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Awards | TCA Tilt-Up Achievement

3301-3307 Hillview Avenue Office

2003 TCA Tilt-Up Achievement Award - Office Division

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Why Did the Owner Select Tilt-Up?

Although it was not the owner's original intent to use Tilt-Up, they were persuaded by the architect to use it as a cost-saving method of building and were extremely pleased with the completed project.

What was the Project Mission?

To create an aesthetically pleasing building that is cohesive to the site context of Stanford Research Park, while meeting the schedule and cost constraints.

What were the special architectural treatments?

The color schemes of the buildings are meant to be in harmony with the Stanford Research Park and with the city of Palo Alto. Aluminum specialty details give the building a more sophisticated feeling.

What were the outstanding features?

In order to lighten the appearance of the buildings, the panels were pulled back at the corners, allowing glass windows to be inserted. An arcing, pedestrian-scaled entry drive accentuated with special paving finishes, and punctuated with lavishly landscaped entry courts is the main organizing element of the site.

What special materials were used?

Fly ash use in all the concrete for the project is raised significantly from current industry standard 14%, between 20% and 30% in over half the concrete on the project. Fly ash, as a substitute for Portland cement in concrete, provides substantial environmental benefits, both through the recycled use of the ash created in manufacturing and waste incineration, as well as in reducing production of Portland cement, a recognized environmental hazard. Fly ash ranging from 14% to up to 50% results in an average of nearly 30% fly-ash use overall.

What was the Overall Complexity of the project?

This was an extremely complex project for a variety of reasons.

The site is a long irregularly shaped parcel with three existing large single-story structures and several chemical storage outbuildings. The existing buildings have been demolished and replaced by four new buildings. The buildings are a combination of one and two stories, totaling approximately 294,000 s.f. The development of the design required tight cost control from the earliest design phase through construction. Value Engineering was viewed as an ongoing process through completion, and the project was built well below budget.

First, there were many site constraints. There were several ground water evacuation wells distributed throughout the site. Along with environmental clean-up issues, the buildings had to be placed on the site in such a way that they were not in the way of these wells.

Sustainability Issues were also a factor in the success of this project.

Sustainable design issues were addressed successfully in a politically sensitive and contentious environment. The incorporation of a "green building" program, including specialized glazing, sun shades, high thermal mass materials and light-colored and recyclable roofing materials met the stringent requirements of the Palo Alto Architectural Review Board.

A 100 ft. wide landscape zone at Barron Park and an estimated 37 ft. wide buffer zone along Matadero Creek, presented an opportunity to incorporate extensive landscaping, bioswale filtration, riparian vegetation and a five ft. wide pedestrian path along most of the creekside. Preservation of the creek riparian environment was addressed as a specialized project under the direction of a riparian habitat specialist. In addition, a vegetated berm provides visual and acoustical separation between the project and Barron Park residential neighborhood.

Successfully meeting Palo Alto permits and requirements was another challenge for the design team.

All work in Palo Alto affecting exterior appearance in any way requires Architectural Review Board (ARB) submittal. The additional submittal for "Preliminary ARB" is optional, but usually results in a more timely outcome. Many recent projects that have been presented to the ARB are within the Stanford Research Park.

There is an additional requirement for all work performed in the Stanford Research Park, whether exterior or interior improvements, that they be submitted for Stanford Management Company review and approval. This process generally takes two to three weeks.

As with any developer building, meeting the budget is always a main challenge. Specifically for this project, the budget required a completion at 50% less than the typical developer budget. This challenge was met by the decision to use Tilt-Up as the construction method. Also, the panels used an admixture that optimized drying time and helped to keep the project on schedule.

However, as this challenge was met, another one arose. The owner still wanted an elegant building with architectural richness. The design team implemented creative use of structural engineering to allow for more window openings in the building and thus avoid a "heavy" feeling that is usually associated with Tilt-Up panels. The design of the building incorporates bands between each panel to make-up for irregularities. There was also the use of aggressive sand blasting to the panels to create a richness of texture. Aluminum specialty elements attached to the panels add more architectural character to the buildings.

What was the success of the project?

The process of community engagement was very tough during this project. The adjacent residential neighborhood was very concerned with the outcome of the building. After the completion of the project, the residents were very pleased with the design. The building was pre-leased to Tibco Software, Inc. Biggest advantages of Tilt-Up for this project was the exposed aggregate finish and the fast construction schedule.

Project Specifics

Tallest Panel
33 ft 0 in
(10.06 m)
Heaviest Panel
135,000 lbs
(61,235 kg)

Participating TCA Members

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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