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Ascent Milwaukee Timber hybrid tower
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Milwaukee, USA

Ascent Tower
Luxury Apartments

In Milwaukee, the largest city in the US state of Wisconsin, WIEHAG has built the world's tallest timber tower to date.
The custom-made timber components as well as the required expertise and technology for the enormous project come from Austria.
Task

Up high with timber

The architects from Korb + Associates wanted to create an eye-catcher in the Milwaukee skyline with the skyscraper. The timber hybrid construction method takes on a special significance: The 18 storeys of timber construction are enthroned on 7 storeys of concrete, which serve as a parking garage for the residents. While more and more timber skyscrapers are being built in Europe, this project is one of the first of its kind in the USA.

Ascent Tower Milwaukee
  • Ascent Tower view
    pure innovation
    "There has never been a project like this before."
    — Tim Gokhman, New Land Enterprises (Client)
Implementation

Know-how from Austria

Both the technology and the expertise for this innovative construction project come from Austria. The beams and columns for the Ascent Tower were pre-produced at the WIEHAG plant in Upper Austria and shipped in individual parts. Logistics played an essential role here: the container loads had to be on site at the right time.

Due to the prefabricated timber components, the pure construction time in America could be reduced by approx. 25 %, which saves costs on the construction site.

WIEHAG employees during the quality check of the timber components for the Ascent Tower
Success factors

The advantages of
High-rise buildings made of timber

Above all, timber construction is an energy-efficient alternative to traditional concrete and steel structures. Timber is a natural, renewable and sustainable building material with a lower carbon footprint and has also proven to be structurally stable and to meet the same performance and safety standards as buildings made of concrete and steel.

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CO2 binding
Timber buildings store CO2 in their structural fabric throughout the life of the building. For example, an 18-storey solid timber building has a negative carbon footprint equivalent to that of 2,350 cars per year.
Glulam Treetop Tower
Sustainability
The timber used for this construction is harvested according to proven, sustainable methods. The focus lies on the continuous cycle of growth, harvesting and replanting. Strict forestry laws in Central Europe ensure that forests are managed sustainably and that less is harvested than grows back.
 Glulam support for wooden high-rise
Stability
Timber high-rise buildings are made of cross laminated timber (CLT) and glulam beams and columns (BSH), which are joined together to provide exceptional strength and stability. Although they are a fraction of the weight of concrete buildings, solid timber buildings can withstand earthquakes and strong winds.
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Fire safety
The behaviour of timber in case of fire is predictable and therefore safe in planning and handling. The fire resistance of high-rise timber buildings is due to charring and embedding of fasteners in the timber. Once a charred zone has formed in a fire, it insulates the rest of the timber so that it retains its structural capacity. We carry out fire resistance tests depending on the project.
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Project profile
Client
New Land Enterprises LLP & Wiechmann Enterprises
Architect
Korb + Associates Architects
Design
Thornton Tomasetti Engineers & Korb Architects
Timber structure and superstructure
WIEHAG GmbH
Total height
90 metres
Timber construction
18 floors
Concrete structure
7 floors
BSH volume
2,200 m³
Construction period
August 2020 to August 2022
Construction costs
80,000,000 US dollars
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