New building, new technology presents challenges for Milwaukee firefighters

  • Source: WDJT-TV CBS 58 Milwaukee
  • Published: 02/20/2020 07:38 PM

The Milwaukee Fire Department is already in training for a building that hasn't broken ground yet. Ascent, an apartment building near downtown Milwaukee expected to break ground in a few months, has a tall timber frame. At 25-stories, it is expected to be the tallest building of its kind in the world. The word "timber" might suggest big trees, but UL Manager of Industry Relations Sean DeCrane says tall timber frames are made of smaller pieces of wood. "We're using small dimensional lumber, putting it in layers perpendicular to each other to engineer a larger size wood product." Since wood burns, you might think that a tall timber frame is susceptible to a fire, but DeCrane says in a fire the frame will stay intact. "That wood chars. It acts as a protective mechanism…think of like an armadillo," he said.


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