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Innovation in Action: Highlights from the 2023 Outdoor Demo

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The 2023 Tilt-Up Convention and Expo in Tampa, Florida, brought together professionals from the tilt-up construction industry for an exciting and educational outdoor demo event. Held on the evening of September 20, 2023, at White Cap in Tampa, this outdoor demo gave attendees a unique opportunity to witness the latest tilt-up technologies in action.

The event showcased cutting-edge tools, techniques, and products that continue to revolutionize the industry. From innovative formlines to state-of-the-art robotic painters and adhesive products, attendees had the chance to get an up-close look at these advancements and even test them out firsthand.

Sheylla Aceves, vice president and general counsel for Tiger Concrete and Screed, along with her project manager, Jackson Hardee, led the team that served as the outdoor demo contractor for this year’s event. Their unwavering commitment, both in terms of time and resources, was truly remarkable. Hosting the outdoor demo is a substantial undertaking, and the TCA deeply appreciates their dedication to making it a success.

Although the weather in the “sunshine state” can be unpredictable, the on-site team was well-prepared for any potential disruptions. The outdoor demo faced a brief challenge as a passing thunderstorm blew through the area just before the event was to start. Although it caused minor disruptions, including toppled fencing and scattered pop-up tents, our team was ready to respond promptly. In a display of dedication and adaptability, the TCA staff, along with representatives from the host committee and the TCA’s executive committee, swiftly made the decision to move the event up by 30 minutes, aiming to seize a favorable weather window. The team’s resilience was evident as they were committed to ensuring that the event proceeded smoothly, given the tremendous effort and resources invested in its preparation. 

Despite the adjustments made to the event’s timing, everything was set, and the rain stopped as the first of eleven buses arrived, bringing more than 600 attendees to enjoy the demonstrations. As the evening continued, attendees were treated to a delectable dinner spread that included Cuban sandwiches, succulent pork, flavorful rice and beans, a refreshing Columbian salad, and more. Live music from Cuban Son added to the evening’s festivities, infusing the space with the upbeat rhythms and dances of Cuba. The soundtrack created an atmosphere of incredible energy and happiness, capping off a successful and memorable outdoor demo event. As attendees began to board buses headed back to the convention center, the rain started up again. The break in the weather lasted exactly as long as we needed.

TCA extends its gratitude to valued sponsors GluDown Inc., Industrial Rigging Rentals LLC, and White Cap. Their unwavering support and commitment were pivotal in making the outdoor demo successful. Thanks also to the leadership of White Cap for their generosity in accommodating this event at their branch. They not only provided the space, but also patiently endured the minor disruptions to their regular business operations.

Exploring the Artistic Boundaries of Tilt-Up: Tilt Lab’s Innovative Venture

At the heart of the outdoor demo, a remarkable and experimental venture captured the attention of attendees and gave a sneak peek into the creative possibilities of tilt-up construction. Tilt Lab, in collaboration with Tristan Al Haddad of Formations Studio in Atlanta, delved into uncharted artistic territory with this offering that particularly focused on the manipulation of complex surface formations in tilt-up construction.

Jeffrey Brown, the chair of Tilt Lab, beautifully encapsulates the essence of this artistic endeavor, stating, “It’s this kind of effort in experimental form—unrestrained by the confines of function, utilitarianism, and the question of ‘why’—that allows tilt-wall to embark on the journey of ‘why not?’ This is how we push boundaries, making space for everyday innovation.”

During the event, attendees had the opportunity to witness a mock-up of the structure. The  final iteration, an impressive four-sided creation, is currently being considered for permanent placement on a university campus, where it will undoubtedly stand as a prominent piece of art and innovation. A comprehensive article detailing this groundbreaking work is in the works and will be available soon.

The TCA extends its heartfelt appreciation to the pioneers and visionaries who played pivotal roles in this exciting exploration. Karen Hand and Jeremy Stech from Needham DBS, Marc and Bill Scott from Innovative Brick Systems, Scott Collins and Terry Baird from Leviat, and Andrew McPherson and his dedicated team from Seretta Construction have all contributed significantly to pushing the boundaries of tilt-up construction in the pursuit of artistic innovation. Their passion and dedication are truly commendable, and have opened new horizons for the industry.

The 2023 Outdoor Demo not only showcased the latest innovations in tilt-up construction, but also demonstrated the resilience and determination of the industry’s professionals as they braved the elements to make the event a success. It was a testament to the spirit of innovation and collaboration that defines the tilt-up community.

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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.