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Building with Tilt-Up | Project Profiles

White Tank Branch Library and Nature Center

TCA Tilt-Up Project Profile - Municipal Division

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Surrounded entirely by desert, the library and nature center is located at the entrance to White Tank Mountain Regional Park. The exterior is patterned and colored to blend into the desert plant life. Architect interpretations of local petroglyph designs are also part of the building design aesthetic.

Tilt-Up was selected as the primary structure type mainly due to the method's cost effectiveness. However, the thick concrete walls act as a heat sink taking advantage of the thermal lag effect. The massive concrete walls store the sun's energy and slowly release it at night, modulating the buildings temperature swings and in turn reducing the building's energy loads. An interior liquid air barrier, studs, and Batt insulation was added to further reduce the transfer of heat.

Another reason for choosing Tilt-Up was the building envelope uses high recycled content in the rebar and concrete. Finally, the long and deep shade fins, which continuously shade the panoramic library picture windows, significantly reduce the heat gain in the building by shading the glass for a large majority of the day, conserving energy use.

The building's 200-foot-long monolithic concrete wall, diagonally subdivided into abstract shapes, is colored in three shades of green to match surrounding Saguaros, Palo Verdes and Mesquite trees.

This project has achieved LEED Platinum certification.


Project Specifics

Project Floor Area
28,230 sq ft
(2,623 sq m)
Project Footprint
29,000 sq ft
(2,694 sq m)

Participating TCA Members

Suntec Concrete
General contractor

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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