Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
TEMPORARY ACCESS STRUCTURES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2001/053630
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A temporary access structure for providing worker access to a building, the structure comprising vertically extending supports (2) supporting a façade of composite panels (1). The vertical supports (2) are secured to the building floors (100) by horizontal outriggers (3) stabilised by braces (4). Ratchetting swivel fingers (8) and guides (9) on the ends of the outriggers (3) allow the supports (2) and attached panels (1) to be pulled or jacked vertically upwards, e.g. by a crane, for protected access at higher levels. Worker access decks (5) are pivotally attached to the inside face of the structure, and can be folded from a vertical stowed position to a horizontal deployed position to give workers access to the building while being protected against falling by the façade of panels (1). A catch fan (6) is optionally installed on the outside face of the panel façade (1) to catch e.g. dropped tools and components.

More Like This:
Inventors:
Hume, James (16 Bonaly Steading Colinton Edinburgh, GB)
Leaf, Stephen (43 Crabtree Way Hook Hampshire, GB)
Application Number:
PCT/GB2001/000164
Publication Date:
July 26, 2001
Filing Date:
January 17, 2001
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
CONSTRUCTION AXESS SYSTEMS LIMITED (Thorney Lane Iver Bucks SL0 9HF, GB)
Hume, James (16 Bonaly Steading Colinton Edinburgh, GB)
Leaf, Stephen (43 Crabtree Way Hook Hampshire, GB)
International Classes:
E04G1/20; E04G5/06; E04G21/28; E04G21/32; (IPC1-7): E04G1/26; E04G21/28; E04G5/06; E04G21/32; E04G1/20
Foreign References:
US5161641A1992-11-10
US4129197A1978-12-12
US4673060A1987-06-16
EP0513846A21992-11-19
FR1385321A1965-01-08
US5884725A1999-03-23
US5351784A1994-10-04
US4962828A1990-10-16
Other References:
PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN vol. 2000, no. 03 30 March 2000 (2000-03-30)
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Pacitti, Paolo (Murgitroyd & Company 373 Scotland Street Glasgow G5 8QA, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS
1. 1 A temporary access structure for fitting to a building or the like, the temporary access structure being characterised by a plurality of vertically extending supports (2), the supports (2) being adapted to carry a series of panels (1), and connecting means (3) for removably and adjustably connecting the vertically extending supports (2) to the building.
2. A structure as claimed in Claim 1, characterised in that the connecting means (3) are in the form of horizontally extending outriggers fixable to respective floors (100) of the building, and in that the horizontally extending outriggers (3) are adapted to be attached to the vertically extending support members (2) at selectively variable locations thereon.
3. A structure as claimed in Claim 1 or Claim 2, characterised in that the temporary access structure comprises a series of composite panels (1) that can be configured in a number of ways to enclose areas, providing protection and means of access.
4. A structure as claimed in any preceding claim, characterised in that the structure comprises a mesh panel facade (1) fixed to vertical soldiers (2) constructed of lightgauge materials. 5 A structure as claimed in Claim 4, characterised in that soldiers (2) are secured to the building through a series of outrigger sections (3).
5. A structure as claimed in Claim 5, characterised in that the outriggers (3) have an adjustable brace (4) to provide stability for the panel facade (1).
6. A structure as claimed in Claim 5 or Claim 6, characterised in that the outriggers (3) each have a swivelling finger (8) that allows individual panels (1) to be moved vertically upwards and an adjustable telescopic section that allows the outrigger (3) to withdraw from the soldier (2) for release of the panel (1) or to move the panel (1) vertically downwards.
7. A structure as claimed in any preceding claim, characterised in that each panel (1) is fitted with adjustable folding work platforms (5) which can preferably be located at heights to suit work requirements for a particular location.
8. A structure as claimed in Claim 8, characterised in that each work platform (5) comprises a hinged deck unit with fixing brace (15) and demountable handrail (14).
9. A structure as claimed in Claim 9, characterised in that said work platform comprises a kickboard.
10. A structure as claimed in any preceding claim, characterised in that composite panel (1) is configured to allow the optional fitting of a retractable catch fan (6) on the external face of the composite panel.
11. A structure as claimed in Claim 11, characterised in that the catch fan (6) comprises a hinged cantilever support section fixed to each soldier (2), supporting a mesh panel (16) and being held back to the top of the composite panel (1) by a hinged brace section (18) which may be used to retract the catch fan (6) for movement or access.
12. A structure as claimed in any preceding claim, characterised in that a folding adjustable catch panel is provided on the inside face of the composite panel (1), and preferably at the bottom of the composite panel (1).
13. A structure as claimed in Claim 13, characterised in that the catch panel can fold down and rest either on a floor of the building, or horizontally.
14. A structure as claimed in any preceding claim, characterised in that the structure allows for plastic sheeting to be secured to the internal face of the panel (1) to provide a weatherprotected and preferably sealed environment within the structure.
Description:
TEMPORARY ACCESS STRUCTURES This invention relates to temporary access structures, and relates more particularly but not exclusively to a movable and adjustable temporary structure that provides a flexible system of access and protection for workers engaged in construction and maintenance processes on buildings and other civil engineering works.

According to the present invention there is provided a temporary access structure for fitting to a building or the like, the temporary access structure comprising a plurality of vertically extending supports, the supports being adapted to carry a series of panels, and connecting means for removably and adjustably connecting the vertically extending supports to the building.

Preferably the connecting means are in the form of horizontally extending outriggers fixable to respective floors of the building, and the horizontally extending outriggers are preferably adapted to be attached to the vertically extending support members at selectively variable locations thereon.

The temporary access structure preferably comprises a series of composite panels that can be configured in a number of ways to enclose areas, providing protection and means of access. The structure preferably comprises a mesh panel facade fixed to vertical soldiers constructed of light gauge materials. The soldiers are preferably secured to the existing structure through a series of outrigger sections which may each have an adjustable brace to provide stability for the panel facade. The outriggers may each have a swivelling finger that allows individual panels to be moved vertically upwards and an adjustable telescopic section that allows the outrigger to withdraw from the soldier for release of the panel or to move the panel vertically downwards. The individual panels may be lifted or moved by use of a crane or winch.

Each panel may be fitted with adjustable folding work platforms which can be located at heights to suit work requirements for a particular location. The work platforms may each comprise a hinged deck unit

with fixing brace and demountable handrail and may further comprise a kickboard.

The composite panel is preferably configured to allow the optional fitting of a retractable catch fan on the external face of the composite panel. This fan unit may comprise a hinged cantilever support section fixed to each soldier, supporting a mesh panel and being held back to the top of the composite panel by a hinged brace section. The brace may be used to retract the fan for movement or access.

A folding adjustable catch panel is preferably provided on the inside face, at the bottom of the composite panel. This panel may fold down and rest either on the floor, or horizontally.

The access structure preferably allows for plastic sheeting to be secured to the internal face of the panel to provide a weather-protected and preferably sealed environment within the access structure.

The composite panels may be mounted around the building structure requiring access and/or protection, providing an enclosed environment. As the building progresses upwards, the panels may be raised to new locations as is appropriate by placing further outriggers at higher levels and lifting or winching the individual panels vertically into new locations. On completion of the structure or as

required, the panels may be dismounted from the building.

Embodiments of the present invention will now be described by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:- Fig 1 shows a vertical transverse section through a typical composite panel; Fig 2 shows a plan view of a group of three composite panels; Fig 3 shows the Fig. 2 group of panels, with the addition of a catch fan; Fig 4 shows, in elevation, the panel of Fig. 1 as viewed from the inside; Fig 5 is an external view of the Fig. 1 panel, particularly showing the mesh panels; Fig 6 shows the construction of the soldiers and connections of the mesh panels; Fig 7 shows an outrigger and brace; Fig 8 shows a plan view of a folding deck; Fig 9 shows a section view of the folding deck of Fig. 8; Fig 10 shows a retractable catch fan; and Fig 11 shows the composite panel as a protection-only device.

Referring to the drawings, a temporary access structure made in accordance with the invention comprises essentially a plurality of vertically

extending supports 2 carrying a series of vertical planar panels 1.

The panels 1 are in the form of mesh screens each comprising a steel box section frame and light gauge steel mesh face which are fixed to the vertically extending supports or soldiers 2 with U-bolts (not shown). As will be subsequently detailed, the panels 1 serve to permit access to the external face of a building and provide edge protection. With plastics sheeting (not shown) secured over the outer face of the panels 1, the access structure serves the additional purpose of sealing the building against adverse weather.

Two vertically extending supports or soldiers 2 are provided for each composite panel and the soldiers 2 are fabricated from light-gauge cold-formed steel C- section bolted together with spacing pipes 21 (Fig.

6) at regular intervals, to form a box section with connection holes for other components of the access structure.

Means for fixing the soldiers 2 to the building comprise a plurality of outriggers 3, the outboard ends of the outriggers (the left ends of the outriggers as viewed in Fig. 1) being attached to the building floors 100, or to other suitable parts of the building. The basic outrigger 3 is fabricated from two telescopic rolled hollow section components with holes for adjustment of the outrigger telescopic

extension and to allow attachment of a brace member 4 at varying angles. Each outrigger 3 includes a respective adjusting mechanism and packers to allow the outrigger 3 to be set at varying heights.

Attached to the outrigger 3 is a ratcheting finger 8 (Fig. 7) that allows the composite panel 1 to travel upwards and come back to a secure support, after movement. There is also a guide mechanism 9 that retains the composite panel 1 to the outrigger 3 during movement, allowing the soldiers 2 to slide up or down. The ratchet fingers 8 permit the soldiers 2 to move vertically upwards and provide, together with restraint guides 9, lateral restraint and support for the panels 1. When moving vertically upwards, the ratchet fingers 8 pass over the spacer section 21, lateral restraint being provided by the restraint guides 9. To permit the panels to move vertically downwards, the ratcheting fingers 8 can move clear of the spacer sections 21 by virtue of the telescopically adjustable pivot support 10 for the outrigger 3. Each outrigger 3 is fixed to a respective building floor 100 by means of suitable tie-down connections 11 (Figs 1 & 7).

Each brace 4 has its lower end pivotally attached to the outrigger 3 and is free to swivel 180 degrees.

Each brace 4 has a hooked upper end 41 (Fig. 7) that attaches to the spacer sections 21 of the soldiers 2.

The braces 4 provide the composite panel 1 with stability during use of the access system. The braces 4 are released during the jacking process and

then reattached after the panels 1 have been relocated to their desired higher position.

Optionally, the access system may be provided with a series of folding de-mountable worker access decks 5 to suit various worker access requirements. Each deck 5 consists of a folding framed metal deck 12 (Figs 8 & 9) that is braced by a brace 15 into the correct position. Attached to each deck 12 is a set of demountable metal uprights 13 that support adjustable and demountable metal handrails 14. Each deck 5 may also have a kickboard (not shown) which is secured to the deck 5 in any suitable manner, e. g. by being clamped to the uprights 13.

A retractable catch fan 6 (Figs 1 & 10) may also be provided for optional installation outboard of the panels 1. Each catch fan unit 6 comprises a mesh panel 16 (Fig. 10) constructed in a form that is similar to the composite panel mesh panels 1 but with an additional fine mesh overlay to prevent the fall of small items such as tools, nuts, bolts, etc. The mesh panel 16 is supported by two laterally-spaced hinged arms 17 (Figs 1 & 10) constructed of metal hollow section which can be rotated out to a selected angle to deploy the catch fan 6, and which can later be retracted back to the face of the composite panel 1 when deployment of the catch fan 6 is no longer required. The arms 17 are fixed at one end to the soldiers 2 and at the other end to a retraction brace 18. The retraction brace 18 positionally locates and

laterally supports the hinged arm 17. The brace 18 is connected to the top of the composite panel 1 by a swivel connection 19 to accommodate the retraction arc. The fans 6 are withdrawn for relocation of the panels, and also under conditions of excessive wind velocity. At the inside angle of the fan 6 there is a gutter and access panel 20 for the purpose of cleaning out caught debris. A folding adjustable catch panel (not shown) can optionally be provided on the inside face of the composite panel 1, at the bottom of the composite panel 1. This folding adjustable catch panel may be arranged to fold down and rest either on the floor 100, or horizontally.

The composite panel 1 can optionally be fitted with a hinged catch panel 7 (Figs 1 & 4) that is located at the foot of the soldiers 2 and is fixed with a swivel connection to the soldiers 2. The catch panel 7 is constructed of light-gauge fold-stiffened metal sheet (e. g. thin corrugated metal).

In use, the temporary access structure is fitted to the building using the outboard ends of the outriggers 3. To move the temporary access structure vertically, further sets of outriggers 3 and braces 4 are fitted to the building above the panel to be moved, the composite panel 1 is secured above the existing top level, in a position that gives adequate clear height for relocation by means of a winch or crane (not shown) or, at a lower level, a fork lift truck (not shown). The fans 6 (if used) are

retracted, and the decks 5 or catch panels 7 are folded back such that the composite panel 1 is free to move vertically without hindrance. The braces 4 are then released and folded away and the composite panel 1 pulled or jacked upwards to the new position.

When located, the composite panel 1 is eased back onto the ratchet fingers 8 and the height of the outriggers 3 is adjusted to suit the new location.

The braces 4 are then re-attached, the fan 6 moved out, and decks 5 and catch panels 7 folded down into their operating positions. Fig. 1 shows the temporary access structure fitted with a catch fan 6, while Fig. 11 shows the temporary access structure without a catch fan.

Modifications and variations of the above-described embodiments may be adopted without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.