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Tilt Up Concrete Construction

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 9/30/2009

Tilt up concrete construction process is used for building of schools, office buildings, houses etc, ranging from single storey to multiple story buildings. The wall panels can be planned to droop inwards when damaged, thus minimizing the risk of collapse.

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    What Is Tilt Up Construction

    In this technique, concrete components are created on a concrete block placed normally on the building floor. A provisional concrete surface near the building can be used, or the concrete elements can be produced at factories that are away from the site of construction. The elements created are walls, columns, and other structural supports. After completion of the concrete curing, the materials are tilted from the horizontal plane to the vertical plane with the assistance of a crane. These parts are fixed into their desired position until the remaining structural components of the building, like roof, intermediate floor, and walls are safe. This technique is similar to the process used for lifting of sheds and framing of wood platforms. It is economical for buildings that are low. Tilt up construction is gradually becoming a popular construction technique in most parts of the world. Tilt up construction is different from prefabrication in that the molds are designed for a particular building and are normally not reused.

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    Tilt Up Construction Techniques

    Considerable teamwork and organizational skills are essential at the site of tilt up construction, due to which the project complications are increased. After the casting surface or slab has cured, forms are constructed on the top. A plywood or fiber plank of superior quality is used that has one smooth surface. Steel and aluminum or forms are also used frequently. Carpenters work according to the engineering drawings for each element or panel to construct the designed forms at the construction site. All the door and window openings are incorporated in accordance with the required style. Studs and the attachment plates are placed within the form for insertion in the concrete. The forms are generally attached with the casting surface by nails or glued, to avoid damage to the floor slabs. Concrete is filled into the forms to obtain the required thickness, and surround the steel inserts and the embedded features. The forms are detached after the curing of concrete, and the elements are tilted into the desired place.

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    Applications Tilt Up Construction

    Tilt up construction is normally used for single story commercial buildings, including warehouses, offices, and large stores. However, Tilt up construction multiple story buildings like hotels that use tilt up construction are also becoming popular. This technique of construction is suitable for warehouses and shopping centers because the wall panels can be formed rapidly at reasonable costs. Tilt up construction can be used to incorporate the desired architectural features. Tilt up concrete is being used economically for mass construction of buildings due to multiple advantages. The panel heights and lengths can be easily customized. Tilt up concrete can be colored, textured, and formed to meet nearly any architectural requirement using modern techniques.