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Wangard Partners Betters the Community and Environment through Redevelopment

With 1433 North Water Street, Wangard Partners seized the opportunity to transform a historical building into a state-of-the-art, modern office building that revitalizes the Park East Redevelopment area.

Initially, this building was a wagon works facility that later evolved to serve the automobile industry with the addition of a blacksmith. In 1926, the Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company moved in. Then, Laacke and Joys took over in 1957.

The former main Laacke and Joys building consists of two structures, a 4-story building from 1895 and a smaller, 3-story building constructed in the 1930’s. Though Wangard Partners sought to save the 4-story building, a deteriorating foundation prevented this from happening. Wangard Partners along with GRAEF, Findorff and Plunkett Raysich Architects preserved as much of the building as possible. The team also was able to reuse portions of the 3-story building.

Special attention was given to energy and water efficiency, low emitting materials, occupant control over lighting and thermal comfort, and the systems being purchased for installation. Stringent construction activity pollution prevention plans were implemented, and construction debris and waste were carefully monitored for proper diversion from landfills. Concrete from demolition was stockpiled, crushed and reused to backfill slabs against foundation walls. Cream City brick was reused to patch areas of the existing building as well as to add decorative details in building finishes. A wooden archway from the original building entrance was also salvaged. Windows from the south building were also reused to be incorporated into a future offsite restaurant design.

Wangard Partners also employed WasteCap Resource Solutions, Inc. to salvage prior to the demolition of the 1895, 4-story building.

Items salvaged include:

  • Light fixtures
  • Vintage red exit signs
  • Glass privacy doors
  • Ladies room letter
  • Two porcelain bubblers
  • 12 green warehouse overhead lights
  • Laacke and Joys foam lettering
  • Two exterior signs
  • Glass exit lights
  • 4,000 SF of maple flooring

Wangard Partners utilized PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing to close the financial gap while allowing the team to install critical energy efficient features. Wangard chose to utilize the Milwaukee River by installing a geothermal system as part of the HVAC system. This system reduces energy by bringing in cool water from the Milwaukee River, circulating it through the chiller and utilizing a heat exchange process to bring the building’s temperature to the desired level. Energy efficient windows, that will provide significant savings over their lifetime, were also installed. As part of the PACE program requirements, the property will take part in the Better Buildings Challenge with the City of Milwaukee and will benchmark energy and water usage in ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager. Wangard Partners additionally chose to install a 44.16kWDC photovoltaic system on the roof. This system both reduces light reflected from the outside as well as the internal trapping of light reflected from solar cells within the module.

Future plans for the project include providing bicycles and kayaks in the building as well as a rooftop patio. Additionally, Arc Skoru, released by the Green Business Certification, Inc., will be implemented. The Arc platform complements LEED® and measures building performance while tracking energy, water, waste, transportation and human experience.

View Wangard Partners’ Full Case Study

View Wangard Partners’ Website

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