The biggest challenge in this project was the lobby area which required a considerable amount of free open space. It could not have any other support than a single column, thus, we had to work a special connection between two panels working as beams. We put the 8" x 8" steel column, then one panel (beam) that was supported on one end by another Tilt-Up and on the other end by this column. We then put the other panel (beam) which was supported by a Tilt-Up and to the previous panel (beam) which had a "J" preparation for the connection. This was specially difficult because we needed to keep the column and the two panels perfectly plumb and any undesired movement caused lost of plumb, so we had to work these pieces with enough care to obtain the result we wanted. This obviously took a considerable amount of time.
Our goal was always to establish a benchmark of how an inventory facility should be built, and under the circumstances, we saw a perfect opportunity to do so. This building is the first industrial Tilt-Up facility built in the state of Guanajuato, México, where most of the industrial buildings in the area were built by means of more traditional systems. This goal was achieved by producing an economical showcase facility.
A series of vertical and horizontal reveals define a grid-like pattern present on all four sides of the building. On one of the corners, the horizontal bands converge into a recessed “block” of glass that is crowned by a steel deck roof which in turn is supported by slanted slender columns. It is the use of reflective glass adjacent to clear tainted glass that gives the impression that the bands are continuous. The green of the glass is contrasted by the use of light and medium sand colors that are discrete to the local landscape
The most important architectural item is the lobby, which had to be worked with a lot of precision from the foundation, the Tilt-Up panels, steel structure, the roofing system which had to be attached to the structure without showing any screws under the steel deck, and the aluminum curtain wall, which also required a lot of precision in the civil work so it would not point out any defects in the work.
During construction, we studied different options to provide as much natural lighting as possible inside the building. In this area of Central Mexico, most industrial buildings use translucent panels in standing seam roofs. We decided to cover 5% of the area with skylights, and with several pre-manufactured pieces of Firestone roofing system, we were able to solve the waterproofing of the skylights edges. The result: Be-cause of the geographical location and the type of skylight that we installed, we get at least 80fc. of natural lighting from 90 minutes after sunrise until 90 minutes before sunset. During the construction process, we found out that there were no structural cranes with the required capacity in the entire area, there was, however, a 120 ton hydraulic crane. We asked TCA if it was suitable for Tilt-Up construction to use hydraulic cranes and were told that it was not at all common, and that almost all of the work in the states is done using structural cranes. In any event and by not having many options, we decided to give the hydraulic crane a shot and surprisingly enough, the end result was great as it is more precise and easier to maneuver when you have space limitations. We think that these types of cranes work better than structural cranes.
Although this was our first inventory-type facility built in the area, we did not waste any time in finding the perfect tenant. The total cost of the building and consequently the lease rate quoted to our customer were as competitive as others offered in the local market, including older buildings. This facility stands out when compared to our competitor’s speculative facilities, both in terms of overall quality as well as in appearance.
We think that this project should be considered as a candidate for a Tilt-Up achievement award , considering that there had never been any Tilt-Up construction done in the entire state of Guanajuato, and consequently, the difficulties on availability of cranes, and finding trained and qualified labor. We think that the result in quality and speed were remarkable. The building was lifted in four days and the structure was connected immediately thereafter.
Silao, Guanajuato 36270
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.
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