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Building with Tilt-Up | Project Profiles

The Killam Office Building

TCA Tilt-Up Project Profile - Office Division

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The owner chose Tilt-Up as the construction system for this three-story San Antonio office building, with the stipulation that it would have "ribbon" or banded windows (continuous, uninterrupted horizontal bands of glass) in lieu of the traditional punched openings that characterize a Tilt-Up building. Ribbon windows created using the technique of recessing the concrete leg and allowing the glass to pass in front of the concrete thereby creating a continuous horizontal glass band on the exterior were discussed and rejected.

The project required true see-through glass, inside and out. Because no existing Tilt-Up technology would solve this challenge, the contractor collaborated with a structural engineering firm, Beicker Martinez Engineering, to develop a design to eliminate the traditional concrete legs and replace them with steel columns embedded in multiple concrete spandrel panels. As opposed to building a steel structure and then hoisting and hanging concrete spandrels on it, the work would be performed on the ground. The composite wall panels would then be erected just like conventional Tilt-Up allowing true, continuous horizontal glass. The newly christened ClearView Composite Wall System (patent-pending) was then presented to the project team and received enthusiastic approval.

After extensive preplanning to assure that the engineering of the panels for embeds, layout and erection sequence were firm, the steel arrived, the forms were built, the concrete poured, and the columns were embedded in smooth sequence. The balance of the building construction followed in a typical manner, resulting in a very attractive design that highlights the versatility of the new system with many different glass treatments, juxtaposed panels in multiple planes and a generally bold, undisguised, aesthetic use of the concrete elements. The new Tilt-Up panels are more easily formed, 30 percent lighter than and about the same cost of traditional Tilt-Up, yet provide greater design creativity, including true banded glass.


Project Specifics

Total Panels (Single Building)
73 panels
Project Wall Area
20,449 sq ft
(1,900 sq m)
Project Floor Area
45,256 sq ft
(4,204 sq m)
Project Footprint
14,345 sq ft
(1,333 sq m)
Tallest Panel
56 ft 0 in
(17.07 m)
Widest Panel
23 ft 10 in
(7.28 m)
Largest Panel
994 sq ft
(92.3 sq m)
Heaviest Panel
103,400 lbs
(46,901 kg)

Participating TCA Members

HD Supply Construction & Industrial White Cap
Lifting & bracing hardware

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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