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Awards | TCA Tilt-Up Achievement

National Museum of Health and Medicine

2011 TCA Tilt-Up Achievement Award - Municipal Division

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The National Museum of Health and Medicine is one of the first blast-resistant Tilt-Up buildings in the United States.

The sculptural 20,000-square-foot structure is innovatively framed using a combination of cast-in-place, Tilt-Up concrete walls and structural steel. The Museum is clad with a combination of limestone veneer, metal wall panels and blast resistant curtain wall. The blast design and construction was particularly complicated due to the Museum's location, which straddles the protected area of the Forest Glenn Annex.

The building was designed in accordance with the Unified Facilities Criteria, Department of Defense (DOD) Minimum Antiterrorism Standards for Buildings. The Museum is home to thousands of highly sensitive and one-of-a-kind artifacts which are irreplaceable.

In order to preserve these artifacts, a very complex HVAC system was required to keep the humidity levels within five percent of the required 50 percent relative humidity, and temperature levels within two degrees of the set point temperature. The use of the Tilt-Up panels eliminated the structural penetrations building vapor barrier system to meet the strict HVAC requirements.

It was determined that Tilt-Up would be a viable option. Both conventional Tilt-Up panels and less conventional Tilt-Up spandrel panels met the design requirements. Tilt-Up panels were suspended off of cantilevering steel trusses. The end result proved that using Tilt-Up concrete panels was indeed the best method in achieving the design requirements for the Museum.

Project Specifics

Project Wall Area
17,500 sq ft
(1,626 sq m)
Project Floor Area
20,000 sq ft
(1,858 sq m)
Project Footprint
20,000 sq ft
(1,858 sq m)
Tallest Panel
26 ft 0 in
(7.92 m)
Widest Panel
55 ft 0 in
(16.76 m)
Largest Panel
520 sq ft
(48.3 sq m)
Heaviest Panel
53,000 lbs
(24,040 kg)
Tallest Cantilever Panel
0 ft 0 in
(0.00 m)
Longest Spandrel Panel
55 ft 0 in
(16.76 m)

Participating TCA Members

Costello Construction
General contractor
Meadow BurkeSustaining Member icon
Lifting hardware
Form Services Inc

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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