Feasibility Assessment of Tilt-Up Construction in Commercial Buildings

Chipozya Tembo Silungwe 1  and Festus C. Luwaya 2
  • 1 Department of Construction Economics and Management, Kitwe, Zambia
  • 2 Zambia


Construction projects are much appreciated by both client and contractor when completed on schedule and within budget so as to avoid cost overruns. The Zambian building sector normally experiences time and cost overruns. This study investigated the feasibility of using tilt-up construction in the construction of commercial building walls. The methodology used consisted of a literature review, a questionnaire survey and a scenario analysis consisting of a hypothetical 4900 square meter commercial building with a height of 8 meters. Sixty-six questionnaires were administered to design professionals operating in the Zambian building sector using simple random sampling and thirty-six were returned giving a response rate of 55%. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Cost analysis was done on a hypothetical building as no contractor was found using tilt-up construction in the construction sector. The study established that tilt-up was, in fact, more expensive than the conventional methods (concrete blocks and in-situ reinforced concrete walls), but it was faster, hence, making it viable in respect to time and not cost in the Zambian construction industry (ZCI). Additionally, necessary expertise was available with the exception of a certified tilt-up practitioner and a sealant sub-contractor in cases where a sealant contractor is needed. The study has identified that currently in the Zambian building sector tilt-up construction can be used when time is more important than the cost. However, challenges such as site size (limited space), the unavailability of building regulation for tilt-up construction and the economic capacity of the client or capacity need to be addressed for enhancing the practical application of tilt-up construction in ZCI.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Afrotourism. (2018). Mukuba Mall. Retrieved from www.afrotourism.com/activity/mukuba-mall/on September 23rd 2018.

  • Ashworth, A. (2004). Cost studies of Buildings, 4th ed. London: Pearson Education Limited.

  • Auditor General’s Office. (2016). Report of the Auditor General on the accounts of the Republic for the financial year ended 31st December 2016, for the period 2016. Zambia, Lusaka: Retrieved from www.ago.gov.zm on January 12th 2015.

  • Bob Moore Construction INC. (n.d.). Tilt-Up Construction the Complete Article. Retrieved from www.generalcontractor.com/constructioresources/white-papers/tiltwall-til-up-complete.asp on October 23rd 2017.

  • Capital Building Consultants. (2014). Brick The Solid Investment. Retrieved from www.gobricksoutheast.com/CostComparisons/2014WallCostComparison4Web.pdf on April 1st 2018.

  • Construction World Magazine. (2013). Tilt-Up construction for cost-effective aesthetics and durability, Construction World: The Business Magazine for the Construction Industry. Retrieved from www.crown.co.za/reader/

  • Danso, H. (2013). Building Houses with Locally Available Materials in Ghana: Benefits and Problem. International Journal of Science and Technology, 2(2), 225-231.

  • DLS Consultancy. (2008). Viability of the adoption of steel as a substitute for concrete and its impact on sustainability. 8 (3), 1-6.

  • Jay-Ton Concrete construction. (2016). 4 Reasons Contractors Choose Tilt-Up Concrete Construction. [Online] Retrieved from www.jay-ton.com/singlepost/.

  • Kyjakova, L. and and Baskova, R. (n.d). Advantages and Disadvantages of Modern Methods of Construction. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&ved=0ahUKEwis68_Pj6fcAhWIgVwKHb7_CpkQFghAMAM&url=https%3A%2F%2Fsuw.biblos.pk.edu.pl%2FdownloadResource%26mId%3D1882880&usg=AOvVaw3vP9_r_h6ekKjueYKdWmr on June 30th 2018.

  • Latham. (1994). Constructing the team. London: HMSO.

  • Muya, M., Kaliba, C., Sichombo B., and Shakantu W. (2013). Causal factors of cost escalation, schedule overruns and quality shortfalls in construction projects in Zambia. International Journal of Construction Management, 13 (1), 53-68.

  • Phiri, A. (2017). In private conversation, Ministry of Works and Supply in September 2017, 1030 hrs. Ministry headquarters.

  • Phillips, E. and Pugh, D. (2005) How to get a PhD, 6th Edition, Open University press.

  • Chudley, R. and Greeno, R. (2005). Construction Technology, London: Prentice Hall.

  • Tilt-Up Concrete Association. (2011). The Construction of TIlt-up. Iowa: Tilt-Up Concrete Association.

  • Understanding Building Construction. (2017). Load bearing masonry construction. Retrieved from www.understandconstruction.com/load-bearingmasonry-construction.html on October 12th 2017.

  • Urmson, C. R., Reay, A. M., and Toulmin, S. H. (2013). Lessons learnt from the performance of buildings incorporating tilt-up construction in the Canterbury Earthquakes. 2013 New Zealand Structural Engineering Society Conference.

  • Yalley, P. P. and Kwan, A. S. K. (2008). Use of Waste and low Energy Materials in Building Block Construction. 25 th Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture (PLEA), Dublin.

  • YN Construction. (2015). Tilt-Up Construction = Cost Effective Design and Longevity. Retrieved from yncon.co.za/tilt-up-construction-cost-effective-designand- longevity on March 28th 2018.

  • Zambia Development Agency. (2016). Zambia investment and Business. Retrieved from http://www.zda.org.zm/cost/en/Cost%20of%20Doing%20Business/Land%20and%20Buildings%20Costs on June 2018.


Journal + Issues