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Building with Tilt-Up | Project Profiles

Sunset Community Centre

TCA Tilt-Up Project Profile - Municipal Division

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The design of the Sunset Community Centre, a multi-use facility in Vancouver, British Columbia, grew out of a variety of influences, including the topography and geographical orientation of the site, the location of a neighboring nursery, and the cultural diversity of the district in which it resides.

After the site was excavated, the material was used to form a series of grassy berms, the lines of which are repeated within the building in the form of a free-form curved steel roof, largely resting on the 46 uniquely shaped double-wythe Tilt-Up panels.

In keeping with the palette of local materials, the interior faces of the panels were left exposed, and were hand-ground for a smooth finish and then treated with a clear sealant to preserve the color of the concrete. A floating precast concrete staircase was cantilevered from the Tilt-Up walls.

The main corridors of the building are crowned with skylights and are bisected by an 81-foot-long spandrel beam, believed to be the longest of its kind in North America. To preserve the architectural integrity of the interior, electrical conduits and some mechanical chases were cast into the walls to hide the services, requiring tight coordination and detailed review on the part of the entire team.

With features such as passive daylighting and in-slab geothermal heating, the Centre earned a LEED Silver rating, as well as a parcel of awards from the British Columbia Ready-Mixed Concrete Association. Incorporating such diverse activities as a gymnasium, a pre-school, and youth arts and crafts space, the Centre has increased accessibility for the neighborhood and established a site organization for the long-term redevelopment of the adjacent park.


Project Specifics

Total Panels (Single Building)
46 panels
Project Wall Area
20,311 sq ft
(1,887 sq m)
Project Floor Area
30,000 sq ft
(2,787 sq m)
Project Footprint
23,000 sq ft
(2,137 sq m)
Tallest Panel
35 ft 2 in
(10.72 m)
Widest Panel
81 ft 7 in
(24.88 m)
Largest Panel
881 sq ft
(81.8 sq m)
Heaviest Panel
143,000 lbs
(64,864 kg)
Longest Spandrel Panel
81 ft 7 in
(24.88 m)

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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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