Tilt-Up Construction Must-Knows

Tilt-Up Construction Must-KnowsEverything You Need to Know About Tilt-Up Construction

Tilt-up concrete has been here for about a hundred years, though it came to the head of construction in the 1980s. This occurred when the American Concrete Institute (ACI) formed a committee dedicated to tilt-up concrete. If you are considering tilt-up construction, please read the following must knows on tilt-up concrete to ensure it’s the right technology for your construction needs! 

Tilt-Up Concrete Panel Sizes

Headwaters Construction, Inc., the best tilt-up construction company in California, explains that there is almost no limit as to how large or wide tilt-up panels can be. For example, when a site has limited space, the tilt-up panels can be stacked as they are being manufactured on-site. Lifting cranes of different carrying capacities are available. This is so the weight of the panel may not impose limitations on how large the panels can get.

Tilt-up panels vary depending on whether they are insulated or not, in terms of thickness. Those that aren’t insulated usually range between seven and 12 inches in thickness. 

If the design specifies that insulated panels be used, those panels will take on a sandwich-style appearance. In such a case, tilt-up construction professionals at Headwaters Construction, Inc. explain tilt-up construction must-knows about the sizing of the panels. The outer face of the panel will be 2-3 inches thick. The insulation layer will be 2-6 inches thick. The inner face of the panel will then be 7-12 inches thick. 

Manufacturing and Physical Properties

Tilt-up contractors start by digging the foundation and pouring a slab that forms the floor of the tilt-up building. This same slab also serves as the casting slab for the tilt-up panels.

Formwork is placed on the foundation slab so that panels that meet the specifications (in terms of shape and size) can be cast. The formwork is often made from lumber, but some commercial construction companies use reusable metal or plastic for this task.

Just like in other forms of concrete, tilt-up panels have steel reinforcement inside them. Tilt-up contractors place “embeds,” such as weld plates, lifting inserts and others in the formwork before the concrete is poured.

As mentioned earlier, tilt-up panels can be stacked. The bond breakers applied between the different panels make it easy for individual panels to be lifted off the panels beneath them in the stack.

Many times, tilt-up contractors find that space limitations can be tricky. They will require that a lifting crane sits on a section of the foundation or floor slab during the lifting of the wall panels. In such a situation, the commercial builder will make the floor slab to be thicker than it would ordinarily be. That added thickness is intended to cater to the weight of the crane as it is doing its work.

The concrete is supplied by a ready-mix concrete supplier that uses the material to make tilt-up panels. This is a person who designs the mix to meet the specifications provided by the tilt-up construction company. For example, high-strength concrete may be required, or the mix may be designed to reach full strength sooner. This would help facilitate the quick completion of other phases of the construction process.

Tilt-Up Construction Panel Installation

Tilt-up panels are usually cast face-down. When they are ready to be hoisted, a crane lifts them off the floor slab. The crane then positions them vertically around the foundation slab. Each panel is braced to hold it in position until all the panels have been lifted and the work of welding the panels together can begin.

Connections are cast into the panels during the casting phase. These connections make it possible for adjacent panels to be welded together so the entire envelope can have structural integrity.

Headwaters Construction, Inc. then uses special seals to fill the vertical joints between different tilt-up panels. This forms a tight envelop that doesn’t allow energy leakage to occur.

Tilt-Up Concrete Finishes

Commercial construction companies like Headwaters Construction, Inc. use a variety of architectural treatments to make the tilt-up panels have rich details in their appearance. For example, reveals and rustications make it possible for the walls to appear to have been made from more panels than they are. 

Exposed aggregate, colored concrete, and other surface finishes provide different ways that tilt-up panels can be made to be esthetically pleasing. Small brick inserts can also be placed on the outer surfaces of the tilt-up panels for a maintenance-free finish. 

Building Codes

Tureks Plumbing, a home-remodeling company in Appleton, WI, points out the importance of building codes. Both commercial and residential services must follow certain guidelines. Tilt-up construction is covered in the reinforced concrete section of the International Building Code (IBC). Commercial builders explain that this code requires that only a licensed structural engineer can design a tilt-up concrete building.

The American Concrete Institute (ACI) publishes design guides for tilt-up concrete panels. These guides expand on the information contained in the institute’s general guidelines on tilt-up concrete.

Tilt-Up Construction Comparative Cost

Headwaters Construction, Inc. recalls that in the past, tilt-up construction was only economical for large commercial construction projects. This means that only projects, like warehousing and retail construction projects, were able to utilize tilt-up construction. However, there have been advances in design and material flexibility, along with a huge selection of cranes available. This has made it possible for smaller structures to be competitively built using this technology. 

The popularity of tilt-up construction is growing because of the benefits that come with this approach to construction. These include the time and cost savings that result from casting panels onsite at-grade. This is unlike vertical casting, which is labor-intensive and time-consuming. Tilt-up panels form a tighter envelope due to having fewer joints than the walls made using other forms of construction. Contact Headwaters Construction, Inc. if you would like to learn more about this technology with your next commercial project. We hope that these tilt-up construction must knows answered any questions you may have in the meantime. Our experienced Sacramento construction contractors would love to deliver your completed project in record time, cost-effectively!

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