Tilden Elementary School


Hamburg, PA


Hamburg Area School District, Hamburg, PA


AEM Architects, Inc., Reading, PA


Multani Associates, Inc., Wyomissing, PA


Lobar, Inc., Dillsburg, PA

Project Scope

Sq. Footage:



3 floors

Structural Precast Elements:

• CarbonCast® high performance insulated wall panels
• Solid walls

Architectural Precast Elements:

• Precast cladding with thin brick facing



Thin brick

Precast Scope:

• Three-story elementary school.
• 110,000 square feet.
• Structural CarbonCast brand high-performance insulated structural wall panels.
• Solid wall panels.

Key Attributes:

• Precast concrete’s aesthetic versatility created a traditional school look while offering high energy performance.
• Use of carbon mesh for secondary reinforcement lightens panels by requiring less cover to protect reinforcing from corrosion.
• Continuous composite action ensures no gaps in insulation that create drafts and sap energy performance.
• Structural panels save time and money by combining architectural finish with structural framing.
• Panelized system of embedded thin bricks sped construction and minimized long-term maintenance by reducing joints to be inspected and maintained.
• Spring arched windows were created in the panels to emphasize the traditional look of the building.
• The panel walls’ interior side was float-finished to complement the masonry walls used in the interior while eliminating dust and moisture issues associated with masonry.
• Fabrication off-site at the precaster’s plant improved quality control and allowed casting to continue while site work progressed, speeding construction.


Tilden Elementary School
Tilden Elementary School
Tilden Elementary School
Tilden Elementary School

Administrators at Tilden Elementary Center in Hamburg, Pa., wanted an environmentally friendly building for their kindergarten through fifth-graders –without incurring higher costs. They achieved this with precast concrete insulated sandwich wall panels embedded with thin brick to create an efficient but traditional appearance.

The 10-inch-thick panels feature 3 inches of continuous XPS insulation sandwiched between a 4-inch interior wythe and a 3-inch exterior wythe. Carbon-fiber shear grid connects the wythes, virtually eliminating hot and cold spots on the interior wall and preserving comfort for students. The carbon fiber grid also creates complete composite action, allowing the load-bearing walls to deliver structural support more efficiently than non-composite designs.

The building features a traditional brick façade composed of thin brick embedded in the panel face. Exposed precast banding and window sills impart the feel of limestone accents. A large, central cupola is the focal point of the building.

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