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Building with Tilt-Up | Project Profiles

FRIMAC Freezer and Cold Room Facilities

TCA Tilt-Up Project Profile - Warehouse/Distribution Division

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This is the first project of freezer and cold rooms built in Colombia (South America) with tilt-up insulated panels. This fact represents a big contribution to our nation's construction development, since there are several advantages using this system compared with the traditional system of insulated metal panels (commonly referred as IMPs) used in Colombia:

  • Energy Efficiency: Reduces energy bills more than 30% due to "Mass Effect" which does not exists in IMP. Other advantages such as consistent thermal control and elimination of moisture condensation and frost build-up in freezers.
  • Low Maintenance: Corrosion resistance - This project is located in a coastal area, where traditional IMPs are more vulnerable after several years; Withstands forklift impact during operation, concrete panel are stronger that IMPs; Resists insects and vermin, impedes mold growth; Easily cleaned; Periodical painting no required (the surfaces of concrete panels were left without paint, but sealed).
  • Investment Value: Longer building life; Lowers building maintenance costs; fire and theft resistance lowers insurance costs, low energy bills; Healthy buildings: impedes mold growth.
  • Structural Simplicity and Lower Construction Costs: No columns were required due the use of structural insulated concrete panels, so there are not obstacles protruding from the walls which impact the pipeline routes and cleaning and maintenance labor. Foundations were on continuous beams, which allowed to eliminate costly piles required in the case of fixed-base columns. Savings up to 10% of the construction costs were reached compare with IMPs.


Economy, functionality and respect for the environment were the guidelines followed during the architectural design of this project. The use of structural insulated tilt-up panels allowed the elimination of columns and intermediate beams protruding from the walls which are inconvenient in industrial plants. Freezer and cold room's buildings facades in concrete panels were left without paint but sealed to lower construction and maintenance costs. Surroundings were improved with the plantation of trees. The neighborhood (poorly populated) benefited from an adequate treatment of industrial and storm waters.


Financial Return: as mentioned before, lower construction costs, lower maintenance costs, more durability and savings in energy bills were reached compared with the traditional insulated metal panel system (IMPs).

Impact in the Community: this is the first project built in our nation, Colombia, using insulted concrete panels for freezers and cold rooms, and brought a new and more energy efficient, durable and economic way to build freezers and cold room in our nation.

Additional information

In spite of this project not looking for LEED Certifications, several strategies commonly present in "green buildings" were considered:

  • High Energy Efficiency compared with insulated metal panels traditionally used in Colombia.
  • Bond breaker used is earth friendly, Bio-Based: it contains 0 g/l VOC and is formulated with 15% rapidly renewable raw materials.
  • No paintings were used to treat the panel surfaces of main buildings, they were just sealed and treated with a water repellant compound. In the office building pigments were used to give color and show some architectural appeal. These facts not only lower the construction costs but require less maintenance during the life time.
  • Zero use of CFC-based refrigerants.


Project Specifics

Total Panels (Single Building)
132 panels
Project Wall Area
57,681 sq ft
(5,359 sq m)
Project Floor Area
37,667 sq ft
(3,499 sq m)
Project Footprint
36,134 sq ft
(3,357 sq m)
Tallest Panel
48 ft 6 in
(14.78 m)
Widest Panel
47 ft 6 in
(14.48 m)
Largest Panel
528 sq ft
(49.1 sq m)
Heaviest Panel
68,266 lbs
(30,965 kg)

Participating TCA Members

Dayton Superior CorporationSustaining Member icon
ThermomassSustaining Member icon
Insulation system

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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