The Grain – Inspired Design and Purposeful Construction

In 2022, Delafield, Wisconsin, a vibrant city located in the heart of southwestern Wisconsin’s Lake Country, experienced a much-anticipated ground-breaking event for a project that’s been years in the making – The Grain, a multi-use, mass timber complex developed by Hendricks Commercial Properties (HCP). Located at 705 Genesee Street, the building was designed by Johnson Design and is being constructed by Corporate Contractors, Inc. (CCI). HCP’s design team ultimately proposed the two-building complex to include offices, retail shops and restaurant space. The Grain development not only represents a significant addition to Delafield’s downtown district, but sustainably designed as mass timber structures, it also utilizes state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly construction materials and methods.

The Grain features two, four-story buildings that will house 60,000 square feet of office space, 18,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and 42,000 square feet of underground parking. This development brings approximately 300 construction jobs to the area and will support another 625 jobs when the building is completed. This unique and state-of-the-art project has allowed CCI to utilize our highly capable and specialized teams, from excavation to project management, and has allowed our us to flex our problem-solving muscles throughout.

CCI – where talented people work better as a team.

It takes many talented, hard-working people and partners to make these projects evolve from a blank canvas. Before the earth retention and excavation started underground, fiber, coax and electrical services were relocated to the adjacent properties. Since the previous structure was a gas station, poor soils were removed to a licensed landfill. Storm / ground water management was an engineering challenge during the civil design phase.

CCI’s management team worked closely with the project engineers throughout the design development of the building foundations and necessary underground water storage.

“We worked closely with the civil engineers to save cost and deliver time savings by substituting fiberglass water tanks with a 30,000-gallon cast-in-place concrete water tank for the fire suppression system’s water supply under the garage concrete slab,” commented Dan Johnson, CCI senior superintendent. “Additionally, our team proposed installing a permanent steel “H” piles and wood lagging earth retention system. This allowed our concrete contractor to form only one side of the building concrete foundation walls which maximized the underground vehicle parking space.”

On site, the mass timber beams have been delivered and are being set in place on the east building. This includes standing of the columns and setting beams, purlins, and decking. Then plywood sheathing will be installed onto the entire roof structure for the roof system, concrete toppings will be poured, and exterior framing will begin.

Laying of the CMU masonry block has been completed on the west building for the lower levels in prep for the precast columns, beams and plank to be set. Construction of the masonry towers for the west building will continue with two separate mobilizations. Once complete, mass timber construction will begin.

Mass Timber — a design forward, state-of-the-art construction technique.

Mass timber uses cutting-edge technology to join layers of wood together resulting in exceptionally strong, eco-friendly structural elements for use in construction. The Grain project is using DLT, dowel-laminated timber. DLT is created using hardwood dowels to friction-fit pre-milled softwood lumber boards together on edge creating highly durable, all wood panels without adhesive or nails. A sustainable solution, DLT panels are optimized for horizontal spans, allow greater architectural versatility, and are efficiently prefabricated to size off-site using CNC machinery and delivered to the site.

Mass Timber’s many benefits make it a key player in building materials. 

The popularity of mass timber has increased over the past decade. In fact, according to the WoodWorks Innovation Network (WIN), within North America more than 1,690 mass timber projects are in the design phase or have been constructed since 1995. When sourced from sustainably managed forests, not only do wood products have a lighter carbon footprint to help minimize pollution, mass timber buildings are also often more affordable to build. Instead of ordering materials in massive quantities that must be cut and assembled onsite, mass timber buildings can be engineered at the factory. The beams and walls are made to exact specifications including window and door openings. Prefabricated systems reduce waste and can be cut and assembled a few at a time or in significant numbers and shipped to the construction site according to the project schedule.

Mass timber is also surprisingly resistant to fire. If mass timber catches fire the flames will most likely self-extinguish, and the structural integrity of the building will be maintained for several hours.

The visual impact of mass timber builds can’t be overlooked, either. The clean, but organic look of wood grain statements throughout a space make it chic and timeless. The Grain is designed to take full advantage of this quality with its solid wood paneling and beams. Its exterior will feature a brick façade, giving it a classic look while the interior finishes will have a modern, futuristic appearance.

“The CCI team is proud to partner with HCP and be part of this important, forward-thinking project,” said Pete Woodkey, CCI project manager. “We are breaking new ground in construction while supporting a greener economy and leading the way in the use of mass timber to create healthy environments and a more sustainable future.”

Be sure to watch The Grain project come to life on CCI’s website: