Keller, Inc. Recognized for Excellence in Construction – The Bank of New Glarus

The Bank of New Glarus building project is being recognized as one of the most impressive and unique construction projects completed by a Wisconsin contractor in 2023. Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin will be honoring Keller, Inc. with a SILVER Projects of Distinction Excellence in Construction Award for the ground-up bank located in Monroe, Wisconsin.

The Bank of New Glarus interviewed Keller, Inc. as they were interested in finding a creative Architect with experience in the banking industry, and a quality builder with a background in commercial construction.  After successfully completing the interview process, Keller started the “Discovery” step in an effort to establish the banks needs. We also researched the existing building to determine if the Brennans Market Building could or should be re-modeled to fit their needs. Once decided that it would indeed be a new building, the Management team provided the information to establish the integration of Banking Industry Equipment, Security and Audio-Visual Equipment while paying attention to the aesthetic qualities at the same time.  Innovative building technology tools like Revit were used to enhance our design productivity.  Tremble and 3-D virtual tools helped Keller provide enhanced delivery of services and aided The Bank of New Glarus Management Team in visualizing the interior and exterior appearance and make decisions based on that knowledge.

Keller spent multiple meetings with The Bank of New Glarus Management team determining the optimum functionality of the site and traffic patterns, including the best orientation and building visibility, and compliance with neighborhood covenants and restrictions. We enlisted civil engineering and soils engineering early to get help with the existing demolition needs. We studied and implemented solutions for site subsoil issues from previous usage. State law and DNR requirements meant all soils leaving the site be transported to a landfill site. This challenge was further exacerbated by the fact that much of the foundation had to be over-excavated due to the presence of buried concrete and other debris and soils that would not bear the designed load criteria.

Constructability is always an important aspect of a successful construction project. Because of the site challenges mentioned above: a subsoil ventilation system, helical piles, oversized footings, and a structural slab all were out of site but carefully blended with steel and wood framing. Innovative materials like Architectural Composite Metals, and Steel Siding combined with time-honored
materials like Quarried Stone, Cut Stone, and Brick to provide a harmonious contrast and a long-life cycle maintenance free exterior. Rooftop photovoltaic panels and EV charger in the parking area further expressed the desire for environmental sustainability.

The Keller Design team overcame the strict neighborhood covenants. The Project Manager, along with the field Supervision Team, kept the project on schedule overcoming weather, pandemic, soil and material shortages. Solutions for many challenges were buried below the surface, keeping the current owners and future generations safe from the environmental transgressions of previous users. The Keller Design team worked hand-in-hand with the Construction Team, and outside Consultants to produce a successful project satisfying both form and function.

The Projects of Distinction Awards recognizes construction projects that are built on merit and are judged by a panel of construction experts based on several criteria, including quality, owner satisfaction, unusual challenges, and safety. The awards will be presented at a January banquet at the Ingleside Hotel in Pewaukee, WI. Projects are recognized in a number of different types and sizes of general construction and specialty trades. Projects are all completed between October 2022 and September 2023. “Projects of Distinction demonstrate the excellence in construction services by ABC of Wisconsin members,” said John Mielke, president of ABC of Wisconsin. “These unique projects are evaluated by a panel of experts in the field, including architects, engineers and educators in the construction industry and allow Wisconsin’s merit contractors to demonstrate their professionalism, craftsmanship and safety.”

A list of the award winners can be found at