The basics of Tilt-Up construction

Tilt-Up construction combines the strength and durability of reinforced concrete with the precision and efficiency of Design-Build methodology. This one-two punch delivers new buildings quickly and economically, which explains why more than 650 million square feet of Tilt-Up buildings go up every year.

If you’re planning a new building, you simply can’t afford to ignore Tilt-up. It’s just too practical. But, you’ll definitely have some questions, such as:

  • How exactly does Tilt-Up construction work?
  • How long has it been around?
  • What are some alternative construction methods?   
  • What are the main benefits of Tilt-Up construction?
  • How is The Korte Company using Tilt-Up?

Let’s take a look at each of these questions.

The ins and outs of Tilt-Up construction

With Tilt-Up construction, the exterior walls of a building are created at the work site using wood forms, rebar and ready-mix concrete. When the forms and rebar are in place, workers pour concrete into the forms, smooth over the surface and let the walls harden.

When the walls are ready, a crane operator tilts them into vertical position, where they form the external structure of the building. All the entrances and window openings are shaped into the wall forms. Walls can be decorated with masonry or other methods to suit an almost limitless array of aesthetic choices. 

The history of Tilt-Up construction

People have probably been tilting walls into place for as long as they have been building them. An old-fashioned barn-raising uses Tilt-Up methods, for instance.

According to Concrete Construction magazine, commercial buildings using Tilt-Up construction started appearing in the early 1900s. The method became popular in the boom years after World War II, when a labor shortage placed a premium on economical construction methods.

Since then, Tilt-Up has caught on across the US and around the world. Advances in computers and other technologies have dramatically increased the efficiency and flexibility of Tilt-Up methods.

Alternative methods

Tilt-Up construction is a viable alternative to:

  • Wood-frame construction, which is vulnerable to fire and insect infestations
  • Steel-frame construction, which is better suited to high-rise buildings

New technologies and materials are opening new opportunities in the building-construction sector, but few to date match the overall appeal of Tilt-Up.

Benefits of Tilt-Up


Tilt-Up is extremely quick. You can have walls for a building up in a week or so.

Labor cost

Tilt-Up requires far less skilled labor than other methods. You hire laborers to pour and finish the concrete walls, and a crane operator to lift the walls into place.


You use materials like ready-mix concrete and rebar from nearby suppliers. You don’t have to wait months for steel beams or complex components.

Energy efficiency

Reinforced concrete is an excellent insulator — and you can create walls with an extra insulating layer for maximum energy savings.

Design flexibility

Design-Build companies use software to design to your exact specifications and remove costly unknowns from the construction process.

How The Korte Company uses Tilt-Up

Everything The Korte Company builds emerges from our dedicated Design-Build philosophy.

As designers and builders, we use advanced technologies and decades of experience to shave critical days and hours off of construction processes. That’s how we’ve gotten so good at coming in on-time and under-budget.

There are plenty of ways to construct a commercial building. For our money (and yours), Tilt-Up is the best construction method for the widest range of commercial structures.

Around here, we’re fond of saying “the job is the boss.” Tilt-Up helps us turn those words into action. 


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