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Awards | TCA Tilt-Up Achievement

Al Meiklejohn Elementary School (AMES)

2007 TCA Tilt-Up Achievement Award - Educational Division

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The Jefferson County School District had a simple goal: They needed to construct the largest elementary school ever built in their district in record time. When Saunders Construction, which had previously built a Tilt-Up charter school in the same district, came onto the project, the schedule was already tight—but it was made even more so by the decision to use a structural floor over a crawlspace instead of the previously designated slab-on-grade.

An even more concerning issue was the team had already designed into the project interior Tilt-Up walls. In fact, there is not a steel column anywhere in the building.

This choice of a structural floor added nearly seven weeks of design and construction to the project, while the project completion date remained the same. Saunders met the expedited schedule by phasing the panel design and construction to reflect the building’s four quadrants, while design proceeded on the rest of the structure. The new floor style also required 70,000 square feet of casting bed to be erected around the building for panel forming.

The fastest-designed ground-up school ever constructed in the district, the 68,000-square-foot Al Meiklejohn Elementary was built in just ten months and features a host of inviting features, including letters, numbers and musical notes formed from foam cutouts and recessed into the panels, as well as a front entry canopy decorated with laser-cut perforated metal panels shaped like stars, suns and moons.

Project Specifics

Project Floor Area
68,000 sq ft
(6,317 sq m)
Tallest Panel
35 ft 8 in
(10.87 m)
Largest Panel
1,149 sq ft
(106.7 sq m)
Heaviest Panel
103,000 lbs
(46,720 kg)

Participating TCA Members

Saunders Construction Inc
General contractor, Tilt-Up contractor
Kopf Consulting Group Inc
Meadow BurkeSustaining Member icon
Lifting hardware, Braces
Scott System, Inc.
Cast-in materials
ThermomassSustaining Member icon
Insulation system
HD Supply Construction & Industrial White Cap
Tilt-Up accessories

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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