How Does Tilt-Up Construction Work?

 In Headwaters Construction, Tilt-Up Construction

tips for hiring commercial contractors - headwaters Construction IncWith tilt-up construction, the precision of design-build technology and the strength of reinforced concrete are brought together to complete buildings quickly and economically. The discussion below will help you to get more information about this method of construction so that you don’t miss out on one of the most practical ways to construct your building.

How Tilt-Up Construction Works

During tilt-up construction, a series of reinforced concrete panels are raised (tilted up) to form the exterior walls of the building under construction. What is unique about the tilt-up panels is that they are made at the construction site using concrete, rebar, and wooden forms.

The process involves shaping the wood forms and cutting the rebar in accordance with the designs of the building. Once the forms are completed and the rebar has been placed, concrete is poured and finished.

The walls are ready in a few days and a crew with lifting equipment, such as cranes, comes in to lift the panels from their horizontal position to their final vertical positions as exterior walls. The Headwaters Construction Inc. team uses braces to provide temporary support for the raised panels until the roof is placed to hold the whole structure together as one unit.

The interior and the exterior surfaces of the tilt-up panels are blank slates which can be finished in any way that the client desires. For example, you can ask your Sacramento tilt-up contractor to use any exterior siding material that you prefer on the outer-facing surface of the panels, and you can also request the contractor to provide additional insulation on the inside facing surface of these panels that have been tilted into place. 

Similarly, any coating that you desire can be applied on the exterior or interior surfaces of the tilt-up panels, so you should have no fears that your building will not have a distinct character and look from all the others built using this method.

How Tilt-Up Construction Compares to Other Methods

You can opt for tilt-up construction as an alternative to the following construction methods:

  • Wood frame construction is known for being labor-intensive, so using tilt-up construction can help to sidestep this high labor cost.
  • Steel beam construction is pricey, and this makes the option better suited to high-rise construction. Tilt-up construction can be used for projects that aren’t economical when undertaken using steel beam construction.
  • Prefabricated steel frame construction has emerged as an economical way to build structures, but its design limitations often position tilt-up construction as a better alternative.
  • Tilt-up construction can also be used in lieu of masonry construction.

In our experience at Headwaters Construction Inc., there is no specific segment of the construction industry that is best suited for the tilt-up construction method. This method is most common during the construction of large complexes, such as big-box stores and warehouses, but tilt-up construction can also be used for smaller structures.

Broad Assumptions About Tilt-Up Construction

As already indicated, each project has its own peculiarities. So, it isn’t easy to come up with an approximate cost of each square foot constructed using this method. However, our team at Headwaters Construction Inc. have come up with the following general observations that hold true for most tilt-up construction projects.

  • Generally speaking, the cost-effectiveness of tilt-up construction increases with the size of the project being undertaken. Conversely, each square foot becomes more expensive as the square footage of a building reduces. This is because the smaller the building, the lower the chance that the economies of scale will manifest.
  • Tilt-up construction makes it possible for site workers, their tools and all construction materials to be sheltered in an enclosed place sooner since the tilt-up exterior walls go up faster than the exterior walls made using other construction methods.
  • Tilt-up construction also allows the contractor to have more control over the project since all the materials used are sourced locally. For example, a contractor would have nothing to do except wait if specialty materials or components are needed from an off-site supplier who needs several weeks lead time before delivering. With tilt-up construction, all the needed materials, such as ready-mix concrete and rebar, can be readily obtained from local suppliers.

As you can see, tilt-up construction comes with numerous benefits, such as cost-effectiveness, energy-efficiency, speed in project completion, design flexibility and a reduced need for labor. However, not every project is an ideal candidate for tilt-up construction. So, it is wise for you to contact Headwaters Construction Inc. We’ve been serving across California, Oregon, and Arizona for many years. Give us a call today to learn more about how our professional commercial construction services can help you.

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