College of William & Mary President’s House Restoration


Quantum Engineering Company was asked to recommend the best mechanical systems option while being sensitive to the building’s fabric and considering the Campus utility and Local utility options.

Project Statistics:

Originally Constructed:  1740’s

Use:  Residence for President of College: R-3

Height:  3-stories plus basement

Area:  Basement : 2128 SF

1st Floor: 2093 SF

2nd Floor: 2093 SF

3rd Floor: 1575 SF

Total: 7889 SF

Source of Heating: Campus Steam System

Source of Cooling:   Local Air-Cooled Chiller (Option 1)

Geothermal Based System (Option 2)

Campus Chilled Water System  (Option 3)

HVAC Distribution Type: Utilize Fan Coil Units (Option 1)

Utilize Central AHU’s (Option 2)

Utilize Central AHU’s VAV (Option 3)

Utilize High Velocity AHU’s (Option 4)

Source of Electric Power: Fed from adjacent Wren Building

Source of Natural Gas: New utility service (directional bore) to serve back-up generator located in garage


We conducted detailed field investigations to identify prior intrusions and identify extents of original fabric.


We prepared a list of possible mechanical system options and identified advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Quantum Engineering provided the following option matrices and then met with the owner and all stakeholders including facilities staff, maintenance staff, restoration architects, and historic campus advocate. If you are interested in seeing the detailed analysis please review the HVAC system comparison matrices below.


The selected system type was a hybrid solution that best met the needs of the house and minimized intrusion on the historic fabric.  A high velocity (Unico) system was selected for the 3rd floor, a conventional constant volume, hot water, chilled water system was selected for the lower floors.  A local chiller was provided due to the disruption of trenching that would have been required for connection to the Campus chilled water system.  The heating system was connected to the Campus system since the infrastructure was already nearby.

HVAC System Comparison Matrices (PDF)

Location:  Williamsburg, VA

President Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest

The initial project involved the evaluation and design of the mechanical and electrical systems for this early 19th century summer home of President Thomas Jefferson.  This masonry home has been restored over the past decade and is presently at the stage of requiring careful evaluation of the mechanical and electrical systems.  The Trustees selected a geothermal energy source with radiant hydronic heating and a partial earth cooling system.  This project had established the master plan use of the Mansion House.

Location:  Lynchburg, VA

Photo: Courtesy of MCWB Architects

Stratford Great House – Robert E. Lee’s Birthplace

Stratford Hall was built by Thomas Lee in the late 1730s. It is furnished with an outstanding collection of predominantly 18th-century American and English decorative arts. The Stratford Great House truly lives up to its National Landmark status for which a mechanical upgrade was necessary for establishing a stable indoor environment. Our primary goal was to minimize the impact that the project has on the house while satisfying the objectives of the project, which is to increase the reliability of the mechanical system thereby minimizing the frequency and intensity of variations in the indoor conditions.

Location:  Stratford, VA

James Madison’s Montpelier

We have designed the heating, plumbing, and electrical system upgrades for this 18th Century home of U.S. President James Madison. The house, which was expanded at the turn of the 20th Century, has undergone a five-year transformation back to its Madison era layout.  The house contains an extensive collection of original furniture, papers, and textiles, in addition to the largest artifact, the House.  All of these artifacts require adequate environmental conditioning, fire protection as part of a long-term conservation strategy and water plan use of the Mansion House. The mechanical and electrical systems are housed in a 1000 sq. ft. utility vault 18’ below the rear lawn. The QE design included a 12- well, geothermal system which provides efficient heating and cooling for the Mansion.  The Grand Opening was Constitution Day, September 17, 2008.

Location:  Orange, VA

Florida Southern College – Frank Lloyd Wright

Usonian Faculty House & Bungalow Gift Shop – Quantum Engineering Co., PC was commissioned to design the MEP systems for the construction of this ~ 1,700 sf house for use as a Camus Visitor’s Center.  The project also included the renovations of an adjacent Bungalow for use as a Gift Shop plus the construction of a water feature on the site.

At the time of its 1939 design the Usonian House did not accommodate modern conveniences such as air-conditioning, telecommunications, and central fire alarm systems. Quantum Engineering Co. worked closely with the architect to integrate the systems to maximize the authenticity of the original design while providing the required functionality for the Campus.

Location:  Lakeland, FL

University of Virginia, Pavilion X

The historic campus of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville contains “The Lawn” and series of student rooms, pavilions, and hotels that are part of the original design by Thomas Jefferson.  All ten (10) Pavilions have been targeted for upgrades including the mechanical and electrical systems, as well as the installation of fire sprinkler systems. Quantum Engineering Co., P.C. was commissioned to design the building systems for the upgrade for Pavilion X.  The building systems met and achieved LEED certification.  We provided the fundamental commissioning services for the project.

Location:  Charlottesville, VA

SUNY Cobleskill – Frisbie Hall

The original Quadrangle of the Cobleskill Campus constructed on or about 1915 included a classroom building on the northside called Frisbie Hall.  This concrete and brick structure has been modified over the years to adapt to the changing needs of educational teaching methods. Most of these changes have been done with little respect to the historic character of the building.  This project will provide a complete rehabilitation of the building and system but doing so in a form that emphasizes its original architectural features. The building achieved LEED Silver rating.

Location:  Cobleskill, NY