What Is Tilt-Up Construction?
Don’t imagine that the world of construction has gone crazy if you observe buildings “going up in weeks.” Chances are those swiftly constructed buildings are benefiting from a style of construction called “tilt-up” construction. But what exactly is tilt-up, how recent is it, and how does it compare with other construction methods? Headwaters Construction Inc., a leading Sacramento construction company, gives you the answers to all those questions, and more.
What Exactly is Tilt-Up Construction?
Tilt-up construction refers to a construction method in which the walls of a building are precast horizontally. Tilt construction consists of lifting equipment using a crane, which hoists the panels into their position at the building site.
Headwaters development experts explain that a slab that will form the floor of the building is first completed before the precast walls are lifted into position around that slab. After that, the Sacramento construction company connects the adjacent wall panels and seals the joints between them so that the structure is weathertight.
The sides of the tilt-up panels facing outward are a “blank canvas.” The interior and exterior walls can be used in any desired way.
How Are the Tilt-Up Panels Made?
As is the case with other concreting projects, forms are made horizontally. Rebar is cut to the size of the tilt-up panels that the Headwaters building and contracting firm has been contracted to make. Premix concrete is then poured either directly from the truck’s chute or by use of a concrete pump before the panels are troweled and cured. These panels can be piled on top of each other to optimize space.
A Brief History of Tilt-Up Construction
Tilt-up construction has been around for nearly a century. For example, the barns of decades ago were lifted using the tilt-up method.
The construction boom after World War II made the popularity of this method to skyrocket since there was a shortage of labor. The recent advances in computer-aided design, as well as strides inaccurate project estimation, have made tilt-up construction almost a no-brainer for the projects where it can be used.
Is Tilt-Up Construction Catered for in Existing Building Codes?
Sacramento tilt-up construction is covered in the reinforced concrete section of the International Building Code (IBC). The Tilt-Up Construction Association (TCA) also has design guides which licensed structural engineers can refer to when designing buildings of different dimensions. You should, therefore, have no worries that your building will not be built to any existing building code.
Can Tilt-Up Construction Be Used to Build a Single-Family Home?
The advances in computer-aided design referred to earlier also mean that the greater design flexibility now allows structural engineers to design structures as small as single-family homes without making them look like a big box. Curved panels and other design features for your small home are possible with tilt-up construction.
The Sacramento tilt-up construction experts at Headwaters Construction, Inc. also say that the availability of smaller cranes has eased the task of using tilt-up construction to build single-family homes. Previously, it was too expensive and sometimes impossible to get a large crane onto a small lot in order to lift the panels into position.
How Are Doors and Other Building Openings Catered For?
You don’t have to cut openings for windows, doors or other uses after the tilt-up walls have been lifted into position. These features are built into the panels right from the design stage of your home or commercial building. In fact, provisions are made in the tilt-up panels for all electrical, plumbing and other building systems.
What Are the Alternatives to Tilt-Up Construction?
The Sacramento construction company that you hire can choose from a number of construction methods aside from tilt-up construction. These include;
- Steel frame construction. This construction method is ideal for high-rise buildings. However, it involves a time-consuming, multi-step process.
- Precast concrete construction. In this method, concrete walls are precast at an offsite location (a concrete manufacturing facility), and the completed panels are transported to the construction site. Standardization of the panels is possible, just as is the case with tilt-up panels. The only downside is the added complexity and cost of transporting the large and heavy panels to the construction site.
- Wood frame construction. This is an alternative to steel frame construction, but this option makes a building vulnerable to fire and insect attacks.
As you can see, many options are available if you are considering putting up a new structure. Let our experts at Headwaters Construction, Inc. discuss all the available options, and if tilt-up construction is ideal for your project, then the details of the project will be presented to you by our competent team.