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Tilt-Wall Construction Gets a Second Look Following Recent Midwest Storms

On Behalf of | Dec 30, 2021 | Firm News

The recent spate of violent storms in the Midwest has resulted in the collapse, or partial collapse of a number of “tilt-wall” buildings. Tilt-up or Tilt-wall construction is where the exterior wall is cast on-site, face down on a casting bed. After the concrete is poured and reaches about 75% of its strength, a crane then lifts the finished panel, tilting it up off the ground, and into its final place. Tilt-up walls make construction a lot faster than conventional construction methods because when the exterior wall is cast, it includes the gravity system, lateral system, and perimeter. It is also a better option for making larger panels since they are made on-site. However, recent tornados in the Midwest have resulted in questions regarding durability when it comes to withstanding large natural disasters. For many of these buildings, the roof structure holds the walls upright. When the roof is lifted, such as in a violent windstorm or tornado, the walls may collapse inward. It seems like the sharks are swimming for anyone involved in the design or construction of these buildings, even though tilt-wall construction has been widely used for the last decade or more. Hindsight is always 20/20.