Willmeng Construction has lifted a record-setting 126-cubic-yard concrete tilt panel for an installation at a Northrop Grumman factory in Gilbert, Ariz. The previous record of 92.25 cubic yards was set in 2018.
REAL ESTATE | 15 hours ago | AZRE
Willmeng Construction Inc., a Phoenix-based commercial general contractor, hosted a tilting ceremony on Nov. 2, celebrating the successful lift of the heaviest concrete tilt panels in the nation and the eighth tallest in North and South America, weighing in at more than 500,000 pounds at the Northrop Grumman satellite manufacturing facility in Gilbert, Ariz.
“The logistics, scheduling, pre-planning and execution of this project for Northrop Grumman is one of complexity and requires an entire team effort to deliver concrete panels like very few have seen before,” said James Murphy, Willmeng CEO. “The collaboration among Suntec, Gensler and the client will result in a state-of-the-art facility equipped to meet Northrop Grumman’s needs in Gilbert.”
Marking a major milestone for the use of concrete tilt panels in the construction at the facility, the first, and heaviest concrete panel lifted weighs approximately 504,000 pounds, and stands at 87 feet, 7 inches tall, officially breaking the previous record of 369,600 pounds also set in Phoenix two years ago. Designed by Gensler, Phoenix, this expansion will maximize space to allow for nearly double the production capacity of the existing facility.
“This project milestone is a huge accomplishment for the entire project team and our many trade partners,” said Mike Mongelli, Willmeng President. “We look forward to seeing the impact this facility makes on Arizona at large.”
During the gathering on Nov. 2, the uniquely specialized 850-ton crane, which was exported from California and assembled on-site days prior, erected and set the first two panels. Due to the massive size of these panels, Suntec Concrete poured the slabs weeks prior to account for the lengthy curing process. Each panel measures 20 ft. 1 in. wide and 2 ft. thick, breaking records for size and requiring unique reinforcing considerations to execute this milestone.
A construction technique for casting concrete elements in a horizontal position at the job site and then tilting them to their final position in a structure.- ACI Concrete Terminology.
Tilt-up concrete wall panels most often serve as load-bearing wall elements spanning vertically from the foundation or slab-on-ground to intermediate floor(s), the roof, or both. Tilt-up panels are generally handled only once. They are lifted or tilted from the casting slab and erected in their final position in one, continuous operation. Tilt-up panels are generally of such large size and weight that they can only be constructed on site and in close proximity to their final location in the structure.