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Excel Academy Charter School K-8

The efficiency of Tilt-Up allowed the building to flow better during construction, resulting in reduced cost and the effective addition of more area. The project began in the middle of January and needed to be open in late August. Tilt-Up allowed for the exterior to be up fast and enclosed so the contractor could focus on the finishes inside. The limited slab space required two separate pours for the panels.

The creative, angular image exhibited by the school’s architecture is reflective of Excel’s learning style in the classroom. The main walls separating the wings of the school were all exposed Tilt-Up, which significantly reduced the use of structural steel framing. Panels had a variety of shapes filled with formliners, most of which were recessed into the panels. Reveals were laid out at irregular angles, yet flow seamlessly from panel to panel. The darker colored paints used at the formliner areas create a visual depth to the already recessed panels. This, in contrast to the lighter field beige color, allows the panel’s articulation to stand out. Also, the architect did recesses within recesses making some panels look like they were separately formed panels welded together.

The most interesting aspect of the design was the trapezoidal shaped panels for the gymnasium. Another interesting attribute was the use of THERMOMASS insulation for the gym panels, which provided a durable surface capable of withstanding abuse during athletic events and a thermally efficient envelope.

Most of the exterior panels were very irregular in shape creating an assorted array of parapet elevations. There are numerous “layers” of panels with different parapet heights creating a very “busy” look. At outside corners, the architect designed the intersection of the panels at angles less than 90 degrees and then forced the top of the panels to slope toward the corner. This posed a challenge when forming the two panels that would marry to create this corner. The geometry needed to be exact through checking degrees of angles and panel heights before placing the concrete.

Main banner image for Excel Academy Charter School K-8

Project Location

Arvada, CO 80002
United States


The Tilt-Up Achievement Awards were established to honor projects that use site-cast tilt-up concrete to introduce new building types, advance industry technology and provide unique solutions to building programs. Winning entries illustrate the variety, beauty, and flexibility of tilt-up construction.



The world’s greatest tilt-up structures are featured by the TCA as Tilt-Up Achievement Award Winners. Learn more >

Project Images


Project Team (TCA Members)

General Contractor:
Concrete Contractor:
Nox-Crete Products Group

Project Specifics

Project Category:
Building Types:
Number of Floors:
Total Floor Area:
44,000 sq ft (4,088 sq m)
Tallest Panel:
33 ft 0 in (10.06 m)
Largest Panel:
500 sq ft (46.5 sq m)
Heaviest Panel:
80,000 lbs (36,287 kg)