CREATED Aug. 8, 2013 - UPDATED: Aug. 8, 2013
MILWAUKEE - For more than half a century, Rockwell Automation's clock tower has given Milwaukee the time. The hands on the clock, always showing the present. But what's going on inside this building is that of the future.
To the "Polish Moon" and back. That's how much Milwaukee's skyline values Rockwell's clock tower. But what's even more impressive than this view from above the clock face, is what's going on inside and below. Rockwell gave TODAY'S TMJ4 exclusive access and is giving you the first look at its latest achievement.
An award from the US Green Building Council. Rockwell is now "LEED" certified.
"We put this plaque up in the main lobby so our customers and employees can be aware of what we have done and what this building actually has going for it," says Steve Strzok, the facilities manager at Rockwell Automation.
"LEED" stands for leadership in energy and environmental design. It's an achievement not easy to obtain. Especially when your building is more than one hundred years old.
"If you have a high profile and you are able to pull these types of programs off, I think you can be a leader," explains Strzok.
It took three years of planning and a lot of work for Rockwell to be certified. While making upgrades to its facility, Rockwell needed to make sure the improvements were energy efficient. Also, the construction process for the upgrades needed to be environmentally friendly.
Rockwell overhauled its heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems. When installing the newer, more energy efficient systems, contractors must protect the duct work and eliminate the dust and debris so when they turn the ventilating system on the air will come out clean.
When making improvements, Rockwell also re-used some of the old while embracing the new. Rockwell's IT Zone was once old manufacturing space. It's now completely refurbished with the original ceiling and floors but with new, energy efficient lighting.
"Part of what LEED does is it also looks at employee satisfaction," says Strzok.
When TODAY'S TMJ4 stopped by what will soon be the new chem lab, workers were prepping to install glass partitions.
"Part of that satisfaction is being able to get sunlight in from the outside and have views outside of windows," explains Strzok.
Other "LEED" qualifiers: buying local and having only so much construction waste go to a landfill.
While installing energy efficient windows, the copper-colored decorative beams on the bridge over 2nd Street will go to a salvage yard. In total, $3.2 million in improvements done "the green way."
"It's being sustainable. It's being green. It's being a good corporate partner with the community," says Strzok. "And it's making sure that resources are available for future generations," Strzok continues.
Rockwell Automation is now one of the largest and one of the oldest buildings in the state to receive this prestigious certification.