Clock Shadow Building

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Clock Shadow Building, located at 130 W. Bruce St. in Milwaukee’s Historic Walker’s Point, is perhaps the most recognized of Fix Development’s projects. It is a ground breaking, sustainable building that encompassed all aspects of Fix’s development definitions and set a community standard for green development. It also challenged Fix Development founder, Juli Kaufmann, to use every ounce of her unique ability to bring people together around a community-changing project. The end result was a building that captured national attention for its design and sustainable technologies, quadruple bottom line success, unique financing package, and community-focused tenants.

Goals for the project and building included:

  • Create a project that provides long-term financial returns for investors while remaining affordable for the building occupants.
  • Create a commercial building project that is not just “green,” but radical green in its approach to sustainability, to ensure a positive impact on the environment by striving for criteria defined by the Living Building Challenge.
  • Create a community of tenants in the building who provide enrichment to the surrounding neighborhood and the larger community of Milwaukee.
  • Ensure both the building architecture and nature of its tenants are culturally complimentary to the fabric of the local neighborhood.

The finished project features sustainable technologies, tenants committed to the community, social investors, and partnerships designed to catalyze business growth in the neighborhood.

Economic Development/Economic Stability

Construction of Clock Shadow Buildingwas financed almost entirely by social investors who were interested in funding projects that benefit the community and the environment, while also ensuring a reasonable financial return on their investment. In Clock Shadow Building they saw a $7 million project that would enhance and sustain Milwaukee’s culture, protect the environment, stimulate economic development, and ensure the health and well-being of Milwaukee residents, while simultaneously remaining affordable for the building occupants.

Physical Development/Environmental Stewardship

Clock Shadow Building, a four-story commercial building of approximately 30,000 square feet, was designed and built by a project development team that understood the building’s goals and were willing to take a creative approach to push the envelope for sustainable design. To that end, they eliminated an environmentally contaminated brownfield and gave the community a vibrant building. Highlights of the building include:

  • Salvaged and recycled materials used for over 50% of the building
  • 99% of waste generated during construction was diverted from landfills
  • Building designed to consume approximately 50% less energy than a conventional building of its size
    • 27 geothermal wells underneath the building utilize the earth’s mass to heat and cool the building
    • Southern exposure allows sunlight to pass through windows, lighting interior spaces and reducing the amount of energy needed for artificial lighting
    • Tight building envelope and exterior wall materials insulate the building and control heat gain from the sun
    • Operable windows allow for fresh air to enter the building and minimize seasonal HVAC usage
    • Exterior awnings control the heat of the sun’s rays in summer and allow warmth in winter
    • Green roof insulates the building
    • Nation’s first regenerative elevator
  • Uses 60% less water than a standard building
    • Green roof, 4” to 12” deep for both garden production and sedum plantings, and hard roof design capture rainwater and divert it to an underground cistern
    • Rainwater stored in the underground cistern is used for flushing toilets in the building
    • Rainwater captured and stored in rooftop rain barrels is used for watering roof plantings
    • Typically diverts 100% of storm water from the combined sewer system, expected to total more than 53,000 gallons annually

Community Development/Social Equity/Cultural Continuity

The tenants in the Clock Shadow Building are a unique combination of a health collective comprised of three non-profit organizations committed to improving the health and wellness of the community, entrepreneurs providing the community with its first urban cheese production facility and retail outlet and serving as an incubator for new businesses, and established businesses aligned with the building’s commitment to the community. Most of the tenants also are sources of employment for the Walker’s Point neighborhood.

The majority of the building materials for the building were sourced regionally and selected to honor the cultural landscape of the neighborhood. The building also features a rooftop garden that provides tenants and clients with access to fresh produce, a learning lab for gardening, and peaceful respite space. In addition, local artists created all of the building’s signs, artwork and decorative enhancements.

Awards and Recognition

Clock Shadow Building has received numerous national, state and local awards. On the national level, it was honored by AIA as a Top Ten Green Project and by Engineering News Record as “Best Green Project in the Midwest.” In Wisconsin kudos came from AIA Wisconsin, Association Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin and others. Locally, the Business Journal of Greater Milwaukee, the Mayor’s Awards and LISC Milwaukee were among the many recognizing the Clock Shadow Building and its developer, Juli Kaufmann. See the Awards page for a full listing of awards and associated videos.

Photo Gallery


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