.

33. The block of claim 28 , wherein said cladding is provided as a slurry which is then molded to said core and cured to bond thereto.

34. The block of claim 28, further including wire anchor elements extending outwardly from said core member to which said cladding is attached on each lateral side of said core member.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/753,744, filed Jan. 17, 2013, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to building blocks, such as used in construction of walls and other structures where blocks are stacked in rows or layers.

BACKGROUND

In construction certain kinds of buildings, such as walls of the building, concrete or other masonry blocks are often employed. Adjacent blocks are typically cemented, as by using mortar, one to another laterally as well as in stacked rows. These blocks tend to be relatively heavy, and generally have poor insulative ability. The blocks may also be relatively porous, allowing moisture to seep through and into the construct. Insulated block material made today typically may use complex arrangements of concrete blocks with insulating material inserts installed, oftentimes in the field. The concept with an insulative block, like a CMU, is to minimize heat transfer between one side of the block, as in a wall structure, to the other side. For instance, this may be between an outside or exterior of a wall structure, and the interior defined by the wall structure. Sometimes this is attempted to be accomplished by minimizing the cross section of the block (its width or thickness in the wall structure), and lengthening the thermally conductive paths formed by the concrete connections of the block itself.

SUMMARY

The present invention in one aspect provides a substantially insulated concrete block, or CMU, which has an insulative core to which a cladding, such as concrete, is applied, as forming the lateral or side faces of the CMU. The insulative core may be of many types, such as foamed styrene, Styrofoam, or the like. This yields a relatively moisture resistant element to the block with thermal insulating properties. The cladding may be masonry, ceramic, metal, concrete and so forth.

In one embodiment, the cladding is in the form of concrete which is applied to the core in a molding or pouring operation, as along the lateral sides of the core. The core in this version would have elements to which the concrete would mold, surround and adhere to in order to fix the concrete to the core. These anchor elements may be in the form of wires which extend outwardly from the core and are fixed within the core, thus forming anchors for the concrete when it has set. The wires may, for instance, be in the form of T-bars, but can take many shapes. The material of the anchors may be metal, plastic or other material which will serve to hold the concrete to the core, and thereby form a relatively stable and sturdy structural unit, such as one that can be stacked into a wall structure.

Such anchor elements are considered expansively herein, and may further be indentations, grooves or other shapes formed into the core, into which the concrete or other fluent material may intrude and adhere to the core. Attachment of the cladding could be through adhesive means, such as chemical adhesion or mechanical adhesion (e.g., bonding or gluing).

In an aspect of the invention, a building block for construction, as for housing structures and walls thereof, has a core member which is of thermal insulative material formed in an integral piece. The core member has a top, bottom, ends and lateral sides.

A cladding is fixed to at least the lateral sides of the core. The cladding is of a masonry material, such as concrete. The core member and the cladding form a rigid block capable of supporting loads in a building structure made up of a plurality of the blocks stacked one upon another. The insulative core member may further form part of the load supporting structure of the CMU itself.

In an embodiment, at least one aperture extends through the core member between the top and bottom. A plurality of anchor elements extend from the core member lateral sides. The anchor elements provide attachments which become integrated with the masonry material in the course of fixing the cladding.

The ends of the inventive block may have an end structure which is keyed, such that a first end of one block fits with a second end of another block in an engagement which is at least partially overlapping between the first and second ends. This could be a tongue-and-groove presentation at each end, and in one form there are multiple parallel tongues which fit into multiple parallel grooves. Further, the top and bottom may have a structure which is also keyed, such that a top of one block has a shape that fits with a complementary shape of a bottom of another block.

The sides of the core may also have a feature to promote attachment of the masonry cladding. For instance the anchor element may be a dovetail slot formed in each lateral side of the core, such that masonry material in initial fluent form will enter into and solidify within each slot to affix the cladding.

In an aspect of the invention, the core member has a channel formed in its top surface. This channel extends from a point on the top surface toward a lateral side, such as to a point on the lateral side below the top surface. This channel thereby provides a path for water to exit from within the block in the building structure.

The anchor elements may take many forms, such as bars, wires, plates and other members, which preferably extend outwardly from the core member. In one embodiment, these bars may have an elongated part embedded within the core member, with t-shaped portions on either end of the elongated part extending outwardly from the core member. The anchor elements could be fibrous material, such as metal or plastic filaments, which is part of the core and extends outwardly from the core sides, like hairs or a mesh.

In still another aspect, the block has a core member that is substantially solid except for an aperture extending through the core member (e.g., top to bottom) and at least one of the top and bottom define a surface which slopes downwardly to the aperture to thereby direct water that may be present in the building structure to the aperture. The aperture thus functions as a drain for the core/block.

The building block may further provide that the core member has a hollow between the top and bottom. The hollow is capable of receiving a rebar member therein extending through a plurality of the blocks in a building structure. In such an embodiment, the core member may additionally include a web element internal to the core and extending within the hollow. This web element engages with and positions the rebar in use in the building structure.

An aspect of the invention is a building structure formed of a plurality of masonry elements which are stacked one upon another, as for housing structures and walls thereof. A plurality of building blocks is provided, each building block having a core member which is of thermal insulative material formed in an integral piece. The core member has a top, bottom, ends and lateral sides, with a cladding fixed to at least the lateral sides. The cladding is of a masonry material. Preferably, a plurality of anchor elements are formed in or otherwise provided in the core member lateral sides. The anchor elements provide attachments which become integrated with the masonry material in the course of fixing the cladding. There may be at least one aperture extending through the core member between the top and bottom. Each end of the block has a channel formed therein between said top and bottom.

Such a core member with its cladding forms a rigid block capable of supporting loads in a building structure made up of a plurality of the blocks stacked one upon another. The apertures are generally centered in each block, such that when the blocks are placed in rows one upon another, with blocks in each row being offset from an adjacent row by a half-block length, the apertures align with the end channels in vertical arrangement, so as to provide a vertical pathway through building structure.

The foregoing embodiment may further include a plug member having a hole extending between a plug top and bottom. The plug fits in a space formed by channels of abutting ends of adjacent blocks in a row.

The foregoing building structure may utilize blocks wherein the top of the core member defines a top surface having a slope toward the aperture to direct water that may be present in the building structure towards the aperture, and thereby through the vertical pathway and out of the building structure. There may also be a part forming a drain spout which extends generally laterally outboard from the bottom of selected block, to direct water out of the building structure.

Further, the cladding, or slabs or sidepieces, may be precast, precut or preformed. They can then be attached to the core in a molding operation, or attached to the core using conventional bonding material, such as adhesive (resins, elastomeric adhesives, etc.).

These and other modifications, advantages, objectives and details of the present invention will be further understood and appreciated upon consideration of a detailed description of embodiments of the invention, taken in conjunction with the drawings, in which:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment made in accordance with an aspect of the invention in the form of an insulated CMU;

FIG. 2 is a view of the CMU of FIG. 1 before any cladding is added to the insulative core;

FIGS. 3a through 3d are examples of types of structures that may be useful to provide attachment for the cladding;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a CMU made in accordance with an aspect of the invention;

FIG. 4a is a form of drainpipe that may be useful with an embodiment such as shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 4b is a form of mat that may be useful over the top of an embodiment such as shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of yet another embodiment of a CMU made in accordance with an aspect of the invention;

FIG. 6 is a top view of the embodiment of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a view similar to that of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of still another embodiment of CMU, along with an intermediate element between blocks, made in accordance with an aspect of the invention;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the bottom of a plug element that may be useful in a drain channel of an inventive CMU or other building block;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a CMU core, before any cladding has been applied;

FIG. 10a is a side view of an element that would be useful in making the drain portion of a core such as that shown in FIG. 10;

FIG. 11 is a side view of a portion of a wall built up with blocks made in accordance with an aspect of the invention; and

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of another type of anchor element and related side masonry piece to which it would attach.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring initially to FIG. 1, a first embodiment of a CMU made in accordance with aspects of this invention is shown at 10. CMU 10 has an insulative core 12 with masonry cladding 14 on its elongate lateral sides. Here, the cladding 14 is made of concrete, which has been molded to the sides of the core 12. For example, the core would be placed in a mold, and the liquid/viscous concrete then admitted to the mold, so as to adhere to the sides of the core, and then set into a rigid integrated portion of the CMU. As has been already noted, and will be further discussed, the cladding forms the primary load-bearing part of the block, and may be made of other masonry materials, as well as other materials. The core material is intended to be insulative, such as glass foam, polystyrene, polyurethane, asphaltic foam, and the like.

The core material may further form part of the CMU support structure, contributing to the strength of the CMU by flexing, torsional and tensile forces, for instance. A core material having a tensile strength of about 30 psi, or more, is considered particularly advantageous.

In order to better attach and integrate the cladding 14 in this embodiment, the core has some notches or indentations 16 formed in the lateral sides of the core 12. These notches 16 may be optional. Referring to FIG. 2, more significant are elements 18 which form anchors extending outwardly from the core. Here, the anchor elements 18 are T-bars, (also see FIG. 3), formed from rigid wire stock. The T-bars 18 extend through the core, with an elongated bar 19 embedded in the core having portions protruding laterally outwardly from the core side, and terminating in a cross-piece 20. Parts 19 and 20 may be welded. Alternatively, the anchor element could be made as an L, with the crosspiece simply bent from the stock end. Note further that the T-bars need not extend completely through the core 12, but could just extend partway therein, just so that they are sufficiently embedded to perform their function as anchors.

Variations on the anchor element are shown in FIG. 3d which is a double T element 22, and FIG. 3b which is a wire X 24 having an L shaped terminus for the stock. FIG. 3a shows an element having solid planar parts, with a central web 27 and end webs 28.

FIG. 12 shows another variation on an anchor element. This anchor element 110 has an elongated central bar 112, with end plates 114 extending orthogonal to the bar at each end thereof The anchor element 110 would be embedded within a core as previously described. The end plates would be on the outside lateral sides of the core, with the back of the end plate either flush with the core side or perhaps slightly embedded therein.

Instead of a masonry cladding formed from an initially viscous material, such as concrete, which would set (harden) about the anchor 110, a finished masonry element is provided in the form of a platelike side piece 116. This would facilitate the use of masonry materials that do not need to be poured about the core in situ, such as the use of cut stone, and facades of many different textures and surface features. Moreover, “masonry materials” is used expansively in this disclosure. It is conceivable that a wood facade might form the cladding, or metal, plastic and so forth.

In this embodiment, the sidepiece 116 has a well 118 formed therein, which is sized to receive an end plate 114 of an anchor element 110 therein. The depth of the well 118 is such that the inner (inboard) face of the sidepiece 116 will be flush with the core side. An adhesive would be used to affix the end plate 114 in the well of the sidepiece 116. Adhesive could be further used on other parts of the inner face of the sidepiece and/or core side to affix the core and sidepiece 116 together. Note that the well 118 might be eliminated in some embodiments, with the core and sidepiece 116 being connected with the end plate 114 flush with the side of the core.

It may be further understood that a core of the type considered by this invention might be formed in two (or perhaps more) pieces, and then joined together, as also by bonding, as by welding, adhesively securing the two core parts, and so forth. This could simplify embedding anchor elements, if top and bottom halves of a core were provided; an elongated anchor part, such as described with the T-bars or the elongated bar 112 of the foregoing anchor element 110, could then be sandwiched between the two halves, thereby eliminating a molding step involving the anchor element.

Returning to FIGS. 1 and 2, the core 12 has voids 30 and 31 which extend from a core top surface 32 through to a core bottom surface 34. Top and bottom may be considered relative, as these may be mirror images of each other, or these surfaces may be uniquely designed so as to only mate with the top surface upwardly, for instance. Upwardly is considered with regard to how the CMU would be oriented in a wall or other building structure.

On at least the top surface 32 is a ramp-like or sloping part 36, which extends at an angle down from the top surface to the lateral side. This sloping part 36 forms an exit in the form of a weep vent, for water that may accumulate in the wall structure.

The ends of the core 12 are also provided with mating structure in one aspect of this invention, so that two CMU's placed end to end in a row or layer will interfit. In this embodiment, a kind of tongue-and-groove arrangement is provided. One end of the core 12 has a protruding tongue part 40, which fits within a complementary groove or cavity 42. A series of parallel grooves 44 are also formed on an end, forming structure that would mate with complementary structure formed on the opposite end of the core.

Turning to FIG. 4, another embodiment 50 of a CMU is shown. It is formed similarly to that described with respect to the first embodiment 10, with some variation in the lateral notches 16 used to attach the concrete cladding and end structure of the core; here, the end structure has vertical channels 53 which are relatively centered along the long axis of the CMU 50. In this embodiment 50, core 52 has a single generally centralized void 54, which can form a drain for the block, and thereby for the building structure in which a plurality of these blocks 50 would be used.

Top surface 56 of the core 52 has a sloping structure, so that the surface 56 will direct water falling therein to the drain void 54.

FIG. 4a shows a drain or drain cap 60, which is here in the form of an L-shaped conduit. The drain may be made of a rigid plastic, sheet metal, or the like. Part of the L would be sized to fit within the bottom of a drain void 54, as in a lower run of a wall structure, with the other part of the conduit extending beyond the wall to vent water.

FIG. 4b shows a fibrous mat sheet material 65, which might be sized so as to cover the top surface 56. The mat would allow water to pass therethrough, but prevent most debris from getting into the drain. This mat 65 could also be insulative material.

As will be shown with respect to a wall structure in FIG. 11, blocks such as those of the type of CMU 50 can be organized so as to provide a continuous drain path for water throughout the wall. This is accomplished here by offsetting the blocks 50 by a half-length from one layer to another. Central drains 54 will thereby align with end channels 53, with end channels 53 of adjacent blocks 50 abutting to create a single passageway. That is, the end channel 53 is defined by vertical ribs or columns 57 at each end of the CMU 50. The ribs 57 extend vertically in the same plane. Therefore, when blocks 50 are placed end to end, the respective ribs 57 abut, creating a space open top to bottom by the respective channels 53.

FIG. 8 shows a modified arrangement of CMU blocks 50; these blocks 50 have been slightly modified themselves, to emphasize a wider passageway that would be otherwise presented by abutting blocks. This embodiment utilizes a plug member 66 between the abutting ends of the blocks 50 in a row. Plug 66 has a drain 67 extending between a top and bottom of the plug. It would be sized to fit within the space between the abutting ribs 57. The plug 66 could be slightly tapered so as to slope inwardly top to bottom. As depicted in FIG. 9, the bottom of the plug 66 can be provided with a notched structure for better drainage capability, here with crossing grooves 68.

Referring now to FIG. 5, another embodiment is shown, here of a CMU 70. This CMU 70 has an insulative core 71, that has a drain void 54 which is offset to one side of the top surface 72 of this CMU 70. Top surface 72 slopes toward the drain 54 in similar fashion to that described with relation to CMU 50. A large void 74 is provided somewhat offset on the other side of the top surface 72. This large void may be useful in providing further reinforcement in a building structure, as will be described momentarily with respect to the embodiment of FIG. 6.

Note that the core 71 of CMU 70 does not extend to the ends of the CMU in this embodiment. The concrete cladding 77 is formed to extend beyond the core ends 78. The core ends have corner extensions 79, and the cladding surrounds these extensions 79, extending slightly inboard relative to the core ends. These ends 83 of each cladding side thus surround and embrace the extensions 79. There is also a dovetail engagement between the cladding and the core, with complementary portions indicated at 80 and 81.

Looking at FIG. 6, there is shown an embodiment much like that of FIG. 5. This CMU 85, however, does not utilize a drain void, but instead has a sloping top surface 87 which slopes away from the large void 74 toward the end 78 of the core. The CMU 85 is furthermore provided with an anchor element 89, which is similar to that described as element 24 in FIG. 3b. There may be more than one such anchor element near the top and bottom of the CMU 85. This anchor element 89 extends within the large void 74, and provides a support and centering for positioning of a rebar 90. The rebar 90 may rest in the nook, or crotch 92, formed by the cross-pieces of the anchor element 89. Use of such rebar as additional reinforcement and stabilizing in building structures using CMU's is well known. Typically, concrete (cement) would also be poured into the CMU voids through which the rebar extends.

FIG. 7 is an embodiment very much identical to that of FIG. 6. However, this CMU 95 has a large void 96 in the core 71 which does not have its sides parallel with those of the CMU. Here, the generally square cross-section void 96 has been rotated about 45 degrees on its axis. This places corners 97 near the sides of the core 71, rather than the sides extending adjacent a length of the core (as in FIG. 6). The insulative ability of the CMU 95 may thereby be improved, through this further reduction in the heat-transfer pathway through the CMU.

FIG. 10 shows yet another version of an embodiment of a core for an inventive CMU. This core 100 has anchor elements 104 extending through and out of the core 100. The ends of the core 100 have ribs or columns 57 as previously described. The lateral sides of the core have vertical channels 105 defined therein, as well as horizontally crossing channels 106. This creates a substantial surface detail for the lateral sides into which the masonry material, such as cement, can embed and attach, to thereby form the lateral cladding for the CMU.

FIG. 10a illustrates a form of mold piece which could be used to create the drain 54. This is an elongated mold element having a shaft 109 and an end part 110. This would be put in position in the mold being used to make the core, and then removed.

While the invention has been described with respect to specific examples including presently preferred modes of carrying out the invention, those skilled in the art will appreciate that there are numerous variations and permutations of the above described systems and techniques that fall within the spirit and scope of the invention.