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Building with Tilt-Up | Project Profiles

Biosite, Inc. Headquarters Campus

TCA Tilt-Up Project Profile - Manufacturing/Industrial Division

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For Biosite Inc., a San Diego diagnostics device manufacturer, the decision to use Tilt-Up as the primary method of construction for the first phase of their headquarters was an easy one: Not only would it allow buildings to be walled in quickly for the accelerated construction of laboratories and clean production areas, but Tilt-Up’s architectural versatility could also give them the elegant Bauhaus-style lines they desired for their facilities.

Keeping in mind the project’s aesthetic requirements, Architects | Delawie Wilkes Rodrigues Barker took a minimalist approach with simply detailed panels, the design of which is repeated in some of the building’s other signature elements, such as the patterned skylights found throughout the structure.

The owner also desired buildings that could serve a variety of needs, so the design team created open spaces composed of Tilt-Up walls and steel-framed floors and roofs to allow the buildings to be adapted from warehouse to office to laboratory as the needs of the company change. This meant accounting for heavy roof loads in all buildings, as well as a removed second level in certain structures, both of which presented a challenge.

To meet these unique requirements, the panels were varied in thickness (from 9¼ to 13¼ inches) and incorporate deep reveals, recesses and multiple setbacks around the buildings’ perimeters. Since all four buildings were constructed simultaneously, the pouring and lifting of the panels had to be carefully planned.

Once the panels were erected, the exteriors were painted white with red and blue accents to reflect the company’s corporate colors.

Winner of an ACI Tilt-Up Building Award, this 335,000-square-foot project represents the initial phase in a planned 800,000-square-foot campus development for Biosite Inc.


Project Specifics

Project Floor Area
235,000 sq ft
(21,832 sq m)
Tallest Panel
60 ft 0 in
(18.29 m)
Largest Panel
1,850 sq ft
(171.9 sq m)
Heaviest Panel
137,000 lbs
(62,142 kg)

Participating TCA Members

Dayton Superior CorporationSustaining Member icon
Lifting hardware
Nox-Crete Products GroupSustaining Member icon
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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