When opting to take on a building project, owners must weigh a variety of factors. Speed of construction, economy and architectural appeal are often the first items that pop into one’s mind.
However, today’s savvy owners also recognize the importance of a dependable and consistent building solution that will offer long--term durability and efficiency. Site--cast tilt--up construction continues to expand as the solution of choice for a widening variety of end--use buildings from schools to churches to corporate facilities. Ranging from small start--up firms to Fortune 500 companies, owners across the globe are selecting tilt--up for their retail stores, headquarters and distribution centers because it is a consistent solution for their building needs.
How is tilt--up consistent?
Although tilt--up can be customized for each individual project’s needs, a combination of training, industry resources and proven design and construction techniques ensure consistency on a tilt--up project, regardless of location, end--use, schedule or budget. One key element for creating consistency throughout the industry is the certification program that is offered by the Tilt--Up Concrete Association (TCA) in conjunction with the American Concrete Institute (ACI). Field personnel can gain ACI certification as tilt--up technicians or, with required experience, tilt--up supervisors. Many municipalities and owners now require this certification as a project prerequisite. Further, having certified technicians or supervisors separates your firm from the competition and demonstrates your commitment to quality.
In addition to certification, experienced tilt--up professionals employ a variety of proven techniques. Quality control in panel production is achieved through review and approval of shop drawing submittals including concrete mix design, bondbreaker and curing compound selection, formliners and reveal details, grouting and patching materials, aggregate samples, reinforcing chairs, as well as finishes and coatings. Sample panels help to establish the desired finish level and appearance early in the construction process, while site inspections to review panel construction ensure conformance with the construction documents. Additionally, testing agencies are employed to ensure proper structural strength of the concrete.
Beyond proven field techniques, the increasing number of design professionals supporting the tilt--up industry benefit from a variety of resources. Effective design resources include TCA’s Tilt--Up Engineering and Construction Manual, finite--element design software from the Portland Cement Association (PCA), as well as a variety of wall panel design programs from private companies.
Success through consistency
Consistency of construction also is a factor for companies seeking global solutions for their business enterprise. Such was the case for Rooms to Go – one of America’s leading furniture retailers. The company recognized the need to construct a high--tech distribution center in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, to serve as the supply center to area retail stores, as well as future Caribbean locations. Even though buildings in Puerto Rico are typically constructed using precast panels, the developer – Seaman Development Corp. of Franklin, Tenn. – uses tilt--up exclusively for distribution centers in the United States and has grown accustomed to the durability, consistency, speed and quality afforded with this method. According to the tilt--up concrete subcontractor on the project, Seretta Construction of Apopka, Fla., the project was a success despite the challenges of introducing a new construction method to a geographic area.