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Building with Tilt-Up | Project Profiles

Gecolsa en Galapa

TCA Tilt-Up Project Profile - Manufacturing/Industrial Division

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This building was built for the client Gecolsa and consists of two main buildings, Manufacturing and Hydraulic Systems, and six secondary buildings, Painting, Substation, Kitchen, two small buildings and a guard post.

The project area is more than 4,000,000-square-feet. The main buildings are designed for future expansion and tilt-up panels were prepared to provide support for the roof and bridge crane for the actual and the second stage.

Operations required high clearance for access of heavy vehicles (more than 60-feet), for that reason, the panels were up to 68-feet tall. Large spandrel panels were also used because wide doors were present to allow the passage of heavy trucks. The spandrel panels are supported by rails built in the tilt panels, on each side of the spandrel panel.

There is a high density of wall panels area vs. floor area because of the great height of the panels and the quantity of interior panels.

In the structural design, panels were preferred not only to support roof loads, but also to support bridge cranes and transfer the verticals and transverse loads to the diaphragm of the building.

Another reason why the system was chosen is because a solution was offered with thermal stability using tilt-up walls and roof with lightweight concrete with insulation (EPS), this was very important because the location is in a tropical zone with high rainfall. The project is also near the sea with high salinity in the air, leading to high levels of corrosion at an early age, and tilt-up walls represented a low maintenance cost compared with a metal frame structure.

The design of the panels had louvers for natural ventilation of the buildings, which were cast in two parts. The first cast has a hole that contained all the louvers of each tilt-up panel, and then the louver was placed and the second cast was complete. The louvers were installed when the panels were lifted. This facilitated the installation of louvers that had to be placed at 7m of level floor. The building was designed to be eco-friendly, besides having natural ventilation through louvers on the exterior walls, natural lighting system on the roof with skylights (Solatube) was also used, it represents energy saving for the client.


Project Specifics

Project Wall Area
242,489 sq ft
(22,527 sq m)
Project Floor Area
271,872 sq ft
(25,257 sq m)
Project Footprint
277,043 sq ft
(25,737 sq m)
Tallest Panel
68 ft 1 in
(20.75 m)
Widest Panel
36 ft 2 in
(11.02 m)
Largest Panel
1,168 sq ft
(108.5 sq m)
Heaviest Panel
133,790 lbs
(60,686 kg)
Longest Spandrel Panel
35 ft 5 in
(10.80 m)

Participating TCA Members

Meadow BurkeSustaining Member icon
Lifting hardware, Bracing
Nox-Crete Products GroupSustaining Member icon
Form release
Contratistas Civiles Y Mecanicos SASustaining Member iconSustaining Member icon
Tilt-up contractor, Project engineer

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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