The Water Council was formed to align the regional water research community and water-related industries and to establish Milwaukee as the world water center for water research, economic development and education. The Council identified the need for a physical space to support and reflect the organization’s mission, which resulted in the creation of the Global Water Center.
The Water Council worked with a Milwaukee developer to identify the project site – a 105-year-old, seven-story warehouse, which was converted into a water research and business accelerator building. The 98,000 square foot building houses water-related research activities for universities, existing water industry companies, The Water Council's offices, companies promoting water-related business development and accelerator space for new, emerging water industry companies.
The space includes a shared flow lab that is showcased near the building entry. The state-of-the-art flow lab allows testing to be performed in-house, quickly and efficiently. Incorporated into the building design is a public cafe – an environment where people from the various organizations and guests of the building can interact and collaborate over a cup of coffee. The goal is to bring university researchers together with industry experts to create synergies and connections, resulting in new businesses and jobs in the water technology sector. The building design was driven by sustainability and has achieved LEED Silver certification. Historic tax credits as well as new market tax credits were utilized.