Milwaukee Public Museum

Façade Restoration Demonstrates Museum's Environmental Stewardship

The Milwaukee Public Museum is a natural and human history museum that hosts more than 1 million visitors each year. The building is predominantly clad in limestone panels with the exception of the eight-story center tower. The north and south ends of the tower are clad in white marble and serve to present the Museum to the community.

Over the years, the existing marble has deteriorated to the point that replacement is required. HGA assessed the cause of the deterioration and several approaches to repair the system. The Museum and Milwaukee County have chosen to replace the marble with a modern insulated wall system to improve the thermal, moisture and vapor characteristics of the wall.

The team replaced the existing marble on the south façade with a photovoltaic array that consists of 234 PV panels arranged uniformly in 13 rows vertically with 18 panels in each row. Installed on a prominent location on the south wall, the PV system will demonstrate the Museum’s to environmental
stewardship as well as allow the Museum to add educational programs on renewable energy. The ideal angle for a solar panel array in this latitude is 43 degrees. The wall of the Museum is 90 degrees which reduces the average amount of energy that can be produced by a solar array approximately 25%. Even with this reduction it is estimated that PV panels on the south wall could produce over $7,000 in electrical energy every year at today’s prices.

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Location

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Building Type

Museum

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