Bracing and Tilt-up Concrete

Contract documents often assign contractors the responsibility of providing bracing that can accommodate all construction and wind loads.

Connecting directly to the building slab is the most efficient and cost-effective form of anchoring the braces and it remains the most common approach, especially for projects with ample floor area compared to wall area.

Braces also have an essential role in jobsite safety. OSHA requires that precast concrete panels, including tilt-up wall panels, be temporarily braced to prevent them from overturning or collapsing during construction (Title 29, Code of Federal Regulations, Standard 1926.704).

Using braces on every panel has a positive impact on the schedule and cost of a tilt-up project as it maximizes the efficiency of the most expensive component of the project, the crane.

There is a rhythm and an abstract beauty to the braces supporting a tilt-up panel during construction.

Braces are most commonly attached to the panels before erection to reduce the safety risk of maneuvering the heavy braces into positions with workers on mechanical lifts and secondary jib cranes.

Contractors may choose, or an owner may request, to use more braces to lessen insurance costs for the owner.

Each panel is supported by a minimum of two braces throughout the duration of the shell construction.

Helical ground anchors (HGAs) are used to brace walls from the outside when the floor slab is inadequate to support the bracing loads or on multistory panels to allow interior construction to proceed before roof installation.

At corners, braces must be carefully laid out so they do not interfere with one another.

Perhaps the most recognizable features of a tilt-up concrete building under construction are the braces that create a strong and consistent rhythm along each elevation.

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