Sitecast Tilt-Up Construction Explained.

Tilt-up concrete construction is not new; it has been in use for well over a century. Since the mid – 1940’s it has developed into the preferred method of construction for many types of buildings and structures around the world.

Site-cast Tilt-Up construction, a method in which concrete wall panels are cast on-site and tilted into place, is one of the fastest growing construction mediums available today. The method affords owners a cost-effective, energy-efficient, durable building product with great architectural versatility and appeal. The Tilt-Up Construction method is fast gaining advocates for everything from the traditional warehouse and industrial facilities to office buildings, churches, movie theaters, schools and recreation centers. Combining the advantages of low maintenance, durability, speed, minimal capital investment, and architectural appeal, more than 12.000 buildings, enclosing more than 750 million square feet of structure, are now constructed each year using Sitecast Tilt-Up Construction as building method.

 

Tilt-Up Construction, an impressive construction method

Preparation & Pouring Concrete Floor Slab

A tilt-up construction project begins with job site preparation and pouring of the concrete floor slab. During this phase of the project, workers install footings around the slab in preparation for the panels. The crew then assembles the panel forms on the slab. Typically, the form is created with standard dimensional lumber that are joined together. The forms act like a mold for the concrete. They provide the panels’ exact shape and size, doorways and window openings, and ensure the panels meet the design specifications and fit together properly. Next, workers tie in the steel grid of reinforcing bars into the form. They install inserts and embeds for lifting the panels and attaching them to the footing, the roof system, and to each other.

The slab beneath the forms is then cleaned of any debris or standing water, and workers pour concrete into the forms to create the panels. Now comes the point where tilt-up construction gets its name.

Starting with the first concrete panel

Once the concrete panels have solidified and the forms have been removed, the crew connects the first panel to a crane with cables that hook into the inserts. The size of the crane depends on the height and weight of the concrete panels, but it is typically two to three times the size of the largest panel. The crew also attaches braces to the tilt-up panel. The crane lifts, or “tilts up,” the panel from the slab into a vertical position above the footings. Workers help to guide the concrete panel into position and the crane sets it into place. They connect the braces from the tilt-up panel to the slab, attach the panel’s embeds to the footing, and disconnect the cables from the crane. The crew then moves to the next panel and repeats this process.

Tilt-Up Construction, an impressive construction method

It’s easy to be amazed as you watch the mobile crane tilt up a concrete panel from the ground and set it into its place. Massive concrete panels weighing 50,000 to 125,000 pounds or more hang from the crane’s long lines. The crew works as a team, setting the braces and guiding the tilt-up panel with remarkable precision. The speed of the process is also remarkable; an experienced tilt-up crew can erect as many as 40 panels in a single day.

Once all the tilt-up construction panels are erected, the crew applies finishes to the walls with sandblasting or painting. They also caulk joints and patch any imperfections in the walls. From this point the crew moves to the installation of the roof system and the trades begin their work inside the building.