2020 TCA Tilt-Up Achievement Award - Vella Residence


Bringing Dreams to Reality, When No One Else Would! Everyone has a vision in their head of what a dream home would and should be. The Vella’s dream home included life-style changes as well. They wanted to live more sustainable; environmentally as well as financially. Having a home that was “off the grid” and could offer energy efficiency, cumulating into monthly savings on essential services, was part of their dream design. Here’s how the tilt-up contractor stepped up, when other companies literally outpriced themselves to avoid the project, and became partners with the Vella’s to build their dreams into reality. Here’s Joe Vella and his family’s vision. “We wanted to build a home that didn’t require any heat at all and came up with a design that we thought could achieve it.” According to Joe, the design wasn’t the problem. “That was the easy part. Finding a way to build it was more challenging.” The plan was to build an “off the grid” one-story concrete home unlike any other in Burk’s Falls. With large south-facing patio doors, airy lofts and a dual-arching steel roof line. The vision was impressive. The next step? Finding someone to build it. The search for a company who could make the Vella’s vision happen started off a little foggy. “We had people quote on this and they didn’t obviously want to do the job” says Joe of the estimates he received to build his project. As he continued to research concrete home construction methods, tilt wall came into focus. So, Joe contacted his local tilt-up contractor. “They were very enthusiastic to do this project.” His experience with tilt-up was a refreshing change. “The tilt wall contractor was fair. They gave me a good price and they really got involved in the project.” It was time to bring the Vella’s vision to life! The Speed of Dreams Realized Here is Joe’s account of the construction process. “Things happened very quickly and the process worked very well”. They formed the walls, poured the concrete and did the finishing in just a over a month or so, with time for the concrete to cure.” The erection stage was completed in one day. The Vella’s house has a unique double-arching steel roof. Sustainable wood products were used to complete the interior components, including hemlock for the double-tongue-and-groove lofts. A stunning contrast against the concrete and a beautiful architectural choice.Dream Home Living, Efficiently The Vella’s moved into their dream home in August 2019. They continue to put in the finishing touches and marvel at what tilt-up was able to bring to life. “This house is solid and is completely airtight” says Joe of his tilt wall home. “We have solar panels and a backup generator for electricity and the home itself requires practically no heat.” Speaking to the efficiencies of tilt-up concrete construction, Joe continues “If we go away for ten days it might be two degrees cooler than when we left. Even minus thirty isn’t a problem.”


The Tilt-Up Achievement Awards were established to honor projects that use site-cast tilt-up concrete to introduce new building types, advance industry technology and provide unique solutions to building programs. Winning entries illustrate the variety, beauty, and flexibility of tilt-up construction.

2020 Tilt-Up Achievement Award

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