Tops In Tilt-Up

Now in their 18th consecutive year, Tilt-Up Achievement Awards presented by the Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA) recognized 44 winners in 2009, honoring

Now in their 18th consecutive year, Tilt-Up Achievement Awards presented by the Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA) recognized 44 winners in 2009, honoring projects that use site-cast tilt-up concrete to introduce new building types, advance industry technology, and provide novel solutions. More than 100 entries submitted this year were reviewed by a panel of 12 judges representing a combination of TCA membership categories, educational institutions, publishing and industry management. On the basis of multiple criteria including aesthetic expression, schedule, size, originality, finishes and special conditions, the five projects here were selected among the entry pool for Excellence in Achievement title. A complete list of winners is posted at


San Diego, California

Submitted by: Erickson-Hall Construction Co. of Escondido, Calif.; Supplier: Dayton Superior Corp.

Saving an estimated $140,000 and shaving six weeks off the construction schedule, the open warehouse design of the 47,856-sq.-ft. museum features four main tilt-up walls standing side-by-side in rows Û one slanted outward to give the impression of a building bursting with fun Û and connected by walls of transparent glass. Exposed braces hold the tilt-up panels in place, providing cost-saving value as they illustrate concepts of gravity and structure. Additionally, the 52-ft.-high tilt-up walls can accommodate gigantic canvases, and 3-D art pieces can dangle from the ceilings.


Hialeah Gardens, Florida

Submitted by: Woodland Construction Co., Jupiter, Fla.

To meet a quick-turnaround construction schedule for the 147,854-sq.-ft. school, tilt-up was selected to execute a novel design meant to resemble a less than completely assembled Lego set. Further, tilt-up technology enabled all trades to work simultaneously, resulting in a timeline of less than 12 months from ground-breaking to occupancy. Promoting even greater efficiency, panels for a two-story walkway were converted from cast-in-place to tilt-up using lid panels. The walkway panels’ slope facilitates drainage from the lid panels into a cast gutter, which matches pipes cast into the vertical tilt-up panels, allowing water to drain down the legs.


Sunny Isles Beach, Florida

Submitted by: SBLM Architects P.C., Miami

Supplier: Tiltcrete, LLC

A mere 2.1-acre site for the 211,000-sq.-ft. educational facility (K-12) required a vertical design solution, making Sunny Isles the only four-story tilt-up school in Miami-Dade County. While the design necessitated unusually large panels, site constraints allowed minimal space for casting and erection, so crews devised a detailed layout pattern as well as pouring and lifting sequence. Moreover, poor soil quality prompted the design team to place the building on auger cast pilings and grade beams.

First-floor slab beams are supported by pilings, while upper floors comprise a P.S.I. joist and composite slab. Visual interest is provided by intersecting concrete planes at the entry, a cantilevered exterior staircase, and second-floor concrete connecting bridges. Some panels were cast in a horizontal rib formliner to add texture. Completed in just 26 months from design commission to opening, the school stayed within its $36 million budget.


West Delray Beach, Florida

Submitted by: Johnson Structural Group, Boca Raton, Fla.

The affordable, new 34,000-sq.-ft. library is an amalgam of geometric angles, including 118 linear feet of panels leaning outward at a 30-degree angle Û supported by tilt-panel-and-steel buttresses with a glass infill Û at the building’s rear elevation. The slanted tilt-up wall continues over a low roof, also created with spandrel panels and supported by a complex steel frame system. The front elevation mimics the roofline’s slanting panels with a smaller cast-in-place walkway crowned by a 20-degree slanted tilt-up canopy. Adding further geometric interest are minimalist reveal lines and feature elements painted deep-orange to contrast with the building’s predominantly neutral colors.


Vancouver, British Columbia

Submitted by: Fast + Epp Structural Engineers, Vancouver

The 30,000-sq.-ft., multi-use facility’s design reflects the topography and geographical orientation of its locale, as material excavated from the site was used to form a series of grassy berms, whose lines are repeated in the curved steel roof, resting largely on 46 double-wythe, tilt-up panels. In keeping with the palette of indigenous materials, the panels’ exposed interior faces were hand-ground for a smooth finish and coated with a clear sealant to preserve the color of the concrete. Features such as passive daylighting and in-slab geothermal heating helped earn the center a LEED Silver rating.