Ascent is all the buzz in Milwaukee. Officially announced as the tallest hybrid mass timber tower in the world, Ascent opened its doors in July 2022 for residents to call 700 E Kilbourn Avenue home.
Years in the making, the vision for Ascent started nearly a decade ago. But, Ascent’s concept was just the start to achieving this tall feat. To lay claim to the tallest mass timber building and construct a sustainable, luxury residential high-rise, the project team understood that extensive planning and collaboration needed to occur, including addressing and evolving building codes to enable a more sustainable future.
As Ascent rose to a staggering 284 feet, the project team fielded numerous United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) assessments, fire testing and inspections, and visits from news media outlets and world-renowned documentary filmmakers.
The project was a labor of love and collaboration between C.D. Smith, Catalyst Construction, Korb + Associates Architects, Thornton Tomasetti structural engineers and New Land Enterprises, the owner. C.D. Smith oversaw the site work, the core and shell build and MEP trade partners.
Above the concrete garage podium, the floors are built with cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glulam, a more robust, lighter prefabricated alternative to traditional steel and concrete. Mass timber offers many benefits to building owners, occupants and the environment.
• Mass timber is a sustainable building material with a low carbon footprint. It has fewer embodied carbons and requires less water and energy to produce than concrete or steel. It is also cleaner to construct, which aids in reducing carbon emissions during construction. Mass timber also locks in carbon from the atmosphere, benefiting everyone in the building and community for years to come.
• Mass timber is highly rated for seismic resilience and has vibration-resistant properties to withstand the impacts of explosions, earthquakes and high winds. The predictable way it burns and chars is unique to mass timber and it meets or exceeds burn codes in the event of a fire.
• Mass timber is prefabricated, lending itself to a faster build time. Additionally, materials that are prefabricated offsite require significantly less truck traffic on the construction site.
In July 2022, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) declared Ascent the World’s Tallest Timber-Concrete Hybrid Building. Officials from the State of Wisconsin, the City of Milwaukee and representatives from USDA and CTBUH attended the celebration.
"Building the world's tallest mass timber building requires bringing in subject matter experts from all across the world and combining that knowledge with best practices for building a high rise. C.D. Smith's track record in the latter, as well as their team's creative problem-solving and perseverance, was exemplary.”
-Tim Gokhman, Managing Director, New Land Enterprises
Date: Sept. 15, 2022 | Author: Molly Haack
Our commitment to holistically enhancing the current and future environmental, economic and societal well-being of the communities in which we live, work and play begins with education. We have a team devoted to understanding the difference between green building and a sustainable built environment. Our team will help you weigh the financial and business impacts of building green through a sustainable approach to make the most informed decisions. Join us in our commitment to
We went for LEED Gold®, and now we're living green in the best possible way. According to the USGBC LEED Project Directory, the C.D. Smith Corporate Office is the first recognized LEED BD+C: New Construction-v4 Gold Certified building in Wisconsin, the next-generation standard for green building design, construction, operations and performance.
Discover more about OUR SUSTAINABILITY by following the link.
We are proud of the sustainable design and construction that went into our new headquarters. Key sustainable features include:
Atop of our new headquarters sits a 94kW ballasted, solar photovoltaic system. The system features five SolarEdge Technologies Inc. inverters and (294) REC Group 320w modules. It is projected to offset an estimated up to 39.1% of our electric energy consumption. That’s saving over 93 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere each year!
Floor to ceiling, energy-efficient windows throughout the C.D. Smtih headquarters optimize daylight to reduce energy consumption by offsetting the amount of electricity lightly needed to properly light spaces in the building.
Tracking and metering of systems allow for decreased operating costs, enhanced system performance, energy savings, increased comfort and overall increased control of building infrastructure.
Reusable cups are located in cafes. Recycling Stations are located throughout the building along with bottle filling stations. Office employees are making a valiant effort to go paperless.
As a part of our green initiatives, C.D. Smith is practicing sustainable landscaping. Native planting takes two to three years to develop and requires maintenance for the plants to successfully establish. Maintenance may include mowing, weed management, and prescribed burning. The land surrounding the building will look different throughout the season and every year.
Through a proactive safety program, strict standards and our “Think Safe. Work Safe.” campaign, we have built a solid culture where safety is our number one priority day in and day out.
C.D. Smith supports many local organizations through sponsorship programs and monetary donations in our community and in the communities with which we work. In the past 10 years, we have donated over $4 million to businesses and organizations throughout the state of Wisconsin, from small community clubs to large non-profit organizations.
Building community is the foundation of our organization. By supporting community initiatives, economic growth and development, we feel privileged to help ensure our team members have solid places to live, work, volunteer, serve and play.
Learn more at cdsmith.com/mass-timber-construction.
The demand for new ways to live and travel including greater on-site amenities like dog parks, dining and entertainment space is driving a shift in housing throughout the world. C.D. Smith is partnering with housing developers to offer the very best in housing options at competitive market rates. We're building state-of-the-art multi-family and senior housing facilities in support of lifestyles for converting addresses to homes. Scroll down for a preview of our HOUSING CONSTRUCTION PROJECT EXPERIENCE or explore more housing construction projects using this link to the YOUR INDUSTRY: HOUSING CONSTRUCTION pages of our website.