735 Water Street DC Elevator Modernization

Milwaukee, WI

Elevator | Power & Motion Technology | Automation | By Samantha Lotz | Jun 22, 2015

Compass Properties was not about to let an aging, inefficient elevator system keep them from accomplishing their goals. Even if one of those goals was to achieve the first high performance, high-rise tower designation in the state of Wisconsin.


The 17-story CityCenter 735 building in the heart of downtown Milwaukee was built in 1913 along the Milwaukee River. The “tenant-centric” facility contains 360,000 sq. ft. of premium office space that once served as the cornerstone of Milwaukee’s budding financial district. Despite the building having been well maintained, the structure’s aging elevator system had remained relatively unaltered over the years and was powered by seven Otis gearless DC motors that had been operated continuously since 1913—all of the units were still powered by antiquated motor-generator set controls.


By replacing the building’s antiquated elevator motor controls with Magnetek’s energy-saving Quattro DC adjustable speed drives with clean utility side harmonics and regenerative technology, the CityCenter’s elevators are today able to achieve 38 percent daily energy savings based on an average of 500 runs per day by each car.


By utilizing Quattro DC elevator drives the building’s elevator system was able to achieve the highest levels of functionality, safety, and comfort, as well as:

• Near unity power factor and clean harmonics (IEEE 519 Standards)

• Improved tenant ride quality

• Reduced peak and power demand


“To us, high performance is results-driven and doesn’t encompass just one thing, like energy conservation,” Oppermann told High Rise Facilities Magazine in an article about the property. “Energy conservation will decrease operating costs, but we also ask, ‘Can you use energy conservation measures to raise revenue?’”


If you consider the fact that this downtown property was the first in Wisconsin to receive the prestigious BOMA 360 Performance Program® designation in 2010 and consistently receives positive reviews from tenants, then the answer is a resounding “yes.” Magnetek Quattro drives used in the modernization project are designed to consume the lowest energy possible and their precise, accurate controls provide smooth acceleration and deceleration, resulting in both superior ride quality and reliability.

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