Record-Breaking Tilt-Up Panel Set In Florida

By Wendy Ward | September 28, 2010

The Tilt-Up Concrete Association has announced a new record for the heaviest tilt-up panel — a 339,000-pound panel set recently at the Ocean Center convention center project in Daytona Beach, FL.

The record-setting heaviest panel measured 59 feet, 11¼ inches by 21 feet and 35 inches thick for the first 10.5-foot width. The remaining 10.5 feet was 19 inches thick and cantilevered. The panel sits on two 30-inch round concrete columns. The building included a total of 172 panels, adding 243,000 square feet to the facility.

To tackle this challenging project, tilt-up panel erection contractor Sunshine Specialties and concrete contractor Goss Foundations worked with general contractor Weigel Corp. Construction to develop innovative strategies for this complex and unique job. Goss Foundations formed and built the walls for the project.

There's a new record for the heaviest tilt-up panel - a 339,000-pound panel set recently at the Ocean Center Convention center project in Daytona Beach, FL.

An Economical Approach To Concrete Buildings

"Tilt-Up continues to grow into a wide variety of markets, and this project demonstrates all that innovative design and construction teams are doing to make projects a reality," said Jim Baty, technical director of the TCA. "As a Convention Center, it was important that this facility have open spaces, and the use of this panel made that possible."

Tilt-up concrete construction allowed the project's planners to achieve their desired look economically.

"The heavy panel was set to span the width of the glass wall south entrance of the building," said Trentis Durden, president of Sunshine Specialities, the tilt-up panel erection contractor.

Tight Site Means Construction Challenges

The heavy panel presented several challenges during the lifting process. This project had to have a critical lift plan in place, because of the zero tolerance for movement and very high risk assessment while the erection was in process.

"We had to set two 200-ton crawler cranes in a two-lane road," said Durden. "It was 529 feet from the center of the south end of the building in either direction. Because the road dropped more than 2 feet on each side, we had 100 tons of lime rock hauled in to build the 80 lineal feet of level surface and strengthen the road to ensure that it could hold the weight of the cranes and panels."

Additionally, because of the limited space, each time the crane moved to the next panel, the lime rock company would have to drive around the block to dump the rock in front of the crane to maintain the 80 lineal feet of lime rock surface in front of the crane.

"Sunshine Specialties was able to lift and set very heavy, and somewhat unbalanced, panels with the use of dual cranes to help make the project a success," noted Mike Wolstenholme, national tilt-up sales manager for Meadow Burke Products.

Adding to this challenge was the extremely tight site. The area for crane mobility for erecting the panels was extremely limited — just 36 inches forward and backward and a few inches from left to right running parallel to the building. Panels could only be walked a few feet. Because of the limited space, the public road was closed on both ends of the building.

Additionally, most of the panels were hung on the building and required full welded connection prior to cutting the crane loose. Meadow Burke's engineering for the panel lifts and Meadow Burke's Super Lift III edge lift inserts were used on this project.

Ocean Center is set to open on Jan. 1, 2009.