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Building with Tilt-Up | Project Profiles

Cortex One

TCA Tilt-Up Project Profile - Technology Division

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To meet the aggressive one-year schedule for the project, the design-build team selected Tilt-Up construction. Freezing temperatures, snow, sleet, ice and unseasonable rain slowed productivity and compressed an already difficult schedule. Tilt-Up afforded the team opportunities to work in weather conditions that would have shut down the site using other building methods. In addition to meeting the schedule demand, Tilt-Up provided the team with the ability to construct 60-foot-tall concrete panels and use a full curtain wall system.

Located on a tight site, the design-build team cast the concrete panels in three sequences on the floor and braced them from the inside instead of using typical exterior bracing, which required close coordination with the structural and bracing engineers to avoid interference with the structural steel erection.

The north elevation consists of a full curtain wall that leans out at a five-degree angle. This design idea was carried through to the south elevation through the innovative use of leaning out several of the Tilt-Up panels at the same angle.

Divided into east and west wings, the facility features a common three-story atrium lobby. Matching glass elements at the north and south elevations allow light to pour into the middle of the building. Tilt-Up panels on three of the four elevations provide a high-tech aesthetic look.

With an eye toward sustainability, the project was awarded certification in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System for Core and Shell Development (LEED-CS). The project has received the Regional Excellence Award in the health and science category from St. Louis Construction News and Real Estate.

CORTEX is a partnership between Washington University, Saint Louis University, the Missouri Botanical Garden, Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. It is the first building leading a new biotech corridor in St. Louis.


Project Specifics

Project Floor Area
165,000 sq ft
(15,329 sq m)
Tallest Panel
59 ft 3 in
(18.06 m)
Largest Panel
1,001 sq ft
(93.0 sq m)
Heaviest Panel
121,000 lbs
(54,885 kg)

Participating TCA Members

General contractor
Alper Audi, Inc.
Project engineer
Meadow BurkeSustaining Member icon
Lifting hardware, Braces
Nox-Crete Products GroupSustaining Member icon
Bond breaker, Form release

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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