Fast Facts

247 Freshwater Way, Milwaukee, WI 53204

Year Built

98,035 sq ft

Building Type

Water Accelerator, LLC


Joined Pledge

20% reduction in Energy Use Intensity by 2026



Program Participation

Knowledge Icon Projects/O&M Icon Occupant Engagement Icon
Networking and Education Icon    


Project Types

Lighting Project Completed Icon Plug Loads and Controls Project Completed Icon Building Envelope Project Completed Icon
On-Site Generation Project Completed Icon Water Project Completed Icon  

Building Contact

Kevin Bale
Operations Manager, Greywolf Partners, Inc.
(877) 543-4739

Why Participate?

The Global Water Center is a community of partners working to create innovative solutions for the global water market in pursuit of responsible water use - so taking the pledge to join the Milwaukee Better Buildings Challenge seemlessly aligned with the values of the The Water Council.

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Global Water Center

The seven-story, Class A building at 247 Freshwater way was built in 1904 and purchased as a vacant building in 2013 before undergoing a complete renovation under the direction of The Water Council. The Water Council  was established as a 501(c)(3) in 2009 and consists of business, academia, and government members whose aim is to put Milwaukee on the world water map as a freshwater research economic development, and educational hub.

As The Global Water Center, the building now functions as a major player in the development of Reed Street Yards (RSY) as a Water Technology research park and global showcase for water management. Its amenities including a 44-person auditorium, flow lab with exhibition space, and high-tech core facilities that support water research and product development activities. In addition to The Water Council, the building’s over 45 tenant organizations include several other water- and research-centric organizations such as A.O. Smith, Zurn Industries, Marquette University, Veolia, GRAEF, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Green Infrastructure Center of Excellence to name a few.

The Global Water Center is also LEED Silver Certified and was the first commercial buildings to ever implement the Alliance for Water Stewardship International Water Standard.


We are concerned about energy management in all of our properties, so when we heard about the resources available through the Milwaukee Better Buildings Challenge we pledged several of our own buildings. By doing so, we hope to motivate our tenants to become more energy efficient and our clients to pledge their properties as well.  

Kevin Bale, Operations Manager, Greywolf Partners


Energy Performance

The Global Water Center’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® baseline begins in 2013, when it was purchased as a vacant building. Since then, it has undergone significant construction and slowly increased occupancy over time, as reflected by the steady increase in EUI through 2017. The building now operates at 100% occupancy and, since the universities began leasing space in 2015, often keeps long and irregular hours.


Completed Projects

Lighting Project Completed Icon Plug Loads and Controls Project Completed Icon Building Envelope Completed Icon HVAC Project Not Completed Icon Appliances and Equipment Project Not Completed Icon On Site Generation Completed Icon Water Project Completed Icon

Plug Loads
& Controls



& Equipment




  • Natural Light utilization

Plug Loads & Controls

  • Building Automation System (BAS) - including for HVAC & lighting


  • Green and Blue Roof - sustainable technology that reduces roof temperatures to save energy and temporarily stores rainwater

On-Site Generation

  • Solar - powers the water fixtures (i.e. faucets and toilets) in the common baths by soaking up the lighting in the room


  • Water run-off & recycling systems



Future Plans

As part of Reed Street Yards, The Global Water Center will continue to collaborate with and attract U.S. and foreign dignitaries, students, water technology businesses, and economic development organizations as a global showcase for water management. 


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