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Title:
IMPROVEMENTS IN, OR RELATING TO, BUILDING FOUNDATION SUPPORT SYSTEMS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/061882
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Disclosed is building foundation support, to support a building from or off a ground, including methods of use and installation. The support includes a ground engaging portion, a building engaging portion, an adjustment element to allow a distance in an elongate direction between the ground engaging portion and the building engaging portion to be adjusted, and an elastic element at least in part between the ground engaging portion and the ground to allow at least in part relative horizontal movement between the ground engaging portion and the building. The nature of the support also allows vertical movement between the building engaging portion and the ground engaging portion. The support can be used to support the building off the ground, and in the event of a seismic event prevent or reduce transmission of seismic motion to the building. The support also allows re-levelling and support of the foundation after the event should the support of the ground below building foundation change, for example a change in height of the building.

Inventors:
BURRELL, Craig Anthony (24C Canberra Place, RedwoodChristchurch, 8051, 8051, NZ)
Application Number:
NZ2016/050166
Publication Date:
April 13, 2017
Filing Date:
October 10, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SMARTLIFT SYSTEMS LIMITED (326a Papanui Road, Christchurch, 8052, 8052, NZ)
International Classes:
E02D31/08; E02D27/34; E02D35/00
Foreign References:
JP2003106009A2003-04-09
JP2003176542A2003-06-24
US20120255242A12012-10-11
US20030033760A12003-02-20
JPH09144022A1997-06-03
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BALDWINS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (Level 15, HSBC House1 Queen Street,Aucklan, Auckland 1010, 1010, NZ)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1 . A building foundation support, to support a building from or off a ground,

comprising or including,

a. A ground engaging portion,

b. A building engaging portion,

c. An adjustment element to allow a distance in an elongate direction between the ground engaging portion and the building engaging portion to be adjusted, d. An elastic element at least in part between the ground engaging portion and the ground to allow at least in part relative horizontal movement between the ground engaging portion and the building,

Such that at least one support can be used to support the building off the ground, and in the event of a seismic event prevent or reduce transmission of seismic motion to the building.

2. A support as claimed in claim 1 wherein the elastic element is a seismic rubber

between that part of the ground engaging portion and the ground.

3. A support as claimed in claim 1 wherein the elastic element is frustoconically shaped.

4. A support as claimed in either claim 2 or 3 wherein the elastic element allows the ground engaging portion to flex horizontally relative the ground and or building.

5. A support as claimed in any one of claims 2 to 4 wherein the elastic element has the ground engaging portion passing substantially through its conical centre line.

6. A support as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 5 wherein said adjustment element or part thereof is lockable.

7. A support as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 6 wherein that part of the building the building engaging portion engages is a concrete slab foundation.

8. A support as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 7 wherein the building engaging

portion has a building base plate to support the building and a location extension therefrom, the building being supported vertically at least in part by the building base plate, and horizontally at least in part by the location extension.

9. A support as claimed in 8 wherein the location extension allows access to the adjustment element, at least for adjustment purposes, and thereafter can be closed off, whether selectively or permanently.

10. A support as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 9 wherein the adjustment element is at least in part internal of the building engaging portion.

1 1 . A support as claimed in either of claims 8 or 9 wherein the location extension is

closed off selectively by a cap when access to the internals is not needed.

12. A support as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 12 wherein the ground engaging

portion can engage a secondary ground engaging portion.

13. A support as claimed in claim 12 wherein the secondary ground engaging portion is a pile into the ground to a depth that it engages and is supported by the ground.

14. A support as claimed in either of claims 12 or 13 wherein the elastic element is set into the secondary engaging portion at least in part between the ground engaging portion and the secondary engaging portion.

15. A support as claimed in any one of claims 12 to 13 wherein the elastic element sits flush with a top of the ground or secondary ground engaging portion.

16. A support as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 15 wherein an extension of the

building engaging portion telescopes inside an extension of the ground engaging portion or vice versa.

17. A support as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 16 wherein the internals of the ground engaging portion are filled or tillable with a medium to displace moisture and prevent corrosion.

18. A support as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 17 wherein there is at least one guide between an outer surface of the building engaging portion and an inner surface of the ground engaging portion, or vice versa, at least in part where they telescope to aid adjustment in the elongate direction, but reduce movement in a direction lateral to that.

19. A support as claimed in claim 17 wherein there are multiple guides and they are equally spaced about a lower periphery of the inner surface.

20. A support as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 19 wherein there are multiple supports spread over the underside of the building foundation over regular intervals to support the foundation off the ground.

21 . A support as claimed in claim 20 wherein the supports are spread between 1 and 6 metre centres.

22. A support as claimed in either of claims 20 or 21 wherein the supports are spread at 3 metre centres.

23. A support as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 22 wherein the supports support the foundation at a height between 1000mm and 10mm off the ground.

24. A support as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 23 wherein the supports support the foundation at a height of substantially 200mm off the ground.

25. A support as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 24 wherein the support or supports are located in the ground, and then the foundation is cast onsite and then raised off the ground for support by the supports.

26. A support as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 25 wherein the supports are used, at least in part to raise the foundation off the ground.

27. A support as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 26 wherein the adjustment element is an elongate member threadwise engaged between the building engaging portion and the ground engaging portion whose threaded engagement can be adjusted to adjust distance in the elongate direction.

28. A support as claimed in claim 27 wherein there is a lock to prevent rotation of the elongate member once adjusted.

29. A support as claimed in either of claims 27 or 28 wherein the elongate member is thread wise engaged with a portion of the building engaging member.

30. A support as claimed in any one of claims 27 to 29 wherein the elongate member is threadwise engaged with a lower portion of the building engaging portion.

31 . A support as claimed in any one of claims 27 to 30 wherein an end of the elongate member proximal the building engaging member is accessible internally of the building engaging member to allow for adjustment and locking.

32. A support as claimed in any one of claims 27 to 31 wherein a lower end of the

elongate member, distal the building engaging member, bears internally on a base portion of the ground engaging member.

33. A support as claimed in claim 32 wherein the lower end is substantially contained, at least horizontally at the base portion.

34. A support as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 33 wherein the building engaging portion and the ground engaging portion can telescope as necessary to account for movement of the ground away from the building.

35. A support as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 35 wherein the support can be

adjusted as necessary, even after installation, to account for relative movement of the ground to the building.

36. A method of seismically isolating and supporting a building foundation,

comprising or including the steps of,

a. providing a number of building supports each having,

i. a ground engaging portion,

ii. a building engaging portion,

iii. an adjustment element to allow a distance in an elongate direction between the ground engaging portion and the building engaging portion to be adjusted,

b. providing an elastic element to lie at least in part between the ground

engaging portion and the ground to allow at least relative horizontal movement between the ground engaging portion and the building, c. locating the building supports vertically on, or in, the ground and suspending the building off at, or near, a top of the building engaging portions thereof, d. Such that the building is supported off the ground, and in the event of a

seismic event the supports prevent or reduce transmission of seismic motion to the building.

37. A method as claimed in claim 36 wherein the distance in the elongate direction

(Height) can be later adjusted should bearing properties of the ground change.

38. A method as claimed in either of claims 36 or 37 the elastic element is a seismic rubber between the ground engaging portion and the ground.

39. A method as claimed in any one of claims 36 to 38 wherein once said adjustment element is achieved it can be locked.

40. A method as claimed in any one of claims 36 to 39 wherein that part of the building the building engaging portion engages is a concrete slab foundation.

41 . A method as claimed in any one of claims 36 to 40 wherein the building engaging portion has a building base plate to support the building and a location extension therefrom, the building being supported vertically at least in part by the building base plate, and horizontally at least in part by the location extension.

42. A method as claimed in claim 41 wherein the location extension allows access to the adjustment element, at least for adjustment purposes, and thereafter can be closed off, whether selectively or permanently.

43. A method as claimed in either of claims 41 to 42 wherein the location extension is closed off selectively by a cap.

44. A method as claimed in any one of claims 36 to 43 wherein the ground engaging portion can engage a secondary ground engaging portion.

45. A method as claimed in claim 44 wherein the secondary ground engaging portion is a pile into the ground to a depth that it engages and is supported by the ground.

46. A method as claimed in any one of claims 36 to 45 wherein an extension of the

building engaging portion telescopes inside an extension of the ground engaging portion or vice versa.

47. A method as claimed in any one of claims 36 to 46 wherein the foundation is cast on site, over and about the building supports, and then is raised off the ground for support by the supports.

48. A method as claimed in any one of claims 36 to 47 wherein the supports are used, at least in part to raise the foundation off the ground.

49. A method of forming an isolated building foundation to support the foundation off the ground, comprising or including the steps of,

a. Engaging a series of supports into the ground, where the supports have a ground engaging portion and a building engaging portion, and an adjustment element between them to vary a length therebetween,

b. Providing an elastic element at least in part between the ground engaging portion and the ground,

c. Casting a foundation slab on top of the series of supports, and

d. Once the foundation slab has cured raising the foundation slab off the ground by increasing the length between the ground engaging portion and the building engaging portion using the adjustment element.

50. A method as claimed in claim 49 wherein the raising is done in stages across the foundation slab.

51 . A method as claimed in either of claims 49 or 50 wherein the raising uses at least one prime mover.

52. A method as claimed in claim 51 wherein there are multiple prime movers whose movement is controlled.

53. A method as claimed in any one of claims 49 to 52 wherein a release material is located above the ground prior to casting the foundation slab.

54. A method as claimed in any one of claims 49 to 53 wherein the foundation slab has a lower concretious material portion, and an upper concretious material portion and sandwiched between the two is at least a thermal isolation portion and moisture isolation portion.

55. A method as claimed in claim 54 wherein there is reinforcing at least present in the lower concretious material portion.

56. A method as claimed in claim 55 wherein the reinforcing is pre-tensioned.

57. A method as claimed in any one of claims 49 to 56 wherein the supports have their ground engaging portions encased in a pier in the ground, with the elastic element at least in part located between the ground engaging portion and the pier.

58. A method as claimed in claim 57 wherein there is reinforcing in the pier.

59. A method as claimed in any one of claims 49 to 58 wherein the support can be

adjusted as necessary, even after installation, to account for relative movement of the ground to the building.

60. A building foundation support, to support a building from or off a ground,

comprising or including,

a. A ground engaging portion,

b. A building engaging portion,

c. An adjustment element to allow a distance in an elongate direction between the ground engaging portion and the building engaging portion to be adjusted, d. An elastic element at least in part between the building engaging portion and the building to allow at least relative horizontal movement between the building engaging portion and the building,

e. Such that a number of the supports can be used to support the building off the ground, and in the event of a seismic event prevent or reduce transmission of seismic motion to the building.

61 . A method of seismically isolating and supporting a building foundation,

comprising or including the steps of,

a. providing a number of building supports each having,

i. a ground engaging portion,

ii. a building engaging portion,

iii. an adjustment element to allow a distance in an elongate direction between the ground engaging portion and the building engaging portion to be adjusted,

b. providing an elastic element to lie at least in part between the building

engaging portion and the building to allow at least relative horizontal movement between the building engaging portion and the building, c. locating the building supports vertically on, or in, the ground and suspending the building off at, or near, a top of the building engaging portions thereof, d. Such that the building is supported off the ground, and in the event of a

seismic event the supports prevent or reduce transmission of seismic motion to the building.

62. A building including at least one building foundation support, wherein the building foundation support comprises or includes,

a. A ground engaging portion,

b. A building engaging portion,

c. An adjustment element to allow a distance in an elongate direction between the ground engaging portion and the building engaging portion to be adjusted, d. An elastic element at least in part between the ground engaging portion and the ground to allow at least in part relative horizontal movement between the ground engaging portion and the building,

e. Such that the at least one building foundation support can be used to support the building off the ground, and in the event of a seismic event prevent or reduce transmission of seismic motion to the building.

63. A kit of parts for a building support, the kit comprising or including,

a. A ground engaging portion,

b. A building engaging portion,

c. An adjustment element to allow a distance in an elongate direction between the ground engaging portion and the building engaging portion to be adjusted, d. An elastic element at least in part engagable between the ground engaging portion and the ground, or part thereof, to allow at least in part relative horizontal movement between the ground engaging portion and the building, e. Such that the support can be used to support the building off the ground, and in the event of a seismic event prevent or reduce transmission of seismic motion to the building.

64. A kit as claimed in claim 63 wherein the kit includes a locking pin to removably slide internally into the building engaging portion to selectively lock the adjusting element.

65. A kit as claimed in either of claims 63 or 64 wherein the ground engaging portion can engage a secondary ground engaging portion.

66. A kit as claimed in any one of claims 63 to 65 wherein the kit includes formers to form the secondary ground engaging portion.

67. A kit as claimed in any one of claims 63 to 66 wherein said kit includes preformed reinforcing, at least for the secondary ground engaging member.

68. A kit as claimed in claim 66 wherein the formers include a former for the elastic element in the secondary ground engaging portion.

69. A method of supporting a building foundation, comprising or including the steps of,

a. providing a number of building supports each having,

i. a ground engaging portion,

ii. a building engaging portion,

iii. an adjustment element to allow a distance in an elongate direction between the ground engaging portion and the building engaging portion to be adjusted,

b. providing an elastic element to lie at least in part between the building

engaging portion and the building to allow at least relative horizontal movement between the building engaging portion and the building, c. the building supports located vertically on or in the ground and suspending the building off at, or near, a top of the building engaging portions thereof, d. Adjusting the support as necessary, to account for relative movement of the ground to the building.

such that the building is supported off the ground.

70. A building foundation support as described herein with reference to any one or more of the accompanying drawings.

71 . A method of seismically isolating and supporting a building foundation as described herein with reference to any one or more of the accompanying drawings.

72. A method of forming an isolated building foundation as described herein with reference to any one or more of the accompanying drawings.

73. A building foundation support as described herein with reference to any one or more of the accompanying drawings.

74. A kit of parts as described herein with reference to any one or more of the accompanying drawings.

Description:
IMPROVEMENTS IN, OR RELATING TO, BUILDING FOUNDATION SUPPORT SYSTEMS

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to building foundation support systems.

In particular, though not solely, the present invention is directed to a building foundation support system to support and level the foundation and building in an elevated position above a ground surface.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

There is a need for systems to allow buildings to withstand seismic effects. There is also a need to enable building of structures on ground that has become unsuitable for standard construction methods, for example concrete slab on ground, when for example the ground has become unsuitable due to seismic action and is now deemed unstable for such standard building techniques.

One such method is to build the building upper structure such that it resists the majority of seismic effects, either by over building or including systems to damp the motion of the upper building. However this system still requires the ground on which the building is built is suitable to support, for example a slab foundation directly on the ground. If the ground is damaged or otherwise unsuitable it cannot be built on in this way.

One method to allow building on ground which surface is unsuitable is to drive piles into the ground to a depth where there is a stable substructure, or sufficient side friction to support the piles. Typically these piles are wooden, steel or concrete. However such piles cannot isolate the building from subsequent seismic activity and therefore again the building is susceptible to damage, for example in an earthquake. Also in areas where the support of the ground changes in a seismic event, for example percolation of liquids and softening, then side friction solutions become unsuitable.

Further, typical concrete slabs can be costly to build in an elevated form using a piling method to support the slab off the ground. This is because they must be piled and boxed off the ground and then poured and then the boxing removed.

In this specification where reference has been made to patent specifications, other external documents, or other sources of information, this is generally for the purpose of providing a context for discussing the features of the invention. Unless specifically stated otherwise, reference to such external documents is not to be construed as an admission that such documents, or such sources of information, in any jurisdiction, are prior art, or form part of the common general knowledge in the art.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved building foundation support and system, or to overcome the above shortcomings or address the above desiderata, or to at least provide the public with a useful choice.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In a first aspect the present invention consists in a building foundation support, to support a building from or off a ground, comprising or including,

A ground engaging portion,

A building engaging portion,

An adjustment element to allow a distance in an elongate direction between the ground engaging portion and the building engaging portion to be adjusted,

An elastic element at least in part between the ground engaging portion and the ground to allow at least in part relative horizontal movement between the ground engaging portion and the building,

Such that at least one support can be used to support the building off the ground, and in the event of a seismic event prevent or reduce transmission of seismic motion to the building.

Preferably the elastic element is a seismic rubber between part of the ground engaging portion and the ground.

Preferably the elastic element is frustoconically shaped.

Preferably the elastic element allows the ground engaging portion to flex horizontally relative the ground and or building.

Preferably the elastic element has the ground engaging portion passing substantially through its conical centre line.

Preferably said adjustment element or part thereof is lockable.

Preferably that part of the building the building engaging portion engages is a concrete slab foundation. Preferably the building engaging portion has a building base plate to support the building and a location extension therefrom, the building being supported vertically at least in part by the building base plate, and horizontally at least in part by the location extension.

Preferably the location extension allows access to the adjustment element, at least for adjustment purposes, and thereafter can be closed off, whether selectively or permanently.

Preferably the adjustment element is at least in part internal of the building engaging portion.

Preferably the location extension is closed off selectively by a cap when access to the internals is not needed.

Preferably the ground engaging portion can engage a secondary ground engaging portion.

Preferably the secondary ground engaging portion is a pile into the ground to a depth that it engages and is supported by the ground.

Preferably the elastic element is set into the secondary engaging portion at least in part between the ground engaging portion and the secondary engaging portion.

Preferably the elastic element sits flush with a top of the ground or secondary ground engaging portion.

Preferably an extension of the building engaging portion telescopes inside an extension of the ground engaging portion or vice versa.

Preferably the internals of the ground engaging portion are filled or tillable with a medium to displace moisture and prevent corrosion, such as for example, but not limited to oil or similar.

Preferably there is at least one guide between an outer surface of the building engaging portion and an inner surface of the ground engaging portion, or vice versa, at least in part where they telescope to aid adjustment in the elongate direction, but reduce movement in a direction lateral to that.

Preferably there are multiple guides and they are equally spaced about a lower periphery of the inner surface. Preferably there are multiple supports spread over the underside of the building foundation over regular intervals to support the foundation off the ground.

Preferably the supports are spread between 1 and 6 metre centres.

Preferably the supports are spread at 3 metre centres.

Preferably the supports support the foundation at a height between 1000mm and 10mm off the ground.

Preferably the supports support the foundation at a height of substantially 200mm off the ground.

Preferably the support or supports are located in the ground, and then the foundation is cast onsite and then raised off the ground for support by the supports.

Preferably the supports are used, at least in part to raise the foundation off the ground.

Preferably the adjustment element is an elongate member threadwise engaged between the building engaging portion and the ground engaging portion whose threaded engagement can be adjusted to adjust distance in the elongate direction.

Preferably there is a lock to prevent rotation of the elongate member once adjusted.

Preferably the elongate member is thread wise engaged with a portion of the building engaging member.

Preferably the elongate member is threadwise engaged with a lower portion of the building engaging portion.

Preferably an end of the elongate member proximal the building engaging member is accessible internally of the building engaging member to allow for adjustment and locking.

Preferably a lower end of the elongate member, distal the building engaging member, bears internally on a base portion of the ground engaging member. Preferably the lower end is substantially contained, at least horizontally at the base portion.

Preferably the building engaging portion and the ground engaging portion can telescope as necessary to account for movement of the ground away from the building.

Preferably the support can be adjusted as necessary, even after installation, to account for relative movement of the ground to the building.

In another aspect the present invention consists in a method of seismically isolating and supporting a building foundation, comprising or including the steps of,

providing a number of building supports each having,

a ground engaging portion,

a building engaging portion,

an adjustment element to allow a distance in an elongate direction between the ground engaging portion and the building engaging portion to be adjusted, providing an elastic element to lie at least in part between the ground engaging portion and the ground to allow at least relative horizontal movement between the ground engaging portion and the building,

locating the building supports vertically on, or in, the ground and suspending the building off at, or near, a top of the building engaging portions thereof,

Such that the building is supported off the ground, and in the event of a seismic event the supports prevent or reduce transmission of seismic motion to the building.

Preferably the distance in the elongate direction (Height) can be later adjusted should bearing properties of the ground change.

Preferably the elastic element is a seismic rubber between the ground engaging portion and the ground.

Preferably once said adjustment element is achieved it can be locked.

Preferably that part of the building the building engaging portion engages is a concrete slab foundation.

Preferably the building engaging portion has a building base plate to support the building and a location extension therefrom, the building being supported vertically at least in part by the building base plate, and horizontally at least in part by the location extension. Preferably the location extension allows access to the adjustment element, at least for adjustment purposes, and thereafter can be closed off, whether selectively or permanently.

Preferably the location extension is closed off selectively by a cap.

Preferably the ground engaging portion can engage a secondary ground engaging portion.

Preferably the secondary ground engaging portion is a pile into the ground to a depth that it engages and is supported by the ground.

Preferably an extension of the building engaging portion telescopes inside an extension of the ground engaging portion or vice versa.

Preferably the foundation is cast on site, over and about the building supports, and then is raised off the ground for support by the supports.

Preferably the supports are used, at least in part to raise the foundation off the ground.

In another aspect the present invention consists in a method of forming an isolated building foundation to support the foundation off the ground, comprising or including the steps of,

Engaging a series of supports into the ground, where the supports have a ground engaging portion and a building engaging portion, and an adjustment element between them to vary a length therebetween,

Providing an elastic element at least in part between the ground engaging portion and the ground,

Casting a foundation slab on top of the series of supports, and

Once the foundation slab has cured the raising the foundation slab off the ground by increasing the length between the ground engaging portion and the building engaging portion using the adjustment element.

Preferably the raising is done in stages across the foundation slab. Preferably the raising uses at least one prime mover.

Preferably there are multiple prime movers whose movement is controlled. Preferably a release material is located above the ground prior to casting the foundation slab.

Preferably the foundation slab has a lower concrete (or similar suitable material) portion, and an upper concrete (or similar suitable material) portion and sandwiched between the two is at least a thermal isolation portion and moisture isolation portion.

Preferably there is reinforcing at least present in the lower concrete portion.

Preferably the reinforcing is pre-tensioned.

Preferably the supports have their ground engaging portions encased in a pier in the ground, with the elastic element at least in part located between the ground engaging portion and the pier.

Preferably there is reinforcing in the pier.

In another aspect the present invention consists in a building foundation support, to support a building from or off a ground, comprising or including,

A ground engaging portion,

A building engaging portion,

An adjustment element to allow a distance in an elongate direction between the ground engaging portion and the building engaging portion to be adjusted,

An elastic element at least in part between the building engaging portion and the building to allow at least relative horizontal movement between the building engaging portion and the building,

Such that a number of the supports can be used to support the building off the ground, and in the event of a seismic event prevent or reduce transmission of seismic motion to the building.

In another aspect the present invention consists in a method of seismically isolating and supporting a building foundation, comprising or including the steps of,

providing a number of building supports each having,

a ground engaging portion,

a building engaging portion,

an adjustment element to allow a distance in an elongate direction between the ground engaging portion and the building engaging portion to be adjusted, providing an elastic element to lie at least in part between the building engaging portion and the building to allow at least relative horizontal movement between the building engaging portion and the building,

locating the building supports vertically on, or in, the ground and suspending the building off at, or near, a top of the building engaging portions thereof,

Such that the building is supported off the ground, and in the event of a seismic event the supports prevent or reduce transmission of seismic motion to the building.

In another aspect the present invention consists in a building including at least one building foundation support, wherein the building foundation support comprises or includes,

A ground engaging portion,

A building engaging portion,

An adjustment element to allow a distance in an elongate direction between the ground engaging portion and the building engaging portion to be adjusted,

An elastic element at least in part between the ground engaging portion and the ground to allow at least in part relative horizontal movement between the ground engaging portion and the building,

Such that the at least one building foundation support can be used to support the building off the ground, and in the event of a seismic event prevent or reduce transmission of seismic motion to the building.

In another aspect the present invention consists in a kit of parts for a building support, the kit comprising or including,

A ground engaging portion,

A building engaging portion,

An adjustment element to allow a distance in an elongate direction between the ground engaging portion and the building engaging portion to be adjusted,

An elastic element at least in part engagable between the ground engaging portion and the ground, or part thereof, to allow at least in part relative horizontal movement between the ground engaging portion and the building,

Such that the support can be used to support the building off the ground, and in the event of a seismic event prevent or reduce transmission of seismic motion to the building.

Preferably the kit includes a locking pin to removably slide internally into the building engaging portion to selectively lock the adjusting element. Preferably the ground engaging portion can engage a secondary ground engaging portion.

Preferably the kit includes formers to form the secondary ground engaging portion.

Preferably said kit includes preformed reinforcing, at least for the secondary ground engaging member.

Preferably the formers include a former for the elastic element in the secondary ground engaging portion.

In another aspect the present invention consists in a method of supporting a building foundation, comprising or including the steps of,

a. providing a number of building supports each having,

i. a ground engaging portion,

ii. a building engaging portion,

iii. an adjustment element to allow a distance in an elongate direction between the ground engaging portion and the building engaging portion to be adjusted,

b. providing an elastic element to lie at least in part between the building

engaging portion and the building to allow at least relative horizontal movement between the building engaging portion and the building, c. the building supports located vertically on or in the ground and suspending the building off at, or near, a top of the building engaging portions thereof, d. Adjusting the support as necessary, to account for relative movement of the ground to the building.

such that the building is supported off the ground.

In another aspect the present invention may be said to broadly consist in a building foundation support as described herein with reference to any one or more of the accompanying drawings.

In another aspect the present invention may be said to broadly consist in a method of seismically isolating and supporting a building foundation as described herein with reference to any one or more of the accompanying drawings.

In another aspect the present invention may be said to broadly consist in a method of forming an isolated building foundation as described herein with reference to any one or more of the accompanying drawings.

In another aspect the present invention may be said to broadly consist in a building foundation support as described herein with reference to any one or more of the accompanying drawings.

In another aspect the present invention may be said to broadly consist in a kit of parts as described herein with reference to any one or more of the accompanying drawings.

As used herein the term "and/or" means "and" or "or", or both.

As used herein "(s)" following a noun means the plural and/or singular forms of the noun.

The term "comprising" as used in this specification means "consisting at least in part of". When interpreting statements in this specification which include that term, the features, prefaced by that term in each statement, all need to be present, but other features can also be present. Related terms such as "comprise" and "comprised" are to be interpreted in the same manner.

It is intended that reference to a range of numbers disclosed herein (for example, 1 to 10) also incorporates reference to all rational numbers within that range (for example, 1 , 1 .1 , 2, 3, 3.9, 4, 5, 6, 6.5, 7, 8, 9 and 10) and also any range of rational numbers within that range (for example, 2 to 8, 1 .5 to 5.5 and 3.1 to 4.7).

The entire disclosures of all applications, patents and publications, cited above and below, if any, are hereby incorporated by reference.

To those skilled in the art to which the invention relates, many changes in construction and widely differing embodiments and application of the invention will suggest themselves without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims. The disclosures and the descriptions herein are purely illustrative and are not intended to be in any sense limiting.

Other aspects of the invention may become apparent from the following description which is given by way of example only and with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Preferred forms of the present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which;

Figure 1 Shows an isometric view of preferred embodiment of a support of the present invention,

Figure 2 Shows a lengthwise cross-section of the support of Figure 1 , its internals, and its location in the ground and elastic element,

Figure 3 Shows a foundation of a building supported off the ground by a number of the supports, and

Figure 4 Shows a side view of a series of supports located in place in the ground with secondary ground engaging portions and elastic elements prior to casting of the foundation slab,

Figure 5 Shows the same view as that of Figure 4, but with the foundation slab cast in place, and the prime movers ready to drive the adjusting element to lift the foundation slab, once cured,

Figure 6 Shows the foundation slab, lifted off the ground by the supports, and

Figure 7 Shows a perspective view of a foundation slab supported off the ground by a number of the supports of the present invention, in this case the foundation supports a building which is a house.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Preferred embodiments will now be described with reference to Figures 1 through 7.

The support 1 has a ground engaging portion 2 and a building engaging portion 3 as shown in Figure 1 . In normal preferred use the support 1 is vertically oriented with the ground engaging portion 2 at the bottom or lower end, and the building engaging portion at the top or upper end. In the preferred form the ground engaging portion 2 has an extension 16 which telescopes with an extension 17 of the building engaging portion 3. In the preferred form extension 17 sleeves within the extension 16 as shown in Figure 2. The resulting cavity 46 that is formed, can if necessary, be filled with a material, such as oil or similar to prevent ingress of materials, provide lubrication and prevent corrosion. This prevents ingress of water and other debris when in the normal vertical orientation. Present around an internal lower periphery 19 of the extension 16 are a number of guides 18. These allow easy telescoping of the two extensions 16 and 17 which prevent or reduce movement laterally.

The ground engaging portion 2 and building engaging portion 3 can be made from any suitable material, and in the preferred form this is steel which once fabricated can be rust proofed, for example by galvanising. The ground engaging portion 3 has a base portion 33 located at a lower end thereof as shown in Figures 1 and 2. This closes off the interior of the extension 16. In the preferred form base portion 33 and extension 16 are formed from steel components that are welded together. However, they may also be formed by other suitable means.

In the preferred form the building engaging portion 3 has an upper location extension 13 to engage the foundation 7 laterally and a building base plate 12 to support the foundation 7 vertically. In one preferred form the building base plate 12 may be square as shown in Figure 1 with an aperture there through to locate around the extension 16 and then is welded at the correct height to form the location extension 13 and building base plate 12.

In the preferred form located within the ground engaging portion 2, building engaging portion 3 and their respective extensions 16 and 17 is an adjusting element 4 as shown in Figure 2. This allows controlled extension and contraction in the direction 20 of the two portions, and therefore allows the distance in the elongate direction 20 to be adjusted and set. As will be explained below this allows setting of the foundation 7 and building 6 at an even height when the ground below is uneven.

The adjustment element 4 in the preferred form is achieved by a threaded engagement internally between the two portions 2 and 3 as shown in Figure 2. In its most preferred form this is a static threaded nut 22 fixed toward the lower end of the extension 17 of the building engaging portion 3, and an elongate member 21 , as a rod, threadwise engaged to that and extending downwards into the extension 16 of the ground engaging portion 2. At an upper end as shown there is a locking plate 23 and driving portion 24. The driving portion 24 allows the elongate member 21 to be driven to turn in and out of the threaded nut 22. The locking plate 23 can be used to lock the adjustment element 4 once the adjustment is done. This will be explained below.

The lower end 31 of the elongate member 21 bears internally on the base portion 33 of the ground engaging member and this then allows adjustment in direction 20 as shown in Figure 2. In the preferred form there is a retainer ring 42 on the interior face 47 of the base portion 33 which captures the lower end 31 to prevent horizontal movement, at least when it is being rotated.

In the preferred form the elongate member 21 is a high tensile steel material as is the threaded nut. In the preferred form the elongate member has an M30 thread on it. This has been found to be off sufficient diameter and strength. However, this material and dimension may be varied as needed for the application.

Once the desired height is set, a locking pin 10 can be placed down through an upper locking sleeve 1 1 A from the top of the building engaging portion 3 as shown in Figure 2. The locking pin 10 engages in a locking aperture 26 in the locking plate 23. There is also a lower locking sleeve 1 1 B as shown so the locking pin 10 is located both top and bottom for a solid lock of the plate 23. The locking pin is shown removed from the support 1 as 10B to allow actuation of the adjustment element 4, and installed as 10A to prevent actuation of the adjusting element 4.

Access to the driving portion 24 and locking sleeve 1 1 is through the top of the building engaging portion 3 as shown in Figure 2. Once this access is no longer needed it can be closed off with a cap 14. This cap may be removable if there is a need to readjust the support 1 , for example if there is ground settling.

The interface between the ground engaging portion and the ground in the preferred form is by a secondary ground engaging portion 15, such as a pile, pier, or concrete foundation, as shown in Figure 2. In some forms this may be "T" shaped as shown to further stabilise portion 15, for example against toppling when the ground 8 is soft, or prone to softening. The secondary ground engaging portion can be poured on site and preferably has reinforcing 40 as shown. The particular form of the reinforcing will depend on the

application.

Part of the interface between the ground engaging portion 2 and the secondary portion 15 is through an elastic element 5. In the preferred form this is a seismic rubber that is cone shaped as shown in Figure 2. The elastic element 5 locates into a complementary cavity 30 in the portion 15 as shown in Figures 2 and 4. The element 5 may either be cast in place or located thereafter. In this way the ground engaging portion can flex laterally and the foundation 8 and building 6 supported above is isolated horizontally and damped by the elastic element 5. In the preferred form the building engaging portion 3 is not secured in the ground engaging portion vertically and therefore should the ground 8 and ground engaging portion 2 drop relative to the building engaging portion 3 then this is accommodated vertically. This enables the support and the building to be compliant relative to vertical movement of the ground.

The foundation can be any suitable foundation but in the preferred form is a concrete slab foundation 7, such as shown in Figure 3. In the preferred form the foundation slab 7 is a composite construction and has a lower concrete portion 37, an upper concrete portion 45, and sandwiched in between there is a thermal isolation portion 38 and moisture isolation portion 39. At least the lower concrete portion 37 has pre-tensioned reinforcing 40 to make the resulting foundation stronger and able to cope with being supported by the supports 1 and also to make the resulting foundation 7 lighter.

In one preferred form the thermal isolation portion 38 is polystyrene, for example 40mm thick. The moisture isolation portion may be polythene or similar material and run at least part of the way up the internal timber framing 49. In Figure 3 the brick seats 43 are shown sitting below top level of the upper concrete portion. However, in the preferred form the brick seats overlap at least partway up the heat of the upper concrete portion 45, and most preferably about 60mm up the upper concrete portion. Preferably there is also a gap of about 40mm between the inner vertical surface of the bricks 44 and the outer vertical surface of the upper concrete portion 45.

To form such a concrete slab foundation 7 for a building 6 to be supported by the supports 1 is shown in Figures 4 through 7. The preferred form is to form a level area and box 27 this. Holes for the secondary ground engaging portions 15 are then prepared, boxed if necessary and reinforcing 40 located ready for concrete pouring. Supports 1 , or at least the ground engaging portions 2 are located prior to pouring concrete. At this stage elastic elements 5 may be located (if pre-formed), or formers located to form cavities 30 for them (if formed on site, for example by pouring liquid rubber that then sets into the elastic element 5. The formers or elastic elements 5 extend between halfway to three quarters of the way down to the base of the ground engaging portion 2, and have a lower cone surface at an angle of between 45 degrees to 60 degrees to the vertical. In the preferred form they extend approximately three quarters of the way down and have a lower cone surface angle of approximately 60 degrees to the vertical. Concrete can then be poured to form the portions 15. The elastic elements may be formed off site and then dropped into place in the piers, or maybe cast by pouring a suitable material into cavities 30 in the pier 15.

A release material 36 is then located over the ground 8 and portions 15 within the boxed 27 area. Utilities 41 , for example power, water, waste water, telecoms and gas may also now be located. Reinforcing 40 is also located in place ready for tensioning. Utilities 41 may be housed in one or several umbilicals or similar. These can be elastic or otherwise allow for relative movement of the foundation 7 without failing.

The lower concrete portion 37 may then be poured with any additional boxing as needed to form the shape shown in Figure 5. Alternatively the lower concrete portion 37 may be poured and then the moisture isolation portion 39 is located on the poured portion 37 and thermal isolation portion 38 is located on top and then settled into the poured portion 37. Additional boxing 48 may be then be located prior to the upper concrete portion 45 being poured.

Reinforcing 40 may then be tensioned as needed.

Once the slab is cured the adjusting elements 5 can be used to drive the supports 1 to lift the foundation 7 off the ground 8. In the preferred form there are one or more prime movers 34 to drive the adjusting elements 4 (for example to turn, via the driving portion 24, the elongate member 21 which in turn will extend it through the threaded nut 22 to extend the supports 1 ) under control of a controller 35 to ensure a smooth lift, to the desired height as shown in Figure 6. Locking pins 10 can then be located in place as earlier described.

Once at the desired height caps 14 can then be used to close off the building engaging portion 3. Boxing 27, and any additional material not needed, can then also be removed.

The building 6 as shown in Figure 7 can then be formed in whole or in part once the foundation is lifted. The slab has brick seats 43 to allow for bricks 44 in the usual style as shown in Figure 3. Timber framing or similar 49 can also be erected as needed.

The supports 1 in the preferred form are located at 3m centres under the foundation 7.

However this may be varied depending on the weight of the building to be erected and the stability of the ground 8 underneath. In the preferred form the foundation is located between 10mm and 1000mm off the ground 8, and most preferably at 200mm off the ground.

Should there be a need, for example change in level of the ground, by way of an earthquake or other subsidence or similar, the caps 14 can be removed, locking pins 10 lifted and the adjusting elements adjusted as described such that the foundation and building are then correctly supported and/or level. The locking pins can then be put back into place and caps reinstalled.

In this way a foundation 7 for a building can be formed, and a building 6 built on top. The supports 1 support the building 6 vertically, and if there is a side to side movement due to an earthquake of similar are of sufficient dimension to flex and using the elastic element 5 damp the motion and reduce or prevent damage to the building. Further as the building engaging portion is only held in the ground engaging portion by gravity vertical motion of the foundation 7 relative the ground 8 is allowed to further isolate the building 8 and prevent or reduce damage. Then after the event the foundation 7 and building 8 can be relevelled by adjusting the supports 1 . If any support is damaged then it is also possible to lift the foundation, replace the support 1 or supports and then re-lower the foundation 7.

The foregoing description of the invention includes preferred forms thereof. Modifications may be made thereto without departing from the scope of the invention.