Tilt-up construction, also known as tilt-slab or tilt-wall, is a construction technique in which concrete wall panels are cast-on-site and tilted into place. It was first used in America around 1905, and patented in 1908 by Robert Akin during the concrete construction of the Schindler House in West Hollywood, CA.
In the last fifty years a large number of buildings throughout North America have been designed and constructed using the tilt-up building method. The Structure Magazine website references the ACI Tilt-Up Construction Guide (ACI 551) with the following quote, “Tilt-up panels are generally handled only once. They are lifted or tilted from the casting slab and erected in their final position in one, continuous operation. Tilt-up panels are generally of such large size and weight that they can only be constructed on site and in close proximity to their final location in the structure.” The document further states that tilt-up concrete construction “is a unique form of site-cast precast construction and, as such, has its own specialized set of design parameters and construction techniques.”
Tilt-up construction offers the advantage of fast construction, low-cost, and advanced architectural treatments. To ensure success, the project requires careful preparation from beginning to end including a thorough evaluation of the: site; the size and height of the building; its intended purpose; and how easy will it be to get materials to the jobsite. After the site preparation work is complete and the floor slab or casting surface has cured, the forms are built on top typically using a plywood or fiber board, or in some cases steel or aluminum forms. The forms include all door and window openings as well as other architecture features, and are anchored to the pad.
When the rest of the prep work is completed including the construction of a rebar grid inside the form, the concrete is poured. After the concrete is cured the forms are removed and a crane lift tilts the panel (in some cases lifts) into place, which is secured with braces while the roof is being completed.
A couple of years ago, Conco provided services on a concrete parking garage and a concrete tilt-up structural frame building, the 100 Grand, in downtown Oakland, CA. The structure is now a contemporary apartment building that offers spectacular views of the city and includes lofts and 1 and 2-bedroom units as well as spacious 3-bedrooms.
The Conco Companies are a leading supplier of concrete services for the Western U.S. We got our start in the Bay Area in 1959 by offering clients the best value on a wide range of concrete services and products. Since that time, we have taken a leading role as one of the top concrete contractors in the region. We have four regional offices serving California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon and Colorado.