BMO Tower – Next Generation of Workplace Design

Uihlein Electric is proud to be part of the team chosen for the $137 million, 25-story Irgens Partners BMO Tower development.

Water Supply Breach Prompts Heightened Project Management Procedures

The BMO Tower project ran into difficulty early on, which is why hiring contractors with experience in highly-integrated project management proved critical when a water-supply breach in late 2019 threatened to cause extensive delays in the build-out.

Chicago-based Pepper Construction took over for another general contractor and worked with each primary and sub-contractor to create a highly detailed and coordinated construction timeline. Further delays were not an option as the Tower’s two anchor tenants, BMO Harris Bank and Michael Best & Friedrich, had to scramble for a temporary workspace solution. Originally planning to move in December 2019, now delayed to spring 2020.

BMO Tower, located at 790 N. Water Street, is now one of several vertical campus projects to forever change the Milwaukee skyline. Designed to deliver the next generation in workplace design, and located in the popular downtown business district, the goal was to present an unparalleled business environment. Uihlein Electric, involved directly with 123,000 square-feet of the project, did the plan/spec and the new-construction build-out of the 1st through 5th floors for BMO Harris.

The first floor contains the main BMO Bank retail branch space, with five stories above serving as office space for commercial, private banking, and administrative personnel. While the floor-to-ceiling glass walls of the Tower provide stunning views of downtown and Lake Michigan, they proved challenging for running necessary utilities.

Pre-Fab Panels, Modular Wiring, and Wireless Controls, Save Time and Money

To further complicate things, extreme cost-cutting measures were needed to counter unexpected expenditures associated with the earlier flooding. Uihlein Electric was able to provide several value-engineered solutions, which catered to the modern industrial appearance of the space, while also offering an affordable alternative.

  • Pre-fabricated construction of all power grids, by floor
  • Lighting package that included RELOC® modular wiring for lighting control and power distribution systems
  • Open-air cabling
  • Wireless dimmable controls

With Pepper Construction maintaining a highly-organized schedule, and the use of pre-fab construction methods throughout, the job moved along quickly. An essential feature of the Tower’s lobby area is a 28-foot-high video screen. Plans are to display imagery of historic Milwaukee buildings and landmark scenes of Wisconsin’s beautiful nature. “It’s very important for people to arrive in a really nice space,” said a representative from Irgens Partners LLC. The workspace design is meant to feel high-quality, but simple, well-lit, safe, and pleasant. Uihlein Electric installed the building’s energy-efficient voice, data, security, audio/visual, and sound masking systems.

BMO Tower contractors are preparing for an early spring tenant move-in.