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Title:
ROTATIONAL MANIFOLD AND BUILDING INCORPORATING A ROTATIONAL MANIFOLD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2005/071305
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A rotational manifold assembly (150) for providing fluid communication betwen rotatable parts such as a fixed and rotatable part of a rotatable building, the manifold assembly (150) comprising an innner member (162) located within an outer member (163) and defining a fluid chamber (167) therewith. A fluid supply line (168) is connected to the outer member (163) and communicates via a passage (166) with the chamber (167) and a fluid outlet line (176) is connected to the inner part (162) through a passage (173) such that the lines (168) and (176) communicate through the chamber (167). The inner member (168) is fixed for rotation to a hollow member (177) which may also comprise a fluid communication line or contain a fluid communication line. A rotatable building incorporating a rotational manifold assembly (150) is also disclosed.

Inventors:
Dunick, Donald Bain (P.O. Box 179, Maraetai Drive Maraetai Beach, Auckland, NZ)
Application Number:
PCT/AU2005/000086
Publication Date:
August 04, 2005
Filing Date:
January 27, 2005
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
LIGHTHOUSE DEVELOPMENTS LTD. (P.O. Box 179, Maraetai Drive Maraetai Beach, Auckland, NZ)
ARGYLE SERVICES PTY. LTD (67 Cavan Street, Annerley Brisbane, Queensland 4103, AU)
Dunick, Donald Bain (P.O. Box 179, Maraetai Drive Maraetai Beach, Auckland, NZ)
International Classes:
E04B1/346; F16L39/06; (IPC1-7): F16L39/06; E04B1/346
Domestic Patent References:
WO2002031277A1
Foreign References:
US4353608A
US3933400A
US6450546B1
US4759573A
US4192559A
DE3927775A1
US4111468A
US3210099A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Gardner, John R. G. (Suite 398, 15 Albert Avenue Broadbeac, Gold Coast Queensland 4218, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS
1. A method of providing fluid communication between first and second parts arranged for rotation relative to each other, said method including the steps of providing a fluid chamber defined between first and second chamber members fixed to said first and second parts respectively, and providing an inlet communicating with said chamber fixed for movement with one of said chamber members and an outlet communicating with said chamber members for movement with the other of said chamber members whereby to establish communication between said inlet and outlet.
2. A rotational manifold for providing fluid communication between first and second parts rotatable relative to each other, said manifold including first and second manifold members mounted for rotation relative to each other with said first and second parts respectively, a chamber defined between first arid second member, a fluid inlet fixed to one of said members and communicating with said chamber and a fluid outlet fixed to the other of said members and communicating with said chamber whereby to provide communication between said inlet and outlet through said chamber.
3. A manifold as claimed in claim 2 wherein one of the members is mounted coaxially on a shaft, comprising or fixed to one of said parts, for rotation with the shaft and the other member is arranged substantially coaxially of. the shaft and fixed to, or against substantial rotational movement relative to, the other of the parts.
4. A manifold as claimed in claim 3 wherein said chamber comprises a substantially annular chamber.
5. A manifold as claimed in claim 3 or claim 4 wherein said second member is a cylindrical ring like member and the first member has an annular recess receiving the ringlike member.
6. A manifold as claimed in claim 5 wherein said annular recess is defined between opposite end members secured to opposite ends of said first member and the ringlike member is provided with opposite seals for sealing against the end members.
7. A manifold as claimed in any one of claim 3 to 6 and including a passage in said one member communicating with the inlet or outlet and opening through the first member into the chamber.
8. A manifold as claimed in any one of claims 2 to 4 wherein the first member comprises a disclike member and the second member defines said annular chamber which receives the periphery of the disclike member.
9. A manifold as claimed in claim 8 wherein a passage is provided in the disclike member to open through an edge of the disclike member into. the chamber.
10. A rotational manifold assembly for providing fluid communication between first and second parts rotatable relative to each other, said manifold assembly. comprising at . least two manifold units, each said manifold unit including an inner manifold member and an outer manifold member mounted for rotation relative to each other with said first and second parts respectively, a chamber defined between first and second manifold members, a first fluid line connected to the inner manifold member and communicating with said chamber and a second fluid line connected to the outer manifold member and communicating with said chamber whereby to provide communication between said fluid lines through said chamber.
11. A rotational manifold assembly as claimed in claim 10 wherein each said outer manifold member includes a passage or channel communicating with said chamber and said respective second fluid lines and wherein said inner members have passages or channels communicating with respective said first fluid lines and wherein said first fluid line of one said manifold unit passes through the inner member of at least one other said manifold unit.
12. A rotary fluid connector f. r providing fluid communication between first and second parts of a rotatable building assembly mounted for rotation relative to each, said fluid connector comprising : at least one fluid manifold unit having an outer member, and an inner member located within said outer member and mounted for rotation relative to said outer member, . one of said members being connected to one of said building parts for movement therewith, a fluid chamber defined between said first and second members, a first fluid line fixed to one of said manifold members and communicating with. said chamber and a second fluid line fixed to the other of said manifold members and communicating with said chamber whereby to provide communication between said Erst and second fluid lines.
13. A connector as claimed in claim 12 wherein said outer member has a flow passage extending radially outwardly thereof from said chamber for connection to one of said fluid lines.
14. A connector as claimed in claim 13 wherein said inner member includes a flow passage or channel extending from said chamber to one end of said inner member for connection to the other of said fluid lines.
15. A connector as claimed in any one of claims 12 to 14 and including opposite end members on opposite sides of said outer manifold member and secured thereto, said inner member being located between said end members.
16. A connector a$ claimed in claim 15 and including sealing means for sealing said inner manifold members to said end members and/or said outer member..
17. A connector as claimed in claim 16 wherein said inner member includes grooves at opposite end$ and wherein said sealing means includes seals in said grooves and sealing against said end members and/or said inner manifold member.
18. A connector as claimed in claimed in any one of claims 11 to 17 wherein said first part of said building assembly comprises a fixed base for said building assembly and wherein said second part of said building assembly comprises a building mounted for rotation on said base about a substantially vertical axis and wherein said one of said manifold parts is fixed to said building for rotational movement therewith.
19. A connector as claimed in claim 18 wherein said other manifold member is fixed against substantial rotation relative to said base of said building.
20. A connector as claimed in any one of claims 11 to 19 wherein said one manifold member comprises said inner manifold member and wherein the other said manifold member comprises the outer manifold member.
21. A connector as claimed in any one of claims 11 to 20 and including a plurality of fluid manifold units arranged one above the other and associated with respective fluid lines.
22. A connector as claimed in claim 21 wherein at least one of said fluid line passes through the inner manifold member of one manifold unit for connection through the inner manifold member of the adjacent manifold unit to the fluid chamber of the adjacent manifold unit.
23. A connector as claimed in claim 22 wherein said inner manifold members have at least one bore for receipt of said at least one fluid linetherethrough.
24. A connector as claimed in claim 18 and including at least one annular trough, said trough having an opening at its upper end and an outlet line from said building aligned with or extending into said opening.
25. A connector as claimed in claim 24 and including an outlet from said trough and means for mounting said trough in a fixed position relative to said base.
26. A connector as claimed in claim 24 or claim 25 wherein said outline line comprises a rainwater line. or a sullage or other waste line.
27. A connector as claimed in any one of claims 11 to 26 and including a hollow tubular member extending through said at least one fluid manifold unit, said inner member being fixed to said hollow tubular member, said hollow tubular member providing further fluid communication or containing a line providing further fluid communication between said first and second parts of said building.
28. A connector as claimed in any one of claims 11 to 28 wherein said fluid line or lines are selected from a water supply line, a gas supply line and an oil supply line.
29. 39 A rotational building assembly comprising :<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> a fixed support pedestal ;<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> a building supported on said support pedestal for rotation about a central<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> substantially vertical axis of rotation ; and<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> at least one rotational manifold unit mounted on said pedestal for providing<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> communication between at least one fixed fluid service line and a corresponding service<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> line supported for rotation with said building, said rotational manifold having first and<BR> <BR> <BR> second manifold members, one of said members being fixed to said pedestal and the<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> other said member beuig rotatable relative to said first member and fixed for movement<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> with said building about an axis coaxial with said vertical axis of rotation,<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> an annular chamber defined between said first and second manifold members, at least one<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> port in said one manifold member communicating with said chamber and connected to<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> said fixed fluid service line and at least one port in said other manifold member<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> communicating with said chamber and said corresponding service line of said building.<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <P> 30. A rotational building assembly comprising :<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> a fixed support pedestal;<BR> <BR> <BR> a bui ! ding supported on said support pedestal for rotation about a central<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> substantially vertical axis of rotation; and<BR> <BR> <BR> at least one rotational manifold unit mounted on said pedestal for providing<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> communication between at least one fixed fluid service line and a corresponding building<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> service line supported for rotation with said building, said manifold including first and<BR> <BR> <BR> second members mounted for rotation relative to each other with said pedestal. and<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> building respectively, a chamber defined between first and second members, a fluid inlet<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> fixed to said first member and communicating with said chamber and a fluid outlet fixed<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> to said second member and communicating with said chamber whereby to provide<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> communication between said inlet and outlet and thus said fixed fluid service line and<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> corresponding building service line through said chamber.<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <P> 31. A connector as claimed in claim 30 and including bearing means between said<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> base and said building, said bearing means comprising operable bearing members<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> mounted to said base and said building respectively and coaxially with said axis.
Description:
ROTATIONAL MANIFOLD AND BUILDING INCORPORATING A ROTATIONAL MANIFOLD Technical Field This invention relates in one aspect to a method of and apparatus for providing fluid communication between parts or members which rotate relative to each other. In another aspect, this invention relates to a rotatable building which incorporates a rotational manifold for providing fluid communication to and from the building such as fluid communication between fixed service lines and service lines within the building.

Background Art In many situations, it is necessary or desirable to provide fluid communication between parts or members which rotate relative to each other. For example in a vehicle tail shaft which contains one or more universal joints, the joints are required to be regularly lubricated to ensure failure does not occur particularly where the vehicle is a load carrying vehicle where failure of universal joints can cause substantial losses. The current means for lubricating universal joints requires the vehicle to be serviced when not in use, this resulting in loss of vehicle load carrying capacity. It would thus be desirable to have a means whereby universal joints could be lubricated whilst in use however this presents a number of problems as the lubricant is required to be communicated between parts, for example a fixed vehicle gearbox and a universal joint, which rotate relative to each other.

Buildings such as domestic houses are currently built using many different constructional methods and foundations including slabs upon which the building is constructed. The currently known foundations have a number of disadvantages. In particular, some buildings particularly those which have a concrete slab supported on footings are usually required to be constructed on level land which limits the regions in which buildings of this type can be constructed. Although a building can be erected on columns or stumps on steep or undulating land, costs of this type of construction can be relatively high. Whether the land is flat or undulating, the land area occupied by the building is required to be cleared for the installation of the slab and its associated footing or columns or stumps or other foundations and thus there is a negative impact on (he surrounding environment.

A further disadvantage of slab constructions is that no ventilation can occur from underneath the building and thus often additional cooling means arc required to maintain the building at an acceptable temperature. Further slab buildings are often flood prone if built. in low-lying areas. Current form$ of buildings using conventional foundations are

also susceptible to natural disasters such as earthquakes or floods.

Where a building is entirely fixed to the ground, one of the faces of the building has limited exposure to sunlight which therefore makes that face prone to mould and dampness problems. Some buildings also employ solar panels on their roofs to generate electrical energy for the building. These cells cannot be used to best effect because they are always located in one place and cannot track the movement of the sun during the day.

In most fixed buildings, shadows will be cast across the cells a-t some stage, thereby limiting the amount of energy they may generate during a day.

Rotatable building structures have been proposed in the past to overcome some of the above disadvantages of fixed building structures. In such buildings, it is necessary to provide means for conveying services between the fixed support structure and rotatable building which continues to function when the building is rotated relative to its support structure. For example, it is necessary to provide means to convey water to such a building and to convey liquid wastes from the building. A particular rotational building which is currently known is a rotatable milking shed where the shed contains the milking equipment and cows to be milked are moved onto the shed at one rotational position and thereafter moved from the building a. t another rotational position of the building. In addition to the above described services, it is necessary to have a means whereby milk can be conveyed-from the building to for storage or treatment.

Summary of the invention The present invention aims to provide in one aspect a method of and apparatus for providing fluid communication between parts or members which rotate relative to each other. The present invention aims in another aspect aims to provide a rotatable building incorporating apparatus for providing fluid communication between a rotatable part of the building and a fixed part of the building or a support structure therefore. Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description.

The present invention thus provides in a first preferred aspect, a method of providing. fluid communication between first and second parts arranged-for rotation relative to each other, said method including the steps of providing a fluid chamber defined between first and second chamber members fixed to said'first and second parts respectively, and providing an inlet communicating with said chamber fixed for movement with one of said chamber members and an outlet communicating with said chamber. and fixed for movement with the other of said chamber members whereby to

establish communication between said inlet and outlet.

The. present invention provides in a further preferred aspect, a rotational manifold for providing fluid communication between first and second parts arranged for rotation relative to each other, said manifold including first and second members mounted for rotation relative to each other with said first and second parts, a chamber defined between first and second members, a fluid inlet fixed to one of said members and communicating with said chamber and a fluid outlet fixed to the other of said members and communicating with said chamber whereby to provide communication between said inlet and outlet through said chamber.

Preferably one of the members is mounted coaxially on a shaft, comprising one of the pal. ts, for rotation with the shaft and the other member is arranged substantially coaxially of the shaft and fixed to, or against substantial. rotational movement relative to, the other of the parts. Preferably, the chamber comprises a substantially annular chamber.

In one form the second member is a cylindrical ring like member and the first member defines an annular or circular recess for receiving the ring-like member. The annular recess is suitably defined between opposite end members and the ring-like. member is provided with opposite seals for sealing against the end members. The first member further may include a central member coaxial with and fixed for movement with the shaft. Preferably a passage communicating with the inlet or outlet is provided in the central member and opens through the central member into the chamber.

In another form, the first member comprises a disc-like member and the second member defines an annular chamber whicli receives the periphery of the disc-like member. A passage is provided in the disc-like member to open through an edge of the disc-like member into the chamber. The passage communicates with one of the inlet or outlet. A passage may also be provided in the second part for communication with the chamber and the other of the inlot or outlet.

The present invention in another aspect provides a rotational manifold assembly for providing fluid communication between first and second. parts rotatable relative to each other, said manifold assembly comprising at least two manifold units, each said manifold unit including an inner manifold member and an outer manifold member mounted for rotation relative to each other with said first and. second parts respectively, a chamber defined between first and second manifold members, a first fluid line. connected to the inner manifold member and communicating with said chamber and a second fluid line connected to the outer manifold member and communicating with said chamber whereby to provide communication between said fluid lines through said chamber.

Preferably, each outer manifold member includes a passage or channel communicating with the chamber and the respective second fluid lines and wherein the inner members have passages or channels communicating with the respective first fluid lines and wherein the first fluid line of one manifold unit passes through the inner member of at least one other manifold unit.

Suitable sealing means may be provided between the first and second members to seal the chamber. One of the manifQld membcrs may be of a G or U-shaped cross section and the other member may project into. or be located within the one member to form the chamber.

One of the manifold members may be fixed for movement with a rotatable shaft and the other of the manifold parts may be fixed against movement whereby the one manifold member is rotatable relative to the other manifold member.

The present invention in another aspect provides a rotational manifold assembly for providing fluid communication between first and second parts rotatable relative to each other, said manifold assembly comprising at least two. manifold units, each said manifold unit including, an inner manifold member and an outer manifold. member mounted for rotation relative to each other with said first and second parts respectively, a chamber defined between first and second manifold members, a first fluid line connected to the inner manifold member and communicating with said chamber and a second fluid line connected to. the outer manifold member and communicating with said chamber whereby to provide communication between said fluid lines through said chamber.

Preferably each outer manifold member includes a passage or channel communicating with the chamber and the respective second fluid lines and the inner members have passages or channels communication with respective first fluid lines and wherein the first fluid line of one manifold unit passes through the inner member of at least one other manifold units.

In a further aspect, the present invention provides a rotary fluid connector for providing fluid communication between first and. second parts of a rotatable building assembly mounted'for rotation relative to each, said fluid connector comprising : at least one fluid manifold unit having an outer member, and an inner member located within said outer member and mounted for rotation relative to said outer member, one of said members being connected to one of said building parts for movement

therewith, a fluid chamber defined between said first and second members, a first fluid line fixed to one of said manifold members and communicating with said chamber and a second fluid. line fixed to the other of said manifold members and communicating with said chamber whereby to provide communication between said first and second fluid lines.

Preferably the member has a flow passage extending radially outwardly thereof from the chamber for connection to one of the fluid lines. The inner member may include a flow passage or channel extending from the chamber to one end of the inner member for connection to the other of the fluid lines.

Opposite end members may be provided on opposite sides of the outer manifold member and secured thereto, the inner member being located between the end members.

Sealing means may be provided for sealing the inner manifold members to the end members and/or said the member. Preferably, the inner member includes grooves at opposite ends and the sealing means includes seals in the grooves sealing against the end members and/or inner manifold member Preferably, the first part of the building. assembly comprises a fixed base for the building assembly and wherein the second part of the building. assembly comprises a building mounted for rotation on the base about a substantially vertical axis and wherein said one of said manifold parts is fixed to the building for rotational movement therewith.

Suitably the other manifold member is fixed against substantial rotation relative to the base of the building.

Suitably, the one manifold member comprises the inner manifold member and the other manifold member comprises the outer manifold member.

The connector may include a plurality of fluid manifold units arranged one above the other and associated with respective fluid lines. Preferably at least one of the fluid lines passes through the inner manifold member of one manifold unit for connection through the inner manifold member of the adjacent manifold unit to the fluid chamber of the adjacent manifold unit. Suitably the inner manifold members have at least one bore for receipt of me at least one fluid line therethrough.

The fluid line or lines associated with the fluid manifold units are suitably selected from a water supply line, a gas supply line and oil supply line.

The connector may include at least one annular trough, the trough having an opening at its upper end and an outlet line from said building is aligned with or extends

into the opening. The opening is an annular opening extending around the trough. An outlet from the trough is suitably provided and means are provided for mounting the trough in a fixed position relative to the base. The outline line may comprise a rainwater line or a sullage or other waste line.

A hollow tubular member may be provided to extend through the at least one fluid manifold unit, the inner member being fixed to the hollow tubular member, the hollow tubular member providing further fluid communication or containing a line providing further fluid communication between the first and second parts of the building.

The present invention in a further aspect provides a rotational building assembly comprising : a fixed support pedestal a building supported on said support pedestal for rotation about a central substantially vertical axis of rotation ; and at least one rotational manifold unit mounted on said pedestal for providing communication between at least one fixed fluid service line and a corresponding service line supported for rotation with said building, said rotational manifold having first and second manifold members, one of said members being fixed to said pedestal and the other said member being rotatable relative to said first member and fixed for movement with said building about an axis coaxial with said vertical axis of rotation, an annular chamber defined between said first and second manifold members, at least one port in said one manifold member communicating with said chamber and connected to said fixed fluid service line and at least one port in said other manifold. member communicating with said chamber and said corresponding service line of said building.

In yet a further aspect, the present invention provides a rotational building assembly comprising: a fixed support pedestal; a building supported on said support pedestal for rotation about a central substantially vertical axis of rotation ; and at least one rotational manifold unit mounted on said pedestal for providing communication between at least one fixed fluid service line and a corresponding building service line supported for rotation with said building, said manifold including first and, second members mounted for rotation relative to each other with said pedestal and building respectively, a chamber defined between first and second members, a fluid inlet fixed to said first member and communicating with said chamber and a fluid outlet fixed to said second member and communicating with said chamber whereby to provide communication between said inlet and outlet and thus said fixed fluid service line and corresponding building service line through said chamber.

Suitably bearing means are provided between the and building, the bearing means comprising co-operable bearing members mounted to the base and said building respectively and coaxially with said axis of rotation.

Preferably the building includes a common core element or hub substantially over the rotational axis the bearing rings, and radial beams extending from the core element or hub out beyond the outer circumference of the bearing rings.

Preferably said radial beams are substantially evenly spaced around the core element.

Preferably transverse beams are provided between the radial beams. Preferably said beams are steel.

Preferably the beams form part of a platform which supports a floor. The beams may support floor joists for supporting a floor panels of members, Alternatively, the platform is formed at least in part from concrete.

Preferably the manifold members comprise a pair of annular members, one nested within the other and one being rotatable with said rotatable part of the building and the other being non-rotatable with said base. Preferably the nested annular members are held between two plates which extend across the interface between the two annular members, the plates each being fixed and sealed onto one annular member, and not fixed but rotatably sealed against the other annular member.

Preferably an annular recess is provided in one or both annular member at the interface between them, to provide an unbroken channel around the circumference of the interface, and each annular member. includes a radial bore therein connecting said channel to a conduit or pipe leading to or from the rotatable part of the building or the base.

The base most suitably comprises a pedestal. In some preferred embodiments, the elevation of the height of the house on the pedestal may be able to be varied.

In another embodiment of the, present invention, there may also be included a control mechanism that. can be set to position the building in accordance with predetermined conditions. These predetermined conditions may include the time of day, the weather, sunlight intensity, wind speed., rainfall, and other predetermined conditions-

Brief Description of the Drawings In order that the invention may be more readily understood and put into practical effect, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings which Illustrate a preferred embodiment of the invention and wherein :- Fig. 1 is a side elevation view of a first form of rotational manifold mounted on a shaft according to an embodiment of the invention ; Fig. 2 is an end view of the rotational manifold of Fig. 1; Fig. 2a is a'perspective view of the split taper locks as used in the rotation manifold.

Fig. 3 is a longitudinal sectional view of the rotational manifold of Fig. 1 ; Fig. 4 is a sectional view of a further form of rotational manifold associated with a shaft; Fig. 5 is a part sectional side view of a rotational manifold according to. a further embodiment of the invention ; Fig. fi is an exploded view of one of the manifold units of the manifold of Fig. 5 ; Fig. 7 is an enlarged plan view of a. manifold member for the manifold of Fig. 5; Fig. 8 is a cross sectional view of the manifold member of Fig. 7 along line X-XofFig. 7; Fig. 9 illustrates a. further form of rotational manifold according to another embodiment of the invention.

Fig. 10 is a side elevation view of a rotatable building incorporating a rotational manifold according to another embodiment of the invention ; Fig. 1 1 is a plan view of the framework of the platform of the building; Fig. 12 is an enlarged plan view of the region A of Fig 11; Fig. 13 is a sectional view along line B-B of Fig. 12.

Fig. 14 is a sectional view along line C.-C of Fig. 11 ; Fig. 15 is a sectional view of the building in the direction D-D of Fig. 11; Pig. 16 is a sectional view of the central core element showing its connection to the main beams; Fig. 17 is a sectional view along line E-E of Fig. ld ; Fig. 18 illustrates the rainwater collection drainage system used in the building;

Fig. 19 is a sectional view of a-rotary fluid connector incorporating a rotatable manifold unit used in the building ; Fig. 20 is a sectional plan view (reduced in size) of the connector of Fig. 19 ; Fig. 21 is a sectional view illustrating an alternative rotary connector incorporating three rotatable manifold units; and Fig. 22 is a plan view of the inner member of the upper rotational manifold unit used in the connector of Fig. 2 1.

Detailed Description of the Preferred Embodiment Referring to the drawings and firstly to Figs. 1 to 3, there is illustrated a rotational manifold 10 according to an embodiment of the invention mounted on a shaft 11 which extends centrally through the manifold 10. Ihe rotational maiifold 10 in this instance has two fluid input lines 12 and 13 which are substantially fixed against rotation relative to the shaft 11 and two fluid output lines 14 and ! 5 which rotate with the shaft 11, the lines 12 and 14, and 13 and 15, communicating with respective annular fluid chambers 16 and 17 in the manifold 10. The manifold 10 however may be constructed to have any number of input lines and corresponding number of output lines and associated fluid chambers.

The chambers 16 and 17 are defined between disc-like members 18,19 and 20 which are spaced along the shaft 11 by annular spacer members 21 and 22. Bolts 23 extend through aligned holes in the members 18 to 22 to clamp the members 18 to 22 together as one unit. The bolts 23 also pass through split taper locks 24 at each end of the assembly of members 18 to 22 such that when the bolts 23 are lightened, the assembly of members 18 to 22 are clamped to the shaft 11 by the taper locks 24 so as to rotate with the shaft 11.

Located around the respective spacer members 21 and 22 and received in the annular recesses defined by pairs of disc-like members 18,19 and 20 and spacer members 21 and 22 are annular ring-like members 25 and 26 which define with the outer surfaces of the respective spacer members 21 and 22 and the members 1$, 39 and 20, the chambers 16 and 17. Opposite end surfaces of the members 25 and 26 are provided with seals 27 which seal against the respective adjacent end surfaces of the members 18, 19 and 20 to seal the chambers 16 and 17.

The inlet lines 12 and 13 are connected to the respective annular members 25 and 26 and communicate with the, chambers 16 and 17 respectively through bores 28 and 29 through the walls of the annular members 25 and 26. The outlet line 4 communicates with the chamber 16 through a first passageway 30 extending in a generally axial direction through the member 18 and a second passageway 31 in the member 21 which is aligned and

communicates with the first passageway 30 and which extends radially outwardly to open to the chamber 16. The outlet line IS communicates with the chamber 17 through a third passageway 32 extending in a generally axial direction through the member 18, an aligned fourth passageway 33 extending in a generally axial direction through the member 21', an aligned fifth passageway 34 extending in a generally axial direction through the member 19 and a sixth passageway 35 in the member 21 which is aligned and communicates with the bore 34 and which extends radially outwardly to open to the chamber 17. in use, the inlet lines 12 and 13 are fixed against rotation as are the annular members 25 and 26 whilst the remaining components 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 and taper locks 24 and outlet lines 14 and 15 can rotate with the shaft 11. Thus fluid. supplied. to the inlet lines 12 and 13 will pass into the chambers 16 and 17 respectively and through the respective outlet lines 14 and 15 via the respective passageways 31 and 30, and. 35, 34, 33 and 32 and this communication is maintained whether the shaft 11 and attached members 18 to 22 are rotating with the shaft 11 or are not rotating.

The manifold 10 is particularly suited to lubricating universal joints in vehicles in which case the shaft 11 comprises the vehicle drive shaft and the outlet lines 14 and 15 pass along the shaft 11 to be connected to grease nipples or the like on a universal joint (shown in dotted outline) which rotates with the drive shaft 11. Thus lubricant supplied to the inlet lines 12 and 13 will pass to the chambers 16 and 17 and then along the outlet lines 14 and 15 to the universal joint. This can occur at any time whether the drive shaft and universal joint is rotating or not. Thus a vehicle provided with such a manifold 10 in association with a drive shaft can have its universal joint lubricated at any time.

The annular members 25 and 26 which are fixed against rotation are capable of some lateral movement relative to the shaft 11 and thus spacer members 21 and 22 such that limited movement of the shaft 11 which may occur through vibration or wear can be accommodated without affecting the operation of the manifold 10. The chambers 16 and 17 still remain sealed in these circumstances by virtue of the seals 27 acting against the side faces of the disc-like members 18, 19 and 20.

Referring now to Fig. 4 there is'illustrated a further form of rotational manifold 36 according to another embodiment of the invention associated with a shaft 37. The manifold 36 in this case includes a disc-like member 38 which is coaxial with and fixed for rotation with the shan 37 for example by being keyed or clamped to the shaft 37. A fixed annular housing 39 is arranged coaxially of the shaft and member. 38 and defines an annular chamber 40 into which the periphery of the member 38 projects to close the chamber 40.

Seals 41. suitably 0-ring type seals are provided on opposite sides of the member 38 to seal against opposite walls 42 of the chamber 40. A fixed inlet line 43 is connected via a passage 44 in the housing 39 to the chamber 40. A passage 45 extends radially through the member 38 from the outer circumferential edge 46 thereof so as to communicate with the chamber 40 and opens to one side of the member 38 to communicate with an outlet line 47.

In use, the housing 39 and-attached inlet line'43 are fixed against rotation whilst the member 38 and outlet line 47 rotate with the shaft : 37. Thus fluid supplied to the inlet line 43 will pass into the chamber 40 and out through the outlet line 47. This will occur whether the shaft 37 is rotating or not. Where the shaft 37 is a drive shaft connected to a universal joint or other folln of member which rotates with the shaft 37 and is required to be lubricated, the housing 39 is attached to the vehicle chassis and the fixed inlet 43 may be supplied with a lubricant such as grease which passes to the chamber 40 and flows through the outlet line 47 which passes along the shaft 37 to the universal joint, bearing or other. member for supply of lubricant thereto. The configuration of the manifold 36 also allows some lateral or radial movement of the member 38 due for example to shaft vibrations without breaking the seal with the chamber 40, the seals 41 thus providing not only. a seal for rotary movement of the member 38 but also lateral or radial movement thereof relative to the housing 39.

'Whilst the manifolds described above with reference to Figs. 1 to 4 are typically tor supplying lubricant, they may be used in any other application for conveying fluid between members which rotate relative to each other. Further, depending upon the application, fluid may be passed through the manifolds in any direction such that for example the inlets lines of Figs. 1 to 4 become outlet lines and the outlet lines become inlet lines respectively. The manifold of Figs 1 to 4 may also be used in a range of different. machinery including for lubricating universal or other rotating joints in machinery such as cranes, excavators or other earth working machinery or farm machinery.

Referring now to Figs. 5 to 8, there is illustrated a further embodiment of rotational manifold 50 according to the invention which is designed in this case primarily to provide fluid communication between a rotatable building and a pedestal or other foundation on which the building is supported for rotation. The manifold 50 is shown in association with a rotational shaft 51 which passes coaxially through the manifold 50. The shaft 51 supports or is fixed to the rotatable part of the building and may be connected to any suitable drive mechanism and supported by any suitable bearing arrangement which enables the shaft 51 to be driven or supported for rotation. The manifold 50 includes in this case a pair of

adjacent manifold units 52 and 52', the unit 52 being shown in exploded view in Fig. 6.

The unit 52 of Fig. 6 includes a generally annular housing 53 comprising a first base part 54 having a cylindrical side wall 55 and an annular end wall 56 which extends inwardly and outwardly of the cylindrical side wall 55. An annular plate 57 forms an opposite end wall of the housing 53, the plate 57 being secured in position to the housing part 54 by bolts 58 through aligned apertures in the part 54 and plate 57. A flanged duct 59 is secured to the cylindrical wall 55 opening through the wall 55 and extending outwardly there£co for connection to an outlet or inlet line.

A solid cylindrical bobbin-shaped inner manifold member 60 is located within the housing 52, the member 60 having opposite annular end flanges 61 which are provided on their outer sides with 0-ring seals 62 which are located in circular grooves and which seal against the respective end walls 56 and 57 of the housing 52 so as to define with the housing 52 a scaled chamber 63 around the periphery of the member 60 which communicates with the outlet duct 59-The seals 62 can be of any suitable cross section.

The member 60 has a central bore 64 to neatly receive the shaft S1, the bore 64 having keyways for keying the manifold member 60 to the shaft 51 so that the member 60 is rotatable. with the shaft 51.

The manifold member 60 in this embodiment and as also shown in Figs. 7 and 8 includes four eircumferentially spaced bores 65, 66, 67 and 68 the bores 65, 66 and 67 extending in an axial direction through the member 60 to pass fully through the member 60 and the bore 68 being truncated and opening through the side of the member 60 at 69 so as to communicate in use with the chamber 63 . The bore 68 communicates with a duct 70 which may comprise an inlet duct which extends parallel to the shaft 51 and which is rotatable with the shalt 51. The duct 70 may extend into the bore 68 to be peripherally sealed thereto by any suitable sealing arrangement for example 0-ring seals.

It will thus be appreciated that as the duct 70 and manifold member 60 rotate with the shaft 51, fluid passing into the duct 70 will flow into the chamber 63 through the opening 69 and out of the duct 59 with the chamber 63 being sealed through the seals 62 which seal the manifold member 60 to the housing 52 Where the manifold 50 is applied to rotatable building ; the inlet duct 70 may comprise a duct connected to a waste line in the building to convey liquid wastes to the chamber 63 and out of the duct 59 to waste. Alternatively, fluid, for example a water supply, may be supplied to the duct 59 to pass into the chamber 63 and flow outwardly through the opening 69, bore 68 and duct 70 for supply of water to the building.

Where different fluids are to be conveyed by the rotational manifold 50, one or more additional'chamber assemblies 52'may be provided juxtaposed with the adjacent chamber assembly, in this case the chamber assembly 52. The flange 56 of the housing 53 defines the upper flange of the housing 53'of the chamber assembly 52'whilst has a lower base part 71 similar to the housing part 54. A manifold member 72 is located within the housing 53'and is scaled thereto by seals G2 in a sealing arrangement similar to that used with the manifold member 60. The housing 52'thus defines with the manifold member 72, an annular chamber 73 which communicates with a radially extending duct 74 similar to the duct 59.

The manifold member 72 is keyed or fixed for movement with the shaft 51 and includes three bores aligned with the bores 65,66 and 67 in the member 60,. only two of which 66'and 67'are shown. The bore 67'extends fully through the member 72 whilst the bore 66'opens through the side of the member 72 at 76 to communicate with the chamber 73. A duct 77 rotatable with the members 60 and 72 and shaft 51 is connected to the bore 66 and a. further duct 78 extends between the members 60 and 72 to communicate the bore 66 with the bore 75. Alternatively, the ducts 77 and 78 may comprise a single duct extending through the manifold member 60 to the member 72.

Thus as above, fluid supplied to one of the ducts 74 or 77. passes into the chamber 73 and flows to the other duct 77 or 74 through the manifold members 60 and 72 and via the opening 76 whether the shaft 51 and attached manifold members 60 and 72 are rotating or not.. In application to a building, the manifold 50 including the two juxtaposed chamber . assemblies 52 and 52'may convey different fluids to and from the rotatable part of the building via the respective. inlet/outlet ducts 70 and 59, and 77 and 74. The shaft 51 may also comprise a hollow duct for conveying fluid such as fluid wastes from the building, Alternatively the shaft 51 may contain ducts or conduits for conveying, other services such as electrical or telephone/data lines or gas lines to the building.

The manifold 50 may have any number of housings 52 depending upon the different types of fluid to be conveyed between fixed and moving members. In the embodiment described where the manifold member 60 includes four bores in addition to the central bore 64, the manifold 50 provides for four possible paths of fluid communication to and from the rotatable part of the building plus a possible path through the central shaft 51. Thus as shown in Fig. 5 an additional duct 79 provides a fluid connection via a further manifold member supported to the shaft 51 to a further chamber for communication with a further fluid outlet or inlet duct in the side wall of a further housing, the duct 79 passing through

bores in the inner manifold members 62 and 72 for connection to the adjacent corresponding inner manifold member. The manifold 50 may be designed however to provide for multiple flow paths of fluid and of course the flow ducts may be of many different sizes. The manifold members 60 and 72 may also be interconnected by means of connecting bolts or other fasteners between the members.

Circular spacers 80 Fig. 6) having apertures aligned with the apertures in the manifold members 6. 0 and 72 are provided where required between the respective housings and associated manifold members to provided any necessary spacing between the respective chambers of the manifold.

Typically the manifold 50 has its housings constructed of metal such as stainless steel with the other components being plastics components. The manifold 50 however may be constructed of any suitable materials with all components if desired constructed of plastics.

Fig. 9 illustrates a further form of manifold 81 according to the invention which in this instance comprises three manifold chamber assemblies or units 82, 83 and 84 which are capable of communicating fluid between substantially fixed inlet lines 85, 86 and 87 and outlet lines 88, 89 and 90. The lines 85, 86. and 87 can however be outlet lines and the lines 88, 89 and 90 can be inlet lines. The lines 85,86 and 87 are connected to fixed manifold parts 91, 92 and 93 and the lines 89,. 89 and 90 connected to rotatable manifold parts 94,95 and 96 which are mounted on, for rotational movement with a central shaft 97. The respective rotatable manifold parts 94,95 and 96 devine wiz the fixed manifold parts 91, 92 and 93 respective fluid chambers with which the respective pairs of lines 85 and 88, 86 and 89, and 87 and 90 communicate in a similar mariner to that described with reference to Fig. Z. The shaft 97 may also be a hollow shaft for communication of fluid directly or indirectly therethrough or for carrying other service lines.

Referring now to Figs. 10 and 15, there is illustrated a rotatable building assembly 100 according to another embodiment the present invention comprises a base in the form of a fixed stationery pedestal 101 and'a building 102 defining a living area 103 mounted on the pedestal 101 for rotation about a vertical axis, Whilst the building 102 in its preferred form comprises a rotatable house, it wil I be appreciated that the building 102 could equally be designed for used as shops, offices, restaurants or for other purposes.

The pedestal 101 as shown in Fig. 15 is similar in structure to a crane tower, being formed with framework of upright columns 103 which arc erected on a permanent foundation 104 such as a foundation formed of concrete. Conduits or cables for the

transmission of electricity, water, sewerage, gas, television, communications and the like to or from the building 102 are provided in the pedestal 101 where required. These conduits are connected to the building by means described hereafter. Any conduit, cable or utility supply that may be connected to a standard house or building can be connected to a building 102 according to the present invention. In this embodiment, eight equally and circumfercntially spaced square-section vertical columns 103 are provided, the columns 103 having rebates 105 in which a ring beam 106 is supported and secured such as by welding. The columns 103 are interconnected by diagonal bracing elements 107 welded or attached by brackets to the columns 103. A lower bearing ring 108 of a bearing assembly 109 is mounted on and secured to the ring beam 106 by spaced bolts.

The building 102 includes a lower platform 110 which carries the upper bearing ring I I I of the bearing assembly 109 for cooperation with the lower bearing ring 108 A plurality of bearing balls (not shown) are provided and captured as is conventional between the bearing rings 108 and 111. The bearing ring 111 is arranged centrally of the building 102 and the building 102 by means of the bearing assembly 109 is supported for rotation about a vertical axis Y-Y to the pedestal 1 O 1, the bearing rings being thus concentric with the axis Y-Y. The bearing rings 108 and 111 and the bearing assembly 109 may take a variety of forms, but preferably are of a type commonly use on cranes.

The building 102 may take any of a wide variety of forms, including a wide range of designs and architectural styles already used in non-rotating housing and the dimensions of the building 102 are limited by the dimensions of the. platform 101. It is preferable that the weight of the building 102 be fairly evenly distributed around the centre supported by the pedestal 101 although weights may be used to, counterbalance some unevenness in the distribution of the building 102 on the platform 111. The building 102 is designed to take particular advantage of the rotary mounting, having large windows or glass walls 112 around the building perimeter. Preferably a deck or veranda 113 is provided around the rim of the building 102 radially outwardly of die walls 112.

The building 102 in the illustrated embodiment includes a centrally located upper level or storey 114 erected on an upper deck 115 of the building 102 which is provided on or defines the roof. of the lower level of the building 102. The upper level or storey 114 may be accessed by an internal staircase.

The building 102 is preferably accessed by way of the peripheral deck 113 which may be at ground level at part of its circumference, or may be reached by an adjacent but unconnected stairway or the like. Alternatively, an access way may be provided up or

around the pedestal 101. Guardrails 116 as shown in dotted outline in Fig. 1 can be provided around the outer periphery of the deck 1] 3 and/or deck 115.

The platform 101 of the building comprises a framework of interconnected beams shown in Figs. l 1 to 17 including main floor beams 117 which extend radially outwardly from the centre of the platform 101 and which are joined together at the centre of the platform 110 through a core element or hub 118. Typically the beams 117 as shown in Fig 5 taper in depth outwardly from the centre of the building 102 so that the weight of l : he. iework at the outer periphery of the building 102 is reduced. Transverse outer beams 119 are provided towards the outer end of ; to span and join the main floor beams 117. Further transversely extending support beams 120 are positioned between and joined to the main beams 117, the beams 120 extending along the glazing line to define a support for the glass walls 113. The support beams 120 between the main floor beams 117 are provided in-pairs. arranged at an obtuse angle to each other and joined at. their inner ends 121 to the centre of the transverse beams 119. Curved outer beams 122 are joined to the outer ends of the beams to extend around the periphery of the building 102.

Radially extending support beams 123 extend from the join 121 between the beams 119 and 120 outwardly to join the peripheral beam 122.

The main beams 117 are preferably of generally l-shaped cross-section while the beams 119, 120, l22 and 123 are preferably C-section. Connections between the beams 117 and beams 119 are preferably provided by generally transverse plates 124 welded to the sides of the beams 117 which in turn are bolted or otherwise fastened to the. ends of the beams 119 as shown In Figs. 12 and 13 so that their upper surfaces lie in substantially the samv plane. A similar connection is provided between the beams 117 and 120.

Similarly the outer beams 122 are connected to. the ends of the main beams 117 by bolting or otherwise fastening to plates 125 welded to the ends of the beams 117 as shown in Fig. 14. As shown in Figs. 16 and 17, a plurality of transversely extending floor joists 126 extend between the main beams 117 and are supported on battens 127 fixed to both sides of the main beams 117. Any form of flooring 128 such as sheet flooring or floorboards are supported on the floor joists 126 and secured thereto.

The core element or hub 118 as shown in Figs. 15 and 16 has the general form of a reel or spool having a lower circular base plate 129 to which a cylinder 130 is centrally secured by welding. A central hollow cylindrical column 131 extends upwardly from the core element or hub 118, the column 131 being provided at its lower end with an annular plate or flange, 132 and an enlarged hollow cylindrical spigot portion 133 having an

external diameter slight ! y less than the inner diameter of the cylinder 130.-Thus the spigot portion 133 can be received within the cylinder 130 with the plate or flange 132 seating on the upper edge of the cylinder 130. The upper and lower flanges of the main beams 117 are secured at an equal circumferential spacing to the plates 129 and 132 by bolts 134. This acts to bind all the main beams 117 together at the centre of the platform 110 and also secures the central column 131 to the core element or hub 118. The rotary upper bearing ring 112 is fixed to the main girders 117 by means of bolts.

Radially extending upper floorlroof beams 135 (see Figs. 15) which define the upper deck 115 are secured to the upper end of the central column 131 by bolting to brackets 136 which extend radially from the column 131. A series of upright posts 137 are supported at spaced circumferential locations around the periphery of the building 102 inwardly from the deck, the posts 136 being located between respective glass walls or windows 112. The posts 137 extend upwardly from and are supported by the main beams 117 or by the beams 119 and 120 intermediate the beams 117. Plates 138 are welded to the ends of the beams 135 and bolted to brackets 139 fixed to the posts 137.

The ends of the beams 135 are spaced from the posts 137 to define recesses 1400for receipt of rainwater gutters as described furfher-below. Floor/roof joists 141 extend transversely between and are secured to the beams 135 in a similar manner described with reference to Figs. 16 and 17and support flooring for the upper story or level 115 of the building 102. The joists 1441 outwardly of the upper storey or level 115 support roof sheeting 142.

As shown in Fig. 18, a box gutter 143 is supported or formed in the recess 140 to collect rain run off from the roof sheeting 142 Rain run off from the roof of the upper floor 115 of the building 102 may be directed by appropriate down pipes 144 onto the roof sheeting 142 for collection also in the gutter 143. Down pipes. 146, only one of which is shown,, connected at their upper ends to the gutter 143 are fixed to the po$t$ 137 and extend downwardly. from the gutter 143 to be connected to a main down pipe 147 which extends inwardly beneath the floor of the building 102 towards the centre of the platform 110 along the main beams 117, the down pipe 147 being fixed by hanging brackets 148 to the floor joists 126. The main down pipe 147 has an outlet 149 extending downwardly into the pedestal 101 for collection of rainwater as described further below.

A fluid connector 150 as shown in Figs. 15, 19 and 20 is provided at or near the top of the pedestal 101 to provide for the connection of water, gas or other fluid and for the removal of sewerage, wastewater and the like from the building 102. The fluid

connector I54 comprises a series of substantially concentric connectors which are concentric with the axis Y-Y of rotation of the building 102 as defined by the bearing. assembly 109, the connector 150 being arranged immediately below the platform 110 within the frame of the pedestal 101. The outer most parts of the connector 150 are provided as two annular channel-shaped open topped troughs 151 and 152, the trough 152 being arranged radially within the trough 151. The troughs 151 and 152 have inclined bases 153 and 154 with the inclination of the base 153 being opposite to the inclination of the base 154. Each trough 151 and 152 has an outlet 155 and 156 respectively at the lowermost portion of each trough base 153 and 154 for drainage of liquid from the troughs 151 or 153. Flanges 157 and 158 on the troughs 151 and 152 are provided for attachment of the gutters or troughs to the pedestal 101 by. laterally extending brackets shown in dotted outline. Alternatively or additionally, the troughs 151 and 152 may be supported on upright columns (also shown in dotted outline which are fixed to the foundation 104).

A lid or cover 159 which is fixed to the building 102 for rotation therewith such as by columns extending upwardly from the lid or cover 159 as shown in dotted outline and attached to the platform 110 at their upper ends is provided over the troughs 151 and 152 to cover the troughs 151 and 152. Outlet pipes from the building 102 passing through the lid 159, one outlet pipe for example being the rainwater outlet pipe 149 which is located over and aligned with the trough 152 into which it extends. The other outlet pipe 160 may for example be a sullage pipe through which grey water from bathrooms, laundries, kitchens may pass for collection in the trough 151. As the pipes 149 and 160 rotate with the lid 159, platform 101 and building 102, they travel around the troughs 152 and 151 respectively but do not leave them, so that waste water or rainwater channelled through the pipes 149 and 160 is directed to and collected in the troughs 151 and 152. Prom the troughs 151 and 152, the collected liquid passes. through the outlets 155 and 156 for removal or storage as required. Thus the sullage outlet 155 may be connected to an underground sewerage line and the rainwater outlet 156 may be connected to a rainwater tank or into a storm water line. The provision of two or more such troughs allows separation of rainwater form wastewater, and thereby allow separate treatment of it if required.

Inside the inner gutter 152 is a rotary manifold 161 similar to the type described with reference to Figs. 5 to 8 for the transmission of water or other fluid into the building 102, the manifold 161 being coaxial with the axis of rotation of the building 102. Water

transported to the building 102 is pumped upwards under pressure, if taken from. a mains water supply or the like, and consequently the connection between rotary and non-rotary parts of the supply line should have a water-tight seal, in contrast to the"open" connection possible when water is being removed from the building as described. The rotary manifold 161 is formed by two major members 162 and 163, one member, the inner member 162, being located inside the other outer member 163 with plates 164 and 165 fixed above and below the members 162 and 163 to seal across the interface between them both. Both the members 162 and 163 and plates 164 and 165 are preferably made from plastics material such as Ultra High. Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) or other plastics material. The outer member 163 which is of annular ring-like form is secured to the inner annular gutter 152 and therefore is fixed and stationary relative to the pedestal 101, A radial bore 166 extends through the ring-like member 163 to an inner annular channel or chamber 167 which comprises a continuous channel around the entire inner wall of the ring-like member. 163 and which is defined between the inner and outer members. 162 and 163 and upper and lower plates 164 and 165. A pipe or other conduit 168 leads from a water supply (not shown) to the outer end of the radial bore 166 so that water can be directed into the annular channel or chamber 167. The upper and lower plates 164 and 165 are fixed to the outer members 163 and may be sealed onto it by a sealant, welding or adhesive, although in practice it is found that the plastics material may be flexible enough to form a watertight seal between the plates 164 and 165 and ring 163 if they are tightly clamped together with boltsl69 or the like. Preferably metal clamping plates are provided to assist in clamping the plates 1.64 and 165 firmly onto the member 163. The bolts 169 also pass through brackets or plates 170 fixed to the troughs 152 which themselves are secured in a fixed position to the pedestal 101. Alternatively the plates 170 may be received between spaced guides (shown in dotted outline and in Fig. 20) which are fixed to. the inner sides of the troughs 152 on opposite sides of the plates 170 so as to limit rotation of the plates 170 me outer members 163-and thus The inner member 162 is of annular disc-like form and is dimensioned to fit within the member 163 with the clearance therebetween denning the chamber or channel 167. The member 163 is of a thickness substantially me same as the distance between the plates 1, 64 and 165 and is provided with upper and lower rebates 171 in which respective flexible lip seals 172 are located, the lip seals 172 sealingly contacting the upper and lower plates 1G4 and 165 and a. ! so sealingly contacting the opposing surface of

the outer member 163. Four outlet channels 173 are provided in the inner member 162, the channels 173 having a radial extending portion 174 opening to the channel or chamber 167 and an axially extending portion 175 to connect with an outlet pipes 176 leading into the building 102. Typically four such channels 173 are provided for connection to four outlet pipes 176 however the number of outlet channels 174 could be more or less than four if desired. It is preferable however to have at least two channels 174 so that if plumbing alterations or repairs'in a part of the building 102 necessitate shutting down the water supply to that part, the appropriate outlet pipe 176 can be closed off while water supply is retained to other parts of the building 102 through the other outlet pipe or pipes 176.

The inner member 162 is fixed for rotation with a central hollow tubular spool 177 which has its longitudinal axis coaxial with the axis of rotation of the platform 110 and building 102. The tubular spool 177 has a flange 178 at its upper end to enable connection of the spool 177 at its upper end to the core element or hub 118. The inner member 162 therefore revolves with the building 102 whilst the outer member 163 remains stationary or substantially stationary within the pedestal 101. As stated the outer ring 163 need not be rigidly fixed to the inner annular trough 152, but may simply be held against. substantial rotation by vertical vanes or guides on the inside wall of the trough 152 to allow for some movement. The vertical position of the rotary manifold 161 is therefore determined solely by the central spool 177, and slight vertical shifting of the platform 101 relative to the pedestal as the building 102 rotates will not affect the integrity of the manifold 16 !. Furthermore smalt radial movement of the inner member 162 relative to the outer member 163 will not affect the integrity of the manifold as the seals 172. will maintain the chambers 167 sealed. The connection between the inner rotatable member 162 and spool 163 may be a keyed connection similar to the arrangement described witli reference to Fig. 6.. Thus the central bore 178 through the inner member 162 through which the spool 177 passes may be provided with one or more keyway slots for receipt of a key engageable with the spool 177.

In normal use, water from a mains supply or the like is pumped through the pipe 168 along the radial bore 166 in the outer member 163 to the annular channel or chamber 167, around the channel or chamber 167 to an outlet channel 173 in the inner member , and into an outer pipe 176..'From there it can be utilised from numerous outlets in the building 161.

The central spool 177 typically comprises a hollow stainless steel tube, with a

number flanges and plates welded onto it to facilitate connection to various rotary elements of the services union and the platform 111-The interior of the spool 177 can serve as a sewerage conduit, and it is preferred that the spool 177 be continuous and unbroken for some distance above and below the surrounding rotary manifold 161 to avoid any substantial possibility of leakage in that area contaminating the water supply passing through the rotary manifold 161. At its lower end 179., the spool 177 may be fitted rotatably into a non-rotary pipe or conduit 180 of larger diameter, and suitable sealing means may be provided at the interface between them. A pipe or conduit 181 of smaller diameter may be sealingly fitted into the top of the spool 177, and may be welded or otherwise fixed and sealed in place, to lead from the outlets of amenities in the building 30. The pipe 181 preferably passes from the building 102 down through the core element 118 of the platform 102, to connect with the spool 177.

In an alternative arrangement, a separate outlet pipe 182 such'as a waste or sewerage pipe (shown in dotted outline) may be provided within to extend along the spool 177 so that the spool 177 itself does not directly carry-sewerage or other waste.

The outlet pipe 182 is fixed for rotation with the building 102 and extends into the non- rotary outlet pipe 180 for discharge of sewerage. For connection into the building, the respective conduits or pipes may be passed through an aperture or aperture provided in the lower plate 129 of the core element 118. Pipes or conduits may also extend through the core element 118 into the column 113 to the upper level or storey 114 of the building for utilisation at that level.

Referring now to. Figs. 21 and 22 there is illustrated an alternative fluid connector 183 for use the building 100 similar to the connector 150 of Figs. 19 and 20 but in this case including only one trough 184 for collecting rainwater from an outlet pipe 185 from the building 102, the trough 184 having a drain outlet 186 from which water may be directed to a storm water drain or a water tank. In this case however, the connector 183 includes a fluid manifold 187 having three separate units 188, 189 and 190, each having a similar construction to the manifold 161 of Fig 19 and 20 and each providing for communication of a different service to the building. As before the manifold units 188, 189 and 190 have inner manifold members mounted on, for rotation with, a hollow shaft 191 which comprises, a waste outlet duct or along which a wasste outlet duot passes as described above.

The inner manifold member 192 in this case has a flow channel or passage 193 corresponding to the channel 173 which communicates with a fluid supply pipe such as a water pipe 194 which extends into the building whilst a fixed supply pipe 195 communicates with the manifold unit 192 and may comprise a fixed water supply pipe.

Three other bores 196, 197 and 198 are formed in the member 192 and extend in an axial direction through the member 192.

The inner manifold member 199 of the manifold unit 189 has a channel or passage 200 corresponding to the channel or passage 193 in the member 192 which communicates with a second service line or pipe. 201 which for example may be a gas or oil supply pipe which rotates with the building] 02, the pipe 201 being supplied through the manifold unit 189 from a fixed supply pipe 203. In this case, the rotatable service line or pipe 201 passes through the bore 197'in the inner manifold member 192 of the unit 188 to connect. with the passage 200 of the manifold unit 189. This is a similar arrangement to that described with reference to Figs. 5 to 8.

For another service, the third manifold unit 190 may be provided with in this case the supply line fixed for movement with the building passing through aligned bores in the inner manifold members 192 and 199. The components of the manifold units 188, 189 and 190 and trough 184 are supported in a similar manner to that described with reference to Figs. 19 and 20 Any number of manifold units may be provided depending upon the services to be supply to the building. Furthermore, the connector 183 may have a pair of troughs for collecting waste from the building as described with reference to Figs. 19 and 20.

As the multiple manifold units are separate from each other., there can be no risk of contamination or leakage between the different services.

The electrical connection system between the rotating. and non-rotating parts of the building 102 preferably takes a form commonly used on cranes and the like, having conductive brushes or bearings associated with one part either the pedestal 101 or the platform 110 bearing on a conductive slip-ring or axle associated with the other part. It is seen as preferable at present for electrical power to be provided through a connector housed in association with the pedestal 101 and between the pedestal 102 and platform 110 such as on the inner sides of the bearing rings 108 and 109. It is possible however that power cables could be connected by similar means to a central conductor on the roof of the building, with suitable insulation and lightning protection. The motor used to rotate the house (not shown) is preferably electrically powered, and is operated with a controls system, which provides slow, steady acceleration and dece) cration.

This construction of the building 100 described above makes available a

considerable area under the house, and depending on the height of the pedestal this area may be used for storage, parking and the like. This area could be walled in if desired, although such walls should not be fixed to the platform 110. The height of the pedestal 101 may be varied considerably, with the minimum height being determined principally by the slope of the ground over which the building stands.

It will be appreciated that a wide variety of alterations and modifications might be made in the above example, within the general spirit and scope of he present invention.

In particular, the relative dimensions of the pedestal 101 and building 102 may be altered considerably to suit a particular purpose of location, and the form of the house itself may be altered considerably. The rotary structure might comprise only a relatively small part of the building, rather than substantially the whole of the house structure, and may for example form only a rotating level or storey, or viewing tower.

So that the building construction 10 is resistant to earthquake damage, earthquake isolators may be associated with each column 103 of the pedestal assembly 101 such as between the lower ends of the columns 103 and the footing 104. In add-on, a lifting or lowering system may be incorporated in me building construction 100 to enable the building 102 to be raised say in a flooded area or lowered to the ground such as in high wind areas.

The manifolds described above have a number of different applications not limited to the applications described in the foregoing description. The manifolds may be arranged in manner different orientations including horizontally, vertically or in aIl in. ¢ orientation and can be used to add further services to existing systems. Other applications include applications as an hydraulic gland for supply of fluid or exhaust of fluid from hydraulic engines or for applying grease to fleeting sheaves on plant.

The tenn$"comprising"or"comprises"or derivatives thereof as used throughout the specification and claims are taken to specify the presence of the stated features, integers and components referred to but not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integer/s, component/s or group thereof All variations and modifications to the invention as would be apparent to persons skilled in the art are deemed to fall within the broad scope and ambit of the invention as herein set forth in the appended claims.