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5 Wise Workshop

Picture of 3524 W National Ave

3524 W National Avenue is a three story building on Milwaukee's south side that came under new ownership in 2016. The main level initially served as jewelry business and subsequently a motor and propeller repair shop. As of May 2017, the newly renovated main level is now home to 5 Wise Workshop, a membership-based coworking space. The second story is two apartments and the third story is currently vacant.

5 Wise is a rentable space for entrepreneurs, artists, and small business owners. Space can also be reserved for classes, meetings, shows, and events. 5 Wise Workshop provides a constructive and efficient environment, connects users as peer professionals, and prioritizes memberships with social enterprises.

5 Wise took the pledge and received a free energy assessment shortly after being purchased in 2016. The assessment and assistance with Focus on Energy incentive rebates from the Better Buildings Challenge were key to prioritizing and funding efficiency projects in the building.

Photo of Tim Syth, owner of 5 Wise Workshop and 3524 W National AveIt's about doing things well and with an eye to the future. If you have the option to lower your environmental impact in a practical and innovative way, you should do it. Not only is it the right thing to do, it's fun and interesting to be around. It's the kind of building I want to have.
Tim Syth, Founder, 5 Wise Workshop

Energy Performance

Because renovations began shortly after its acquisition in 2016, the building’s increase in EUI reflects the ongoing project equipment use. Now that the building’s main level is open for business and its use will remain relatively stable, it is expected to that the building will begin saving energy and saving money as a result of the efficiency upgrades.

Chart of weather normalized source energy use intensity over time

Completed Projects

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

Plug Loads
& Controls



& Equipment




  • LED lighting

Plug Loads & Controls

  • Motion sensor lights in resident hallways and basement
  • App to control building maintenance
  • Updated resident thermostats


  • Insulation
  • Window replacement


  • New furnace

Future Plans

Tim plans to attend future Better Buildings Challenge program events, such as the Budgeting for Operational Efficiencies event in June 2017 and the benchmarking event in August 2017. He also hopes to put in a water retention system to control stormwater runoff.

Fast Facts

3524 W National Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53215

Year Built

Square Footage
3,240 sq ft

Building Type
Mixed Use - Office & Residential

3524 W National, LLC


Joined Pledge

20% reduction in Energy Use Intensity by 2026


Program Participation

Knowledge Icon Energy Assessment Icon Projects/O&M Icon
Financing and Incentives Icon    



Project Types

Lighting Project Completed Icon Plug Loads and Controls Project Completed Icon Building Envelope Project Completed Icon
HVAC Project Completed Icon    


Project Highlight: Wink

Because the co-working space at 5 Wise is not staffed 24/7, the ability to control the building remotely is a necessity. Wink is an onsite technology system and phone app that allows remote monitoring and control of the building systems, including the building’s lights, heating, cooling, and doors. By shutting off forgotten lights and adjusting temperatures when empty, it is possible to combat inefficiency and conserve energy.


Building Contact

Tim Syth
Founder, 5 Wise Workshop
[email protected]

Why Participate?

The Better Buildings Challenge answers the call demonstrate leadership and forward thinking in the built environment as a city. 3524 West National took the pledge because it is a clever way to conserve energy, save money, and utilize the resources available to building owners.

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