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First Insulated Tilt-Up Freezer In British Columbia Nearing Completion

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Thermomass and Ram Construction partnered to develop a comprehensive building envelope plan for the ground-breaking facility.

Ram Construction, headquartered in Delta, British Columbia, is nearing completion of what is thought to be the first integrally insulated tilt-up freezer project in western Canada. The project, Subzero Cold Logistics, will be the newest building in the 1,900-acre Campbell Heights Business Park in Surrey, British Columbia. Coincidentally, Ram Construction constructed the very first facility in Campbell Heights in 2004.

Tilt-up construction has long been a trusted building method in western Canada, and recent energy code updates have further solidified sandwich wall building envelopes as an ideal option for owners looking for enhanced energy-efficiency, durability, and moisture control. Until this project, however, controlled temperature warehouses were still commonly built using only insulated metal panels (IMPs) or tilt-up walls with post-applied IMPs.

Thermomass and Ram Construction partnered on a proposal for the project’s owner, Todd Ko, president of Radius Transport, to show how insulated tilt-up walls could maintain the planned set-point temperature of -4 F (-20 C) through continuous, edge-to-edge assembly using Thermomass System NC insulation and Tigerloc and OHLoc thermal barriers from JK Thermal Solutions. The team also illustrated a wide range of additional structural, thermal, moisture, and maintenance benefits associated with insulated tilt-up construction.

After reviewing the provided details and analyses, Ko visited several Thermomass-insulated freezers in the western United States to discuss the benefits of tilt-up sandwich walls with current owners and operators of similar facilities. Sold on the energy-efficiency, enhanced durability, and lower maintenance costs of integrally-insulated tilt construction, as well as on the experienced service and support from Ram Construction and Thermomass, Ko was eager to proceed on the new building and the new-to-the-area building method.

“We were all impressed with the research that Todd put into selecting insulated tilt-up sandwich panels for his new facility,” said Jeff Knoblauch, president of Ram Construction. “He was really invested from the beginning, and made every effort to educate himself on the construction process, continuous integral insulation, and how other owners, both in Canada and the U.S., had maximized the products and technical support from industry-leading suppliers like JK Thermal Solutions and Thermomass.”

“Concrete sandwich walls are a natural fit for that market,” agreed Mitch McCaulley, North American Sales Director at Thermomass. “It just took an owner who was looking for an optimal building envelope solution and an experienced contractor, like Ram Construction, that is well versed in the detailing and construction of insulated tilt panels. We’re confident that the Subzero Cold Logistics project will be just the first of many insulated, low-temp tilt projects in western Canada in the future.”

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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.