How to Shore a Concrete Tilt-Up

Tilt-ups have been around as long as the United States – hundreds of years. While they’ve been used to make the frames of homes and cabins, it’s now one of the most common ways to construct commercial buildings. 

Tilt-ups are strong and durable, being able to hold a massive load. They’re too practical to not have for a commercial building. Erecting a tilt-up is one hell of a process. 

Dalinghaus Construction has worked on construction projects in Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada, ranging from residential foundation repair services to creating the foundations of new commercial structures. We understand how concrete tilt-ups are constructed and want you to know how the process goes. 

What is a concrete tilt-up?

A commercial structure where the concrete panels are built on-site or off-site. The footings are usually placed where the tilt-up is going to go with larger pad footings at the ends – or the edges – of the tilt-up panels will rest. There is a footing that goes in between the two pads.

A crane is utilized to put the tilt-ups up. They will utilize that process until the roof is up and make a building out of that.

Tilt-up panels are for sure load-bearing. An entire load of your concrete building is designed to go to the exterior part of the walls. Some larger buildings have posts in the center that are there to take the loading of the roof.

You’ll find concrete tilt-ups on commercial buildings. Not much anywhere else. Finding one in a residential building isn’t exactly cheap.

You can have dividing walls. So you can share walls with your commercial neighbors. So both connected buildings are made of the same material. 

What are the benefits of concrete tilt-ups?

Mainly safety and security. A tin building (or something of that nature) is more susceptible to break-ins or cutting access holes to get to a warehouse area. 

Compared to other buildings, concrete tilt-ups might not be able to handle seismic activity as well since they’re more rigid. 

Are tilt-ups cost-effective?

Yes, or you would see more people not doing tilt-ups and finding a cheaper way to build out commercial buildings. 

Foundations for tilt-ups

They’re typically always slab-on-grade. You won’t typically find one that is a basement or raised foundation (especially if the floor is concrete).

What is shoring?

Whenever a tilt-up panel is set into place, it’s free-standing. It needs a way to be held temporarily. 

For concrete tilt-ups, you will see shoring for construction rather than repair. 

Two ways to shore a concrete tilt-up 

  1. Most commonly used and economical way. 
    1. Drill anchor bolts are drilled into the existing load-bearing panels being put up. 
    2. Anchor bolts are put into the slab interior of the floor. 
    3. This is continued until the roof is set into place.
      1. The roof holds everything together. Then they can remove the shoring. 
  2. Helical anchors are used on the exterior. 
    1. A steel pole runs as an attachment to the helical pile. It goes up and shores off the wall so it’s not allowed to rotate or fall over. 

Shoring a concrete tilt-up isn’t a lengthy amount of time for construction. We’ve never heard of an instance where a tilt-up needs shoring longer than the construction phase.  

How long does it take to make a concrete tilt-up for a building?

It depends on the size of the project. The larger the construction for a building is, the longer a tilt-up will take to construct. 

The foundation panel a tilt-up sits on

It’s an oversized pad the panel would sit on that is 4 ft x 4 ft x 3-4 ft deep pad at each joint of being put into place. There’s a smaller footing that goes in between to keep everything connected.

These types of projects are considered on a per-panel basis. 

Foundations settling during the construction process don’t happen often. 

Settlement typically happens a few years after construction. You won’t see settlement during the construction process.

It’s like any other home or structure where foundations aren’t massively deep. 

There usually aren’t great drainage features set up with commercial buildings. Some water that collects on a roof is incredible with the size of a building. Sometimes a pipe will downspout from the roof and collect from the bottom, which damages a foundation of a building as water builds up. 

You know more about shoring a concrete tilt-up. Learn more about commercial construction and foundation repair. 

You’ve learned about concrete tilt-ups, their benefits, what shoring is, how tilt-ups are shored, and if settlement happens during concrete shoring construction. 

Learn more about commercial projects and foundation repair.

Check our Ultimate Guide for Commercial Foundation Solutions

Look at our Commercial Services page to see if Dalinghaus Construction can help you with your commercial needs. 

For additional questions, call Dalinghaus Construction at (877)360-9277.


Brian Dalinghaus

Brian is one of the Co-Founders of Dalinghaus Construction. He has been in the foundation repair industry since 2005. During his career, he has been associated with helping over 4,000 homes and structures throughout California and Arizona.

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