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Title:
AN APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF A ROOF STRUCTURE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2009/108984
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to an apparatus for the manufacture of a roof structure for a building. The apparatus is in the form of a platform characterised by an elevated work surface above which a ceiling of said roof structure is adapted to be laid. The surface includes a plurality of apertures located at predetermined locations on said surface according to the locations of utility supply destinations inside said building, whereby each surface aperture acts as a guide hole for forming correspondingly located apertures in said ceiling. In this way, the roof can be wired up by placing utility supply means into apertures corresponding with utility supply destinations inside said building. The present invention also provides a method for manufacturing the roof structure using the platform.

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Inventors:
MARTINO, Francesco, Antonio (Lot 25 Old Princes Highway, Monarto, South Australia 5254, AU)
Application Number:
AU2008/000321
Publication Date:
September 11, 2009
Filing Date:
March 07, 2008
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MARTINO, Francesco, Antonio (Lot 25 Old Princes Highway, Monarto, South Australia 5254, AU)
International Classes:
E04H1/12; E04B1/343; E04B7/20; E04H1/02; E04H1/04; E04H9/00
Foreign References:
US5845441A
US5688095A
GB1042087A
US6047519A
US3958320A
GB1298570A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LESICAR PERRIN (49 Wright Street, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:

CLAIMS

1. A platform for the manufacture of a roof structure for a building, said platform characterised by: an elevated work surface above which a ceiling of said roof structure is adapted to be laid, said surface including a plurality of apertures located at predetermined locations on said surface according to the locations of utility supply destinations inside said building; whereby each surface aperture acts as a guide hole for forming correspondingly located apertures in said ceiling.

2. A platform as characterised in claim 1 further including a visual means of indicating which aperture corresponds with a particular utility supply destination.

3. A platform as characterised in claim 2 wherein said visual means of indicia is in the form of a blackboard mounted alongside said platform.

4. A platform as characterised in any one of claims 1-3 wherein said work surface is supported above a frame comprising girders and cross members which are elevated by a plurality of support legs.

5. A platform as characterised in claim 4 wherein each of said legs includes a roller at an end thereof for facilitating movement of said platform.

6. A method of manufacturing a roof structure using a platform as claimed in any one of claims 1-5.

7. A method of manufacturing a roof structure for a building, using a platform including an elevated work surface having pre-drilled guide holes corresponding with the designated position of utility supply destinations inside said building, said method comprising the steps of: placing two spaced apart longitudinal girders on said work surface according substantially to the width of said building; fixing purlins at ends of said spaced apart girders to thereby form a substantially rectangular frame; laying a ceiling between said spaced apart girders; drilling apertures into said ceiling through said work surface guide holes; wiring up said ceiling including feeding utility supply means into apertures corresponding with a utility supply destination inside said building; fixing intermediate purlins between said longitudinal girders such that they are raised at the centre of the girders; spraying polyurethane foam over said ceiling to a level below the height of said intermediate purlins, thereby bonding said ceiling to said girders and purlins and securing said utility supply

means; and fixing roofing panels above said purlins.

Description:

An apparatus and method for the manufacture of a roof structure

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an apparatus and method for manufacturing a roof structure and, in particular, a pre-wired roof structure for a transportable building used in a portable camp.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Camps have been used for many years to provide shelter and accommodation especially in remote areas. This is especially so in the case of remote camps that are assembled using a number of transportable buildings, some of the buildings used as sleeping quarters, others as the kitchen and dining room facility and others still as recreational areas. It is not uncommon for a camp to consist of sixty to eighty buildings that can accommodate several hundred people.

These camps are completely self-contained in that the transportable buildings provide all of the facilities for a small remote community that may be needed in a particular area. Accordingly these camps include all of the modern day facilities such as electrical power, water, sewerage, and communication. They therefore typically also include their own power generation systems, water distribution systems, sewerage treatment plants, and communication facilities such as satellite dishes. The camps typically require a considerable amount of skill, time, and effort to assemble and commission. Once constructed, these camps can however provide accommodation indefinitely if the infrastructure is maintained.

In some instances the camps have to be portable or mobile. For example, during construction of infrastructure across a vast area, such as roads or pipelines supplying water or gas, a particular location for a camp housing the construction workers, may only be viable for several weeks or months. As the pipeline is progressively constructed, there is a balance between the economic cost of the travel time of workers housed in the camp to the current work site and time spent constructing the actual pipeline. It is therefore accepted in the industry that if the travel time between a camp and the work location is more than an hour, a new camp has to be constructed that is closer to the work location. At that time, a new camp is therefore constructed one hour ahead of the current construction location or generally up to several hundred kilometres away from the existing camp.

Each building in the camp will typically include the same predetermined layout. For example, inside each transportable building there are a plurality of appliances which require the supply of electricity and/or gas to operate, including indoor and outdoor lights, wall mounted power outlets for appliances such as bed lamps, air-conditioning units, etc, and all of the locations of each of these appliances are standard across all buildings. Typically, cables used to connect electricity to such appliances are made to extend from an external area, for example from a power generator or from another

building inside the camp, to inside the building through apertures in the walls and/or ceiling. The cables are then carried within cable holders or housings which line the walls and ceiling and extend to the respective appliances. For example, where the cables are fed in through the wall, there may be a cable holder lining the ceiling to reach the lights (typically located at the centre of the building), along the walls so that cables can be fed to appliances on the opposite side of the room, and possibly to further buildings in series, and vertically down the walls to power outlets and the like.

The present inventor is the owner of a co-pending patent application directed towards an improved roof structure for transportable buildings used in portable camps. The roof structure addresses the problems mentioned above by being "pre-wired" in that it houses utility supply means such as electrical cables and the like, and provides these cables through apertures in the ceiling to corresponding utility supply destinations inside the building. The present invention seeks to provide for the quick and easy construction of such a roof structure.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an apparatus and method for manufacturing roof structures and, in particular, pre-wired roof structures intended for use in transportable buildings .

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore in one form of the invention there is proposed a platform for the manufacture of a roof structure for a building, said platform characterised by: an elevated work surface above which a ceiling of said roof structure is adapted to be laid, said surface including a plurality of apertures located at predetermined locations on said surface according to the locations of utility supply destinations inside said building; whereby each surface aperture acts as a guide hole for forming correspondingly located apertures in said ceiling.

Preferably said platform further includes a visual means of indicating which aperture corresponds with a particular utility supply destination.

Preferably said visual means of indicia is in the form of a blackboard mounted alongside said platform.

In preference said work surface is supported above a frame comprising girders and cross members which are elevated by a plurality of support legs.

Preferably each of said legs includes a roller at an end thereof for facilitating movement of said platform.

In a further form of the invention there is proposed a method of manufacturing a roof structure using a platform as claimed above.

In a still further form of the invention there is proposed a method of manufacturing a roof structure for a building, using a platform including an elevated work surface having pre-drilled guide holes corresponding with the designated position of utility supply destinations inside said building, said method comprising the steps of: placing two spaced apart longitudinal girders on said work surface according substantially to the width of said building; fixing purlins at ends of said spaced apart girders to thereby form a substantially rectangular frame; laying a ceiling between said spaced apart girders; drilling apertures into said ceiling through said work surface guide holes; wiring up said ceiling including feeding utility supply means into apertures corresponding with a utility supply destination inside said building; fixing intermediate purlins between said longitudinal girders such that they are raised at the centre of the girders; spraying polyurethane foam over said ceiling to a level below the height of said intermediate purlins, thereby bonding said ceiling to said girders and purlins and securing said utility supply means; and fixing roofing panels above said purlins.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate several implementations of the invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the advantages and principles of the invention.

In the drawings;

Figure 1 illustrates a transportable building having a pre-wired roof structure attached;

Figures 2a-2c illustrate from a front, top and side view of an elevated construction platform for constructing the roof structure of Figure 1 in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 3 illustrates a perspective view of the elevated platform of Figure 2;

Figure 4 illustrates a top view, following the first stage of construction, of the frame and ceiling panels of the roof structure of Figure 1;

Figure 5 illustrates a perspective view of Figure 4;

Figure 6 illustrates a top view, following the second stage of construction, of the frame and ceiling panels of the roof structure, the ceiling panels including apertures for accommodated electricity cables and the like;

Figure 7 illustrates a perspective view of Figure 6;

Figure 8 illustrates a top view, during the third stage of construction, of the frame and ceiling panels of the roof structure having foam insulation material sprayed between each frame member and the adjacent ceiling panels;

Figure 9 illustrates a perspective view, following the fourth stage of construction, of the frame and ceiling panels of the roof structure after foam has been sprayed above the entire ceiling area;

Figure 10 illustrates a top view, during the final stage of construction, of the frame, ceiling panels and foam insulation of the roof structure being the lengthwise laying of corrugated roofing panels above the frames; and

Figure 11 illustrates a perspective view of the roof structure after having been constructed in accordance with the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The following detailed description of the invention refers to the accompanying drawings. Although the description includes exemplary embodiments, other embodiments are possible, and changes may be made to the embodiments described without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Wherever possible, the same reference numbers will be used throughout the drawings and the following description to refer to the same and like parts.

It is to be understood that the present invention is not intended to be limited to the manufacture of the roof structure which is depicted and described. The apparatus (the construction platform 10) and method described herein could equally well be used in the manufacture of differently configured roof structures.

Referring now to Figure 1, there is illustrated a roof structure 11 fixed above a transportable building 12. The building 12 includes a floor 14, parallel ends 16 and 18, and longitudinal side walls 20 and 22, and doors 24 located on side wall 20. Of course, the geometry of the building may vary.

The building 12 is mounted on a chassis 26 that may include channels 28 allowing each building to be handled by a forklift (not shown). The building 12 is mounted above stacked and spaced apart

footing members 30, however, leg supports (not shown) could equally well be provided at the corners of the chassis to position the buildings on a site. Furthermore, the leg supports could include self-levelling means.

The roof structure 11 is shown in its completed form in Figures 1 and 11. Figures 2-3 illustrate the apparatus 10 used in the manufacture of the roof structure in accordance with the present invention. Figures 4-10 illustrate the various stages of construction according to the method of the present invention.

The roof structure 11 as embodied herein is now described.

The roof 11 comprises two longitudinal, C-section girders 32 and 34 which are inwardly directed, and a plurality of equally spaced purlins 36 extending between the girders 32 and 34. The purlins 36 are positioned in a curved manner along the length of the girders whereby the purlins are at their highest position in the middle of the girders, and at their lowest positions towards the ends of the girders 32 and 34. The skilled addressee would realise that because roof sheeting 38 is adapted to be fixed directly above the purlins 36, as will be described further below, they need to be positioned like so to facilitate water run-off from the roof sheeting. There are also two vertically aligned end purlins 40 and 42, and 44 and 46 positioned one above the other at the ends of the girders, which cap the roof structure 11.

Forming part of the roof structure 11 is a ceiling 48, the bottom surface of which is flush with the bottom surface of the C-section girders 32 and 34 which line opposed sides of the ceiling. Effectively, the ceiling 48 extends between the C-section girders 32 and 34. As described in more detail below, polyurethane foam 50 is sprayed between the ceiling 48 and frame members, not only for insulation purposes, but also as a means of binding the ceiling and the surrounding frame member, including with the girders 32 and 34, without the need for mechanical fasteners such as screws, bolts and the like.

Transportable buildings constructed on a large scale, for example for use in a portable camp, are typically identical and constructed according to a predetermined layout. This obviously reduces time and cost during construction, and during commissioning and decommissioning of camps. For example, the position of the lights, the position of the air conditioner, and the position of the power outlets on the walls are typically all predetermined.

The ceiling 48 of the roof structure 11 embodied herein is also constructed in accordance with this predetermined layout in that during its construction, apertures 52 are drilled where each electrical or gas appliance is located so as to accommodate cables and conduits 53 for supplying such appliances. For example, there may be an aperture 52 located at the centre of the ceiling 48 for accommodating wiring corresponding with the main light. Similarly, there may be apertures 52 in the ceiling 48 adjacent the walls for accommodating wiring which corresponds with power outlets on the side wall or light switches. Where there is an air conditioner (not shown) mounted on a wall of the building, apertures 52 would be

present in the ceiling 48 at the precise position there above to accommodate the electrical wiring and gas conduits.

As mentioned earlier, the construction platform 10 of the present invention is illustrated in Figures 2-3, the purpose of which is to facilitate quick and easy construction of roof panels and, in particular, the roof structure 11 described above.

The platform 10 is made up of a horizontal frame 56 comprising various structural members 58 supported above legs 60, the legs 60 having rollers 62 at lower ends thereof for facilitating movement of the platform 10. Supported above the frame 56 is a horizontal support surface 64, preferably made of wood, above which the roof structure 11 embodied herein is to be constructed.

The horizontal surface 64 is preferably marked up according to the size, shape and utility layout of the building. For example, the width and length of the roof structure 11 could be marked on the top surface using an appropriate marking means. There is also a plurality of pre-drilled guide holes 66 extending through surface 64 according to the pre-determined building layout. In particular, the guide holes 66 are positioned in correspondence with the position of various electrical/gas items inside the building such as lights, power outlets, switches and air conditioning systems.

The method of constructing the roof structure 11 in accordance with the present invention is characterised by the following steps:

1) As mentioned, the surface 64 is preferably marked up so that the width of the building is known and the assembler can simply place the girders 32 and 34 in their correct spaced apart locations on the surface. In preference, the longitudinal girder 34 is placed right up against one longitudinal side of the platform 10 while the other girder 32 will typically be placed inwards of the other longitudinal side, the surface 64 being wider on that side so as to also provide walking space alongside the roof structure during construction. L-shaped brackets 68 can be used to abut against the outer side of girder 32 so as to maintain it in position throughout the construction process.

As also mentioned, two vertically disposed end purlins are mounted between the girders 32 and 34 at ends thereof. The two end purlins are preferably mounted to the girders using mechanical fastening means such as a nut and bolt connections.

Therefore at the end of this step, the basic rectangular frame of the roof 11 is assembled.

2) The next step in the process is the laying down of the ceiling 48. The ceiling 48 is preferably made of strong, slightly flexible, and waterproof material. Such material is typically provided in panels 70 and so rather than having a single ceiling structure, the ceiling will typically be made

up of a plurality of connecting panels 70. The plurality of panels 70 making up the ceiling 48 can be seen clearly in Figure 4. It is to be understood that a large single panel could equally well be used, although this is not practical as the surface area of the ceiling is large.

As mentioned earlier, the ceiling panels 70 are not bolted to the girders or end purlins, they are simply placed above surface 64 so that they are located inside the respective frame members. Separating each panel are plastic joining strips (not shown) which serve to connect adjacent panels and thereby fill the gap there between and offer a more, pleasing appearance from inside the room. Such strips are well known in the art.

Therefore at the end of this step, the basic rectangular frame of the roof structure 11 is established, and the ceiling panels 70 are laid in place and coupled via joining strips.

3) Once the ceiling panels 70 are in place, the apertures 52 which accommodate the various cables 53 need to be drilled into the ceiling 48. This is achieved by drilling upwards through the pre- drilled guide holes 66 present in the platform surface 64 mentioned earlier. Those skilled in the art would realise that in doing so, the same guide holes 66 that are present in the platform surface 64, will be formed in the ceiling 48. This is the reason the platform 10 is elevated, so that there is access to beneath the structure for drilling the apertures 52.

Mounted on one side of the platform 10, there is a black board 72 supported by posts 73. The purpose of the black board 72 is to mark out which electrical appliance, for example, corresponds with a particular aperture 52 in the ceiling 48. For example, a light switch (not shown) located on the near side of the building 12 could be marked out on the bottom of the blackboard 72 in the relevant longitudinal position, whilst a power outlet (not shown) located at the same longitudinal position but on the opposite wall of the building 12 could be marked out on the top of the blackboard 72, and so on. It is then easier for an electrician or other worker to wire up the roof structure 1 1, and further roof structures there after, using the same platform 10.

4) The next step is wiring up the roof structure 11 which involves inserting the plurality of electrical cables and gas conduits 53 through one end of the roof (preferably below the lower of the two end purlins 40 and 42, or 44 and 46), through to the respective apertures 52 in the ceiling 48. All wiring and cables that are required to supply the building are run through the roof structure 11 and down into the corresponding ceiling apertures 52.

As shown in Figure 7, approximately 2-3 metres of cabling is fed through each aperture 52 to allow for it to extend to a corresponding supply destination. Obviously, any length of cable could

be fed through depending on the distance of the destination from the ceiling 48, for example, the central light may only a require a small length of cable, whilst a power outlet located at the bottom of the building may require 2-3 metres.

5) Once the ceiling 48 is laid, the purlins 36 which extend between the girders 32 and 34 may be connected. This step could equally well have been undertaken prior to steps (2), (3) or (4) above, however, in preference this step is completed afterwards so that the purlins do not form an obstruction to the person(s) laying the ceiling, and wiring up the roof. The purlins 36 are preferably beams of rectangular cross section, bolted at their opposed ends to the girders 32 and 34 using known mechanical fastening means, and as already mentioned, are raised toward the centre of the girders and lowered towards the ends to facilitate rain water run-off.

Therefore at the end of this step, the complete frame of the roof structure 11 is established, as is the ceiling 48. Furthermore, the roof structure 11 is completely wired.

6) In order to now bind the ceiling 48 with the surrounding roof frame members 32, 34, 36, 42 and 44, and to secure the network of cables and conduits 53 in place, polyurethane foam 50 is sprayed above the ceiling 48. The foam 50 has been developed such that when it is exposed to air it hardens to form a rigid insulation material for the roof 11. The foam also has exceptional chemical bonding properties so that foam 40 which contacts both the ceiling 48 and various frame members, bonds the two structures together, hence why no mechanical fastening means are required to secure the ceiling in place.

In preference, the foam is firstly sprayed between the ceiling 48 and each of the purlins/girders in order to ensure that the ceiling 48 is securely fixed, as shown in Figure 8. Then once this is completed, the remainder of the ceiling 48 can be sprayed until an adequate amount is present for the purpose of insulating the building 12 as well as securing the network of wiring and conduits

53 above the ceiling 48 in their designated positions. Obviously the foam 50 should not exceed the height of the purlins so as to allow for the roofing panels 38 to be fixed, as described in step (7) below.

7) The final step in constructing the roof structure 11 of the present invention is the laying down and bolting of the longitudinal roofing panels 38. In the embodiment shown, the roofing panels 38 are corrugated roofing panels which extend the entire length of the building structure, however, other configurations are possible.

The panels 38 are preferably laid starting at one side of the structure 1 1 and finishing on the other, with each panel being bolted down at spaced apart positions along the transverse purlins

36. As mentioned, the purlins are at their highest position in the middle portion of the girders 32 and 34, and extend in between the two end purlins 40 and 42 on one side, and 44 and 46 on the other. The panels 38 are preferably fixed above the lower of the two end purlin pairs 42 and 44.

It is to be understood that the present invention is not intended to be limited to the location of the rectangular configuration of the platform 10, the position of its guide holes 66, or the number/arrangement of cables and conduits 53, to that which is illustrated in the drawings. These are shown by way of example only. For example, differently configured roof structures may be required and the platform 10 of the present invention may well accommodate for these. It is to be further understood that the invention need not be limited to constructing a pre-wired roof for only electricity or gas, but may well accommodate other utilities.

There may well be additional components added to the platform 10 to make it more efficient. For example, an automated spraying machine (not shown) could be fitted above the platform 10 which is used to spray the desired amount of foam 40 across the ceiling 48. The spray machine would be longitudinally moveable along the length of the structure. The spray machine could include a controller and associated computing device into which data corresponding with a particular size, shape and configuration of roof structure could be input. Upon receiving such data, the controller would control movement of the spray machine and volume output of foam in accordance with the data.

A further addition to the platform 10 is a crane (not shown) used to lift the completed roof structure 11 off the surface 64 and to move it away from the platform 10, so that it is ready to be used again in the construction of a roof.

Furthermore, all parts used in the roof structure 11 could be manufactured specifically to ensure even more fast and efficient construction. For example, each ceiling panel 70 could be numbered according to their position on the roof for ease of installation. The skilled addressee would realise the benefits in simply having to lay down the pre-drilled panels in numbered order between the frame members. Similarly, the girders 32 and 34, and purlins 36, could include pre-drilled apertures for accommodating bolts, for example, at the various positions where the structural members are intended to be connected.

The advantages of the present invention should now be evident. The platform 10 provides an extremely fast and efficient means of manufacturing pre-wired, insulated roof structures. Once completed, the roof structure 11 is ready to be mounted above the walls of a building 12, by simply being fixed using known fastening means. Those skilled in the art would appreciate the time and cost savings in being able to quickly and efficiently manufacture such roof structures, particularly in potentially high demand environments such as portable camps.

Further advantages and improvements may very well be made to the present invention without deviating from its scope. Although the invention has been shown and described in what is conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope and spirit of the invention, which is not to be limited to the details disclosed herein but is to be accorded the full scope of the claims so as to embrace any and all equivalent devices and apparatus.

In any claims that follow and in the summary of the invention, except where the context requires otherwise due to express language or necessary implication, the word "comprising" is used in the sense of "including", i.e. the features specified may be associated with further features in various embodiments of the invention.