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Extra-strong benefits are built into tilt-up structures.

Tilt-up construction panel

Kuhlman and Rudolph/Libbe: Pioneers of tilt-up construction throughout Northwest Ohio.

Tilt-up can be the sturdiest, most cost-effective way to build large warehouses and manufacturing facilities. It has become the construction method of choice in Florida, Texas, and Southern California. Northwest Ohio’s level terrain is ideal for the large cranes needed on tilt-up projects. Rudolph/Libbe, Inc., general contractors, and Kuhlman are longtime partners in tilt-up projects through Northwest Ohio.

Tilt-up is a simple concept. Two thousand years ago, Roman builders discovered how to cast concrete slabs on the ground, let them harden, and then hoist them into position. This process was easier than building two upright wooden wall forms and pouring in wet concrete. Nineteen hundred years later, the advent of reinforced concrete permitted builders to cast large, tall, thin-walled panels that could be raised into position. In fact, one of the first tilt-up buildings in the United States is the 90-year-old mess hall at Camp Perry, Ohio.

Other major tilt-up developments followed after World War II:

  • The introduction of mobile truck cranes
  • The new availability of ready-mixed concrete
  • A vast, pent-up demand for new construction

Rudolph/Libbe was the first Northwest Ohio contractor to work in tilt-up and has built more than 54 tilt-up projects totaling over 4 million square feet in five states. “Tilt-up structures aren’t the lowest initial cost to build, but the results are sturdier, more substantial structures that cost less to heat and cool, maintain and insure, plus offer earthquake and hurricane protection. They are less affected by poor weather during construction and require 15 to 20 percent less time to build,” explains Ben Less, Director of Building Systems, Rudolph/Libbe. “Over the years, we’ve teamed up with Kuhlman on a long list of tilt-up projects, including the Campbell Soup warehouse in Napoleon, the Wonder Bread Bakery and Alcoa Aluminum in Northwood, and numerous locations in Arrowhead Business Park in Maumee.”

“On a tilt-up project, when you need 120 yards an hour, you must have 120 yards an hour. Kuhlman’s quality control is excellent and the concrete is consistent. I’d give Kuhlman an A+ all around,” says Danny Grabarczyk, Construction Superintendent for Rudolph/Libbe.

“Kuhlman’s central batch system provides the same consistent mix, whether for 40 or 400 yards,” declares Fritz Rudolph, Chairman of Rudolph/Libbe. “In tilt-up, it’s crucial to achieve the desired consistent strength as soon as possible so that the concrete wall panels can be quickly lifted into place. Plus, Kuhlman is one of the few local suppliers preheating its aggregates, which helps in the winter.”