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Title:
CONSTRUCTION SYSTEM AND FRAMES FOR A GLASS BRICK WALL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/037370
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A construction system for brick walls comprising: a rectangular frame comprising corresponding head, sill and jamb frame sections that may be interconnected to form the frame within which the bricks may be laid in rows. The frame sections having a channel section including: (i) an inner web portion; (ii) an outer surround engaging portion in parallel spaced relationship to the inner web portion; and (iii) a pair of flanges provided on opposite sides of the channel section and extending from the outer surround engaging portion to the inner web portion to close the channel section. The pair of flanges project from the inner web portion to define a U-shaped brick engaging portion. The pair of flanges are spaced apart a distance sufficient to accommodate the transverse extent of a brick disposed therebetween. An elongated substantially planar stiffener bar has a transverse extent of a dimension less than the transverse extent of a brick so that a brick can be surmounted thereon. A spacer member comprising opposing flanges interconnected by an inner web is provided so that the opposing flanges are able to accommodate the end of a brick and space the opposing surfaces of the brick from the stiffener bar and successive bricks disposed thereon.

Inventors:
BURKE, William (777 Marshall Road, Malaga, Western Australia 6090, 6090, AU)
Application Number:
IB2017/055106
Publication Date:
March 01, 2018
Filing Date:
August 24, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
GLASS BLOCK CONSTRUCTIONS (AUST) PTY LTD (777 Marshall Road, Malaga, Western Australia 6090, 6090, AU)
International Classes:
E04B2/00; E04C1/42
Domestic Patent References:
WO2002103130A12002-12-27
WO1998037287A11998-08-27
Foreign References:
US8590246B22013-11-26
US7587870B22009-09-15
US7043885B22006-05-16
JP2006214210A2006-08-17
CN203500822U2014-03-26
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KROUZER IP (PO Box 7980, Baulkham Hills BC, New South Wales 2153, 2153, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
The Claims Defining the Invention are as Follows

1 . A construction system for brick walls comprising: a rectangular frame comprising corresponding head, sill and jamb frame sections that may be interconnected to form the frame within which the bricks may be laid in rows; the frame sections having a channel section including:

(i) an inner web portion;

(ii) an outer surround engaging portion in parallel spaced relationship to the inner web portion;

(iii) a pair of flanges provided on opposite sides of the channel section and extending from the outer surround engaging portion to the inner web portion to close the channel section, and projecting from the inner web portion to define a U-shaped brick engaging portion; the pair of flanges being spaced apart a distance sufficient to accommodate the transverse extent of a brick disposed therebetween; and an elongated substantially planar stiffener bar having a transverse extent of a dimension less than the transverse extent of a brick so that a brick can be surmounted thereon, wherein:

(i) the stiffener bar in cross-section defines a web portion and opposing terminal ends, the terminal ends having a thickness greater than the thickness of the web portion;

(ii) each terminal end having a longitudinal extending groove disposed along opposing sides thereof;

(iii) the common sides of both terminal ends at one side of the bar marginally protruding from the corresponding side of the planar extent of the web portion on the one side of the bar to define a U-shape and defining a pair of landings to be disposed upon the adjacent surface of a brick or an interconnecting transverse web portion of a sill frame section, so that the web portion is disposed in parallel spaced relationship to the adjacent surface defining a recess therebetween;

(iv) the common sides of both terminal ends at the other side of the bar being disclosed in substantially coplanar relationship with the corresponding side of the planar extent of the web portion on the other side of the bar; and wherein:

(a) the longitudinal grooves being provided to accommodate a bead of binder to engage and adhere an adjoining brick or interconnecting transverse web portion; and

(b) the transverse extent is of a dimension that is less than the transverse extent of a brick so that when positioned centrally either surmounting or supporting a brick dispose longitudinally in juxtaposition therewith, a marginal space is defined between the outer edge of the stiffener bar and the corresponding outer edge of the adjacent brick to accommodate a bead of binder to entirely fill the marginal space, and engage and adhere to an adjoining brick or interconnecting transverse web portion.

2. A construction system as claimed in claim 1 , including a spacer member comprising opposing flanges interconnected by an inner web; wherein the opposing flanges are able to accommodate the end of a brick; and wherein one flange has a depth of thickness greater than the other flange and greater than the depth of a recess of an adjacent stiffener bar, the one flange further having a transverse extent of the size that can be accommodated within the recess between opposing terminal ends of the stiffener bar.

3. A construction system as claimed in claim 2, wherein the spacer member is an interstitial spacer member having flanges extending longitudinally from either side of the inner web.

4. A construction system as claimed in claim 2, wherein the spacer member is an end spacer member having flanges extending longitudinally from only one side of the inner web, and wherein one of the flanges is of lesser longitudinal extent than the other flange.

5. A stiffener bar for use in a construction system for brick walls as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, the stiffener bar being elongated and substantially planar having a longitudinal extent and a transverse extent wherein: the spacer bar in cross-section defines a web portion and opposing terminal ends, the terminal ends having a thickness greater than the thickness of the web portion; each terminal end having a longitudinal extending groove disposed along opposing sides thereof; the common sides of both terminal ends at one side of the bar marginally protruding from the corresponding side of the planar extent of the web portion on the one side of the bar to define a U-shape and defining a pair of landings to be disposed upon the adjacent surface of a brick or an interconnecting transverse web portion of a sill frame section, so that the web portion is disposed in parallel spaced relationship to the adjacent surface defining a recess therebetween; the common sides of both terminal ends at the other side of the bar being disposed in substantially coplanar relationship with the corresponding side of the planar extent of the web portion on the other side of the bar; and wherein: the longitudinal grooves being provided to accommodate a bead of binder to engage and adhere an adjoining brick or interconnecting transverse web portion; and the transverse extent is of a dimension that is less than the transverse extent of a brick so that when positioned centrally either surmounting or supporting a brick dispose longitudinally in juxtaposition therewith, a marginal space is defined between the outer edge of the stiffener bar and the corresponding outer edge of the adjacent brick to accommodate a bead of binder to entirely fill the marginal space, and engage and adhere to an adjoining brick or interconnecting transverse web portion.

6. A frame section for use in a construction system for brick walls as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 4, the frame section capable of functioning as a head, sill or jamb frame section of a rectangular frame and which is capable of being mitred at each end and interconnected to form the rectangular frame within which the bricks may be laid in rows, the frame section comprising: a channel section having:

(i) an inner web portion;

(ii) an outer surround engaging portion in parallel spaced relationship to the inner web portion;

(iii) a pair of flanges provided on opposite sides of the channel section and extending from the outer surround engaging portion to the inner web portion to close the channel section, and projecting from the inner web portion to define a U-shaped brick engaging portion; the pair of flanges being spaced apart a distances sufficient to accommodate the transverse extent of a brick disposed therebetween; the channel section including a pair of inner ribs extending longitudinally along the frame section, equidistantly spaced from an adjacent flange, and a pair of angled flutes extending longitudinally along the frame section, each respectively disposed at an intersection between a corresponding rib and the inner web portion and having an opening facing towards the outer surround engaging portion.

7. A frame section as claimed in claim 6, wherein the outer surround engaging portion includes a pair of recessed grooves extending longitudinally along the frame section, each recessed groove disposed adjacent the intersection between a corresponding rib and the outer surround engaging portion, and directly above a corresponding flute.

8. A frame section as claimed in claim 6 or 7, wherein the channel section includes a weather fin extending longitudinally of the frame and projecting outwardly and orthogonally of the outer surround engaging portion, the weather fin having one or more frangible lines extending longitudinally thereof to allow a distal portion of the weather fin to be detached from the frame to accommodate different surround configurations.

9. A spacer member for use in a construction system for brick walls as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 4, the spacer member comprising opposing flanges interconnected by an inner web; wherein the opposing flanges are able to accommodate the end of a brick; and wherein one flange has a depth of thickness greater than the other flange and greater than the depth of a recess of an adjacent stiffener bar, the one flange further having a transverse extent of the size that can be accommodated within the recess between opposing terminal ends of the stiffener bar.

10. A spacer member as claimed in claim 9, wherein the spacer member is an interstitial spacer member having flanges extending longitudinally from either side of the inner web.

1 1 . A spacer member as claimed in claim 9, wherein the spacer member is an end spacer member having flanges extending longitudinally from only one side of the inner web, and wherein one of the flanges is of lesser longitudinal extent than the other flange.

12. A method for constructing a brick wall comprising:

(a) forming a rectangular frame comprising head, sill and jamb frame sections within which the bricks may be laid in rows;

(b) placing a stiffener bar within the sill frame section;

(c) running beads of binder along the upper surface of the stiffener bar;

(d) laying a row of bricks along the stiffener bar;

(e) running beads of binder along the lower surface of a further stiffener bar;

(f) placing the further stiffener bar upon the preceding layer of bricks;

(g) repeating steps (c) to (f) until a top layer of bricks are laid; (h) laying the top layer of bricks upon the stiffener bar surmounting the second last row of bricks, and positioning them so that the top of the bricks is accommodated within the head frame section;

(i) aligning and filling the joints between the bricks and the perimeter joints between the bricks and the frame sections with binder to complete the wall construction.

13. A method as claimed in claim 12, including positioning interstitial spacer members between adjoining bricks and end spacer members between the end of a brick at the row and all beginning and the adjacent jamb frame section, so that spaces are defined between opposing surfaces of a stiffener bar and the confronting surface of a row of bricks to accommodate marginal deviations of the brick from the planar surface thereof.

14. A method as claimed in claim 12 or 13, including positioning an expansion strip within the jamb frame sections so that the bricks at the opposing ends of a row confront the strip.

Description:
"Construction System and Frames for a Glass Brick Wall"

Field of the Invention

[01] This invention relates to a construction system and frames therefor for block walls. The invention has particular, but not exclusive, utility in the construction of glass block walls using glass bricks. The invention may also have utility in walls constructed from other types of blocks.

[02] Throughout the specification, unless the context requires otherwise, the word "comprise" or variations such as "comprises" or "comprising", will be understood to imply the inclusion of a stated integer or group of integers but not the exclusion of any other integer or group of integers.

Background Art

[03] The following discussion of the background art is intended to facilitate an understanding of the present invention only. It should be appreciated that the discussion is not an acknowledgement or admission that any of the material referred to was part of the common general knowledge as at the priority date of the application.

[04] In the art of block wall construction, a glass block wall may be constructed by laying glass blocks positioned in rows and columns to form a rectangular matrix. The glass blocks are precisely located and spaced apart with the aid of interstitial connector or spacer members and a binder is laid or inserted into the spaces or gaps between the blocks to bind them together to form the matrix.

[05] Examples of constructing glass block walls in this manner have been the subject of prior patents of the applicant, namely Australian Patents 680088, 200231 1090 and 2003203407. The patent specifications in respect of each of these patents are incorporated herein by reference.

[06] Common to each of the above mentioned patents is the construction of a wall using square hollow glass blocks. Recently, there has been the advent of a new rectangular solid glass block, which is in the form of a brick. An example of this form of glass brick is produced by the glass block manufacturer Seves™ and sold under the brand Vetropieno™. These glass bricks comprise a solid compact glass block that combines the strength of traditional brick with the transparency and luminosity of glass. Unlike traditional glass blocks that are hollow inside and have clean and smooth lines and faces, the solid glass bricks are moulded with a comparatively uneven, but contiguous surface, which is capable of delivering visual effects and movement created deep within the block that adds transparency, passage of light and new beauty to the usual properties of glass, thereby having extreme aesthetic appeal.

[07] As a consequence of their manufacturing process, glass bricks are formed with tapered rising edges, and come in a number of different hues and surface textures. Fig A shows a rectangular glass brick 200A that is of a dimension 24 x 1 1 .7 x 3 cm (9" x 4.5" x 2"); and Fig B shows a rectangular square glass brick 200B that is of a dimension 12 x 1 1 .7 x 5.3 cm (4.5" x 4.5" x 2").

[08] These blocks being of a comparatively low height compared to their length and breadth, and being solid, like a brick, have intrinsic strength that is much greater than the common square hollow glass block, and thus do not require the same precise and integrated construction system as used with building walls using the common square hollow glass block.

Disclosure of the Invention

[09] It is an object of the present invention to provide a more cost-effective and less complex construction system than of the type described in the applicant's aforementioned patents, for constructing walls using glass bricks of the kind described in the Background Art, but which can still provide a similar degree of aesthetic appeal and strength, whilst ensuring correct spacing and bonding between the bricks.

[10] In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a construction system for brick walls comprising:

a rectangular frame comprising corresponding head, sill and jamb frame sections that may be interconnected to form the frame within which the bricks may be laid in rows;

the frame sections having a channel section including:

(i) an inner web portion; (ii) an outer surround engaging portion in parallel spaced relationship to the inner web portion;

(iii) a pair of flanges provided on opposite sides of the channel section and extending from the outer surround engaging portion to the inner web portion to close the channel section, and projecting from the inner web portion to define a U-shaped brick engaging portion;

the pair of flanges being spaced apart a distance sufficient to accommodate the transverse extent of a brick disposed therebetween; and

an elongated substantially planar stiffener bar having a transverse extent of a dimension less than the transverse extent of a brick so that a brick, wherein:

(i) the stiffener bar in cross-section defines a web portion and opposing terminal ends, the terminal ends having a thickness greater than the thickness of the web portion;

(ii) each terminal end having a longitudinal extending groove disposed along opposing sides thereof;

(iii) the common sides of both terminal ends at one side of the bar marginally protruding from the corresponding side of the planar extent of the web portion on the one side of the bar to define a U-shape and defining a pair of landings to be disposed upon the adjacent surface of a brick or an interconnecting transverse web portion of a sill frame section, so that the web portion is disposed in parallel spaced relationship to the adjacent surface defining a recess therebetween;

(iv) the common sides of both terminal ends at the other side of the bar being disclosed in substantially coplanar relationship with the corresponding side of the planar extent of the web portion on the other side of the bar; and wherein:

(a) the longitudinal grooves being provided to accommodate a bead of binder to engage and adhere an adjoining brick or interconnecting transverse web portion; and

(b) the transverse extent is of a dimension that is less than the transverse extent of a brick so that when positioned centrally either surmounting or supporting a brick disposed longitudinally in juxtaposition therewith, a marginal space is defined between the outer edge of the stiffener bar and the corresponding outer edge of the adjacent brick to accommodate a bead of binder to entirely fill the marginal space, and engage and adhere to an adjoining brick or interconnecting transverse web portion.

[11] Preferably, the construction system includes a spacer member comprising opposing flanges interconnected by an inner web; wherein the opposing flanges are able to accommodate the end of a brick; and wherein one flange has a depth of thickness greater than the other flange and greater than the depth of a recess of an adjacent stiffener bar, the one flange further having a transverse extent of the size that can be accommodated within the recess between opposing terminal ends of the stiffener bar.

[12] Preferably, the spacer member is an interstitial spacer member having flanges extending longitudinally from either side of the inner web.

[13] Preferably, the spacer member is an end spacer member having flanges extending longitudinally from only one side of the inner web, and wherein one of the flanges is of lesser longitudinal extent than the other flange.

[14] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a stiffener bar for use in a construction system for brick walls as defined in the preceding aspect of the invention, the stiffener bar being elongated and substantially planar having a longitudinal extent and a transverse extent wherein: the stiffener bar in cross-section defines a web portion and opposing terminal ends, the terminal ends having a thickness greater than the thickness of the web portion; each terminal end having a longitudinal extending groove disposed along opposing sides thereof;

the common sides of both terminal ends at one side of the bar marginally protruding from the corresponding side of the planar extent of the web portion on the one side of the bar to define a U-shape and defining a pair of landings to be disposed upon the adjacent surface of a brick or an interconnecting transverse web portion of a sill frame section, so that the web portion is disposed in parallel spaced relationship to the adjacent surface defining a recess therebetween;

the common sides of both terminal ends at the other side of the bar being disposed in substantially coplanar relationship with the corresponding side of the planar extent of the web portion on the other side of the bar;

and wherein: the longitudinal grooves being provided to accommodate a bead of binder to engage and adhere an adjoining brick or interconnecting transverse web portion ; and

the transverse extent is of a dimension that is less than the transverse extent of a brick so that when positioned centrally either surmounting or supporting a brick dispose longitudinally in juxtaposition therewith, a marginal space is defined between the outer edge of the stiffener bar and the corresponding outer edge of the adjacent brick to accommodate a bead of binder to entirely fill the marginal space, and engage and adhere to an adjoining brick or interconnecting transverse web portion.

[15] In accordance with a further aspect of the present invention, there is provided a frame section for use in a construction system for brick walls as defined in the first aspect of the invention, the frame section capable of functioning as a head, sill or jamb frame section of a rectangular frame and which is capable of being mitred at each end and interconnected to form the rectangular frame within which the bricks may be laid in rows, the frame section comprising:

a channel section having:

(i) an inner web portion;

(ii) an outer surround engaging portion in parallel spaced relationship to the inner web portion;

(iii) a pair of flanges provided on opposite sides of the channel section and extending from the outer surround engaging portion to the inner web portion to close the channel section, and projecting from the inner web portion to define a U-shaped brick engaging portion;

the pair of flanges being spaced apart a distances sufficient to accommodate the transverse extent of a brick disposed therebetween;

the channel section including a pair of inner ribs extending longitudinally along the frame section, equidistantly spaced from an adjacent flange, and a pair of angled flutes extending longitudinally along the frame section, each respectively disposed at an intersection between a corresponding rib and the inner web portion and having an opening facing towards the outer surround engaging portion.

Preferably, the outer surround engaging portion includes a pair of recessed grooves extending longitudinally along the frame section, each recessed groove disposed adjacent the intersection between a corresponding rib and the outer surround engaging portion, and directly above a corresponding flute.

Preferably the channel section includes a weather fin extending longitudinally of the frame and projecting outwardly and orthogonally of the outer surround engaging portion, the weather fin having one or more frangible lines extending longitudinally thereof to allow a distal portion of the weather fin to be detached from the frame to accommodate different surround configurations.

[16] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a spacer member for use in a construction system for brick walls as defined in the first aspect of the invention comprising opposing flanges interconnected by an inner web; wherein the opposing flanges are able to accommodate the end of a brick; and wherein one flange has a depth of thickness greater than the other flange and greater than the depth of a recess of an adjacent stiffener bar, the one flange further having a transverse extent of the size that can be accommodated within the recess between opposing terminal ends of the stiffener bar.

[17] Preferably, the spacer member is an interstitial spacer member having flanges extending longitudinally from either side of the inner web.

[18] Preferably, the spacer member is an end spacer member having flanges extending longitudinally from only one side of the inner web, and wherein one of the flanges is of lesser longitudinal extent than the other flange.

Brief Description of the Drawings

[19] The invention will be better understood having regard to the best mode for carrying out the invention, which is subsequently described with reference to the following drawings, wherein:-

Fig A is a perspective view showing a rectangular glass brick as described in the Background Art;

Fig B is a perspective view showing a rectangular square glass brick as also described in the Background Art;

Fig 1 is a front schematic view showing a rectangular frame formed by the frame sections and having a completely constructed glass brick wall disposed therein laid in a column bond in accordance with the first embodiment; and Fig 2 is a cross-sectional view of the head, sill and jamb frame section in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention;

Fig 2A is a perspective view of the frame section as viewed looking towards the outer surround engaging portion;

Fig 2B is an opposite perspective view of the frame section looking towards the brick engaging portion;

Fig 3 is a cross-sectional view of the stiffener bar;

Fig 3A is a perspective view of the stiffener bar as viewed looking towards the one side of the bar having the protruding terminal ends;

Fig 3B is an opposite perspective view of the stiffener bar looking towards the other side with both terminal ends and the corresponding side of the web portion being coplanar;

Fig 4 is an end schematic view showing two glass bricks surmounting stiffener bars, the top one of which surmounts the lower glass brick;

Fig 5 is a schematic perspective view showing how two frame sections are connected together to form a sill frame section and a jamb frame section in making up a rectangular frame;

Fig 6A is a cut away isometric view showing the positioning of the sill and jamb frame sections in a corner of the rectangular frame as mounted between a cavity wall surround to affix to one side of the cavity;

Fig 6B is a sectional view of a head frame section mounted to a wall surround including a lintel showing a glass block correctly positioned therewith;

Fig 6C is a sectional view of a sill frame section similar to Fig 6A, mounted to a cavity wall surround showing a series of glass bricks correctly positioned therewith;

Fig 6D is a sectional view of a jamb frame section mounted between a cavity wall surround showing a glass brick intermediately positioned therewith;

Fig 6E is a cut away isometric view showing the positioning of the sill and jamb frame sections in a corner of the rectangular frame mounted upon one of the courses of a cavity wall surround with an abutting architrave;

Fig 6F is a cut away isometric view showing the positioning of the sill and jamb frame sections in a corner of the rectangular frame between a cavity wall similar to

Fig 6A, with an abutting architrave; Fig 6G is a plan view showing a jamb frame section attached to a cavity wall using one side of the cavity;

Fig 6H is a sectional end view showing how a sill frame section is affixed to a concrete riser;

Fig 7 A is a sectional view of a corner of the frame comprising sill and jamb frame sections showing a stiffener bar correctly positioned and where glass bricks would be positioned in ghost outline, and where the frame sections have the weather fin removed;

7B is a similar view to Fig 7 A but showing frame sections with the weather fin in place;

Fig 8A is an end view of an interstitial spacer member in accordance with the second embodiment;

Fig 8B is a side view of the interstitial spacer member shown in Fig 8A;

Fig 8C is an isometric view of the interstitial spacer member;

Fig 8D is a bottom view of the interstitial spacer member;

Fig 9A is an end view of an end spacer member in accordance with the second embodiment;

Fig 9B is an isometric view of the end spacer member shown in Fig 9A;

Fig 10A is a side view of a portion of two rows of glass bricks showing the relative positioning of the interstitial spacers and stiffener bars at the joint of a glass brick wall formed with a stack bond in accordance with the second embodiment;

Fig 10B is an end view of Fig 10A;

Fig 10C is a similar view to Fig 10B, but showing the top glass brick positioned within a head frame section 1 1 c;

Fig 1 1 is a plan view showing the end of a stiffener bar sitting upon a glass brick and accommodated within the U-shaped brick engaging portion of a jamb frame section, abutting against a deformable expansion strip disposed within the flanges of the jamb frame section and surmounting the inner web portion thereof;

a bottom view of the spacer member; and

Fig 12 is a front schematic view showing a portion of a completely constructed glass brick wall laid in a lap bond in accordance with the third embodiment.

Best Mode(s) for Carrying Out the Invention [20] The best mode for carrying out the invention is described by way of two specific embodiments, both directed towards a construction system and method for constructing a glass brick wall 300 of the type shown in Figs 1 and 2, and particular components used to create the wall.

[21] Both embodiments use glass bricks 200 of the type shown in Figs A and B, a rectangular frame 100 formed of frame sections 1 1 in accordance with the invention, stiffener bars 41 in accordance with the invention and a binder mixture (not shown), which in the specific embodiments is silicon, but in other embodiments can be mortar.

[22] As illustrated in Fig 1 , the rectangular frame 100 comprises a common basic frame section 1 1 that may form a sill frame section 1 1 a, a pair of jamb frame sections 1 1 b and a head frame section 1 1 c.

[23] In the first embodiment, the frame sections 1 1 are formed of an aluminium extrusion cut to prescribed lengths to fit rectangular glass bricks 200A of the type shown in Fig A within the rectangular frame 100. Each of the resultant frame sections 1 1 are mitred at the corners to facilitate being interconnected in a manner to be described in more detail later to form the frame 100. The bricks 200 are essentially laid in rows within the framework provided by the rectangular frame 100.

[24] As best shown in Figs 2, 2A and 2B, each frame section 1 1 comprises a channel section 13 having:

(i) an inner web portion 15;

(ii) an outer surround engaging portion 17 in parallel spaced relationship to the inner web portion 15;

(iii) a pair of flanges 19 provided on opposite sides of the channel section.

[25] The pair of flanges 19 extend from the outer surround engaging portion 17 to the inner web portion 15 to close the channel section 13, medially of their extent. The flanges 19 are formed integrally with the channel section 13 so as to co- extensively project from the inner web portion 15 to define a U-shaped brick engaging portion 21 .

[26] The pair of flanges 19 are spaced apart a distance sufficient to accommodate the transverse extent of a brick 200 to be disposed therebetween.

[27] In the present embodiment, the flanges 19 are spaced apart approximately 1 18 mm, are of a thickness of approximately 2 mm and a total transverse extent of approximately 21 mm. They project co-extensively from the inner web portion 15 a distance of approximately 15 mm, so as to define a closed box portion 22 of the channel 13 of approximately 16 mm in depth.

[28] The channel section 13 includes a pair of inner ribs 23 extending longitudinally along the frame section 1 1 . The ribs 23 are equidistantly spaced from an adjacent flange 19. A pair of angled flutes 25 extend longitudinally along the frame section 1 1 , each flute respectively disposed at an intersection between a corresponding rib 23 and the inner web portion 15. The flutes 25 have openings facing towards the outer surround engaging portion 17 in diverging relationship to each other.

[29] At the opposing side of each rib 23, there are provided

[30] In the present embodiment, the ribs 23 are of thickness of 2 mm, and are disposed approximately 29 mm inwardly of, and in parallel relationship with, the adjacent flange 19 thereto, defining an inner closed portion of the channel 13 formed by adjacent ribs spaced approximately 59 mm apart.

[31] The outer surround engaging portion 17 includes a pair of recessed grooves 29 extending longitudinally along the frame section 1 1 . Each recessed groove 29 is disposed adjacent to the intersection between a corresponding rib 23 and the outer surround engaging portion 17, directly above a corresponding flute 25.

[32] In the present embodiment, the transverse extent of each recessed groove is approximately 9 mm extending from the intersection with a rib 23 towards the adjacent flange 19, high and the depth of each recess is approximately 3 mm.

[33] A pair of nodules 30 are disposed in confronting relationship to each other within the closed box portion 22, each one proximate to the intersection of a rib 23 with the base of a corresponding recessed groove 29. The nodules 30 define a groove within which opposing ends of an angled locating spigot 57 is able to be retainedly accommodated in a manner that will be described in more detail later.

[34] The channel section 13 includes a weather fin 31 extending longitudinally of the frame 1 1 and projecting outwardly and orthogonally of the outer surround engaging portion 17. The weather fin 31 has one or more frangible lines 33 extending longitudinally thereof to allow a distal portion of the weather fin to be detached by snapping it off from the frame section 1 1 along the line to accommodate different surround configurations. [35] As best shown in Figs 3, 3A and 3B, the stiffener bar 41 is elongated and substantially planar having a longitudinal extent and a transverse extent. The stiffener bar 41 in cross-section defines a web portion 43 and opposing terminal ends 45. The terminal ends 45 have a thickness greater than the thickness of the web portion 43.

[36] Each terminal end 45 has a longitudinal extending groove 46 disposed along opposing sides of the terminal end. The terminal ends 45 marginally protrude from one side of the bar 41 to define a recess 47a therebetween and at the other side of the bar terminate co-linearly with a common planar extent 47b of the web portion 43, thereby effectively defining a U-shape bar. These protruding terminal ends 45 define a pair of landings 49 to be disposed upon the adjacent surface of a brick 200 or an interconnecting transverse web portion 15 of a sill frame section 1 1 in the present embodiment. In this manner, the web portion 43 is disposed in parallel spaced relationship to the adjacent surface of a brick so that the recess 47a defines a cavity with the surface of an adjacent brick 200, as best shown in Fig 4.

[37] As shown in Figs 3, the co-linear termination of the sides of both terminal ends 45 on the other side of the bar 41 is in substantially coplanar relationship with the corresponding side of the planar extent of the web portion 43 to define the common planar extent 47b.

[38] The longitudinal grooves 46 are provided to accommodate a bead of binder (not shown) to engage and adhere to an adjoining brick 200 or interconnecting transverse web portion 15 of a frame section 1 1 .

[39] The transverse extent of the stiffener bar 41 is of a dimension that is less than the transverse extent of a brick 200, which in the present embodiment is approximately 102 mm compared with the transverse extent of a brick 200 being approximately 1 17 mm. Consequently, when a stiffener bar 41 is positioned centrally, as shown in Fig. 4, either surmounting or supporting a brick 200a disposed longitudinally in juxtaposition therewith, a marginal space 51 is defined between the outer edge 53 of the stiffener bar and the corresponding outer edge 55 of the adjacent brick 200b. The marginal space 51 is able to accommodate a bead of binder (not shown) to entirely fill the marginal space, and engage and adhere to an adjoining brick 200 or interconnecting transverse web portion 15 of an adjacent frame section 1 1 . [40] In the present embodiment, the recess 47a has a transverse extent of approximately 82 mm and a depth of 2 mm. The distal ends 45 have a transverse extent of approximately 10 mm and a depth of 4 mm, providing for a web thickness of 2 mm. Each of the grooves 46 have a depth of approximately 1 mm.

[41] The provision of the flutes 25 and nodules 30 enable the frame sections 1 1 to be fixed into an adjoining position to form a corner of the rectangular frame 100 by mitring the ends of two sections as shown in Fig 5 and drilling holes using a template through a jamb portion to align with the axial extent of a flute 25. As will be further described, a spigot 57 can be slotted into the grooves defined by the nodules 30 and tech screws 27 are able to be inserted and screwed along the flutes 25 to join the frame sections together.

[42] A frame section 1 1 can be affixed to the block wall surround by the use of tech screws 27 or other suitable fixing device. Importantly, the recessed grooves 29 help locate where the flutes 25 are disposed for fixing the tech screws 27.

[43] The lengths of the frame sections 1 1 are predetermined dependent upon the size of the brick wall intended to be constructed and whether the frame section 1 1 is to be used as a head, sill or jamb frame section. Due to the fact that only a whole number of standard sized glass bricks can be used to form a row or column of the wall matrix, and each of these rows and columns are spaced exactly according to the standard thickness of a stiffener bar 41 , the frame sections are modularised in length to ensure that the wall is correctly constructed.

[44] Now describing the method by which a glass brick wall matrix 300 may be constructed using the construction system described above, this will vary depending upon the particular arrangement of wall surround. Different configurations of wall surround and the manner in which sill, jamb and head frame sections are located relative to such are shown in Figs 6A to 6H.

[45] In all cases, initially the various frame sections 1 1 are selected and cut according to size, with the prescribed lengths mitred at each end to form an overall frame 100 with mitre joints 120 at each corner, and within which the glass brick wall matrix 300 of the requisite size can be laid.

[46] The sill frame section 1 1 a can then be positioned horizontally in a wall surround to form a base for the frame in known manner. Different configurations some using the weather fin 31 to locate the sill frame section 1 1 a as shown in Figs 6A, 6C, 6F are used, and some snapping the weather fin off and locating the sill frame section flush with the brick or concrete riser as shown in Figs 6E and 6H are used.

[47] In the case of Fig 6H, the wall surround is a concrete riser 61 , and the channel section 13 of the frame allows a countersunk hole 63 to be drilled first through the inner web portionl 5 and then a tech screw 27 or Dynabolt™ located in the countersunk hole 63 and drilled through the outer surrounding engaging portion 17 of the channel section to fixedly secure the sill frame section 1 1 a to the riser.

[48] The jamb frame sections 1 1 b are then positioned vertically at either end of the sill frame section and are held in position by sliding one angle arm 57a of a pair of locating spigots 57, into opposing grooves at each end of the sill frame section 1 1 a and then sliding the two jamb frame sections 1 1 b onto the other angle arms 57b, which will sit proud at either end of the sill frame section 1 1 a.

[49] As described previously, holes can be drilled at prescribed locations at the adjoining ends of each jamb section 1 1 b to align with the flutes 25 of the sill frame section 1 1 a and be fixedly secured by screwing the jamb sections into position using tech screws 27 as shown in Fig. 5, interconnecting the sill and jamb frame sections.

[50] Conveniently, the flutes 25 of the sill frame section 1 1 a, as shown in the drawing, form holes longitudinally so that the tech screws can be aligned axially with and engage the periphery thereof so that corner of the adorning frame sections are firmly secured about the formed mitre joint 120. Since the flutes 25 are a precise distance from the outer surrounding engaging portion 17, as described, a template can be used to precisely locate the position where the tech screws 27 are required to be drilled to align with and engage the flute holds longitudinally.

[51] The jamb frame sections 1 1 b can then be tied into the vertical wall surround, again in known manner, such as using a metal tag 65 affixed to the weather fin 31 , as shown in Fig. 6D, or by tech screwing the channel section 13 to an abutting wall surround, as shown in Fig.6E, in similar manner as to how the sill frame section was affixed to a riser, as described above. Another configuration for a cavity wall is shown in Fig 6G.

[52] The head frame section 1 1 c is finally positioned horizontally between the tops of the jamb frame sections 1 1 b and screwed into position using tech screws 27 to interconnect the head and jamb frame sections in similar manner as to the affixing of the jamb frame sections to the sill frame section 1 1 a, previously described, and complete the formation of the rectangular frame 100. The manner of achieving this for the configuration of one particular head wall surround is shown in Fig 6B.

[53] A stiffener bar 41 cut to the appropriate length has beads of binder run along to fill the both longitudinally extending grooves 46 disposed along the landings 49 and then is set centrally upon the interconnecting web portion 15 of the channel section 13 of the sill frame section 1 1 .

[54] Beads of binder are then run along both of the remaining longitudinally extending grooves 46 disposed on the other side 47b of the bar. A foundation layer of glass bricks 200 is then positioned along the upward facing other side 47b of the bar 41 within the brick engaging portion 21 of the channel section within the pair of flanges 19. The ends of the bricks 200 spaced apart appropriately to ensure that the correct size gap is created with the opposing end bricks being accommodated within the brick engaging portion is 21 of the jamb frame sections 1 1 .

[55] A stiffener bar is then beaded with binder as in the case of the first stiffener bar, and then is positioned in like manner this time surmounting the upper exposed face of the foundation layer of bricks. Successive rows or layers of glass bricks are then laid upon the foundation layer with stiffener bars and binder beads position and run along grooves respectively to create the glass brick wall matrix 300, as shown in Figs 7A and 7B.

[56] The final uppermost row of terminating bricks 200 is specially laid so that the last brick to be inserted in the wall 300 is intermediate the terminating bricks at either end of this head row. The uppermost confronting ends of the terminating bricks are disposed marginally within the channel section 13 of the head frame section 1 1 so that it can be retained between the flanges 19 thereof and be spaced from the web portion 15 to leave a gap . This gap allows for convenient manoeuvring of the terminating bricks for correct positioning thereof upon the preceding row.

[57] A problem encountered with the particular design of the glass bricks 200 employed is that their uneven surface and irregularities in shape arising from when they are moulded, can create bowing or off horizontal positioning of the stiffener bar 41 from row to row. In order to overcome this problem, the use of a specially configured spacer member has been devised.

[58] In a second and preferred embodiment of the best mode, the construction system and method for constructing a glass brick wall 300 is slightly modified from that of the proceeding embodiment by including the provision of interstitial spacer members 71 to join the ends of adjacent glass bricks in a row and end spacer members 81 to terminate a row at the opposing ends for accommodation within correspondingly opposed jamb frame sections 1 1 b.

[59] The spacer members 71 , 81 importantly have upper and lower flanges to engage corresponding upper and lower surfaces of a glass brick 200 and marginally space the same from adjacent upper and lower stiffener bars 41 .

[60] Furthermore, provision is made for an expansion strip 79 to be disposed within the U-shaped brick engaging portion 21 of respective jamb frame sections

1 1 b.

[61] More particularly as shown in Figs 8A to 8D, an interstitial spacer 71 comprises an upper flange 73 and a lower flange 75, both forming laterally extending flaps or wings, interconnected by an inner web 77.

[62] The flaps or wings of the upper flange 73 extend out longitudinally marginally further than the corresponding flaps or wings of the lower flange 75. In addition, the upper flange 73 is thicker than the lower flange 75, and is of a depth that is marginally greater than the depth of a recess 47a of a stiffener bar 41 . The thickness of the inner web 77 is intermediate the thicknesses of the flanges 73, 75.

[63] The overall transverse extent of the spacer 71 is marginally less than the corresponding transverse extent of a stiffener bar 41 , which is in turn marginally less than the corresponding transverse extent of a glass brick 200, and which in turn is marginally less than the corresponding transverse extent of a frame section 1 1 .

[64] The height of the inner web 77 corresponds approximately to the height of a glass brick, so that the ends of a brick may be accommodated within the opposed U-shaped channels formed by the flanges 73, 75 in the inner web.

[65] In the present embodiment, the longitudinal extent of the upper flange 73 is approximately 80 mm, the lower flange 75 is approximately 60 mm and the overall transverse extent is approximately 79 mm. The height of the inner web 77 is approximately 54 mm.

[66] The thickness of the upper flange 73 is approximately 2.5 mm, which is approximately 0.5 mm greater than the depth of a recess 47a of a stiffener bar 41 . In contrast, the thickness of the lower flange 75 is approximately 0.7 mm and the thickness of the inner web 77 is approximately 1 .5 mm.

[67] As shown in Figs 9A and 9B, an end spacer member 81 essentially comprises one half of an interstitial spacer member 71 , whereby the coextensive flaps or wings of the upper and lower flanges 73, 75 on one side are cut off. Accordingly, an end spacer member 81 comprises an upper flange 83 and a lower flange 85 interconnected by an inner web 87.

[68] The end spacer member 81 may be custom-designed, or alternatively can be formed on site by simply breaking or sawing off the flanges on one side, leaving the remaining flanges and inner web to accommodate the end of a single glass brick at the end of a row.

[69] As shown in Figs 10A and 10B, an interstitial spacer 71 is disposed so that the opposing U-shaped channels thereof can be fitted onto adjoining ends of successive bricks 200 so that the upper flange 73 surmounts the top of the bricks as shown and the lower flange 75 surmounts the bottom of the bricks.

[70] In forming a row of glass bricks 200 in the construction of a wall 300 in accordance with the present embodiment, the lower flanges 75 of successive interstitial spacers 71 are disposed upon the upper coplanar surface 47b of a stiffener bar 41 on which they are laid so that the glass bricks sit marginally above the coplanar surface of the bar. Consequently, minor deviations from the planar extent of the bottom of the glass bricks can be accommodated within the space created by the lower flange 75 between the bottom brick surface and the adjacent stiffener bar.

[71] The opposing upper flanges 73 of successive interstitial spacers 71 project marginally above the upper surface of the glass bricks laid in the row, and are sized to be accommodated within the recess 47a of a stiffener bar 41 disposed thereon for locating a successive row of glass bricks. As the upper flange 73 is marginally thicker than the depth of the recess 47a, the lower sides of the terminal ends 45 of the surmounting stiffener bar 41 to repose marginally above the upper surface of the glass bricks. Similarly, minor deviations from the planar extent of the bottom of the glass bricks can be accommodated within the space created by the upper flange 73 between the top brick surface and the adjacent stiffener bar.

[72] Now describing the method of constructing a glass brick wall matrix 300 using the construction system of the present embodiment, the rectangular frame 100 is constructed in similar manner to the previous embodiment using and fixing the frame sections according to the particular wall surround.

[73] Once the frame 100 is formed, initially a stiffener bar 41 is cut to size and is placed in the bottom of the sill frame section 1 1 a with the coplanar surface 47b face up. Expansion strips 79, which in the present embodiment are formed of polystyrene foam, are pressed into the outer flanges of both the jamb frame sections 1 1 b, ensuring that the strips extend all the way from the bottom to the top of the frame sections.

[74] A bead of silicon is then run into an along the grooves 46 provided in the stiffener bar 41 for the first course of glass bricks to be laid thereon.

[75] The very first glass brick 200 is fitted with an end spacer member 81 at the end of the glass brick and an interstitial spacer member 71 is fitted onto the opposing end of the glass brick. The glass brick is then pushed into the corner against the expansion strip 79 to be accommodated within the jamb frame section 1 1 b and pressed upon the stiffener bar sitting within the sill frame section 1 1 a.

[76] The remainder of the glass bricks are laid in the row with successive interstitial spacer members 71 fitted thereon, with the last glass brick of this first row fitted with another end spacer member 81 and pressed into the remaining corner to confront the expansion strip 79 within the corresponding jamb frame section 1 1 b and onto the stiffener bar 41 within the sill frame section 1 1 a.

[77] The second row is then laid by initially a second stiffener bar 41 being cut to size, beaded with silicon along the grooves 46 of the lower sides of the terminal ends 45 and positioned upon the upper flanges 73 of the first row of spacer members, so that the upper flanges sit comfortably within the recess 47a of the stiffener bar.

[78] Silicon beads are then run along the upper grooves 46 on the common planar extent 47b of the stiffener bar and a second row of glass bricks 200 with spacer members 71 , 81 a position thereon, in a similar manner to the first row. [79] Successive rows are then laid in similar manner until the top row is reached. The top row is laid upon the stiffener bar 41 disposed upon the second last row of glass bricks 200, and a size so that the top of the glass bricks are fitted and accommodated within the U-shaped brick engaging flanges 21 of the head frame section 1 1 c.

[80] Once completed, the glass bricks 200 are neatly aligned and the joints sealed with silicon, including a perimeter seal applied to the joint between the frame and the glass bricks.

[81] In another embodiment of the best mode, rectangular square glass bricks 200B are used instead of rectangular glass bricks 200A, otherwise the remainder of the embodiment is the same as the first or second embodiments.

[82] In a further embodiment, a combination of rectangular and rectangular square glass bricks are used.

[83] It should be appreciated that the scope of this invention is not limited to the particular embodiment described above. Modifications and variations such as would be apparent to a skilled addressee are deemed to be within the scope of the present invention.