Tilt-up panels with elaborate designs are being used to build homes in the Rockies, retail shops on the West Coast, and hotels in Florida. The big news is the increasing popularity of tilt-up construction for large distribution centers, often vast structures ranging from several hundred to over a million square feet.
Tilt-up's design versatility is certainly a major reason for its growth in the building market. Many building owners desire the attractive finishes possible with tilt-up construction, including: "Trompe l'oeil" (a painted three-dimensional effect on smooth walls); exposed aggregate; stone, brick, wood-grain, striated, and other textured patterns; colored or painted concrete; window walls; recessed bands; logos, sculptures, and other three-dimensional forms cast into the concrete surface.
Construction speed is another factor in the trend toward tilt-up construction. One general contractor says tilt-up walls often can be erected 30 days faster than precast wall systems and as much as 30 to 60 days faster than masonry walls. This means an owner can move into a building sooner. Also, owners of tilt-up building usually pay lower insurance rates because the concrete walls are resistant to fire and high winds.