For many years in downtown Milwaukee, a highway exit ramp dead-ended into an old neighborhood known as the Park East corridor. Part of an expressway plan that never came to fruition, the ramp was demolished in the nineties.
The Avenir mixed use development now resides in place of the former ramp as one of the latest efforts in a series of projects aimed at rejuvenating the area.
One of the high priority construction objectives of the development was to blend seamlessly into the surrounding established neighborhood. Unfortunately their budget wouldn’t allow for the brick and natural stone masonry common in the neighborhood.
They turned their focus toward selecting and utilizing a system that would fit their budget, maintain continuous insulation and obtain the resulting thermal efficiencies of stone masonry while fitting in to the neighborhood and within budget.
The solution was to use Harvard-Brik and Cordova Stone masonry veneers. Ted Haug, Lead Designer of Legat Architects, specified the veneers in conjunction with the EnduraMax High Performance Wall System, all part of the Echelon Masonry product line from Oldcastle Architectural, A CRH Company.
Wall System Speeds Up and Simplifies Installation
The EnduraMax system is comprised of three components that work together to speed installation. First, there is a framework of pocketed and profile molded EPS insulation panels that attach directly to the structure, this is topped with a layer of masonry thin veneer stones or bricks, and finally pumpable mortar seals the system.
The final system provides a R13.6 continuous insulation thermal barrier, improve water management and acoustical comfort, and create the look of brick or stone masonry.
“There was an initial learning curve on the installation, since the product is new to our area, but we discovered that EnduraMax doesn’t require the advanced skill level of a traditional mason,” Scott Drees, Director of Construction for Wangard Partners, said. “We enjoy bringing new products to the market that help employ the local workforce.”
Spanish for “come together”, the Avenir complex includes a parking garage, 7,000 square feet of retail space on the ground level, and 104 apartment units.
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