Tallest Mass Timber Construction Project News
Wiehag Timber Construction



What is Mass Timber Construction, and How is Engineered Wood Manufactured for the World's Tallest Mass Timber Building?

When Wiehag Timber Construction was kind enough to send photos of the glulam columns and beams for Ascent as they were getting ready to ship, we couldn't resist sharing them with you.


What is Mass Timber Construction?

Mass timber is a material-specific word combination referring to large wood products. The terms mass timber and engineered wood are often used interchangeably. Both are loosely defined as being comprised of solid wood pieces, typically panelized and always engineered to meet and exceed the requirements of the bearing system to which they'll be applied. Glulam, or glued laminated timber, is a type of structural engineered wood composed of layers of dimensional lumber laminations bonded together with structural adhesives. Ascent is categorized as a mass timber building because its primary load-bearing structure will be engineered wood. The above photo shows glued laminated timber that has been factory assembled by Wiehag Timber Construction using CNC-controlled systems according to the structural requirements for Ascent. 

Wiehag Timber Construction steel connections & CNC engineered wood glulam column tallest mass timber building Ascent project

How is Engineered Wood Manufactured for the World's Tallest Mass Timber Building?

Wiehag's engineering teams specialize in mass timber construction. They use raw, sustainably sourced wood pressed into cross-laminated panels and beams. The steel connection solutions are engineered to exceed structural requirements. As a result, finished glulam beams have a high load-bearing capacity. Together with Korb + Associates Architects and Thornton Tomasetti, Wiehag was able to reconcile form and function and provide structure and beauty for the Ascent tower. The first shipments of engineered wood left Austria last week. The mass timber for New Land Enterprises' Ascent MKE project is being procured and managed by Swinerton Mass Timber. Shipments will come to the U.S. through ports in Newark, New Jersey or Montreal. Then they'll go by rail to Chicago, where they'll undergo a customs review before being trucked to Port Milwaukee. We're looking forward to seeing the first shipments in Milwaukee in early May, just about three weeks before finding their permanent home at the start of mass timber construction for Ascent.

Ascent luxury apartments Milwaukee housing project updates from C.D. Smith Construction on tallest mass timber wood building.Photorealistic renderings courtesy of Korb + Associates

Date: Apr 7, 2021 | Author: Tracy Lisowe

Learn More about Ascent MKE Building the World's Tallest Mass Timber Tower





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C.D. Smith

About Us
C.D. Smith Construction is a nationally recognized industry leader in safely providing the highest quality commercial construction services. Utilizing an integrated approach and in-house technical expertise, our team serves as a solutions provider throughout all phases of a project, from planning through closeout. With veteran leadership and dedication to our employees and clients, we proudly place our name on projects of all sizes across the United States.
Sustainable Projects
High-Performance Building

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 creating better-performing buildings by increasing sustainable construction practices. It’s more than a trend… it’s the right thing to do!

Our Sustainability

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.


Recently Certified Projects

LEED Certified Platinum

  • MMSD Maintenance Facility | Madison, WI

LEED Certified Gold

  • C.D. Smith Corporate Headquarters | Fond du Lac, WI
  • Grande Cheese Home Office and Research Center | Fond du Lac, WI
  • Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District tR2E2 Project | Green Bay | WI
  • Spur 16 Apartment Homes |Mequon, WI
  • UW-La Crosse Centennial Hall | La Crosse, WI
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  • Zurn Corporate Headquarters | Milwaukee, WI

LEED Certified Silver

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  • Spur 16 Townhomes |Mequon, WI
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  • Benjamin Charles Steele Veteran Affairs Clinic | Billings, MT
  • Bangor Veteran Affairs Clinic | Bangor, ME
  • The Lewiston / Auburn Veteran Affairs Clinic | Lewiston, ME


Sustainable Projects Currently Underconstruction

  • Ascent Timber Tower | Milwaukee, WI
  • Nakoosa Trail Fleet/Fire/Radio Shop Facility | Madison, WI


Sustainable Practices

We are proud of the sustainable design and construction that went into our new headquarters. Key sustainable features include:

Powered by Solar

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!

Daylight Harvesting

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. 

Automated Building Controls

Tracking and metering of systems allow for decreased operating costs, enhanced system performance, energy savings, increased comfort and overall increased control of building infrastructure. 

Waste Reduction and Recycling

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.

Prairie in Progress

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.


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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.

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Our Community

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.

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Experts in housing 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.


Our self-perform capabilities are a direct result of our talented team members' skilled trade career paths in the communities in which we live and work.

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Image Carousel with More Photos from Wiehag Mass Timber Construction Below


Sustainably sourced slow grown high grade Austrian sawn lumber for mass timber construction of Ascent

Glulam column and beam ends for mass timber construction of Ascent

Glulam engineered wood column for mass timber construction of Ascent

Wiehag Timber Construction carpenter applying steel hanger to glulam beam prior to shipping for Ascent 

Wiehag carpenter applying fire tape to mass timber for Ascent project

Test fitting of glulam beam to engineered wood column before mass timber construction shipment for Ascent