Canadian Design and Construction Report special feature
Tilt Wall Ontario, based in Woodstock, has completed at least 30 buildings with more than 500,000 sq. ft. of panels, becoming an industry leader in the past decade.
Estimator and sales manager Len Overbeek says the biggest challenge he faces is getting owners and architects to understand tilt-up’s practical value and design potential. “There is s historical thinking out there of tilt-up as being this cold, steel grey box because of the concrete, but tilt-up is so much more and my challenge is getting people to see beyond what they think so I can show them what tilt-up can do.”
Tilt-up walls and building elements are cast on site. They are then lifted (tilted) into place and braced until permanent structural connections are complete.
Since the mid-1940s tilt-up has developed into the preferred method for construction for many types of buildings and structures around the world. Tilt-up walls can be insulated and/or load bearing with a wide variety of finishes.
The site-cast tilt up construction process delivers quality, speed, economics, durability and beauty. Last year in North America more than one billion square feet of tilt-up buildings were constructed. Tilt-up buildings combine attractiveness, efficiency and longevity, Overbeek indicated.
Tilt Wall Ontario has taken on different projects with sometimes challenging elements since 2002, he said. “There are so many aesthetic features we can use including thin brick, textured pains, different panel shapes or form lines, changes in elevation… Tilt-up has so many inherent benefits like energy efficiency, sustainability, speed and cost efficiency but the trick is showing the aesthetic potential.”
Overbeek says the company has worked on buildings ranging in size from 480 sq. ft. to 150,000 sq. ft., adding that the next home he owns will be tilt-up. “There will be a premium for tilt-up in a residential context but for a lasting, sustainable option, it is worth the investment.”
Overbeek says winter conditions are not a barrier to tilt-up construction, especially since the work can be completed much more rapidly and it is easier to work on external structures in a horizontal form. In Canada weather plays a factor in all construction and that’s no different with tilt-up. “We constructed an 80,000 sq. ft. project for Humber College from January through March.”
The three-storey Humber College project earned the company the 2008 Ontario Concrete Award and the 2009 Tilt-up Achievement Award.
Other projects have included offices, sports facilities, schools and food storage and handling facilities.
For more information, visit tiltwall.ca.