Cost and energy efficiency, resiliency, the speed of the construction and long-term durability are crucial aspects in building construction. This is exactly what the tilt-up concrete method excels at. Although it began to gain in popularity only in 1940s, it is said that Thomas Edison was one of the early pioneers of the tilt-up system – he built a village with tilt-up concrete in New Jersey in an attempt to minimize the general labor requirements of the site, back in 1908.
Two world wars and more than a century later, the tilt-up has progressed a lot, with refinements in technology, systems, materials, but also in terms of the general understanding of construction science.
The anatomy behind it
In order to harness all the aspects of the tilt-up method, you need to learn how it actually works. The concrete panels are cast on the floor slab of a structure (or adjacent slab, depending on the building’s footprint). Then, a bond breaker is used between the casting slab and the outer part of the panel. The panel is built from the exterior towards the interior, with the outside cladding placed first on the slab. This is very important in terms of insulation, as this method allows for the material to be encased in the building panel.
Next, before the concrete is cast, the lifting hardware is placed in the wall. After the concrete has reached its structural lifting strength, the panels are lifted into place.
The benefits of the tilt-up
Although very useful and even preferable in some instances, the tilt-up method isn’t completely universal. In fact, the initial use of the method was so narrow, that it used to be limited to building warehouses and commercial facilities construction only.
However, the age of energy-efficient buildings has significantly broadened the use of this technology – from single- and multi-floor retail buildings to schools, the tilt-up method is here to help.
Quality tilt-up construction is extremely reliable, fast, secure, portable and energy efficient!
When it comes to speed, this method excels in comparison with its peers – the panels are constructed from the exterior to the interior, with panels being completed before being craned into place.
In terms of energy efficiency, the method in question also beats its competition. Seeing as how the tilt-up system provides an airtight barrier with the continuity of the walls and roof panels, the built structure is extremely well-insulated.
Security is yet another benefit of the system – moisture and fire resistance are inherent properties of concrete!
Finally, portability is perhaps the most significant advantage of the tilt-up method of construction. Seeing as how the panels can be easily dismantled and moved, this means that the entire building can actually be transported to another location!
No matter how much a particular subject is talked about, this means nothing without actual examples. Perhaps the best one is the Des Sentiers high school in Cumberland, Ontario – its energy savings for hydro were stunning, due to the airtightness detailing of the tilt-up panels, combined with the thermal mass properties.
Another good example is the Simon-Calloway’s first Canadian mall outlet in Toronto; and the requirements were huge – eight buildings covering about 39,950 m2, which called for the tilt-up method, with the following reasons: firstly, structural panels allow for unobstructed show, office and retail floors; secondly, the exterior finishes are beneficial for corporate identity to be projected on the building. Finally, the construction, time savings and the general safety and security of the durable panels during the building’s operation had won the battle in favor of the tilt-up!
In conclusion, the tilt-up method is safe, reliable and efficient. To put it simply, it’s always a good choice.
Published by Emma Lawson