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Testing the Limits of Tilt-Up Construction

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According to the Tilt-Up Concrete Association, tilt-up construction is a specialized process in which slabs of concrete, typically load-bearing sections of the building envelope or elevation, are horizontally cast on a concrete slab-on-ground before being lifted or tilted into a vertical orientation using a crane. Construction professionals utilize this technique on prepared foundations, allowing them to position panels along wall lines to create the desired architectural shape.

In today’s market, the increasing number of fulfillment centers and various e-commerce logistics facilities has increased the demand for construction considerably. At the same time, contractors are pushing traditional building methods, like tilt-up construction, to their limits. Recently, tilt-up composite panels measured at 81 feet in height were utilized in a major project. Projects such as this are testing the limits of tilt-up construction, but the question remains: how far can we go? In this article, a Florida construction lawyer from Cotney Construction Law will help answer this important question.

Setting a New Benchmark for Tilt-Up Construction

The project mentioned above, “Project Dylan,” required contractors to improvise a new method for creating tall enough panels, pushing tilt-up construction to the next level in the process. Project executive Jeff Cannedy noted that the plans for the steel-frame building were simply too tall for stacked panels to be effective. The team tested a few strategies before landing on full-height panels measuring 81 feet in height. They were also 13 inches thick and featured two 5-inch concrete layers with a 3-inch insulating layer.

Owner’s Changing Demands Require Atypical Approaches to Construction

E-commerce logistics centers utilize multi-floor spaces to drive efficiency which requires increasingly tall panels when utilizing tilt-up construction. In the past, large manufacturing and logistics facilities were built horizontally to accommodate traditional conveyor belt systems. However, new demands require spacious, vertical areas outfitted for automatons that move between floors unrestricted.

The Super 62 Brace

The secret to utilizing 81-foot panels in tilt-up construction is the Super 62 brace. This brace is unlike any other at 62 foot long, 9 inch in diameter, and 950 pounds. One brace manufacturer noted that the Super 62 “can accommodate panels up to 90 ft tall. It’s really new to the [tilt-up] industry to go to those heights.” The Super 62 brace was created specifically for Project Dylan.

As a result, height limitations have been surpassed. Before the Super 62 brace was introduced, panels were never built exceeding 65 feet in height. Once again, ingenuity and necessity have combined to drive innovation in the construction industry. Innovation is exciting, often resulting in new, increasingly lucrative opportunities. As the industry changes, so will your legal needs. Consult the Florida construction lawyers at Cotney Construction Law to ensure that you are maintaining legal compliance with the latest construction laws and regulations.

If you would like to speak with a Florida construction lawyer, please contact us today.