‘We have it down to a science’: Keith Beedie
Canadian Design and Construction Report special feature
Beedie Development Group, one of British Columbia’s largest industrial land development, construction and property management companies, has discovered that tilt-up construction is both effective and economical. The business traces its roots to 1946 and has constructed approximately 19 million sq. ft. of buildings (of which it owns 8.5 million sq. ft.), using tilt-up construction.
CEO and founder Keith Beedie says he constructed his first tilt-up project in 1967. “I flew to Los Angeles to watch a tilt-up being constructed and see how it was done,” he said. “We’ve constructed hundreds of tilt-ups since so I’d say we have it down to a science.”
Creating sandwich panels with a layer of insulation between two layers of concrete for greater energy efficiency, Beedie says tilt-up construction is more complex than many people imagine. “You have to have an engineer carefully determine the lifting points and co-ordinate design elements from panel to panel so they are seamless once they are in place. When forming you also have to consider windows, doors, rebar and electrical conduits. Prior to forming, bond breaker is sprayed on the concrete floor to ensure the panels will not stick.”
When the initial curing is complete, the panels are lifted from the floor by a crane to form the exterior walls, and then braced with metal panel braces until the final connections are completed. “While the concrete is doing its final curing we are installing roof joists and beams as well as constructing other parts of the building, so tilt-up speeds up the overall project,” he says.
Beedie Development Group uses its own carpenters and laborers on construction projects to ensure high-quality results. Beedie says, on the average building, walls can be tilted within a few days.
Some completed Beedie Development Group projects include TransCanada Turbines, Mercedes, Weyerhaeuser, Brewers Distributors, EV Logistics and Home Depot Distribution Centre.