Construction for Firefighters at O’Hare

For decades, Harbour’s aviation division has been working successfully at Chicago’s busiest airport, O’Hare. The O’Hare Modernization Program reconfigured O’Hare’s runways for increased efficiency and capacity. Completing the program’s new runway required the relocation of several facilities, thus offering an opportunity to reimagine a state-of-the-art Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) Station to fulfill the need for airport rescue and structural firefighting in one building. The new 19,000 SF firefighter station facility integrates spaces for apparatus operations, training and administration, and firefighter housing and recreation. Essential to the design was the careful organization of these functions for expedient dispatch and personnel’s well-being.
ARFF No. 2 construction for firefighters

The Apparatus Bay Control Center

The apparatus bay is the spatial centerpiece of the plan, accommodating eight vehicles in a drive-through configuration to increase safety and flexibility. Adjacent is the watch room – the control center of the building – along with service shops and a hose-drying tower. These functions are separated from dormitories and offices, preventing disruption or contamination, but have direct access through the building’s central corridor. With decades of municipal construction success, Harbour Contractors understands construction for firefighters.

ARFF No. 2 construction for firefightersBuilding Secure Facilities for Firefighters

We know that construction for firefighters involves unique elements that other construction projects do not. With that, our design team sought sustainable solutions to lower energy use while promoting the firefighters’ comfort and quality of life. The building form features terracotta-clad wings with multiple recesses, combined with glazed apparatus bay doors and skylights to invite natural sunlight inside. The hose tower, service block, and rooftop penthouse are clad in a silver metal panel distinguishing the support or ‘servant’ spaces from the thermally-efficient masonry and rain screen envelope. On the interior, easily-maintained and durable finishes, such as terrazzo, porcelain tile, and concrete block, promise to serve the airport for decades.

Construction for firefighters Arff no 2Fire Facility with Heightened Functionality

Expertise in public safety is not new for Harbour Contractors. Our expertise in construction for firefighters is evident in projects like the Oak Brook Municipal Complex and Fire Station. Now complete, the new ARFF Station syncs equipment, technology, and training to heighten functionality and efficiency and reduce emergency response times. For years to come, it will play a pivotal role in the health and safety of its inhabitants and the surrounding community. The facility also includes four drive-thru vehicle apparatus bays that accommodate eight vehicles and CFD equipment staging and maintenance. Our decades of experience working with municipalities and construction for firefighters provide our competitive advantage of industry expertise. Construction of the ARFF building was coordinated with the 9C Runway Project, which presented significant challenges on a limited construction footprint. The work was phased in the East and West halves of the building, delineating the space into the “living quarters” and “apparatus bay.”

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Chicago Department of Aviation


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