Innovation in Concrete Tilt Up Construction

Hi my name is Connor Covey and I am an Architectural Designer at Grimshaw in Los Angeles. Currently I am working on a project that is proposing tilt up concrete construction. I was curious if anybody could point me towards any sources on innovation in tilt up construction, and in particular any knowledge on how to make the tilt up panels from a sustainable mix, and how the mix met the code standards .


Connor, I’m a structural engineer currently working on some tilt-up projects as well. Most of the principles that would generally apply to lowering embodied carbon for cast-in-place concrete apply to tilt-up construction as well. Material efficiency is key, but something that the structural engineer likely already has locked in pretty tightly if they are an experienced tilt-up designer. This leaves the concrete specification as the biggest level to pull for embodied carbon.

I always refer people to this Tally webinar by @dkestner because I think it is a very accessible and practical intro to embodied carbon considerations for concrete.

It has been a few years since this came out, and the concepts remain very relevant, but there has been great development since then in terms of number of mix-specific EPDs available, resources for designers, and general awareness in the industry.

Among the growing sea of resources out there, what are others’ current favorites for an architect looking for general strategies?

Finally, you didn’t mention the structural system for the roof. There are different options for tilt-up, the feasibility/economy of which will depend on project’s location. Discuss this with your structural engineer as well, as the roof will have a large contribution to the project’s embodied carbon.

I have not yet completed any bay studies comparing GWP of different long-span roof systems. Would love to see this if anybody else has!

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