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Building with Tilt-Up | Project Profiles

Ballard Power Systems

TCA Tilt-Up Project Profile - Manufacturing/Industrial Division

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The final 1997 Tilt-Up Award Winner was the favorite of the judges. Tilt-Up construction was one of the last forms of construction that comes to mind when this building is viewed because much of the tilt-up is not visible. Weiler Smith Bowers Consultants, engineers for the project, said the structure employed a creative combination of concrete wall panels, exposed structural steel and glazing to achieve the 'high tech' look desired by the owner.

The building comprises 80,000 square feet of ground floor area with an additional 40,000 square feet of suspended second floor. It is a research and development facility for Hydrogen fuel cell technology. The 75 tilt-up panels were used to support roof and floor gravity loads and serve as shear walls for wind and seismic forces. The panels also provide the finished surface for the exterior and some interior spaces.

Each of the two large feature panels at the main entry were over 45 feet high and 50 feet wide. In order to achieve a finished surface (sand blasted) on portions of both sides of these panels, a double 7½in panel was adopted with a 1 in gap between. The exposed edge was finished with a 16 in wide steel plate.


Project Specifics

Project Floor Area
120,000 sq ft
(11,148 sq m)

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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