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Awards | TCA Tilt-Up Achievement

ThermoWorks Office & Warehouse

2015 TCA Tilt-Up Achievement Award - Warehouse/Distribution Division

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The new ThermoWorks office and warehouse is an 80,000-square-foot project, 30,000-square-feet of which is two levels of office space and 50,000-square-feet of which is warehouse space.

The most salient architectural features are the tilt-up concrete panels of which the building is constructed. These panels are integrally colored white and two different shades of gray. The varying colors are staggered and stepped to add vigor to the building's appearance. All of the panels are sealed to provide a durable, lifetime finish. These panels will never require paint. The panels were prepared with the utmost care so that they did not need paint to hide mistakes. Inside, the polished concrete floors provide a unifying aesthetic with the building's exterior.

In addition to the feat of producing smooth, flaw-free panels, the white panels could only be created in an absolutely clean batch plant. Trying to create white concrete panels in a batch that is not spotless will create splotched panels that are not truly white. In order to successfully produce clean, smooth panels that are truly white, a very precise, tightly controlled formation process was administered. White concrete can be costly; preventative measures were taken to ensure the panels were not stained in any way.

The building includes insulated sandwich panels on the front (the ones with circles in them). They consist of a 3-inch veneer of white concrete, 2.5-inches of insulation, and 7.25-inches of structural panel. These panels help stabilize the building's interior temperature. The distinct shades of gray as well as the white are colors that were included in the admixture. These integrally colored panels will retain their hue without ever needing paint. Not every contractor is capable of producing exposed architectural tilt-up; many rely on paint to hide their mistakes.

The building's interior benefits from concrete flooring that provides a unifying aesthetic with the tilt-walls. Hughes General Contractors invented a new concrete mixture and placement technique that creates large slabs of crack-free concrete without the aid of saw cuts. The process is particularly beneficial for warehouse spaces and distribution slabs. Failure of these slabs usually starts at the joints, especially in areas where heavy traffic is involved. With no joints, there is no curling, which eliminates the breakage caused by heavy traffic. The floors are also free of the bumps at joints greatly reducing the bouncing and wear of forklifts, allowing increased safety and productivity in the storage and distribution of product.

The office portion of the building is Class A office space and enjoys high-end finishes. The concrete flooring of the office is polished to a high sheen. The ThermoWorks building has a theme of exposure. A lot of attention was given to the duct work and overhead layouts; this is because there is no ceiling, even in the office. It is purposefully exposed so the galvanized duct, painted deck, light fixtures, etc. had to be artfully arranged. A circular theme ties the building together (there is a circle in the client's logo that is reflected in select tilt-up panels as well as throughout the building). An interior wall evokes a wave, which is tied into a wave-like pattern in the carpeting.

Project Specifics

Project Floor Area
80,000 sq ft
(7,432 sq m)

Participating TCA Members

Hughes General Contractors, Inc.Sustaining Member icon
General contractor, Tilt-up contractor
AE URBIA / J M Williams and Associates, Inc.
Project architect
ThermomassSustaining Member icon
Insulation systems

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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