In response to growing interest and acceptance of the tilt-up building system, the Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA) hosted a conference June 6-8 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The three-day conference program included a broad variety of presentations intended for contractors, architects and engineers currently designing and building with tilt-up and those considering the system for the first time. Catering to the bilingual audience, the program was presented in both English and Spanish.
According to Ed Sauter, executive director of the TCA, the conference presented new ideas aimed at expanding the market, reinforced basic principles and practices, introduced new techniques and technologies, as well as highlighted outstanding work being done throughout the region.
“The Latin American market is very robust and it represents a great market for tilt-up,” said Sauter. “This conference provided an excellent opportunity for tilt-up growth as well as the introduction of the method to first-time users in the Caribbean region, Central and South America. We were pleased with the participation. The region presents opportunities for growth both for existing contractors willing to venture in to new areas as well and Latin American contractors wanting to diversify."
According to Ed McGuire, past president of the TCA Board of Directors, concrete has long been a traditional building material in Latin America, so the expansion of tilt-up into the region is a logical progression.
“TCA is the go-to source for technical and practical information on the tilt-up system and we hope we can provide more opportunities in Latin America in the future for learning," said McGuire.
According to Frank Adames, CEO Contratistas Civiles Y Mecanicos S.A. of the Dominican Republic, hosting the TCA Conference in the Dominican Republic was an aggressive attempt by the Association that will prove to build acceptance of the system.
“Everyone who attended the presentations understood how serious the TCA is in supporting the designers, contractor, suppliers and manufacturers in the new challenge of applying this proven system in a new market for their upcoming projects,” said Adames.
One attendee, Harry Miguel Santos Tavarez, an engineer from Ingenieria Y Representaciones Internacionales SA of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, noted that the sessions were very beneficial. The speakers had extensive knowledge about their topics, he said.
At this time, approximately 4 percent of TCA’s membership is from Latin America, a number the Association intends to grow in response to the growing network of design and construction professionals as well as tilt-up projects in the market.
The conference also served as a venue for the Tilt-up Supervisor and Technician Certification Program seminar and exam. The program is a collaborative effort between the American Concrete Institute (ACI) and the TCA. For more information on the program please visit www.tilt-up.org/certification.