Built on a former brownfield site, the Clock Shadow Building is now a mixed-use office building that includes community wellness clinics as well as a cheese factory and an ice cream shop. Basically it's a happy factory - go see a wellness practitioner for a tuneup, grab an ice cream cone and stop by for some cheese to take with you on your way out. Designed by Continuum Architects + Planners, the four-story building is equally devoted to the environment and minimizes energy use through passive design, daylighting, geothermal energy and efficient systems. It also has a green roof that grows veggies and collects rainwater for use inside the building, which has been designed to standards of the Living Building Challenge.
The developers of this underutilized parcel in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood wanted a building that achieved a mission of economic improvement, social justice, environmental restoration, and cultural celebration. On the ground floor sits an ice cream shop as well as a cheese factory that produces artisanal cheese. These shops are complimented above by a wellness collaborative made up of Aurora Healthcare Community Clinic, the Healing Center, and CORE/El Centro. Each have long term leases and have essentially made their permanent home here in the Clock Shadow Building. The roof is occupied by a vegetable garden, which is maintained by the employees and some of the patients of the clinic as part of their therapy. Rainwater is harvested from the roof and used for irrigation and toilet flushing inside the building. In fact, this is the first building in the city to use grey water for toilets and will hopefully set the path for future projects.
Fix Development had ambitious goals to make this a carbon neutral building with on-site energy generation. This proved too costly, but working in conjunction with Continuum Architects + Partners they were able to minimize energy use and buy the rest with renewable energy from the local utility. Starting off with the orientation and exterior, solar passive design maximizes light and minimizes heat gain with light shelfs and shades. Inside a geothermal system provides energy efficient heating and cooling, which along with other efficient systems reduces the building’s total use to 50% compared to other standard buildings. Half of the building’s materials are reclaimed, recycled or renewable, which includes the brick on the exterior, wood siding, steel panels, and more.
Continuum Architects + Partner’s Clock Shadow Building was awarded an AIA/COTE award as one of the Top Ten Green Projects of 2013.
Images ©Tricia Shay Photography, Daniel Andera Photography and Continuum Architects + Planners