Thinking Outside The Box: The Affordable Elegance of Modern Tilt-Up Architecture

by: Mike Murphey , Mark McLean

Tilt-up wall construction has been one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States since the 1940’s. Although this method has been labeled as a creator of monotonous, windowless box structures, tilt-up architecture is actually highly customizable and offers a plethora of benefits. We’d like to offer a glimpse into the potential of this unique construction technique that fuses aesthetic appeal, economic advantage, durability, and time efficiency.

Aesthetic Appeal — Tilt-up architecture provides the option of “affordable elegance.” Varied rooflines, glass curtain walls, storefront windows, material accents, and curved walls all offer visual interest at a fraction of the cost. Tilt-up construction is one of the most personalized methods of new development. Each panel is custom designed for the client and poured on-site.

brewhub tilt up construction shot 1

Walls can be molded into unique shapes, tailored to a project’s creative development, and made in a wide array of textures, finishes, and colors.

Economic Advantage — Tilt-up buildings save on construction costs and maximize your operation and investment dollars. Construction teams for tilt-up are usually smaller and comprised of local labor and, because construction is on the ground rather than on scaffolding, you end up saving on worker’s insurance costs as well. Tilt-up construction is also useful from an energy standpoint—it offers wall-to-wall thermal insulation, saving money with lower air conditioning bills, and reducing unwanted air and water infiltration.

Durability — Modern tilt-up construction is nearly indestructible. Most of the early 40’s tilt-up construction is still in operation today, with little to no wear. Many earthquake-prone regions have grown fond of this construction method’s resilience. Tilt-up panels are load-bearing, eliminating excess columns and roof beams. Concrete is also impervious to insect and rodent infestation, needs only occasional cleaning or painting, and is less prone to leaking, in comparison to wood and metal frames.

Time Efficient Construction — Tilt-up construction offers the ability to deliver a quality project in a fraction of the time. Since they’re poured to specification on site, erecting walls with tilt-up panels is faster than using traditional techniques, and as buildings are made of locally-sourced, ready-mix concrete, transportation also becomes less of a factor. Buildings can be as simple or complex as necessary, and often allow the flexibility to expand or change the layout in the future.

Think outside the box when it comes to tilt-up architecture—no matter the size or scale of your project, the benefits are worth considering when choosing between construction techniques.