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Awards | TCA Tilt-Up Achievement

Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. Corporate Headquarters

2003 TCA Tilt-Up Achievement Award - Office Division

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With the shell completed in only 90 days, the 182,400-square-foot Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. Corporate Headquarters in Oro Valley, Ariz., is a Best in Class winner in the Industrial/Manufacturing category. Quick and economical construction, balanced with the necessity for a cutting-edge image, were the key elements to project success. Tilt-Up was chosen for ease and speed of construction, economy, durability, as well as the method’s ability to create a clean, modern look with high fire resistance.

This project involved constructing a facility to house manufacturing and warehouse space, R&D labs, as well as administration functions for the rapidly-growing biotech company Ventana Medical Systems -- a developer and manufacturer of a range of automated diagnostic instruments and instrument/reagent systems for use in histology and anatomic pathology laboratories.

The main design features are concrete panels that are four-feet taller than the adjacent panels and tilt out 15 degrees in every other 40-foot structural bay. The result is a wall that steps up and down and in and out without adding area to the building, breaking up the massive look of a large box, and complying with a local building code requirement to break up the wall every 50 feet.

Although the architectural character of the local community is dominated by stucco walls with protruding wood vigas poles and red mission tile roofs, the design team decided that this motif was not appropriate for a large building in an industrial park, and instead chose colors to tie the design to the local site. As such, the concrete panels were painted three shades of desert tan with purple accents on entry panels, canopies and perforated metal window canopies. The main entry is marked by a curving arcade of Tilt-Up panels on 75 and 100 radii that mimic the rotating glass staining slide carousel at the heart of the product line.

The metal deck of the main entry arcade connecting Building 2 and 3 is vented roof deck with the vertical flutes perforated. This deck is left exposed, providing shelter for the severely-bright desert sun but allowing some to filter through.

Project Specifics

Tallest Panel
44 ft 0 in
(13.41 m)
Largest Panel
800 sq ft
(74.3 sq m)
Heaviest Panel
134,000 lbs
(60,781 kg)

Participating TCA Members

Meadow BurkeSustaining Member icon
Lifting hardware
Hardrock Concrete Placement Company, Inc.
Tilt-up contractor

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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