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Building with Tilt-Up | Project Profiles

Kanata North Technology, Phase II

TCA Tilt-Up Project Profile - Office Division

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An award-winner this year from Canada is the 57,600 square foot Kanata North Technology Phase II office building located in Kanata, Ontario, Canada.

The building is a handsome design with large expanses of energy efficient glass. The big story here, though, is speed of construction. General contractor Colonnade Development of Napean, Ontario, put this entire four-story structure up in one month.

In October, 1998, Tilt-Up wall panels were cast on-site while foundation construction, mechanical and plumbing utilities were installed simultaneously.

During the first week of November, the Tilt-Up process proceeded at the rate of one floor a week, with four stories and the roof erected in one month. The building shell was completed the first week of December, beating the unforgiving Canadian winter.

From groundbreaking to tenant move-in, the project took a total of 24 weeks, breaking all local records.

The owner is RT Realty Advisors of Toronto. The Tilt-Up subcontractor for Colonnade was StonEng Construction of Napean. The architect for the project was Edmudson Matthews of Napean, and the engineer was David Tomasula of LJB, Inc., Dayton, Ohio.

There was a tight site as well as a tight schedule for this project. This called for a great deal of cooperation. For example, the cast-in-place contractor erected a tower crane at one corner of the building that became a "permanent fixture" that had to be worked around while erecting wall panels using a mobile crane. During erection of the final panel (the corner of the fourth story) the two cranes performed a "ballet" of tandem movement so that the boom on the tower crane didn't interfere with the boom on the mobile crane.

The exterior walls have a very classy look that combines two shades of a rose-marble color. Tilt-Up panels were cast and then sand-blasted prior to erection to give an exposed aggregate finish on fascia panels.

Additional drama was achieved by pushing out the fascia on the ground floor four inches further than the outside walls of the higher floors. To keep the weight of the panels to a minimum, this was accomplished by increasing the fascia panel thickness by 1 inch and increasing the insulation thickness by 3 inches, demonstrating the flexibility of the THERMOMASS insulation system.

While Colonnade wanted drama in the building's appearance, the company wanted to avoid drama when it came to the matter of erecting panels 51 feet above the ground! Safety was a major concern.

To address the safety issue, both the tops and the bottoms of the wall panels were cast with PVC pipe inserts. The top inserts allowed for instantaneous erection of fall-protection railings once the panels were erected. Then, as the next story of panels were being erected, the railing was removed from the pipe inserts. In place of the railing, short pieces of rebar were accepted in the bottoms of the panel above, acting as a guide during panel erection. This system enhanced both safety and panel erection.

To speed the project, a separate Tilt-Up crew worked around the outside of the building while excavation, foundation counstruction, and utilities proceeded inside the building. In fact, the Tilt-Up crew had cast the first three floors of panels before the first floor was even set. An A-frame rack stored panels three deep in readiness for erection.

The result was a distinctive four-story office building completed in record time at a cost of $90 sq. ft. in Canadian dollars.


Project Specifics

Project Floor Area
57,600 sq ft
(5,351 sq m)

Participating TCA Members

LJB Inc.Sustaining Member icon
Project engineer
ThermomassSustaining Member icon
Insulation system
LJB Inc.Sustaining Member icon
Project engineer
SiteCast Construction CorpSustaining Member icon
Tilt-up contractor

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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