Tilt-Up vs. Masonry Construction

To some building owners, masonry and tilt-up are about as similar as vanilla and chocolate.  They both offer a hard-wall building option, and the similarities seem to stop there.

With the ongoing innovation in architectural applications for tilt-up, though, owners can realize the architectural appeal of a masonry finish with a host of added benefits – including shorter construction durations and savings in initial construction costs.  When evaluating a new building, consider the following:

Tilt-Up Delivers… Advantage
Masonry appeal Thin brick and thin block products cast into the exterior face of tilt-up panels can match the appearance of the most intricate hand-laid brick and masonry, including soldier courses, arches, and even quoining.
Architectural flexibility With tilt-up construction, concrete arrives at the site in liquid form and can be placed into many shapes and sizes, exceeding the limitations of masonry construction.
Architectural versatility at less cost Advances in formliners and other architectural treatments allow tilt-up to mimic the look of multiple finishes in a single monolithic panel, eliminating the cost of introducing multiple materials such as precast, stone or EIFS accents to a masonry wall.
Less labor required Due to the nature of tilt-up, the construction process requires less labor—particularly specialized skills—than masonry. Less labor translates into accelerated construction schedules and construction cost savings.
Safer construction process The majority of the tilt-up construction process is performed on the ground, eliminating the need for workers to perform tasks at height and in turn increasing worker productivity. In comparison, masonry construction requires significant work from scaffolding.
Integral reinforced concrete beams at openings Masonry construction requires steel lintels or CMU bond beams at openings, adding material cost. Tilt-up delivers inherent structural integrity at lower cost with integral reinforced concrete beams.
Superior thermal performance Masonry cavity wall construction requires closely-spaced steel ties between wythes, each representing a thermal short circuit that degrades energy performance.  Insulated tilt-up meets 2012 IECC   requirements for a continuous insulation envelope without any thermal short circuits, delivering greater energy efficiency and resulting in lower energy operating costs year after year.
Dense concrete matrix By its very nature, masonry construction has numerous joints between individual units. These joints are susceptible to moisture infiltration, requiring the use of vapor barriers and weeps in   masonry walls to protect the interior of the building against moisture damage.  The dense concrete mix used in tilt-up construction delivers a more durable exterior that is impervious to   moisture infiltration, eliminating the cost of the vapor barriers and weeps.
Investment grade buildings Above all, tilt-up buildings that incorporate masonry finishes provide beautiful structures that are long-lasting and maintain their value for decades to come.

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