Sustainable Architecture

Milwaukee has a passion for sustainable architecture! Among the many examples around the city are: 

Clock Shadow Building – Ranked on the Top 10 Green Building list of the American Institute of Architects in 2013, this building consumes 50 percent less energy, uses 60 percent less water, diverts 100 percent of storm water from the sewer system, and uses recycled material for over 50 percent of the building. The Clock Shadow building is home to Clock Shadow Creamery, as well as social justice organizations and a community clinic.

Colectivo on the Lake – Built in 1888, the historic Milwaukee River Flushing Station is now home to a Milwaukee coffee roaster. The redesigned site captures 100 percent of its storm water on-site through a recycled granite porous pavement parking lot, a rain garden, and a grit separator. Captured runoff is reused to irrigate landscaping.

Green Roofs

Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District Green Roof Project – the City of Milwaukee provides incentive funding to government agencies, private property owners and nonprofit organizations to increase green roof implementation within the Milwaukee area.

Milwaukee Public Library – 33,000 sq. ft. roof garden planted with chives, Karl Forester Reed Grass and 12 varieties of sedum that reduces polluted storm water runoff and improves air quality.

Milwaukee Public Museum - 4,100 sq. ft. roof, housing more than 1,000 biotrays planted with sedum.

Rockwell Automation – at 48,500 sq. ft., the largest private-sector roof in Wisconsin. The roof garden helps reduce the energy required to heat and cool the building and annually retains 1.2 million gallons of rainwater that otherwise would runoff into the city sewer system and eventually into Lake Michigan.


The Victory Garden Initiative is a grass-roots nonprofit organization that empowers communities to grow food and advance a resilient food culture. Walnut Way is a neighborhood initiative that transforms vacant lots into gardens and orchards, engaging residents of all ages in neighborhood revitalization.

Lakefront Brewery

The country’s oldest certified organic brewery, Lakefront Brewery uses 100 percent organic malts and hops and clean/reclaimed energy. They were the first brewery to receive the Travel Green Wisconsin certification, recognizing businesses that reduce their environmental impact through operational and other improvements.

Milwaukee Brewing Co.

Milwaukee Brewing Co. has installed 28 rooftop solar panels, which pre-heat the water used in the brewing process. The brewery purchases ingredients and equipment locally to reduce pollution and reuses water from cooling fermentation tanks in the hot water system. A Wisconsin “Green Tier” member, the company also utilizes nearby restaurants’ used cooking grease in its boiler, which supplies about 30 percent of its energy needs.

LEED Certification

In 2013, Rockwell Automation earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for significantly reducing the overall environmental impact of its landmark, 2.1 million square-foot corporate headquarters in downtown Milwaukee. The recognition is the culmination of a comprehensive, 12-year sustainability program, which includes combined office, laboratory and former manufacturing space.

The Brewery development, formerly the home of the Pabst Brewing Company, was awarded the prestigious LEED Platinum level for Neighborhood Development in 2013 and has become Milwaukee’s newest sustainable, historic neighborhood. The development comprises two major university centers, offices, apartments, the Brewhouse Inn & SuitesBest Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery, student housing, and future tenants, including Hyatt Place and Milwaukee Brewing Company. Sustainable strategies include comprehensive guidelines covering brownfield redevelopment, historic preservation of former brewery buildings, stormwater management, construction waste managementm, and green building methodology.

In 2012, Milwaukee’s baseball stadium, American Family Field, was certified in the LEED Existing Building rating system, due to the nature of the facility, the sheer volume of people, materials, vendors, the operable roof, and overall complexity of the building operations. 

American Family Field is one of only three Major League Baseball stadiums to achieve LEED for Existing Buildings.

Brown fields to Green Fields

Once the center of heavy industry in the city, Milwaukee’s Menomonee River Valley is now a national model in economic development and environmental sustainability. Three hundred acres of former brown fields have been converted to mixed-use and natural green areas, now featuring more than 1 million square feet of green buildings, housing more than 44 companies and resulting in more than 5,000 family-supporting jobs. More than 60 acres of new trails and park space with 45 acres of native plants have been installed, leading to improved wildlife habitat and water quality.


Environmental Collaboration

Established by the City of Milwaukee, the Environmental Collaboration Office has created a variety of programs dealing with sustainability, solar energy, water resources management, rehabilitation of neighborhoods, and energy-saving improvements for housing.


Milwaukee Skyline (NO TEXT)