TTG Corporation: They Build Upside Down Buildings

We are back with the second installment of our  “Businesses We Love” series. This Powerlinx regular series showcases businesses that that we think are worth bringing attention to.   We meet with great leaders of great companies every week and hear fascinating stories of how they got started and how they are driving innovation and change.


This week’s business has both an iconic Founder and a disruptive, patented technology that is changing how high-rises are constructed and built across the globe.  When their CFO visited us recently we talked about this company for days.


TTG is the largest structural engineering firm in the country and was founded by the iconic engineer Charlie Thorton who has been involved in the design, construction and analysis of billions of dollars worth of projects worldwide. He has led the structural design of some of the most important and monumental buildings, including two of the world’s tallest: The Tapai 101 in Tawain and the Petronas towers in Malaysia.  Charlie left TTG in 2005 and now spends his time consulting and working with students through the ACE program he created that mentors students in engineering fields.


Charlie was awarded a patent thirty years ago for a system that constructs buildings from the top floor down.   But he put it on a shelf and went on to build other highly successful businesses.   Then, the crumbling of the twin towers and advancements in engineering processes changed all that.


Today the TTG system is being used around the world.  When they visited us at Powerlinx, they were breaking ground on a new structure in India and finding local workers – a big help to the local economy there.    Have you ever heard of a high-rise building that was built from the top floor down?  How about a building that can be built 24 hrs/day and beats all safety expectations for its workers?  Incredible right?


Powerlinx Cobalt Tower TTG Corp.
The Cobalt Tower in Dubai


TTG has used this High Rise System to build such iconic structures as the Cobalt Tower in Dubai and the Modular Hospital for Haiti.    TTG specializes in mass-producing high rises, with increased safety for the workers, and the ability to construct buildings faster and more efficiently that the average construction firm today.  From TTG’s site, “… mass production in no way limits design flexibility. The TTG System can be utilized to create a high rise of virtually any height, size or shape and the patented TTG Curtain Wall System means that the exterior can be created with almost any material.”


As evidenced by their portfolio of design ideas and completed buildings, the range of designs the TTG System can build is in no way hindered by this ingenious building process.  Indeed, it seems to have enhanced the way complex designs are built and implemented into each floor.


Here are some of the things that blew our minds about TTG:

First, workers never have to be more 200ft above the ground.  As each story is built on the ground level and then transported up, there is no need to lift either workers or steel beams high into the air. The ease on insurance premiums alone should make you pause.  Something else that is great about this system is that workers experienced in conventional construction can adapt quickly, as no additional training is needed to construct using the TTG System.  Each construction worker also enjoys the added benefit of being able to do his job at ground level.  Everything is easy, and all building materials remain highly visible and easily counted.  There are no safety nets, floor tarps or big cleanups.


To lift each floor of the high-rises into the air, a climbing jack system is utilized.  In each building, there are eight climbing jacks around each core beam that lift the floor in unison.  Minute 6:49 in the video above has one of the most amazing shots of the floors being lifted one by one. According to TTG, it takes only 2.5 days, from start to finish, to construct an entire floor of a high rise!


It’s much cheaper to build!   The TTG System maximizes the structural efficiencies of steel and concrete to create a strong and safe structural frame and weighs about 40% less than comparable all concrete structures and meets all the applicable building codes.   This results in a reduction of 40-50% in structural and foundations costs.


To learn more about TTG Corp., visit them at

If you would like to have your business featured in our weekly Businesses We Love series, please submit a brief overview about your business and why would should love it to [email protected]