Innovative Housing

"GIFT" Goldsworthy Innovative Fabrication Technology

 

GIFT is a patented technology that creates a new way to fabricate corners and linear connections. GIFT was originally developed for the manufacturing of emergency housing that would arrive on site in a container and when opened formed the floor plate of a 1500 square foot dwelling that could be assembled in under a day by only two individuals. The technology has received NIST approval.

The corner technology has numerous uses beyond the emergency housing application and we are currently looking to license GIFT for other applications. These applications include the following:

Home

Garden shed
Greenhouse
Workshop
Storage
Fencing
Water tank

Construction

Foundation forms
Temporary shrouding
Retaining walls
Fencing

Agricultural

Grain container
Produce totes
Water transport and storage
Water/feed trough
Fish transport
 

Military

Portable housing/structures
Barricades/walls
Water storage
Walk in coolers
Septic tank
Drone hanger
Food containers

Industrial

Ocean containers
Shipping totes
Shipping container for liquids
Spill containment

GIFT patent number US 8,397,461 B2

Imagine the consumer purchasing a garden shed that they can assemble in under 1/2 hour without screws or hardware;
Imagine a fence that needs no posts and simply clicks together with prefabricated panels that require no painting;
Imagine shipping containers that could be easily disassembled, stacked and returned to the point of origin at a fraction of the cost of current containers;
Imagine a military outpost or mining camp being assembled in hours;
Imagine controlling an entire sector of the market with this quick click technology. It is simple to use, durable and reusable, requiring no additional hardware, fasteners of tools. The fabricated corners can be attached to many types of material or can be manufactured as part of a single piece fabricated unit.

GIFT technology is a game changer in a wide variety of multibillion dollar markets.

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Technology

PATENTED SNAP FIT GREEN HOUSING TECHNOLOGY
On March 19, 2013, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded a Patent for snap fit green housing technology, a flexible system of shelter construction using composite materials and natural fibers which includes five claims.

On December 10, 2013, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a Certificate of Correction identifying the inventors of the March 19, 2013, patent as Dr. Raymond Browning and W. Brandt Goldsworthy (deceased) and Lois Goldsworthy, legal representative.

These shelters are assembled on site from sections of snap-lock panels - flooring, wall and roofing - to form a complete housing, office, or storage unit. Shelters formed using the technology are strong, fast to assemble and are very protective from environmental extremes. The construction is frameless and needs only a footing or simple grading. The shelter system can be made completely livable with built-in utilities and pre-decorated surfaces.

Snap fit green housing technology is a refined method of housing construction that incorporates the advantages of composite materials with the pultrusion process for manufacturing the panels and the innovative snap-lock (fastenerless) joint system. Composite materials provide structural superiority, better thermal dynamics, no rotting and protection from pest problems. Snap-lock joints allow for easy assembly and structural integrity not found in conventional building methods and materials. Once construction is complete, structures are suitable for emergency dwellings, factory tilt-ups and high quality custom housing.

The world of fiber composites makes snap fit green housing technology an attractive alternative to composite applications by glass fiber-reinforced plastics and by carbon fiber composites. The natural fibers include wood fiber, flax, hemp, abaca and many others. Current natural fiber composite products are either extruded or pressed and it is therefore possible to adapt them to pultrusion.

The recent shift upward in petroleum costs favors natural fiber composites as they are only 50% thermoplastic and therefore less sensitive to price increases. There is ample evidence that natural fibers could be used as a direct replacement for glass fiber in the snap fit green housing technology by straightforward modifications of the current pultrusion techniques. This opens the possibility of significant cost reductions in raw materials and the transfer of production operations to areas of the world where manufacturing labor costs would be lower.

We envision opportunities in hybrids of glass and natural fibers, or the use of natural fiber, as the core of a structural sandwich surrounded by glass fiber composite in snap fit green housing fabrication technology.

PATENTS
The present application is a continuation of U.S. Utility patent application Ser. No. 11/547,882, filed Oct. 4, 2006 which application was submitted under 35 U.S.C. 371 based on PCT/US2005/11859, filed Apr. 8, 2005 which, in turn, claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/561,001, filed Apr. 8, 2004 and further claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/577,435 filed Jun. 4, 2004 each of which application is incorporated in its entirety by reference herein.

The March 19, 2013, United States Patent 8,397,461 resulted from utility patent application No. 11/547,882, filed October 4, 2006, for an invention that relates generally to structural materials, and more particularly to prefabricated structural members, and still more particularly to snap fit pultrusion housing elements for joining structurally insulated panels suitable for housing and shelter construction. A December 10, 2013, Certificate of Correction lists the inventorship in Dr. Raymond Browning and W. Brandt Goldsworthy (deceased) and Lois Goldsworthy, legal representative.

THE BASIC PULTRUSION PROCESS
The pultrusion process invented by W. Brandt Goldsworthy in the 1950s is an efficient means of pulling fiber reinforcements through a bath of polyester resin to create lineals, in this case housing panels. Pre-measured, indexed and identified parts are made of commodity materials and are ready for assembly on site.

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PACKAGING
Snap fit housing technology can be packaged in a shipping container, making it suitable for delivery by flat bed truck or air-drop to remote sites. The housing technology needs only minor training to assemble and immediately forms strong structural elements that are safe and protective to work within. The housing technology can include a variety of materials - insulating, lightweight, impact proof - that are enrobed in the composite pultrusion fittings that make up the core of the innovative technology.

TWO FUNCTIONAL PARTS
Housing parts are limited only by the size of the pultrusion machine and can be used to make multiple layers with cores made of urethanes, glass/polyester, balsa, or Kevlar. Truck and train refrigeration cars using this design have been in use a number of years and the results have been exceptional. There are favorable comparisons in cost, corrosion elimination, thermal integrity, major weight reduction, durability and design flexibility.

Snap fit housing technology has two functional parts, the snap lock fitting and the panel body or housing section. Both these parts are formed together in the pultrusion process. There are a variety of different fittings and panels for different uses. To form a larger panel for a floor or wall, a filler such as a flat 10'x20'x4" section of polyurethane foam, balsa, or material is pultruded through a machine which lays down a glass fiber skin, top and bottom, on the filler while at the same time pultrusing the snap-lock fitting on the edges of the panel - the fitting would attach a wall to a floor section, for example, the wall panel having a tongue that slips into a groove in the floor fitting. The wall then rotates around the pivot point and snaps into place in an upright position. The radius of the fitting is such that the inner decorated surfaces of the wall and floor do not mar as they mate and also form a watertight seal with the addition of a small mastic bead along the guide surfaces.

The two outer skins are formed of a glass phenol matrix and a foam center made of polyurethane. The snap fit locks in place and is a very strong joint giving a free standing wall. The same joint can be modified to work in the opposite direction of locking for two floor to floor panels or roof to roof. Variations on the snap-lock design give a full range of fittings to enable the construction of a complete shelter. The hollow sections of the snap fit extrusions can be used as conduits for electricity, gas, and water utilities thoughout the complete snap fit composite housing structure. Each housing section can be provided at the time of manufacture with an integrated utility supply appropriate to its housing function. For example power outlets can be integrated into the interior sides of the walls and the snap fit extrusions used as conduits for cables with plugs to mate with other sections.

The range of potential applications includes emergency housing and storage spaces in extreme climates. The weight and costs for these applications is very competitive.

Goldsworthy

W. BRANDT GOLDSWORTHY
The late W. Brandt Goldsworthy authored more than 115 published articles, received 50 U.S. patents, was inducted into the U.S. Plastics Hall of Fame in 1979 and received NASA's Certificate of Recognition for creative development for a composite beam cap forming system in 1983. He received the first Jud Hall Composites Manufacturing Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, as well as the Society of Plastics Engineers' John Wesley Hyatt Service to Mankind award. The Society of the Plastics Industry awarded him the Counterpoise Award for the development of an all-composite pultruded railcar for the Union Pacific Railroad. In May 1993, the faculty of Applied Sciences at the University of Brussels, Belgium awarded Mr. Goldsworthy the Medal of Excellence in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology, an award given previously only to Soichiro Honda of Honda Motors. The Belgian government knighted Mr. Goldsworthy for his contributions to industry.

Aircraft designer Burt Rutan is quoted in a memorial article published in High-Performance Composites magazine (May 2003) -- and on the compositesworld.com website -- as saying of Mr. Goldsworthy, "He's just smarter than the rest of us. And he's done an enormous amount of creative, productive work -- certainly, he's my inspiration."

The owner of W. Brandt Goldsworthy & Associates, Inc., Mr. Goldsworthy, was one of the major innovators in the field of fiber reinforced plastics and in particular the pultrusion process. He passed away in 2003.

Snap-lock housing technology was developed by Mr. Goldsworthy under the National Institute of Standards and Technology (Department of Commerce) Advance Technology Program and the National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research Program.

 
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NIST Approval

NIST APPROVAL OF THE SNAP FIT HOUSING TECHNOLOGY FOR ENTERING THE MARKETPLACE

In 1901, the U.S. Department of Commerce established the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as a non-regulatory federal agency to promote innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology. NIST also evaluates the viabilty of innovative technologies.

Snap fit housing technology was approved by NIST. Mr. James Hill, Federal Program Officer for NIST and the PATH Cooperative Research Program, stated:

W. Brandt Goldsworthy and Associates, Inc., has submitted its final report documenting its project to develop a fiber-reinforced composite structural insulated panel system with an integral snap-lock joining system. The project resulted in the design and development of the snap-lock joint, fabrication of pultrusion tooling, and the successful demonstration of the manufacturing process to produce the snap-lock joint. In addition to their final report, Goldsworthy has delivered a functional prototype of the floor-wall snap-joint.

Goldsworthy has successfully met the objective of developing and demonstrating the snap-lock joint for application to construction of housing. They have further identified options for continuing the development of the technology and for entering the marketplace. I approve of their final report. (Emphasis added.)

NIST AWARD
The NIST award is a successful proof of a new concept that represents not only significant new design, but also entirely new thinking. This successful proof of concept really needs to be measured in the potential it unlocks not only for the building industry, but also for what it offers to increasing the quality of life.

NO NAILS, SCREWS OR PINS
Now, the unique properties of reinforced plastic allow for structural applications not even thought of just a few generations ago. The idea of structurally superior, insulative, non-corrosive and environmentally benign building panels, capable of withstanding the forces of nature, is the realization of these material advancements.

An evolution in design has followed these material advances. It is no longer necessary to toe-nail wall studs to floor joists to create a structurally insulated panel (SIP). With the potential the new materials have created, Brandt Goldsworthy designed, engineered and prototyped SIPs with the novel snap-fit joint system. Solid mechanical connections are made without nails, screws or pins.

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BETTER COSTS THAN TYPICAL BUILDING MATERIAL
Even with superior materials and design, the inside-the-box thinking that plagues new concepts could challenge this new thinking. However, these thermo-curing materials allow for continuous production runs of exacting shapes and tolerances. The economics of this proves out significantly better costs than typical building materials. No objection should be found for superior products at better prices!

The Goldsworthy technology package consists of automated fabrication of Structural Insulated Panels with the snap-lock joining design. Using a continuous process of joining thermo-setting resin with fiberglass reinforcement - pultrusion - , economical and process efficient manufacturing delivers a near-complete structural wall, floor or roof panel. Tolerances prescribed in the tool design (die & mandrel) transfer through well to the part. Combining this process with superior design allows for the near complete panels to be shipped directly from the pultrusion machine to the job site. The award from the National Institute of Standars and Technology supoprted an effort to prove out the idea of automating the production and snap-lock joining of the finished parts - centered around the design and ultimately the successful snap-joining of the floor-to-wall joint - to provide for an affordable, durable and energy efficient structure. The manufacture and assembly of the prototypes went precisely to plan. Two sets (wall joint/floor joint) were manufactured along with the actual floor and wall sections. Under the heading seeing (and hearing) is believing, the first assembly of the floor joint and panel section to the wall joint and panel section indexed and snapped into place very definitely. The loud snap of the joint was only one indication the tolerances were matched very well. There is no slop in the connection and there really is no chance of the joint unlocking or even racking like a toe-nailed wood framed panel could easily do.

LESS WEIGHT
Other technical merits of the structural insulated panel are quite easily documented from existing known data of fiber reinforced unsaturated polyester products. For example, basic strength to weight information indicates FRP (fiber reinforced plastic) is less than one-third the weight of steel with equal (or better) strength characteristics. In comparison with wood products, FRP far exceeds the physical properties at equal weight and at even greater magnitudes in comparison of equal volume.

ADVANTAGES OF FIBER REINFORCED PLASTIC (FRP)
Other accepted properties of FRP in comparison to wood, concrete and steel building products include:

* Low thermal conductivity (excellent insulator) 
* Excellent chemical resistance
* Non-conductive (very low dielectric constant - 4.1>5.5) 
* Maintains properties in a wide range of temperature (-65 -> 250 F) 
* Capable of attaining Class 1 fire & smoke rating (<25 flame spread, <450 smoke index - from ASTM E84 tunnel test) 
* Excellent in weathering (sunlight, moisture, heat, cold, wind and contaminants)

NO DRY ROT OR PEST DAMAGE
Not included on a list of mechanical properties, but worthy of mentioning, is its resistance to dry rot and imperviousness to pest infestation and damage.

FASTENERLESS CONNECTION
Let's consider for a moment the concept we speak of. The most novel aspect of the Goldsworthy housing concept is the idea of fastenerless connections. Making a joint or connection to secure a strategic (structural) intersection is common throughout a structure (floor to wall, wall to roof, etc.). In spite of many different types of tools and fastening hardware, it is also the most common failure area and the most labor and cost intensive to construct.

The snap-lock joint is continuous across entire sections, and of like material (so there are no stress concentrations from dissimilar materials). The failure mode becomes more predictable (and less likely) due to the superior materials and complete joining method.

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COST SAVINGS: LABOR AND MATERIALS
The cost savings this technology affords can be characterized in two categories: labor and materials. Our first prototype has given us good evidence of basic costs we can use to compare the composite construction with standard building materials and practices. The idea of a tilt in place wall is well known as a labor cost saver in the concrete building industry. This is similarly so for technology in the housing industry, however, for snap fit housing the strength values are much higher, erection is significantly easier, and of course the labor is much reduced over concrete tilt-up or wood frame-up techniques.

Let's now consider the manufacture of the SIP itself. The pultrusion process allows for continuous production of the joint and wall at once with minimal operator (labor) requirements. The raw materials, fiberglass and polyester resin, are commodity items. Considering the strength-to-weight factor, the yield of composites is made much higher than competing materials, and therefore economically superior.

The NIST award funded Goldsworthy to tool-up and manufacture SIP sections with an integral floor-to-wall fastenerless snap-lock joint. Utilizing commodity construction materials and continuous processing methods, the results have proven out the concept of less expensive, structurally superior and rapidly deployable structures.

SUCCESSFUL COMMERCIALIZATION
We have identified several areas that would have lower barriers to entry in hopes of pushing this technology toward widespread acceptance and successful commercialization:

* Emergency Structures - Rapidly deployable shelters, aid centers, field hospitals and temporary (or permanent) replacement housing units are not typically regulated like standard housing. The unique physical requirements of emergency shelters would also match up to the superior properties composites afford. 
* Classrooms - The demand for quick and affordable structures makes snap fit technology ideal for implementation here. Much the same as with emergency structures, classroom structures are regulated differently. 
* Government / Military - Snap fit housing has good potential here. 
* Native American Housing - Commercialization paths may lead through reservation lands. Indian casinos have generated money dedicated for improvement of reservation housing and infrastructure. Snap fit housing technology can have a good application here.

The NIST award enabled Goldsworthy to design, engineer and develop tooling and the first articles of the innovative snap-lock joining method that is particularly suitable to the housing industry. The fastenerless joint and panel sections benefit from the excellent properties of composites. The continuous manufacturing process used to produce complete sections, as well as the labor savings in installation, makes a structurally sound and economically viable combination. The concept has been proven and now the education and acceptance of these new ideas need to follow.

What We Are Selling

 

a. United States Utility Patent No. 8,397,461 (5 claims) and related U.S. Application Data 
b. Design studies
c. Economic studies
d. Consulting and trade secrets
e. Marketing materials
f. Trademark rights
g. Domain name and website

What It Will Cost

 

There are 3 potential avenues for acquisition of the patent and possible manufacture of the GIFT Snap-Fit Technology:

1. Purchase of the patent only. The price and terms are negotiable.

2. Purchase the patent + the cost to produce a 500 sq ft prototype house. Note: all amounts are estimates.

  • Revised and updated die design and drawings for 3 sets of brackets (2 dies per set = 6 dies) = $37,680
  • Manufacture 3 sets of snap fit bracket production dies; 3 sets of 2 dies per set = $138,000
  • Manufacture 213 linear feet of snap fit brackets x 6 brackets x $13.00/lineal foot = $16,614
  • Manufacture of base panel: 1,816 sq ft x $34.00/sq ft = $61,557
  • Erect 500 sq ft building + adhesives = $26,000
  • Overhead and travel for individuals or groups to coordinate the design and manufacture of the 500 sq ft prototype building for 1 year = $150,000

TOTAL: $429,851

3. Cost for purchasing the patent (negotiable), cost for the 500 sq ft prototype house and cost for designing and manufacturing the panel die, snap fitting dies, purchasing the required pultrusion equipment. Note: all amounts are estimates.

  • Purchase the patent (price and terms negotiable)
  • Cost to produce a 500 sq ft prototype house = $429,851
  • Design and manufacture 10 foot wide pultrusion machine and die + smaller pultrusion machine for 6 snap fit brackets:
    • Design and manufacture 50'' wide pultrusion machine for base panel = $357,500
    • Design and manufacture die for 102'' wide x 4'' thick base panel = $67,850
    • Design and manufacture a smaller pultrusion machine for 6 snap fit brackets = $135,500
  • Overhead and travel for individuals or groups to coordinate the design and manufacture of 10 foot pultrusion machine + 102'' wide x 4'' thick base panel + smaller pultrusion machine for 6 snap fit brackets for year 2 = $150,000

TOTAL: $1,140,701 (excluding the price of the patent)

About Us

 

Dr. Raymond Browning, a physicist and engineer, is identified as the co-inventor with Mr. Goldsworthy in the provisional patent application. He has authored and co-authored 12 patent applications in the last two years including designs for composite housing. He has founded several small companies in his areas of expertise. In 1995 he founded a company writing software for the semiconductor industry. He sold the company to Canon (Japan). He also works in the areas of scheduling theory (US patent application 20030158618 A1, assigned to Canon), robotics, and composites. Dr. Browning is from the UK and he has a doctorate in physics. He came to Stanford University in 1981 where he was a consulting professor with an emphasis on electron scattering theory and electron beam technologies for the semiconductor industry. He developed an electron scattering cross-section that is used extensively for the interpretation of electron microcopy images and electron beam metrology tools. He has authored over 50 referenced papers and has given many talks at international conferences.

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The intellectual property rights, including the U.S. patent technology, are owned by James M. Dombroski, Dr. Browning and Craig Stainbrook. They are interested in selling all rights to the technology. Mr. Dombroski, of Petaluma, California, is an attorney licensed in California and Hawai`i and was formerly counsel for W. Brandt Goldsworthy & Associates, Inc.

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Contact

 

James M. Dombroski, Attorney at Law
P.O. Box 751027 Petaluma, CA 94975
phone: (707) 762-7807
email: jdomski@aol.com
website: jimdombroski.com