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Concrete on its own does not provide an effective thermal barrier for maintaining interior temperatures. In office buildings or in storage facilities that need temperature control, like a cold storage warehouse for example, the construction company must add some form of insulation to the walls. Watch this video to learn more about insulated tilt-up panels.


What is an Insulated Tiltwall Panel?

 

Concrete, which is used to create tilt-up construction panels, is a highly durable material and works very well for commercial buildings. However, concrete on its own does not provide an effective thermal barrier for maintaining interior temperatures. In office buildings or in storage facilities that need temperature control, like a cold storage warehouse for example, the construction company must add some form of insulation to the walls.

This can be done in various ways. In this building, for example, the majority of the building was constructed with tilt-up construction but the wall by the freezer zones was created with an insulated, pre-engineered steel panel. This is an excellent example of how tilt-up construction can be blended with another type of construction to meet a specific building’s needs.

The most common approach is to simply apply insulation to the interior of the tilt-up walls. Once the walls are stood, crews attach metal studs to the walls and install bat insulation or foam insulation between the studs. The walls are then covered with sheet rock or some other finish. While the sheet rock is not the most durable material to finish the interior walls of an industrial work space, it is necessary to cover the insulation.

An innovative solution that is becoming more popular is to add the insulation to the panel as it is being created rather than after it is stood. This alleviates the problem of using a less durable material like sheet rock on the interior of a warehouse while providing the necessary thermal barrier to control temperatures inside.

Here is how the process to create insulated tiltwall panels works.

Creating the insulated tiltwall panel begins exactly as any other kind of panel, with the creation of a wood form for the panel.

The next step marks the point in the process where insulated tiltwall panels differ from traditional panels.

Looking at this side view of the wood form, you can see that in a traditional tiltwall panel the work crews place rebar in the form, and then fill the form with concrete to create the panel.

An insulated tilt up panel is done differently.

For the insulated panel, work crews place a layer of rebar in the form.

They pour a layer of concrete that doesn’t fill the form, but covers the rebar.

Once this layer of concrete is poured, workers immediately place stiff foam insulation on the soft concrete.

The process moves quickly. One team pours and smooths the concrete. Another team follows directly behind to cover the concrete with insulation panels. The panels are cut precisely and number-coded. Each fits into an insulated panel matrix like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

Once the insulation panels have been placed, workers insert metal pins through the insulation and into the wet concrete. As the concrete dries the insulation becomes permanently attached to the first layer of concrete.

The panel is left to cure for several days. Workers then return to the panel to add additional rebar, and pour the final layer of concrete to complete the insulated tiltwall panel.

From there the process works just the same as for traditional panels.

Workers smooth surface of the panels and add plates or embeds as needed.

Once the panels are fully cured, they are tilted up into place in the process that gives tilt-up construction its name.

With the insulated tilt up panels in place, the building can be completed without the addition of metal studs, bat insulation and finishing materials. Instead the interior walls are finished with concrete, a durable material that can better withstand the rigors of an industrial or warehouse environment.

 

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about general contractor Bob Moore Construction. If you'd like more information, please contact us online or call Larry Knox or Kyle Whitesell at (817) 640-1200 to discuss your project needs.