Renovations earn prestigious award
As a Company that’s woven into the fabric of communities throughout North America, U-Haul celebrates the history of people and places it serves. That includes historic buildings that once stood as proud monuments of industry in their local areas but were later abandoned.
One such example is a former warehouse that U-Haul renovated and is now home to U-Haul Moving and Storage of Fifth Ward, which received a designation that only one other business in Milwaukee can claim. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) awarded the center its prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification for commercial interiors.
LEED certification is an internationally-recognized standard provided by independent, third-party verification. Points are awarded for things such as sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. The renovations at U-Haul Moving and Storage of Fifth Ward earned 50 documented and approved points to achieve the LEED-CI Silver Certification.
“This is a prestigious and substantial accomplishment that is a big honor for everyone on our team,” cheered Mike Schneider, marketing company president (MCP) for UHC of Eastern Wisconsin (Co. 750).
The warehouse, which was built in the 1930s, was occupied by several companies before it was vacated in 2000. It sat empty for eight years and became an eyesore in the community, until U-Haul acquired the property, referred to by locals as “The Foundry” because it was previously home to the Grede Foundry.Schneider and his team worked closely with the U-Haul Construction Team to renovate the deteriorated buildings and adjacent land to be used as a moving and storage center, with a focus on sustainability and preserving many aspects of the historic facility.
“The primary goal for the U-Haul Team was to reuse and recycle as much material as feasible, while installing as many new sustainable design features as possible,” Schneider emphasized. “We built the showroom in an existing warehouse using two of the exterior walls, but the rest is all new construction. The Construction Department handled the design and helped us get the needed LEED points.”
New elements of the facility include efficient lighting with day-lighting controls and occupancy sensors, a high-efficiency HVAC system used in conjunction with a newly constructed thermal envelope to help reduce energy consumption, and the installation of low-flow fixtures to reduce water consumption. Pieces of the machinery and mold castings left behind by previous tenants are displayed in the showroom, further helping to preserve the building’s history.Now, anyone who comes to the center knows of the prestigious designation—and the Company’s commitment to sustainability—because a plaque denoting the facility’s LEED Silver Certification hangs proudly on the wall.