Milwaukee, WI – (July 20. 2022) –New Land Enterprises welcomed the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) and the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) to its Ascent development at 700 E. Kilbourn Avenue this afternoon, for a ceremony to officially establish its status as the world’s tallest mass timber hybrid building, at 86.6 meters (284 feet). Later in the day, the firm will host a screening of the Engineering the Future documentary series episode “Timber Skyscraper,” which prominently features the project, at the Oriental Theatre.
CTBUH is the international organization that certifies buildings as the “World’s Tallest.” At today’s ceremony, Director of Research and Thought Leadership Daniel Safarik unveiled a plaque to be displayed on the facade of the luxury apartment development.
“Ascent is a very exciting project,” commented Safarik. “It is helping advance the conversation about how we build more sustainable and healthy cities, especially in the face of mass urbanization and the increasing effects of climate change.”
Following the official certification, DSPS Assistant Deputy Secretary Dan Hereth delivered a proclamation on behalf of Governor Tony Evers which establishes the third week of July as “Mass Timber Week” in Wisconsin. DSPS has been instrumental in pursuing updates to state building codes to allow more visionary mass timber project to be built without compromising safety.
“This proclamation reflects the state’s commitment to renewable building materials and resilient communities,” Hereth said. “We are proud to recognize Ascent for the incredible achievement that it is and for inspiring more interest in sustainable design and construction.”
Ascent broke ground in August 2020, after approximately two years of research, testing, planning and collaboration with external stakeholders. The process brought together experts from around the world and has established a model for tall timber that may help pave the way for future projects.
“It was a team effort by all.” Remarked Adam Arndt, President of Catalyst Construction, one of the project’s two general contractors. “I’m amazed at our team’s ability to dive in, dig deep and get projects like this done efficiently and strategically. We give credit to our municipality that they did not fear this project and encouraged ingenuity and sustainability; it says a lot about our great city of Milwaukee.”
During the construction process, the development team was approached by a London-based documentary production company seeking to feature Ascent alongside topics like space travel, the Hyperloop, perpetual power and electric vehicles in the “Engineering the Future” series, streaming on Amazon Prime. The documentary crew filmed on-site throughout the latter part of 2021.
“This is history in the making,” says Justin Smith, President & CEO, C.D. Smith Construction, the general contractor overseeing mass timber construction. “All stakeholders have contributed to this momentous moment. Despite a global pandemic, this team has achieved construction milestones and delivered on promises made more than two years ago. Congratulations to all involved!”
It is estimated that using mass timber for the structural system decreased construction time by approximately 25 percent. Ascent was built using a digital “twin” model, so every beam, column and panel could arrive on site ready to assemble, with holes predrilled to within 1/16 inch accuracy.
The faster, more precise construction was the icing on the cake for CEO of New Land Enterprises, Tim Gokhman, whose firm co-developed Ascent with partner Wiechmann Enterprises.
“We didn’t set out to break records,” commented Gokhman, “we just wanted to create the best experience within the built environment for our residents. Mass timber is faster, more precise, lighter, more sustainable, more beautiful, and supports our commitment to biophilic design.”
The high rise is a study in biophilic design, a science-backed philosophy that uses natural elements including patterns and textures inspired by nature to create an environment optimal to human performance, wellness and healing.
Ascent redefines luxury living, with amenities including a seventh-floor indoor/outdoor pool, a sauna, an indoor/outdoor fitness center, an indoor dog agility center, a doggie spa, electric car charging stations, bike storage, and an impressive 25th-floor community space with two terraces, two entertaining kitchens, an outdoor cinema, a residents-only staffed bar, fireplaces, a game room, semi-private workspaces and more, the mass timber construction is only the beginning of what sets the community apart.
Ascent welcomed its first residents on July 15th and is currently leasing apartments. To view availability, please visit AscentMKE.com.
For more information, please contact Jodi Hogerton at jodi@NewLandMKE.com.
Since 1993, New Land Enterprises has been building, renovating, and managing residential communities and commercial space in Milwaukee. The company has become a leader in mixed-use development, having designed and developed over 1,600 units. Recent projects include Ascent, KinetiK, Crossroads Collective and Black Cat Alley. For more information: http://www.NewLandMKE.com.
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