GRAEF & Komatsu Win Grand Award

Posted By: Andrew Heidtke ACEC WI News, Awards,

Congratulations to GRAEF & Komatsu for winning the 2024 Grand Award! Awarded by our judges to the top project in this year's 2024 Engineering Excellence Awards, this award highlights an incredible project. Read more about the award winner below or see all of our winners on our Awards Gallery.

Entering Firm: GRAEF
Client: Komatsu

Komatsu Mining Corporation was on a quest to develop a new U.S.-based headquarters for its operations. When looking at Milwaukee, the company saw major potential – an attractive location near Lake Michigan, a huge amount of available space and an opportunity to employ over 1,000 local workers. But this vision hinged on a team’s ability to properly prepare the site and build a new energy-efficient building.

A Modern Headquarters

GRAEF stepped up for the client and the community. Developing the site, designated as a brownfield site with generations of contamination, posed the first challenge. The team addressed subsurface rubble and ran modeling to determine the best place to site foundations and utilities. This work continued through construction as site conditions changed, requiring quick thinking and adaptability on an accelerated schedule.

Komatsu wanted an innovative, energy efficient building with a statement design. The team installed a solar array, wind spires that would capture wind energy and major water capture and reuse systems. The campus is expected to use 75 percent less electricity and 80 percent less water than its former headquarters.

Awards judge Wesley Reynolds said “The Komatsu South Harbor project is the definition of what a collaborative design team can accomplish even with major challenges ahead of them.  The engineering team was committed to transforming a brownfield site into a state of-the-art 21st century corporate office and manufacturing facility."

Delivering For the Client and the Community

Despite encountering these challenges, the project triumphantly reached completion. The new facility embodies innovation and sustainability, effectively fulfilling Komatsu's operational requirements for the present and the long term. This cutting-edge headquarters is set to leave a lasting impact on Milwaukee and the surrounding region.