MSOE was recognized by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District as a Green Luminary for its efforts to sustainably manage storm water. According to MMSD, “Green luminaries ultimately help protect our rivers and Lake Michigan by adapting practices that harvest rainfall for other uses or mimic nature by draining it into the ground to reduce water pollution. Green luminary projects are led by true champions who recognize not only the need to manage storm water, but also the need to innovate and grow, to create lasting good works that connect people and prosperity to the environment.”  

The green roof of the Grohmann Museum captures and holds 80 percent of rainfall, which reduces water pollution and helps control the climate within the museum. The rooftop also features a sculpture garden from which visitors can enjoy stunning views of downtown Milwaukee.  

Construction is underway on MSOE’s newest academic facility, Dwight and Dian Diercks Computational Science Hall. An underground cistern was installed on the site to help manage storm water and divert it from the sewerage system. Water will be pumped out of the cistern and used to irrigate the green space surrounding the building. The heat generated by the supercomputer within the building will be reused for a snow-melt system for nearby sidewalks and parking lots, which reduces the need for shoveling and salt usage.

“The museum rooftop is something we’ve used in several different courses to demonstrate the benefits of a green roof on a commercial building, especially in an urban environment,” said Dr. Blake Wentz, chair of the Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management Department. “We’re really lucky to be downtown and have projects like these so students can get out and see it. That’s the hallmark of MSOE—we’re not just teaching theory, we’re showing them actual practice.”