Tilt-Up Concrete Association | 402 1st Ave SE, Mt. Vernon, Iowa 52314 | Phone: (319) 895-6911 | Member Login | Membership Renewal


TCA Conference

A Case Study: Tilt-Up Solutions for a Difficult Design

Review the challenges and solutions discovered during the planning and construction of a low-temperature beef packing plant.

J. Anthony (Tony) Huggins, AIA
JAH architects
Tampa, Florida, USA

The best way to demonstrate the effectiveness, challenges, and solutions that Tilt-Up can provide is to feature a current, stat-of-the-art project as told by individuals intimately involved in the project.  This presentation will present a structure built for the food industry (beef packing plant) and it includes low temperature environment (freezers and coolers) as well as traditional Tilt-Up panels.  The project covers a diverse set of challenges including issues like tight spots, cold storage, heavy industrial and office building in a setting of 24 hour per day operations that cannot be shut down.  Lots of obstacles with tilt-up solutions.

This Florida project is being constructed in phases for over two years now and it will be at least another year before it is finished.  Our first design assignment was to design a cold storage warehouse in insulated precast, insulated tilt and metal frame with insulated metal panels. We did this because at first look the metal guys appeared to be very cost effective; however, when we forced them to actually meet the high wind Florida building codes the cost advantage went to tilt-up. Precast was never even close as a wall system, but we did use highway bridge double tees to hang very large beef loads from the roof.

Specific topics covered in the presentation will include:

  • Compare cost, durability of metal building with IMP vs. insulated tilt wall
  • Heavy and dynamic roof loads (200 PSF that’s 1,000,000 pounds of beef a day) transferred onto 30’ walls
  • Dynamic roof connection to insulated tilt wall
  • Connections of adjoining existing metal buildings with new walls
  • 35’ walls only 1” from existing cmu factory and metal buildings
  • Owner requirements to not use fire sprinklers for large factory
  • Four hour rated wall- joint to joint, roof to wall, floor to wall
  • Walls for 32 degree freezers and 45 degree coolers
  • Walls for 3 story office building 1” from 1950 CMU walls
  • Concrete roof and floors.
  • Rustication joints and 10 degree tilted walls 45’ tall for elevator
  • Building with floor 25’ off grade, and trucking below, even during construction.


Mr. Huggins, received his Bachelor of Design with Honors from the University of Florida in 1977, and the Masters of Arts in Architecture in 1980, and has been a registered architect since 1982. In the last thirty two years Mr. Huggins was a Vice President at HKS (3rd largest USA architectural firm) for sixteen years, a Partner and Director of Florida Operations for six years at IPS, (Design/Build firm), and currently the Senior Partner and CEO of JAH architects. These experiences have involved over 3 million SF of built projects, and an additional 3 million SF of planned facilities. In the last ten years Mr. Huggins has, as the architect of record, designed projects exceeding $200 million in value, and partnered on five additional projects which are located in the Caribbean. Mr. Huggins is a nationally registered architect in FL, GA, NC, and AL and as a certified General Contractor, has built 20 of his own designs worth over $120 million.  This experience has shaped his philosophical approach in the initial design, and is utilized to bring the greatest value to his clients. One of his definitions of architectures is that it is “The marriage of function, aesthetics and value, in a building form.”

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.

Follow Us

We use LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube to disseminate information about the Tilt-Up industry, gain new members and inform developers, owners and architects about the benefits of using Tilt-Up.

Popular Links

The following bookmarks jump to the most popular destinations on this site.