In the mind of architect Dan Beyer, the Clock Shadow Building epitomizes the word “sustainability.” Not only does the commercial development incorporate almost too many green building principles to mention, it also brings economic stability to Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood.
“This project is sustainable on so many different levels,” said Beyer, a senior project manager and architect with Continuum Architects + Planners SC. “Not only was it sustainable in its building practices, it’s sustainable from a neighborhood perspective. The developer took a brownfield site in a neighborhood no one was developing something like this in and turned it into something wonderful.”
From the get go, Juli Kaufmann, owner of Fix Development LLC, told Continuum Architects and general contractor CG Schmidt Inc. of her goals to create a building that not only promoted environmental stewardship, but also social equity, economic stability and a stronger community.
The four-story Clock Shadow Building houses Clock Shadow Creamery, a local cheese maker specializing in producing natural, organic and award-winning cheeses, and the Purple Door Ice Cream shop. The Healing Collective, which brings together three programs that seek to integrate mental, physical and spiritual health, occupies the building’s top three floors.
“All the parties involved came in with the same goal,” said Bryce Unger, a senior project manager with CG Schmidt. “To make it happen, it took a lot of creativity and teamwork.”
For example, CG Schmidt carpenters worked to make sure reclaimed items, such as doors, would work in the building alongside new doors and that there wouldn’t be much of a difference between the two.
There was a lot of preplanning before construction to mitigate waste, Unger said. For example, wall heights were changed to cut down on drywall waste.
“We were also continually looking for ways to reuse materials not only from this site, but from others. The wood on the outside of the building came from pickle vats,” Unger said. “And then what was left over from that was used to create a piece of artwork in the lobby.”
While the site incorporates a variety of reclaimed materials, Beyer said “great pains were taken to make sure the design was still beautiful and that the building fit in with its surroundings.”
Unger said the $7 million project uses the Living Building Challenge Model, an international sustainable building certification program, to draw attention to how people interact with their physical environment.
“More than 50 percent of the building materials were recycled or salvaged,” he said, “and we recycled 99 percent of the waste generated during construction.”
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