News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Panelized Shadow Box", for Approval

August 21, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Weinryb, Stephen (New York, NY); McClelland, Neil (New York, NY), filed on January 24, 2014, was made available online on August 7, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Hok Product Design, Llc.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to architectural devices and, more specifically, a shadow box for use in various building cladding systems including but not limited to unitized and stick system curtain wall, window wall, strongback, punched windows and other framed assemblies and rain screen assemblies.

"A curtain wall is a non-structural outer covering of a building. A curtain wall serves to provide a desired exterior appearance and to keep exterior environmental elements (e.g., wind, rain, etc.) out of the building. While a curtain wall will impart horizontal forces, such as wind loading, to the structural elements of the building, it does not bear the vertical load of the building (except for its own dead weight). Because it is non-structural, it provides a relatively inexpensive way to finish a building's exterior.

"A typical enclosure system such as a curtain wall includes an array of mullions, which are vertical and horizontal elements that hold transparent vision glass and opaque spandrel zones. A typical spandrel zone can consist of the following components: a facing material (such as, aluminum, stone, glass masonry, etc.), insulation, and an air and vapor barrier.

"The requirements for thermal insulation and fire separation dictate the need for opaque spandrel panels. In addition, other elements that are not desired to be seen are typically concealed by a opaque panels that can be identical to the spandrel or made of other materials. One way to hide such elements is by substituting opaque glass over the elements to be hidden. However, this approach interrupts the visual effect of the vision glass spandrels, which can be an aesthetically undesirable effect.

"To give the illusion of depth, some architects design curtain walls in which the elements to be hid are covered with shadow boxes. A shadow box is a spandrel with a vision glass exterior and an opaque back that is offset by several inches from the vision glass exterior. The opaque back hides the elements to be hidden, while the visual effect of the offset can appear similar to the vision glass glazing of the rest of the curtain wall.

"Some shadow boxes are deliberately vented to the exterior of the building, some are inadvertently vented to the interior of the building and some are deliberately fully sealed. If they are vented to the exterior, it is possible for dust, insects and the like to enter the shadow box. It is also possible for condensation to form within the shadow box during hot and humid weather. If they are vented to the interior there may be a pathway for dust to form on the inner (#2) surface of the glazing. During cold weather, there is also a high possibility for condensation to form within the spandrel box. If they are fully sealed and moisture enters the spandrel box, either through faults in the inner or outer seals, then long-term condensation may occur. Dust and dirt collection within a spandrel box, the presence of insects and the like within a spandrel box and the presence of condensation within a spandrel box can all be considered as failures of the spandrel box. Opening an installed shadow box to clean it is not a practical solution to problems involving dirt and moisture.

"Another form of shadow box uses a conventional insulating glass unit with a solid frit or coating on the innermost surface of the glass. This system addresses the visual problems of the standard spandrel box solution described above by visually blocking any dirt, dust, insects and the like, and condensation that may form in externally or internally vented or fully sealed shadow boxes. This form of shadow box does not provide the visual depth often desired by the designer. In addition, this form of shadow box may not prevent condensation formation (and it prevents the visual warning that condensation may be forming). Such condensation may lead to failures of the shadow box.

"Cladding system like curtain walls can be constructed on-site (in which case they are referred to as 'stick systems') or they can be assembled in panels at a unitized assembly shop as part of unitized systems such as unitized curtain walls that are shipped to the construction site. In both cases, shadow boxes are constructed as part of the construction of the panels of the curtain wall. This makes curtain wall construction a time consuming process. Also, since the shadow boxes are constructed on an ad hoc basis, ensuring that their seals and tolerances are suitable for long duration construction can be difficult. Multiple decades of ad hoc shadow box construction has demonstrated that it is hard to achieve an effective hermetic seal into a shadow box made this way. Additionally, when constructing shadow boxes on-site and at unitized assembly shops typically results in the introduction of dust and other impurities into the shadow box, which detracts from the visual effect of the shadow box.

"Therefore, there is a need for a prefabricated shadow box unit that employs seals with a long lifetime."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The disadvantages of the prior art are overcome by the present invention which, in one aspect, is a method of supplying an element for covering a non-vision area in a curtain wall on an architectural structure, in which a plurality of shadow boxes is prefabricated at a location remote from both a unitized curtain wall assembly shop and the architectural structure. The shadow boxes are prefabricated by sealing, with a first airtight and moisture resistant hermetic seal and a second airtight and moisture resistant hermetic seal, an interior spacer between vision glass panel and back structure, the spacer having a length so that the vision glass panel is spaced apart from the back structure, the back structure including a first insulating material and a rigid envelope disposed around the first insulating material, the spacer disposed along a peripheral edge of the vision glass panel and along a peripheral edge of the back structure so as to hold the vision glass panel in a spaced apart relationship from the back structure, so that the first hermetic seal seals the interior spacer to the vision glass panel and so that the second hermetic seal seals the interior spacer to the back structure and so that the vision glass panel, the back structure and the interior spacer define a hermetically sealed void therein. A structural seal is applied about the interior spacer and so as to be affixed to the peripheral edge of the vision glass, the interior spacer and the back structure. The plurality of shadow boxes is then delivered to a selected one of the unitized curtain wall assembly shop and the architectural site.

"In another aspect, the invention is a curtain wall system for covering an architectural structure that includes a frame structure that is configured to be affixed to an outer surface of the architectural structure. A plurality of vision glass panels are supported by the frame structure. A plurality of shadow boxes is prefabricated prior to delivery to both a unitized curtain wall assembly shop and the architectural structure. Each of the plurality of shadow boxes is configured to be affixed to the frame structure and configured to cover a non-vision area of the architectural structure. Each of the plurality of shadow boxes includes: a vision glass panel having a peripheral edge; a back structure, having a peripheral edge, the back structure including an insulating material and a rigid envelope disposed around the insulating material; an interior spacer disposed along the peripheral edge of the vision glass panel and along the peripheral edge of the back structure so as to hold the vision glass panel in a spaced apart relationship from the back structure, the interior spacer defining at least one chamber therein into which a desiccant is disposed; a first hermetic seal that seals the interior spacer to the vision glass panel and a second hermetic seal that seals the interior spacer to the back structure so that he vision glass panel, the back structure and the interior spacer define a hermetically sealed void therein; a structural seal disposed about the interior spacer and affixed to the peripheral edge of the vision glass, the interior spacer and the back structure; and a back panel disposed within the hermetically sealed void and against the back structure, the back panel including an aesthetic treatment configured to present a desired visual effect to viewers looking through the vision glass panel.

"In yet another aspect, the invention is a shadow box for use with an architectural curtain wall system that includes a vision glass panel having an outside #1 surface, an opposite inside #2 surface and a peripheral edge. A back structure has a peripheral edge and includes a first insulating material and a rigid envelope disposed around the first insulating material. An interior spacer defines a plurality of chambers therein in which a desiccant is placed. The interior spacer is disposed along the peripheral edge of the inside #2 surface of the vision glass panel and along the peripheral edge of the back structure so as to hold the vision glass panel in a spaced apart relationship from the back structure. A first polyisobutylene seal seals the interior spacer to the vision glass panel and a second polyisobutylene seal seals the interior spacer to the back structure so that the vision glass panel, the back structure and the interior spacer define a hermetically sealed void therein. The spacer has a length so that the vision glass panel is spaced apart from the back structure by more than 1 inch. A silicone seal is disposed about the interior spacer and is affixed to the peripheral edge of the vision glass, the interior spacer and the back structure so as to provide structural support thereto. The shadow box has been prefabricated prior to insertion into a pre-assembled frame structure.

"These and other aspects of the invention will become apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiments taken in conjunction with the following drawings. As would be obvious to one skilled in the art, many variations and modifications of the invention may be effected without departing from the spirit and scope of the novel concepts of the disclosure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1A is a front elevational view of one embodiment of a shadow box.

"FIG. 1B is a cross sectional view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1A, taken along line 1B-1B.

"FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of a corner of a second embodiment of a shadow box.

"FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of a corner of a third embodiment of a shadow box.

"FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of a corner of a fourth embodiment of a shadow box.

"FIGS. 5A is a cross-sectional view of a corner of a fifth embodiment of a shadow box.

"FIGS. 5B is a cross-sectional view of a corner of a sixth embodiment of a shadow box.

"FIGS. 5C is a cross-sectional view of a corner of a seventh embodiment of a shadow box.

"FIG. 6A is a front elevational view of a portion of a curtain wall employing shadow boxes.

"FIG. 6B is a cross sectional view of the portion of a curtain wall shown in FIG. 6A.

"FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of a corner of a seventh embodiment of a shadow box."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Weinryb, Stephen; McClelland, Neil. Panelized Shadow Box. Filed January 24, 2014 and posted August 7, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=7003&p=141&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140731.PD.&OS=PD/20140731&RS=PD/20140731

Keywords for this news article include: Hok Product Design Llc.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC


For more stories covering arts and entertainment, please see HispanicBusiness' Arts & Entertainment Channel



Source: Politics & Government Week


Story Tools






HispanicBusiness.com Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters