A Woodstock company is working on the first all concrete home in Ontario.
Tilt Wall Ontario is a company that is based out of Woodstock that has worked on over 50 projects utilizing tilt-up construction, which range from schools, to agricultural work and commercial buildings.
Len Overbeek, co-founder of Tilt Wall Ontario, said that it was his dream to build a home using tilt-up construction for some time now.
“Fifteen years ago I said, ‘some day I will build myself a tilt-up home,’” Overbeek said. “Someday is now.”
Tilt-up construction is casting walls on the floor slab of the building, insolating those walls, putting another layer of concrete on top of that for the structural layer and then tilting those walls into place.
Overbeek explained the many advantages to having a home made entirely out of concrete.
“A concrete home is very durable,” he said. “It’s (also) very energy efficient, because you have the thermal mass of the concrete that works for you on the inside of the building, you’re not subject to the temperature swings that you get during the day, because the concrete will minimize that fluctuation.
“The other thing with a tilt-up building is that there is no thermal bridging between the exterior and the interior,” Overbeek added. “So if you took a normal stud framed home you have lots of solid wood for thermal energy to travel through. You do not have that with a tilt-up building, there is solid 100 per cent continuous insulation around the entire perimeter of the building.”
Overbeek’s home is being built in Oxford County on Gunn’s Hill Road, but his company has already started planning for its next tilt-up home in Burks Falls, which is scheduled to have construction start in July.
Tilt-up construction has been around for over 100 years, in fact Thomas Edison created an entire village of tilt-up concrete homes in 1908 in Union New Jersey. Overbeek said that the reason there haven’t been any tilt-up homes constructed in Ontario is because the technology is new to the area.
“Even though it’s been around for 100 years in the United States and other parts of the world, it’s very new to Ontario,” he said. “There are places in the world where it’s used a lot more than it is here.”
The cost of a tilt-up home is around 10 to 15 per cent more than a traditional build, Overbeek said, adding that he hopes this type of home becomes more popular.
“It’s a custom home building type,” he said. “It wouldn’t be something you would use in a subdivision. Multi-family dwellings is another area that we would like to explore… But single individual family homes in a subdivision is not where we would see it.
“It would be more in state lots,” Overbeek added . “We need area to cast our panels, that’s why you need a decent sized building lot to build it on.”
Tilt Wall is not a homebuilder, Overbeek said that his company just builds the walls for these projects.
“Somebody interested in building a tilt-up home would have to come to us and we would have to work together,” he said. “We would find a builder for them and team up with them to build a concrete home.”