The Ascent in Milwaukee’s East Town neighborhood is the tallest timber structure in the world. The 493,000-square-foot, mixed-use building contains 259 apartments, a pool on the sixth floor, and a top floor amenity level.
We provided structural design services to Korb & Associates Architects for the building, which opened in 2022. We also led the mass timber design program, including providing inspections of the mass timber system and worked with the USDA's Forest Products Laboratory to complete the world's first three-hour column fire testing program for glulam columns.
- The mass timber residential floors are constructed above five levels of concrete parking garage. A system of glue-laminated timber (glulam) beams and columns support cross-laminated timber (CLT) floors. Two concrete cores provide lateral stability.
- The design exposes the mass timber construction wherever possible to display its natural qualities. Fire testing proved that the timber structural members meet or exceed fire rating code requirements.
- An efficient system of post-tensioned concrete beams transfer loads from the timber residential floors to the concrete garage structure below.
- The superstructure is supported on concrete-filled steel pipe piles – the highest capacity piles yet built in Wisconsin. This system minimizes material quantities and reduces installation time, for substantial cost savings.
- The use of sustainable mass timber helps the building exceed Milwaukee’s energy conservation code requirements.