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Tilt-Up Awards | Professional

Robert Aiken Memorial Award Winners

Aiken is credited with the concept of casting the panels face-up to provide a medium for developing craftsmanship in the Tilt-Up construction method.

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The Robert Aiken Memorial Award for innovation honors the achievements of Robert Aiken, one of the founding fathers of site-cast tilt-up construction. Known for his inventive spirit that initiated a more architectural direction for tilt-up, Aiken is credited with the concept of casting panels face-up on tilting platforms. This provided a medium for developing a high level of craftsmanship and ornamentation with a durable material previously known primarily for structure rather than aesthetics. It is through the tilt-up construction method where whole structures began to first take shape as precast.

It is presented during the annual TCA Tilt-Up Expo and Convention.


2014 - Mark P. Gardner, P.E.

Mark Gardner is a managing engineer in Hinman’s Alexandria, VA office and has more than 14 years demonstrated experience in blast analysis, structural design, progressive collapse analysis and physical security design. Gardner has provided blast consulting services/analysis on numerous building structures including both new and existing buildings. His portfolio includes the design and coordination of blast effects mitigation solutions for DoD, General Services Administration and Veterans Affairs facilities in the United States and U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide. His experience includes development of perimeter defense designs and blast mitigation solutions, which include site surveys, assessment reports, development of construction contract documents and construction administration. System design experience includes perimeter walls/fences, forced entry construction, blast mitigation retrofit solutions, and blast effects design for new construction and passive/active vehicle denial systems.

Gardner holds a Bachelor of Architectural Engineering (Structures) from Pennsylvania State University and is a registered professional engineer in Virginia. Different from many of our recipients, Gardner does not come from the tilt-up industry. Rather, he resides in an industry that is committed to protecting our buildings and their inhabitants from the threats posed by terrorism, blast loading and other extreme loading events. His commitment in protecting buildings has led him to collaboration with TCA members Powers Brown Architecture, Cardno Haynes Whaley and David E. Harvey Builders on research studying the capability of tilt-up construction to meet federal blast requirements. This collaborative effort has proven that load-bearing tilt-up is a cost-effective method for addressing anti-terrorism requirements.

Mark was part of the team that designed and constructed the first four-story tilt-up office building designed to the medium level of blast protection per DoD requirements. He has shared his expertise during multiple TCA conventions and has authored several articles on the subject for TCA and other industry publications. “Mark has become a true ambassador for tilt-up construction as a preferred method of construction,” said Mitch Bloomquist of the TCA.

2013 - Thermomass

Thermomass manufactures a full line of concrete insulation systems for use in plant precast, tilt-up, and cast-in-place projects, with more than 30 years of industry experience. They are being recognized for their continued refinement of their insulated composite product, and for offering building owners a superior building envelope product.

“Given what we know about inferior building envelopes, their composite system has opened a new era of tilt-up panel production extending the competitive edge with precast and establishing new efficiencies in structural material,” said Dave Tomasula, President of CON/STEEL Tilt-Up Systems.

2012 - Tiltwerks by Tilt-Up Design Systems, LLC

In any system, there is always room for improving the quality and efficiency. Today, more than ever, technology is a key component of this process. Tilt-Up Design Systems, LLC develops integrated project design and construction technology solutions which do just that for the tilt-up concrete industry. Tilt-Werks, its online software application, provides a work flow for tilt-up that integrates 3-D building modeling, design of tilt-up concrete wall panels and automatic generation of drawings and material quantity take-offs. The knowledge base behind the technology comes from the team's extensive experience in the industry. Tilt-Werks has been utilized in the design of more than 400 buildings just as a proprietary application. Bringing this technology to market enables the industry as a whole to utilize a system that has been created through more than 10 years of user experience and more than 30,000,000 square feet of building construction. The system boasts a sophisticated user interface to link all of the parties involved in tilt-up construction, allowing for faster communication about project details and transfer of material lists to potential suppliers, thus expediting the project construction. Tilt-Up Design Systems is working with other leading design software companies to provide a total building solution for tilt-up design and construction.

"We are especially honored to receive this award and to be recognized by its members for our innovative solution for the tilt-up industry, Tilt-Werks," said Joe Steinbicker, founder and president of Tilt-Up Design Systems. "Tilt-Up Design Systems will continue to play a part in expanding the use of tilt-up with our collaborative technology for streamlining the process of design and construction."

2011 - Somero Enterprises, Inc.

As the Tilt-Up industry looked to conquer a more architectural appearance, the quality of finishes needed to improve both for the slabs and panel surfaces. With the advent of the Laser Screed®, Somero Enterprises, Inc. provided Tilt-Up contractors with a tool to achieve a high architectural finish. Invented to improve the quality of floor slabs, few could have anticipated the significance to which this piece of equipment would liberate the contractor to once again become a craftsman.

"Somero strives to be an innovative force in concrete equipment and we are proud to have been honored with the prestigious Robert Aiken Innovation Award," said Jack Cooney, President of Somero Enterprises, Inc. "TCA members represent the best of the best in the industry and we hope Somero can continue to contribute to the growth and quality practices of its members."

2010 - Textured Coatings of America

This award was presented to Textured Coatings of America, Inc. in recognition of their innovative product, COOLWALL®. The TEX•COTE® COOLWALL® Coating Systems represent a revolutionary concept in exterior wall coatings. It is the second time Textured Coatings of America, Inc. has received this recognition, evidencing their continued pursuit of excellence for this industry.  Specially formulated to reflect the sun’s heat, they can lower exterior wall surface temperatures by as much as 40 degrees when compared to traditional paints in many colors.

Lower exterior temperatures mean lower interior temperatures. This paint system is a significant contributor to the energy performance of buildings and has the potential to greatly impact the sustainable characteristics of Tilt-Up construction.

“Textured Coatings of America, Inc. is very honored to be recognized by the Tilt-Up Concrete Association and its members for the TEX•COTE® COOLWALL® System,” said Richard Barnes, Executive Vice President, Commercial Sales at Textured Coatings of America, Inc. “As the Tilt-Up Concrete industry expands, TEX•COTE® COOLWALL® will contribute to the energy efficiency and green building challenges in the construction market.”

2009 - Tilt-Con Corporation

This award was presented to Tilt-Con in recognition of their pioneering efforts to develop the next generation of site-cast Tilt-Up parking garages. Although parking garages have been constructed using Tilt-Up panels around the perimeter for several years, most have employed prestressed, cast-in-place or steel deck structures and interior supports. Tilt-Con’s approach results in a total precast (site-cast) approach to parking garage construction that achieves exceptional quality and performance without a single piece of plant-manufactured or vertical cast concrete. This is a new frontier that continues the evolution of the Tilt-Up contractor as the premier craftsman and the design engineer as the innovative spirit.

“We are deeply honored to be the first contractor to receive this award,” says Tilt-Con's President Mark W. Theisen, Sr. “It shows how far we have pushed our learning curve and how innovative we have become. The opportunity to develop this new product with Steinbicker and Associates (structural engineer) has been tremendous.”

2008 - Victory Bear

The acceptance of Tilt-Up by the architectural community is certainly aided by the architectural products supplied by Victory Bear. The firm continues to respond to the needs of the industry by providing a leading catalog of reveal profiles, sister forming/chamfer products, non-chemical retarders and a myriad of other fine detailing products. The Victory Bear line of PVC extrusions from Fukuvi has made a huge impact on the Tilt-Up industry. An active member of the TCA, they have contributed greatly to the industry by hosting seminars about the merits of Tilt-Up.

2007 - Accubrace Shoring, LLC

2006 - Texture Coatings of America

2005 - Elmer Payne (Dayton Richmond Corporation)

2004 - Robert Long (Thermomass) and Buck Scott (Scott System)

About the TCA

Founded in 1986, the Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA) strives to improve the quality and acceptance of site-cast Tilt-Up construction, a method in which concrete wall panels are cast on-site and tilted into place. Tilt-Up construction is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, combining the advantages of reasonable cost with low maintenance, durability, speed of construction and minimal capital investment. At least 10,000 buildings, enclosing more than 650 million square feet, are constructed each year using this construction method.

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