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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
POST CONNECTOR AND PEG
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/201735
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A connector for connecting two components of a modular building. The connector is connectable to a first component of a modular building and comprises a gripper which can grip a second component of a modular building. The gripper comprises at least one movable bar that is biased into its gripping position by a spring. The connector also comprises at least one block which in use can hold the gripper in its locking position by engaging the bar of the gripper. The movement of the block, which is spring biased into its locking position, can be controlled by a link which is attached to the block and runs through the connector. The link comprises a release tab which in use restrains the block in unlocked positions. The connector can be used in the construction of a modular building, for example for connecting the components of the frame of a module. The connector can be used remotely such that the user does not need to access the connector to connect the components. A peg for connecting two components of a modular building. The peg comprises a first portion for insertion into a first component of a modular building and a second portion for being received in a second component of a modular building. The first portion includes a screw‐thread for engaging the first component. The second portion of the peg has a recessed neck for being gripper by a gripper in the second component. The peg comprises a multifaceted body portion to allow the user to rotate and align the peg. The multifaceted body portion comprises at least two surfaces for abutting blocks of the second component. The multifaceted body portion comprises at least two indentations. The peg is affixed into a connection plate. A compressible layer is positioned between the multifaceted body portion of the peg and the connection plate. An eccentric ring may be positioned between the peg and the connection plate.

Inventors:
DEANE ANDREW COLIN (GB)
Application Number:
GB2020/050846
Publication Date:
October 08, 2020
Filing Date:
March 30, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BERKELEY MODULAR LTD (GB)
International Classes:
E04B1/343; E04B1/58; F16B7/04; F16B21/16; F16B35/06; E04B1/24
Domestic Patent References:
WO2016165022A12016-10-20
Foreign References:
US20050076484A12005-04-14
US5845377A1998-12-08
EP2982808A12016-02-10
EP0233113A11987-08-19
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JACKSON, Richard Eric et al. (GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A connector for connecting two components of a modular building, the connector being connectable to a first component of a modular building, the connector incorporating a gripper which in use grips a second component of a modular building.

2. The connector of claim 1, wherein the gripper comprises at least one movable bar (1).

3. The connector of claim 2, wherein the movable bar is spring biased into its gripping position.

4. The connector of claim 3, wherein a spring (2) acts to pull the movable bar into its gripping position.

5. The connector of any preceding claim, wherein the gripper is held in a locked position by at least one block (3).

6. The connector of claim 5, wherein the block is wedged shaped.

7. The connector of claim 6, wherein the block is a wedge with a flat portion for engaging the gripper.

8. The connector of claim 5, wherein the block comprises more than one wedge shaped

portion, preferably wherein the block comprises a first wedge shaped portion (3D) and a second wedge shaped portion (3E), wherein the wedge shaped portions are spatially distributed along the block.

9. The connector of claim 8, wherein the first wedge shaped portion (3D) has a flat portion for engaging the gripper and the second wedge shaped portion (3E) has a portion for abutting a surface of a peg.

10. The connector of any of claims 5 to 9, further comprising an additional block for abutting a surface of a peg.

11. The connector of claim 10, wherein the surface of the additional block that abuts a surface of a peg comprises a roughened or textured surface, or a plurality of serrations.

12. The connector of any of claims 5 to 11, wherein the gripper comprises a cut away (IB), wherein said cut away receives the block.

13. The connector of any of claims 5 to 12, wherein the block is biased into its locking position.

14. The connector of any of claims 5 to 13, wherein the block is biased into its locking position by a spring (4).

15. The connector of claim 14, wherein the spring is accommodated within a body (5) of the connector.

16. The connector of claim 15, wherein the body includes a channel which incorporates the spring.

17. The connector of claim 16, wherein the spring is mounted on a rod (6) in the channel in the body.

18. The connector of claim 17 where the rod is connected to a block and travels through an aperture (5D) in the body.

19. The connector of any of claims 5 to 18, wherein the block further comprises a portion with a flat surface that travels along a recessed slot (5C) in the body.

20. The connector of any one of claims 5 to 19, wherein the block has a link (8) for controlling the motion of the block.

21. The connector of claim 20, wherein the link comprises a tab (10) which in use restrains the block in an unlocked position.

22. The connector of claim 21, wherein the tab restrains more than one block in unlocked

positions.

23. The connector of any of claims 20 to 22, wherein the link has a handle (9).

24. The connector of any of claims 20 to 23, wherein the link includes an indicator (IOC) that in use shows when the block is in its locking position.

25. The connector of any preceding claim, wherein the connector further includes a retaining pin (11) which in use passes through the first component to retain the connector in position.

26. The connector of any preceding claim, wherein the gripper is located in a slot (5B) in the body of the connector.

27. The connector of any preceding claim, wherein a view shaft runs through the gripper.

28. A post (12) incorporating a connector as defined in any preceding claim.

29. The post of claim 28, further comprising a fixation plate (13) for receiving a peg.

30. The post of claim 29, wherein the fixation plate is rigidly connected to an upper portion of the post.

31. A peg (15) for connecting two components of a modular building, wherein the peg has a first portion (15A) for insertion into a first component of a modular building and a second portion (15B) for being received in a second component of a modular building, wherein the second portion has a neck which in use is gripped by a gripper in the second component.

32. The peg of claim 31, wherein the peg comprises a recess (15C) which in use receives the gripper of the second component.

33. The peg of claim 32, wherein the recess is a concave neck.

34. The peg of any of claims 31 to 33, wherein the peg has a conical head (15D) for insertion into the gripper in the second component.

35. The peg of any of claims 31 to 34, wherein the first portion includes a screw-thread (15E) for engaging the first component.

36. The peg of any of claims 31 to 35, wherein the peg comprises a multifaceted body portion (15F).

37. The peg of claim 36, wherein the multifaceted body portion comprises at least two surfaces (15G) for abutting blocks of the second component, preferably wherein the multifaceted body portion comprises four surfaces for abutting blocks of the second component.

38. The peg of claim 37, wherein the surface for abutting blocks of the second component

comprises a roughened or textured surface, or a plurality of serrations.

39. The peg of any of claims 36 to 38, wherein the multifaceted body portion includes at least two indentations (15J), preferably wherein the multifaceted body portion includes four indentations.

40. The peg of claims 31 to 39, further comprising a marker (15K), wherein in use said marker indicates to a user the orientation of the peg.

41. The peg of any of claims 31 to 40, wherein the first component of the modular building comprises a post comprising a fixation plate, wherein the peg is attached to the fixation plate, and wherein the first portion of the peg engages the fixation plate.

42. The peg of claim 41, wherein the first portion threadably engages the fixation plate of the post.

43. The peg of any of claims 31 to 42, wherein the peg is manufactured from a metal, an alloy e.g. steel, a composite, combinations thereof and the like.

44. A connection plate (16) comprising a plurality of pegs according to any of claims 31 to 43.

45. The connection plate and peg of claim 44 when dependent on claims 36 to 43, further

comprising a compressible layer (15H) positioned between the connection plate and the multifaceted body portion of the peg.

46. The connection plate and peg of claim 45, wherein the compressible layer is formed from a metal, such as copper, aluminium, or iron; an alloy, such as steel; a composite; a polymer, or combinations thereof.

47. The peg of any of claims 36 to 43 or the connection plate and peg of any of claims 44 to 46, wherein the contact surface between the multifaceted body portion of the peg, the compressible layer, and/or the connection plate, is roughened, textured, or serrated.

48. A module (17) comprising the post of any of claims 28 to 30 attached to the peg of any of claims 31 to 47.

49. A building incorporating a plurality of modules according to claim 48.

50. A building comprising at least one floor, wherein posts of the building are connected to the floors using a connector according to any of claims 1 to 27.

51. The building of claim 50, wherein corners of the building have a plurality of posts.

52. The building of claim 50, wherein adjacent posts are positioned such that the grippers are substantially perpendicular to each other in the horizontal plain.

53. A method of constructing a modular building comprising modules (17), the method

comprising engaging a peg (15) with a post (12) to form a module, wherein said post comprises a gripper, and wherein said peg comprises a neck which is gripped by the gripper.

54. The method of claim 53, wherein the gripper comprises at least one movable bar (1) biased into its gripping position, wherein said movable bar grips the peg.

55. The method of any of claims 53 to 54, wherein once the gripper has gripped the peg, the method further comprises the step of engaging the gripper with at least one block (3), wherein the block locks the gripper in its active position.

56. The method of claim 55, wherein the block is biased into its locking position.

57. The method of any of claims 55 to 56, wherein the block is wedged shaped.

58. The method of any of claims 55 to 56, wherein the block comprises a first wedge shaped portion (3D) and a second wedge shaped portion (3E), wherein the wedge shaped portions are spatially distributed along the block, wherein when the first wedged shaped portion engages the gripper, the second wedged shaped portion abuts a surface of the peg.

59. The method of any of claims 55 to 58, wherein once the gripper has been engaged by at least one block, the method further comprises the step of abutting a surface of the peg with an additional block.

60. The method of any of claims 55 to 59, wherein the block comprises a link (8) for controlling the motion of the block, and wherein the link comprises a tab (10) which when held restrains the block in an unlocked position.

61. The method of claim 60, wherein the tab restrains more than one block in an unlocked position.

62. The method of any of claims 60 to 61, wherein the tab is held as the post engages the peg, allowing the peg to enter and be gripped by the gripper, and wherein once the peg is gripped by the gripper the tab is released to allow the block to move into its locking position.

63. The method of any of claims 60 to 62, wherein the link comprises an indicator (IOC),

wherein a user uses the indicator to see when the block is in its locking position.

64. The method of any of claims 53 to 63, wherein a view shaft runs through the gripper, and wherein before engaging the post with the peg a user uses the view shaft to align the post with the peg.

65. A method of constructing a modular building comprising modules, the method comprising engaging the peg of any of claims 31 to 47 with the post of any of claims 28 to 30, to form a module.

Description:
POST CONNECTOR AND PEG

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a connector for connecting components, a peg for connecting components, a post comprising a connector, a post connected to a peg, a module comprising a post and peg, a modular building comprising modules, a method of assembling a module comprising connecting a post to a peg, and a method of constructing a modular building having modules.

BACKGROUND

The prefabrication of modular building units made from standardised components manufactured under controlled factory conditions is an attractive mode of construction owing to the potential reduction in cost and an increase in quality and precision that can be achieved relative to traditional building methods conducted on an outdoor construction site. The assembly of standardised modular components requires less bespoke on-site construction and modification of components than traditional building methods and can thus be conducted in an easier, more efficient and safer way.

One component in a modular building is the frame, which is assembled from prefabricated columns and posts connected together on-site. There are several connectors known in the art that can be used to connect these posts or columns. One such connector is a tie bar. A tie bar connector comprises components that can threadably engage each other. For example, a tie bar connector can comprise a male portion of a first component which threadably engages a female portion of a second component. Alternatively, a tie bar connector could comprise two female portions which can receive the male portions of two other components. Tie bar connectors are rotated about an axis in order to threadably engage the components.

Another connector from the prior art is a bracket. A bracket is a sheet of material which is affixed, typically with bolts, to multiple components to connect them together. The bolts are inserted through apertures in the bracket and threadably engage other components. WO 2016/165022 describes a bracket connector for a modular building comprising a complementary column affixing pressure plate. The disclosed connector comprises openings for receiving the components of the frame and connects the components together by bolting them to the connector.

The connectors of the prior art have several disadvantages when used in the construction of modular buildings. One major problem associated with their use is that a user has to access the connectors in order to secure the components together. For example when using a tie bar connector, a user must access the tie bar to both align the components prior to engaging them and to rotate one of the components to allow it to threadably engage the other. When using a bracket, a user must access the bracket in order to be able to bolt it to each of the components to be connected together.

The need to access the connectors of the prior art can be problematic where access is limited, such as when connecting modules in a confined space or when multiple posts or columns are to be positioned close to each other (e.g. in a corner of the building). In such situations, a user may have to leave a gap by removing features that obstruct access to the frame. For example, a user may have to remove and then replace the fire protecting boards that form part of the walls in modular buildings. In this situation, the ability of the boards to protect the building from fire may be compromised.

Another problem associated with the connectors of the prior art is that once the components have engaged, it may be difficult and time consuming to disengage the components. This could prove problematic if a user is required to realign the components during construction or if the modular building is temporary and rapid deconstruction/reconstruction of the frame is required.

Thus, there is a need in the art for a connector that a user can operate without the need to access the connector, i.e. where the user can both align and engage the components remotely. Furthermore, it would be desirable that such a connector could connect components easily and in a reversible manner such that the components can be readily engaged/disengaged.

The present invention aims to address the problems of the art by providing a connector that is versatile, easy to use, that can be operated remotely by a user, and facilitates the orientation and assembly of interrelated products in a quick, accurate, and reversible manner. The connector of the present invention can accommodate the manufacturing tolerances inherent to the components, and can therefore be used to construct modular buildings of up to 20 stories wherein the error margins are within an acceptable range. The present invention provides a connector that may be used where access is limited or difficult, such that a user can easily assemble posts in arrangements which would be difficult to achieve were access to the components of the connector required. For example, a user can assemble the posts of the present invention close together in arrangements where multiple modules are next to each other, for example where four posts are assembled in a square formation in the corner of a building. By allowing the user to connect components remotely, the connector and methods of the present invention remove the requirement for the on-site removal and subsequent replacement of the fire protecting boards. The method of the present invention also allows a user to place modules close to each other reducing the amount of space between the modules, which makes fireproofing the structure easier and reduces the space available for the circulation of sound, smoke, and vermin.

Furthermore, the connector of the present invention may reversibly connect components, such that a user can easily connect, separate, and reconnect the components. The connector is therefore useful in the construction of temporary buildings. Finally, the present invention may remove the requirement for the on-site fabrication of complex connections, including the requirement for precision cutting of materials, and thus allows a user to construct modular buildings in a more efficient, safer, and more accurate way.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention comprises a connector for connecting components for the assembly of modules, a peg for connecting components for the assembly of modules, a module comprising a post and a peg, a modular building comprising modules, a method of assembling a module comprising connecting a post to a peg, and a method of constructing a modular building comprising said modules.

The present invention provides a connector for connecting two components, the connector being connectable to a first component and incorporating a gripper which in use grips a second component. The gripper of the present invention may comprise at least one movable bar, wherein the movable bar is spring biased into its gripping position. A spring may act to pull the movable bar into its gripping position.

The gripper may be held in a locked position by at least one block. The block may be wedged shaped optionally comprising a flat portion for engaging the gripper. The block may comprise more than one wedge shaped portion. Preferably, the block comprises a first wedge shaped portion and a second wedge shaped portion, wherein the wedge shaped portions are spatially distributed along the block. The first wedge shaped portion may have a flat portion for engaging the gripper and the second wedge shaped portion may have a portion for abutting a surface of a peg. The gripper may comprise a cut away for receiving the block.

The block may be biased into its locking position. In one embodiment, the block may be biased into its locking position by a spring, wherein the spring may be accommodated within a body of the connector. The body may include a channel which incorporates the spring, and the spring may be mounted on a rod in the channel in the body. The rod may be connected to a block and travel through an aperture in the body. The block may comprise a portion with a flat surface that travels through an aperture or groove in the body. The block may have a link for controlling the motion of the block, which optionally may include a handle. The link may comprise a tab which in use restrains the block in its unlocked position, optionally the tab may restrain more than one block in its unlocked position. The link may include an indicator comprising a scale which in use shows a user when the block is in its locking position. The connector may further include a retaining pin which in use passes through the first component to retain the connector in position within the first component. The gripper may be located in a slot in a body of the connector. There may be a view shaft that runs through the gripper to allow a user to see through the connector. The connector may be incorporated into a post. The post incorporating the connector may further comprise a fixation plate for receiving a peg, wherein the fixation plate may be rigidly connected to an upper portion of the post. The present invention further provides a peg for connecting two components, wherein the peg has a first portion for insertion into a first component and a second portion for being received in a second component, wherein the second portion has a neck which in use is gripped by a gripper in the second component. The peg may comprise a recess which in use receives the gripper of the second component. The recess may be a concave neck. The peg may have a conical head for insertion into the gripper of a second component. The first portion of the peg may include a screw-thread for engaging a first component. The peg may be fabricated from a metal, an alloy e.g. steel, a composite, or combinations thereof and the like. The peg may comprise a multifaceted body portion. The multifaceted body portion may comprise at least two surfaces for abutting blocks of the second component, preferably four surfaces for abutting blocks of the second component. The multifaceted body portion may include at least two indentations, preferably four indentations, wherein the indentations allow a user to grip and rotate the peg. The peg may further comprise a marker, wherein in use said marker indicates to a user the orientation of the peg. The peg may be attached to a post comprising a fixation plate, wherein the first portion of the peg engages the fixation plate. The first portion of the peg may threadably engage the fixation plate within the post. A connection plate may be inserted between the multifaceted body portion of the peg and the fixation plate. The present invention further provides a connection plate comprising a plurality of pegs. A compressible layer may be positioned between the connection plate and the multifaceted body portion of the peg. The compressible layer may be formed from a metal, such as copper, aluminium, or iron; an alloy, such as steel; a composite; a polymer, or combinations thereof

The present invention also provides a module comprising a post attached to a peg. The present invention further provides a building incorporating a plurality of modules. The present invention further provides a building comprising at least one floor, wherein the posts of the building are connected to the floors using a connector. The present invention further provides a building wherein adjacent posts are positioned such that the movable bars of the grippers are orientated substantially perpendicular to each other in the horizontal plain.

The present invention provides a method of constructing a modular building comprising modules, the method comprising engaging a peg with a post, wherein said post comprises a gripper. In one embodiment, said peg may comprise a neck which is gripped by the gripper. The gripper may comprise at least one movable bar biased into its gripping position, wherein said movable bar grips the peg. Once the gripper has gripped the peg, the method of the present invention may further comprise the step of engaging the gripper with at least one block, wherein the block holds the gripper in its locked position. The block may be biased into its locking position. The block may be wedged shaped. The block may comprise a link for controlling the motion of the block, wherein the link comprises a tab which when held restrains the block in unlocked positions. The tab may restrain more than one block in unlocked positions. The tab may be held as the post engages the peg, allowing the peg to enter and be gripped by the gripper, and wherein once the peg is gripped by the gripper, the tab may be released to allow the block to move into its locking position. The link may comprise an indicator, wherein a user can use the indicator to see when the block is in its locking position. Where a view shaft runs through the gripper, before engaging the post with the peg, a user may use the view shaft to align the post with the peg.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Reference will now be made, by way of example, to the accompanying drawings which show example embodiments of the present invention, and in which:

FIG 1A is a cross-sectional view of a first post (12), comprising both a post connector, which incorporates a gripper, and a peg, wherein the gripper of the post connector has engaged the peg, wherein the gripper is in its locked position (i.e. the blocks (3) are engaging the bars (1) of the gripper) and wherein the peg (15) passes through a connection plate (16) and engages a fixation plate (13) in a second post.

FIG IB is the same cross-sectional view displayed in Fig 1A but wherein the gripper is in the process of engaging the peg and the blocks are withdrawn.

FIG 2 is a view of a connection plate (16) comprising four pegs (15), in which one of the pegs has been engaged by a post (12). The figure also displays how the release tab (10) of the connector can be moved from a straightened position (10A) to an active position (10B).

FIG 3 is a cross-sectional view of a first post (12), comprising both a post connector, which incorporates a gripper, and a peg (15); wherein the gripper is in its active but unlocked position (i.e., the blocks are not in their active positions), and wherein the peg passes through a connection plate (16) and engages in a fixation plate (13) in a second post, the first post further comprising a shackle holder (14) attached to a fixation plate (13) in the first post.

FIG 4 is a perspective view of the post of FIG 3.

FIG 5 is a view of a peg (15) comprising a recess (15C) to receive a bar of a gripper of a post connector, a conical head (15D) to facilitate entry into a gripper, and a multifaceted body portion (15F) to facilitate engagement of the peg with a fixation plate.

FIGs 6A-C are views of a block (3) where the block is a wedge, and wherein the wedge comprises a channel or cut-away (3A) to accommodate a link and a protrusion (3B) on the body of the wedge that fits into an aperture of complementary shape in the link. The block further comprises a hole (3C) for receiving a rod.

FIGs 7A-B are views of a movable bar (1) of a gripper, wherein the bar comprises an annular recess (1A) at either end for accommodating springs.

FIG 8 is a view of a link (8), wherein the link is an actuating bar and comprises an aperture to receive a protrusion on a block (8A), a tab (10) for restraining the position of the block, and an indicator (IOC) for showing a user the position of the block. FIG 9 is a view of the body (5) of the connector, comprising an aperture (5A) for a retaining pin (11), slots (5B) for directing the motion of the gripper bars (1), and recessed slots (5C) to accommodate the blocks (3), and apertures (5D) for guide rods (6).

FIG 10 is a top-down view of the movable bars (1) of the gripper gripping a peg (15), wherein the movable bars have two tension springs (2) pulling the bars into their gripping position.

FIG 11 is a view of a spring retainer, wherein the spring retainer is a plate comprising two apertures (7A) for accommodating guide rods.

FIG 12 is a view of a frame of a modular building comprising modules and posts according to the present invention.

FIG 13 is a perspective view of a post of the invention comprising more than one block attached to a link with a handle.

FIG 14 is a cross-sectional view of a second post (12), wherein the block (3) comprises a first wedged shaped portion for engaging the gripper (1) and a second wedge shaped portion for abutting a surface of the peg (15), which has threadably engaged a connection plate (13), wherein a connection plate (16) is positioned between the fixation plate and the multifaceted body portion of the peg.

FIG 15A-F are views of another peg (15), wherein the peg comprises a first multifaceted body portion (15F) comprising a surface (15G) for abutting a block, an indentation (15J), and a marker (15K) to indicate to a user the relative orientation of the peg.

FIG. 16 is a view of rings (18A-D) used to accommodate manufacturing tolerances associated with holes (16A) in a connection plate (16).

FIG. 17 is an exploded view depicting a peg of the invention (15) passing through a hole in an eccentric ring inserted into a hole in a connection plate, and threadably engaging a fixation plate (13) of another module.

FIG 18A-D are views of one concentric ring (18A) and three eccentric rings (18B-D); wherein the hole is positioned in the centre of the concentric ring (18A) and is offset from the centre of the eccentric rings by varying amounts (18B-18D).

FIG 19A-FI are views of another block (3), wherein the block comprises a first wedged shaped portion (3D) for engaging a gripper, and a second wedged shaped portion (3E) for abutting a block. The wedged shaped portions are separated by a spacer (3F). The block further comprises a slot (3G) for receiving a link wherein the slot terminates in an enlarged portion (3M) that receives a ferrule on the end of the link. FIG 20 is a cross sectional view of the post of FIG 14, wherein only the peg (15), block (3), gripper (1), spring (4), link (8), including tab and handle, are displayed.

FIG 21 is a different view of the post of FIG 20.

FIG 22 is a view of the post of FIG 21 further comprising two additional blocks that only abut surfaces of a peg and do not engage the gripper.

FIG 23A-E are views of a movable bar (1) of a gripper, wherein the bar comprises a cut away (IB).

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings where like numerals correspond to like elements.

CONNECTOR

Gripper

The present invention provides a connector for connecting two components, wherein the connector is connectable to a first component and wherein the connector incorporates a gripper which in use grips a second component. In the specific embodiment described herein, the gripper comprises two movable bars (1) which are spring biased towards each other into their gripping positions. The gripping positions of the bars are when they are positioned against a portion of a second component to be gripped. The gripper comprises two tension springs (2 - Fig. 10), wherein each tension spring acts to pull the bars into their gripping positions. In an alternative embodiment, the gripper may comprise a compression spring that acts to push the bars into their gripping positions. Each bar comprises an annular recess at either end of the bar (1A - Figs. 7A & 7B) to accommodate the springs, with each spring being attached to each bar.

In another possible embodiment, the gripper may comprise more than one pair of movable bars, wherein the pairs of bars are positioned substantially perpendicular to each other in the horizontal plane, although they could be positioned at between about 90 degrees and about 45 degrees to each other in the horizontal plane.

As can be seen in Fig. 23A to 23E, the gripper may comprise a cut away (IB), wherein the cut away receives a block (see below section). The cut away is of a complementary shape to the block. The cut away in the bar increases the surface contact area between the bar and the block, reduces the induced stresses, and improves the load capacity of the bar, relative to a bar not comprising the cut away. When a single gripper grips the second component in one axis of the horizontal plane (i.e. when the movable bar of the gripper is orientated in either the X or Y axis of the horizontal plane) there may be limited movement of the second component parallel to the bar. Thus, by using a pair of grippers where the grippers are positioned substantially perpendicular to each other in the horizontal plane, the movement of the second component in both the X and Y axis of the horizontal plane is restricted and a more secure attachment is achieved.

Block

The connector comprises at least one block (3), wherein the block is capable of holding the gripper in its locked position. The locked position of the gripper is when the bars of the gripper cannot be opened to receive the second component if it has not already been gripped by the gripper, or cannot release the second component if it has already been gripped by the gripper. The block is biased into its locking position. The locking position of the block is when it engages a bar of the gripper such that the gripper is in its locked position (see Fig 1A). The block is biased into its locking position by a spring (4) which is accommodated within a body (5) of the connector. The spring is a compression spring which acts to drive the block into its locking position against the bar. The compression spring may be mounted on a guide rod (6) in a channel in the body of the connector. The rod, which acts as a guide for the compression spring, is connected to the block via a hole (3C) in the block that receives the rod, and travels through an aperture (7A) in the body. In one embodiment, the spring may abut a spring retainer (7 - Fig. 11). The spring retainer, which may be attached to the body of the connector, may be a plate comprising at least one aperture (7A) for a rod. In some embodiments, more than one rod is attached to each block.

The blocks may be positioned into their locking positions manually by a user (i.e. wherein the blocks are not biased into their locking positions). The blocks may alternatively be driven into their locking positions using an actuator or a cylinder. The actuator may be electrical or mechanical. The cylinder may be electrical or mechanical.

The block can take a multitude of shapes. In this embodiment, the block is wedged shaped with a flat portion, like a door stop wedge. Alternatively, the block may be shaped like a splitting wedge. The angle at the thin edge of the wedge (i.e. that formed between the two longest sides of the wedge) may be anywhere between 5 degrees and 40 degrees, preferably about 25 degrees.

The block is orientated into a position within the connector such that in use the block can reversibly engage a bar of the gripper. In the embodiment described herein, the block is a wedge which is orientated into a position in the body of the connector such that in use the longest side of the wedge (3) can reversibly engage the bar (1) of the gripper. The block may comprise a portion with a flat surface that travels along a recess (5C) of complementary shape in the body of the connector, wherein the complementary shape of the flat portion of the block and the recess in the body of the connector orientates the block into a position in the connector wherein the block can reversibly engage the bar of the gripper. The flat portion of the block travelling through a recess of complementary shape in the body of the connector prevents the block from rotating. Thus, where the block is a wedge, the flat portion of the wedge and the recess in the body of the connector orientate the wedge into a position in the connector where the longest edge of the wedge can reversibly engage the bar of the gripper.

As can be seen in Fig. 19A to 19D, in some embodiments the block comprises more than one wedged shaped portion, such as two wedged shaped portions, wherein the wedged shaped portions are spatially distributed along the block. For example, the block can comprise a first wedged shaped portion (3D) and a second wedged shaped portion (3E) separated by a spacer (3F). The first wedged shaped portion is positioned at the proximal end of the block with respect to the rod, whereas the second shaped portion is positioned at the distal end of the block with respect to the rod. In use, the first wedge shaped portion engages the gripper and the second wedged shaped portion abuts a surface of a peg. The second wedged shaped portion of the block acts to further stabilise the connection between connector and peg by restricting the rotation of the connector relative to the peg (i.e. around the z axis when in use). The first and second wedged shaped portions may form flat surfaces at the proximal end (3K) and distal end (3L) of the block.

In some embodiments, the connector comprises an additional block, for example two or more additional blocks, wherein said additional block only abuts a surface of a peg and does not engage the gripper (see Fig. 22). Said embodiment further restricts the rotation of the connector relative to the peg and provides additional stability to the connection between connector and peg. For example, the connector may comprise four blocks, wherein two of the blocks comprise at least two wedged shaped portions to both engage the gripper and abut surfaces of a peg, and wherein two of the blocks only abut surfaces of a peg and do not engage the gripper. The two blocks that both engage the gripper and abut a surface of a peg may face each other, and the two blocks that just abut a surface of a peg but do not engage the gripper may face each other (see Fig. 22).

In the embodiments wherein the connector comprises a block with more than one wedged shaped portion and/or comprises an additional block that only abuts a surface of a peg, the second wedged shaped portion of the block and/or the additional block may comprise a roughen or textured surface. Alternatively, the second wedged shaped portion and/or the additional block may comprise a plurality of serrations on the surface abutting a surface of a peg (see Fig 19H). The serrations can have a pitch length (d - see equivalent labelling for serrations on the peg in Fig. 15F) of up to 2mm; wherein the pitch length is the distance from tip to trough of the serration. The bite angle of the serration (Q - see equivalent labelling of the serrations on the peg in Fig. 15F) can be between 40-110 °, such as between 60-105 °, 80-100 °, or about 90°; wherein the bite is the angle subtended by the tips of two consecutive serrations. The serrations can be arranged at different angles relative to the surface of the block. Typically, the serrations are sized and arranged to be of a complementary size and orientation to corresponding serrations on the surface of a peg to which it abuts.

Link

The block is connected to a link (8 - Fig. 8) which in use controls the motion of the block. The link can comprise a flat or round bar, a rod, a chain, a cable, or combinations thereof. The block has a channel (3A - Fig. 6A) in the body of the block for accommodating the link. The block is connected to the link through a protrusion on the body of the block (3B - Fig. 6A) which fits into an aperture of complementary shape in the link (8A - Fig. 8). Alternatively, the block may be connected to the link through a protrusion on the body of the link which fits into a recess of complementary shape in the body of the block.

As can be seen in Fig. 19E to 19G, in some embodiments, the link is received in the block via a slot (3G) in the block, wherein the slot runs down the long axis of the block in the same direction as the length of the rod. The slot in the body of the block may terminate in an enlarged portion (3M), wherein said enlarged portion receives a ferrule at the end of the link (not shown). The slot may be formed in a body (3J) of the block.

In use, the link may travel through a cut out in the body of the connector. The link is accessible to a user of the connector, such that in use the user can control the motion of the block during assembly of a post. The link may comprise a single component or alternatively more than one component wherein the components are connected together by a joining element. The link could be termed an actuating bar and may be made from stainless steel or other suitable material.

The link comprises a handle (9) which is accessible to a user of the connector, such that in use the user can control the motion of the block. The handle may be a zip pull. At its upper end, the link further comprises a release tab (10). The tab is capable of reversibly folding from a straightened position (10A) (i.e. wherein the tab is not folded and is in alignment with the link) to an active position (10B). The active position of the tab is when the tab is folded at an angle (possibly 90 degrees) such that the length of the tab is not aligned with the length of the link and the link is locked. In use, the tab can be used to prevent movement of the block. Thus, when a user has used the link to move the block away from the bar of the gripper, the tab can be folded into its active position to restrain the block in unlocked positions (see Fig IB). In another possible embodiment, in use, a tab may restrain more than one block in unlocked positions, for example, in use, a single tab may restrain all the blocks in the connector in unlocked positions. The tab can also be used to restrain the block in its locked position, wherein the locked position of the block is when the block engages a bar of the gripper such that the bar of the gripper cannot accept or release a second component.

Indicator

The release tab further comprises an indicator (IOC). The indicator comprises a numerical or other scale. In use, the indicator shows a user the position of the block, i.e. whether the block is in its locked or unlocked positions. If the block is a wedge, in use the indicator shows a user the position of the wedge relative to the bars of the gripper and therefore the force which is being applied to the bar of the gripper by the wedge.

Pin

The connector comprises a pin (11), wherein in use the pin passes through the first component to retain the connector in position within the first component. Thus, the pin is a retaining pin. The pin passes through an aperture (5A) in the body (5) of the connector. In the embodiment described the first component is a post (12) and the pin connects the connector to the post.

Body

The connector comprises a body (5 - Fig. 9). The body of the connector is designed to accommodate the gripper, the wedges, the links and the retaining pin. The body has slots (5B) for directing the motion of the bars of the gripper. The slots for the bars are recessed in the body of the connector to allow the bars to move towards and away from each other with the tension springs in the recesses, without the bars touching the inner walls of the post. The slots in the body of the connector orientate the movable bars of the gripper into a position wherein in use the second component can be received and gripped by the gripper. The body of the connector is open at its lower end to receive a second component, such as a peg, into the gripper. Although not shown, the slots for the gripper bars may be non-parallel to each other in the body of the connector such that the bars exert forces at inclined angles. In this way, a second component or peg can be prevented from lateral movement, thereby resulting in a more reliable and secure engagement. In a particular embodiment, the bars of the gripper may be positioned substantially perpendicular to each other in the horizontal plane.

The body of the connector comprises a recessed slot (5C) on either side to accommodate the blocks. The recessed slots allow the raised parts of the blocks to run in a controlled manner up and down the body of the connector. The length of the slots are defined to enable the wedges to engage with the bars of the gripper in a locking position with the flat portion of each block abutting the bars, and also to be withdrawn from engagement with the bars to allow the gripper to open and receive a second component or peg. The body further comprises a pair of apertures (5D) for accommodating guide rods for the compression springs (4).

The body of the connector may be made by a number of known processes, including casting, moulding, forming, machining, combinations thereof and the like. The body of the connector may be fabricated from a metal, an alloy e.g. steel, a composite, a plastic, combinations thereof and the like.

View shaft

In one embodiment, the connector comprises a view shaft that runs through the body of the connector, between the bars of the gripper and out through the aperture at the bottom of the body. In use, the view shaft allows a user to see through the connector such that the user can align the connector with a second component. In use, the view shaft allows a user to view through the gripper to align the bars of the gripper with the second component, thereby facilitating installation. In use, the view shaft may also allow a user to use a laser to align the connector with a second component.

Post

The present invention provides a post (12) incorporating a connector. The post accommodates the connector such that the gripper of the connector is positioned adjacent to an end of the post. At its other end, the post accommodates a fixation plate (13) for receiving a peg, which is rigidly connected to an upper portion of the post. The fixation plate may comprise a plate holder (13A), a bottom plate (13B) and a top plate (13C). The fixation plate may also have an aperture or cut out that allows a link to travel through the fixation plate. If necessary, as shown in Fig 4, the fixation plate can carry a shackle holder (14), which can reversibly engage the fixation plate. The shackle holder comprises a shackle bolt (14A) and a shackle (14B). In use, the shackle allows a user to move the post into position using a crane, for example.

The post may be made by a number of known processes, including casting, moulding, forming, machining, combinations thereof and the like. The post may be fabricated from a metal, an alloy e.g. steel, a composite, combinations thereof and the like.

The post may be a range of sizes depending on its required use. The connector is preferably only slightly smaller than the post such that the body of the connector is substantially next to the walls of the post, thereby preventing unwanted movement. The connector may be significantly shorter than the post. Typically, the post may be 2m, 2.5m, 3m, 3.5m, or 4m tall. The post may be 0.2m, 0.3m 0.4m or even 0.5m wide, or even wider in specialist applications.

The post may take a variety of shapes, most likely a square or rectangular cross section. Alternatively, the post may be cylindrical in shape (i.e. have a circular cross section).

Peg

The present invention provides a peg (15 - Fig. 5) for connecting two components, wherein the peg has a first portion (15A) for insertion into a first component and a second portion (15B) for being received in a second component, wherein the second portion has a neck (15C) which in use is gripped by a gripper of the second component. As can be seen in Fig 5, the peg has a concave neck for receiving a bar or bars of a gripper. The neck recess has a shape that is complementary to the bars of the gripper, so that the opposing bars of the gripper can engage the recess irrespective of the rotational positon of the peg. The peg also comprises a conical head (15D) with rounded top for insertion into the gripper of a second component. The peg effectively acts as a location pin.

The first portion of the peg may comprise a screw-thread (15E) for engaging a first component. The peg further comprises a multifaceted body portion (15F) for engagement by a user to facilitate rotation of the peg about its longitudinal axis of rotation to thread the peg into a first component. The multifaceted body portion may allow a user to rotate the peg around its long axis (see Fig. 5), for example, in order to threadably engage the peg with a fixation plate, or to align the peg.

The second portion of the peg (15B) may be rectangular in shape (see Fig 15A-B, feature 15B) to allow a user to grip and rotate the peg with a socket of complementary shape to the second portion. It will be appreciated that the second portion of the peg can take other shapes that can be gripped and rotated by a socket. Advantageously, in this embodiment, a user can rotate the peg whilst observing the position of the marker (15K) and thus is able to use the marker to orientate the peg relative to the connection plate into which it is being connected and/or to other pegs in the connection plate.

As can be seen in Fig. 15A to 15D, the multifaceted body portion may comprise at least two surfaces (15G), such as four surfaces, for abutting blocks in the second component. In some embodiments, the surfaces for abutting blocks in the second component are flat surfaces (see, Fig. 15A-B). In some embodiments, the surfaces of a peg for abutting blocks in the second component are roughened or textured. In some embodiments, the surfaces for abutting blocks comprise a plurality of serrations (see, e.g. Fig. 15E and 15F). The serrations can have a pitch length (d - see Fig 15F) of up to 2mm; for example about 1mm, wherein the pitch length is the distance between the tips of consecutive serrations. The bite angle of the serrations (Q - see Fig. 15F) can be between 40-110°, such as between 60-105°, 80-100°, or about 90°; wherein the bite angle is the angle subtended by the tips of two consecutive serrations. The serrations can be arranged at different angles relative to the peg, such as parallel and perpendicular to the long axis of the peg, or offset from the long axis of the peg by an angle (a - see Fig. 15F), for example by 10 - 60°, 20-50°, 25-45°, about 20°, or about 45°. In some embodiments, the serrations have a bite angle of 90° and are orientated parallel and perpendicular to the long axis of the peg (i.e. a = 0°). In some embodiments, the serrations have a bite angle of 90° and are offset at about 20° (i.e. a = 20°) relative to the long axis of the peg.

It was found that by introducing serrations onto the surface of the peg/block the stability of the connector and its resistance to shear forces in the x-y plane is increased. Particularly good results, with a significant reduction in movement between the peg and block under applied force, were observed when the serrations on the block/peg are offset from the long axis of the peg by about 20° (i.e. a = 20°).

The multifaceted body portion of the peg may comprise indentations (15J), such as at least two or at least four indentations. The indentations can be used to ensure that the compressible layer maintains the same orientation as the peg whilst the peg is being rotated (see section below). The multifaceted body portion of the peg may comprise a roughened, textured, or serrated finish covering at least a portion of the surface area that, in use, contacts the compressible layer or connection plate. The roughened, textured, or serrated finish increases friction and reduces movement between the multifaceted body portion of the peg and the compressible layer or connection plate.

The peg may comprise a marker (15K), wherein the marker indicates to a user the relative orientation of the peg. For example, the marker can be used to indicate to a user the orientation of the peg relative to the connection plate, the fixation plate into which the first portion of the peg is engaged, and/or the gripper of a connector into which the second portion of the peg is received.

The peg may comprise a spacing portion (151) between the screw-thread and the multifaceted body portion of the peg. The spacing portion can be in the form of a recess (see Fig. 15B) or a curved surface (see Fig 15E). The spacing portion facilitates threadable engagement of the first component by the peg. Furthermore, where the spacing portion is in the form of a curved surface, the peg can accommodate the manufacturing tolerances associated with the size of the holes in the connection plate.

The peg may be made by a number of known processes, including casting, moulding, forming, or machining. The peg may be fabricated from a metal, an alloy e.g. steel, a composite, combinations thereof and the like. The peg may be made from medium carbon free-cutting steel or any other material appropriate for the required task.

Connection Plate

The present invention further provides a peg attached to a connection plate (16). The connection plate can be secured between a peg and a fixation plate (13), wherein the fixation plate has been engaged by the screw-threaded first portion of the peg. The fixation plate may be incorporated into an upper region of a post. The compressible layer may comprise a roughened, textured, or serrated finish on its surface, in order to increase the friction between the compressible layer and the connection plate and/or multifaceted body portion of the peg. As a result of the increased friction, movement is reduced between the compressible layer and the connection plate and/or multifaceted body portion of the peg.

A compressible layer (15H - see Fig. 22) may be positioned between the connection plate and the multifaceted body portion of the peg. The compressible layer may be formed of a metal such as copper, aluminium, or iron, an alloy such as steel, a composite, a polymer, or combinations thereof. In use, the peg threadably engages the fixation plate of the first component and is continually rotated until the peg is fixed into the fixation plate, i.e. until appreciable resistance to further rotation is observed. The compressible layer between the multifaceted body portion of the peg and the connection plate accommodates further rotation of the peg, for example by at least 90°, or by at least 180°, such that after the peg is fixed into the fixation plate, the peg can be aligned, for example with a corresponding marker on the connection plate. The thickness of the compressible layer can be adjusted, such that the maximum rotation of the peg accommodated by the compressible layer can be varied. In some embodiments, the thickness of the compressible layer may be between 0.5mm to 6mm, such as 0.5 mm to 5 mm, 1 mm to 4mm, 2mm to 4mm, or about 3 mm. The compressible layer may comprise features to increase the compressibility of the layer, wherein such features include holes, dimples, raised portions, or serrations. The compressible layer allows a user to securely and accurately orientate a peg relative to the connection plate, the connector of the module, and/or other pegs in the connection plate.

The compressible layer may further comprise tabs (not shown) which engage the indentations (15J) in the multifaceted body portion of the peg. The tabs maintain the compressible layer in the same orientation as the peg to which is it engaged, whilst the peg is rotated and fixed to the connection plate.

A connection plate may comprise a plurality of pegs as required by the installation, for example the connection plate may comprise two, four or perhaps six pegs according to the present invention. The present invention further provides a connection plate comprising a plurality of pegs according to the present invention attached to a plurality of posts to form a strong structural support.

A ring (18) may be placed between the peg and the connection plate (see Fig. 17), for example, between the spacing portion of the peg (151) and the connection plate. The ring can accommodate the manufacturing tolerances associated with both the position and the size of the holes in the connection plate. Thus, if the diameter of the peg is smaller than the diameter of the hole in the connection plate, the ring fills the space between the peg and connection plate and ensures that the peg is securely fastened.

The ring can be concentric (Fig. 18A), wherein the hole in the ring is positioned at the centre. Alternatively, the ring can be eccentric (Figs. 18B-D), wherein the hole is offset from centre. Eccentric rings can be used to accommodate variation in the position of the holes in the connection plate, which can result from manufacturing tolerances. The hole in the eccentric ring can be offset from the centre by any feasible amount (see Figs. 18B-D), wherein the maximum amount of offset is dictated by the size of the peg and the size of the hole in the connection plate. For example, the hole can be offset from the centre of the eccentric ring by between 0.1 to 10 mm, such as between 2 to 5 mm.

Furthermore, by changing the orientation of the eccentric ring within the hole in the connection plate, a user can change the position of a peg on the connection plate. The peg can thus be moved in the x- y plane within the hole in the connection plate (i.e. in the plane of the connection plate - see Fig. 17). In some embodiments, the surface of the eccentric ring is splined in order to more effectively engage the hole in the connection plate (see Fig 16). In said embodiment, the hole in the connection plate is of a complementary shape to accommodate the splines of the eccentric ring.

The present invention further provides a building module comprising a post incorporating a connector according to the present invention, attached to a peg according to the present invention.

Building

The present invention further provides a building (Fig. 12) comprising modules (17) incorporating a plurality of posts (12) incorporating connectors according to the present invention connected to pegs according to the present invention. When a plurality of posts are used, the grippers are arranged such that the movable bars in adjacent posts are orientated substantially perpendicular to each other in the horizontal plane. As a result, the movement of the connectors in both the X and Y axis of the horizontal plane is restricted and a more stable structure results.

METHOD

Engaging the peg with the gripper bars

The present invention provides a method of connecting two components, wherein the first component comprises a gripper which grips the second component. The present invention provides a method of assembling a module comprising a post and a peg, wherein the method comprises engaging the post with the peg, and wherein the post comprises a gripper. The method of the present invention further comprises engaging a peg with a post to form a module, wherein said post incorporates a connector comprising a gripper, and wherein said peg comprises a neck which in use is gripped by the gripper.

Where the peg comprises a conical head, the conical head facilitates the entry of the peg into the gripper. Where the gripper comprises at least one movable bar biased into its gripping position, the bar moves to allow the peg to enter the gripper. Where the neck of the peg comprises a recess, the recess receives the gripper once the post has engaged the peg.

In another possible embodiment, the method of the present invention comprises engaging a post with a peg, wherein the post incorporates a connector comprising a gripper, and wherein said gripper comprises more than one movable bar wherein the bars are positioned substantially perpendicular to each other in the horizontal plane such that the movement of the gripper is restricted in both axis of the horizontal plane (i.e. in both the x and y axis).

Engaging block with gripper

Once the gripper has gripped the peg such that the gripper is in its active but unlocked position (Fig. 3), the method of the present invention may further comprise the step of engaging the gripper with at least one block, wherein the block holds the gripper in its locked position (Fig. 1A). The block may be biased into its locking position, wherein the locking position of the block is when the block engages the bar of the gripper. As shown, the block is biased into its locking positon by a compression spring. The spring is preferably a compression spring which urges the block into its locking positon, but in theory a similar result could be achieved using a tension spring.

Where the block further comprises a link for controlling the motion of the block, the method of the present invention comprises the step of, before engaging the peg with the gripper, a user using the link to move the block away from the gripper such that both the block and gripper are in unlocked positions (Fig IB). Subsequently, once the peg has been engaged by the gripper (Fig. 3), a user uses the link to move the block back to engage the gripper thereby securing the gripper in its locked position (Fig 1A). Once the gripper is held in its locked position, the gripper cannot release the peg which may only enter or be released by the gripper when the gripper is free to move from its locked position.

Where the link comprises a tab, the method of the present invention may further comprise the step of, before engaging the peg with the post, a user using the link to move the block into an unlocked position, i.e. away from the bars of the gripper, then folding the tab into its active position (10B) to restrain the block in an unlocked position. Once the user has engaged the post with the peg and the gripper has gripped the peg (Fig. 3), the tab can be released (10A) and the block urged by the compression spring into its locking position against the gripper (Fig 1A), securing the gripper in its locked position such that the gripper cannot release the peg.

In another possible embodiment, a user can use a tab to control the motion of more than one block, for example all the blocks in the connector.

Where the link comprises an indicator (IOC), the method of the present invention may further comprise the step of a user using the indicator on the link to see when the block is in its locking position against the gripper. The indicator, which may have a number of marks on it, can inform a user that the connector is secured in its locked position without the need for the user to access and/or view the components of the connector. The indicator may also inform the user how much force is being exerted on the gripper by wedge.

As stated, the block may comprise more than one wedge shaped portion, such as wherein the block comprises a first wedged shaped portion and a second wedge shaped portion and wherein the wedge shaped portions are spatially distributed along the block (see Fig. 19A to 19D). In use, when said block moves into its locking position, the first wedge shaped portion engages the gripper and the second wedge shaped portion abuts a surface of a peg (see Fig. 14 and Fig. 20). Moving the block into its locking position thus engages the gripper with the first wedge shaped portion of the block, securing the gripper in its locked position, in addition, abuts the second wedge shaped portion of the block against a surface of a peg, preventing rotation of the connector relative to the peg and further stabilising the connection between connector and peg.

As stated, the connector may comprise an additional block that abuts a surface of a peg but does not engage the gripper (see Fig. 22). In use, said additional block further stabilises the connection between the connector and peg. The additional block is controlled by the user using the same method as the block that engages the gripper, i.e. the additional block also comprises a link for controlling the motion of the block (see Fig. 13).

Alignment

Where the post of the present invention comprises a view shaft running through the connector, the method of the present invention may further comprise the step of, before engaging the post with the peg, aligning the post with the peg. A user may use the view shaft to align the gripper in the post with the peg. The method of the present invention may further comprise the step of, before engaging the post with the peg, a user using a laser alignment tool to align the gripper of the post with the peg. Improved alignment of the components in a modular building can thereby be achieved, simplifying construction.

Remotely Connecting the Components

The connector of the present invention allows a user to connect components remotely, i.e. the user does not need to directly access the connector (i.e. the gripper) to connect components together. The rigid or semi-rigid link attached to the block that runs up the post allows a user to remotely control the motion of the block, such that the user can move the block away from the gripper such that the gripper is in an unlocked position (Fig IB). The user can move the tab to an active position (10B) to remotely hold the block in an unlocked position, such that the gripper is unlocked and movable. Whilst the tab holds the block in an unlocked position, a user is free to orientate and engage the gripper with the peg. The view shaft running through the post of the present invention allows a user to align the gripper incorporated in the post with the peg before engaging. Once the gripper is in its active position and has gripped the peg (Fig. 3) a user can release the tab (10A) such that the blocks are urged into their locking positions by the compression springs and engage the bars of the gripper to lock the gripper in its locked position (Fig. 1A). Finally, a user can use the indicator on the link to remotely confirm that the block is secured against the gripper and that the connector has securely connected the two components.

Connecting a Peg to a Fixation Plate

Where the post of the present invention comprises a fixation plate for receiving a peg, the method of the present invention may further comprise the step of, once a post has engaged a first peg, inserting a second peg into a fixation plate in the upper portion of the first post. Subsequently, a second post may be assembled above the first post by repeating the method of the present invention. When appropriate, a connection plate is inserted between the multifaceted body portion of the second peg and the fixation plate in the first post. Such a connection plate can accommodate multiple pegs such that more than one post may be attached to a single connection plate.

As stated, the peg may comprise a marker (15K- Fig. 15A to 15D), wherein in use the marker indicates to the user the relative orientation of the peg. For example, the peg can be rotated by the user until the marker is aligned with a corresponding marker on the connection plate. In this way, the user can easily and accurately orientate the peg relative to the connection plate, connector of the module, and/or the pegs of adjacent modules within a modular building. Inclusion of the marker is particularly important when the multifaceted body portion of the peg comprises at least two surfaces for abutting blocks in the second component. Thus, wherein the block is a wedge with a portion for abutting the surface of the peg, the surface of the peg needs to be aligned with said portion of the wedge (see Fig. 20 and Fig. 22). By first aligning the peg with a corresponding marker on the connection plate, a user can ensure that the surface of the peg is aligned with the portion of the wedge of the connector that abuts the peg by aligning the connector with said marker on the connection plate. In other words, by pre-orientating the peg with respect to the connection plate, a user does not need to see the peg in order to align the connector with the peg. The method of the invention may further comprise the step of inserting an eccentric ring between the peg and the hole in the connection plate (see Fig. 16). As discussed, by inserting an eccentric ring between the peg and the connection plate, a user can accommodate manufacturing tolerances in both the size and position of the holes in the connection plate (see Figs. 18A-D). A user can therefore construct a modular building of up to 20 stories whilst ensuring that error margins are within an acceptable range.

Method of Constructing a Modular Building

The present invention provides a method of constructing a modular building comprising modules (17 - Fig. 12). The method comprises engaging a post comprising the connector of the present invention with a peg of the present invention. The peg may be connected to a floor within the modular building. The building may comprise a plurality of modules. The method of the present invention may further comprise orientating the posts of the present invention within a modular building such that the movable bars of the grippers of adjacent posts are substantially perpendicular to each other. Arranging the posts within the modular building in this orientation provides stability in both axis of the horizontal plane (i.e. x and y), thereby allowing buildings of up to 20 floors to be safely constructed (Fig 12).

In the embodiments of the invention wherein assembling the module comprises abutting a surface of the multifaceted body portion of the peg with a block, the connection between peg and connector are further stabilised in the x and y directions. In such embodiments, orientating adjacent posts such that the movable bars of the grippers are positioned substantially perpendicular to each other does not significantly improve stability. In such embodiments, the further stability of the module in the x and y z directions means that the relative orientation of the bars in the gripper of adjacent posts does not need to be considered during construction.

It will of course be understood that the present invention has been described above purely by way of example, and that modifications of detail can be made within the scope of the following claims.