May 27, 2020


Phase 2 of the replacement of O'Hare's high temperature water (HTW) generators is nearly complete.

For this multi-year mission, Epstein is serving as the architect as well as the structural and MEP/FP engineer. In this role, we are responsible for designing and upgrading all of the airport's replacement generators. Our primary objectives included:

  • Installing heating systems with minimal disruptions to the operations of the airport
  • Minimizing life-cycle costs of airport heating systems
  • Providing heating systems of acceptable reliability and efficiency

Epstein was also tasked with creating the ability to manually and automatically control the new HTW generators.

OHare embarked on this project because the original generators installed between 1969 and 1988 were outdated. Therefore, in 2012, the City of Chicago decided to replace them, along with their associated pumps, air compressor, steam generators and control system.

The construction schedule of this project has five milestones, which include:

  • Phase 1: Replace one HTW generator, completed in August 2018
  • Phase 2: Replace two HTW generators, scheduled for completion in the next month
  • Phase 3: Replace three HTW generators, scheduled completion for 2021
  • Phase 4: Replace the last two HTW generators, scheduled completion for 2022
  • Phase 5: Final commissioning of the generators, including piping and testing

Once complete, the new HTWs will be prepared to handle the proposed $8.75 billion terminal, airfield and site improvements as part of OHares grand expansions plans.

Construction for this project began in January 2018 and is expected to be complete in 2023.