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Title:
BUILDING PANELS – SYSTEMS COMPONENTS & METHODS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/042665
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A modular building panel (10) for use in forming walls. The panel comprises: an inner foam core (36) and a frame (12) surrounding the inner foam (5) core (36). The frame (112) is provided for standing upright to provide two primary faces (18) joined by a number of side portions (20). The side portions (20) of the frame (12) are provided by structural channel members (42). The structural channel members (42) provide a perimeter around the foam core (36). The structural channel members (42) providing flange portions (96) to allow rigid connection of the panel (10) using fasteners extending through the primary faces (18) into the flange portions (98) to provide the panel with a desirable cyclone rating.

Inventors:
HUSIN-ALI, Anton (19 Rossiter Way, WinthropPerth, Western Australia 6150, AU)
Application Number:
AU2014/050250
Publication Date:
April 02, 2015
Filing Date:
September 26, 2014
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
AUSSIB GROUPS PTY LTD (19 Rossiter Way, WinthropPerth, Western Australia 6150, AU)
International Classes:
E04C2/38; E04B2/58; E04H9/14; E04H9/16
Foreign References:
CA2081651A11994-04-29
US4633634A1987-01-06
US20070144090A12007-06-28
US20140157710A12014-06-12
Other References:
"Air- Cell Insulbreak", 15 April 2011 (2011-04-15), Retrieved from the Internet
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAW, Adam (26 Glengariff Drive, FloreatPerth, Western Australia 6014, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
TH E C LA IMS DE FINING TH E INVENTI ON ARE AS FO L LOWS:

A modular building panel for use in forming walls, the panel comprising: an inner foam core and a frame surrounding the inner foam core; the frame for standing upright to provide two primary faces joined by a number of side portions; the side portions of the frame being provided by structural channel members; the structural channel members providing a perimeter around the foam core; the structural channel members providing flange portions to allow rigid connection of the panel using fasteners extending through the primary faces into the flange portions to provide the panel with a desirable cyclone rating.

A modular building panel as claimed in claim 1 wherein the desirable cyclone rating corresponds with an external pressure loading of greater than 6 kPa.

A modular building panel as claimed in claim 1 or 2 wherein the desirable cyclone rating corresponds with an external pressure loading of greater than 7 kPa.

A modular building panel as claimed in claim 1, 2 or 3 wherein the flange portions are provided in the vicinity of the perimeter around the foam core

A modular building panel as claimed i any one of claims 1 to 4 wherein the flange portions are provided in the vicinity of the periphery of the frame.

A modular building panel as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 5 wherein the fl ange portions extend substantially around the ull periphery of each primary face of the frame.

7. A modular building panel as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 6 wherein each structural channel member comprises a u-shaped channel member; with the structural members being welded together in the frame;

8. A modular bui lding panel as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 7 wherein each structural channel member comprises an extending channel portion provi ded by two flanges and a base portion; the base portion connecting the two flanges to form the channel; the base portion extending between the primary faces of the frame; the channel being generally perpendicular to the to the surface normal of the primary faces.

9. A modular building panel as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 8 wherein the frame includes at least one internal structural member provided as a vertical strut extending vertically when then frame is standing upright.

10. A modular building pane! as claimed in any one of claims I to 9 wherein the panel includes a series of spaced apart internal structural members; each provided as a vertical strut extending vertically when then frame is standing upright.

11. A modular building panel as claimed in claim 9 or 10 wherein the or each internal structural member comprises a structural channel member.

12. A modular building panel as claimed in any one of claim 1 to 1 1 wherein the structural channel members are formed from ! mm thick steel where the thickness is a base metal thickness.

13. A modular building panel as claimed in any one of claim 1 to 1 1 wherein the structural channel members are formed from steel between 1 to 1,2 mm thick where the thickness is a base metal thickness.

14. A modular building panel as claimed in any one of claim 1 to 1 1 wherein the structural channel members are formed from steel between 1 to 1.5 mm thick where the thickness is a base metal thickness.

15, A modular building panel as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 14 wherein the structural channel members providing the perimeter have at least one of the strueturai channel members facing outwardly to provide a channel for receiving a corresponding panel and allowing fastening of the panels through the flange of the channel into an adjoining flange of the corresponding panel.

A modular building panel as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 15 wherein the structural channel members providing the perimeter have at least one of the strueturai channel members facing inwardly to provide a projection for receiving an corresponding panel and allowi ng fastening of the panels through the flange of the channel of the corresponding panel into a corresponding flange of the pro jection .

A modular building panel as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 1 wherein the frame is rectangular; and the side portions of the frame comprise an upper side portion, a lower side portion and two lateral side portions when then frame is standing upright.

A modular building panel as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 17 wherein the panel is able to support a load on its primary face greater than 4 tonne with a four point bend test

A modular building panel as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 18 wherein the panel, when upright, is able to support a vertical load greater than 20 tonne,

A modular building panel as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 19 where the panel weigh at least 70 kg

A modular building panel as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 20 wherein the panel weighs at least 80kg.

A modular building panel primary faces of the panel each provide a surface area between 2.5 and 3.5 ιηΛ2

23. A modular building panel as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 22 wherein the panel is between 70mm and 90 mm thick.

24. A modular building panel as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 23 including air- cell material in addition to the foam core,

25. A modular building panel as claimed in claim 24 wherein the air cell material comprises sheet material that is laid between the structural channel members of the panel.

26. A modular building panel as claimed in claim 24 or 25 wherein the sheet material overlaps the structural channel members to substantially provide a relatively continuous layer of air-cell material behind at least one primary face of the panel, separated by the structural members.

27. A corner piece of a modular building system comprising an elongate body providing a female channel and a male projection; the female channel and male projection extending along a substantial portion of the length of th elongate body

28. A corner piece as claimed in claim 27 wherein the female channel and male projection define an L shaped cross-section in the corner piece.

29. A corner piece as claimed in claim 27 or claim 28 including a u-shaped structural channel member, the opening of the u-shaped channel facing the female channel of the corner piece, the base of the u-shaped channel positioned adjacent a first wall face of the corner piece and one of the arms of the u-shaped channel positioned adjacent a second wall face of the corner piece, the second wall face being substantially at right angles to the first wall face to provide a outwardly facing comer.

30. A corner piece as claimed in any one of claim 27 to 29 wherein the corner piece includes a hole for receiving a foundation securing rod. A corner piece as claimed in claim 30 wherein the hole is provided centrally provided relative to the extension of the female channel portion and the extension of the male projection.

A corner piece as claimed in any one of claims 27 to 31 includes a v- shaped portion providing two wall faces.

A corner piece as claimed in any one of claims 27 to 32 wherein the female channel and the male projection are formed in a unitary piece of rigid foam material,

A corner piece as claimed in any one of claims 27 to 33 wherein the female channel and the male projection are formed in a body of rigid foam material.

A comer piece as claimed in any one of claims 27 to 34 wherein the body of rigid foam material is provided as an L- shaped extrusion.

A modular building system comprising a first joiner having flange portions and a second joiner having flange portions wherein the first joiner is adapted to adapted to be receive flange portions of a number of upper side portions of a number of modular panels and the second joiner is adapted to receive flange portions of a number of lower side portions of the modular panels.

A modular building system as claimed in claim 36 wherein each modular panel comprises: an inner foam core and a frame surrounding the inner foam core; the frame for standing upright to provide two primary faces joined by a number of side portions; the side portions of the frame being provided by structural channel members; the structural channel members providing a perimeter around the foam core; the structural channel members providing flange portions to allow rigid connection of the panel usin fasteners extending through the primary faces into the flange portions to provide the panel with a desirable cyclone rating.

38. A modular building system as claimed in claim 36 or 37 wherein the joiners comprise u-shaped channel members.

39, A modular building system as claimed in any one of claims 36 to 38 wherein the joiners are used to fix upper sides and lower sides of the modular panels.

40. A method of constructing a wall comprising fixing a first joiner to lower side portions of a number of modular panels; and fixing a. second j oiner to upper side portions of the panels; the joiners having flange portions that receive flange portions of the modular panels on their upper and lower sides.

41 , A method as claimed in claim 40 wherein the joiners comprise u-shaped channel members.

42, A modular building panel for use in forming walls, the panel comprising: an inner foam core and a rectangular frame surrounding the inner foam core; the rectangular frame for standing upright to provide two primary faces joined by an upper side portion, a lower side portion; and two lateral side portions; each of the side portions of the frame being provided by structural channel members; the structural channel members providing a perimeter around the foam core; the channel members providing flange portions to allow rigid connection of the panel using fasteners extending through the primary faces in the vicinity of the perimeter to provide the panel with a desirable cyclone rating.

43. A modular building panel for use in forming walls, the panel comprising: a frame for surrounding an inner foam core; the frame for standing upright to provide two primary faces joined by a number of side portions; the side portions of the frame being provided by structural channel members; the structural channel members for providing a perimeter around the foam core; the structural channel members providing flange portions to allow rigid connection of the panel using fasteners extending through the primary faces into the flange portions. A method of providing a modular building panel comprising: providing a wall facing; providing a frame having the structural channel members providing a perimeter for receiving a foam core; and applying a further wall to provide a mould for the foam core, and filling the mould to provide the foam core; wherein the structural channel members provide flange portions that lie against each wall facing; the flange portions allowing rigid connection o the panel to another panel or structural element using fasteners extending through the wall facings into the fl ange portions in the vicinity of the perimeter of the panel to provide the panel with a desirable cyclone rating.

A modular building panel for use in provi ding a recess for a window, the panel comprising: a frame for standing upright to provide two primary faces joined by a number of side portions; the side portions of the frame being provided by structural channel members; the panel having vertical side that provides a stepped configuration where a portion of the side mates with another panel to provide a recess the recess extending between the two panels, the recess able to accommodate a window.

46, A modular building panel as claimed in claim 45 wherein the recess is able to accommodate a window and a further panel thai spans the two panels above the window, 47, A modular buildin panel as claimed in claim 45 or 46 wherein the stepped configuratio comprise a first step into the panel to accommodate and support the window and then a second further step into the panel to increase the depth of the recess to accommodate and support the further panel

48, A modular building panel for use in forming walls, the panel comprising: an inner foam core and a frame surrounding the inner foam core; the frame for standing upright to provide two primary faces joined by a number of side portions; the side portions of the frame being provided by structural channel members; the structural channel members providing a perimeter around the foam core; the structural channel members providing flange portions to allow rigid connection of the panel using fasteners extending through the primary faces into the flange portions.

Description:
BUILDING PANELS - SYSTEMS COMPONENTS <& METHODS

PRIORITY

Priority is claimed from Australian patent applications 2013903929, 2013903752, 2013903737 and 2013234383 applied for by AUSSIB GROUPS PTYLTD. Ail parts and elements of these documents are hereby fully incorporated by reference for all purposes.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

In one preferred form there is provided a building panel. Various systems, components and methods are provided.

BACKGROUND To THE INVENTION

Building construction generally requires both a consideration of cost and safety. In cyclone affected areas buildings may have to meet legislated cyclone rating requirements. Rating requirements include wind loading requirements and other requirements

It is against this background and the problems and difficulties associated therewith that the present inventi n has been developed. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one aspect of preferred embodiments herein described there is provided a modular building panel for use in forming walls, the panel comprising; an inner foam core and a frame surrounding the inner foam core; the frame for standing upright to provide two primary faces joined by a number of side portions; the side portions of the frame being provided b structural channel members; the structural channel members providing a perimeter around the foam core; the structural channel members providing flange portions to all ow rigid connection of the panel usi ng fasteners extending th rough the primary faces into the flange portions to provide the panel with a desirable cyclone rating.

Preferably the desirable cyclone rating corresponds with an external pressure loading of greater than 6 kPa. Preferably the desirable cyeiorte rating corresponds with an external pressure loading of greater than 7 kPa.

Preferably the flange portions are provided in the vicinity of the perimeter .around the foam core, Preferably the flange portions are provided in the vicinity of the periphery of the frame.

Preferably the flange portions extend substantially around the full periphery of each primary face of the frame.

Preferably the structural channel members are metal structural channel members.

Preferably each structural channel member comprises a u- shaped channel member; with the structural members being welded together in the frame.

Preferably each structural channel member comprises an extending channel portion provided by two flanges and abase portion; the base portion connecting the two flanges to form the channel; the base portion extending between the primary' faces of the frame; the channel being generally perpendicular to the to the surface normal of the primary faces,

Preferably the frame includes at least one internal structural member provided as a vertical strut extending vertically when then frame is standing upright.

Preferably the panel includes a series of spaced apart internal structural members; each provided as a vertical strut extending vertically when then frame is standing upright. Preferably the or each internal structural member comprises a structural channel member.

Preferably the structural channel members are formed from lmm thick steel where the thickness is a base metal thickness.

Preferably the structural channel members are formed from steel between 1 to 1.2 mm thick where the thickness is a base metal thickness.

Preferably the structural channel members are formed from steel between 1 to 1.5 mm thick where the thickness is a base metal thickness. Preferably the structural channel members are formed from steel between 1 to 2 mm thick where the thickness is a base metal thickness.

Preferably the structural channel members providing the perimeter have at least one of the structural channel members facing outwardly to provide a channel for receiving a corresponding panel and allowing fastening of the panels through the flange of the channel into an adjoining flange of the corresponding panel.

Preferably the structural channel members providing the perimeter have at least one of the structural channel members facing inwardl to provide a projection for receiving a corresponding panel and allowing fastening of the panels through the flange of the channel of the corresponding panel into a corresponding flang of the proj ection.

Preferably the frame is rectangular; and the side portions of the frame comprise an upper side portion, a lower side portion and two lateral side portions when then frame is standing upright.

Preferably the panel is able to support a load on its primary face greater than 4 tonne with a four point bend test.

Preferably the panel, when upright, is able to support a vertical load greater than 20 tonne.

Preferably the panel weighs at least 70 kg

Preferably the panel weighs at least 80kg.

Preferably the panel primary faces of the panel each provide a surface area between 2.5 and 3.5 m A 2.

Preferabl the thickness of the panel is between 70mm and 90 mm thick.

Preferably the modular bui lding panel includes air-cell material in addition to the foam core.

Preferably the air cell material comprises sheet material that is laid between the structural channel members of the panel. Preferably the sheet material overlaps the structural channel members to substantially provide a relatively continuous layer of air-cell materia] behind at least one primary face of the panel, separated by the structural members.

According to one aspect of preferred embodiments herein described there is provided comer piece of a modular building syste comprising an elongate body providing a female channel and a male projection, the female channel and male projection extending along a substantial portion of the length of the elongate body.

Preferably the female channel and male projection define an L shaped cross-sectio in the corner piece.

Preferably the corner piece includes a u-shaped structural channel member, the openin of the u-shaped channel facing the female channel of the corner piece, the base of the u-shaped channel positioned adjacent a first wall face of the corner piece and one of the ar s of the u-shaped channel positioned adjacent a second wall face of the corner piece, the second w r all face being substantially at right angles to the first wall face to provide a outwardly facing corner.

Preferably the corner piece includes a hole for receiving a foundation securing rod.

Preferably the hole is provided centrally provided relative to the extension of the female channel portion and the extension of the male projection.

Preferably the corner piece includes a v-shaped portion providing two wall faces. Preferably the female channel and the male projection are formed in a bod of rigid foam material.

Preferably the body of rigid foam material is provided as an L -shaped extrusion.

According to one aspect of preferred embodiments herein described there is provided a modular building system comprising a first joiner having flange portions and a second joiner having flange portions wherein the first joine is ad pted to adapted to be receive flange portions of a number of upper side portions of number of modular panel s and the second joiner is adapted to receive flange portions of a number of lower side portions of the modular panels. Preferably each modular panel comprises: an inner foam core and a frame surrounding the inner foam core; the frame for standing upright to provide two primary faces joined b a number of side portions; the side portions of the frame being provided by structural channel members; the structural channel members providing a perimeter around the foam core; the structural channel members providing flange portions to allow rigid connection of the panel using fasteners extending through the primary faces into the flange portions to provide the panel with a desirable cyclone rating.

Preferably the joiners comprise u-shaped channel members.

Preferabl the joiners are used to fi upper sides and lower sides of the modular panels. According to one aspect of preferred embodiments herein described there is provided a method of constructing a wall comprising fixing a first joiner to lower side portions of a number of modular panels; and fixing a second joiner to upper side portions of the panels; the joiners having flange portions that receiv flange portions of the modular panels on their upper and lower sides, Preferably the j oiners comprise u-shaped channel members.

According to one aspect of preferred embodiments herein described there is provided a modular building panel for use in forming walls, the panel comprising; an inner foam core and a rectangular frame surrounding the inner foam core; the rectangular frame for standing upright to provide two primary faces joined b an upper side portion, a lower side portion; and two lateral side portions; each of the side portions of the frame being provided by structural channel members; the structural channel members providing a perimeter around the foam core; the channel members providing flange portions to allow rigid connection of the panel using fasteners extending through the primary' faces in. the vicinity of the perimeter to provide the panel with a desirable cyclone rating.

According to one aspect of preferred embodi ments herein described there is pro vided a modular building panel for use in forming walls, the panel comprising: a frame for surrounding an inner foam core; the frame for standing upright to provide two primary faces joined by a number of side portions; the side portions of the frame being provided by structural channel members; the structural channel members for providing a perimeter around the foam core; the structural channel members providing flange portions to allow rigid connection of the panel using fasteners extending through the primary faces into the flange portions,

According to one aspect of preferred embodiments herein described there is provided a method of providing a modular building panel comprising: providing a wall facing; providing a frame having the structural channel members providing a perimeter for receiving a foam core; and applying a further wall to provide a mould for the foam core; and filling the mould to provide the foam core; wherein the structural channel members provide flange portions that lie against each wall facing; the flange portions allowing rigid connection of the panel to another panel or structural element using fasteners extending through the wall facings into the flange portions in the vicinity of the perimeter of the panel to provide the panel with a desirable cyclone rating.

According to one aspect of preferred embodiments herein described there i s provided a modular building panel for use in providing a recess for a window, the panel comprising: a frame for standing upright to provide two primary faces joined by a number of side portions; the side portions of the frame being provided by structural channel members; the panel having vertical side that provides a stepped configuration where a portion of the side mates with another panel to provide a recess the recess extending between the two panels, the recess able to accommodate a window.

Preferably the recess is able to accommodate a window and a further pane! than spans the two panels above the window.

Preferably the stepped configuration comprise a first step into the panel to accommodate and support the windo and then a second further step into the panel to increase the depth of the recess to accommodate and support the further panel, According to one aspect of preferred embodiments herein described there is provided a modular building panel for use in forming walls, the panel comprising: an inner foam core and a frame surrounding the inner foam core; the frame for standing upright to provide two primary faces joined by a number of side portions; the side portions of the frame being provided by structural channel members; the structural channel members providing a perimeter around the foam core, the structural channel members providing flange portions to allow rigid connection of the panel using fasteners extending through the primary faces into the flange portions.

Preferably the structural channel members comprise steel of a thickness from 1 mm to 2mm,

As will be discussed embodiments of the present invention are considered to provide number of preferred arrangements including:

(i) Modular building panels providing 'extreme' category cyclone rating compliance;

(it) Modular building panels providing advantageous insulation and fire ratings;

(iii) Modular building panels having u-ehannel sections providing flange portions extending substantially along the periphery of the front and rear outward faces of the building panel to provide a band for fastening adjoining panels;

(i v ) Modul e bui 1 ding panel s having a foam core an d an outer periphery provi ded by u-channel sections; one or more of the u-channel sections providing a channel facing inwardly into the panel and one or more of the u-channel sections facing outwardly away from the panel; and

(v) Modular building panels that are advantageousl able to accommodate windows.

It is to be recognised that other aspects, preferred forms and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the present specification including the detailed description, drawings and claims.

BR IEF D ESC RIPTION OF DRAWINGS

In order to facilitate a better understanding of the present invention, several preferred embodiments will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which

Figure 1 provides a perspective view of a modular building panel according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 2 provides a perspective view of the modular building panel shown in Figure Figures 3 and 4 respectivel provide a perspeetive and partial perspeetive view of the panel shown in Figure 1 ;

Figure 5 provides a further perspeetive view showing a foam core of the panel shown in Figure 1 ; Figure 6 provides a partially exploded view of the panel shown in Figure 1;

Figures 7 to 16 provide further views of the panel shown in Figure l s and portions thereof;

Figure 17 provides a view showing a joiner used in a system involving the panel shown in Figure 1 ; Figure 18 provides a view illustrating how two panels shown in Figure 1 are advantageousl fixed together;

Figures 19 and 20 provide further illustrative views of the panel shown in Figure 1 ;

Figure 21 illustrates the strength of one embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 22 illustrates a method according to another preferred embodiment of the present i nvention ;

Figures 23a and 23b illustrate a corner piece according to a further preferred embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 23c and 23d illustrate a corner piece according to a further preferred embodiment of the present invention; Figure 24 provides a view of a prototype for receiving the panel shown in Figure ;

Figure 25 provides an exploded view of a panel system according to another preferred embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 26 to 28 provide further views of the panel system shown in Figure 25;

Figures 29 to 32 show a panel according to a further preferred embodiment of the present inventi on;

Figures 33 to 36 provide further illustrations of the panel system shown in Figure

25; Figures 37 to 39 illustrate a panel according to a further preferred embodiment of the present invention; and

Figures 36 to 44 illustrate yet further preferred embodiments of the present invention that provide a window structure. DE TA ILE D DESCRIP TIO N OF TH E EMBO D IMENTS

It is to be appreciated that each of the embodiments is specifically described and that the present invention is not to be construed as being limited to any specific feature or element of any one of the embodiments. Neither is the present invention to be constmed as being limited to any feature of a number of the embodiments or variations described in relation to the embodiments.

Referri g to Figure 1 there is shown a modular building panel 10 according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention. The modular building panel 10 is able to advantageously fit together with other modular building panels 10 to provide a cyclone rated wall. In this embodiment the modular building panel 10. provides a cyclone rated panel able to withstand an external pressure loading of at least 6 kPa.

Referri g to Figure 2 the modular building panel 10 includes a frame 12. The frame 1J2 provides a number of frame partitions 14 for receiving foam material. Three frame partitions 14 are provided. The frame is about 1 2m in width 18 and about 2.4 m in height 16. Other embodiments provide different standard sizes such as a 1.2 2.7m modular panel

Referring to Figures 3 and 4 the frame 12, can be considered as providing two rimary faces 18 joined by a number of side portions 2Q, The primary faces 18 comprise general outwardly facing faces of the frame . 12. The primary faces 18 provide a forward outward face 22 and a rearward outward face 24. The forward, outward face 22 provides a surface normal 26. The rearward outward face 24 provides a surface normal 28. The building panel provides an upright wall and the surface, normals 28, 26 are horizontally orientated. The frame is of a rectangular shape having four side portions 20 that define the thickness of the frame 12. Returning to Figure 1 the panel 10 includes two sheet portions 30 that are each fixed to a corresponding primary-' face 18 of the frame 12. The sheet portions 30 are provided as rectangular sheets 30 that fit onto the primary faces 18. The sheets 30 compri se fibre cement sheets as used in the building industry. Of course other forms of sheet .30. could be readily applied including aluminium, calcium silicate, colour bond, timber and so forth.

The frame 12 and the sheet portions 30 provide a mould in which foam material is injected into and subsequently cured according to industry standard processes. The foam material provides a PIR-type core having advantageous insulative and fire resistant properties.

Referring to Figures 1 and 2, each frame partition 14 is provided with an inlet hole 32 for admitting the foam material. During manufacture the f am material is injected through each inlet hole 32 into a corresponding partition 14 and cured.

Once the foam material has cured three foam cores 34 fill the frame partitions 14 and are visible through the holes 32 as shown in Figure 5,

Figure 6 provides a partially exploded view in which one of the sheets 20 is shown, removed from the panel 10. As shown in Figure 6, the frame 12 surrounds the three foam cores 34 disposed in the partitions 14. The three foam cores 34 form a foam core 36 having three separate portions.

Referring to Figure 9, the foam core 36 is surrounded, by the frame ,12 that provides a perimeter 38. The sheets 20 enclose the foam core 3 within the frame 12. Referring to Figures 7 and 8 the perimeter 38 comprises a band 40 defined by the side portions 20 of the frame 12.

Referri ng to ' Figure 7 S the frame 12 compri ses a number of structural channel members 42, The structural channel members 42 provide the frame 12 in the form of a grid 36. The structural channel members 42 provide the side portions 20. As would be apparent from the desired orientation of the panel 10, the frame 12 is provided for standing upright.

The frame 12 includes six (6) structural channel members 42 that are welded together to provide the frame .12. Referring to Figure 10, the structural channel members 42 are conceptually identifiable as shown by lines 44. The structural channel members 42 comprise six lengths of u-shaped metal channel that are welded together at locations 46. The bases of the u-shaped metal channel (i.e. the connecting web) defines the perimeter 38 and the band 40. The side portions 20 . are provided as three outwardly facing channels 48 and one inwardly facing channel 50.

The structural members 42 provide two horizontal lengths 52 and four vertical lengths 54. In other embodiments the frame .12 may be formed as one piece providing the structural members 42 without any welds or other joining. Structural members 42 are provided in both variations.

Referring to Figure 11, the staictural channel members .42 provide an upper side portion . 56, a lower side portion . 58 a first lateral side portion 60 and a second lateral side portion 62 to form the frame 12, The interior of the frame .12 includes two structural channel members . 42 that each provide an internal stmt . 64. The internal struts 64 span from the lower side portion 58 to the upper side portion 5.6. The lateral side portion 60 is provided by a structural member 66 and the lateral portion 62 is provided by a structural member 68. The internal stmts 64 and structural members 68. provide a seri es 70 of verticall extending struts. Figure 12 provides a further view of the frame . 1 . 2. Figure 13 provides a partial view of Figure 12. As shown each of the structural members 4.2 in the series 70 apart from the structural member 68 {providing the second lateral side portion 62) is provided in the form of a standard U-shaped channel.

Referring to Figure 14, each of the standard U-shaped channels comprises a base 72 that connects two flanges . 74. The flanges 74 . provide relatively flat surfaces 7 . 6 that face outwardly to provide an abutment for the sheets 20. The channels are about 70mm. across the base .72 and have two flanges 74 on opposite sides, each flange being about 40mm deep.

Referring to Figure 15, the structural member 68 provides a projection 78 sized to fit within a channel provided by an adj acent panel of a similar form to the panel 10. The size of the channel in which the projection is sized to fit comprises the size of the channel 80 of the structural member 66 (See Figure 13).

As shown in Figure 15, the form of the structural member 68 provides a U-shaped channel having relatively narrow end 8 sized to fit within the channel of the other panel. The structural member 68 comprises base 84 connecting two flange portions 86 having an. external width 88.. The flange portions 86 extend outwardly to provide two further spaced apart portions 90 having a greater external width 92, The structural member 68 provides a U-shaped channel having two flanges of a stepped form.

In terms of the panel . 1 . 0, the structural member 66 (providing the lateral side portion 60) . provides an open channel .8.0 facing in a direction perpendicular to the normal direction of the primar faces 18. The channel 80 i s provi ded for receiving the equivalent of structural member 68 of another panel 10. Eac of the structural members 42 in the series 70 provides a channel facing in a first direction 94. The channels are aligned and face in the same direction.

In the frame 12 each of the structural channel members 42 ar provided by u-shaped channels of relatively thick steel. In the embodiment, the U-shaped channel comprises LOmm steel. When the foam is cured the sheets 20, foam core 36 and frame 12 provide an advantageous modular building panel 1 for cyclone environments. It is envisaged that the thickness of steel may range between 1 to 1.2mm (base metal thickness). This is of course dependent on the overall design of the panel. The thickness could of course be outside this range. For example the structural channel members 42 of the panel 10 may comprise galvanised steel of a thickness from 1mm to 2mm, depending o the required engineering characteristics,

With panel approximately between 1 to 2 m wide and 2 to 3m tall i has been found advantageous to provide two internal struts and weld each of the structural members together.

Returning to Figure .12, each of the structural members 42 have two flange portions 96 arranged to provide flat surfaces 98 aligned with the primary faces 18. Th flat surfaces 96 are aligned in the sense of being generally parallel. The primary faces j . 8 are general in the sense of defining a general shape. The difference in size between with width .88 and the width 92 i in this embodiment, may only be in th order of millimetres. Each of the flange portions 96 is in the vicinit of a corresponding primary faces 18. As such there is provided a forward flange portion 96 for the forward outward surface 24 and a rear flange portions for the rear outward surface 22 of the frame 12.

Figure 16 show's an upper side portion 56, a lower side portion . 58,, a first lateral side portion 60 an d a second lateral side portion .62, The upper side portion 56 is provided by a structure channel member TOO . The lower side portion 58 is provided by a structural channel member 102. The structural member 66, the structural member 68, the structural member 1 . 02 and the structural member .100 define a band 40 surrounding the foam core 36. The band 40 is provided by the base of each u-channel section, Referring to Figure 17, the modular building panel 10 provides a channel 104 in each of the upper side portion 56, the lower side portion 58 and the lateral side portio 60. This allows the upper side portion 56 to receive a joiner 106 and for the lower side portion to receive a joiner 108. The joiner 108 is fixed to a foundation and the joiner 106 is fixed to a truss of roof. To fix the joiner 106 a number holes are drilled through the sheet 20 into the metal flanges 96 of the structure channel member 100.

The metal flanges 96 advantageously provide both strength and rigidity to the modular panel 10. A number of conventional panels formed from fibre cement and foam material are consi dered not to meet cyclone rating requirements. With the provision of the metal u- channel members 42 a rigid wall can be advantageously provided with fasteners being provided in the vicinity of the periphery .1.1.0 of the primary faces 18,

The modular building panel 10 can be secured with advantageous strength and fracture resistant joins about the forward and rear periphery j.10 of the panel 10, through the sheets 20 due to the provision of the structural members 42. The structural members 42 are provided in the form of m etal u-channel of an advantageous thickness, Figure 18 illustrates how two panels J O are advantageously fixed together. As shown there Is provided a first panel .1.12 and a second panel j ,14. The first panel 112 includes a first structural channel member Π 6 that provides a projection by having the opening of the channel member . 116 facing into the body jJH of the panel 1 1 . 2. The second panel 1 1 . 4 includes a second structural channel member . 120 having the opening of the channel member 120 facing awa from the body 122 of the panel 114. The first channel member 116 includes two flanges providing relatively flat outwardl facing surfaces 124, The second channel member . 1 . 14 includes two flanges providing relatively flat inwardly facing surfaces .126. The panels 112 and .1.1.4 are brought together. The flanges of the fust and second structure members comprise metal of a substantial thickness allowing for numbe of holes to be drilled in the flanges and for threaded fasteners 128 to be received therethrough. Referring to Figure 1 , the panel 10 according includes a region , 110 in the vicinity of the periphery 1 0 each primary face 1.8 of the frame .12 allowing for robust connection of the panel 10 to adjoining panels or joiners. A workman can readily fasten a screw type fasteners 132 through the regions 1.30 of adjoining panels 1.0 and construct a wall meeting cyclone rating requirements.

The regions 110 are located in the vicinity of the periphery 110. The regions 110 are provided by the flanges 96 of the structural members 42 providing the side portions 20. The regions 110 are located in the vicinity of the perimeter 38. The regions 110 define a relatively continuous band 1 .4 on each side of the panel .10. By using metal u-channel to provide the perimeter of the modular building panels the connection formed using the fasteners provides advantageous strength and fracture resistant properties suitable for providing a Cyclone D rated walls. The holes drilled into the metal flanges provided by the U-Channel are robust and are not prone to fracture of disintegration in cyclone conditions. The use of the vertically extending internal struts provides advantageous strength .

It will be appreciated that the embodiment provides a modular building panel 10 for use in forming walls such as the wall 136 of Figure 20. The panel .10 comprises an inner foam core 36 and a frame .12 surrounding the inner foam core 36. The frame .12 is provided for standing upright to provide two primary faces 18 joined by a. number of side portions 20. The side portions 20 of the frame 12 are provided by structural channel members 42 . that provide perimeter 38 around the foam core 36. The structural channel members 42 provide flange portions 96 to allow rigid connection of tile panel , 1.0 to other panels or joiners using fasteners. The fasteners extend through the primary feces 1 . 8 through the flange portions 96. The flange portions 96 are located in the vicinity of the periphery .110 of the primary faces .1 , 8. The flange portions 96 are provided in th vicinity of the perimeter 3.8.

Each structural channel member 42. com prises a u-shaped channel member having a base that defines the band 40 that surrounds the foam core 36, The structural members 42 are made from metal.

The structural, members 42 are welded together in the f ame to provide a welded grid for enclosing the foam core to provide the advantageous panel, Each structural channel member 42 compri ses an extending channel portio 42 provided by two. flanges and a base portion. The base portions extend between the primary faces 18 and connect the two flanges to form a channel . Each of the channels provided by the structural members 96 is generally perpendicular to the surface normal of the primary faces IS. Two internal structural members 64 provide vertical struts extending vertically when the frame is standing upright. The two internal structural members 64 provide a series 70 of spaced, apart internal structural members 42. The perimeter 38 is provided b four of the structural channel members .42. The structural member 66 faces outwardl to provide a channel 190 for receiving a corresponding panel having a projection formed from metal u- channel providing a lateral side. When abutted the flanges of the projection are located next to adjoining flanges of the channel . The flanges allow an advantageous connection betwee the two panels.

The weight of the U-channel is about 1.3 kg per meter. In a 1.2 by 2.4m panel there are about 12 m of u-channel which equates to about 1 kg of structural member 34. A 90mm by 2.4 by 1.2 panel weighs about 65 kg without the metal structural members 34, The total weight is about SO kg.

In embodiments it is considered that a walling system can be advantageously provided meeting the following standards:

* Wind Region A, Terrain Category 1 to AS1 70.201 .1 and AS405S-2Q12 · Wind Region B, Terrain Category 1 to ASl.1.70.201.1 and AS4055-2012

« Cyclonic Wind Region C, Terrai Category 1 to ASl 170,201 1 and AS4055-2012 » Cyclonic Wind Region D, Terrain Category to ASl 170,2011 and AS405S-20I2

* Full internal pressure Cpi = 0.9 Cpe

The system is considered to allow for the following walling applications in the above wind region s of Austr l i a :

* Load bearing for timber 'built up' roof to AS 1684

* Load beating for steel or timber truss roof

* Load bearing for metal roof cladding * Internal partiti ons

On the basis of the results of testing data, the applicant believes that such a staictural certification is able to be provided with panels in the walling system (installed as per specifications and panel fixing requirements), comprising:

» 6 or 10mm compressed Fibre Sheet (CFC)

* 70 to 78mm thick polyisoeyanurate PXR. sandwich

* Concealed 1,0mm BMT steel stud wailing system

* Up to 2.7m hi h » 1.2m wide

For the cyclonic wind regions C & D the external face of the building, once erected is preferably clad with Custom Orb or similar metal sheeting. The cladding is considered to prove a faster external finish to construction as no taping of joints, flushing and application of texture coatings is then required. The over-cladding is considered to provide additional debris protection to the building.

With a configuration of 6mm Calcium Silicate, 78mm Polyisoeyanurate, and 6mm Calcium Silicate, a number of R value calculations have been performed. The thermal performance of the proposed panel configuration was calculated using the following factors:

1) Componen R- Value or Resistivity; Source of Information

2) Polyisoeyanurate; 38 m,K/W; National Research Council of Canada

3) Calcium Silicate; 10 m,K/W; National Institute of Standards and Technology (US); and

4) Other factors as listed in the Building code of Australia (BCA) requirements, namely

Commercial Buildings:

• Internal walls, conditioned space on both sides - no requirements.

« Internal walls, conditioned space to unconditioned space (protected) - Rl (Zones 1 , 2, 5 & 6), R1.5 (Zone 7), R2.5 (Zone 8). • Internal walls, conditioned space to unconditioned space (unprotected) - R2.3 (Zones 1 , 2, & 3), i.8 (Zones 4 & .5), R2.8 (Zone 7) and R3.8 (Zone S).

• External Walls - R2.8 (Zones 1 , 2 & 3 for Light-Med coloured walls, and zones 4 to 7) and R3.8 for Zone 8.

Residential Buildings:

• Internal Walls - no requirements.

* External Walls - R2.8 (Zones 1 to 7 with some conditions) and R3.8 for

Z on e 8. The panel was assessed for its material R- Value, which includes only the characteristics of the panel materials; and for their Total R- Value, which includes internal and external air films as would be applicable to each proposed application.

The calculated performance for the panel arrived at comprised:

1 ) Panel; Material R- Value; Total R-Value in Application

2) PIR Panel - (6+78+6); R3.1; R3.3

On the basis of the various assumptions it was concluded that the proposed panel satisfied the BCA thermal provisions for use in internal and external wall applications in all types of buildings for climate zones 1 to 7,

I order to satisfy the requirements for Climate Zone 8, where a total R- Value of R3.8 is required an alternate panel size was considered to be required, For climate Zone 8a thicker panel (say 6+93+6) or the use of two panels with an air gap and a minimum of 85mm total thickness of Pol i socyannurate material was suggested. By varying the thicknesses panels with different properties may be provided.

The above calculations are based on a number of assumptions and are not to be construed as providing any form guarantee. Various R-values and loading strengths would be able to be calculated by standard mechanical engineering techniques.

Figure 21 illustrates the strength of an embodiment of the present invention, A single panel between 1 and 1.5 m in width supports a lateral load of greater than 4 tonne with the four point bend test shown. The vertical load bearing capacity of the panel is greater than 20 tonne (when upright). The panel when fixed in a panelling system is able to withstand cyclonic winds well in excess of 300 km/hr.

Figure 22 illustrates a method 138 according to another preferred embodiment of the present invention. The method OS, provide a process of manufacturing the modular building panels 10 and fixing the panels to provide a wall 140 . At block 142 the method 138 comprises providing a wall facing in the form of a sheet. At block 144 the method includes providing structural channel members providing a perimeter for surrounding a foam core, the structural members forming a grid. At block 146 the method includes applying a further wall facing to provide a mould for the foam core. At block 148 the method includes filling the mould to provide the foam core.

The structural channel members provide flange portions that lie against each wall facing. The flange portions allow rigid connection of the panel to another panel or structural element using fasteners extending through the wall facings through the flange portions in the vicinity of the perimeter of the panel to provide the panel with a desirable eyclone rating. At block 1.50 the method includes fixing the panels using the flange portions to provide the wall J40,

It i s envisaged that emb odiments will be provi ded in wi dths of between 1. to 3 m , heigh ts of between 1 to 3m and thicknesses of between 70 to 200mm. Various other sizes may be provided as well.

In this embodiment the structural channel members comprise 1 mm BMT steel u-channel. The foam material advantageously comprises pol isocyanurate foam (PIR). Both PUR and PIR ri gid foam panel systems are used for facades and roof elements for buildi ngs. They have excellent thermal properties and mechanical/physical properties, PIR also has significant fire resistant properties.

The panel 10 advantageously provides a PIR rigid foam core that provides both cyclone and fire resistant properties. The characteristics of various foams are available from providers such as BASF. Sandwich panel manufacturing and curing techniques follow industr practices. The method at block 148 employs a conventional a multiple shot type process. Figures 23a and 23b illustrates a comer piece 152 according to a further preferred embodiment of the present invention. The comer piece .152 comprises an elongate body 154 providing a female channel portion 156; and a male projection 158. The female channel portion 156 and male proj ection 1 8 are formed from a portion 160 provided in the shape of an L ISO. The elongate body 154 includes a first member 162 and a second member , 1 , 64 that provide a v-shaped portion 1 6, The first member 16 and the second member , 164 provide wall faces 168, In this embodiment the wall faces 168 comprise fibre cement.

The portion .1.60 is provided as a body of rigid foam material 170 that extends along the length of the corner piece 152. Within the portion 160 there is provided a hole 182 for receiving a foundation rod.

The hole includes a conduit 172 in the form of a plastic tube 184 that allows the smooth passage of the foundation rod. The foundation rod serve to hold the corner portion , 1,52 in an upright position.

In the embodiment the hole 182 is located centrally relative to the extension 174 of the female channel portion 156 and the extension 176 of the male projection 1 . 58. The extensions are longitudinal as shown in Figure 23b.

Referring to Figures 23 e and 23d there is shown a further preferred embodiment of the present i nvention i n the form of a corner piece 15 The corner piece 152' . is sim ilar to the corner piece 1 . 5 . 2 and for this reaso similar numerals are used. Advantageously the corner piece 1 . 52' further includes a structural support channel member 1 . 75,

The channel member 175 com pri ses u-sbaped channel that has the open end of the channel facing the opening of the female channel portion , 156 . The base 177 of the u-shaped channel 175 is positioned adjacent the wall face 181, and is aligned with the opening of the female channel portion 156' . The arm 183 , of the u-shaped channel is positioned adjacent the wall face .185 and is substantially aligned with the front of the male projection 1.58'.. The u-shaped channel .1.75 includes a number of holes therein to allow the foam material to flow and readily bond to both the wall face jjU and 185 and the facing surfaces of the u-shaped channel 175 during forming. In this embodiment, the holes are provided in the base 177 and the arms of the u-shaped channel extending therefrom . The u-shaped channel extends the height of the corner piece

. 152 . :;.

The comer piece 152 . 1 provides a comer of advantageous strength due to the provision of the u-shaped channel .175. Thus there is provided a corner piece 152 comprising an elongate body 154' providing a female channel .156' and a male projection 158' at right angles to one another. The female channel 156; . and male projection 1.581 extend along the length of the elongate body as does the u-shaped channel 175. The opening of the u-shaped channel Γ75 faces the female channel 156;. of the corner piece. The base 177 of the u- shaped channel ,1751 is positioned against the first wall face 181 of the corner piece 15 Γ and the arm .183 of the u-shaped channel 1.75 is positioned adjacent the second wall face 185 of the corner piece . 1 . 52' ,

As shown the second wall face 185 is substantially at right angles to the first wail face 18.1 to provide an outwardly facing corner. The wall faces comprise fibre cement portions connected at right angl e .

The use of the u-shaped channel 175 provides the comer piece .152' with advantageous strength and, in this embodiment, extends the full length of the comer piece 15 .

Figure 24 illustrates a basic prototype, the female channel portion 156 provides a channel for receiving a projection 78 of a structural member of a panel 10. The male projection ,1.58. is of an external width 1 . 78 equivalent to the external with of the projection 78 (eg width 88). The male projection .158 is arranged at 90 degrees- to the female channel portion 156 to allow for the provision of a corner bend. The v- shaped portion 166 is provided for abutting sheets 26 as show in Figure 2-3 b.

In some embodiments a number of holes 182 are provided in the panel members themselves. The holes 182 provide an aperture through which a bar can be introduced to further hold the modular panels 10 in position.

Referring to Figure 25 there is provided a panel system 1 . 86 according to yet another preferred embodiment of the present invention. The panel system includes tw elongate joiners 18.8 each having two flanges 190. A number of modular panels 192 are provided having a channel 194 in their upper sides ,196 and a channel 198 in their lower sides 200. The channels 194 and 198 are able to receive the joiners j 88; in the manner previously described and be readily fixed with a metal to metal join. The metal to metal join is considered to be advantageous and be able to provide a desirable cyclone rating as previously described. In this embodiment the joiners comprise 1,8 mm BMT u-shaped channels, it is envisaged that the channels may range up to say 2.5mm in various embodiments. Vari ous other sizes are of course possible.

Figure 26 shows how the joiners 188 could be attached to foundations 202. Figure 27 provides a further view. Figure 28 shows how a corner piece . 152 could be attached to a truss 206 of a roof 204 in the system 186.

Figures 29 to 32 show a plurality of lifting holes 20 . 8 provided as part of a panel 210 according to a further preferred embodiment of the present invention. The lifting holes 208 are provided in. the fl nge portions 212 . of the structural channel portions in the top portion 214 of the panel 210. The flange portions 212 are of a strength that is able to accommodate the holes 208 and support the lifting of the panel 2JQ. The flange portions 212 are about 40mm tall. The flange portions 212 are sufficiently strong to support lifting of the panels. The lifting holes 208 are sized to receive a number of shackles 214. Two pairs of lifting holes 208 are provided on the flange portions 212 of the upper side 214 (top) of the panel 210. In various embodiment the flange portions are at least 30mm tall.

Figures 33 to 36 provide further illustrations of the panel system 184. The panel system 184 provides a modular building system comprising a first joiner having flange portions and a second joiner having flange portions wherein the first joiner is adapted to adapted to be receive fla ge portions of a number of upper side portions of a number of modular panels and the second joiner is adapted to recei e flange portions of a number of lower side portions of the modular panels.

The joiners could be provides as rectangular projection in other embodiments rather tha a u-ehannel. In both cases flanges are provided for a metal to metal join.

Other embodiments may provide a mechanical inversion where the .channels . 194 provide projections, in such a case the joiners would receive the upper and lower sides of the modular panels. The method of joining involves fixing a first joiner to 1 ower side portions of a number of modular panels; and fixing a second joiner to upper side portions of the panels; the jomers having flange portions that receive flange portions of the modular panels on their upper and lower sides.

The various panels and methods herein described are provided with desirable cyclone characteristics. The provision of the flange portions allow rigid connection of the panel using fasteners extending through the primary faces into the flange portions to provide the panel with desirable cyclone rating. The panel is able to withstand a high pressure loading. Figures 37 to 39 illustrate a panel 220 according to another preferred embodiment of the present invention. Figure 37 provides a partial view showing the provision of an aireell layer 222 in the panel 220. The air-cell layer 222 comprises three sheets 225 of air-cell material 224. The sheets 225 are fitted into the three areas 226 defined by the metal vertical struts 228. The air-cell material 224 comprises insulating material having a number of insulating isolated cells to limit heat transmi ssion.

The use of air-cell insulating materi al is considered to be advantageous for the reason that it is considered, to increase the value and improve the sound characteristics of the panel. The air-cell material is considered to possibly increase the R-value by 1.0 (approximately). With a panel that would otherwise have an R-value of 3,3 this means that the panel would have an R value of 4.3, The air cell layer provides a further layer in combination with the foam core.

Apart from the air-cell layer 222, the panel 220 is of the same form as the panel 10 previously described. Air cell material is well known. It is often provided in rolled form and could be provided b supplied such as King Span Insulation (www . kingspan.i ns l .at km . com . an) .

Again the fire resistant foam core comprises PIR material. The method of manufacture involves positioning the three sheets of air-cell material before the foam i s introduced and cured. The outer sheets 2 J ... comprise fibre cement sheets as used in the building industry.

Figure 39 provides a cross-seetional view in the plane A-A of Figure 37. As shown there are provided four vertical u-shaped rigid metal starts 230 defining three intermediate areas 232. Each sheet of air-cell material is positioned against an outer sheet of the panel 220 and covers the portion 235 of the u-shaped channel spanning the corresponding area 232. The sheets of air-cell material overlap with the u-shaped metal starts 230 as shown.

Consequently there is a panel 220 having insulating air-ceil material 224 in addition to the foam core. The air cell material 224 comprises sheet material that is laid between the structural channel members 228 of the panel . In the panel 220, three sheets 225 of ai r-cell material are provided that occupy three primary areas 232 of the panel 220. The sheets 225 overlap the structural channel members 230 to substantially provide a relatively continuous layer of air-cell material behind at least one primary face of the panel as highlighted in Figure 3 . The sheets 225 in the panel 220 are separated by the structural members

Figures 40 to 44 illustrate a window system 250 according to a further preferred embodiment, of the present invention. The window system 250 comprises two panels 254 each having a recess 252 in a side thereof. The recesses 252 are each of a stepped configuration 256 to allow the insertion of a window when the panels are adjacent one another. Advantageously, following this a furthe panel 255 is able to be positioned above the window to span the two panels 254.

In the window system 250 there is provide a first panel 258 and a second panel 260. A lower side portion 268 of the first panel 262 is arranged to mate with a lowe side portion 270 of the second panel 264. The lower side portion 268 comprises a u-shaped portion providing a female channel 272, The lower side portion 270 comprises a u-shaped portion providing a male projection 274 sized to fit within the female channel 272.

Each panel 254 is provided for providing a recess 278 for a window. Eac panel 254 provides a frame 280 for standing upright to provide two primary faces j oined by a number of side portions 284, As with the panel 10, th side portions 284 of the frame 2J0 are provided by u-shaped structural channel members of the type previously described.

Each panel 276 has a vertical side 286 that faces the vertical side of the other panel. The vertical sides 28 each provide a stepped configuration. The stepped configuration provides a first step 288 and a second step 290. The first step 2J.8 is of a first depth for supporting a window. The second step 290 is positioned above the first step 288 and is of a greater depth for supporting the further panel 255 (the connecting panel 292).

Referring to Figure 41, the lower portions of each vertical side 286 mates with the other panel to provide a mating join 296. This is similar to -the arrangement of Figure 18. The recess between the panels 276 is accordingly able to accommodate a window and a further panel 255 that spans the two panels above the window.

In some embodiments there may only be a single ste such that a further panel 298 is not required. Along the vertical sides 286 extending up from the ground, each panel 254 includes a female channel above the lower portion 268, 270 of each panel. Only one of the lower portions provides a male projection for mating in the female channel of the other panel. The further panel 255 ntay rest on a member 298 that spans the recess and rests on the second steps 290 that provide a supporting abutment. As would be apparent various side portions could in various embodiments be male or female. In this embodiment th stepped configuration comprise a first step 228 into the panels to accommodate and support the window and then a second further step 230 into the panels to increase the depth of the recess to accommodate and support the further panel The upwardly facing abutments provided by the first step 228 for the window are female. The upwardly facin abutments provided by the second step 23.0 are also female. The structural channel members of the embodiments described are made from metal as shown to provide advantageous panels, comer pieces and so forth. I embodiments, modular panels can be provided to fit together to provide advantageous cyclone rated and other buildings.

As noted above embodiments of the present inventi on are consi dered to provide number of preferred arrangements including:

(i) Modular building panels providing 'extreme' category cyclone rating compliance;

(ii) Modular building panels providing advantageous insulation and fire ratings; (iii) Modular building panels having u-channei sections providing flange portions extending substantially along the periphery of the front and rear outward faces of the building panel to provide a band for fastening adjoining panels; and

(iv) Module building panels having a foam core and an outer periphery provided by u-channel sections; one or more of the u-channel sections providing a channel facing inwardly into the panel and one or more of the u-channel sections facing outwardly away from the panel.

As would be apparent; various alterations and equivalent forms may be provided without departing from the spirit and scop of the present invention. This includes modifications within the scope of the appended claims along with all modifications, alternative constructions and equivalents.

There is no intention to limit the present invention to the specific emhodiments shown in the drawings. The present invention is to be construed beneficially to the applicant and the invention given its full scope. In the present specification, the presence of particular features does not preclude the existence of further features. The words 'comprising', 'including' and 'having' are to be construed in an inclusive rather than an exclusive sense.

It is to be recognised that any discussion i the present specification is intended to explain the context of the present inventi on. It is not to be taken as an admi ssion that the material discussed formed part of the prior art base or relevant general knowledge in any particular country or region,