Pioneering Multi-Story Tilt-Up

20140603_171516In many ways, the traditional building industry has remained the same for decades. The brick and mortar buildings of the 1900s were constructed in essentially the same way as they are today. But, newer building methods—like tilt-up concrete construction—have evolved rapidly.

When tilt-up construction was in its infancy, it was used primarily for single-story warehouses and low-rise offices. As the method gained favor, building owners, designers and construction teams challenged the limits.

LJB has a 40-year history of forging ahead with new tilt-up concepts. In the early 1980s, LJB began designing multi-story tilt-up structures, decades before it was an industry norm. At that time, panel heights were limited due to crane capacities, so our first four-story tilt-up buildings were created with a single-story panel stacked on top of a three-story panel. As those techniques became more common for LJB, we started integrating tilt-up with other structural systems, such as cast-in-place concrete and curtainwall glass.

To date, 23 of LJB’s 53 Tilt-Up Achievement Awards from the Tilt-Up Concrete Association are for multi-story tilt-up projects. These projects are testaments to LJB’s continuing commitment to tilt-up innovation.

One of our most recent TCA award winners, Greenhouse Office Park in Katy, Texas, showcases the latest in multi-story tilt-up sophistication. LJB provided structural design to Powers Brown Architecture (PBA) for the new Class A office building, which Hoar Construction built by stacking wall panels in a 4 + 1 design to achieve five stories.

The building has a 40,000-square-foot footprint and features a two-story clerestory in the main lobby with high-end finishes. To get the most out of the natural light, the building has expansive windows throughout the exterior, and to accentuate the top story, PBA doubled the width of the 5th-story windows. The building was constructed with tilt-up concrete wall panels to deliver a durable exterior that meets strict local zoning requirements for the building shell. Next to the office building is a five-story precast concrete parking structure designed with more than 800 parking spaces.

As a leader in tilt-up trends, LJB is accredited by the American Institute of Architects to offer continuing education courses on tilt-up design and construction. Our latest presentation, Evolution of Multi-Story Tilt-Up, covers the developments of tilt-up design and illustrates the heights and aesthetics that can be achieved today. Click here for more information or to schedule a presentation.

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