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Title:
A PARTIALLY PREFABRICATED BUILDING AND METHOD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/145732
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A building formed of a prefabricated structure (1) and an additional structure. The prefabricated structure (1) has a number of walls (2, 25), which define the boundary of the prefabricated structure (1) and divide it into a number of rooms. The prefabricated structure (1) can be divided into any number of rooms of any shape or size. The walls (2, 25) can be formed of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) or stud walls, with insulation and fire protection as necessary depending on their location. The walls have electrical wiring, gas and water pipes, waste pipes, air passageways and any other means of carrying a service (23) running through them, positioned as required by the building of which the prefabricated structure (1) will form part. These means (23) run from the supply point (24), where the service is connected to and received by the prefabricated structure, to connection points on the outer surface of the walls (2, 25). Various devices (3) can be connected to the connection points. As the outer surface of the wall (2, 25) on which a connection point is located at least partially defines an additional room in the additional structure, means of carrying a service (23) need not be run through the walls (11) of the additional structure.

Inventors:
GILHAM CHRISTIAN (GB)
Application Number:
GB2019/050218
Publication Date:
August 01, 2019
Filing Date:
January 25, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
GILHAM CHRISTIAN (GB)
International Classes:
E04B1/348
Foreign References:
US20110296778A12011-12-08
DE19700302A11997-07-17
US9441357B12016-09-13
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WILSON GUNN (MANCHESTER) (Blackfriars HouseThe Parsonage,Manchester Lancashire, M3 2JA, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A building comprising a plurality of storeys, a plurality of prefabricated structures and a plurality of additional structures, wherein each storey comprises at least one prefabricated structure, each prefabricated structure comprises: a first set of walls, each wall having an inner surface, which at least partially defines one or more rooms, and an opposed outer surface; a supply point operable to connect to and receive a service; and a means of carrying a service from a supply point to at least one connection point located on the outer surface of a wall, each additional structure comprises a second set of walls which, together with at least one outer surface of the respective prefabricated structure on which a connection point is located at least partially defines an additional room of the building.

2. A building as claimed in claim 1 wherein the walls comprise structural insulated panels (SIPs).

3. A building as claimed in either of claim 1 or claim 2 wherein the walls comprise stud walls.

4. A building as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the or each wall may form at least part of an outer wall of the building, and such wall or walls comprise SIPs and/or insulated stud walls.

5. A building as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the or each wall may form at least part of an inner wall of the building, and such wall or walls comprise uninsulated stud walls.

6. A building as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the means of carrying a service forms part of at least some of the walls.

7. A building as claimed in any preceding claim comprising a plurality of means of carrying a service.

8. A building as claimed in claim 7 wherein there is a separate supply point for each means of carrying a service.

9. A building as claimed in either claim 7 or claim 8 wherein each means of carrying a service is for carrying a different service.

10. A building as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the means of carrying a service is any of the following: water or gas pipes, electrical wiring, sewage pipes, ventilation systems, telephone lines and/or internet cables.

11. A building as claimed in any preceding claim wherein a plurality of connection points are located on the same wall of the respective prefabricated structure.

12. A building as claimed in any preceding claim wherein a plurality of connection points are located on different walls of the respective prefabricated structure.

13. A building as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the or each connection point is operable to allow a device to connect to the respective means of carrying the service so as to use the service.

14. A building as claimed in claim 13 wherein the or each connection point comprises a connector operable to facilitate the connection between the means of carrying the service and the respective device.

15. A building as claimed in either claim 13 or claim 14 wherein the or each device is any of the following: an electrical socket, a radiator, a kitchen appliance, a bathroom appliance, a house alarm, a fire alarm, a carbon monoxide detector, an electrical switch, a light, an air vent, a telephone socket or an internet connection socket.

16. A building as claimed in any preceding claim comprising a stairwell comprising a set of stairs.

17. A building as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the building is a house.

18. A building as claimed in any preceding claim wherein each prefabricated structure is sized so as to be transportable via lorry.

19. A building as claimed in any preceding claim wherein each prefabricated structure comprises a cassette floor.

20. A building as claimed in claim 19 wherein the floor comprises installation points for lights, the installation points operable to be electrically connected to a means of carrying a service.

21. A building as claimed in claim 20 wherein the installation points are operable to allow lights to be installed to light a room above or below the floor.

22. A building as claimed in any preceding claim wherein at least two prefabricated structures are positioned adjacent to each other within the building.

23. A building as claimed in claim 22 wherein the supply point of one prefabricated structure is operable to connect to and receive a service by connecting to the means of carrying a service of another, adjacent prefabricated structure.

24. A building as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the floor of an upper storey forms the ceiling of a lower storey.

25. A building as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the or each floor of the building comprises a cassette floor.

26. A building as claimed in claim 25 wherein the or each floor comprises installation points for lights, the installation points operable to be electrically connected to a means of carrying a service.

27. A building as claimed in claim 26 wherein the installation points are operable to allow lights to be installed to light a room above or below the floor.

28. A building as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the roof of the building comprises one or more SIPs.

29. A building as claimed in claim 28 wherein the roof of the building comprises installation points for lights, the installation points operable to be electrically connected to a connection point of an adjacent wall.

30. A method of constructing a building, comprising the steps of:

a) constructing a plurality of prefabricated structure according to any preceding claim;

b) setting the prefabricated structures in position at a location; and c) constructing a plurality of additional structures according to any preceding claim, each additional structure being constructed adjacent to a respective prefabricated structure.

31. A method as claimed in claim 30 comprising the step of transporting the prefabricated structure to the location.

Description:
A Partially Prefabricated Building and Method

Technical Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a building comprising prefabricated structures and a method of constructing such a building.

Background to the Invention

When constructing a building, especially two and three storey residential buildings, the layout of the building is designed around the need to supply services throughout the building. It is necessary to design and install means of carrying services (e.g. electricity, water, gas, telephone lines, internet cables) from their external sources to the locations desired in the building. In traditional construction it is necessary to install such means while constructing the building on-site, with the means of carrying being run within the walls, floors and/or ceiling of the building. This slows down the process of constructing the building, and so results in increased labour costs, means that the work has to be carried out as the building is being erected on site and has a higher potential for delays or defective work due to bad weather, poor quality control or other on-site issues. In addition, it is usually necessary to have a trained professional (such an electrician or plumber) install or at least inspect the wiring or pipes, which also increases labour costs.

Additionally, buildings must be designed to contain vital rooms including circulation areas such as hallways and stairways, a ground level wash closet, bathrooms and kitchens. The design and installation of such rooms in traditional construction is generally done on-site, which also increases the time required on-site. Newer modular construction methods seek to alleviate these issues. In an existing modular system of construction a building is constructed out of multiple prefabricated units with means of carrying services built into one or more of the prefabricated units. Since each room in the building requires services, the prefabricated units must be designed and built so that means of carry the services run through every room of the building. In addition, there are relatively few ways of combining the prefabricated units into a building, which results in a lack of variety in the resulting buildings and unflexibility on the external design as external walls need a lot of co ordination with services as well as design. Usually each method is based around a single design solution, the prefabricated units being made to be assembled in one particular way.

Other methods use a traditional method of construction for the majority of the building, with only the most resource intensive rooms (typically the kitchen and/or bathroom) supplied as a prefabricated unit. However, while this does save on some on site time, the other rooms of the house still require wires and/or piping to be installed.

Embodiments of the present invention seek to at least partially address the problems mentioned above.

Summary of the Invention

According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided a building comprising a plurality of storeys, a plurality of prefabricated structures and a plurality of additional structures, wherein each storey comprises at least one prefabricated structure, each prefabricated structure comprises: a first set of walls, each wall having an inner surface, which at least partially defines one or more rooms, and an opposed outer surface; a supply point operable to connect to and receive a service; and a means of carrying a service from a supply point to at least one connection point located on the outer surface of a wall, each additional structure is adjacent a respective prefabricated structure, and each additional structure comprises a second set of walls which, together with at least one outer surface of the wall of the respective prefabricated structure on which a connection point is located define at least one additional room of the building.

The advantage of providing such a building is that the connection points of the prefabricated structures can supply the additional rooms of the building with all the services required in those rooms. The result of this is that means of carrying services need not be installed in walls defining the rooms other than those of the prefabricated structures. This saves on time on-site, without an unnecessary duplication of means of carrying of services in to the additional rooms. In addition, trained professionals such as an electrician or plumber require less time on site, resulting in further cost savings. Finally, a variety of different sized and shaped buildings can still be constructed using the prefabricated structure.

The walls may comprise structural insulated panels (SIPs). The SIPs may comprise timber. The SIPs may comprise a fire resistant lining. The fire resistant lining may comprise a fire resistant face applied to an inner or outer face of the SIPs. Alternatively, the fire resistant lining may comprise fire rated board. The walls may comprise one or more doors and/or windows.

Alternatively or additionally, the walls may comprise stud walls. The walls may comprise insulated stud walls. The stud walls may comprise a timber frame, with boards on each side of the timber frame, and insulation between if required. The or each board may comprise any of the following: wood, reconstituted wood and/or fire resistant boards. The reconstituted wood boards may comprise any of the following: OSB, ply or similar, the insulation may comprise of rockwool type products or rigid insulation, or any other insulation suitable for use in a dwelling wall. Alternatively, the stud walls may be metal stud walls. The stud walls may comprise fire resistant linings. Preferably, the stud walls comprise inner surfaces and the fire resistant lining is on these inner surfaces. Additionally or alternatively, the stud walls may comprise outer surfaces and the fire resistant lining is on these outer surfaces. The stud walls may comprise acoustic and/or thermal insulation.

Utilising SIPs speeds up construction of the structure, since SIPs just need to be put into position and connected together to form a wall. The use of SIPs and/or stud walls, lined with a suitable finish also removes or at least reduces the need for on site plastering, which saves on time required by another trained professional (a plasterer and possibly a decorator).

The or each wall may form at least part of an outer wall of the building. Alternatively or additionally, the or each wall may form at least part of an inner wall of the building. The or each wall which forms at least part of an outer wall may comprise SIPs and/or insulated stud walls. The or each wall which forms at least part of an inner wall may comprise stud walls. In particular, the or each wall which forms at least part of an inner wall may comprise uninsulated stud walls.

The means of carrying a service may form part of at least some of the walls of each prefabricated structure. The means of carrying a service may form part of at least some of the walls of each prefabricated structure which comprise stud walls. There may be a plurality of means of carrying a service. There may be a separate supply point for each means of carrying a service. Each means of carrying a service may be for carrying a different service. The or each service may be any of the following: water, gas, electricity, waste, telephone, central heating or internet. The means of carrying a service may be any of the following: water or gas pipes, electrical wiring, sewage pipes, ventilation systems, telephone lines or internet cables. Having a plurality of means of carrying a service, each for a different service, allows the prefabricated structure to supply all the services required by the building.

There may be a plurality of connection points. A plurality of connection points may be located on the same wall of the respective prefabricated structure. Alternatively or additionally, a plurality of connection points may be located on different walls of the respective prefabricated structure. Having connection points on different walls allows multiple additional rooms to be constructed off different walls of the prefabricated structure, each provided with a service. The or each connection point may be operable to allow a device to connect to the respective means of carrying the service so as to use the service. The or each connection point may comprise a connector operable to facilitate the connection between the means of carrying the service and a device.

There may be a plurality of devices. The or each device may be any of the following: an electrical socket, a radiator, a kitchen appliance, a bathroom appliance, a waste pipe, a water supply pipe, a house alarm, a fire alarm, a carbon monoxide detector, an electrical switch, a light, an air vent, a telephone socket or an internet connection socket. At least one prefabricated structure may comprise a stairwell. The stairwell may comprise a set of stairs. Having at least one prefabricated structure comprise a stairwell allows the stairs to be installed off-site, which also saves on time on-site given the relative complexity of installing stairs. At least one prefabricated structure may comprise additional walls. Additionally or alternatively, the or each additional structure may comprise additional walls. At least one of the additional walls may comprise SIPs. Alternatively or additionally, the additional walls may comprise stud walls. The additional walls may comprise insulated stud walls. The additional walls may define or partially define one or more rooms. Each room may be any one of the following: entrance, circulation space, cloak room, bathroom, wash closet, utility room or kitchen. Each additional room may be any of the following: a bedroom, a living room, a dining room, a kitchen, a study, a home office and/or a playroom. The prefabricated structure having additional walls allows the structure to comprise any number of rooms, as required or desired by the design of the building.

The building may be a house or an apartment. Each prefabricated structure may be sized so as to be transportable via lorry. Sizing the prefabricated structures to be transportable via lorry reduces the need for special permission for transporting the structure, saving on time and expenses. Sizing the wall, floor and roof panels that connect to the prefabricated structure, means that one is not transporting‘air’ to form the outer rooms around the prefabricated structure, thus reducing costs.

Each prefabricated structure may comprise a floor. The means of carrying a service may form part of the floor. The floor may comprise a cassette floor. The cassette floor may comprise timber or metal. The cassette floor may comprise fire resistant material. The floor may comprise insulation, either acoustic or thermal. Alternatively, the floor may comprise timber joist, insulation and plasterboard and/or cement board and/or fire resistant board soffits and boarded top. The floor may comprise installation points for lights, the installation points operable to be electrically connected to a means of carrying a service. The connection may be via a connection point of an adjacent wall or direct. The installation points may be operable to allow lights to be installed to light a room above or below the floor. The installation points may be operable to allow pendant or recessed lights to be installed.

The prefabricated structure may comprise a boiler and water tank. The prefabricated structure may comprise one or more a service meters.

There may be a plurality of connection points. Connection points may be located on different walls. The building may comprise a plurality of additional rooms.

At least two prefabricated structures may be positioned adjacent to each other within the building. The supply point of one prefabricated structure may be operable to connect to and receive a service by connecting to the means of carrying a service of another, adjacent prefabricated structure. The supply point may connect to the means of carrying a service directly or via a connection point.

Using a plurality of prefabricated structures allows a larger building to be built, with a larger variety of shapes and types of room. Connecting the means of carrying a service of each prefabricated structure together allows the service to originate from one point (the place where it connects to the building) while still servicing the entire building. At least one prefabricated structure of one storey may be stacked atop at least one prefabricated structure of an adjacent, lower storey. In such embodiments, the floor of an upper storey may form the ceiling of a lower storey.

The or each floor of the building may comprise a cassette floor. The cassette floor may comprise timber or metal. The cassette floor may comprise fire resistant material. The cassette floor may comprise insulation. Alternatively, the floors may comprise timber joist, insulation and plasterboard and/or cementboard and/or fire resistant board soffits and boarded top. Floors may comprise installation points for lights, the installation points operable to be electrically connected to a means of carrying a service. The connection may be via a connection point of an adjacent wall or direct. The installation points may be operable to allow lights to be installed to light a room above or below the floor. The installation points may be operable to allow pendant, surface mounted or recessed lights to be installed.

The roof of the building may comprise one or more SIPs. The advantage of this is that the substantially airtight nature and integrated insulation of SIP roofs results in a ceiling for the top storey of the building being unnecessary. The SIPs may comprise timber. The SIPs may comprise a fire resistant lining. The fire resistant lining may comprise a fire resistant face applied to an inner face of the SIPs. Alternatively, the fire resistant lining may comprise fire rated board. The roof of the building may comprise installation points for lights, the installation points operable to be electrically connected to a connection point of an adjacent wall. The lights may be pendant, surface mounted or recessed lights. Alternatively or additionally, the roof of the building may comprise stud cassettes. The stud cassettes may comprise a timber frame, insulation with boards on each side of the timber frame. Alternatively, the stud cassettes may be metal cassettes. The stud cassettes may comprise fire resistant linings. The stud cassettes will comprise insulation. Preferably, the stud cassettes comprise inner surfaces and the fire resistant lining is on the inner surfaces. Additionally or alternatively, the stud cassettes may comprise outer surfaces and the fire resistant lining is on these outer surfaces. The stud cassettes may comprise acoustic and/or thermal insulation.

The building may be clad. The cladding may be any one of or combination of the following: brick, render, timber, metal panels, reconstituted materials or stone.

According to a second aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of constructing a building, comprising the steps of: a) constructing a plurality of prefabricated structures according to the first aspect of the present invention;

b) setting the prefabricated structures in position at a location; and

c) constructing a plurality of additional structures according to the first aspect of the present invention, each additional structure being constructed adjacent to a respective prefabricated structure.

The second aspect of the present invention may incorporate any or all of the features of the first aspect, as desired and/or appropriate.

The method may comprise the step of transporting the prefabricated structure to the location.

Detailed Description of the Invention In order that the invention may be more clearly understood one or more embodiments thereof will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:

Figure 1 is a top plan view of a prefabricated structure according to the present invention;

Figure 2 is an exploded ground storey plan of a house built according to the method of the present invention;

Figure 3 is an exploded first storey plan of the house of figure 2, wherein the walls adjacent two rooms are shown twice, on the boundary of each respective room;

Figure 4 is the ground storey plan of the house of figure 2; Figure 5 is the first storey plan of the house of figure 2; Figure 6 is an exploded perspective view of prefabricated structures according the present invention which comprise the house of figure 2;

Figure 7 is a perspective view of the prefabricated structures which comprise the house of figure 2;

Figure 8 is a front perspective view of the unclad house of figure 2;

Figure 9 is a back perspective view of the unclad house of figure 2;

Figure 10 is a ground storey plan of a second house built according to the method of the present invention;

Figure 11 is the first storey plan of house of figure 10; Figure 12 is the second storey plan of the house of figure 10; Figure 13 is a front perspective view of the unclad house of figure 10; Figure 14 is a back perspective view of the unclad house of figure 10; Figure 15 is a ground storey plan of a third house built according to the method of the present invention;

Figure 16 is a first storey plan of the house of figure 15; Figure 17 is a front perspective view of the unclad house of figure 15; and Figure 18 is a back perspective view of the unclad house of figure 15.

As shown in figure 1, the prefabricated structure 1 comprises a number of walls 2, which define the boundary of the prefabricated structure 1 and divide it into a number of rooms. The example shown has two complete rooms and a part of a third. A prefabricated structure 1 can be divided into any number of rooms of any shape or size. The walls 2 which will form the outer walls of the building are formed of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) or insulated stud walls. Each SIP can form an entire length of wall, in which case the SIP must typically be moved into position via a crane or other lifting gear. Alternatively each wall can be formed from multiple SIPs of any of a number of conventional sizes, including 300mm, 600mm, 900mm and 1200mm, or bespoke sizes. In such cases it is possible to move the SIPs into position by hand. The SIPs comprise a fire resistant inner face, or the inner leaf of the SIPs or stud wall is a fire rated board, to meet fire regulations. In other embodiments, the walls 2 can comprise insulated timber or metal stud walls. The walls 25 which form the inner walls of the building comprise stud walls. The stud walls are timber frames with wooden boards on each side, or metal stud walls with wooden boards on each side. Fire resistant lining is applied to the outer surfaces of the wooden boards, or the boards can be fire rated material. The stud walls can have acoustic insulation and/or thermal insulation installed, as required and/or desired. The stud walls have electrical wiring, gas and water pipes, waste pipes, air passageways and ventilation systems, and any other the means of carrying a service 23 required, running through them, which are positioned as required by the building of which the prefabricated structure 1 will form part. The means 23 can also run through walls 2 if necessary. These means 23 run from a supply point 24, where the service is connected to and received by the prefabricated structure 1, to connection points on the outer surface of the walls 2 and 25. The means 23 are installed when the stud walls are connected together to form the walls 25. The walls 2, 25 also comprise several doorways fitted with doors 7 and window openings fitted with windows 8, which are installed as the walls 2, 25 are formed. Alternatively, the doors 7 and windows 8 can be fitted on-site.

Various devices 3 can be connected to the connection points, including radiators, electrical sockets, electric heaters, telephone lines connections and light switches, a fridge, washing machine and cooker or any appliance or device requiring services to it. These devices 3 can be connected when the structure 1 is fabricated. Alternatively, and preferably in the case of the fridge, dishwasher, oven, extractor fan, washing machine, radiators and cooker so as to avoid these devices 3 being damaged in transit to site, the connection points are left exposed and the devices 3 are connected on site. The means 23 also connect to devices 4 on the inner surfaces of the walls 2, 25, since the rooms within the structure 1 require services as well.

The prefabricated structure 1 comprises a stairwell into which stairs 5 are fitted. The stairs 5 are fitted into the lower storey embodiment of the prefabricated structure 1 (in this case, the ground storey), and run up to the upper storey embodiment of the prefabricated structure 1. Handrails that form part of the stairs 5 can be fitted once the prefabricated structure 1 is on-site, to prevent damage to the handrails when the prefabricated structure 1 is transported.

The floors 6 of the prefabricated structure 1 comprise cassette floors, preferably of timber, or timber joists with boards above or below said joists. The floors 6 have the necessary fire rating, thermal and acoustic treatment applied during construction. These floors 6 can be laid down on top of, and connected to, SIPs and stud walls. For prefabricated structures 1 which are placed atop another, the floors 6 of the top structure can form the ceilings of the bottom structure. In such cases, the floors 6 of the top structure have a series of installation points for lights for the bottom structure. The electrical wiring for the lights runs through the floors 6 to connect to the electrical wiring in the walls 2, 25, either directly or through a connection point. The means of carrying services 23 can also run through the floors 6 of the prefabricated structures 1.

When constructing a building, the prefabricated structures of the building are formed off-site, preferably in a factory setting. Once the prefabricated structures are formed, they are transported to site and the prefabricated structures of the ground storey are connected to the foundations of the building to which they are to form part. The building can have any number of prefabricated structures, depending on the size, shape and rooms of the building, and each prefabricated structure’s number, size and type of room can vary according to need. Once the ground storey prefabricated structures are in place, the prefabricated structures of the additional storeys are placed on top so as to form the hub of the building. In addition, the supply points 24 are connected to the services which they supply: either directly, or by connecting to the means 23 in an adjacent prefabricated structure. Additional structures can then be formed adjacent the prefabricated structures, in the form of walls, floor and roofs, so as to form the rest of the rooms of each storey. The additional structures can be designed without services (electrical wiring and water pipes), or with services (electrical wiring and water pipes) pre installed to connect to the prefabricated structure.

In the embodiment shown in figures 2-9, the additional rooms are formed around a first prefabricated structure 9 and a second prefabricated structure 10. Each additional room has at least one wall which forms part of a prefabricated structure 9, 10. The two prefabricated structures 9, 10 are sized so as to be easily transportable via a lorry. The rooms are defined by walls 11. The walls 11 comprise the same type of SIPs and/or stud walls (depending on whether they are outer or inner walls of the building) as the walls 2, 25 of the prefabricated structures 9, 10. However, means of carrying services 23 need not run through the walls 11. Instead the services required for the rooms are supplied by the devices 3 connected to the connection points 23 on the walls of the prefabricated structure 9, 10.

The additional rooms of the ground storey are constructed by first placing floors 12 on the foundations. These floors are the same type as the floors 6 of the prefabricated structures 9, 10. Once the floors 12 are in place, the SIPs or stud walls forming the walls 11 are placed in position and connected together. Once all the rooms of the ground storey are in place, the additional rooms of the first storey are formed. Unlike the other prefabricated structures 14, 15 of the first storey, the prefabricated structure 13 which forms an ensuite bathroom is put in position and connected to the other prefabricated structures 9, 10, 14, 15 as the additional rooms are formed. The floors 16 of the rooms of the first storey form the ceilings of the rooms of the ground storey, and have installation points for lights. For floors 17 of the rooms which are not part of a prefabricated structure, the electrical wiring of the installation points runs through the floors 17 to the nearest wall 2 of a prefabricated structure 13, 14, 15 and connect to a connection point. The floors 17 are prefabricated off site, with the electrical wiring directed towards where the nearest wall 2 will be once the floor 17 is in position.

Once the required and/or desired number of storeys are in place, the roof 18 can be placed in position. The roof 18 comprises the SIPs of the same type used for the walls 2, 11 of the building. Since SIPs form a substantially airtight seal, a ceiling for the top storey is optional. If no ceiling is included, the roof 18 will comprise installation points for lights in the same manner as the floors 16, 17.

Alternatively, the roof 18 can be formed of insulated timber stud panels, with joists and wood or another material either side.

The roof 18 have a fire resistant and acoustic treatment, which either comprise part of the roof 18 or are applied to internal or external surfaces of the roof 18. Preferably, the fire resistant treatment is applied as the SIPs and or stud panels comprising the roof 18 are constructed. Once the roof 18 is in place the building 33 can be cladded in one or a combination of various types of cladding, including timber, brick, tile, render, metal cladding and stone. Drainage and other outer furnishing can then be added to the building 33.

As previously mentioned, a variety of sized and shaped buildings can be constructed from a variety of embodiments of the prefabricated structure, and the external structures around the prefabricated structure can be any variety of solutions as this element is flexible in design terms. One alternative embodiment is shown in figures 10-14. In this alternative embodiment there is room for an extension 40 on the ground and first storeys 19, 20 of the building 22. For supplying services to such an extension 40, it is possible to conventionally insert means of carrying services 23 into the walls 11 of the structure surrounding the prefabricated structures 1. Alternatively, means 23 could be run from the connection points of the prefabricated structures 1 and around the edges of a room, hidden behind skirting board.

Additional means 23 can also be installed in the walls 11 or hidden behind skirting boards so as to service any room, as desired.

Figures 15-18 show another alternative embodiment in which the prefabricated structures 27 form the central part of the building 26. Each outer wall of the prefabricated structures 27 (other than the prefabricated structures 32 which form ensuite bathrooms and services on the outer walls to serve the rooms adjacent) forms a wall of one of the additional rooms 28, with the majority of the devices 3 for each additional room 28 provided on the outer surface of the outer walls of the prefabricated structures 27 and 32. However, some kitchen devices (including the cooker 29 in the kitchen 31) are provided on the walls 11, and so must be connected via means 35 within skirting boards or fitted into the walls 11. The means 35 connected back to the prefabricated structures 27 via the connection points.

The above embodiments are described by way of example only. Many variations are possible without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.