Title:
MODULAR BUILDING STRUCTURE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A building structure (10) which, in its assembled form, defines a polyhedral framework having an irregular hexagonal base (12), a regular hexagonal top (14) and a number of supports (16, 18) which are interposed between the top (14) and the base (12) and which, in use, support the top (14) on the base (12). The building structure (10) can be assembled from a kit of parts comprising a number of common components and without the need for skilled labour or specialist tools in its construction.



Inventors:
Donaldson, William (Leven, Fife KY8 5PA, GB)
Application Number:
14/392068
Publication Date:
05/19/2016
Filing Date:
04/02/2014
Assignee:
DONALDSON WILLIAM
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/653.1, 52/653.2, 52/745.09
International Classes:
E04B1/24; E04B1/19; E04B1/26
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20020144470Barrier against crawling arthropodsOctober, 2002Roberts
20090281668GEOTHERMAL AND REMEDIATION SYSTEM AND METHODNovember, 2009Nesler et al.
20090113813Supply DeviceMay, 2009Weber
20070044395Seismic isolator with variable curvatureMarch, 2007Lu et al.
20140182222Photovoltaic Arrays, Methods and Kits ThereforJuly, 2014Kalkanoglu et al.
20100146886Composite Article Having Excellent Fire ResistanceJune, 2010Zhu et al.
20090120019REINFORCED WINDOW SPACERMay, 2009Trpkovski
20070193192CONCRETE FORMSAugust, 2007Huber
20030093959Components for modular stairway systemMay, 2003Couture



Foreign References:
EP01611341985-11-13
Primary Examiner:
KENNY, DANIEL J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WILLIAM DONALDSON (LEVEN, GB)
Claims:
1. A building structure comprising: a polyhedral framework comprising an irregular hexagonal base, a regular hexagonal top and a plurality of supports for connecting the base to the top.

2. The building structure of claim 1, wherein the building structure comprises a a modular building structure.

3. The building structure of claim 1, wherein the base is configured so that three sides of the base are a first length and three sides of the base are a second length.

4. The building structure of claim 3, wherein the second length is different from the first length.

5. The building structure of any preceding claim, wherein the plurality of supports comprises a first support.

6. The building structure of claim 5, wherein the first support is disposed between the base and the top and defines a side of the building structure.

7. The building structure of claim 6, wherein the first support is configured to define a rectangular shaped side of the building structure.

8. The building structure of claim 7, wherein the first support defines the rectangular shaped side of the building structure when coupled to the base.

9. The building structure of claim 7, wherein the first support itself defines the rectangular shaped side of the building structure.

10. The building structure of any one of claims 5 to 9, wherein the building structure comprises a plurality of the first supports.

11. The building structure of claim 10, wherein the building structure comprises three of the first supports.

12. The building structure of any preceding claim, wherein the plurality of supports comprises a second support.

13. The building structure of claim 12, wherein the second support is disposed between the base and the top and defines a side of the building structure.

14. The building structure of claim 13, wherein the second support is configured to define an irregular hexagonal-shaped side of the building structure.

15. The building structure of claim 14, wherein the second support defines the irregular hexagonal-shaped side of the building structure when coupled to the base.

16. The building structure of claim 14, wherein the second support itself defines the irregular hexagonal-shaped side of the building structure.

17. The building structure of any one of claims 12 to 16, wherein the building structure comprises a plurality of the second supports.

18. The building structure of claim 17, wherein the structure comprises three of the second supports.

19. The building structure of any preceding claim, wherein the building structure comprises or is constructed from a plurality of elongate members or elements.

20. The building structure of claim 19, wherein the building structure comprises elongate members of different lengths.

21. The building structure of claim 19 or 20, wherein each of the elongate members is a unitary component.

22. The building structure of claim 19 or 20, wherein at least one of the elongate members is constructed from a plurality of other elongate members.

23. The building structure of any one of claims 19 to 22, wherein at least one of the elongate members comprises a tubular member.

24. The building structure of any one of claims 19 to 23, wherein at least one of the elongate members comprises a rod or solid cylindrical member.

25. The building structure of any one of claims 19 to 24, wherein at least one of the elongate members is constructed from a metallic material.

26. The building structure of claim 25, wherein at least one of the elongate members is constructed from aluminium.

27. The building structure of claim 25 or 26, wherein at least one of the elongate members is constructed from wood.

28. The building structure of any one of claims 19 to 27, wherein the top comprises or is constructed from elongate members.

29. The building structure of any one of claims 19 to 28, wherein the base comprises or is constructed from elongate members.

30. The building structure of any one of claims 19 to 29, wherein the first support comprises or is constructed from elongate members.

31. The building structure of any one of claims 19 to 30, wherein the second support comprises or is constructed from elongate members.

32. The building structure of any preceding claim, comprising a coupler.

33. The building structure of claim 32, wherein the coupler comprises at least one joint coupler.

34. The building structure of claim 33, comprising a first joint coupler configured to couple the elongate members of the top.

35. The building structure of claim 33, comprising a plurality of the first joint couplers.

36. The building structure of claim 34 or 35, wherein the first joint coupler defines an elbow joint.

37. The building structure of claim 34, 35 or 36, wherein the first joint coupler is configured to define an internal angle of 120 degrees.

38. The building structure of any one of claims 33 to 37, comprising a second joint coupler configured to couple the base to the first support.

39. The building structure of claim 38, comprising a plurality of the second joint couplers.

40. The building structure of claim 38 or 39, wherein the second joint coupler defines an elbow joint.

41. The building structure of any one of claims 38 to 40, wherein the second joint coupler is configured to define an internal angle of 120 degrees.

42. The building structure of any one of claims 38 to 41, wherein the second joint coupler comprise a first tubular portion, a second tubular and a third tubular portion.

43. The building structure of claim 42, wherein the third tubular portion of the second joint coupler is disposed at an angle of 56 degrees relative to a plane of the first tubular portion and the second tubular portion of the second joint coupler.

44. The building structure of any one of claims 38 to 43, wherein the second joint coupler defines a left handed joint coupler for use in the building structure.

45. The building structure of any one of claims 33 to 44, comprising a third joint coupler configured to couple the base to the first support.

46. The building structure of claim 45, comprising a plurality of the third joint couplers.

47. The building structure of claim 45 or 46, wherein the third joint coupler defines an elbow joint.

48. The building structure of claim 45, 46 or 47, wherein the third joint coupler is configured to define an internal angle of 120 degrees.

49. The building structure of any one of claims 45 to 48, wherein the third joint coupler comprises a first tubular portion, a second tubular portion and a third tubular portion.

50. The building structure of claim 49, wherein the third tubular portion of the third joint coupler is disposed at an angle of 56 degrees relative to a plane of the first tubular portion and the second tubular portion of the third joint coupler.

51. The building structure of any of claims 45 to 50, wherein the third joint coupler comprises a right handed joint coupler for use in the building structure.

52. The building structure of any one of claims 33 to 51, comprising a fourth joint coupler configured to couple the elongate members of the first support.

53. The building structure of claim 52, comprising a plurality of the fourth joint couplers.

54. The building structure of claim 52 or 53, wherein the fourth joint coupler defines an elbow joint.

55. The building structure of claim 52, 53 or 54, wherein the fourth joint coupler is configured to define an internal angle of 90 degrees.

56. The building structure of any one of claims 33 to 55, comprising a fifth joint coupler configured to couple the elongate members of the second support.

57. The building structure of claim 56, wherein the building structure comprises a plurality of the fifth joint couplers.

58. The building structure of claim 56 or 57, wherein the fifth joint coupler defines an elbow joint.

59. The building structure of claim 56, 57 or 58, wherein the fifth joint coupler is configured to define an internal angle of 150 degrees.

60. The building structure of any one of claims 33 to 59, comprising a sixth joint coupler configured to couple the elongate members of the first support.

61. The building structure of claim 60, wherein the building structure comprises a plurality of the sixth joint couplers.

62. The building structure of claim 60 or 61, wherein the sixth joint coupler defines an elbow joint.

63. The building structure of claim 60, 61 or 62, wherein the sixth joint coupler is configured to define an internal angle of 130 degrees.

64. The building structure of any one of claims 32 to 63, wherein the coupler comprises at least one edge coupler.

65. The building structure of claim 64, comprising a plurality of edge couplers.

66. The building structure of claim 64 or 65, comprising a first edge coupler configured to couple a support to the top.

67. The building structure of claim 66, comprising a plurality of first edge couplers.

68. The building structure of claim 66 or 67, wherein the first edge coupler comprises a first tubular portion and a second tubular portion.

69. The building structure of any one of claims 64 to 68, comprising a second edge coupler configured to couple a first support to a second support.

70. The building structure of claim 69, comprising a plurality of second edge couplers.

71. The building structure of claim 69 or 70, wherein the second edge coupler comprises a first, tubular, portion and a second, semi-cylindrical, portion.

72. The building structure of any one of claims 64 to 71, comprising a third edge coupler configured to couple a second support to the base.

73. The building structure of claim 72, comprising a plurality of third edge couplers.

74. The building structure of claim 72 or 73, wherein the third edge coupler comprises a first, tubular, portion and a second, semi-cylindrical, portion.

75. The building structure of claim 72, 73 or 74, wherein the third edge coupler defines a 90-degree tee-connector.

76. The building structure of any one of claims 33 to 75, wherein at least one of the couplers is constructed or formed from a metallic material.

77. The building structure of any one of claims 33 to 76, wherein at least one of the couplers is constructed or formed from wood.

78. The building structure of any one of claims 33 to 77, wherein at least one of the couplers is constructed or formed from a plastic material.

79. The building structure of any preceding claim, comprising a cover.

80. A method of constructing a building structure, comprising: providing an irregular hexagonal base; providing a regular hexagonal top; coupling a plurality of supports between the base and the top to form a polyhedral framework.

81. The method of claim 80, comprising assembling the top from a plurality of elongate members.

82. The method of claim 80 or 81, comprising assembling the base from a plurality of elongate members.

83. The method of claim 80, 81 or 82, comprising providing a first support.

84. The method of claim 83, comprising assembling the first support from a plurality of elongate members.

85. The method of any one of claims 80 to 84, comprising providing a second support.

86. The method of claim 85, comprising assembling the second support from a plurality of elongate members.

87. A building assembly comprising at least one building structure according to any one of claims 1 to 79.

88. The assembly of claim 87, comprising coupling a plurality of the building structures together to form the assembly.

89. A building structure substantially as described herein and as shown in the accompanying drawings.

90. A method substantially as described herein.

91. A building assembly substantially as described herein and as shown in the accompanying drawings.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a building structure, method and assembly. More particularly, but not exclusively, embodiments of the invention relate to a modular building structure for use as accommodation, in the provision of amenities, as administrative, event or display space or the like.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

There are numerous applications where it is desirable to erect a temporary or semi-permanent building structure, for example to provide shelter or accommodation, to store goods, to provide amenities, to provide administrative, event or display space or the like.

Conventional temporary or semi-permanent building structures take a variety of forms. In some instances, an essentially permanent building structure may be built on a fixed foundation using traditional building techniques, the structure being demolished when no longer required. While essentially permanent structures may provide a robust structure capable of withstanding weather and other environment conditions and may also be suitable for providing utilities such as water and electricity, such structures require skilled labour and significant time in their construction, making them unsuitable for use in applications which require the structure to be rapidly constructed and/or deconstructed or in locations where it is not possible or permitted to lay a fixed foundation. Also, as such structures are typically demolished after use, reuse of the structure is generally not possible.

As an alternative to essentially permanent building structures, portable structures, such as portable office or toilet facilities, are available which are constructed off-site and then transported to the required location as and when required. While portable structures provide advantages over essentially permanent structures in that they can be re-used a number of times, since such portable structures are constructed off-site, the costs and effort required to transport the structure to and from site is significant, making them unsuitable for transport over large distances or to remote or other inaccessible locations.

In view of the drawbacks associated with essentially permanent and portable structures, tent structures are still used in many applications. While tent structures can be re-used, and in some cases can be constructed, deconstructed and transported quickly and easily, tent structures suffer from the drawbacks that they are much less structurally robust than essentially permanent or portable structures and are also not suitable for providing amenities or utilities.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a building structure. The building structure will comprise a base. The building structure will comprise a top. The building structure will comprise a plurality of supports for connecting the base to the top. The building structure will comprise a plurality of couplers. The building structure will comprise a modular building structure.

In use, the building structure may define or may be configured to define a polyhedral framework. Beneficially, a building structure according to embodiments of the present invention may, for example, be assembled from a kit of parts comprising a relatively few number of components and without the need for skilled labour or specialist tools in its construction. The building structure can be transported to a desired location, which may be anywhere in the world, and assembled quickly and easily on site and so does not involve significant cost, time and effort in its transport. The structure may be disassembled and reused as many times as required. The polyhedral structure provides a rigid and robust structure which can withstand adverse weather or other environment conditions and which can be used to provide safe and secure accommodation, amenities, administration, event or display space.

Moreover, the structure may provide a number of different internal volumes which can be used for different purposes and so provides a structure which is highly flexible and adaptable in its use. The structure may also form a hub for additional components or structures to be added, again without the requirement for specialist tools or construction expertise. The structure may thus provide a number of different external volumes which can be used for different purposes and so provides a structure which is highly flexible and adaptable in its use.

The base may be of any suitable form or construction.

The base may be configured to define a polygonal shape.

The base may be configured to define a hexagon.

The base may be configured to define an irregular polygonal shape.

In particular embodiments, the base may be configured to define an irregular hexagonal base. Beneficially, the irregular hexagonal base may permit the structure to define the different internal volumes. Beneficially, the irregular hexagonal base arrangement may permit extensions to be made to the building structure of differing volumes, increasing the flexibility of use of the structure.

In particular embodiments, the base may be configured so that three sides of the base are a first length and three sides of the base are a second length, the second length being different from the first length.

The top may be of any suitable form or construction.

The top will be configured to define a regular polygonal shape.

The top will be configured to define a regular hexagon. Thus, all of the sides of the top will be of the same length.

The supports may be of any suitable form or construction.

The structure may comprise a first support. In use, the first support may be disposed between the base and the top and define a side of the building structure. The first support may be configured to define a rectangular shaped side of the building structure. The first support may define the rectangular shaped side of the building structure when coupled to the base. Alternatively, the first support may itself define the rectangular shaped side of the building structure. The building structure may comprise a plurality of the first supports. In particular embodiments, the building structure may comprise three of the first supports.

The building structure may comprise a second support. In use, the second support may be disposed between the base and the top and define a side of the building structure. The second support may be configured to define an irregular hexagonal-shaped side of the building structure. The second support may define the irregular hexagonal-shaped side of the building structure when coupled to the base. Alternatively, the second support may itself define the irregular hexagonal-shaped side of the building structure rectangular shaped side of the building structure. The building structure may comprise a plurality of the second supports. In particular embodiments, the structure may comprise three of the second supports.

The building structure, in particular embodiments, may thus comprise a regular hexagonal top, an irregular hexagonal base, three rectangular sides each defined by a first support and three irregular hexagonal sides each defined by a second support.

The building structure may comprise or may be constructed from a plurality of elongate members or elements.

The building structure may comprise elongate members of different lengths. A first elongate member may be of a first length. A second elongate member may be of a second length. A third elongate member may be of a third length. A fourth elongate member may be of a fourth length. A fifth elongate member may be of a fifth length. A sixth elongate member may be of a sixth length. A seventh elongate member may be of a seventh length. An eighth elongate member may be of an eight length. A ninth elongate member may be of a ninth length. While in particular embodiments, each of the elongate members may be unitary components, it will be recognised that at least one of the elongate members may alternatively be constructed from a plurality of other elongate members.

The elongate members may be of any suitable form or construction.

In particular embodiments, at least one of the elongate members may comprise a tubular member. Providing tubular elongate members may assist in reducing the mass of the structure for transportation or for assembly, for example. Alternatively, or additionally, at least one of the elongate members may comprise a rod or solid cylindrical member. Providing solid elongate members may assist in increasing the rigidity and strength of the building structure. In particular embodiments, all of the elongate member may comprise tubular elongate members. In other embodiments, the building structure may comprise at least one tubular elongate member and at least one rod or solid cylindrical elongate member. The elongate members may be selected to provide different elements of the structure with different properties. For example, but not exclusively, solid elongate members may be used to re-enforce selected regions of the building structure.

One or more of the elongate members may be constructed from a metallic material, such as aluminium or steel. Beneficially, constructing one or more of the elongate members from aluminium provides a lightweight structure which can be easily transported and assembled to form a rigid structure capable of supporting significant loads. Alternatively or additionally, one or more of the elongate members may be constructed from a wooden material, a plastic material, a composite material or any other suitable material.

At least one of the base, the top, the first support or supports and the second support may be constructed from the elongate members.

The top may comprise or be constructed from elongate members.

The top may comprise or be constructed from a plurality of the first elongate members. The top may be constructed from six of the first elongate members.

The base may comprise or be constructed from elongate members.

The base may comprise or be constructed from a plurality of the first elongate members. The base may comprise or be constructed from a plurality of the second elongate members. In particular embodiments, the base may comprise or be constructed from three of the first elongate members and three of the second elongate members.

The first support may comprise or be constructed from elongate members.

In some embodiments, the first support may comprise or be constructed from three elongate members. The first support may comprise or be constructed from one of the first elongate members. The first support may comprise or be constructed from a plurality of the third elongate members. In particular embodiments, the first support may comprise or be constructed from one of the first elongate members and two of the third elongate members.

In other embodiments, the first support may comprise or be constructed from five elongate members. The first support may comprise or be constructed from one of the first elongate members. The first support may comprise or be constructed from a plurality of the fourth elongate members. The first support may comprise or be constructed from a plurality of the fifth elongate members. In particular embodiments, the first support may comprise or be constructed from one of the first elongate members, two of the fourth elongate members and two of the fifth elongate members.

The first support may comprise a plurality of elongate members configured or arranged in the same plane. For example, where the first support comprises three elongate members, all of the elongate members may be configured or arranged in the same plane, which may be a first plane. The first plane may define an acute angle with respect to the base. In particular embodiments, the first plane may define an angle of about 56 degrees to the base. Where the first support comprises five elongate members, three of the elongate members may be configured or arranged in the same plane. Two of the elongate members may be configured or arranged in another plane with respect to the base, which may be a second plane. In particular embodiments, the second plane may define an angle of around 90 degrees, although other angles may be defined where required. At least two of the elongate members may be configured at 90 degrees to each other. For example, three of the elongate members may be configured at 90 degrees to each other. Alternatively, the first support may comprise a unitary component.

The couplers may be of any suitable form or construction.

The building structure may comprise a plurality of end couplers or joint couplers.

A first joint coupler may be configured to couple the elongate members of the top. The building structure may comprise a plurality of the first joint couplers. The first joint coupler may define an elbow joint. The first joint coupler may comprise a first tubular portion and a second tubular portion. The first tubular portion of the first joint coupler and the second tubular portion of the first joint coupler may be configured to define an internal angle of 120 degrees. The internal diameter of the first tubular portion of the first joint coupler may be configured to receive an end portion of an elongate member. The internal diameter of the second tubular portion of the first joint coupler may be configured to receive an end portion of an elongate member.

A second joint coupler may be configured to couple the base to the first support. The building structure may comprise a plurality of the second joint couplers. The second joint coupler may define an elbow joint. The second joint coupler may comprise a first tubular portion and a second tubular portion. The first tubular portion of the second joint coupler and the second tubular portion of the second joint coupler may be configured to define an internal angle of 120 degrees. The internal diameter of the first tubular portion of the second joint coupler may be configured to receive an end portion of an elongate member. The internal diameter of the second tubular portion of the second joint coupler may be configured to receive an end portion of an elongate member. The second joint coupler may further comprise a third tubular portion. The third tubular portion of the second joint coupler may extend at an angle to the plane of the first tubular portion of the second joint coupler and the second tubular portion of the second joint coupler. In particular embodiments, the second joint coupler may be configured so that the third tubular portion is disposed at an angle of about 56 degrees to the plane of the first and second tubular portions of the second joint coupler. The second joint coupler may define a left hand joint coupler for use in the building structure.

A third joint coupler may be configured to couple the base to the first support. The building structure may comprise a plurality of the third joint couplers. The third joint coupler may be a mirror image of the second joint coupler. For example, the second joint coupler may comprise a left hand coupler and the third joint coupler may comprise a right hand coupler, or vice-versa. The third joint coupler may define an elbow joint. The third joint coupler may comprise a first tubular portion and a second tubular portion. The first tubular portion of the third joint coupler and the second tubular portion of the third joint coupler may be configured to define an internal angle of 120 degrees. The internal diameter of the first tubular portion of the third joint coupler may be configured to receive an end portion of an elongate member. The internal diameter of the second tubular portion of the third joint coupler may be configured to receive an end portion of an elongate member. The third joint coupler may further comprise a third tubular portion. The third tubular portion of the third joint coupler may extend at an angle to the plane of the first tubular portion of the third end coupler and the second tubular portion of the third end coupler. In particular embodiments, the third end coupler may be configured so that the third tubular portion of the third joint coupler is disposed at an angle of about 56 degrees to the plane of the first and second tubular portions of the third joint coupler.

A fourth joint coupler may be configured to couple the elongate members of the first support. The building structure may comprise a plurality of the fourth joint couplers. The fourth joint coupler may define an elbow joint. The fourth joint coupler may comprise a first tubular portion and a second tubular portion. The first tubular portion of the fourth joint coupler and the second tubular portion of the fourth joint coupler may be configured to define an internal angle of 90 degrees. The internal diameter of the first tubular portion of the fourth joint coupler may be configured to receive an end portion of an elongate member. The internal diameter of the second tubular portion of the fourth joint coupler may be configured to receive an end portion of an elongate member.

A fifth joint coupler may be configured to couple the elongate members of the second support. In particular embodiments, the fifth joint coupler may be configured to couple a fourth elongate member and a fifth elongate member of a second support. The building structure may comprise a plurality of the fifth joint couplers. The fifth joint coupler may define an elbow joint. The fifth joint coupler may comprise a first tubular portion and a second tubular portion. The first tubular portion of the fifth joint coupler and the second tubular portion of the fifth joint coupler of the fifth joint coupler may be configured to define an internal angle of 150 degrees. The internal diameter of the first tubular portion of the fifth joint coupler may be configured to receive an end portion of an elongate member. The internal diameter of the second tubular portion of the fifth joint coupler may be configured to receive an end portion of an elongate member.

A sixth joint coupler may be provided. The sixth joint coupler may be configured to couple the elongate members of the first support in an alternative embodiment or embodiments of the invention. In particular, the sixth joint may be configured to couple a fourth elongate element of the first support to a fifth elongate element of the first support. The building structure may comprise a plurality of the sixth joint couplers. The sixth joint coupler may define an elbow joint. The sixth joint coupler may comprise a first tubular portion and a second tubular portion. The first tubular portion of the sixth joint coupler and the second tubular portion of the sixth joint coupler may be configured to define an internal angle of 130 degrees. The internal diameter of the first tubular portion of the sixth joint coupler may be configured to receive an end portion of an elongate member. The internal diameter of the second tubular portion of the sixth joint coupler may be configured to receive an end portion of an elongate member.

The building structure may comprise a plurality of edge couplers.

A first edge coupler may be configured to couple a support to the top. The building structure may comprise a plurality of first edge couplers. The first edge coupler may comprise a first tubular portion and a second tubular portion. The first tubular portion of the first edge coupler and the second tubular portion of the first edge coupler may be joined together along their length. The internal diameter of the first tubular portion of the first edge coupler may be configured to receive an elongate member. The internal diameter of the second tubular portion of the first edge coupler may be configured to receive an elongate member.

A second edge coupler may be configured to couple a first support to a second support. The building structure may comprise a plurality of second edge couplers. The second edge coupler may comprise a first, tubular, portion and a second, semi-cylindrical, portion. The first portion of the second edge coupler and the second portion of the second edge coupler may be joined together along their length. The internal diameter of the first portion of the second edge coupler may be configured to receive an elongate member. The internal diameter of the second portion of the second edge coupler may be configured to receive an elongate member. For example, the internal diameter of the hemi-cylindrical second portion may be dimensioned to wrap around a segment of an elongate member.

A third edge coupler may be configured to couple a second support to the base.

The building structure may comprise a plurality of third edge couplers. The third edge coupler may comprise a first, tubular, portion and a second, semi-cylindrical, portion. The first portion of the third edge coupler and the second portion of the third edge coupler may be joined together at 90 degrees to each other so as to define a tee-connector.

The internal diameter of the first portion of the third edge coupler may be configured to receive an elongate member. The internal diameter of the second portion of the third edge coupler may be configured to receive an elongate member. For example, the internal diameter of the hemi-cylindrical second portion may be dimensioned to wrap around a segment of an elongate member.

One or more of the couplers may be constructed from a metallic material, such as aluminium or steel. Beneficially, constructing one or more of the couplers from aluminium provides a lightweight structure which can be easily transported and assembled to form a rigid structure capable of supporting significant loads. Alternatively or additionally, one or more of the couplers may be constructed from a wooden material, a plastic material, a composite material or any other suitable material.

The building structure may comprise at least one further elongate member.

The building structure may comprise an additional support. For example, a further elongate member may be used to enhance the rigidity of the building structure. The further elongate member may be used to provide attachment for additional components or assemblies. By way of example, one or more further elongate member may be provided so as to provide attachment for a doorway assembly, a raised floor, table assembly, a bed assembly or the like.

A cover may be provided to enclose or cover at least part of the building structure. The cover may be of any suitable form or construction. The cover may comprise a fabric, a plastic material, a metal material, a ceramic material, a wooden material, a natural material or the like. In some embodiments, the cover may comprise one or more panel configured for coupling to the building structure by one or more coupler. In particular embodiments, the cover may comprise a resilient material and, in use, the cover may be stretched over the structure. In some embodiments, the cover may be configured or selected to assist in making the building structure less visible. The cover may be configured or selected to assist in reducing the radar reflectivity or thermal signature of the building structure. The modular an adaptable framework of the building structure may also facilitate the insertion of insulation material, thereby increasing the thermal efficiency of the structure in contrast to conventional poorly insulated structures.

A fastener may be provided to secure two or more components of the building structure together. The fastener may be of any suitable form and construction. In particular embodiments, the fastener may comprise a self-tapping fastener. The fastener may comprise a screw, such as the type known as a roofing screw. Alternatively, the fastener may comprise a bolt or the like. The fastener may be constructed from any suitable material. In particular embodiments, the fastener may comprise a steel fastener.

The building structure may comprise a plurality of the fasteners.

At least one of the couplers may comprise a bore for receiving the fastener.

According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of constructing a building structure.

The method may comprise providing a base. The method may comprise assembling the base from a plurality of elongate members.

The method may comprise providing a top. The method may comprise assembling the top from a plurality of elongate members.

The method may comprise providing a first support. The method may comprise providing a plurality of the first supports. In particular embodiments, the method may comprise providing three of the first supports. The method may comprise assembling the or each first support from a plurality of elongate members.

The method may comprise providing a second support. The method may comprise providing a plurality of the second supports. In particular embodiments, the method may comprise providing three of the second supports. The method may comprise assembling the or each second support from a plurality of elongate members.

The method may comprise assembling the base, the top, the or each first support and the or each second support as subassemblies and then assembling the base, the top, the first supports and the second supports to form a polyhedral framework.

According to a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a building assembly comprising at least one building structure according to the first aspect of the present invention. The assembly may comprise a plurality of building structures according to the first aspect.

It should be understood that the features defined above in accordance with any aspect of the present invention or below in relation to any specific embodiment of the invention may be utilised, either alone or in combination, with any other defined feature in any other aspect or embodiment of the invention or to form another aspect or embodiment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other aspects of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a building structure according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows a top for use in the building structure shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 shows a base for use in the building structure shown in FIG. 1;

FIGS. 4A, 4B and 4C show the first supports for use in the building structure shown in FIG. 1;

FIGS. 5A, 5B and 5C show the second supports for use in the building structure shown in FIG. 1;

FIGS. 6A, 6B and 6C show perspective, top and end perspective views respectively of a first joint coupler for use in the building structure shown in FIG. 1;

FIGS. 7A, 7B and 7C show perspective, top and side views respectively of a second joint coupler for use in the building structure shown in FIG. 1;

FIGS. 8A, 8B and 8C show perspective, top and side views respectively of a third joint coupler for use in the building structure shown in FIG. 1;

FIGS. 9A, 9B and 9C show perspective, top and longitudinal section views respectively of a fourth joint coupler for use in the building structure shown in FIG. 1;

FIGS. 10A, 10B and 10C perspective, top and longitudinal section views respectively of a fifth joint coupler for use in the building structure shown in FIG. 1;

FIGS. 11A, 11B and 11C show perspective, side and cross section views respectively of a first edge coupler for use in the budding structure shown in FIG. 1;

FIGS. 12A, 12B and 12C show perspective, side and section views respectively of a second edge coupler for use in the building structure shown in FIG. 1;

FIGS. 13A, 13B, 13C and 13D show perspective, longitudinal section, top and cross section views respectively of a third edge coupler for use in the building structure shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 14 shows a building structure according to a second embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 15 shows a top for use in the building structure shown in FIG. 14;

FIG. 16 shows a base for use in the building structure shown in FIG. 14;

FIGS. 17A and 17B show side and front views respectively of a first support for use in the building structure shown in FIG. 14;

FIGS. 17C and 17D show side and front views respectively of another first support for use in the building structure shown in FIG. 14;

FIGS. 17E and 17F show side and front views respectively of another first support for use in the building structure shown in FIG. 14;

FIGS. 18A and 18B show side and front views respectively of the second support for use in the building structure shown in FIG. 14;

FIGS. 18C and 18D show side and front views respectively of another second support for use in the building structure shown in FIG. 14;

FIGS. 18E and 18F show side and front views respectively of another second support for use in the building structure shown in FIG. 14;

FIGS. 19A, 19B and 19C show perspective, top and end views respectively of a third joint coupler for use in the building structure shown in FIG. 14;

FIG. 20 shows a perspective view of another building structure according to a third embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 21 shows a perspective view of another building structure according to a fourth embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 22 shows a perspective view of another building structure according to a fifth embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 23 shows a perspective view of another building structure according to a sixth embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 24 shows a perspective view of another building structure according to a seventh embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 25 shows a perspective view of another building structure according to an eighth embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 26 shows a perspective view of a building structure assembly comprising four building structures according to a ninth embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 27 shows a perspective view of another building structure assembly comprising a plurality of building structures according to a tenth embodiment of the present invention.

DETAIL DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Referring first to FIG. 1, there is shown a perspective view of a building structure 10 according to a first embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 1, in its assembled form the building structure 10 defines a polyhedral framework having an irregular hexagonal base 12, a regular hexagonal top 14 and a number of supports 16, 18 which are interposed between the top 14 and the base 12 and which, in use, support the top 14 on the base 12.

The building structure 10 can be assembled from a kit of parts comprising a number of common components and without the need for skilled labour or specialist tools in its construction. The building structure 10 can be transported as a kit of parts to a desired location, which may be anywhere in the world, and assembled on site and so does not involve significant cost, time and effort in its transportation and construction. The polyhedral framework provides a rigid and robust structure which can withstand adverse weather or other environment conditions. Moreover, the modular nature of the building structure 10 facilitates the creation of a variety of configurations as and when required simply by adding additional components, subassemblies or by connecting multiple building structures 10 together, again without the requirement for specialist tools or construction expertise.

In the illustrated embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the building structure 10 comprises six supports: three three-element supports 16a, 16b, 16c and three five-element supports 18a, 18b, 18c. The three-element supports 16a, 16b, 16c and the five-element supports 18a, 18b,18c are alternately positioned around the base 12 and between the base 12 and the top 14 to form the polyhedral framework of the building structure 10. Together with the base 12, the three-element supports each define a rectangular side of the structure 10 and the five-element supports 18a, 18b, 18c each define an irregular hexagonal side of the structure 10.

Each of the base 12, the top 14 and the supports 16a, 16b, 16c, 18a, 18b, 18c are made up of a number of elongate members coupled together using joint couplers to form subassemblies which in turn are coupled together by edge couplers to form the polyhedral framework of the building structure 10.

In this embodiment, the entire polyhedral framework can be constructed using five standard lengths of elongate member 20, 22, 24, 26, 28; five standard joint couplers 30, 32, 34, 36, 38; and three standard edge couplers 40, 42, 44.

FIG. 2 shows a top 14 for use in the building structure 10 shown in FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. 2, the top 14 comprises a subassembly having six of the first elongate members 20a, 20b, 20c, 20d, 20e, 20f coupled together by six of the first joint couplers 30a, 30b, 30c, 30d, 30e, 30f to define a regular hexagon. In the illustrated embodiment, each of the first elongate members 20a to 20f comprises tubular aluminium having a length of 2 metres, although it will be recognised that the elongate members 20a to 20f may be of any required length.

FIG. 3 shows a base 12 for use in the building structure 10 shown in FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. 3, the base 12 comprises three of the first elongate members 20g, 20h, 20i and three of the second elongate members 22a, 22b, 22c. The first elongate members 20g to 20i and second elongate members 22a to 22c are alternately coupled together by three of the second joint couplers 32a, 32b, 32c and three of the third joint couplers 34a, 34b, 34c to define an irregular hexagon. In the illustrated embodiment, each of the first elongate members 20g to 20i comprise tubular aluminium having a length of 2 metres.

FIGS. 4A, 4B and 4C show the first supports 16a, 16b, 16c for use in the building structure 10 shown in FIG. 1.

As shown in FIG. 4A, support 16a comprises one first elongate member 20j and two of the third elongate members 24a, 24b. The first elongate member 20j is coupled to the third elongate members 24a, 24b by two of the fourth joint couplers 36a, 36b. In the illustrated embodiment, the first elongate member 20j comprises tubular aluminium having a length of 2 metres.

As shown in FIG. 4B, support 16b comprises one first elongate member 20k and two of the third elongate members 24c, 24d. The first elongate member 20k is coupled to the third elongate members 24c, 24d by two of the fourth joint couplers 36c, 36d. In the illustrated embodiment, the first elongate member 20k comprises tubular aluminium having a length of 2 metres.

As shown in FIG. 4C, support 16c comprises one first elongate member 20l and two of the third elongate members 24e, 24f. The first elongate member 20l is coupled to the third elongate members 24e, 24f by two of the fourth joint couplers 36e, 36f. In the illustrated embodiment, the first elongate member 20I comprises tubular aluminium having a length of 2 metres.

FIGS. 5A, 5B and 5C show the second supports 18a, 18b, 18c for use in the building structure 10 shown in FIG. 1.

As shown in FIG. 5A, support 18a comprises one first elongate member 20m, two of the fourth elongate members 26a, 26b and two of the fifth elongate members 28a, 28b. The first elongate member 20m is coupled to the two fourth elongate members 26a, 26b by two of the first joint couplers 30g, 30h. The fourth elongate member 26a is coupled to fifth elongate element 28a by a fifth joint coupler 38a. The fourth elongate member 26b is coupled to fifth elongate element 28b by a fifth joint coupler 38b.

As shown in FIG. 5B, support 18b comprises one first elongate member 20n, two of the fourth elongate members 26c, 26d and two of the fifth elongate members 28c, 28d. The first elongate member 20n is coupled to the two fourth elongate members 26c, 26d by two of the first joint couplers 30i, 30j. The fourth elongate member 26c is coupled to fifth elongate element 28c by a fifth joint coupler 38c. The fourth elongate member 26d is coupled to fifth elongate element 28d by a fifth joint coupler 38d.

As shown in FIG. 5C, support 18c comprises one first elongate member 200, two of the fourth elongate members 26e, 26f and two of the fifth elongate members 28e, 28f. The first elongate member 20o is coupled to the two fourth elongate members 26e, 26f by two of the first joint couplers 30k, 30l. The fourth elongate member 26e is coupled to fifth elongate element 28e by a fifth joint coupler 38. The fourth elongate member 26f is coupled to fifth elongate element 28f by a fifth joint coupler 38f.

The joint couplers 30, 32, 34, 36 and 38 will now be described further with reference to FIGS. 6A to 10C.

FIGS. 6A, 6B and 6C show perspective, top and end perspective views respectively of a first joint coupler 30 for use in the building structure 10. The first joint coupler 30 defines an elbow joint having a first tubular portion 42 and a second tubular portion 44, the first tubular portion 42 and the second tubular portion 44 defining an internal angle of 120 degrees. The internal diameter of each of the first tubular portion 42 and the second tubular portion 44 are dimensioned so as to receive the ends of the elongate members 20, 26 to which the coupler 30 is coupled in use.

In order to construct the polygonal framework of the building structure 10, twelve of the first joint couplers 30 are provided, of which six are used to construct the top 14 and two are used to construct each of the supports 18a, 18b, 18c.

FIGS. 7A, 7B and 7C show perspective, top and side views respectively of a second joint coupler 32 for use in the building structure 10. The second joint coupler 32 is defines an elbow joint having a first tubular portion 46 and a second tubular portion 48, the first tubular portion 46 and the second tubular portion 48 defining an internal angle of 120 degrees. The second coupler 32 further comprises a third tubular portion 50. The third tubular portion 50 extends at an angle to the plane of the first and second tubular portions 46, 48. In the illustrated embodiment, the third tubular portion 50 is disposed at an angle of about 56 degrees to the plane of the first and second tubular portions 46, 48. In use, the third tubular portion 50 is configured to receive the lower end of an elongate member 24 of the first supports 16a, 16b, 16c. In order to construct the polygonal framework of the building structure 10, three of the second joint couplers 32 are provided, these being used to construct the left side of the base 12.

FIGS. 8A, 8B and 8C show perspective, top and side views respectively of a third joint coupler 34 for use in the building structure 10. The third joint coupler 34 is the mirror image of the second joint coupler 32 and defines an elbow joint having a first tubular portion 52 and a second tubular portion 54, the first tubular portion 52 and the second tubular portion 54 defining an internal angle of 120 degrees. The third joint coupler 34 further comprises a third tubular portion 56. The third tubular portion 56 extends at an angle to the plane of the first and second tubular portions 52, 54. In the illustrated embodiment, the third tubular portion 56 is disposed at an angle of about 56 degrees to the plane of the first and second tubular portions 52, 54. In the illustrated embodiment, the third tubular portion 50 is disposed at an angle of about 56 degrees to the plane of the first and second tubular portions 46, 48. In use, the third tubular portion 50 is configured to receive the lower end of an elongate member 24 of the first supports 16a, 16b, 16c. In order to construct the polygonal framework of the building structure 10, three of the second joint couplers 34 are provided, these being used to construct the right side of the base 12.

FIGS. 9A, 9B and 9C show perspective, top and longitudinal section views respectively of a fourth joint coupler 36 for use in the building structure 10. The fourth joint coupler 36 defines an elbow joint having a first tubular portion 58 and a second tubular portion 60, the first tubular portion 58 and the second tubular portion 60 defining an internal angle of 90 degrees. The internal diameter of the first tubular portion 58 and the second tubular portion 60 are dimensioned so as to receive the ends of the elongate members 20, 24 to which the coupler 36 is coupled in use. In order to construct the polygonal framework of the building structure 10, six of the fourth joint couplers 36 are provided, two being used to construct each of the three first supports 16.

FIGS. 10A, 10B and 10C perspective, top and longitudinal section views respectively of a fifth joint coupler 38 for use in the building structure 10. The fifth joint coupler 38 defines an elbow joint having a first tubular portion 62 and a second tubular portion 64, the first tubular portion 62 and the second tubular portion 64 defining an internal angle of 150 degrees. The internal diameter of the first tubular portion 62 and the second tubular portion 64 are dimensioned so as to receive the ends of the elongate members 26, 28 to which the coupler 38 is coupled in use. In order to construct the polygonal framework of the building structure 10, six of the fifth joint couplers 38 are provided, two being used to construct each of the second supports 18a, 18b, 18c.

Referring again to FIG. 1, the three-element supports 16a, 16b, 16c and the five-element supports 18a, 18b, 18c are alternately positioned around the base 12 and are positioned between the base 12 and the top 14 to form the polyhedral framework of the building structure 10, the supports 16a, 16b, 16c, 18a, 18b, 18c being coupled to the each other, to the top 14 and to the base 12 by the edge couplers 40, 42, 44. When constructed, the framework 10 has eighteen edges: six top edges 66a, 66b, 66c, 66d, 66e, 66f; six base edges 68a, 68b, 68c, 68d, 68e, 68f; and six side edges 70a, 70b, 70c, 70d, 70e, 70f.

The three-element supports 16a, 16b, 16c are coupled to the five-element supports 18a, 18b, 18c by the first edge couplers 40. In order to construct the polygonal framework of the building structure 10, eighteen of the first edge couplers 40a, 40b, 40c, 40d, 40e, 40f, 40g, 40h, 40i, 40j, 40k, 40l, 40m, 40m, 40n, 40o, 40p, 40q are provided, three first edge couplers 40 being used at each of the six side edges 70a, 70b, 70c, 70d, 70e, 70f. Each edge coupler 40a to 40q engages the elongate member 24 of a three-element support 16 and the elongate member 26 of a five-element support 18.

The three-element supports 16a, 16b, 16c and the five element supports 18a, 18b, 18c are coupled to the top 14 by the second edge couplers 42. In order to construct the polygonal framework of the building structure 10, eighteen of the second edge couplers 42a, 42b, 42c, 42d, 42e, 42f, 42g, 42h, 42i, 42j, 42k, 42l, 42m, 42m, 42n, 42o, 42p, 42q are provided, three second edge couplers 42 being used at each of the six top edges 66a, 66b, 66c, 66d, 66e, 66f. Each edge coupler 42a to 42q engages an elongate member 20 of the top 14 and, in the case of edges 66a, 66c and 66e an elongate member 20 of a three-element support 16 and, in the case of edges 66b, 66d, 66f, an elongate member 20 of a five-element support 18.

The five element supports 18a, 18b, 18c are coupled to the base 12 by the q) third edge couplers 44. In order to construct the polygonal framework of the building structure 10, six of the third edge couplers 44 are provided, two third edge couplers being used at each of the base edges 68b, 68d and 68f.

The edge couplers 40, 42 and 44 will now be described further with reference to FIGS. 11A to 13D.

FIGS. 11A, 11B and 11C show perspective, side and cross section views respectively of a first edge coupler 40 for use in the building structure 10. The first edge coupler 40 comprises a first tubular portion 72 and a semi-cylindrical second portion 74, the first tubular portion 72 and the second portion 74 being joined together along their length. The internal diameter of the first tubular portion 72 is dimensioned to receive an elongate member 26 therein. Similarly, the internal diameter of the hemi-cylindrical second portion 74 is dimensioned to wrap around a segment of an elongate member 24 and thereby provide secure attachment between the second coupler 40 and the elongate member 24 without the requirement to locate the coupler 40 over the end of the elongate member 24 to which the second portion 74 is to be engaged. It will be understood however that the first tubular portion 72 may alternatively receive the elongate member 24 and the second portion receive the elongate member 26.

FIGS. 12A, 12B and 12C show perspective, side and section views respectively of a second edge coupler 42 for use in the building structure 10. The second edge coupler 42 comprises a first tubular portion 76 and a second tubular portion 78, the first tubular portion 76 and the second tubular portion 78 being joined together along their length. The internal diameters of the first tubular portion 76 and the second tubular portion 78 are dimensioned to each receive an elongate member 20 therein.

FIGS. 13A, 13B, 13C and 13D show perspective, longitudinal section, top and cross section views respectively of a third edge coupler 44 for use in the building structure 10. The third edge coupler 44 comprises a first tubular portion 80 and a semi-cylindrical second portion 82. The first tubular portion 80 and the second portion 82 are joined together at 90 degrees to each other so as to define a tee-connector. The internal diameter of the first tubular portion 80 is dimensioned to receive an elongate member 28 therein. The internal diameter of the hemi-cylindrical second portion 82 is dimensioned to wrap around a segment of a base elongate member 22 to which it is to be engaged.

Referring now to FIGS. 14 to 18, there is shown a building structure 110 according to a second embodiment of the present invention. Like components of the building structure 10 and the building structure 110 are represented by like numerals incremented by 100. As shown in FIG. 14, in its assembled form the building structure 110 defines a polyhedral framework having an irregular hexagonal base 112, a regular hexagonal top 114 and a number of supports which are interposed between the top 114 and the base 112 and which, in use, support the top 114 on the base 112.

In the illustrated embodiment shown in FIG. 14, the building structure 110 comprises six supports: three five-element supports 116a, 116b, 116c and three five-element supports 118a, 118b, 118c. The five-element supports 116a, 116b, 116c and the five-element supports 118a, 118b, 118c are alternately positioned around the base 112 and between the base 112 and the top 114 to form the polyhedral framework of the building structure 110. Together with the base 112, the five-element supports 116a, 116b, 116c each define a rectangular side of the structure 110 and the five-element supports 118a, 118b, 118c each define an irregular hexagonal side of the structure 110.

Each of the base 112, the top 114 and the supports 116a, 116b, 116c, 118a, 118b, 118c are made up of a number of elongate members coupled together using joint couplers to form subassemblies which in turn are coupled together by edge couplers to form the polyhedral framework of the building structure 110.

In this embodiment, the entire polyhedral framework can be constructed using six standard lengths of elongate member 120, 128, 84, 86, 88, 90; three standard joint couplers 130, 136, 92; and three standard edge couplers 140, 142, 144. Beneficially, this embodiment defines a smaller footprint than the first embodiment.

FIG. 15 shows a top 114 for use in the building structure 110 shown in FIG. 14. As shown in FIG. 15, the top 114 comprises a subassembly having six of the first elongate members 120a, 120b, 120c, 120d, 120e, 120f coupled together by six of the first joint couplers 130a, 130b, 130c, 130d, 130e, 130f to define a regular hexagon. In the illustrated embodiment, each of the first elongate members 120a to 120f comprises tubular aluminium having a length of 2 metres.

FIG. 16 shows a base 112 for use in the building structure 110 shown in FIG. 14. In this embodiment, the base 112 comprises three second elongate members 84a, 84b, 84c and three third elongate members 86a, 86b, 86c. The second elongate members 84a, 84b, 84c and third elongate members 86a, 86b, 86c are alternately coupled together by six of the first joint couplers 130g, 130h, 130i, 130j, 130k, 130l to define an irregular hexagon.

FIGS. 17A and 17B show side and front views respectively of the first support 116a for use in the building structure 110 shown in FIG. 14. Support 116a comprises one first elongate member 120g, two of the fourth elongate members 88a, 88b and two of the fifth elongate members 128a, 128b. The first elongate member 120g is coupled to the fourth elongate members 88a, 88b by two of the second joint couplers 136a, 136b. The fourth elongate member 88a is coupled to fifth elongate element 128a by third joint coupler 92a. The fourth elongate member 88b is coupled to fifth elongate element 128b by third joint coupler 92b.

FIGS. 17C and 17D show side and front views respectively of the first support 116b for use in the building structure 110 shown in FIG. 14. Support 116b comprises one first elongate member 120h, two of the fourth elongate members 88c, 88d and two of the fifth elongate members 128c, 128d. The first elongate member 120h is coupled to the fourth elongate members 88c, 88d by two of the second joint couplers 136c, 136c. The fourth elongate member 88c is coupled to fifth elongate element 128c by third joint coupler 92c. The fourth elongate member 88d is coupled to fifth elongate element 128d by third joint coupler 92d.

FIGS. 17E and 17F show side and front views respectively of the first support 116c for use in the building structure 110 shown in FIG. 14. Support 116c comprises one first elongate member 120l, two of the fourth elongate members 88e, 88f and two of the fifth elongate members 128e, 128f. The first elongate member 120i is coupled to the fourth elongate members 88e, 88f by two of the second joint couplers 136e, 136f. The fourth elongate member 88e is coupled to fifth elongate element 128e by third joint coupler 92e. The fourth elongate member 88f is coupled to fifth elongate element 128f by third joint coupler 92f.

FIGS. 18A and 18B show side and front views respectively of the second support 118a for use in the building structure 110 shown in FIG. 14. Support 118a comprises one first elongate member 120j, two sixth elongate members 90a, 90b and two of the fifth elongate members 128g, 128h. The first elongate member 120j is coupled to the two sixth elongate members 90a, 90b by two of the first joint couplers 130m, 130n. The sixth elongate member 90a is coupled to fifth elongate element 128g by third joint coupler 92g. The sixth elongate member 90b is coupled to fifth elongate element 128h by third joint coupler 92h.

FIGS. 18C and 18D show side and front views respectively of the second support 118b for use in the building structure 110 shown in FIG. 14. Support 118b comprises one first elongate member 120k, two sixth elongate members 90c, 90d and two of the fifth elongate members 128i, 128j. The first elongate member 120k is coupled to the two sixth elongate members 90c, 90d by two of the first joint couplers 130o, 130p. The sixth elongate member 90c is coupled to fifth elongate element 128i by third joint coupler 92i. The sixth elongate member 90d is coupled to fifth elongate element 128j by third joint coupler 92j.

FIGS. 18E and 18F show side and front views respectively of the second support 118c for use in the building structure 110 shown in FIG. 14. Support 118c comprises one first elongate member 120l, two sixth elongate members 90e, 90f and two of the fifth elongate members 128k, 128l. The first elongate member 120l is coupled to the two sixth elongate members 90e, 90f by two of the first joint couplers 130q, 130r. The sixth elongate member 90e is coupled to fifth elongate element 128k by third joint coupler 92k. The sixth elongate member 90f is coupled to fifth elongate element 128l by third joint coupler 92l.

The joint couplers 120 are substantially identical in construction to the joint couplers 20; and the joint couplers 134 are substantially identical in construction to the joint couplers 34 and so details of the construction of the joint couplers 120, 134 may be understood with reference to the first embodiment described above.

FIGS. 19A, 19B and 19C show perspective, top and end views respectively of a third joint coupler 92 for use in the building structure 110. The third joint coupler 92 defines an elbow joint having a first tubular portion 94 and a second tubular portion 96, the first tubular portion 94 and the second tubular portion 96 defining an internal angle of 130 degrees. The internal diameter of each of the first tubular portion 94 and the second tubular portion 96 are dimensioned so as to receive the ends of the elongate members 88, 90, 128 to which the coupler 92 is coupled in use. In order to construct the polygonal framework of the building structure 110, twelve of the third joint couplers 92 are provided, two used to construct each of the five-element supports 116a,116b,116c and two used to construct each of the five-element supports 118a,118b,118c.

Referring again to FIG. 14, the five-element supports 116a, 116b, 116c and the five-element supports 118a, 118b, 118c are alternately positioned around the base 112 and are positioned between the base 112 and the top 114 to form the polyhedral framework of the building structure 110, the supports 116a, 116b, 116c, 118a, 118b, 118c being coupled to the each other, to the top 114 and to the base 112 by the edge couplers 140, 142, 144. When constructed, the framework 110 has twenty-four edges: six top edges 166a, 166b, 166c, 166d, 166e, 166f; six base edges 168a, 168b, 168c, 168d, 168e, 168f; six upper side edges 170a, 170b, 170c, 170d, 170e, 170f; and six lower side edges 98a, 98b, 98c, 98d, 98e, 98f.

The five-element supports 116a, 116b, 116c are coupled to the five-element supports 118a, 118b, 118c by the first edge couplers 140. In order to construct the polygonal framework of the building structure 110, eighteen of the first edge couplers 140a, 140b, 140c, 140d, 140e, 140f, 140g, 140h, 140i, 140j, 140k, 140l, 140m, 140m, 140n, 140o, 140p, 140q are provided, three first edge couplers 140 being used at each of the six upper side edges 170a, 170b, 170c, 170d, 70e, 70f. Each edge coupler 140a to 140q engages the elongate member 88 of a five-element support 116 and the elongate member 90 of a five-element support 118.

The five-element supports 116a, 116b, 116c and the five element supports 118a, 118b, 118c are coupled to the top 114 by the second edge couplers 142. In order to construct the polygonal framework of the building structure 110, eighteen of the second edge couplers 142a, 142b, 142c, 142d, 142e, 142f, 142g, 142h, 142i, 142j, 142k, 142l, 142m, 142m, 142n, 142o, 142p, 142q are provided, three second edge couplers 142 being used at each of the six top edges 166a, 166b, 166c, 166d, 166e, 166f. Each edge coupler 142a to 142q engages an elongate member 120 of the top 114 and, in the case of edges 166a, 166c and 166e an elongate member 120 of a five-element support 116 and, in the case of edges 166b, 166d, 166f, an elongate member 120 of a five-element support 118.

The five element supports 118a, 118b, 118c are coupled to the base 112 by the third edge couplers 144. In order to construct the polygonal framework of the building structure 110, six of the third edge couplers 144 are provided, two third edge couplers 144 being used at each of the base edges 168b, 168d and 168f.

The edge couplers 140 are the same as the edge couplers 40; the edge couplers 142 are the same as the edge couplers 42; and the edge couplers 144 are the same as the edge couplers 44 and so details of the construction of the edge couplers 140, 142, 144 may be understood with reference to the description above.

In each of the above embodiments, the building structures 10, 110 can be assembled from a kit of parts comprising a number of common components and without the need for skilled labour or specialist tools in its construction. The building structures 10, 110 can be transported as a kit of parts to a desired location, which may be anywhere in the world, and assembled on site and so does not involve significant cost, time and effort in its transportation and construction. The polyhedral framework provides a rigid and robust structure which can withstand adverse weather or other environment conditions. Moreover, the modular nature of the building structures 10, 110 facilitates the creation of a variety of configurations as and when required simply by adding additional components, subassemblies or by connecting multiple building structures 10, 110 together, again without the requirement for specialist tools or construction expertise.

It should be understood that the embodiment described herein is merely exemplary and that various modifications may be made thereto without departing from the scope of the invention.

For example, the modular polyhedral framework structure according to embodiments of the invention permits a wide variety of additional components to be added or structures to be assembled as required for a particular application or environment.

FIG. 20 shows a perspective view of a building structure 210 according to a third embodiment of the present invention. The building structure 210 has the same basic structure as that described above with respect to building structure 10 and details have not been repeated for brevity. As shown, a doorway D1 has been provided by the addition of six elongate members S1, S2, S3 (two of each are provided). In addition, or alternatively, a number of additional supports S4, S5 have been added, which inter alia, facilitate the addition of tables, beds, storage areas or a raised floor to the structure 210.

FIG. 21 shows a perspective view of a building structure 310 according to a fourth embodiment of the present invention. The building structure 310 has the same basic structure as that described above with respect to building structure 110 and details have not been repeated for brevity. As shown, a doorway D2 has been provided by the addition of six elongate members S1, S2, S3 (two of each are provided). In addition, or alternatively, a number of additional supports S4, S5 have been added. In this embodiment, further additional supports S6, S7, S8. Supports S7, S8 permit a narrow doorway D2 to be provided. Beneficially, this may permit a standard door to be fitted. Supports S8 permit a window W to be fitted.

It will be understood that some or all of the building structure may be covered and the building structure may further any suitable cover, for example but not exclusively a panel, sheet, fabric, or cladding. By way of example only, reference is made to FIGS. 22, 23, 24 and 25.

FIG. 22 shows a perspective view of a building structure 410 according to a fifth embodiment of the present invention. The building structure 410 is similar to the building structure 310 but includes a partial cover in the form of panelling P1. In the illustrated embodiment, the panelling P1 is secured to the supports S4, S5.

FIG. 23 shows a perspective view of a building structure 510 according to a sixth embodiment of the present invention. The building structure 510 is similar to the building structure 310 but includes a partial cover in the form of panelling P1 and also panelling P2.

FIG. 24 shows a perspective view of a building structure 610 according to a seventh embodiment of the present invention. The budding structure 610 is similar to the building structure 310 but includes a full cover in the form of panelling P1, P2, P3. In the illustrated embodiment, the panelling P1, P2, P3 covers the entire structure 610.

FIG. 25 shows a perspective view of a building structure 710 according to an eighth embodiment of the present invention. The building structure 710 is similar to the building structure 610. In this embodiment, additional supports S9 are provided which, together with the panelling P1, P2, P3 provide a raised roof. In one application, the raised roof may provide an observation tower, for example.

FIG. 26 shows a perspective view of a building structure assembly 800 comprising four of building structures 810 according to a ninth embodiment of the present invention. Each of the building structures 310 is similar to the building structure 10 shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 27 shows a perspective view of a building structure assembly 1000 comprising a plurality of building structures 1010 according to a tenth embodiment of the present invention. Each of the building structures 1010 is similar to the building structure 610 shown in FIG. 24. In this embodiment, a central area between the structures 1010 is also covered.





 
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