Chicago Helicopter Experience

Location: Chicago, IL

Chicago Helicopter Experience

CCJM is providing full Architectural and Engineering design for a new 16,800 sq. ft. passenger terminal facility, located on a 5 acre site, for Chicago Helicopter Experience (CHE) in Chicago. CHE is an exciting company providing breathtaking tours of the Chicago skyline using leading edge helicopters from their site in Chicago. To complement their dramatic tours, CHE needed a new terminal facility that would provide a functional and comfortable passenger experience, a traffic control tower and office and operations space for essential company operations.

CCJM delivered a full engineering design that meets the strict environmental and energy requirements of the Chicago Green Building permit process and LEED Certification (pending). Innovative design techniques included using high efficiency heating and cooling systems, low energy consumption lighting and low flow plumbing fixtures throughout the facility. The structural design utilized composite steel and concrete construction and steel braced frames to allow for large areas of uninterrupted glazing to achieve the vision of an open plan with an expansive view that highlights the helicopter’s flying in and out of the site.

In addition to the Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Fire Protection systems, CCJM provided Structural design for the new terminal, helicopter fueling station and Touchdown and Liftoff Area helicopter launching pad; and Civil design of the site grading, drainage, parking and new Water Taxi Landing.

Civil Design included site visits, investigation and evaluation of existing conditions. After review of appropriate and applicable codes, including zoning and stormwater ordinance, and establishing existing utility information – meetings with city officials were held to facilitate expedited and seamless permit approval. During schematic and detail design careful considerations were made with regards to comments from the city, as well as miscellaneous requirements pertaining to parking, erosion control, landscaping, and safely operating a helicopter facility within established guidelines by the FAA and City of Chicago.

After a well-structured input, design, and review phase, construction documents were prepared with attention to contractor specific issues in order to minimize change orders and potential construction phase cost overruns. Interdisciplinary coordination between all interacting disciplines and team members was a crucial part of the construction document process, which allowed CCJM to reduce questions during the bidding process.

Throughout the design process, it was critical to seek owner input in order to address all special needs that come with operation a specialty facility such as a heliport. Owner recommendations and feedback allowed CCJM to address all specific requirements, effectively translating owner needs into specific design requirements which can be coordinated with appropriate agencies.

CCJM Role: Architectural, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Fire Protection, Civil, Structural