Some design-build contractors whose building types include tilt-up concrete now offer their clients a curved-wall option that enhances a structure's architectural appeal. This also enables the contractors to create a niche market--separating themselves from other tilt-up builders. Here we describe the methods of two contractors who are gaining more work by casting curves.

Lintel Construction Co., a design-build firm with offices in Juarez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas, has developed an innovative way to stack-cast curved tilt-up panels. This method works best for panels with large-radius curves, especially when the entire panel is curved. Balch Enterprises, Hayward, Calif., a building/development firm that has been in the design-build tilt-up business for 30 years, takes a different approach. Balch uses wood or polystyrene forms to add curves at the ends of flat tilt-up panels. This technique is best for short radii, especially at the corners of a structure.