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Building with Tilt-Up | Project Profiles

St. Louis Art Museum New East Building

TCA Tilt-Up Project Profile - Municipal Division

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The tilt-up panels on the new East Building were constructed using many non-typical methods and feature many unique qualities. The final finish of the panels has a look similar to granite. Achieving this effect required grinding ½ inch of material from the finished face and polishing of the panel prior to erection, highlighting the profile of the various specialty aggregates used.

To perform the grinding and polishing prior to erection, the panels had to be cast with the finish face up, meaning all lifting inserts were installed on the exposed face of the panel and had to be patched to match the surrounding finish. In addition, multiple panels at the building's corners have 90-degree return legs which were cast monolithic, requiring ½ inch of material to be saw-cut from the finished face to expose a cross section of the aggregates. Additionally, no joint sealant was used and because there is by design a ¾-inch gap between panels, the panels were poured oversized and cut to exact dimensions to reveal the aggregate cross section on all sides to maintain uniformity.

Another unique architectural feature of this project was the setting and attachment of the panels to the building itself. The panels act as the building facade around the ground floor of the East Building and are not set on a footing or foundation but are instead attached to the structural steel of the building, making them appear to be floating. Complicating this process further is the fact that the East Building is set atop a two-level underground parking garage. As the weight of a crane could not be imposed upon the concrete garage, the use of a 550-ton Grove GMK7550 truck crane with mega-wing attachment was crucial, as it enabled the panels to be hoisted without the crane being placed on the existing garage.

The Saint Louis Art Museum was awarded Gold LEED Status by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for the new East Building.


Project Specifics

Project Wall Area
15,412 sq ft
(1,432 sq m)
Project Floor Area
215,000 sq ft
(19,974 sq m)
Project Footprint
49,000 sq ft
(4,552 sq m)
Tallest Panel
22 ft 6 in
(6.86 m)
Widest Panel
42 ft 7 in
(12.99 m)
Largest Panel
959 sq ft
(89.1 sq m)
Heaviest Panel
81,300 lbs
(36,877 kg)
Recycled Content
72 tons (US)

Participating TCA Members

Fenix Construction Company
General contractor
Meadow BurkeSustaining Member icon
Tilt-Up accessories
HD Supply Construction & Industrial White Cap
Tilt-Up accessories
Nox-Crete Products GroupSustaining Member icon
Tilt-Up accessories
ThermomassSustaining Member icon
Insulation systems

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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