Article tools: Share:

Durable Solution for Equestrian Barns

It’s no secret that the construction industry has experienced a downturn in the past year. One of the keys to surviving the changing economic environment is the ability to seek out new markets. Such an example was evident in the 2010 Tilt-Up Concrete Association Achievement Awards program with the Sunlight Ranch Equestrian Barn. While many may not associate site-cast Tilt-Up construction with barns, one savvy contractor saw an opportunity to dive into a new market.

“Tilt-Up is such a versatile construction method that it can be used for almost any type of project,” said Jim Baty, Technical Director of TCA. “One positive of the challenging economy is we are seeing even more creative and inventive uses of Tilt-Up that will only serve to position our industry for even greater success when the market recovers.”

Known as the winter home to many in the equestrian community, South Florida has seen an increase in the growth of developments designed to meet the needs of this market. While the climate makes it an obvious choice for equestrian enthusiasts, the area is also prone to the damaging effects of tropical storms and hurricanes. Most equestrian stable are constructed from wooden materials and suffer damage during storms, which led developers in the region to search for a more durable solution for the construction of stable.

During the construction of an exclusive equestrian community in Hobe Sound, Fla., the owner chose site-cast Tilt-Up construction to create a 12,350-square-foot, hurricane resistant, solid equestrian barn that could offer protection in the event of a storm. The Sunlight Ranch Equestrian Barn is an open-air structure that can be easily closed during a storm to offer protection to equine occupants, which is a tremendous benefit to horse owners.


Although Tilt-Up construction has been used for more than a century for a variety of structures, this project was a first for the area. The owner selected Tilt-Up because of its reputation for providing durable structures that require little maintenance. In high wind events, especially hurricanes and tropical storms that can inflict sustained high winds for long periods of time, it is critical to have strong, stable structures that can resist such forces. Tilt-Up has been a staple in the Florida community for decades because of the method’s ability to meet the state’s strict design codes regarding wind loads.

According to Gary Fischer, president of Woodland Construction, the Tilt-Up contractor for the project, the use of Tilt-Up provides both cost and time savings in addition to the structural benefits. “Since Tilt-Up is cast on site, the panel sizes can be larger, which reduces the number of pieces needed,” said Fischer. “This speeds up erection time, which in turn, provides a cost savings.”


In addition to durability, the owner of the Sunlight Ranch needed the facility completed quickly. The project had an aggressive construction schedule to ensure the owner could accommodate commitments to new occupants and the fast-track delivery of Tilt-Up allowed it to be completed ahead of schedule. To construct the interior stall partitions, Woodland Construction used Tilt-Up panels that were welded together to stabilize the structure and offer very low maintenance and durability.

It was also critically important that the barn complemented existing structures on the campus, which were wood and metal panelized barns. The architectural flexibility of Tilt-Up allowed the owner to achieve the desired look cost-effectively. A panelized look was created using reveals and the facility was painted red, creating a traditional stable appearance.

Further, Tilt-Up construction offered a unique selling proposition to attract tenants, which is 100 percent occupied and leased.

To learn more about the Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA), contact Jim Baty at or 319-895-6911

Leave A Comment

Get Connected

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Connect with us on LinkedIn
Subscribe to us on YouTube


About us

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.