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Message From the President: Worth the Price of Admission

Well this year’s convention has come and gone, and planning is well underway for next year. The theme is ‘TILT-UP: It’s a System!’

Sounds simple enough, and maybe it is.

So why then are we compelled to focus an entire convention around this theme? Perhaps our customers don’t quite understand tilt-up or we need to be better at explaining what tilt-up is all about. For example… I’m describing the tilt-up process to someone and they stop me mid-sentence to ask “how much does it cost?” I usually think that they just want to compare tilt-up to something else. For someone who has never built a tilt-up building to say, “just tell me the cost per square foot.” I think that this person is anxious to make a decision regardless of having the facts to back it up. All too easily I hear the phrase “that’s interesting, please price it [tilt-up] as an option” In plain English this translates to “I don’t understand the concept of tilt-up!”

Carpet or Tile? … Tinted glass or Clear? … Paint or Wallpaper? Now those are options.

We are not selling just another type of cladding here. Our building system is so much more than siding. It affects the foundations, internal structure, fire resistance, storm resistance, heating and cooling systems, operating costs, resale value and so much more. Each and every one of these in a positive way and to not take advantage of these attributes is surely a waste of tilt-up’s abilities.

Foundations without a pilaster every gridline are simpler, faster and less costly. The elimination of perimeter columns, beams and girts means not only less steel to supply but less time to erect and this happens after the walls not the critical path before the walls. Fire and storm resistance; it is concrete. Heating and Cooling systems often work best if downsized 15-20% because of the thermal mass and air-tightness of the building, and these cost less to buy and less to operate. As for a high resale value, that’s just good business.

We must think of our construction method as a system rather than a product.

On a separate note, this is my last magazine edition as your Association President. To those of you I have learned from, I thank you sincerely. To those that have learned, I hope it was worth the price of admission.

And thanks to the marketing department, because I first wanted the theme to be…..TILT-UP: It’s not an Option! Whew, that was close.


Laurence Smith, P.Eng. President TCA Board of Directors

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TILT-UP TODAY, a publication of the Tilt-Up Concrete Association, is THE source for Tilt-Up industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the Tilt-Up industry. A subscription to TILT-UP TODAY is included in a TCA membership. Subscriptions for potential TCA members are also available. If you would like to receive a complimentary subscription to the publication, please contact the TCA.