CCPIA Videos - Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

About this video:

Tilt-up construction is a method widely used in commercial building construction where concrete wall panels are cast horizontally and then tilted into position. The panels are connected and secured together to create a watertight system. Connections between panels typically involve bolts, welded brackets, or a combination thereof. Oftentimes, these are concealed. The construction process of concrete tilt-up buildings results in seams or joints between panels. This requires the application of joint sealants.

Tilt-Up Precast Concrete Construction (Source: Dillon Winiecki, Arizona Commercial Property Inspections)

Understanding the construction methods for commercial buildings helps inspectors know what to look for during inspections. Some of the main items of interest include: 

  • Panel seams. Look for open seams and deteriorated sealant. 
  • Panel connections. Look for rust, corrosion, and deteriorated sealant. 
  • Panel cracking. Look for cracks and know the difference between non-concerning cracks and those requiring evaluation by a structural engineer.
  • Plumb, level, square, and straight. Scan down the panels from various angles and at corners. 
  • Physical damage. Look for physical damage, especially near high-traffic areas, and determine if it poses a potential structural concern or is merely cosmetic.

Tilt-up precast concrete panels and their connection points can be inspected from both the exterior and interior of the building, depending on the property. Pay special attention to seams and examine the panels from different angles and distances.


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