Photorealistic renderings courtesy of Korb + Associates
What is Mass Timber Construction and How is Engineered Wood Manufactured for the World's Tallest Mass Timber Building?| 04.07.2021 BENEATH THE HARD HAT
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At 284 feet tall, Ascent MKE is poised to become the world's tallest mass timber structure. The 25-story residential tower will be home to 259 luxury apartments constructed on a six-story cast-in-place concrete parking structure. As one of the construction team leaders, C.D. Smith would like to ensure you of our commitment to safety and a positive experience throughout construction by being your source for the latest news and construction updates. Scroll down to discover features and amenities, quick facts and a running list of article links to everything in the news since construction began in August 2020. Subscribe to get notified of new updates and stay current with the latest media news on this exciting project.
Tim Gokhman | New Land Enterprises, owner + developer
Jim Wiechmann | Wiechmann Enterprises, development partner
Jason Korb | Korb + Associates Architects, architect + building design & approvals
John Peronto | Thornton Tomasetti, structural engineer
Rich Severson | C.D. Smith, general contractor
Matt Burow | Catalyst Construction, general contractor
Christopher Evans | Swinerton Mass Timber, procurement, logistics & installation
Justin Johnson | JSD Professional Services, surveying & civil site design
David Barber | ARUP, ﬁre safety consulting
See the Milwaukee Business Journal's 2021 Real Estate Award winners | Milwaukee Business Journal 03.16.2021
Ascent tower's mass timber pieces will pass through Port Milwaukee | Milwaukee Business Journal 02.11.2021
Tim Gokhman: Led Development of Nation's First Mass-Timber Tower | Engineering News-Record 01.20.2021
Financing the $125 million Ascent tower was already a tall order, and then the pandemic struck | Milwaukee Business Journal 01.06.2021
Milwaukee's 25-Story Ascent Stacks Up as Tall Timber Role Model | Engineering News-Record 12.16.2020
JLL Arranges $88M Financing on Mass Timber Project in Milwaukee | Connect Chicago 12.14.2020
World’s Tallest Mass Timber Tower Lands $88M Loan | Multi-Housing News 12.11.2020
JLL Arranges $87.6M in Construction Financing for 25-Story Ascent Apartments in Milwaukee | Rebusiness Online 12.11.2020
Ascent timber tower receives its main loan from Arkansas bank | Milwaukee Business Journal 12.10.2020
$87.65M in construction financing secured for Ascent in Milwaukee | JLL 12.10.2020
Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated : $87.65M in construction financing secured for Ascent in Milwaukee | Market Screener 12.10.2020
World's Tallest Timber Tower Rising In Milwaukee | WUWM89.7 12.07.2020
Milwaukee Is On Track To House World's Tallest Timber Skyscraper | NPR 12.07.2020
Milwaukee Wisconsin's World's Tallest Timber Skyscraper Taking Shape | Forest Economic Advisors 12.07.2020
Mass Timber Momentum Expands Forest Products Markets | U.S. Forest Service 10.21.2020
New Super-Tall Wood Building Underway in Milwaukee | Eastern White Pine 10.13.2020
Construction is Underway in Milwaukee Wisconsin on the World's Tallest Mass Timber Building | Forest Economic Advisors 09.25.2020
World’s tallest wood building rising in Milwaukee | Woodworking Network 09.24.2020
In case you blinked last week, here’s all the new shit they’re building in Milwaukee (Sept. 6-12) | Milwaukee Record 09.15.2020
Ascent | Urban Milwaukee 09.06.2020
Timber Tower Begins Construction in WI | Paint Square 09.03.2020
Ascent Luxury Apartment Tower | Construction Journal 09.02.2020
284-Ft 'Ascent' Could Break Mass Timber Tower Height Record | ENR Midwest 09.02.2020
Ascent the cutting edge 25 story timber tower for Milwaukee | TimberBiz 09.02.2020
Construction begins on Ascent in Milwaukee | BizTimes 09.01.2020
Milwaukee Soon to Become Home of Tallest Mass Timber Structure in the World | Forest Economic Advisors 09.01.2020
Construction starts on $80 million mass timber apartment tower in Milwaukee | The Daily Reporter 09.01.2020
A look inside the world’s tallest timber tower being built in Milwaukee — and its global impact: Slideshow | Milwaukee Business Journal 09.01.2020
Construction starts on unusual $80 million, 25-story mass timber apartment tower in downtown Milwaukee | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 08.31.2020
Ascent Milwaukee | with Tim Gokhman | CCIM Meeting RECAP & VIDEO | CARW 05.22.2020
World’s Tallest Timber Tower To Begin Pre-Leasing | Urban Milwaukee 04.30.2020
New record-breaking design approved for Ascent mass timber tower in Milwaukee | Milwaukee Business Journal 03.09.2020
Tallest timber tower in the world to break ground in Milwaukee this spring | CBS 58 02.14.2020
Downtown apartment high-rise Ascent will be taller and have up to 34 more units under revised plan | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 02.05.2020
As Ascent begins, mass timber industry has an eye on Milwaukee tower project | OnMilwaukee 01.21.2020
Work ramps up for Ascent mass timber tower in Milwaukee | Milwaukee Business Journal 01.07.2020
Pre-Construction Starting on Ascent | Urban Milwaukee 01.07.2020
Milwaukee's wooden skyscraper just got a little bit taller | Archinect 09.25.2019
Tallest wood building in North America projected to get even taller | Construction Dive 09.20.2019
TIMBER!: Milwaukee’s Ascent project leading the way for wood construction in Midwest | The Daily Reporter 09.03.2019
New Land adds height to timber apartment tower proposal for downtown Milwaukee | Milwaukee Business Journal 08.28.2019
Developer to add more units, balcony to timber apartment tower plans | BizTimes 07.03.2019
21-story timber building in Wisconsin, tallest in US, advances | Construction Dive 03.01.2019
21-Story Mass Timber Building Proposed in Milwaukee | Green Building Advisor 02.06.2019
Milwaukee board approves rezoning for Western Hemisphere’s tallest mass timber building | Building Design + Construction 02.05.2019
North America's tallest timber tower wins city support in Milwaukee | The Architect's Newspaper
Milwaukee Developer Wants To Build One Of World's Tallest Wooden Structures | Wisconsin Public Media 01.29.2019
Design revealed for mass-timber residential tower in Milwaukee | Building Design + Construction 10.19.2018
Proposed 21-story timber tower in Milwaukee would be Western Hemisphere's tallest wood building | Archinect News 10.11.2018
• Ascent will be located at 700 E. Kilbourn Avenue, on E. Kilbourn Avenue and N. Van Buren Street in downtown Milwaukee, WI.
• Ascent will be the tallest timber tower in the world, at 284 feet tall. The current record holder is Norway’s Mjostarnet Tower which stands at 277.23 feet.
• Ascent will be 25 stories tall. The base, elevator and stair shafts will be concrete, while the rest of the structure will use cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glulam.
• A six-story podium at the base of the structure will house retail, parking, lobby, and amenity space. The remainder of the structure will house 259 luxury apartments and rooftop amenity space.
• A seventh ﬂoor wellness level incorporates a pool area with retractable glass walls, a poolside kitchen/bar area, sauna, steam room, ﬁtness center, wellness studios and more.
• The top ﬂoor of Ascent is 100% usable amenity space, with 360 degrees of views through ﬂoor to ceiling glass windows and two sky decks. This 25th ﬂoor includes kitchen space, lounges on the East and West sides of the building, a ﬁreplace, a wine tasting room with climate-controlled storage, an outdoor cinema, conference rooms, and more.
• The project broke ground in August 2020 and anticipates completion in the summer of 2022.
• Construction will utilize mass timber digitally designed and manufactured in Austria. The digital building process helps reveal and resolve any conﬂicts before the actual building commences, saving time during the construction process.
• Data shows that mass timber performs as well as or even better than other building materials in ﬁre, earthquake, and wind conditions. In ﬁre tests, mass timber panels char on the outside, forming an insulating barrier that protects interior wood.
• Mass timber has a negative carbon footprint, equivalent to taking 2,350 cars off the road for a year.
• Because mass timber is lighter than concrete (about 1/5th the weight), it can be taller with a smaller footprint. A concrete structure of Ascent’s height would require a much larger foundation to support the concrete's weight.
• During seismic activity, buildings with higher strength-to-weight ratios perform better than those with low ratios. Building with mass timber increases the strength to weight ratio because it is both light and strong.
• Mass timber utilizes a renewable resource. Sustainable forestry is the foundation of the mass timber movement. It is estimated that it would take only 25 minutes of natural growth in North American forests to replenish the wood that Ascent will use.
• Mass timber construction requires 90% less construction trafﬁc, 75% fewer workers onsite, and is 25% faster than traditional construction. All of these reductions factor into further reduced emissions associated with the construction process.
• The term biophilia refers to the instinctive human love of nature. Environments rich in natural elements, including wood surfaces, plant life, and ﬂowing water, have been shown to positively impact physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
• Stress is one of the most signiﬁcant health challenges of the 21st century. As humans spend more time within built environments (at home, at school, at work), we must evaluate how those built environments can incorporate more nature elements for maximum restorative impact.
• Ascent has been designed with careful attention to detail, with biophilic concerns at the forefront of every decision. We aim to bring the restorative effects of a stroll through the park to our residents’ homes.
(Milwaukee, WI – September 1, 2020) – Ascent, the cutting-edge 25-story mass timber tower in downtown Milwaukee, has received building permits from the City of Milwaukee and broken ground. The development team, led by New Land Enterprises and Wiechmann Enterprises, said that all the puzzle pieces have been put in place. Korb + Associates Architects led the building design and approvals, with structural engineering services by Thornton Tomasetti.
“The issuance of building permits for Ascent represents a major milestone. This has been an incredible 2-year journey, working in continuous partnership with the City of Milwaukee, to create something rather extraordinary – a world-class residential project that is also a major carbon sink,” said Jason Korb, principal of Korb+Associates Architects.
The project has raised the required equity. Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ascent attracted lenders and investors' attention across the country. “We received multiple term sheets and are moving ahead to close the deal,” said Tim Gokhman, managing director of New Land Enterprises. “The interest in this project is proof that the aesthetic, construction and sustainability beneﬁts of mass timber have captured the attention and imagination of a broad spectrum of people.” Jim Wiechmann, owner of Wiechmann Enterprises, added “Over the last decade, I have collaborated with New Land on several groundbreaking projects, but Ascent is a truly historic achievement.”
Foundation work commenced last week. The construction team is led by C.D. Smith and Catalyst Construction, with Swinerton Mass Timber in charge of procurement, logistics and installation of the mass timber. One unique aspect of the building process involves ﬁrst building Ascent digitally, down to the smallest details, revealing any potential conﬂicts upfront. This eliminates time spent in the ﬁeld resolving those conﬂicts, and, coupled with the offsite fabrication nature of mass timber, will shorten Ascent’s construction schedule by 4-5 months.
At 284 feet tall, Ascent is poised to become the tallest hybrid timber structure in the world. The project will have 259 apartments sitting atop a 6-story podium housing retail, parking, a swimming pool, ﬁtness center, and a full amenity ﬂoor atop the building with sky decks, a wine tasting room, lounges, and even an outdoor movie screen. Unveiled in 2018, Ascent has garnered international attention from fans, architects, engineers, and planners worldwide. The project has been presented at the 2018 international CTBUH conference in Dubai, the 2019 international CTBUH conference in Chicago, the 2019 International Mass Timber Conference in Portland and has been featured by publications across the globe.
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