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Building with Tilt-Up | Project Profiles

Solar World Industries - Hillsboro SA7 Expansion

TCA Tilt-Up Project Profile - Manufacturing/Industrial Division

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Located in Hillsboro Oregon, SolarWorld operates North America's largest solar cell manufacturing facility. The new 212,000sf Moduling and Logistics building allowed the fully integrated solar silicon wafer and solar cell production facility to process the cells into solar panels. This building expands the campus to a 692,000 square foot facility and furthers their progress in reaching an annual production capacity goal of 500 megawatts.

The 200,000sf footprint is divided in half with Moduling and Logistics sharing equal warehouse spaces. The manufacturing area includes large clear span girders which provide unobstructed clear areas to accommodate two highly modulated panel production lines. The Logistics side provides rack storage for the raw silicon and other related materials required for the panel production.

The design-build team of Turner Construction and VLMK Consulting Engineers proposed concrete tilt-up to SolarWorlds management team to meet their specific project requirements. This allowed for an efficient shell construction to be delivered in a tight timeline


Several architectural features were incorporated into the surface treatment of the concrete panels to break up the continuous 800ft wall line and distinguish the Moduling portion of the warehouse from the Logistics area. These features included a continuous ribbon band of glazing accented with louvered sun shades and metal panel protrusions at the office portion of the Moduling warehouse and stepped accent panels with full height glazing at the Logistics facade. Reveals, elastomeric paint, stepped metal copings and eye brow canopies provide panel relief at the other elevations.


The project helped spark a small amount of revitalization in the depressed local construction economy and helped to complete the transformation of the former semiconductor plant into the largest solar manufacturing plant in the Americas.

Additional Information

In addition to incorporating several sustainable elements into the design of the new facility, the project has contributed to a reduction in the costs of solar power and increased the number of green jobs. SolarWorld received Oregon Energy and Business Energy Tax Credit credits for innovative system designs and $82.2 million in renewable-energy manufacturing tax credits from the U.S. government.


Project Specifics

Total Panels (Single Building)
94 panels
Project Wall Area
86,761 sq ft
(8,060 sq m)
Project Floor Area
212,184 sq ft
(19,712 sq m)
Project Footprint
200,000 sq ft
(18,580 sq m)
Tallest Panel
41 ft 4 in
(12.60 m)
Widest Panel
28 ft 5 in
(8.66 m)
Largest Panel
1,033 sq ft
(96.0 sq m)
Heaviest Panel
125,417 lbs
(56,888 kg)

Participating TCA Members

VLMK Engineering + Design
Project engineer

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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