Tilt-Up Construction explained in 3 minutes: Concept, Process, and Benefits
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Tilt-up construction cover

Tilt-up construction is a process we’re passionate about. We have over 18,657,086 square feet of Tilt-up construction under our belt. For this reason, we decided to create a comprehensive guide for you to understand the whole concept like an expert. 

To tackle this task, we reached out to four Hermosillo specialists: Alejandra Ramos, Jesus Torres, Rosalba Velarde, and Servando Camargo. We gathered their insights and developed them through 4 fundamental topics: the concept, important considerations for success, the process, and the benefits. 

1. What is Tilt-up construction?: Understanding the concept

There are many ways to build a long-lasting, quality building. Tilt-up construction is one of them. It consists in constructing the exterior structure of a building by lifting fabricated concrete walls that will function as the shell of said building. This method can be employed on any type of project. Nevertheless, it’s particularly useful when your client faces a tight delivery schedule or wants to maximize the visual appearance of the building while keeping future maintenance costs low. 

The concept of Tilt-up construction is straightforward. In a (very) simplified way, it can be broken down into three steps: design, construction, and panel lifting. 

Tilt-up walls are built over what we call a ‘concrete slab’ that also works as the facility’s interior floor. The walls are assembled around the facility’s perimeter. (See image to visualize how every element interacts within the process). 

  1. First, you have to design and build the panel forms, which are the molds of your soon-to-be walls. 
  2. Then you cast concrete into each panel, and in a matter of time, it’ll become a solid concrete element. 
  3. You lift the finished wall, place it in the desired space, and tighten it up to the steel structure of the building. Then, you repeat this process until you have the perimeter of your facility. 
The simplified Tilt-up construction process

2. Key aspects to succeed when executing a Tilt-up project

As we said, the concept of Tilt-up construction is easy. The execution, however, not so much. 

Tilt-Up is all about efficient planning. Yes, like most things on construction, effective planning can save you time and money. A meaningful part of the work is done during the design and preconstruction phase to guarantee a safe and smooth operation. Some considerations you must consider during this step are: 

3. The detailed process of Tilt-up construction 

As stated, Tilt-up is composed of 3 steps: design, construction, and vertical panel lifting. Here is a detailed explanation of the activities that take place in each one of them. 

Design. 

Construction

Lifting 

4. Impact and benefits of Tilt-up construction on cost, aesthetics, and speed 

Tilt-up is simple as it is helpful. This method has a direct impact on costs, aesthetics, and overall speed of the final installation, the more remarkable being: 

  1. Tilt-up walls are just more beautiful. They have better aesthetics than sheet walls or masonry. Also, they’re cleaner and sturdier. 
  2. You end up with more space! Since you won’t need supporting perimeter pillars or columns, this will result in more space inside the building. 
  3. It’s faster. Yes, when you plan appropriately, it’s a faster process than a regular construction project. 
  4. It’s cheaper to maintain in the long run. It also has lower insurance premium rates for durability.
  5. With Tilt-up construction, you end up with a more fire-resistant and thermally robust building due to the material. 
  6. It’s a very good solution for Food & Beverage production facilities, due to its more efficient cleaning surface and low bacteria growth properties.

The truth is there are not any disadvantages. But there can be times when the planning gets sloppy. Therefore you need to select a General Contractor that has solid experience and fully understands the proper execution, the risk factors, and lifting panel erection logistics in order to be able to have a quality product, on time and on budget.

Wrapping Up

The Tilt-up construction method is versatile, fast, and cost-effective. Although it’s not suitable for EVERY type of project (especially small ones), this type of construction can provide terrific benefits. 

Over the years, we’ve built close to 100 Tilt-up projects nationwide. We have been perfecting this process to provide the best cost-effective solution to our clients. Our main goal is to deliver world-class facilities, always on time, and within budget.

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