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Building with Tilt-Up | Project Profiles

EPA Region VII Science and Technology Center

TCA Tilt-Up Project Profile - Special Projects Division

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A unique Tilt-Up project well-suited for the Special Project category and the honor of the Technical Innovation award, the EPA Region VII Science and Technology Center project is centered around an extremely bulky Tilt-Up concrete wall dividing the Center. Tilt-Up allowed for the wall to be constructed during the winter, as well as meet extremely stringent budget and architectural finish requirements.

Judges selected this project for the creative thinking employed by the team on this atypical project. Further, this project is representative of the growing green design trend as it obtained a LEED Silver Certification rating.

Design features included construction of a massive wall boasting 28 panels that were 16-inches thick, with one 32-inch thick panel. The design-build team created a “void” in the panels and filled them with Styrofoam insulation to create sandwich panels with the overrding goal of alleviating weight concerns. By using the “void” system, the team was able to reduce the amount of concrete used by approximately 35 percent.

Even with this reduction in weight, the heaviest panel on the project weighed 186,720-pounds and is listed on the TCA’s “Top Ten List” for Heaviest Panel.

Beyond the construction of the sandwich panel, the project posed many special architectural concerns. Both faces of the panel were to be exposed on the interior, which necessitated a smooth finish and reveals to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the facility.

Tackling the challenge of reveals on both faces, the Tilt-Up subcontractor developed a ladder system that used plastic reveal strips with PVC pipe and long threaded rods to create the reveal strip on the upper face.


Project Specifics

Project Floor Area
72,100 sq ft
(6,698 sq m)
Tallest Panel
39 ft 11 in
(12.17 m)
Largest Panel
722 sq ft
(67.1 sq m)
Heaviest Panel
186,720 lbs
(84,695 kg)

Participating TCA Members

Needham and Associates, Inc.Sustaining Member icon
Lithko Contracting, Inc.Sustaining Member icon
Tilt-Up contractor
Meadow BurkeSustaining Member icon
Lifting hardware, Braces

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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