Tilt-up Panels: The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Tilt-up panel construction has been a game-changer for the construction industry since it made its entrance circa 1904, but in its infancy was not perceived that way. It is safe to say, with all major new advancements, brings with it the naysayers. The tilt-up industry spent decades being bombarded with negativity and with that came sources of misinformation and erroneous representation within the construction industry.
So what are some of the fallacies surrounding tilt-up panel construction? Well, with one hand on the Tilt-up bible, we solemnly swear to tell the whole truth, well more to the point, “myth bust” and dispel some misconceptions concerning Tilt-up panel construction.
Myth 1. PANEL HEIGHTS ARE LIMITED.
*cue Trump voice* Fake news! Tilt-up panels are not limited to one and two story building, in fact one of the advantages of tilt up is that it can be formed and poured to almost any engineered size and thickness.
Did you know that a record breaking panel that stood over 33 metre?! And typical panels in large-scale-construction across the USA and Canada, the average height is 24 metres. Tilt-up is widely used on office buildings, apartments and hotels that are 6 or more stories in height. Vertically “stacking” panels for colossal developments is also common place.
Tilt-up panel bracing equipment has kept up with the soaring heights being formed, so this too, does not limit the panels and its use.
Myth 2. DESIGN IS RESTRICTED
Ahhh, sorry, what? Concrete in its first form is fluid. Pouring and creating shapes is achieved with ease. Tilt-up panels in its early years was seen as being used only to create “big-boxed” buildings with not an ounce of aesthetic. Which may have been true initially.
Fast forward a few decades, into the late 1990’s where the shift began. Architects started to engage the technology behind tilt-up panels and started to design brilliant pieces of architecture. From churches to schools and beyond, tilt-up panels have been designed to create many complex forms, shapes and profiles.
Oh, and to add more proof to the amazing designs that can be achieved with tilt-up construction, view our Gallery right here on our website!
So, enough said. Myth busted.
Myth 3. TILT-UP PANELS DAMAGE THE GROUND SLAB DURING PROCESS
As tilt-up panels are manufactured, cast and lifted into place on a construction site, generally most contractors will cast the panel directly on the floor slab. However, there is a belief that in doing so, damage is being done to the floor. This is not the case. With the advancements in products that reduce concrete surfaces bonding to one another, cranes being able to stand panels into place without placing any unnecessary load on the slab, there is rarely any damage done.
Concrete sub-contractors are very aware and use caution not to cause damage to floor slabs and it wouldn’t be in their favour as they require a level, smooth surface to work from.
If there is concern, a “casting slab” which is a purpose-poured slab, can be created. Tilt-up panels can be poured and lifted from the slab. These casting slabs are then removed from site once panels have been manufactured.
Myth 4. THE WEATHER ADVERSELY IMPACTS THE QUALITY OF TILT-UP PANELS AND THE CONSTRUCTION TIMELINE.
The fact that weather does play a part in what goes ahead or what may have to be rescheduled is a given. Roofing and structural steel erection, are also prone to be “called off” should it be deemed a safety issue or impact the final result.
Concrete works during colder weather brings with it the notion of poorer quality, with the idea that the concrete is not curing correctly, which in turn, will lower its strength value. In countries where sub-zero temperatures are common, the concrete mixture follows a performance design along with protection measures, such as radiant heating, blankets etc. Timing of delivery and pouring of concrete is also a measure put in place to achieve optimum results in colder weather.
Here, in Australia, we tend to have much warmer weather (even during the winter months compared to a lot of countries) so the adaptation for tilt-up panel casting would be to conduct it before first light (under artificial lights) and also working quickly in warmer weather due to the nature of concrete.
Another myth busted because technology and smart planning wins every time.
So, the next time someone tries to tell you anything negative about tilt-up panels. You can put on your best Trump voice and call it for what it is, FAKE NEWS!
Want to know more about tilt-up construction and how we can help you with your next project? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on (08) 6180 3853.