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Thoughts from a LEED AP

Carlos Canedo, Project Engineer for American Constructors Inc., is a LEED accredited professional
with experience in commercial construction. He holds a Bachelor and Master degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Southern California. American Constructors Inc. is a 150-plus person construction company located in Texas and is currently working on LEED certification for a new high school project. Carlos can be reached at

TCA: What does the Tilt-Up industry need to know about green and sustainability?

Canedo: Tilt-Up buildings can contribute in helping achieve LEED credits.

TCA: Why is Tilt-Up a fit for this movement?

Canedo: Tilt-Up buildings, particularly insulated precast concrete panels, can potentially contribute to LEED credits under the sections of Sustainable Sites, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, as well as Innovation and Design Process.

TCA: Please dispel any misconceptions about the use of Tilt-Up concrete in a green project:

Canedo: People may think that the word “concrete” is the antonym for the word “Environmental.” However, concrete is a great building material for the environment. Precast concrete is fabricated either on site and/ or most concrete plants are within a couple hundred miles of the site. The reason this is important is because the use of local materials reduces the need for transportation which in turn saves energy and prevents further pollution of the environment.

TCA: Even if a project isn’t seeking LEED Certification, what elements of LEED can be incorporated to the betterment of the project?

Canedo: LEED credit EQ3.2 – Construction Indoor Air Quality Management Plan (During Construction) – is a great credit because it provides the owner a better building as well as a better environment for construction workers/future building occupants. Some of the requirements of this credit include the following: provide an Indoor Air Quality Plan, follow SMACNA guidelines, use MERV 8 filters or better if permanent Air Handling Units are on during construction and protect absorptive materials from moisture damage.

TCA: Who is driving the decision to use green or sustainable elements on your project?

Canedo: The Architect.

TCA: How can a Tilt-Up contractor, engineer, architect or product supplier capitalize on the growing green and sustainable movement?

Canedo: Research the applicable LEED credits and provide a plan on how credits can be achieved through the use of Tilt-Up concrete panels.

TCA: How does Tilt-Up compare to other building methods with regard to green?

Canedo: Other building methods contain higher level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) while VOC levels in concrete are negligible.

TCA: Where do you see the role of Tilt-Up in the green/sustainable movement in the future?

Candeo: Tilt-Up, in my opinion, may become the preferred method of building.

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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.