The Ascent Tower, an All-Mass Timber Structure, is Rising Over Milwaukee’s Downtown

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Timber tower rising over Milwaukee a ‘greener’ way to build

Tim Gokhman is the managing director of New Land Enterprises and a driving force behind using one of the oldest building materials to reshape Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s skyline. Gokhman’s latest project, a 25-story building named Ascent, is being built at the corners of Van Buren and Kilbourn in downtown Milwaukee. Gokhman’s choice to use wood is getting attention from around the world. Not just any wood, though. This is “mass timber.”

“Mass timber is lighter, faster, more precise. All in all, we see it as a better way to build,” he said. Gokhman went onto say that the building arrives on trucks in giant, precision pieces. It all fits together perfectly and much faster than traditional concrete and steel. “It’s almost twice as fast. We’re putting up, at this point, about a floor a week,” he said.

That saved time and energy is just one of the ways Ascent is a greener way to build. Research shows a mass timber building goes up 25% faster than concrete and requires 90% less construction traffic.

Inside the 25-story building, all that wood is left exposed giving the building a natural, airy feel. Right now, these timber beams are created in Austria and shipped to Wisconsin. But Gokhman hopes that mass timber will catch on in North America and that someday the product will be produced on our continent.

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