Chicago Fire Department Engine Co. 16

This new 20,000 sf fire station is part of the City’s prototype design program. The goal of the program is to build a series of building types derived from a prototype, in this case designed by the DLR Group architects. IDEA, as Architect of Record, then extensively adapted the prototype based on the specific programmatic needs of the intended location. The advantage of the prototype approach is that cost-effectiveness may be greater than individual customized designs. The Engine Company 16 project also benefitted from a rigorous adherence to energy conscious design initiatives that resulted in a LEED Platinum certification, the first for a fire station in Illinois.


To achieve LEED Platinum, significant energy saving elements were incorporated such as: Geothermal heat-exchange system; vegetative (green) and reflective roofs; energy efficient light fixtures with daylight control systems; large amounts of clerestory windows to provide natural light to interior spaces; low flow plumbing fixtures; use of products with low volatile organic compounds (VOC); use of recycled building materials; water efficient; landscape materials to reduce irrigation needs; and permeable pavers and storm water retention systems.

Awards & Recommendations

  • LEED Platinum certification, U.S. Green Building Council

  • Friends of the Chicago River 2013 Silver Ribbon

  • 2013 Engineering News Record Midwest Award of Merit