Tilt-Up Meets Aggressive Schedule for Research Facility

When the National Cancer Institute (NCI) wanted to build a state-of-the-art research facility in a short amount of time, tilt-up construction was the best solution. Using tilt-up not only met the aggressive schedule, but saved the owner $1.4 million compared to masonry construction. And, tilt-up provided lower maintenance costs, greater insulation value and reduced impact on the environment.

NCI’s Advanced Technology Research Facility at Riverside Research Park in Maryland is a three-story, 332,000-square-foot facility that includes a development and manufacturing facility, laboratories and administrative offices.

To allow construction to start as soon as possible, LJB completed the tilt-up panel design first, rather than the traditional process of starting with framing. Morgan-Keller, Inc., the design-build contractor, used casting slabs and started panel construction on the mass grading permit before the shell permit was obtained. The change in design process also allowed Morgan-Keller to order necessary materials faster to combat long fabrication and material lead times.

To further complicate the schedule, two record-setting snow storms occurred during construction. Crews loaded snow into trucks and hauled it to an adjacent site so construction could continue.

The greatest challenge on this project was the schedule, but the design-build team achieved substantial completion more than a month prior to the commitment date. The entire team exhibited high-level coordination, commitment and management to achieve the project goals.

This facility received a Tilt-Up Achievement Award and was selected as the 2011 CON/STEEL Building of the Year winner for architectural appeal. To learn more about this project, click here to watch the Building of the Year video.

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