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Architecture Firm Profiles

The growth that the Tilt-Up industry has enjoyed in recent years for involvement in high end public and private projects is in no small way generated by the acceptance by architects around the globe.

The palette that has opened to these firms through experience and broad industry examples continues to push interest higher.

Now that the message of sustainability has become loud and clear, firms have even more reasons to look to Tilt-Up for maximizing the problems solved.

The pages that follow describe some of the top architectural firms in the country that have made Tilt-Up construction part of their design vocabulary.


BPA provides architectural, interior design and planning services for our clients. Our offices are in the La Jolla / Golden Triangle area of San Diego. We have provided award-winning services throughout the Western United States including Texas, the Southwest, California, the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. We work as advocates for the clients we serve understanding their business and desired goals. We lead, manage and integrate a team of designers, engineers, consultants and specialists to maximize value in all aspects of our work.

Firm History: BPA has over 39 years of experience with many project types. Since the founding of the firm in 1969, BPA has been built on a reputation of satisfied clients and our ability to design buildings that enhance the quality of life, and the quality of the built environment in the community.

Programming and Development Planning Capabilities: BPA has provided extensive land use planning and feasibility studies for office, medical, mixed use and warehouse / distribution facilities. Our staff is experienced with many types of building occupancies and can help our clients understand how their facility or investment goals can be translated into quantifiable program requirements. From this program, we develop master planning guidelines that form the basis for both the architecture of the building(s) and their interiors. We have expertise with community, regional and municipal agencies, and provide representation in the regulatory review and approval process.

The following was provided by Brian Paul, AIA (President) of BPA Architecture Planning Interiors:

1) How much of your project work is Tilt-Up?

At BPA, approximately 27 percent of our project work is Tilt- Up construction.

2) How do you decide if Tilt-Up is the right solution or not?

Project cost or the ability to achieve the highest level of design within the budget available.

Closely tied to project cost is the relation of market conditions or the value achieved within a specific market. Construction speed is also considered.

All these considerations, including a mix of Tilt-Up within other construction systems are the determining factors of whether or not to use Tilt-Up as the right solution for a project.

3) What lessons have you learned with regard to effective Tilt-Up design?

We have learned that there are multiple design opportunities for expression utilizing Tilt-Up design. In addition, the possibilities are endless in creating sculpture form, texture, color and design freedom while still adhering to responsible budget goals.

4) What advances in finished/technology do you hope to employ in the future?

In the future, we hope to explore the interaction of other construction techniques to enhance the three dimensional, sculptural opportunities. We also will explore a wider variety of concrete formwork combined with a variety of finishes and colors to create diversity and form to overall design.

5) What is your favorite Tilt-Up project?

Our favorite project is Torrey Reserve West (TRW) in San Diego, Calif. The design challenge was how to get the most design for the least dollars. The concept is three two-story Tilt concrete buildings arranged around a central motor court to form a great arched gateway into the project. The design focused on the gateway with large vaulted roof overhangs, craftsmen-like metal detailing and a concrete framed bridge. The lobbies feature a two-story rotunda and intricately fitted translucent skylight.

For more information about BPA Architecture Planning Interiors., visit their website at



The office of Kenneth R. Carlson – Architect, P.A. was established in 1989 by Kenneth R. Carlson on the philosophy that superior products are the result of quality service. Today, with more than a dozen employees and hundreds of clients, the office of Kenneth R. Carlson – Architect, P.A. is well established and one of the most respected architectural firms in South Florida. This reputation was built on their ability to provide a quality architectural solution which meets the needs, timeframes, and budgets of their clients. Turning those requirements and desires into reality requires strong management, which is demonstrated by their high number of repeat clients.

The architects, designers, and drafters at Kenneth R. Carlson – Architect bring with them extensive backgrounds in a variety of fields. These highly skilled professionals have completed more than 1,000 projects in the past 11 years. Because of their diverse clientele and projects, their personnel are constantly drawing from and adding to their experience and knowledge base. This allows the staff at Kenneth R. Carlson – Architect to understand more fully each client’s unique requirements, desires, and needs and provides the highest quality service and choices.

The following was provided by Todd Edge, Project Man- ager at Kenneth R. Carlson – Architect, P.A.:

1) How much of your project work is Tilt-Up?

I have been designing Tilt-Up buildings since 1984. In the earlier years, I would design 2 or 3 buildings a year as Tilt-Up structures. The local market was hesitant at first to shift from standard load bearing masonry structures to Tilt-Up structures.

Over the past 5-7 years, 85 percent of the buildings we design (2-3,000,000 sq. ft. of building a year) have been Tilt-Up structures.

I have created an office/commercial/industrial design based full service architectural firm. Ninety-five percent of the buildings that I design range in scale from 4,000 sq. ft. to ± 300,000 sf. in area and are from 1-4 stories in height.

2) How do you decide if Tilt-Up is the right solution or not?

Conventionally in the South Florida market, I would have designed these buildings as reinforced masonry
or pre-cast concrete buildings with structural steel frame systems.

I have determined over the years that unless the building site is extremely tight and near impossible to walk a crane, that Tilt-Up construction would be my first choice of building media. My goal is to satisfy my client. I use Tilt-Up construction so my client ultimately will have a durable and attractive building.

3) What lessons have you learned with regard to effective Tilt-Up design?

The architect needs to align himself with talented engineers and jointly sell the merits of Tilt-Up design to the client. Tilt-Up offers not only the client a durable and attractive building, but it is a media that reduces the liability the design team traditionally has when constructing with reinforced masonry. The Tilt-Up system allows for crisp looking reveals and joints that are not jeopardizing the water proofing integrity of the building shell.

4) What advances in finished/technology do you hope to employ in the future?

I have used Tilt-Up construction as a tool to expand my creativity. I personally challenge my staff members at the commencement of each job. “Let’s stretch this design a little more than the last project and not reuse the same design elements. Let’s challenge ourselves and advance our design abilities and give the client an even better building than the last one.”

We are exploring the use of various embed materials (i.e., stone, brick, form liners). We are also considering the use of colored concrete. We are exploring the use of a polished finish on the slab and key panels. We are presently returning our panel legs in soffit areas to omit costly and unsightly soffit areas at entry portals, not to mention cantilever and horizontal panels. Members of my staff have even drawn isometric or 3-D exploded views of several complex panels in order for the contractor and panel subcontractor to see the full intent of the final design.

5) What is your favorite Tilt-Up project?

Our next project is my favorite. The design is a culmination of refining Tilt-Up elements. This project will be constructed in Savannah, Georgia. We have a client whom has given us free reign on designing a 20,000 sq. ft. corporate office/warehouse building. The design includes a stand-off arcade. Each column has a buttress profile and ornamental cap. The arcade wraps around a vertical tower component with the roof of the arcade placed horizontally as a tapered tilt slab. Entry panels have been created to look like a portal. The soffit and jamb walls of these panels are poured integral with the panel. These panels allow us to eliminate light gage framing and stucco. An internal conference room is created with tee shaped Tilt-Up panels and capped with a curved roof panel which is perforated to allow for special task lighting. Exterior wall panels on half of the building are to be formed with a brick inlay to a wainscot height of 12’-0”. The use of bold recessed areas above windows with a formliner pattern gives the building a three-dimensional characteristic. Curved stand off wall panels are perforated to create a semi-transparent courtyard in the day and a unique light well at night. These panels will be situated at each side of the building. In addition, the use of various reglets will be installed to accommodate future wall openings. To complete the project, we are creating a concrete Tilt-Up sign monument with bold reveals and a textured form-liner face to create the building’s logo.

For more information about Kenneth Carlson Architect – P.A., visit their website at



Distinctive…dynamic…functional… it is seen in everything Kovert Hawkins creates. Their team envisions architecture that expresses both the character and functionality of their clients’ needs. Listening to their clients becomes the foundation for everything that follows. Kovert Hawkins believes that clients chose them because they listen and deliver, but also build value. Their technical expertise, experience and professionalism are evident in every phase of a project. This commitment to architectural satisfaction has made Kovert Hawkins one of the most highly regarded firms in this area of the United States.

Their “Listen and Deliver” philosophy has proven successful. Since they were founded in 1985, the firm, headquartered in Jeffersonville, Ind., has designed thousands of projects with a construction value approaching one billion dollars.

The focus of Kovert Hawkins Architects has changed very little since the beginning. The firm continues to deliver the highest level of architectural design services for both public and private projects. To facilitate any project, Kovert Hawkins has an established staff that includes registered architects, engineers, project managers, interior designers, landscape designers, and administrative support.

The following was provided by John Hawkins of Kovert Hawkins Architects:

1) How much of your project work is Tilt-Up?

Approximately 33 percent of our current projects incorporate Tilt-Up construction.

2) How do you decide if Tilt-Up is the right solution or not?

A number of factors are weighed. On large industrial and commercial design build projects, RFPs frequently require Tilt-Up or precast. For these projects, cost comparisons are factored with past experience, schedule requirements, and the desired architectural design. Tilt-Up is much more flexible from a design standpoint. In our area, Tilt-Up is a usually lower cost and is always higher quality than precast. Precast has been limited to those few occasions when a mid-winter casting and erection schedule created an unacceptable weather risk for Tilt- Up. Even on some of those projects, which are few in number, portions of the design could only be economically accomplished with Tilt-Up because of the size and fabrication limitations of precast. On projects delivered with a traditional project delivery system, factors to be weighed include the area available on site, the area available for casting on the floor slab, economy, schedule, durability, energy efficiency, and the availability of Tilt-Up contractors to do the work.

3) What lessons have you learned with regard to effective Tilt-Up design?

The TCA Construction and Engineering Manual is an excellent and indispensable guide. Beyond the manual, actual field experience provided another lesson. To make the best use of Tilt-Up, it is important for an architect to understand it as a structural element. On our first projects, we treated Tilt-Up as we had architectural precast concrete. That is, we thought of it as a skin material that had to be supported or “held up” by an underlying structure. Keep in mind that some of our first projects were completed in the early 1980s, at the time the TCA was forming. Bob Libs at AML, Inc., who has been a pioneer Tilt-Up contractor in our area, brought us in to design the first Tilt-Up project in our region. Working with Bob and his team at AML on the jobsite and around the conference table, we began to understand the amazing flexibility of Tilt-Up. One project led to another, and we came up with what were, at the time, some pretty unique ideas. Bob would never say, “You’ve got to be kidding.” Instead, he would say things like, “we’ve been looking at how we could rig this for lifting, and have you thought about this or that.” So, together, we would figure out how to do things like the giant flying buttress panels and hanging slab on Greif Brothers (a TCA award winner) that had never been done before with Tilt-Up. Later, we began working with Charlie Marsh, Jeff Robinson and Mike Delvisco at Summit Construction (another TCA member). Summit was a new firm, and they pushed us to come up with new ideas to give them a little marketing edge.

As the use of Tilt-Up has matured, and we have had the opportunity to work with many different groups, another key lesson we have learned is to partner with structural engineers who are TCA members, because they understand the unique structural properties of Tilt-Up. Through our work with Summit, we met Mac Willett (TCA member Willett Engineering) from Atlanta. Mac has details and specifications that are based on actual field experience, not just something he read in an ACI manual. He just blew away every other engineer we had ever worked with using Tilt-Up. Working with Mac, we have learned how valuable it is to have the same engineer designing both the panels and the building structure, and to have the engineer show not just the reinforcing steel, but also the embed plates in the panel design.

We have alluded to it, but in case you have not figured it out, an element we feel is critical for a successful Tilt-Up project is to have a contractor who is a TCA member. The level of quality, commitment, experience, knowledge and safety that TCA member contractors bring is openly evident to us to such an extent that we now require pre-qualification and TCA membership in our specifications. Projects that have both a TCA member engineer and TCA member contractor engaged with us as partners in the design are by far the most successful.

4) What advances in finished/technology do you hope to employ in the future?

We have just completed our first project with thin brick. It is the first such project in our area. I know it has been used a lot in other markets, but it has been slow to gain acceptance here. We feel with that hurdle of being the first one now cleared, we can begin to use it on more projects. The insulated sandwich panels have also been very slow to gain acceptance in our area, partly because of the climate. With the new composite sandwich panel design, we hope that it will become more competitive.

5) What is your favorite Tilt-Up project?

Our next one!

For more information about Kovert Hawkins Architects, visit their website at



With offices in three key cities in Northern California – San Francisco, San Jose, and Sacramento – RMW Architecture and Interiors is an award-winning design firm founded in San Francisco in 1970. Their mission is to create work environments that encourage productivity, vitality and harmony within a client’s unique culture. To achieve this, they practice active, attentive listing and seek to understand the vision and objectives of their clients so RMW’s designs embody that mission.

At RMW, they believe that design is a conversation between people, the environment, and culture. The quality of the end result is often a result of the quality of the conversation. The dialogue moves back and forth between needs and resources, vision and skill. The RMW staff is trained to hear the client and is organized to shape the conversation into a productive and orderly process.

Successful design impacts people and people make or break a business. RMW’s designs create an “experience” that reflects a corporation’s image, helps solve business challenges, enhances workers’ well-being and productivity and ultimately creates a positive bottom line.

The following was provided by Steve Guest, Principal of RMW Architecture and Interiors:

1) How much of your project work is Tilt-Up?

At RMW, approximately 50 percent of all architectural projects are completed with Tilt-Up construction and 90 percent of multi-story office buildings are Tilt-Up as well.

2) How do you decide if Tilt-Up is the right solution or not?

We usually start the design process with Tilt-Up and then migrate to another system only if there is some program or design element that cannot be accomplished using Tilt-Up.

3) What lessons have you learned with regard to effective Tilt-Up design?

In our market (Northern California), Tilt-Up is the system of choice. The challenge is to exploit the design potential inherent in the system.

4) What advances in finished/technology do you hope to employ in the future?

Exploring cast in textures and natural concrete finishes.

5) What is your favorite Tilt-Up project?

Our favorite Tilt-Up project is the Access Dental Headquarters. It was selected as a winner of the ACI Construction Awards in the Architectural Category in 2005 and Excellence in the Office Division by the Tilt-Up Concrete Association in 2006.

For more information about RMW Architecture and Interiors, visit their website at



JVB Architect was formed to provide a higher level of service and design. Their focus is on individualized service to their clients while maintaining innovation and imagination in their designs. JVB Architect also employs the belief that good design can be had at any budget.

Joseph V. Belluccia, AIA is principal in charge of JVB Architect, supported by Ralph Schuler, Associate, and an experienced professional design staff. Joe and Ralph have over 35 years of combined experience in commercial architecture – both with a successful history at international award-winning firms. At JVB Architect, Joe and Ralph practice this same award-winning drive, but with the environment and attention of a well managed small firm, emphasizing personal client contact. Joe and Ralph’s involvement with international project teams provides a broad understanding and knowledge of the diverse building types and complex nature of working with multiple owners and consultants.

JVB Architect has experience in many building types, including speculative and build-to-suit projects. Their experience with different delivery methods allows clients to decide the best option for their project. With this exceptional experience, JVB Architect can focus on teamwork and communication to facilitate a successful project.

The following was provided by Joseph V. Belluccia, AIA of JVB Architect, LLC:

1) How much of your project work is Tilt-Up?

Approximately 50 percent of our projects are completed using Tilt-Up construction.

2) How do you decide if Tilt-Up is the right solution or not?

The building type and client budget are the major determining factors when choosing Tilt-Up as the right solution. Many times, it has been the decision of using Tilt-Up, in combination with effective manipulation of the Tilt-Up solution that allowed a client to take a project from design to construction. Typically, JVB Architect uses Tilt-Up for industrial building shell and the skirt wall for pre-engineered metal buildings, and we’ve applied Tilt-Up for office, retail, and institutional building types. While associated with another firm, I designed a six-story Tilt-Up (stacked panel) office building. I believe it was the first of its kind in Florida, if not the East Coast. The design-build contractor used Tilt-Up as a way to save the project and reduce cost.

3) What lessons have you learned with regard to effective Tilt-Up design?

One of the most critical issues for successful Tilt-Up is to listen to the structural engineer and make sure you coordinate the panel design with all other structural components. We are still learning every day.

4) What advances in finished/technology do you hope to employ in the future?

JVB Architect has experience with almost all types of Tilt-Up finishes and applications available. We are looking forward to seeing more new and exciting ideas for the future, and offering additional options to our clients. Types of finishes we’ve used include masonry modular unit inserts, brick inserts, formliners, etc.

5) What is your favorite Tilt-Up project?

I have two favorite Tilt-Up projects, both of which I happened to design. The first is the New Advantage Corporation Headquarters/Warehouse Facility in St. Petersburg, Fla., a new 59,290 square foot, 2-story Tilt-Up concrete facility which meets multiple needs of the client, housing 29,466 square feet of corporate office and 25,137 square feet of warehouse space. In addition, special amenities include a 2-story lobby and atrium, gymnasium, and employee break area. The facility also has a back-up generator and UPS, and ground-level parking.

My other favorite project is Echelon Point in St. Petersburg, Fla, a 6-story Tilt-Up concrete structure which includes a 125,000-square foot 5-story class-A office over parking with 1/5 parking ratio. The one-level parking deck extends beyond the parameters of the building.

For more information about JVB Architect, visit their website at www.

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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.