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Tiltwall Construction Articles
Tiltwall Construction: A General Contractor's Approach to Innovative Commercial Building Construction
Tiltwall: An Old Idea for General Contractors With New Innovations
What is Tiltwall Construction? How Are Tiltwall Buildings Constructed?
Precast Concrete, Tilt-up Construction and Tilt wall: What's the Difference in These Terms?
Why do Design / Build Contractors Choose Tiltwall Construction?
When Does Concrete and Tiltwall Construction Make More Sense than Steel Buildings?
Steel and Tiltwall Together: Using the Strengths of Each
Tiltwall Construction Delivers Theater Two Weeks Ahead of Schedule
Innovations in Tiltwall Construction Help Contractors Overcome Challenges
Construction Cost Fluctuations Make Tiltwall Construction a Better Choice Than Ever

 

Tiltwall Construction Process

 

What is Tiltwall Construction? How Are Tiltwall Buildings Constructed?

 

The tiltwall panels are poured into forms that provide the exact size, shape and door openings to meet the design specifications. The tiltwall panels can be massive; this panel at a Fort Worth, Texas office building project weighs about 50,000 pounds. The largest panel used for a tiltwall construction project weighed six times as much, just over 150 tons.
The tiltwall panels are poured into forms that provide the exact size, shape and door openings to meet the design specifications. The tiltwall panels can be massive; this panel at a Fort Worth, Texas commercial building project weighs about 50,000 pounds. The largest panel used for a tiltwall construction project weighed six times as much, over 150 tons.
A tiltwall project begins with job site preparation and pouring the slab. During this phase of the project, workers install footings around the slab in preparation for the panels.

The crew then assembles the panel forms on the slab. Normally, the form is created with wooden pieces that are joined together. The forms act like a mold for the panels. They provide the panels' exact shape and size, doorways and window openings, and ensure the panels meet the design specifications and fit together properly. Next, workers tie in the steel grid of reinforcing bars into the form. They install inserts and embeds for lifting the panels and attaching them to the footing, the roof system, and to each other.

The slab beneath the forms is then cleaned of any debris or standing water, and workers pour concrete into the forms to create the panels.

Now comes the point where tiltwall construction, or tilt-up construction, gets its name.

Once the panels have solidified and the forms have been removed, the crew connects the first panel to a large crane with cables that hook into the inserts. The size of the crane depends on the height and weight of the panels, but it is typically two to three times the size of the largest panel. The crew also attaches braces to the panel. The crane lifts, or "tilts up," the panel from the slab into a vertical position above the footings. Workers help to guide the panel into position and the crane sets it into place. They connect the braces from the tiltwall panel to the slab, attach the panel's embeds to the footing, and disconnect the cables from the crane. The crew then moves to the next panel and repeats this process.

It's easy to be amazed as you watch the mobile crane tilt up a panel from the ground and set it into its place. Massive panels weighing 50,000 to 125,000 pounds or more dangle from the crane's long lines. The crew works as a team, setting the braces and guiding the panel with remarkable precision. The speed of the process is also remarkable; an experienced tiltwall crew can erect as many as 30 panels in a single day.

Once all the panels are erected, the crew apply finishes to the walls with sandblasting or painting. They also caulk joints and patch any imperfections in the walls. From this point the crew moves to the installation of the roof system and the trades begin their work inside the building.

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