June 2013 Kudos
The Brewery neighborhood redevelopment project around the former Pabst Brewing Company recently won the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum neighborhood designation, the highest level for sustainable development practices under a new category that addresses comprehensive green infrastructures and growth strategies, rather than just individual buildings or projects. The more than 20-acre development site, purchased by Joseph Zilber in 2006, is one of just three neighborhoods in the U.S. and five in the world to be granted the status.
The Brewery area comprises several completed projects. The former Pabst brew house has been converted into the Brew House Inn and Suites, an extended-stay hotel. Other buildings include the Blue Ribbon Brewery Lofts apartment building, Brewery Point senior housing, the Cardinal Stritch University College of Education and Leadership and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Zilber School of Public Health, as well as other office buildings, a pub and a parking garage.
Developed by local and national sustainability experts, neighborhood-wide sustainable development strategies involved preserving historic buildings and recycling old materials, cleaning up brownfields and managing stormwater, creating energy-efficient multi-use buildings and integral walkability.
Milwaukee Brewing Company has been accepted into the Green Tier Program of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), verifying the company’s clean environmental record, willingness to exceed regulatory requirements and commitment to a formal environmental management system.
The initiatives that helped Milwaukee Brewing Company meet the DNR’s qualifications for the program include the brewery’s use of a hot water reserve to make available for recycling the water used to cool fermentation tanks; an engineered boiler that runs on vegetable oil waste (biodiesel), which is sourced from local restaurants and Milwaukee County Parks; and the recycling of spent grain into compost that is collected weekly by renowned urban farm Growing Power.
Recently, Milwaukee Brewing Company collaborated with Milwaukee Shines and the Me2 program to install a solar hot water system that will reduce the brewery’s energy usage. The installation includes 28 solar panels that will be used to preheat the water used in the brewing process.