12th District Police Station

New construction; 12th District Police Station; Primera Engineers Ltd.


This image shows a rendering of the 12th District Police Station. Courtesy: Primera EngineersEngineering firm: Primera Engineers Ltd.
2013 MEP Giants rank:
12th District Police Station
Chicago, United States
Building type:
Project type:
New construction
Engineering services:
Automation & Controls, Electrical/Power, Fire & Life Safety, HVAC, Lighting
Project timeline:
June 2009 to June 2012
Engineering services budget:
MEP budget:
$1.25 million


As part of the City of Chicago's "Neighborhood Alive" program, the Public Building Commission is building 12 new police stations across the city to replace existing facilities. These new prototype stations are 42,000 sq ft, twice that of the original stations. Primera Engineers was charged with developing an alternative to the original prototype design that included a geothermal system.

Creating an alternate prototype presented Primera with multiple engineering challenges, including the need to redesign the original prototype to include a geothermal and rainwater harvesting system without altering the overall building design or MEP spaces. In addition, the 88-well geothermal system was one of the largest urban designs put in place. Primera was able to integrate it seamlessly into the building footprint without the need to alter the usable areas, adjacencies, or program functions. Since the building is both a 24-hour facility and a cooling center, several redundancies for systems needed to be included in the design due to the critical nature of the station. This challenge complicated the design process but ultimately increased the reliability of the system.


Primera developed an alternative to the original prototype design that included a geothermal system. The heating and cooling for the District 12 station is provided using an 88-well, closed loop geothermal field, which was placed under the adjacent 250-space parking lot. Primera also provided a modular water-to-water heat pump system that could heat and cool simultaneously and ultimately provide excellent redundancy for the facility. This modular system also allowed for the new systems to fit without altering the station design. Lastly, Primera was able to modify the building's central plant while utilizing the same airside system design. The modified design reduced the learning curve for maintenance personnel and end users due to their familiarity with the original system and a need to only learn how to work with the revised plant.

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