At the beginning of September, we were wondering if there was going to be a Tilt-up Concrete Convention this year as Irma set her sights on Miami and the southern tip of Florida.  As fair winds helped push her farther west than expected, specifically over to the Florida Keys where she did her damage; this allowed us to send some of our well-trained engineers down to help with the SEER secondary response…but more on that later.

This year’s Convention was held at Miami’s Fontainebleau Hotel.  A revered Miami Beach landmark for more than half a century, Morris Lapidus’ emblematic curvilinear building is set in the heart of Miami’s Millionaires Row.  Its iconic design is a spectacular blend of Miami’s glamorous golden era of Frank Sinatra and The Rat Pack and stylish modern luxury.

The Convention’s first day started out with a tour of some of the innovative buildings in the hot tilt-up market of South Florida. While on the tour, we visited the locations of two of the tallest tilt up panels in the world per the Top Ten Tilt Up List. Number one on the list and featured during the outing includes the World’s tallest tilt up panel, the FIU Biscayne Bay Campus.  This panel measures 111’-9” tall.  We also visited number ten on the list, which is part of the bell tower at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church.  That panel measures in at 85’-7” tall. The day finished up with outdoor demonstrations showing the use and design of various products and their uses in the tilt-up industry, and a lot of networking between all the Architects, Engineers, Developers and Contractors. (And who says we can’t all get along).

Day two kicked off with early morning round tables followed by classes and lectures on a wide range of topics such as: Tilt-Up 101 for those new to the business; Changing Regulatory Issues on the Industry; case studies on some of the buildings in the tour, and a round table discussion on Insulated Composite Tilt-Up.  We all then broke for a little while to go get dressed up for the yearly Awards Gala and President’s After Party.

So how tall is the world’s tallest tilt up panel? At the FIU Biscayne Bay Campus, this panel measures 111’-9” tall. Not bad for Freshman/Sophomore housing!

Saturday began with project management roundtables in the morning (who made this schedule anyhow?) followed by continuing education classes such as: Tilt-Up by Storm, an overview of a building designed to resist a Category 5 hurricane (very appropriate considering Irma and Maria just went by); Structural Design of Composite Tilt-Up Panels; Troubleshooting High-End Finishes; BIM Collaboration in the Cloud; and finally, for those 20 or so people not enticed to be out on the beach yet, a case study on Expanded Joint Floors. So, if you have questions about Tilt-Up, want to design one, or have an idea for one, give one of our subject matter experts a call and maybe next year in Dallas, we can see you at the convention getting your award at the Awards Gala!








Author – Richard Phifer, EIT

Richard is an Assistant Project Manager and is one of our experts when it comes to tilt-up design and construction. He has over 11 years of experience in the designs of various facilities involving steel, masonry, pre-stressed concrete, and reinforced concrete with an emphasis on industrial developments and tilt-up structures.

Richard can be reached at