"> Tilt-Up Basics: Footings and Floor Slabs
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Building with Tilt-Up

Tilt-Up Basics: Footings and Floor Slabs

The actual construction process begins with solid footings and smooth floor slabs.

Once planning is complete, construction can begin. Install footings as level as possible, with attachment plates (if used) placed properly. Spread footings are used most often for Tilt-Up buildings, but pier footings can be considered if conditions warrant their use.

Footing locations, heights, and dimensions should be checked and verified for correctness. Crane time is expensive if modifications must be made while a panel is suspended over an incorrect plate or footing. Setting a panel down after it has been lifted interrupts the construction schedule. Also, panel lifting hardware may be designed for only one pick, so repeated handling can reduce the safety factor for that hardware.

Minor mistakes in floor slab construction often can be masked or corrected. A poor floor slab, however, can affect the appearance of the Tilt-Up panel. The slab should be smooth and hard and contraction joints should be positioned where they will have minimal impact on the panel. If the joint must fall beneath the panel, clean the joint and fill it with caulk.

Floor sealing or hardening compounds must be compatible with any chemicals or paints used on the panels or there may be problems when the panels are stripped or painted.

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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