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Awards | TCA Tilt-Up Achievement


2000 TCA Tilt-Up Achievement Award - Manufacturing/Industrial Division

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The Elamex manufacturing facility is located in Juarez, Mexico, across the border from El Paso, Texas. Elamex is a contract manufacturing firm that specializes in electronics assembly work.

The entire job, from the design and engineering to the Tilt-Up and the general work, was done by Constructora Lintel, S.A. de C.V., of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico.

The owner of the 210,000 sq. ft. building is Corporacion Chihuahua.

The front of the building is highlighted by a checkerboard pattern composed of panels with alternate white and sand color. A "wave" design accomplished with paint gives movement to the look of the building at a very low cost.

Double rows of square windows also break up the long walls and admit light into the plant.

At the entrance there is a modernistic wing-shaped canopy that curves forward from the building and points toward the right. The canopy is painted turquoise with sun-yellow supporting columns, creating a focal point for the visitor entrance.

The support for the canopy consists of two parts, a top horizontal and radiused beam and a radiused shaft that joins the beam at an angle resembling the number "7." Due to the irregularity of the two joint elements, the load posed a challenge to the footing design. In order to reduce this load, the beam and shaft were poured around polystyrene cores to keep the weight lower.

From the right front corner of the building, an angled protrusion answers and balances the canopy. Since the radius of these two large design elements is the same, the same casting bed could be used, thereby saving the expense of another special type of form.

The corners of the structure feature curved Tilt-Up panels. A creative approach was used by Lintel to deal with the large curved panels. Lifting curved panels in the standard way can add stress to the corners resulting in cracks or chipping. In order to avoid this, Lintel prepares a sand "bed" at the base of the curved panels. The first step is to slide the panel toward the sand bed, and then use the sand to provide a uniform support along the entire bottom of the panel. This adds stability to the normal lifting procedure.

Completed cost of the Elamex plants was $6.2 million.

Project Specifics

Project Floor Area
210,000 sq ft
(19,509 sq m)

Participating TCA Members

Constructora Lintel SA de CV
General contractor, Tilt-Up contractor, Project engineer, Architect

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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