Innovative Design in Bay View Wins State Finalist Award

Feb. 21, 2013

R.A. Smith National – a multi-disciplined civil engineering and surveying firm – Brookfield, Wis., has received a 2013 State Finalist Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Wisconsin for the Alterra Coffee Roasters in a Bay View neighborhood in the city of Milwaukee. Sustainable site design and landscape architectural design services were provided to The Kubala Washatko Architects for the new 27,600 square-foot cafe and wholesale bakery.

The project started as a two-story Maritime Savings Bank building on a one-acre site and was transformed into an environmentally sustainable Alterra café and bakery. Alterra wanted to create a site that would reflect its commitment to minimizing environmental impacts.

An integrated series of living displays at the Alterra site demonstrates an innovative use of stormwater. The combination, type and number of these uses demonstrate the practical, cost-effective means of collecting, storing and re-using stormwater in an aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly manner. The sustainable design techniques that were implemented include an aqueduct/waterfall feature, shade garden/rock garden, cistern, dry stream bed and a vegetated roof.

Alterra Co-Founder, Lincoln Fowler, said “Our decision to redevelop an urban site at one of the busiest intersections in the City of Milwaukee presented several design and construction challenges. Our commitment to sustainability, shared by R.A. Smith National, led our team to turn these challenges into an opportunity to promote the benefits of sustainable development to the community.”

Each year ACEC Wisconsin awards top projects for their high level of quality and client satisfaction. The award ceremony will be held March 22 at the American Club in Kohler. For more information visit

About R.A. Smith National, Inc.

R.A. Smith National, Inc.,, is one of Wisconsin’s leading consulting engineering firms, providing multi-disciplinary services to government and the land development industry. Our comprehensive services include civil engineering, surveying, construction services, ecological services, landscape architecture, irrigation design, water resource engineering, geographic information systems (GIS), visualization and 3D laser scanning. Our offices are located in Brookfield (corporate headquarters) and Appleton, Wis., Orange County (Los Angeles), Calif., and Tarentum (Pittsburgh), Pa.

Established in 1978 as R.A. Smith & Associates, Inc., the firm acquired National Survey & Engineering in 1994. National Survey & Engineering, founded in 1929, operated as a division of R.A. Smith & Associates, Inc. until the R.A. Smith National brand was created in March 2008.

R.A. Smith National’s mission is to deliver excellence, vision, and responsive service to our clients. The company is driven by core values that include accountability, client satisfaction, innovation, positive work environment, ethics and integrity, and community and professional involvement.

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