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By: Mohamed Zaid, CEng. M. ASCE
When compared to other durable building systems, tilt-up construction presents incredible value in emerging countries where new construction methods are being investigated. The Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA), through its partners, has been working to spread word of the great benefits tilt-up affords. TCA members have conducted free educational seminars in Somalia, Egypt and other countries throughout the region and have met one-on-one with contractors interested in the system to work through details and strategy.
Tilt-up presents a new technology in-line with the needs and capabilities of these emerging countries. Compared to other systems that require heavy investments in facilities that most investors find infeasible, tilt-up is able to compete with the very low-cost traditional construction methods prevalent in the area.
The accessible nature of tilt-up technology is a key factor in its success. There is no setup for any factory, no transportation is required as all panels are cast on site, and issues of skilled labors are easily resolved with tilt-up construction. Crane availability and capacity remain the most restricting component to consider.
The issue was discussed with Mohammed Ayad, project manager with TCA Member, e-solution Construction & Engineering, and he suggested simply requesting engineers restrict panel weights to the maximum lifting capacity of available cranes. “Tilt-up concrete is the most easy construction method I’ve been made aware of. The laborers picked up the concept quickly,” said Ayad. “The safety benefits made them happy, as the panel can be seen all over the ground and safety during work is very controlled. I was surprised how quickly they were able to do the first panel with the company in Egypt, it was as if they already knew how to do it.”
Tilt-up first came to be recognized in Somalia when TCA members met in Dubai to discuss details of a project. Now it is taking off. The attraction to the method in that market is the cost and high quality, durable finished product.
Awareness is the first step towards increased interest. Providing education where contractors and owners show interest is critical in helping them implement the construction method in their countries. As awareness of tilt-up increases, more contractors and owners have shown their interest and taken steps towards doing their projects using tilt-up concrete panels. The TCA is proud to support the effort of its members doing this important work.
Photo courtesy esolution Design & Build