The Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA) has announced a new heaviest panel on the Top Ten list. The new titleholder is the 339,000-pound panel for the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Fla.

"Tilt-up continues to grow into a wide variety of markets and this project demonstrates all that innovative design and construction teams are doing to make projects a reality," says Jim Baty, technical director of the TCA. "As a Convention Center, it was important that this facility have open spaces and the use of this panel made that possible."

The owner selected tilt-up for this project because the method enabled them to achieve their desired look more economically than precast. "The heavy panel was set to span the width of the glass wall south entrance of the building," says Trentis Durden, president of Sunshine Specialties Inc., the tilt-up panel erection contractor.

As can be expected, the heavy panel presented several challenges during the lifting process. This project had to have a critical lift plan in place, because of the zero tolerance for movement and very high risk assessment while the erection was in process. "We had to set two 200-ton crawler cranes in a two-lane road," says Durden. "It was 529 feet long from the center of the south end of the building in either direction. Because the road dropped more than 2 feet on each side, we had 100 tons of lime rock hauled in to build the 80 lineal feet of level surface and strengthen the road to ensure that it could hold the weight of the cranes and panels." Because of the limited space, each time the crane moved to the next panel, the lime rock company would have to drive around the block to dump the rock in front of the crane to maintain the 80 lineal feet of lime rock surface in front of the crane.

"Sunshine Specialties was able to lift and set very heavy and somewhat unbalanced panels with the use of dual cranes to help make the project a success," says Mike Wolstenholme, national tilt-up sales manager for Meadow Burke Products.

Adding to this challenge was the extremely tight site. The area for the crane mobility for erecting the panels was extremely limited, just 36 inches forward and backward and a few inches from left to right running parallel to the building. Panels could only be walked a few feet. Because of the limited space, the public road was closed on both ends of the building. Further, most of the panels were hung on the building and required full welded connection prior to cutting the crane loose. Meadow Burke's Engineering for the panel lifts and Meadow Burke's Super Lift III Edge Lift Inserts were used on this project.

The building consisted of 172 panels and the addition is 243,000 square feet. The heaviest panel is 59 feet, 11 1/4 inches by 21 feet and 35 inches thick for the first 10 1/2-foot width. The remaining 10 1/2 feet was 19 inches thick and cantilevered. The panel sits on two 30-inch round concrete columns. This project demonstrates that even with challenging applications, tilt-up is a cost-effective alternative to precast. Ocean Center is set to open on Jan. 1, 2009.

To tackle this challenging project, Sunshine Specialties and Goss Foundations, the general contractor for the project, worked together as a team to develop innovative strategies for this complex and unique job, which made the entire process more efficient. Goss Foundations formed and built the walls for the project.

To learn more about other projects on the TCA Top Ten List, visit