Title:
MODULAR BUILDING SYSTEMS, COMPONENTS, AND METHODS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Pre-fabricated components such as beams, beam nodes, floor panels, wall panels, and roof panels are useful for constructing buildings such as houses. In some cases, conservation of materials, ease of construction, and superior structural integrity appear.



Inventors:
Godfrey, Nicholas C. (Charleston, SC, US)
Thompson, Taylor (Coeur D'Alene, ID, US)
Green, Brantley M. (Conway, SC, US)
Boyd Jr., William Bradford (Charleston, SC, US)
Application Number:
14/721275
Publication Date:
12/01/2016
Filing Date:
05/26/2015
Assignee:
Fine and Small Homes LLC (North Charleston, SC, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04C3/14
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
A, PHI DIEU TRAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Thrive IP (NORTH CHARLESTON, SC, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A beam useful in modular construction comprising: one or more vertical support members supporting and separating an upper horizontal support member and a lower horizontal support member; and at least one ledger adapted to support a vertical load.

2. The beam of claim 1, wherein the upper horizontal support member further comprises at least one registration element.

3. The beam of claim 2, wherein the at least one registration element is adapted to receive at least one corresponding registration element of a floor panel, wall panel, ceiling panel, or a combination thereof.

4. The beam of claim 2, wherein the beam has a first end and a second end, and the first end comprises a first beam node coupling element.

5. The beam of claim 4, wherein the second end comprises a second beam node coupling element.

6. The beam of claim 1, wherein the beam comprises an engineered wood product.

7. The beam of claim 6, wherein the engineered wood product comprises oriented strand board.

8. The beam of claim 1, further comprising insulation.

9. The beam of claim 2, wherein the upper support member comprises the at least one registration element in sufficient number to receive the corresponding registration elements of at least two wall panels.

10. The beam of claim 2, wherein the upper support member comprises the at least one registration element in sufficient number to receive the corresponding registration elements of at least three wall panels.

11. The beam of claim 2, wherein the upper support member comprises the at least one registration element in sufficient number to receive the corresponding registration elements of at least four wall panels.

12. The beam of claim 1, wherein the at least one ledger adapted to support a vertical load is attached to a first vertical face of the one or more vertical support members.

13. The beam of claim 1, wherein the at least one ledger adapted to support a vertical load comprises two ledgers, wherein the first ledger is attached to a first vertical face of the one or more vertical support members, and the second ledger is attached to a second vertical face of the one or more vertical support members.

14. A method of manufacturing a beam useful in modular construction comprising: constructing a beam comprising one or more vertical support members supporting and separating an upper horizontal support member and a lower horizontal support member; and at least one ledger adapted to support a vertical load, thereby manufacturing the beam.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein constructing the beam comprises: joining together two vertical support members; affixing the upper horizontal support member to the two vertical support members; affixing the lower horizontal support member to the two vertical support members; and affixing a first ledger to one of the two vertical support members.

16. The method of claim 15, further comprising a second ledger to another of the two vertical support members.

17. The method of claim 15, further comprising: before the affixing the upper horizontal support member, creating one or more registration elements in the upper horizontal support member.

18. The method of claim 15, further comprising: creating a beam node coupling element in a first end of the beam.

19. The method of claim 15, further comprising: creating a beam node coupling element in a second end of the beam.

20. The method of claim 15, wherein the beam comprises an engineered wood product.

Description:

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material which is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure, as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.

FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention relates to the construction of buildings from pre-fabricated components.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Currently, most houses in North America are built by hand from raw materials one piece at a time. First, a foundation usually of concrete is framed, poured, and allowed to harden. Then, a wooden frame for the above-ground structure is added by nailing one 2″×4″ stud into place at a time. A roof, exterior wall materials such as bricks and siding, insulation, plumbing, wiring, duct work, and interior drywall surfaces come next. Each piece of wood is measured, cut, and attached on site, as are pieces of many other materials such as weatherproofing, insulation, and the like. This construction by hand requires a relatively enormous amount of skilled manpower employed on the construction site, and leads to a staggering amount of material waste and significant variability in the quality, fit, and finish from one house to the next.

Constructing a house from pre-fabricated components also has been tried. But building by hand remains the norm, because the use of pre-fabricated components raises its own set of difficulties. Transporting and installing bulky components that still require customization by hand have prevented pre-fabrication from replacing building by hand in a broad manner across the house-building industry. In addition, the relatively poor structural integrity and fit and finish of certain pre-fabrication-built houses have hindered wide-spread acceptance by house-buying consumers.

The industry needs an easier way to pre-fabricate components for new houses and buildings, and to assemble those components easily. Those new houses and buildings also need a structural integrity that the public will accept.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Unexpectedly, Applicants have invented modular building systems, components, and methods that address certain needs of industry. In some embodiments of the present invention, modular building components appear that are smaller than pre-fabricated components tried before. That smaller size facilitates transportation and construction, in some cases. In other cases, certain embodiments provide for the introduction of reinforcements that greatly enhance the structural integrity of the completed building far beyond that exhibited by buildings built by hand and required by conventional building codes. In still other cases, pre-fabrication dramatically reduces material waste, and allows for significant scrap recycling that is not feasible for scrap produced on the construction site of a building built by hand. The types of buildings that can be built in accordance with the present invention are not limited. Houses, garages, sheds, commercial buildings, warehouses, portable or quickly-constructed buildings useful in military and disaster relief efforts, office buildings, and multi-family dwelling structures may be mentioned.

Accordingly, some embodiments of the present invention relate to beams useful in modular construction comprising: one or more vertical support members supporting and separating an upper horizontal support member and a lower horizontal support member; and at least one ledger adapted to support a vertical load.

Other embodiments relate to beam nodes useful in modular construction comprising: a lower horizontal support member supporting at least two vertical support members, wherein the at least two vertical support members define at least two beam coupling elements; and at least one registration element.

Still other embodiments relate to floor panels useful in modular construction comprising: at least one rib supporting and separating an upper surface and a lower surface; wherein the upper surface is adapted to serve as a floor surface or floor subsurface; and wherein the at least one rib comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element.

Additional embodiments relate to floor panels useful in modular construction comprising: at least one anchor supporting and separating an upper surface and a lower surface; wherein the upper surface is adapted to serve as a floor surface or floor subsurface; and wherein the at least one anchor comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element. In some embodiments, an anchor comprises a single shear-stabilizing coupling element; in other embodiments, an anchor comprises more than one shear-stabilizing coupling element.

Yet additional embodiments relate to wall panels useful in modular construction comprising: a first main surface; a second main surface; a plurality of edge members that support and separate the first main surface from the second main surface; and at least one shear block receiving port positioned at a first edge of the first main surface; at least one shear block receiving port positioned at a second edge of the first main surface; wherein the first edge and the second edge are positioned on opposing sides of the first main surface.

Still further embodiments relate to corner wall panels useful in modular construction comprising: two main outside surfaces comprising a first main outside surface joining a second main outside surface defining an outside corner; two main inside surfaces comprising a first main inside surface joining a second main inside surface defining an inside corner; a plurality of edge members that support and separate the main outside surfaces from the main inside surfaces; at least one shear block receiving port positioned at an edge of the first main outside surface distal from the outside corner; and at least one shear block receiving port positioned at an edge of the second main outside surface distal from the outside corner.

Additional embodiments relate to roof panels useful in modular construction comprising: at least one rib supporting and separating an upper surface and a lower surface; wherein the upper surface is adapted to serve as a roof surface or roof subsurface; and wherein the at least one rib comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element.

Additional embodiments relate to roof panels useful in modular construction comprising: at least one anchor supporting and separating an upper surface and a lower surface; wherein the upper surface is adapted to serve as a roof surface or roof subsurface; and wherein the at least one anchor comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element.

Other embodiments relate to roof beams useful in modular construction comprising: one or more vertical support members supporting and separating an upper support member and a lower support member; and a first registration element and a second registration element adapted to transfer load to structure below.

Still further embodiments relate to buildings comprising at least one beam as described herein; at least one beam node as described herein; at least one floor panel as described herein; at least one wall panel as described herein; at least one corner wall panel as described herein; at least one roof panel as described herein; at least one gable wall panel as described herein; at least one roof beam as described herein; or a combination of any two or more of the foregoing.

Applicants have also invented methods of manufacturing each of the components described herein, the parts that make up those components, and buildings and parts of buildings that contain those components. For example, certain embodiments provide methods of constructing a building, comprising:

(a) installing a plurality of helical piles in ground to establish a subfoundation for the building;
(b) affixing a plurality of beams to the helical piles, wherein the beams comprise one or more vertical support members supporting and separating an upper horizontal support member and a lower horizontal support member; and at least one ledger adapted to support a vertical load, wherein at least some of the beams are coupled to other beams in the plurality of beams, to form a foundation for the building;
(c) affixing a plurality of floor panels to the foundation, wherein the floor panels comprise at least one rib supporting and separating an upper surface and a lower surface; wherein the upper surface is adapted to serve as a floor surface or subsurface; and wherein the at least one rib comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element, wherein at least some of the floor panels are coupled to adjoining floor panels in the plurality via the at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element, to form a floor of the building;
(d) affixing a plurality of wall panels to the foundation, wherein the wall panels comprise a first main surface; a second main surface; a plurality of edge members that support and separate the first main surface from the second main surface; and at least one shear block receiving port positioned at a first edge of the first main surface; at least one shear block receiving port positioned at a second edge of the first main surface; wherein the first edge and the second edge are positioned on opposing sides of the first main surface; wherein at least some of the wall panels engage registration elements of at least some of the beams of the foundation, and transfer vertical load to at least some of the ledgers of the beams of the foundation;
(e) inserting a plurality of shear blocks into at least some of the shear block receiving ports of adjacent wall panels, thereby stabilizing the wall panels, and thereby forming a wall of the building;
(f) affixing a plurality of roof panels and a plurality of roof beams to the wall, wherein the roof panels comprise at least one rib supporting and separating an upper surface and
a lower surface; wherein the upper surface is adapted to serve as a roof surface or roof subsurface;
wherein the roof beams comprise
one or more vertical support members supporting and separating
an upper support member and
a lower support member; and
a first registration element and a second registration element adapted to transfer load to structure below, wherein the structure below comprises the wall; and
affixing at least one upper surface to at least one upper support member; and wherein the at least one rib comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element; wherein at least some of the roof panels are coupled to adjoining roof panels in the plurality of roof panels via the at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element, to form a roof of the building,
thereby constructing the building.

Yet additional embodiments relate to methods of constructing a floor of a building comprising:

(b) affixing to a subfoundation a plurality of beams, wherein the beams comprise one or more vertical support members supporting and separating an upper horizontal support member and a lower horizontal support member; and at least one ledger adapted to support a vertical load, wherein at least some of the beams are coupled to other beams in the plurality of beams, to form a foundation for the building;
(c) affixing a plurality of floor panels to the foundation, wherein the floor panels comprise at least one rib supporting and separating an upper surface and a lower surface; wherein the upper surface is adapted to serve as a floor surface or floor subsurface; and wherein the at least one rib comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element, wherein at least some of the floor panels are coupled to adjoining floor panels in the plurality of floor panels via the at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element, to form a floor of the building.

Some embodiments provide methods of constructing a wall of a building, the method comprising:

(d) affixing a plurality of wall panels to a foundation of the building, wherein the wall panels comprise a first main surface; a second main surface; a plurality of edge members that support and separate the first main surface from the second main surface; and at least one shear block receiving port positioned at a first edge of the first main surface; at least one shear block receiving port positioned at a second edge of the first main surface; wherein the first edge and the second edge are positioned on opposing sides of the first main surface; and
(e) inserting a plurality of shear blocks into at least some of the shear block receiving ports of adjacent wall panels, thereby stabilizing the wall panels, and thereby forming a wall of the building.

Other embodiments relate to methods of constructing a roof of a building, comprising:

(f) affixing a plurality of roof panels and a plurality of roof beams to a wall of the building, wherein the roof panels comprise at least one rib supporting and separating an upper surface and
a lower surface; wherein the upper surface is adapted to serve as a roof surface or roof subsurface; and wherein the at least one rib comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element;
wherein the roof beams comprise one or more vertical support members supporting and separating an upper support member and a lower support member; and a first registration element and a second registration element adapted to transfer load to structure below, wherein the structure below comprises the wall;
affixing at least one upper surface to at least one upper support member; wherein at least some of the roof panels are coupled to adjoining roof panels in the plurality via the at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element, to construct the roof of the building.

Certain additional embodiments provide methods of manufacturing a beam useful in modular construction comprising:

constructing a beam comprising one or more vertical support members supporting and separating an upper horizontal support member and a lower horizontal support member; and at least one ledger adapted to support a vertical load, thereby manufacturing the beam.

Still other embodiments relate to methods of manufacturing a floor panel useful in modular construction, comprising:

constructing a floor panel comprising at least one rib supporting and separating an upper surface and a lower surface; wherein the upper surface is adapted to serve as a floor surface or subsurface; and wherein the at least one rib comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element.

Yet other embodiments provide methods of manufacturing a wall panel useful in modular construction, comprising:

constructing a wall panel comprising a first main surface; a second main surface; a plurality of edge members that support and separate the first main surface from the second main surface; and at least one shear block receiving port positioned at a first edge of the first main surface; at least one shear block receiving port positioned at a second edge of the first main surface; wherein the first edge and the second edge are positioned on opposing sides of the first main surface, thereby manufacturing the wall panel.

Further embodiments relate to methods of manufacturing a roof panel useful in modular construction, comprising:

constructing a roof panel comprising at least one rib supporting and separating an upper surface and a lower surface; wherein the upper surface is adapted to serve as a roof surface or subsurface; and wherein the at least one rib comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element, thereby manufacturing the roof panel.

While the disclosure provides certain specific embodiments, the invention is not limited to those embodiments. A person of ordinary skill will appreciate from the description herein that modifications can be made to the described embodiments and therefore that the specification is broader in scope than the described embodiments. All examples are therefore non-limiting.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention comprising a partially-constructed house including several inventive components.

FIG. 2 depicts a perspective view of another embodiment comprising beams and beam nodes.

FIG. 3 depicts a perspective exploded view of the detail of beams 102, 103 engaging beam node 503.

FIGS. 4 and 5 depict alternating perspective views of wall panels 302, 303 engaging beam 103 and floor panel 202.

FIGS. 6 and 7 depicts a partially-exploded perspective view of floor panels, wall panels, a beam, and a roof panel coming together.

FIG. 8 depicts a perspective view of another embodiment of wall panels, gable wall panels, and floor panels coming together.

FIG. 9 depicts a perspective view of another embodiment of wall panels, a gable wall panel, roof panels, and floor panels coming together.

FIGS. 10-13 depict various views of another embodiment, namely, a beam 103.

FIGS. 14-17 depict two further embodiments, namely, a linear two-way beam node 502, and a 90-degree two-way beam node 509.

FIGS. 18-19 depict various views of a further embodiment, namely, a three-way beam node 503.

FIGS. 20-26 depict several views of a further embodiment, floor panel 208.

FIGS. 27-31 depict several views of a further embodiment, wall panel 307.

FIGS. 32-36 depict several views of a further embodiment, wall panel 621 comprising window opening 629.

FIGS. 37-38 depict several views of another embodiment, wall panel 670 comprising utility access ports.

FIGS. 39-40 depict a perspective view of an additional embodiment, corner wall panel 612 in opaque (FIG. 39) and wireframe (FIG. 40) formats.

FIGS. 41-43 depict several views of one embodiment, wall panel 305 comprising ceiling beam registration element 385.

FIG. 44 depicts a perspective view of another embodiment, gable wall panel 641.

FIGS. 45-48 depict several views of an additional embodiment, roof panel 404.

FIGS. 49-52 depict several views of a further embodiment, fascia 471.

FIGS. 53-54 depict to views of a further embodiment, roof panel 412.

FIG. 55 depicts another embodiment relating to roof beams, ceiling beam, and roof posts in a perspective, exploded view.

FIG. 56 depicts the embodiment of FIG. 55 as assembled.

FIG. 57 depicts a perspective view from above of another embodiment, namely, a plurality of beams (such as 101, 102,) connected by beam nodes (such as 502) attached to helical piles (such as 1017, 1024).

FIG. 58 depicts a perspective view from below of a portion of the embodiment shown in FIG. 57. In addition, floor panels (such as 201, 209, 210) have been added.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention that may be embodied in various forms. The figures are not necessarily to scale, and some features may be exaggerated to show details of particular components. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention.

Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as is commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this disclosure belongs. In the event that there is a plurality of definitions for a term herein, those in this section prevail unless stated otherwise.

Where ever the phrase “for example,” “such as,” “including” and the like are used herein, the phrase “and without limitation” is understood to follow unless explicitly stated otherwise. Similarly “an example,” “exemplary” and the like are understood to be non-limiting.

The term “substantially” allows for deviations from the descriptor that don't negatively impact the intended purpose. Descriptive terms are understood to be modified by the term “substantially” even if the word “substantially” is not explicitly recited.

The term “about” when used in connection with a numerical value refers to the actual given value, and to the approximation to such given value that would reasonably be inferred by one of ordinary skill in the art, including approximations due to the experimental and or measurement conditions for such given value.

The terms “comprising” and “including” and “having” and “involving” (and similarly “comprises”, “includes,” “has,” and “involves”) and the like are used interchangeably and have the same meaning. Specifically, each of the terms is defined consistent with the common United States patent law definition of “comprising” and is therefore interpreted to be an open term meaning “at least the following,” and is also interpreted not to exclude additional features, limitations, aspects, etc. Thus, for example, “a device having components a, b, and c” means that the device includes at least components a, b and c. Similarly, the phrase: “a method involving steps a, b, and c” means that the method includes at least steps a, b, and c.

Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, throughout the description and the claims, the words “comprise”, “comprising”, and the like are to be construed in an inclusive sense as opposed to an exclusive or exhaustive sense; that is to say, in the sense of “including, but not limited to”.

Any discussion of the prior art throughout the specification should in no way be considered as an admission that such prior art is widely known or forms part of common general knowledge in the field.

It is an object of the present invention to overcome or ameliorate at least one of the disadvantages of the prior art, or to provide a useful alternative.

The various components of the present invention can comprise any suitable materials. Wood, wood products such as plywood and other engineered wood products such as oriented strand board, plastic, metal, cement, and composite materials such as combinations of any of the foregoing can be suitable in one or more instances. For example, oriented strand board such as those comprising alternating layers of wood particles oriented in alternating perpendicular planes and held together with a suitable amount of polymer or adhesive, can be used in some embodiments. In addition, certain instances of the present invention employ one or more types of insulation. Any suitable insulation can be used. For example, in some cases the insulation is chosen from open cell foams, closed cell foams, fibers, pellets, and combinations thereof. The insulation can be in any suitable form as well, such as, for example, nonwoven fibers, woven fibers, rolls or batts of fiber insulation such as familiar fiber glass insulation, injectable foams, pellets, nuggets, and the like can be used. Individual pieces such as pellets or nuggets can be bound or free, or a combination thereof. Binding pellets of insulation together can be accomplished by any suitable methods. Thermal treatments, adhesives, and combinations thereof may be mentioned. Water-impermeable materials also appear in further embodiments of the present invention. Any suitable water-impermeable material can be used. In some cases, a thin film of polymer such as polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride can be glued to a surface. In other cases, a polymer is sprayed, painted on, polymerized, or otherwise applied to or formed on a surface to impart water impermeability to that surface.

The various components of the present invention can be manufactured according to any suitable method. For example, the various parts of a given component can be cut or formed into their desired shape according to any suitable method. For wood-containing parts, saws, lasers, drills, routers, sanders, and the like can be directed by hand, by computer, or by a combination thereof. Plastic or metal parts can be extruded, cut, molded, milled, or otherwise shaped as desired. In addition, the various parts can be connected to each other according to any suitable means. For example, a piece of oriented strand board can be connected to another piece of oriented strand board with screws, nails, adhesive, or a combination thereof. In some cases, the various parts are engineered to fit together like the pieces of a puzzle. Any suitable technique of wood joinery can be used. Structures such as finger joints, dovetail joints, tongue and groove joints, tongue and fork joints, dowel joints, miter joints of any suitable angle, and the like can be employed.

The various components of the present invention can have any suitable dimensions. For example, in some cases, a wall panel is about 2′ wide by about 6″ thick by about 8′ tall. Without wishing to be bound by theory, it is believed that certain embodiments of the present invention exhibit improved structural integrity over modular components reported before, because of the smaller size of some of the embodiments of the present invention. Before, the apparent goal was to minimize installation effort by making structural insulated panels as large as possible. Those large panels were unwieldy to install, and structural support was sacrificed to reduce weight in some instances. Certain embodiments of the present invention provide handy installation by using smaller-dimensioned components, yet structural integrity is not sacrificed, but rather enhanced, by the dimensions of those certain embodiments. Thus, some cases provide a beam no longer than about 5 feet, no longer than about 6 feet, no longer than about 7 feet, no longer than about 8 feet, longer than about 9 feet, no longer than about 10 feet, no longer than about 15 feet, or no longer than about 20 feet. Other cases provide a wall panel, floor panel, or roof panel no wider than about 1 foot, no wider than about 2 feet, no wider than about 3 feet, no wider than about 4 feet, no wider than about 5 feet, or no wider than about 10 feet.

Various embodiments of the present invention can be used in combination with other embodiments of the present invention. For example, floor beams and beam nodes such as those described herein can be used with floor panels such as those described herein. Or, certain embodiments of the present invention can be used with suitable non-inventive materials and construction techniques. For example, inventive floor beams and beam nodes can be deployed to create a foundation, and then conventional flooring techniques and materials can be applied. In another example, inventive wall panels and ceiling panels can be combined with conventional roof infrastructure such as the ceiling beams (451, 452) seen in FIG. 1.

Once the various components are manufactured or installed, any suitable finishing material or materials can be added. For example, once one or more wall panels have been installed, drywall and trim can be added to the interior side of the wall panels, while brick, vinyl, aluminum, wood-cement composite such as HardiPlank™, and combinations thereof can be added to the exterior side of the wall panels. Any suitable utilities can be added, such as plumbing for hot and cold water and wastewater and sewage removal; electrical power cables for illumination, fixtures such as fans and appliances, and electrical outlets; gas lines for heating and cooking, and duct work for air handling as well as heating and cooling appliances. Windows, doors, garage doors, fireplaces, steps, stairs, closets, pantries, attic access doors, and the like can be added and finished as needed. Cabinets, counters, sinks, bathtubs, shower stalls, toilets, and the like can be added in any suitable fashion, such as, for example according to known techniques. One advantage of some embodiments of the present invention is that they are made from wood or engineered wood products: that allows the facile attachment of finishing materials such as drywall, conventional flooring such as, for example hardwood, engineered hardwood, and polymer flooring, according to conventional techniques.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further embodiments of the present invention can be described by reference to the accompanying drawings, which are not necessarily to scale. In addition, not every element is labeled, so the figures can be viewed easily. Elements in different figures having the same label are intended to be the same element in each such figure. FIG. 1 shows, in one embodiment of the invention, the partial construction of house 10. Beams, such as beam 101, beam 102 connected to each other by a beam node 502, and beam 106 connected to beam 107 by beam node 507, rest on a subfoundation (not shown) to form a foundation. Any suitable subfoundation can be employed, such as, for example cinderblocks, poured cement, slab, crawlspace, a grid of helical piles such as depicted in FIG. 57, or a combination thereof. Floor panels, such as floor panel 208, are supported by and attached to beams such as beam 101 and beam 105. The beam 107 supports wall panel 621 having a window opening therein, wall panel 301, and corner wall panel 611. Shear blocks 41b and 41c are positioned between wall panel 301 and corner wall panel 611. Without wishing to be limited by theory, it is believed that shear blocks such as shear blocks 41b and 41c impart superior structural integrity to house 10. Floor panel 202 supports wall panel 302. Floor panel 202 partially supports wall panel 622 having a window opening therein. Floor panel 202 partially supports wall panel 631 having a door opening therein. The wall panel 631 having a door opening therein partially supports ceiling beam 451, which in turn supports ceiling posts 455, 456, and roof beam 462. Those components in turn support numerous roof panels. Wall panel 621 partially supports ceiling beam 452 and roof beam 461. Roof beam 461 partially supports roof panels 401, 402. Roof panels 401, 402 engage, connect to, and support each other via shear-stabilizing coupling elements 45a, 45b. Without wishing to be bound by theory, it is believed that shear-stabilizing coupling elements such as shear-stabilizing coupling elements 45a and 45b impart superior structural integrity to house 10. Also visible is fascia 471, which connects and supports roof panels 401, 402. Gable wall panel 641 is visible proximal to fascia 471 and roof panel 411. As mentioned before, the various components can be constructed, on the one hand, and connected together, on the other hand, through any suitable means. In addition to the coupling provided by shear-stabilizing coupling elements (for example, 45a, 45b) and shear blocks (for example, 41b, 41c), nails, screws, bolts, adhesive, wood joinery techniques, and combinations thereof can be employed.

FIG. 2 provides a perspective view, partially exploded, of several beams according to an embodiment of the invention, position to engage several beam nodes. Beam node 505 is positioned to align and engage beam 105 to beam 104. Beam node 504 is positioned to engage beam 104 to beam 103 at a 90° angle. Beam node 503 is positioned to engage beam 102 to beam 103 at a 90° angle. Beam node 502 is positioned to align and engage beam 102 with beam 101. Beam node 501 is positioned to align and engage beam 101 with another beam (not shown). One end of beam 101 comprises a beam node coupling element 121, position to engage beam coupling element 571 of beam node 502. Similarly, one end of beam 102 comprises a beam node coupling element 123, position to engage beam coupling element 572 of beam node 502. The arrow indicates the direction of movement of the beams to engage the beam nodes.

FIG. 3 shows in detail how beam 102 and beam 103 engage beam node 503. Beam 102 comprises a beam coupling element that comprises tongue 132a and groove 142a, that slidingly engage beam coupling element 573 of beam node 503. Once engaged, a screw or bolt (not shown) can secure hole 543a to hole 192a. Beam 103 comprises a beam coupling element that comprises tongue 133b and groove 143b, that slidingly engage beam coupling element 574 of beam node 503.

FIGS. 4 and 5 show perspective views from outside (FIG. 4) and inside (FIG. 5) house 10. Wall panel 302 having first main surface 312 is coupled to beam 103. Wall panel 302 further comprises side member extension 352a that is adapted to transfer load to ledger 115 of beam 103. Wall panel 302 also has a shear block receiving port 392a positioned at a first edge of the first main surface 312, and another shear block receiving port 392e positioned at a second edge of the first main surface 312. Wall panel 303 comprises a first main surface 313 that has a shear block receiving port 393a positioned at a first edge of its first main surface 313, and another shear block receiving port 393d positioned at a second edge of its first main surface 313. When wall panel 303 is placed in its final position alongside panel 302, shear block receiving port 393d will form with shear block receiving port 392a to form a shear block receiving slot of dimensions adequate to receive a shear block (not shown). Wall panel 302 also comprises second main surface 322, roof registration tab 346, second side member 351, and floor attachment element 362. Nails, bolts, screws, adhesive, and combinations thereof can be used to secure floor attachment element 362 to the upper surface of floor panel 202. Wall panel 303 further comprises first side member 333 proximal to the first edge of the first main surface 313, and a second main surface 323 facing the interior of house 10. The first side member 333 comprises roof registration tab 344, side member extension 353a, and floor registration tab 343. Side member extension 353a will pass through registration slot 152b on the upper horizontal support member of beam 103 to transfer load to ledger 115. Similarly, side member extension 352a has passed through registration slot 155b on the upper horizontal support member of beam 103 to transfer load to ledger 115. Beam 103 coupled to beam node 503 also support floor panel 202, which can be attached to beam 103 and beam node 503 in any suitable manner. Floor panel 202 also comprises shear-stabilizing coupling element 211, adapted to engage another floor panel (not shown). As illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5, registration elements can be any suitable registration element, such as registration tabs (for example, registration tab 343), registration slots (for example, registration slots 152b, 155b, and 252), and side member extensions (for example, side member extensions 352a, 353a). Registration slot 155b is adapted to receive both the side member extension 352a of wall panel 302 and the side member extension 353b of wall panel 303. In so doing, wall panel 302 and wall panel 303 are held together in support of each other. Without wishing to be bound by theory, it is believed that allowing one registration slot to receive 2 registration tabs from adjoining panels contribute to the improved structural integrity observed in some embodiments of the present invention. Floor panel 202 comprises registration slots such as slot 252 in sufficient number to receive the corresponding registration elements of up to four wall panels, two wall panels on either side of wall panels 302, 303.

FIGS. 6 and 7 show how wall panels 305, 306, and 307, together with corner wall panel 612 fit together with floor panels 203 and 204 and roof panel 412. The arrow in FIG. 6 shows how roof panel 412 would fit onto wall panels 305, 306, 307, and corner wall panel 612. Roof panel 412 has wall engagement element 415 that comprises a plurality of wall registration elements such as wall registration tabs 421 and 422, adapted to engage an upper edge of those wall panels. Shear-stabilizing coupling element 432c appears on roof panel 412, adapted to engage an adjacent roof panel (not shown). Roof registration tabs such as roof registration tabs 347, 348 on wall panel 305, and roof registration tab 349 on corner wall panel 612, are adapted to engage with wall engagement member 415. Wall panel 305 comprises a ceiling beam registration element 385, that can engage a ceiling beam (not shown). Ceiling beam registration element 385 forms part of the first side member 335 of wall panel 305, which also has second main surface 325 facing the interior of a building. Floor attachment element 365 help secure to floor panel 203 and ultimately to beam 108 coupled to beam node 508. Floor panel 203 is coupled to floor panel 204 via shear-stabilizing coupling elements 213a, 213b. Floor panel 204 comprises shear-stabilizing coupling elements 214a, 214c, adapted to couple to an adjacent floor panel (not shown). The upper surface of the floor panel 204 comprises wall registration slot 254, adapted to receive a floor registration tab (not shown) of a wall panel (also not shown) adjacent to corner wall panel 612. Floor attachment element 364b helps secure corner wall panel 612 to floor panel 203. Edge member 336 of wall panel 612 can be seen, as can shear block receiving port 394c of corner wall panel 612.

The arrow in FIG. 7 shows how wall panel 307 would slidingly engage wall registration slot 253 of the upper surface of floor panel 203 and registration slot 158 of the upper horizontal support member of beam 108. Registration tab 345a near the bottom of first side member 337a of wall panel 307 would pass through wall registration slot 253 and registration slot 158. Wall registration slot 255 also appears on the upper surface of floor panel 203. The beam 108 comprises a vertical support member 161 to which is affixed ledger 116. Wall panel 306 has a side member extension 356 that transfers load to ledger 116. The shear block receiving ports of the several wall panels aligned in final position to form shear block receiving slots. For example, wall panels 305 and 306 comprise shear block receiving ports that form shear block receiving slots 393a, 393b, 393c. Shear block receiving port 393a is adapted to receive shear block 22a; shear block receiving port 393b is adapted to receive shear block 22b; and shear block receiving port 393c is adapted to receive shear block 22c.

Shear blocks such as shear block 22a can be made out of any suitable material, such as wood, engineered wood products, metal, stone, plastic, and composite materials such as wood-cement composites. Moreover, shear blocks such as shear block 22a can be placed in shear block receiving slots such as shear block receiving slot 393a through any suitable means. For example, a shear block comprising a 3″×3″×1½″ block of wood or oriented strand board can be placed in a shear block receiving slot manually, and optionally with the assistance of a mallet or hammer. Friction may suffice to hold a shear block in a shear block receiving slot. Or, some instances allow for the use of adhesive, wood putty, or one or more nails or screws, or combinations thereof, to ensure the shear block remains within the shear block receiving slot. Without wishing to be bound by theory, it is believed that the shear blocks such as shear blocks 22a, 22b, 22c impart superior structural integrity to walls such as the wall comprising wall panels 305, 306.

FIG. 8 shows how, in a further embodiment, wall panels 308, 309, 310 fit together with floor panels 201, 205, 206 and gable wall panels 651a, 651b. The arrow illustrates the direction in which gable wall panels 651a, 651b would move to engage and attach to wall panels 308, 309, 310. Similar to previously-described embodiments, wall panel 308 has a first side member 338 comprising a registration tab 342 that would pass through registration slot 256 on the upper surface of the floor panel 201 to engage a registration element of a beam (not shown). Shear block receiving ports on wall panels 308, 309, and 310 align to form shear block receiving slots 394b, 395b, which are adapted to receive shear blocks (not shown). Floor panel 201 is connected to floor panel 205 via shear-stabilizing coupling elements 212a, 212b. Gable coupling boxes 661a, 661b, and 651c engage and couple to the upper edges of wall panels 308, 309, and 310, respectively. Gable wall panel 651a can then slidingly engage gable coupling boxes 661, 661, 661, which are optionally secured to gable wall panel 651a and wall panels 308, 309, 310 with any suitable means such as screws, nails, bolts, adhesive, and combinations thereof. Gable coupling boxes 662a, 662b, 662c in turn engage and couple to the upper edge of gable box 651a, whereupon gable wall panel 651b can slidably engage. Again attachment is optionally provided by any suitable means. Gable wall panel 651b has registration tabs 655a, 655b, adapted to engage corresponding registration slots on either a further gable wall panel (not shown) or a wall engagement member of a roof panel (not shown).

FIG. 8 depicts an embodiment corresponding to that shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, except that wall panel 305 in FIGS. 6 and 7 is replaced by wall panel 622. As such, the embodiment shown in FIG. 9 depicts a portion of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. Wall panels 306, 307, corner wall panel 612, floor panels 203, 204, roof panel 412, and beam node 508 appear as in FIGS. 6 and 7. Floor panel 204 is coupled to floor panel 207 via shear-stabilizing coupling element 214a; shear-stabilizing coupling element 215b emerges from an edge of the floor panel 207 ready to engage an adjacent floor panel (not shown).

Wall panel 622 comprises window opening 628 adapted to receive any suitable window frame. The window frame can be custom-built, or pre-fabricated, or a combination thereof. The window frame can be any suitable size, and additional material can be added to secure the window frame in window opening 628. Floor attachment element 363 help secure wall panel 622 to the upper surface 222 of the floor panel 203, via any suitable attachment means. Wall panel 622 comprises edge member 339 that further comprises registration tab 341 and side member extension 351 adapted to transfer load to a ledger of a beam (not shown). Wall panel 622 also comprises a ceiling beam registration slot 386, which in FIG. 1 receives and supports ceiling beam 452. The corner wall panel 612 adjoins wall panel 313, which in turn adjoins wall panel 314. Wall panels 313, 314 engage and rest upon floor panels 204, 207, respectively, and together with corner wall panel 612, couple to and support gable wall panel 642.

The vertical arrow in FIG. 9 shows the relative movement of roof panels 403, 412, and 404 to engage wall panels 622, 306, 307, corner wall panel 612, and gable wall panel 642. Wall panel 412 can next to the upper edge of those wall panels via wall engagement element 415, as explained above. Roof panel 403 engages roof panel 412 via shear-stabilizing coupling element 432a, while roof panel 412 engages roof panel 404 via shear-stabilizing coupling element 433a. Roof panel 404 further comprises shear-stabilizing coupling element 434a and wall registration element 423, which is adapted to engage the top edge of gable wall panel 642. The diagonal arrow in FIG. 9 shows the relevant movement of fascia 472 to engage and connect to roof panels 403, 412, and 404.

A. Beams and Beam Nodes

As stated above, some embodiments of the present invention relate to beams useful in modular construction comprising: one or more vertical support members supporting and separating an upper horizontal support member and a lower horizontal support member; and at least one ledger adapted to support a vertical load. As can be appreciated, “upper,” “lower,” “horizontal,” and “vertical” as used throughout this application are purely relative terms to aid the understanding of the invention, and are not to be construed strictly. In some instances, a beam can be rotated along its main axis by 90°, and its “vertical” support members are now horizontal.

FIGS. 10-13 relate to a beam 103 useful in modular construction. FIG. 10 provides a perspective view; FIG. 11 provides a right side elevation view; FIG. 12 provides an end-on elevation view; FIG. 13 provides a top-down plan view. The right side elevation view in FIG. 11 is identical to the left side elevation view; the end on view of FIG. 12 is identical to the view from the other end. Those figures depict a beam 103 useful in modular construction comprising: a first vertical support member 162 and a second vertical support member 163 that together support and separate an upper horizontal support member 173 and a lower horizontal support member 174. A first ledger 115 adapted to support a vertical load is affixed to a vertical face of the first vertical support member 162. A second ledger 117 adapted to support a vertical load is affixed to a vertical face of the second vertical support member 163. The beam 103 has a first end 181 and a second end 182. first end 181 comprises a beam node coupling element that comprises tongue 134b and groove 144b. Groove 144b further comprises holes 193a, 193b that are adapted to each receive a screw, bolt, nail, rivet, or other suitable fastener to secure the first end 181 to the corresponding structure of a beam coupling element on a beam node (not shown). Second end 182 comprises a beam node coupling element that comprises tongue 133b and groove 143b. Groove 143b further comprises holes 194a, 194b that are adapted to each receive a screw, bolt, nail, rivet, or other suitable fastener to secure the second end 182 to the corresponding structure of a beam coupling element on a beam node (not shown—see FIG. 3). Registration elements that are registration slots 152a, 152b, 155a, 155b, 159a have been cut into upper vertical support member 173, and are adapted to receive registration tabs and side member extensions of up to four wall panels (not shown—see, for example, FIG. 7). Beam 103 is suitable for use in any useful orientation, such as, horizontal, vertical, or at a diagonal, such as to support a roof. Accordingly, registration slots 152a, 152b, 155a, 155b, 159a are adapted to receive at least one corresponding registration element of a floor panel, wall panel, ceiling panel, or a combination thereof. Beam 103 can be made of any suitable material. In some cases, beam 103 comprises an engineered wood product. In further cases, the engineered wood product comprises oriented strand board. Beam 103, in still further cases, can comprise insulation. For example, before or after installation, beam 103 can receive insulation in any suitable form adhered to one or more surfaces of the beam 103 by any suitable means, such as, for example, adhesive, staples, tacks, nails, and combinations thereof. In some instances, the insulation comprises a spray-on foam insulation. Any suitable number of registration elements can appear on beam 103. Further instances provide registration elements in sufficient number to receive the corresponding registration elements of at least two wall panels, of at least three wall panels, or of at least four wall panels.

FIGS. 14-19 depict several embodiments of beam nodes in various views. FIG. 14 provides a perspective view of linear two-way beam node 502. FIG. 15 provides a perspective view of a 90-degree two-way beam node 509. FIG. 16 provides a right side elevation view of beam node 509 as seen from the direction of arrow C in FIG. 15. FIG. 17 provides a top-down plan view of beam node 509 as seen from the direction of arrow A in FIG. 15. FIG. 18 provides a perspective view of a three-way beam node 503, while FIG. 19 shows a top-down plan view of beam node 503, as seen from the direction of arrow A in FIG. 18.

In FIG. 14, beam node 502 has a lower horizontal support member 512 that supports first vertical support member 515a and second vertical support member 515b. Vertical support members 515a, 515b define a first beam coupling element 571 and a second beam coupling element 572. The second beam coupling element comprises tongs 522a, 522b, that are adapted to fit into a corresponding groove of a beam node coupling element of a beam (not shown). As can be appreciated from FIG. 14, first beam coupling element 571 is adapted to couple a first beam (not shown) in line with a second beam (also not shown) coupled to the second beam coupling element 572. First beam coupling element 571 also includes holes 542a, 542b that allow a bolt or other suitable connector to secure beam node 502 to a beam (not shown). Beam node 502 further comprises two substantially parallel vertical supports 555a, 555b separated by a spacer element 563, thereby defining two registration elements that are two registration element receivers 532a, 532b between the two substantially parallel vertical supports 555a, 555b. The registration element receivers 532a, 532b are adapted to receive the corresponding registration tabs and side member extensions of one or two wall panels (not shown). So, for example, looking at FIG. 1, wall panel 621 and its beam node registration tab and side member extension (not clearly seen in FIG. 1) would share registration element receivers of beam node 507 with an adjacent wall panel (not shown in FIG. 1). By sharing registration element receivers, wall panels are stably connected and supported, in some embodiments of the present invention. Without wishing to be bound by theory, it is believed that the connection and support provided when two registration tabs share the same registration slot contribute to the improved structural integrity exhibited by some embodiments of the present invention.

FIGS. 15-17 show beam node 509 wherein first beam coupling element 575 is adapted to couple a first beam (not shown) perpendicular to a second beam (not shown) coupled to the second beam coupling element 576. Lower horizontal support member 513 supports first vertical support member 516a, second vertical support member 516b, third vertical support member 517a and fourth vertical support member 517b. first beam coupling element 575 comprises tongue 523b that is adapted to slidingly engage a corresponding groove of a beam node coupling element of a beam (not shown). second beam coupling element 576 comprises tongue 524b that is adapted to slidingly engage a corresponding groove of a beam node coupling element of a beam (not shown). first beam coupling element 575 further comprises holes 549a, 549b each adapted to receive a bolt or other connector to secure corresponding holes on a beam node coupling element of a beam (not shown). Second beam coupling element 576 further comprises holes 549c, 549d each adapted to receive a bolt or other connector to secure corresponding holes on a beam node coupling element of a beam (not shown). The beam node 509 further comprises two substantially parallel vertical supports 556a, 556b separated by a spacer element 564, thereby defining two registration element receivers 533a, 533b between vertical supports 556a, 556b. Registration element receivers 533a, 533b are adapted to receive the corresponding registration elements of a corner wall panel.

FIGS. 18 and 19 show beam node 503 comprising a first beam coupling element 574, a second beam coupling element 577, and a third beam coupling element 573. first beam coupling element 574 is adapted to couple a first beam (not shown) in line with a second beam (not shown) coupled to the second beam coupling element 577. third beam coupling element 573 is adapted to couple a third beam (not shown) perpendicular to the first beam and second beam. Lower horizontal support member 514 supports vertical support members 518a, 518b and vertical support members 519a, 519b. first beam coupling element 574 comprises tongue 525b that is adapted to slidingly engage a corresponding groove on a beam node coupling element of a first beam (not shown). Second beam coupling element 577 comprises tongue 527b that is adapted to slidingly engage a corresponding groove on a beam node coupling element of a second beam (not shown). Third beam coupling element 573 comprises tongue 526a that is adapted to slidingly engage a corresponding groove on a beam node coupling element of a third beam (not shown). Third beam coupling element 573 further comprises holes 543a, 543b that are adapted to receive a bolt or other suitable connector to secure holes on a corresponding beam node coupling element on the third beam. A registration element comprising two substantially parallel vertical supports 557a, 557b separated by a spacer element 565 to define two registration element receivers 534a, 534b between the two vertical supports 557a, 557b.

B. Floor Panels

FIGS. 20-26 depict one embodiment of the floor panel 208 in several views. FIGS. 20-22 depict floor panel 208 in a perspective view. FIG. 20 provides opaque surfaces. FIG. 21 shows a wireframe view of an embodiment comprising anchors 224a-224f, while FIG. 22 shows a wireframe view of an alternative embodiment comprising ribs 224g-224i. FIG. 23 shows an end-on elevation view from the direction of arrow D in FIG. 20. The end-on elevation view from the other end is a mirror image of FIG. 23. FIG. 24 is a left side elevation view from the direction of arrow B of FIG. 20. FIG. 25 is a bottom-up plan view from the direction of arrow C in FIG. 20. FIG. 26 is a top-down plan view from the direction of arrow A in FIG. 20.

FIGS. 20 and 22-26 depict floor panel 208 comprising ribs 224g, 224h, and 224i supporting and separating an upper surface 228 from the lower surface 229. Rib 224g comprises shear-stabilizing coupling elements 218a, 218d that are adapted to engage the ribs or anchors of adjacent floor panels. Shear-stabilizing coupling elements 218a and 218d emerge from a first edge and a second edge on opposite sides of floor panel 208. Similarly, rib 224h comprises shear-stabilizing coupling elements 218b and 218e. Rib 224i comprises shear-stabilizing coupling elements 218c and 218f. Through coupling port 268d, rib 224g is adapted to receive and engage a shear-stabilizing coupling element from another floor panel (not shown). Similarly, through coupling port 268e, rib 224h is adapted to receive and engage a shear-stabilizing coupling element from another floor panel (not shown). And, through coupling ports 268c and 268f, rib 224i is adapted to receive and engage shear-stabilizing coupling elements from other floor panels (not shown).

Alternatively, FIGS. 20-21 and 23-26 depict floor panel 208 comprising anchors 224b, 224c, and 224f supporting and separating an upper surface 228 from lower surface 229. Anchor 224b comprises shear-stabilizing coupling element 218b. Anchor 224c comprises shear-stabilizing coupling element 218c. Anchor 224f comprises shear-stabilizing coupling element 218f. Through coupling port 268b, anchor 224b is adapted to receive and engage a shear-stabilizing coupling element from another floor panel (not shown). Similarly, through coupling port 268f, anchor 224f is adapted to receive and engage a shear-stabilizing coupling element from another floor panel (not shown).

In FIGS. 20-26, floor panel 208 comprises a plurality of edge members 238a, 238b, 248a, and 248b that partially enclose and define an interior volume with the upper surface 228 and the lower surface 229. Upper surface 228 is adapted to serve as a floor surface or floor subsurface. Optionally, the floor panel 208 comprises insulation, affixed to any surface, within the interior volume, or a combination thereof. Any suitable insulation can be used. In some cases, the insulation is of a type that is suitable to be blown or injected through insulation injection ports 298a, 298b that are found in edge members 248a, 248b, respectively. Shear-stabilizing coupling element 218a is proximal to upper surface 228, while shear-stabilizing coupling element 218d is proximal to the lower surface 229. Edge member 238a further comprises beam registration slots 278a and 278b, which are adapted to slidingly engage an upper horizontal support member of a beam (not shown). Similarly, edge member 238b further comprises beam registration slots 279a and 279b, which are adapted to slidingly engage an upper horizontal support member of a beam (not shown). Once the registration slots 278a, 278b, 279a, and 279b engage the upper horizontal support member of the beam, upper surface 228 can be nailed, screwed, or otherwise attached to the upper horizontal support member. Optionally, one of upper surface 228 in lower surface 229 comprise a water-impermeable material. The floor panel 208 can comprise any suitable material, such as, for example, oriented strand board, among other materials.

C. Wall Panels

FIGS. 27-31 provide different views of wall panel 307 useful in modular construction. FIG. 27 is a perspective view from the inside of a building such as house 10 and shows wall panel 307 with opaque surfaces; FIG. 28 is a perspective view from the exterior and shows wall panel 307 in wireframe format. FIG. 29 provides an elevation view from the exterior. FIG. 30 provides an elevation view from the interior. FIG. 31 provides a top-down plan view.

Wall panel 307 has a first main surface 317; a second main surface 327; a plurality of edge members 331a, 331b, 337a, 337b that support and separate the first main surface 317 from the second main surface 327, and at least partially enclose and define an interior volume with the first main surface 317 and the second main surface 327; shear block receiving ports 397a, 397b, 397c positioned at a first edge of the first main surface 317; shear block receiving ports 397d, 397e, 397f positioned at a second edge of the first main surface 317; wherein the first edge and the second edge are positioned on opposing sides of the first main surface 317. Wall panel 307 further comprises floor attachment element 367 between first side member 337a and second side member 337b below the lower edge defined by first main surface 317 and second main surface 327. First side member 337a and second side member 337b support and separate the upper edge member 331a from lower edge member 331b. First side member 337a further comprises insulation injection port 398a, registration tab 345a, utility conduit port 387a, and side member extension 352a. Second side member 337b further comprises insulation injection port 398b, registration tab 345b, utility conduit port 387b, and side member extension 352a. Optionally, wall panel 307 comprises insulation, affixed to any surface, within the interior volume, or a combination thereof. Any suitable insulation can be used; in some cases the insulation is chosen from open cell foams, closed cell foams, fibers, pellets, and combinations thereof. In some cases, wall panel 307 comprises a water-impermeable material on the first main surface 317, the second main surface 327, or both. Registration tabs 345a, 345b and side member extensions 352a, 352b are adapted to engage corresponding registration elements such as registration slots of a beam (not shown). Through side member extension 352a, the first side member 337a is adapted to transfer load to one or more ledgers of a beam (not shown). Through side member extension 352b, the second side member 337b is adapted to transfer load to one or more ledgers of a beam (not shown). Wall panel 307 can comprise any suitable material, such as, for example, an engineered wood product such as oriented strand board, among other materials.

FIGS. 32-36 provides several views of an embodiment of a wall panel 621 comprising window opening 629. FIGS. 32 and 33 provide a perspective view from the interior of a building comprising wall panel 621, with FIG. 32 showing opaque surfaces and FIG. 33 in wireframe format. FIG. 34 shows a top-down plan view of wall panel 621. FIG. 35 provides an elevation view from the interior, while FIG. 36 provides an elevation view from the exterior. Wall panel 621 comprises a first main surface 624a and a second main surface 624b that are supported and separated by a plurality of edge members, namely, a first side member 625b proximal to a first edge of the first main surface 624a; a second side member 625c proximal to a second edge of the first main surface 624a; upper edge member 625a and a lower edge member 625d that are supported in separated by the first side member 625b and the second side member 625c. First main surface 624a comprises on its first edge three shear block receiving ports 635a, 635b, 635c, and on its opposing side's second edge, three shear block receiving ports 635j, 635k, 635m. Wall panel 621 further comprises a plurality of window edge members 623a, 623b, 623c, 623d that define a window opening 629 in the first main surface and the second main surface. The plurality of window edge members comprises an upper window edge member 623a, a lower window edge member 623d, a first side window member 623b proximal to the first edge of the first main surface 624a, and a second side window member 623c proximal to the second edge of the first main surface 624a, wherein the first side window member 623b and the second side window member 623c support and separate the upper window edge member 623a from the lower window edge member 623d. The window edge members 623a-623d comprise window frame registration elements in the form of window frame registration slots 627. Further, the first side window member 623b comprises registration elements in the form of registration tab 634b adapted to engage a registration slot of a beam (not shown) and side window member extension 633b adapted to transfer load to a ledger of a beam (not shown). And the second side window member 623c comprises registration elements in the form of registration tab 634c adapted to engage a registration slot of a beam (not shown) and side window member extension 633c adapted to transfer load to a ledger of a beam (not shown). Side member extensions 633a, 633d, appearing on the first side member 625b and second side member 625c, respectively, are also adapted to transfer load to a ledger of the beam. First side member 625b further comprises utility conduit port 630a and registration tab 634a, and second side member 625c further comprises utility conduit port 630d and registration tab 634d. First side window member 623b further comprises utility conduit port 630b, and second side window member 623c further comprises utility conduit port 628c. First side window member 623b and second side window member 623c further support floor attachment element 626. Any suitable, commercially available or custom-made window frame can be affixed to window opening 629 using the window frame registration slots 627. Alternatively, or in addition, fasteners such as screws, bolts, or nails can be driven through window edge members 623a-623d as desired. Window frame registration slots 627 can be position to accommodate routine or customary sizes of window frames, and to allow relatively easy installation thereof.

FIGS. 37 and 38 provide two views of wall panel 670 utility access ports 676, 677. FIG. 37 provides a perspective view, while FIG. 38 provides an elevation view from the interior of the building. Wall panel 670 comprises first main surface 671a and second main surface 671b, which are supported in separated by a plurality of edge members 672a, 672b, 672c and 672d. First main surface 671a comprises a plurality of shear block receiving ports, of which 673d and 673f are labeled. Insulation injection port 674b and utility conduit port 678b appear in second side member 672c. Utility conduit port 678a can be seen in first side member 672b. Floor attachment element 675 is adapted to help secure wall panel 672 a floor panel (not shown) upon installation. Side member extensions 680a, 680b are adapted to transfer load to ledger of a beam (not shown). Registration tab 679b is adapted to engage a corresponding registration slot of the beam. Electrical wires, data cables, and the like can be passed through a plurality of wall panels each comprising utility conduit ports such as appearing in the several wall panels disclosed herein. When desired, a wall panel such as wall panel 670 comprising a plurality of utility access ports 676, 677 can be included in a wall. Then the electrical wires or data cables can be conducted up through wall panel 670 to a desired utility access port among those utility access ports 676, 677, and a conventional light switch, electric wall socket, data cable port, or the like can be installed in that utility access port. Utility access ports 676 are positioned higher on wall panel 670 to provide an adequate location for a light switch, for example. Utility access ports 677 are positioned lower on wall panel 670 to provide an adequate location for electric wall sockets and data cable ports, for example. Of course, any desired arrangement of switches, outlets, and ports can be installed.

FIGS. 39 and 40 provide a perspective view of corner wall panel 612 also seen in FIG. 9. FIG. 39 provides a view having opaque surfaces; FIG. 40 provide the same view in wireframe format. Corner wall panel 612, useful in modular construction, comprises two main outside surfaces comprising a first main outside surface 714a joining a second main outside surface 714b defining an outside corner 713; two main inside surfaces comprising a first main inside surface 712a joining a second main inside surface 712b defining an inside corner 715; a plurality of edge members 722a, 722b, 723a, 723d, 728a, 728b that support and separate the main outside surfaces from the main inside surfaces; at least one shear block receiving port 720a, 720c positioned at an edge of the first main outside surface 714a distal from the outside corner 713; and at least one shear block receiving port 720j, 720k positioned at an edge of the second main outside surface 714b distal from the outside corner 713. Edge members 722a, 723a, and 728a, together with first corner edge member 723b, at least partially enclose and define a first interior volume between the first main outside surface 714a and the first main inside surface 712a. Edge members 722b, 723d, and 728b, together with second corner edge member 723c, at least partially enclose and define a second interior volume between the second main outside surface 714b and the second main inside surface 712b. Any surface of wall panel 612, the first interior volume, and/or the second interior volume can comprise insulation. Insulation injection ports 716a, 716b, 716c, and 716d allow insulation to be injected or blown into the interior volumes as wall panel 612 is being assembled. Shear block receiving ports 720e, 720h are occluded by first main surface 714a and second main outside surface 714b. Utility conduit ports 727a, 727b, 727c, and 727d allow the passage of electrical wires, data cables and the like through corner wall panel 612. Registration tabs 724a, 724b, 724c and 724d are adapted to engage corresponding registration slots on two or more beams and/or a 90° beam node (not shown). Side member extensions 725a, 725b, 725c, and 725d, are adapted to transfer load to two or more ledgers on the beams. Optionally, corner wall panel 612 comprises a water-impermeable material on one or both of the first main outside surface 714a and the second main outside surface 714b.

Corner wall panel 612 comprises a first upper edge member 722a, a first lower edge member 728a, a first edge member 723a distal from the outside corner 713, and a first corner edge member 723b; and adjacent to the second main outside surface 714b, a second upper edge member 722b, a second lower edge member 728b, a second edge member 723d distal from the outside corner 713, and a second corner edge member 723c.

FIGS. 41, 42, and 43 provides several views of wall panel 305 that comprises a ceiling beam registration element 385, as seen in FIGS. 6 and 7. FIG. 41 shows a perspective view of wall panel 305 having opaque surfaces; FIG. 42 provides a same perspective view in wireframe format. FIG. 43 shows an elevation view from the interior of a building. Wall panel 305 comprises a first main surface 730 had a second main surface 325 that are supported and separated by first side member 335, second side member 736, upper edge member 733, and lower edge member 744. Shear block receiving ports 732b, 732c, 732h appear in the first main surface 730. Roof registration tabs 347, 348, 743 are adapted to engage with a wall engagement member of a roof panel (not shown). Vertical member 731 forms part of ceiling beam registration slot 385, which is adapted to receive and support a ceiling beam (not shown). The bottom and of vertical member 731 provides registration tabs 742a and extension 738a adapted to transfer load to the ledger of a beam (not shown). Also adapted to support the weight of the ceiling beam is vertical support member 735. Second side member 736 comprises registration tab 742b and side member extension 738b adapted to transfer load to the ledger of a beam (not shown). Utility conduit ports 750a, 750b, 750c allow the passage of electrical wires, data cables, and the like through wall panel 305. Shear block receiving port 732e in vertical support member 735 can be occluded by first main surface 730 or employed to receive a shear block, as desired. Floor attachment member 365 assists in securing wall panel 305 to a floor panel (not shown). While vertical member 731 transfers load to the ledger of a beam via extension 738a, load is transferred to the upper horizontal support member of the beam via first side member 335 and vertical support member 735. In this way, the weight of a ceiling beam can be transferred directly to the foundation.

FIG. 44 provides a perspective view of gable wall panel 641, also seen in FIG. 1. Gable wall panel 641 comprises a first main surface 750b and a second main surface 750a, which are supported and separated by a plurality of edge members such as edge member 751a. Edge member 751a comprises a plurality of registration receiving slots such as 752a, 752c, which are adapted to receive the corresponding registration tabs of a plurality of roof panels (not shown). Second main surface 750a further comprises holes 753a, 753b, which are adapted to each receive a screw, a bolt, or other suitable connector to secure gable wall panel 641 to a suitable attachment site such as a gable coupling box such as those seen in FIG. 8.

D. Roof Panels and Roof Beams

FIGS. 45-48 provide various views of roof panel 404, also seen in FIG. 9. FIG. 45 provides a perspective view; FIG. 46 provides an end-on elevation view from the direction of arrow A in FIG. 45; the end-on elevation view from the other end would be a mirror image of FIG. 46. FIG. 47 provides a right-side elevation view from the direction of arrow B in FIG. 45. FIG. 48 provides a top-down plan view from the direction of arrow C in FIG. 45.

Roof panel 404, useful in modular construction, comprises at least one rib 442a supporting and separating an upper surface 437a and a lower surface 437b; wherein the upper surface 437a is adapted to serve as a roof surface or roof subsurface; and wherein the at least one rib 442a comprises two shear-stabilizing coupling elements 434c, 434f emerging from opposite sides of roof panel 404, and opening 443. Shear-stabilizing coupling element 434c is proximal to the upper surface 437a; while shear-stabilizing coupling element 434f is proximal to lower service 437b. Two more ribs (not seen) support additional shear-stabilizing coupling elements. One of those ribs comprises shear-stabilizing coupling elements 434b and 434e; the other of those ribs comprises shear-stabilizing coupling elements 434a and 434d. In an alternative embodiment, each of shear-stabilizing coupling elements 434a-434f is attached to an anchor (for a total of six anchors) that supports and separates upper surface 437a and a lower surface 437b. In yet another alternative embodiment, roof panel 404 comprises a combination of one or more ribs and two or more anchors. Roof panel 404 as shown comprises a plurality of edge members 438a and 438b that at least partially enclose and define an interior volume with the upper surface 437a and the lower surface 437b. Roof panel 404 optionally comprises a water-impermeable material such as, for example, on upper surface 437a and/or on lower surface 437b. Upper surface 437a can further comprise any suitable roofing material, such as, for example, tarpaper (which also serves as a water-impermeable material), shingles including asphalt shingles, wooden shingles, slate, tile, photovoltaic “solar panel” shingles, and combinations thereof. Through openings 436c and 436f, rib 442a is adapted to receive and couple to the shear-stabilizing coupling elements of adjacent roof panels (not shown). Similarly, openings 436a, 436b, 436d, and 436e allow coupling to the shear-stabilizing coupling elements of those adjacent roof panels. Edge member 438b shows insulation injection ports 440c, 440d that allow insulation to be injected or blown into the interior volume of roof panel 440. Any suitable insulation can be used. In some cases, that insulation is added after roof panel 404 is installed, so that a roof beam (not shown) can engage roof beam registration elements 441a and 441b on edge members 438a and 438b, respectively, and assist in keeping the insulation within roof panel 404. Similarly, a fascia (not shown—but see fascia 472 in FIG. 9) engages with fascia registration element 441d on edge member 438b to assist in keeping the insulation within roof panel 404. Wall registration element 423, which comprises wall registration tabs 423a, 423b, is adapted to engage the top edge of a gable wall panel (not shown). Roof panel 404 can comprise any suitable material, such as an engineered wood product such as oriented strand board, among other possible materials.

FIGS. 49-52 shows several views of fascia 471. FIG. 49 shows a perspective view; FIG. 50 shows a top-down plan view. FIG. 51 shows a bottom-up plan view. FIG. 52 shows an end-on elevation view; the end-on elevation view from the other end would be a mirror image of FIG. 52. Fascia 471 comprises a lower horizontal support member 474 supporting two vertical support members 473a, 473b. Lower horizontal support member 474 comprises registration slots 475a, 475b, 475c, 475d, and 475e, which are adapted to receive the corresponding fascia registration elements of roof panels (not shown) such as fascia registration element 441d of roof panel 404 described above. The fascia registration elements of two adjoining roof panels would slidingly engage a registration slot such as registration slot 475d. In this way, adjoining roof panels would adjoin and support each other. Without wishing to be bound by theory, it is believed that such support contributes to the enhanced structural integrity exhibited by some embodiments of the present invention.

FIGS. 53-54 show different views of roof panel 412 also seen in FIGS. 6 and 9. FIG. 53 provides a perspective view, while FIG. 54 provides an end-on elevation view, with roof panel 412 oriented as it would be on a roof. Roof panel 412 comprises an upper surface 447a and two lower surfaces 447b, 447c that are supported and separated by rib 450a. Roof panel 412 further comprises two additional ribs (not seen) that have shear-stabilizing coupling elements such as shear-stabilizing coupling element 432b. Rib 450a further comprises openings 448a and 448d, adapted to receive and couple to the shear-stabilizing coupling elements of adjacent roof panels (not shown). The other ribs (not seen) also comprise openings such as opening 448c adapted to receive and couple to the shear-stabilizing coupling elements of those adjacent roof panels. Edge members 445a, 445b support and separate the upper surface 447a from lower surfaces 447b, 447c. Edge member 445b comprises insulation injection ports such as insulation injection port 446d, through which insulation can be injected or blown, either before or after installation of roof panel 412. Roof panel 412 has wall engagement element 415 that comprises a plurality of wall registration elements such as wall registration tabs 421 and 422. Wall engagement element 415 comprises wall engagement supports 492a, 492b. Wall engagement support 492b comprises wall registration tabs 421, 422; mortgage and support 492a also comprises wall registration tabs (not seen). Load transfer from roof panel 412 to corresponding wall structures is aided by bird beak cuts 449a and 449b to rib 450a. Roof panel 412 optionally comprises a water-impermeable material such as, for example, on upper surface 447a and/or on lower surfaces 447b, 447c. Upper surface 447a can further comprise any suitable roofing material, such as, for example, tarpaper (which also serves as a water-impermeable material), shingles including asphalt shingles, wooden shingles, slate, tile, photovoltaic “solar panel” shingles, and combinations thereof.

FIGS. 55 and 56 depict further embodiments of the present invention relating to a structure to support a ceiling and a roof. Roof beam 461 and ceiling beam 452 are also seen in FIG. 1. Ceiling beam 452 supports central ceiling post 756 and side ceiling posts 755, 757. Ceiling post 755 terminates at its upper end with registration slot 758, which is adapted to receive a corresponding registration element of roof beam 464. Ceiling post 757 terminates at its upper end with a registration slot 759, which is adapted to receive registration tab 769 of roof beam 461. Ceiling post 756 terminates at its upper end with roof beam registration slot 760, and roof panel registration slot 761. Roof beam registration slot 760 is adapted to receive the corresponding registration elements of two roof beams, such as, for example ceiling post registration tab 766 of roof beam 464 and ceiling post registration tab 765 of roof beam 461. Without wishing to be bound by theory, it is believed that receiving the registration tabs 765, 766, central ceiling post 756 connects and secures roof beams 461, 464 in a manner that imparts improved structural integrity to certain embodiments of the present invention. Similarly, roof panel registration slot 761 is adapted to receive the corresponding registration elements of two adjoining roof panels (not shown). Roof beam 464 further comprises its own central roof panel registration slot 768, while roof beam 461 comprises central roof panel registration slot 767. Central roof panel registration slots 767, 768 likewise are adapted to receive the corresponding registration elements of two adjoining roof beams (not shown) at the highest point of the roof. Ceiling post registration tab 765 and ceiling beam registration slot 771 are adapted to transfer load to structure below. Roof panel 461 comprises two vertical support members 762a, 762b supporting and separating an upper support member 763 and a lower support member 764. Upper support member 763 comprises a plurality of registration elements, such as, for example roof panel registration slot 770c and roof panel registration slot 770g, which are adapted to receive the corresponding structure of roof panels (not shown). For example, registration slot 770c receives a side member of roof panel 402, as seen in FIG. 1. The upper surface of roof panel 402 can be attached by any suitable means, such as screws or nails, to the upper support member 763 of roof beam 461. Similarly, registration slot 770g receives the corresponding structure of roof panel 411, as seen in FIG. 1. Lower support member 764 also comprises registration elements, some of which are integral with the vertical support members 762a, 762b. For example, ceiling beam registration slot 771 allows roof beam 461 to rest on registration tab 772 of ceiling beam 452. In addition, roof beam 461 comprises wall registration slot 773, which allows roof beam 461 to connect with a wall panel (not shown) that supports ceiling beam 452. Roof beam 464 comprises wall registration slot 774, which allows roof beam 464 to connect with a wall panel (not shown—for example, wall panel 622 in FIG. 1) that supports the other end of ceiling beam 452. Proof beams of the present invention can be made of any suitable material, such as, for example, engineered wood product such as oriented strand board, among other suitable materials. Roof beams, furthermore, can comprise insulation, such as, for example fiber insulation that is adhered to or nailed to the beam, or foam insulation that is sprayed on beam, either before or after installation.

E. Subfoundation and Floor

FIG. 57 depicts a perspective view from above of another embodiment, namely, a plurality of beams (such as 101, 102,) connected by beam nodes (such as 502) attached to helical piles (such as 1017, 1024). FIG. 58 depicts a perspective view from below of a portion of the embodiment shown in FIG. 57. In addition, floor panels (such as 201, 209, 210) have been added. A grid of any suitable supports such as, for example cement-supported posts, cinderblocks, timber piles, or helical piles driven into soil, compacted soil, wet or setting cement, bedrock, or other suitable substrate can be used to form a subfoundation. In FIG. 57, 28 helical piles such as helical piles 1001, 1002, 1003, 1007, 1008, 1009, 1010, 1014, 1017, and 1024 have been driven into soil under an applied pressure, and only the portion of the piles remaining of above ground is depicted in FIG. 57. Any suitable applied pressure can be used. For example, a downward pressure on the order of 10.1 Kips (5.05 Tons) up to 11.6 Kips (5.8 Tons) can be applied to a helical pile being rotatably driven into undisturbed soil, in some cases. To those helical piles are attached beam nodes such as beam node 502, 507. To those beam nodes, beams such as beams 101, 102, 105, 106, 107, have been attached. The beams and beam nodes in FIG. 58 have floor panels such as floor panels 201, 209, 210 installed thereon. Further discussion of FIGS. 57 and 58 appear in the examples below.

EXAMPLES

Example 1

Performance of Beams and Floor Panels

Six helical piles having a 2-⅞″ tubular shaft manufactured by Goliath Tech were obtained. The helical piles were driven into soil in two rows of three piles each, with 18″ of the 7′ long pile remaining above ground, and each pile being 7′−8″ apart from its neighbor. Each pile was installed with a high torque drill attachment on a Kubota KX057-4 Compact Excavator. Downward pressure on the order of 10.1 Kips (5.05 Tons) up to 11.6 Kips (5.8 Tons) was applied by the excavator during pile insulation to avoid plowing the soil. A 5″×5″ steel plate capped each pile, to which beam nodes similar to three-way beam node 503 and two-way beam node 509 were affixed with structural wood screws through four holes in the plate. Seven beams similar to floor beams 102 and 103 were coupled to the nodes by engaging the beam node coupling elements at each end of a beam, and screws secured the beams to the nodes, such as by securing hole 543a to hole 192a in FIG. 3. Two perimeter floor panels similar to floor panels 202 and 203 were installed end-to-end over two beams and three piles, and six floor panels similar to floor panel 208 spanned the remaining distance to the second row of three piles supporting beams. A near end of a beam was secured to a node and pile; floor panels were joined together by engaging the shear-stabilizing coupling elements of one floor panel to the ribs of the neighboring floor panel; then a far end of a beam was secured to the next node and pile. Upper surfaces of floor panels were screwed to floor beams every 4″ where they overlapped.

To test the shear strength of the eight-panel floor, a ⅜″ heavy chain was passed through the perimeter floor panels end-to-end, and secured to a 6″×6″ steel plate over a 2-ply ¾″ Advantech 24″×8″ board to form a pressure plate. Using FIGS. 57 and 58 to illustrate the eight-panel floor, the chain would have passed through floor panels 210 and 209 parallel to beam 107, with the pressure plate near pile 1003 and the chain exiting floor panel 209 near pile 1001. Table 1 correlates the six piles of the test floor to the piles identified in FIG. 58, to further illustrate the test floor.

TABLE 1
Test Pile NumberCorresponding Pile in FIGS. 57 and 58
11001
21008
31002
41009
51003
61010

A Dillon Mechanical Dynamometer connected the chain to the Excavator, to apply a tension load simulating a base shear from wind or seismic loading.

The excavator applied a load, and the deflection of each pile was measured at the top of each pile under load. The results appear in Table 2.

TABLE 2
Deflection Measurements
LoadPile 1Pile 2Pile 3Pile 4Pile 5Pile 6
1,000 lbs⅜″¼″ 3/32″0″ 5/16″0″
2,000 lbs½″¼″ 5/16″0″½″ 1/16″
3,400 lbs1 3/16″ 7/16″1 7/32″0″1 3/16″ 3/16″
5,400 lbs1 3/16″½″1 5/16″ 1/16″1⅛″ 5/16″

After the initial round of incremental load testing, the residual deformation was measured with no load applied. Then, a first cyclic loading of four cycles of 5,000 lbs and release were applied, and residual deformation measured with no load applied. A second cyclic loading of five cycles of 5,000 lbs and release were applied, and residual deformation was measured with no load applied. These residual deformation results appear in Table 3.

TABLE 3
Deformation Measurements
LoadPile 1Pile 2Pile 3Pile 4Pile 5Pile 6
Incremental Loads 3/16″⅛″0″0″⅛″ 1/16″
Cyclic Loading # 1¼″⅛″0″0″¼″ 1/16″
Cyclic Loading # 2¼″ 3/16″0″0″½″ 1/16″

The dynamometer has a maximum capacity of 5,000 lbs, but the excavator is rated in excess of 10,000 lbs, perhaps approximately 12,000 lbs. This maximum load was applied five times to seek the weakest components of the test floor. Extreme deflections of the piles were observed, including deflection in excess of 3½″ for pile 1. After five cycles of maximum load and release, each pile returned to its maximum deflection shown in Table 3. No buckling or failure was observed or found in any of the floor beam or floor panel members or connections, nor was any audible cracking or shearing of the glue-joint panel and beam connections noted during the maximum load testing.

After the foregoing tests, the test floor was disassembled and a 5,000 lbs load was applied to pile 5 in the same direction as the previous loads. At 5,000 lbs, pile 5 deflected laterally 1 5/16″.

The International Building Code (2012) recommends a maximum allowable load of one-half of the load causing a 1″ lateral deflection. From the foregoing tests, it is estimated that the lateral allowable design value is 2,000 lbs at 18″ above grade. That far exceeds the expected shear load presented by a 149 mph Category 5 hurricane-force wind having a wind pressure of 29.7 PSF. Distributed over the 28 piles of FIG. 57, that equates to a load of about 350 lbs per pile.

Example 2

Performance of a Completed Home

A home is constructed on 28 helical piles as shown in FIG. 57, and completed in accordance with FIG. 1. A chain connected to a pressure plate affixed to the interior side of wall panel 301 is passed through wall panel 301 to a dynamometer and excavator as described in Example 1. A tension load is applied as in Example 1. The home is expected to sustain a load far exceeding that delivered by a Category 5 hurricane-force wind with minimal lateral deflection and no buckling or failure in any of the components or connections, nor any audible cracking or shearing of those components and connections.

EMBODIMENTS

A. Beams and Beam Nodes

Embodiment 1

A beam useful in modular construction comprising: one or more vertical support members supporting and separating an upper horizontal support member and a lower horizontal support member; and at least one ledger adapted to support a vertical load.

Embodiment 2

The beam of embodiment 1, wherein the upper horizontal support member further comprises at least one registration element.

Embodiment 3

The beam of embodiment 2, wherein the at least one registration element is adapted to receive at least one corresponding registration element of a floor panel, wall panel, ceiling panel, or a combination thereof.

Embodiment 4

The beam of any one of embodiments 2-3, wherein the beam has a first end and a second end, and the first end comprises a first beam node coupling element.

Embodiment 5

The beam of embodiment 4, wherein the second end comprises a second beam node coupling element.

Embodiment 6

The beam of any one of embodiments 1-5, wherein the beam comprises an engineered wood product.

Embodiment 7

The beam of embodiment 6, wherein the engineered wood product comprises oriented strand board.

Embodiment 8

The beam of any one of embodiments 1-7, further comprising insulation.

Embodiment 9

The beam of any one of embodiments 2-8, wherein the upper support member comprises the at least one registration element in sufficient number to receive the corresponding registration elements of at least two wall panels.

Embodiment 10

The beam of any one of embodiments 2-9, wherein the upper support member comprises the at least one registration element in sufficient number to receive the corresponding registration elements of at least three wall panels.

Embodiment 11

The beam of any one of embodiments 2-10, wherein the upper support member comprises the at least one registration element in sufficient number to receive the corresponding registration elements of at least four wall panels.

Embodiment 12

The beam of any one of embodiments 1-11, wherein the at least one ledger adapted to support a vertical load is attached to a first vertical face of the one or more vertical support members.

Embodiment 13

The beam of any one of embodiments 1-12, wherein the at least one ledger adapted to support a vertical load comprises two ledgers, wherein the first ledger is attached to a first vertical face of the one or more vertical support members, and the second ledger is attached to a second vertical face of the one or more vertical support members.

Embodiment 14

A beam node useful in modular construction comprising:

a lower horizontal support member supporting
at least two vertical support members,
wherein the at least two vertical support members define at least two beam coupling elements; and
at least one registration element.

Embodiment 15

The beam node of embodiment 14, wherein the at least two beam coupling elements comprise a first beam coupling element and a second beam coupling element,

wherein the first beam coupling element is adapted to couple a first beam in line with a second beam coupled to the second beam coupling element.

Embodiment 16

The beam node of embodiment 14, wherein the at least two beam coupling elements comprise a first beam coupling element and a second beam coupling element,

wherein the first beam coupling element is adapted to couple a first beam perpendicular to a second beam coupled to the second beam coupling element.

Embodiment 17

The beam node of embodiment 14,

wherein the at least two beam coupling elements comprise
a first beam coupling element,
a second beam coupling element, and
a third beam coupling element;
wherein the first beam coupling element is adapted to couple a first beam in line with a second beam coupled to the second beam coupling element, and the third beam coupling element is adapted to couple a third beam perpendicular to the first beam and the second beam.

Embodiment 18

The beam node of embodiment 14,

wherein the at least two beam coupling elements comprise
a first beam coupling element,
a second beam coupling element,
a third beam coupling element, and
a fourth beam coupling element;
wherein the first beam coupling element is adapted to couple a first beam in line with a second beam coupled to the second beam coupling element,
the third beam coupling element is adapted to couple a third beam perpendicular to the first beam and the second beam, and
the fourth beam coupling element is adapted to couple a fourth beam in line with the third beam and perpendicular to the first beam and the second beam.

Embodiment 19

The beam node of any one of embodiments 14-18, wherein the at least one registration element comprises two substantially parallel vertical supports separated by a spacer element, thereby defining two registration element receivers between the two substantially parallel vertical supports.

Embodiment 20

The beam node of any one of embodiments 14-19, wherein the at least one registration element is adapted to receive at least one corresponding registration element of a floor panel, wall panel, ceiling panel, or a combination thereof.

Embodiment 21

The beam node of any one of embodiments 14-20, wherein the at least one registration element is adapted to receive at least one corresponding registration element of at least one wall panel.

B. Floor Panels

Embodiment 22

A floor panel useful in modular construction comprising:

at least one rib supporting and separating
an upper surface and
a lower surface;
wherein the upper surface is adapted to serve as a floor surface or floor subsurface; and
wherein the at least one rib comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element.

Embodiment 23

A floor panel useful in modular construction comprising:

at least one anchor supporting and separating
an upper surface and
a lower surface;
wherein the upper surface is adapted to serve as a floor surface or floor subsurface; and
wherein the at least one anchor comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element.

Embodiment 24

The floor panel of embodiment 22, further comprising at least one anchor supporting and separating the upper surface and the lower surface, wherein the at least one anchor comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element.

Embodiment 25

The floor panel of embodiment 23, further comprising at least one rib supporting and separating the upper surface and the lower surface, wherein the at least one rib comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element.

Embodiment 26

The floor panel of any one of embodiments 22-25, further comprising a plurality of edge members that at least partially enclose and define an interior volume with the upper surface and the lower surface.

Embodiment 27

The floor panel of any one of embodiments 22-26, further comprising insulation.

Embodiment 28

The floor panel of any one of embodiments 26-27, wherein the interior volume comprises insulation.

Embodiment 29

The floor panel of any one of embodiments 27-28, wherein the insulation is chosen from open cell foams, closed cell foams, fibers, pellets, and combinations thereof.

Embodiment 30

The floor panel of any one of embodiments 22 and 24-29, wherein the at least one rib comprises at least three ribs.

Embodiment 31

The floor panel of any one of embodiments 22 and 24-30, wherein the at least one rib comprises at least two shear-stabilizing coupling elements.

Embodiment 32

The floor panel of any one of embodiments 22 and 24-31, wherein the at least one rib is adapted to engage at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element from another floor panel.

Embodiment 33

The floor panel of any one of embodiments 22 and 24-32, wherein the at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element comprises a first shear-stabilizing coupling element emerging from a first edge of the floor panel, and a second shear-stabilizing coupling element emerging from a second edge of the floor panel,

wherein the first edge and the second edge are positioned on opposing sides of the floor panel.

Embodiment 34

The floor panel of embodiment 33,

wherein the first shear-stabilizing coupling element is proximal to the upper surface, and the second shear-stabilizing coupling element is proximal to the lower surface.

Embodiment 35

The floor panel of any one of embodiments 23-29, wherein the at least one anchor comprises at least two anchors.

Embodiment 36

The floor panel of any one of embodiments 23-29 and 35, wherein the at least one anchor comprises at least six anchors.

Embodiment 37

The floor panel of any one of embodiments 23-29 and 35-36, wherein the at least one anchor is adapted to engage at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element from another floor panel.

Embodiment 38

The floor panel of any one of embodiments 23-29 and 35-37, comprising a first anchor having a first shear-stabilizing coupling element, and a second anchor having a second shear-stabilizing coupling element;

wherein the first shear-stabilizing coupling element emerges from a first edge of the floor panel, and the second shear-stabilizing coupling element emerges from a second edge of the floor panel,
wherein the first edge and the second edge are positioned on opposing sides of the floor panel.

Embodiment 39

The floor panel of embodiment 38,

wherein the first shear-stabilizing coupling element is proximal to the upper surface, and the second shear-stabilizing coupling element is proximal to the lower surface.

Embodiment 40

The floor panel of any one of embodiments 22-39, wherein at least one of the upper surface and the lower surface comprise a water-impermeable material.

Embodiment 41

The floor panel of any one of embodiments 22-40, wherein the floor panel comprises an engineered wood product.

Embodiment 42

The floor panel of embodiment 41, wherein the engineered wood product comprises oriented strand board.

Embodiment 43

The floor panel of any one of embodiments 26-42, wherein at least one in the plurality of edge members comprise at least one insulation injection port.

Embodiment 44

The floor panel of any one of embodiments 22-43, further comprising at least one registration element positioned on at least one edge of the floor panel.

Embodiment 45

The floor panel of embodiment 44, wherein the at least one registration element is present in sufficient number to receive the corresponding registration elements of at least two wall panels.

Embodiment 46

The floor panel of any one of embodiments 44-45, wherein the at least one registration element is present in sufficient number to receive the corresponding registration elements of at least three wall panels.

Embodiment 47

The floor panel of any one of embodiments 44-46, wherein the at least one registration element is present in sufficient number to receive the corresponding registration elements of at least four wall panels.

Embodiment 48

The floor panel of any one of embodiments 26-47, wherein at least one in the plurality of edge members is adapted to engage a ledger of a beam.

Embodiment 49

The floor panel of any one of embodiments 22-48, wherein the upper surface is adapted to engage an upper horizontal support member of a beam.

C. Wall Panels

Embodiment 50

A wall panel useful in modular construction comprising:

    • a first main surface;
    • a second main surface;
    • a plurality of edge members that support and separate the first main surface from the second main surface; and
    • at least one shear block receiving port positioned at a first edge of the first main surface;
    • at least one shear block receiving port positioned at a second edge of the first main surface;
    • wherein the first edge and the second edge are positioned on opposing sides of the first main surface.

Embodiment 51

The wall panel of embodiment 50, wherein the plurality of edge members at least partially encloses and defines an interior volume with the first main surface and the second main surface.

Embodiment 52

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 50-51, further comprising insulation.

Embodiment 53

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 50-52, wherein the interior volume comprises insulation.

Embodiment 54

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 52-53, wherein the insulation is chosen from open cell foams, closed cell foams, fibers, pellets, and combinations thereof.

Embodiment 55

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 50-54, wherein at least one of the first main surface and the second main surface comprise a water-impermeable material.

Embodiment 56

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 50-55, wherein the plurality of edge members comprise

an upper edge member,
a lower edge member,
a first side member proximal to the first edge of the first main surface, and
a second side member proximal to the second edge of the first main surface,
wherein the first side member and the second side member support and separate the upper edge member from the lower edge member.

Embodiment 57

The wall panel of embodiment 56, wherein at least one of the first side member and the second side member comprise at least one registration element.

Embodiment 58

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 56-57, wherein the first side member comprises a first registration element, and the second side member comprises a second registration element.

Embodiment 59

The wall panel of embodiment 57, wherein the at least one registration element is adapted to engage a registration element of a beam.

Embodiment 60

The wall panel of embodiment 58, wherein the first registration element is adapted to engage a first registration element of a beam, and the second registration element is adapted to engage a second registration element of a beam.

Embodiment 61

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 56-60, wherein at least one of the first side member and the second side member is adapted to transfer load to one or more ledgers of a beam.

Embodiment 62

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 50-61, wherein the first main surface and the second main surface define a lower edge, and the lower edge comprises at least one floor attachment element.

Embodiment 63

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 50-62, wherein at least two in the plurality of edge members each comprise at least one utility conduit port.

Embodiment 64

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 50-63, wherein at least one in the plurality of edge members comprises at least one insulation injection port.

Embodiment 65

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 50-64, wherein the first main surface and the second main surface define an upper edge, wherein the upper edge comprises at least one registration element.

Embodiment 66

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 50-65, wherein the wall panel comprises an engineered wood product.

Embodiment 67

The wall panel of embodiment 66, wherein the engineered wood product comprises oriented strand board.

Embodiment 68

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 50-67, wherein the first edge of the main surface comprises at least three shear block receiving ports, and the second edge of the main surface comprises at least three shear block receiving ports.

Embodiment 69

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 50-68, further comprising a plurality of window edge members that define a window opening in the first main surface and the second main surface.

Embodiment 70

The wall panel of embodiment 69, wherein the plurality of window edge members comprises

an upper window edge member,
a lower window edge member,
a first side window member proximal to the first edge of the first main surface, and a second side window member proximal to the second edge of the first main surface,
wherein the first side window member and the second side window member support and separate the upper window edge member from the lower window edge member.

Embodiment 71

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 69-70, wherein at least some window edge members in the plurality of window edge members comprise window frame registration elements.

Embodiment 72

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 70-71, wherein at least one of the first side window member and the second side window member comprise at least one registration element.

Embodiment 73

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 70-72, wherein the first side window member comprises a first registration element, and the second side window member comprises a second registration element.

Embodiment 74

The wall panel of embodiment 72, wherein the at least one registration element is adapted to engage a registration element of a beam.

Embodiment 75

The wall panel of embodiment 73, wherein the first registration element is adapted to engage a first registration element of a beam, and the second registration element is adapted to engage a second registration element of a beam.

Embodiment 76

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 70-75, wherein at least one of the first side member and the second side member is adapted to transfer load to one or more ledgers of a beam.

Embodiment 77

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 69-76, wherein at least two in the plurality of window edge members each comprise at least one utility conduit port.

Embodiment 78

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 50-69, wherein the second main surface comprises at least one utility access port.

Embodiment 79

The wall panel of embodiment 78, wherein the second main surface comprises at least three utility access ports.

Embodiment 80

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 78-79, wherein the second main surface comprises six utility access ports.

Embodiment 81

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 78-80, wherein the at least one utility access port comprises at least one utility access port adapted to function as an electric wall socket port.

Embodiment 82

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 78-81, wherein the at least one utility access port comprises at least one utility access port adapted to function as an electric light switch port.

Embodiment 83

A corner wall panel useful in modular construction comprising:

two main outside surfaces comprising

    • a first main outside surface joining
    • a second main outside surface defining an outside corner;
      two main inside surfaces comprising
    • a first main inside surface joining
    • a second main inside surface defining an inside corner;
      a plurality of edge members that support and separate the main outside surfaces from the main inside surfaces;
      at least one shear block receiving port positioned at an edge of the first main outside surface distal from the outside corner; and
      at least one shear block receiving port positioned at an edge of the second main outside surface distal from the outside corner.

Embodiment 84

The corner wall panel of embodiment 83, wherein the plurality of edge members at least partially encloses and defines at least one interior volume between the outside main surfaces and the inside main surfaces.

Embodiment 85

The corner wall panel of any one of embodiments 83-84, further comprising insulation.

Embodiment 86

The corner wall panel of embodiment 84, wherein the at least one interior volume comprises insulation.

Embodiment 87

The corner wall panel of any one of embodiments 85-86, wherein the insulation is chosen from open cell foams, closed cell foams, fibers, pellets, and combinations thereof.

Embodiment 88

The corner wall panel of any one of embodiments 83-87, wherein the first main outside surface and the second main outside surface comprise a water-impermeable material.

Embodiment 89

The corner wall panel of any one of embodiments 83-88, wherein the plurality of edge members comprises adjacent to the first main outside surface,

    • a first upper edge member,
    • a first lower edge member,
    • a first edge member distal from the outside corner, and
    • a first corner edge member; and
      adjacent to the second main outside surface,
    • a second upper edge member,
    • a second lower edge member,
    • a second edge member distal from the outside corner, and
    • a second corner edge member.

Embodiment 90

The corner wall panel of embodiment 89, wherein at least one of the first edge member and the first corner edge member comprise at least one registration element.

Embodiment 91

The corner wall panel of any one of embodiments 89-90, wherein at least one of the second edge member and the second corner edge member comprise at least one registration element.

Embodiment 92

The corner wall panel of embodiment 90, wherein the at least one registration element is adapted to engage a registration element of a beam.

Embodiment 93

The corner wall panel of embodiment 91, wherein the at least one registration element is adapted to engage a registration element of a beam.

Embodiment 94

The corner wall panel of any one of embodiments 89-93, wherein at least one of the first edge member and first corner edge member is adapted to transfer load to one or more ledgers of a beam.

Embodiment 95

The corner wall panel of any one of embodiments 89-94, wherein at least one of the second edge member and second corner edge member is adapted to transfer load to one or more ledgers of a beam.

Embodiment 96

The corner wall panel of any one of embodiments 83-95, wherein at least two in the plurality of edge members each comprise at least one utility conduit port.

Embodiment 97

The corner wall panel of any one of embodiments 83-96, wherein at least one in the plurality of edge members comprises at least one insulation injection port.

Embodiment 98

The corner wall panel of any one of embodiments 83-97, wherein the first main outside surface and first main inside surface define a first upper edge, wherein the first upper edge comprises at least one registration element.

Embodiment 99

The corner wall panel of any one of embodiments 83-98, wherein the second main outside surface and the second main inside surface define a second upper edge, wherein the second upper edge comprises at least one registration element.

Embodiment 100

The corner wall panel of any one of embodiments 83-99, wherein the corner wall panel comprises an engineered wood product.

Embodiment 101

The corner wall panel of embodiment 100, wherein the engineered wood product comprises oriented strand board.

Embodiment 102

The corner wall panel of any one of embodiments 83-101, comprising at least three shear block receiving ports positioned at the edge of the first main outside surface distal from the outside corner.

Embodiment 103

The corner wall panel of any one of embodiments 83-102, comprising at least three shear block receiving ports positioned at the edge of the second main outside surface distal from the outside corner.

Embodiment 104

The corner wall panel of any one of embodiments 83-103, wherein the first main outside surface and the first main inside surface define a first lower edge, and the first lower edge comprises at least one first floor attachment element.

Embodiment 105

The corner wall panel of any one of embodiments 83-104, wherein the second main outside surface and the second main inside surface define a second lower edge, and the second lower edge comprises at least one second floor attachment element.

Embodiment 106

The wall panel of any one of embodiments 50-82, further comprising a ceiling beam registration element.

D. Roof Panels and Roof Beams

Embodiment 107

A roof panel useful in modular construction comprising:

at least one rib supporting and separating
an upper surface and
a lower surface;
wherein the upper surface is adapted to serve as a roof surface or roof subsurface; and
wherein the at least one rib comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element.

Embodiment 108

A roof panel useful in modular construction comprising:

at least one anchor supporting and separating
an upper surface and
a lower surface;
wherein the upper surface is adapted to serve as a roof surface or roof subsurface; and
wherein the at least one anchor comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element.

Embodiment 109

The roof panel of embodiment 107, further comprising at least one anchor supporting and separating the upper surface and the lower surface, wherein the at least one anchor comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element.

Embodiment 110

The roof panel of embodiment 108, further comprising at least one rib supporting and separating the upper surface and the lower surface, wherein the at least one rib comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element.

Embodiment 111

The roof panel of any one of embodiments 107-110, further comprising a plurality of edge members that at least partially enclose and define an interior volume with the upper surface and the lower surface.

Embodiment 112

The roof panel of any one of embodiments 107-111 further comprising insulation.

Embodiment 113

The roof panel of any one of embodiments 111-112, wherein the interior volume comprises insulation.

Embodiment 114

The roof panel of any one of embodiments 112-113, wherein the insulation is chosen from open cell foams, closed cell foams, fibers, pellets, and combinations thereof.

Embodiment 115

The roof panel of any one of embodiments 107 and 109-114, wherein the at least one rib comprises at least three ribs.

Embodiment 116

The roof panel of any one of embodiments 107 and 109-115, wherein the at least one rib comprises at least two shear-stabilizing coupling elements.

Embodiment 117

The roof panel of any one of embodiments 107 and 109-116, wherein the at least one rib is adapted to engage at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element from another roof panel.

Embodiment 118

The roof panel of any one of embodiments 107 and 109-117, wherein the at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element comprises

a first shear-stabilizing coupling element emerging from a first edge of the roof panel, and a second shear-stabilizing coupling element emerging from a second edge of the roof panel,
wherein the first edge and the second edge are positioned on opposing sides of the roof panel.

Embodiment 119

The roof panel of embodiment 118, wherein the first shear-stabilizing coupling element is proximal to the upper surface, and the second shear-stabilizing coupling element is proximal to the lower surface.

Embodiment 120

The roof panel of any one of embodiments 108-114, wherein the at least one anchor comprises at least two anchors.

Embodiment 121

The roof panel of any one of embodiments 108-114 and 120, wherein the at least one anchor comprises at least six anchors.

Embodiment 122

The roof panel of any one of embodiments 108-114 and 120-121, wherein the at least one anchor is adapted to engage at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element from another roof panel.

Embodiment 123

The roof panel of any one of embodiments 108-114 and 120-122, comprising a first anchor having a first shear-stabilizing coupling element, and a second anchor having a second shear-stabilizing coupling element;

wherein the first shear-stabilizing coupling element emerges from a first edge of the roof panel, and the second shear-stabilizing coupling element emerges from a second edge of the roof panel,
wherein the first edge and the second edge are positioned on opposing sides of the roof panel.

Embodiment 124

The roof panel of embodiment 123, wherein the first shear-stabilizing coupling element is proximal to the upper surface, and the second shear-stabilizing coupling element is proximal to the lower surface.

Embodiment 125

The roof panel of any one of embodiments 107-124, wherein at least one of the upper surface and the lower surface comprises a water-impermeable material.

Embodiment 126

The roof panel of any one of embodiments 107-125, wherein the roof panel comprises an engineered wood product.

Embodiment 127

The roof panel of embodiment 126, wherein the engineered wood product comprises oriented strand board.

Embodiment 128

The roof panel of any one of embodiments 111-127, wherein at least one in the plurality of edge members comprise at least one insulation injection port.

Embodiment 129

The roof panel of any one of embodiments 107-128, wherein the lower surface further comprises at least one registration element adapted to engage at least one gable wall panel.

Embodiment 130

The roof panel of any one of embodiments 107-129, further comprising a wall engagement member that comprises a plurality of wall registration elements adapted to engage an upper edge of at least one wall panel.

Embodiment 131

A roof beam useful in modular construction comprising:

one or more vertical support members supporting and separating
an upper support member and
a lower support member; and
a first registration element and a second registration element adapted to transfer load to structure below.

Embodiment 132

The roof beam of embodiment 131, comprising a first end and a second end, wherein the first registration element is proximal to the first end, and the second registration element is proximal to the second end.

Embodiment 133

The roof beam of any one of embodiments 131-132, wherein the first registration element comprises a ceiling post registration tab.

Embodiment 134

The roof beam of any one of embodiments 131-133, wherein the second registration element comprises a ceiling beam registration slot.

Embodiment 135

The roof beam of any one of embodiments 131-134, wherein the upper support member comprises a plurality of roof panel registration elements.

Embodiment 136

The roof beam of embodiment 135, wherein the plurality of roof panel registration elements comprises registration slots.

Embodiment 137

The roof beam of any one of embodiments 131-136, wherein the lower support member comprises a plurality of registration elements.

Embodiment 138

The roof beam of embodiment 137, wherein the plurality of registration elements comprises one or more ceiling beam registration elements, one or more wall registration elements, and combinations thereof.

Embodiment 139

The roof beam of any one of embodiments 131-137, wherein the roof beam comprises an engineered wood product.

Embodiment 140

The roof beam of embodiment 139, wherein the engineered wood product comprises oriented strand board.

Embodiment 141

The roof beam of any one of embodiments 131-140, wherein the roof beam further comprises insulation.

E. Entire Building

Embodiment 142

A building comprising

at least one beam as claimed in any one of embodiments 1-13;
at least one beam node as claimed in any one of embodiments 14-21;
at least one floor panel as claimed in any one of embodiments 22-49;
at least one wall panel as claimed in any one of embodiments 50-68;
at least one roof panel as claimed in any one of embodiments 107-130;
at least one roof beam as claimed in any one of embodiments 131-141; or
a combination of any two or more of the foregoing.

Embodiment 143

The building of embodiment 131, further comprising:

at least one wall panel as claimed in any one of embodiments 69-77;
at least one wall panel as claimed in any one of embodiments 78-82;
at least one corner wall panel as claimed in any one of embodiments 83-106;
or a combination of two or more of the foregoing.

F. Methods

Embodiment 144

A method of constructing a building, comprising:

(a) installing a plurality of helical piles in ground to establish a subfoundation for the building;
(b) affixing a plurality of beams to the helical piles, wherein the beams comprise one or more vertical support members supporting and separating
an upper horizontal support member and
a lower horizontal support member; and
at least one ledger adapted to support a vertical load,
wherein at least some of the beams are coupled to other beams in the plurality of beams, to form a foundation for the building;
(c) affixing a plurality of floor panels to the foundation, wherein the floor panels comprise
at least one rib supporting and separating
an upper surface and
a lower surface;
wherein the upper surface is adapted to serve as a floor surface or subsurface; and
wherein the at least one rib comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element,
wherein at least some of the floor panels are coupled to adjoining floor panels in the plurality via the at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element, to form a floor of the building;
(d) affixing a plurality of wall panels to the foundation, wherein the wall panels comprise
a first main surface;
a second main surface;
a plurality of edge members that support and separate the first main surface from the second main surface; and
at least one shear block receiving port positioned at a first edge of the first main surface;
at least one shear block receiving port positioned at a second edge of the first main surface;
wherein the first edge and the second edge are positioned on opposing sides of the first main surface;
wherein at least some of the wall panels engage registration elements of at least some of the beams of the foundation, and transfer vertical load to at least some of the ledgers of the beams of the foundation;
(e) inserting a plurality of shear blocks into at least some of the shear block receiving ports of adjacent wall panels, thereby stabilizing the wall panels, and thereby forming a wall of the building;
(f) affixing a plurality of roof panels and a plurality of roof beams to the wall, wherein the roof panels comprise
at least one rib supporting and separating
an upper surface and
a lower surface;
wherein the upper surface is adapted to serve as a roof surface or roof subsurface; and
wherein the at least one rib comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element;
wherein the roof beams comprise
one or more vertical support members supporting and separating
an upper support member and
a lower support member; and
a first registration element and a second registration element adapted to transfer load to structure below, wherein the structure below comprises the wall;
affixing at least one upper surface to at least one upper support member;
wherein at least some of the roof panels are coupled to adjoining roof panels in the plurality of roof panels via the at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element, to form a roof of the building,
thereby constructing the building.

Embodiment 145

The method of embodiment 144, wherein the plurality of beams comprises at least one beam as claimed in any one of embodiments 1-13;

the plurality of floor panels comprises at least one floor panel as claimed in any one of embodiments 22-49;
the plurality of wall panels comprises at least one wall panel as claimed in any one of embodiments 50-82;
the plurality of roof panels comprises at least one roof panel as claimed in any one of embodiments 107-130;
the plurality of roof beams comprise at least one roof beam as claimed in any one of embodiments 131-141; or
a combination of any two or more of the foregoing.

Embodiment 146

A method of constructing a floor of a building comprising:

(b) affixing to a subfoundation a plurality of beams, wherein the beams comprise one or more vertical support members supporting and separating
an upper horizontal support member and
a lower horizontal support member; and
at least one ledger adapted to support a vertical load,
wherein at least some of the beams are coupled to other beams in the plurality of beams, to form a foundation for the building;
(c) affixing a plurality of floor panels to the foundation, wherein the floor panels comprise
at least one rib supporting and separating
an upper surface and
a lower surface;
wherein the upper surface is adapted to serve as a floor surface or floor subsurface; and
wherein the at least one rib comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element,
wherein at least some of the floor panels are coupled to adjoining floor panels in the plurality of floor panels via the at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element, to form a floor of the building.

Embodiment 147

The method of embodiment 146, wherein

the plurality of beams comprises at least one beam as claimed in any one of embodiments 1-13;
the plurality of floor panels comprises at least one floor panel as claimed in any one of embodiments 22-49;
or a combination of any two or more of the foregoing.

Embodiment 148

A method of constructing a wall of a building, the method comprising:

(d) affixing a plurality of wall panels to a foundation of the building, wherein the wall panels comprise
a first main surface;
a second main surface;
a plurality of edge members that support and separate the first main surface from the second main surface; and
at least one shear block receiving port positioned at a first edge of the first main surface;
at least one shear block receiving port positioned at a second edge of the first main surface;
wherein the first edge and the second edge are positioned on opposing sides of the first main surface; and
(e) inserting a plurality of shear blocks into at least some of the shear block receiving ports of adjacent wall panels, thereby stabilizing the wall panels, and thereby forming a wall of the building.

Embodiment 149

The method of embodiment 148, wherein the plurality of wall panels comprises at least one wall panel as claimed in any one of embodiments 50-82.

Embodiment 150

A method of constructing a roof of a building, comprising:

(f) affixing a plurality of roof panels and a plurality of roof beams to a wall of the building, wherein the roof panels comprise
at least one rib supporting and separating
an upper surface and
a lower surface;
wherein the upper surface is adapted to serve as a roof surface or roof subsurface; and
wherein the at least one rib comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element;
wherein the roof beams comprise
one or more vertical support members supporting and separating
an upper support member and
a lower support member; and
a first registration element and a second registration element adapted to transfer load to structure below, wherein the structure below comprises the wall;
affixing at least one upper surface to at least one upper support member; wherein at least some of the roof panels are coupled to adjoining roof panels in the plurality via the at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element, to construct the roof of the building.

Embodiment 151

The method of embodiment 150, wherein the plurality of roof panels comprises at least one roof panel as claimed in any one of embodiments 107-130.

Embodiment 152

A method of manufacturing a beam useful in modular construction comprising:

constructing a beam comprising
one or more vertical support members supporting and separating
an upper horizontal support member and
a lower horizontal support member; and
at least one ledger adapted to support a vertical load,
thereby manufacturing the beam.

Embodiment 153

The method of embodiment 152, wherein the beam comprises a beam as claimed in any one of embodiments 1-13.

Embodiment 154

A method of manufacturing a floor panel useful in modular construction, comprising:

constructing a floor panel comprising
at least one rib supporting and separating
an upper surface and
a lower surface;
wherein the upper surface is adapted to serve as a floor surface or subsurface; and
wherein the at least one rib comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element.

Embodiment 155

The method of embodiment 154, wherein the floor panel comprises a floor panel as claimed in any one of embodiments 22-49.

Embodiment 156

A method of manufacturing a wall panel useful in modular construction, comprising:

constructing a wall panel comprising
a first main surface;
a second main surface;
a plurality of edge members that support and separate the first main surface from the second main surface; and
at least one shear block receiving port positioned at a first edge of the first main surface;
at least one shear block receiving port positioned at a second edge of the first main surface;
wherein the first edge and the second edge are positioned on opposing sides of the first main surface,
thereby manufacturing the wall panel.

Embodiment 157

The method of embodiment 156, wherein the wall panel comprises a wall panel as claimed in any one of embodiments 50-82.

Embodiment 158

A method of manufacturing a roof panel useful in modular construction, comprising:

constructing a roof panel comprising
at least one rib supporting and separating
an upper surface and
a lower surface;
wherein the upper surface is adapted to serve as a roof surface or subsurface; and
wherein the at least one rib comprises at least one shear-stabilizing coupling element,
thereby manufacturing the roof panel.

Embodiment 159

The method of embodiment 158, wherein the roof panel comprises a roof panel as claimed in any one of embodiments 107-130.

Embodiment 160

A method of manufacturing a roof beam useful in modular construction comprising:

constructing a roof beam comprising
one or more vertical support members supporting and separating
an upper support member and
a lower support member; and
a first registration element and a second registration element adapted to transfer load to structure below.

Embodiment 161

The method of embodiment 160, wherein the roof beam comprises a roof beam as claimed in any one of embodiments 131-141.

As previously stated, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention that may be embodied in various forms. It will be appreciated that many modifications and other variations stand within the intended scope of this invention as claimed below. Furthermore, the foregoing description of various embodiments does not necessarily imply exclusion. For example, “some” embodiments may include all or part of “other” and “further” embodiments within the scope of this invention. In addition, “a” does not mean “one and only one;” “a” can mean “one and more than one.”