Williams College, Fort Bradshaw Graduate House

Williams College, Fort Bradshaw

Quantum Engineering Co. designed the heating, plumbing, and electrical system upgrades for this 18th century home of President James Madison. The house which was expanded at the turn of the 20th century has undergone a 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 these artifacts require suitable environmental conditioning.

The project included a geothermal well-field system sized at approximately 20 tons of cooling. A large underground vault (approximately 25’ wide x 55’ long) contains three air-handling units, the electrical distribution equipment, water service, well system pumps, hot water & chilled water pumps, and water-to-water heat pumps. The electrical systems included relocating the high voltage electric service, installation of a new 800 ampere electric distribution system at 120/208V, installation of a back-up generator and life safety/critical system distribution.

This project is included with relevant projects owing to its similar size and complexity as the Vermont State House project

George Washington’s Mount Vernon Mansion Revitalization

George Washington's Mount Vernon Mansion

This project initially consisted of an assessment and schematic design level of detail to describe improvements necessary to extract certain utilities from the mansion and return the cellar to its appearance in 1799. Also, prior mechanical systems have created conditions in the cellar that have enhanced deterioration of the masonry. This project is focused on stabilizing the temperature and humidity conditions. The work has expanded to the design development phase.

The HVAC system work focuses on modifying the sequences of operation to achieve a more stable indoor environment that satisfies the criteria of an ASHRAE Applications Chapter 23 goal of a hybrid Class C conditions. In particular, the most difficult season is summertime with very hot humid conditions. The systems are intended to include desiccant dehumidification equipment to mitigate the extreme conditions.

The mansion has over one million visitors per year requiring a substantial amount of outside air for the visitors and to positively pressurize the mansion so that when the doors are open so frequently, the unconditioned outside air does not rush in.

The electrical systems within the mansion are being replaced to upgrade aging systems as well as to reduce the number of circuits and eliminate excessive visible cabling distribution in the cellar.

Data Center Critical Cooling System Upgrade


Quantum Engineering Company was asked to decide what to do with the waste heat discharged by the spot coolers.  Options included discharging the air above the ceiling and allowing the central AHU’s and Chillers to address the heat (Options 1 & 2) or other options involved ducting the air to the perimeter, removing glass windows, installing temporary weather protection, and utilizing outside air to cool the spot cooler condensers (Options 3 & 4).

Project Approach:

In order to implement the project while minimizing loss of redundancy and loss of capacity, the decision was made to deploy temporary air cooled spot coolers while the existing cooling units were replaced one at a time.

Project Statistics:

Data Center: Approximately 2400 SF

Location:  Mid-Rise Office Building / 3rd Floor

Critical Load at Beginning of Project:  80kW

Cooling Capacity at Beginning of Project:  34 Tons / 119 kW

Cooling Capacity after Completion of Project:  65 Tons / 228 kW


The final recommendation was to utilize outside air due to the very high costs associated with operating the large central station air handling units and central chilled water plant that would otherwise be disabled during off-hours (Option 3)

If you are interested in seeing the detailed analysis please review the comparison matrix below.

Temporary Cooling Options Matrix

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

22 Corporate Woods Boulevard

The major Mechanical and Electrical features include the following:

  1. A full wet pipe sprinkler and standpipe system including a 1000 GPM electric driven fire pump. The PBX and UPS rooms contain pre-action dry pipe sprinkler systems.
  2. The HVAC system consists of a water source heat pump system utilizing horizontal ceiling hung heat pumps, a nominal 2000 GPM hydronic piping loop, nominal 750 ton closed circuit evaporative coolers, plate and frame heat exchangers to allow year round use, a nominal 34,000 CFM make-up air unit with an air-to-air heat exchanger recovering energy from the general exhaust system. The boiler system consists of two gas-fired, modulating boilers.
  3. The electrical system consists of a 13,200 volts primary feeder serving primary metal enclosed switchgear which in turn feeds two independent pad mounted transformers each rated at 1500 amperes at 480/277V/3Ø/4W. Either primary feeder and/or transformer can be shut-down without discontinuing building operations. The transformer secondaries feed double-ended switchgear with an internal tie-breaker which also provides redundant back-up ability. A 600 KW diesel generator provides back-up power for life safety systems, elevators, 125 KVA UPS System and critical tenant loads.
  4. The building is fully equipped with a raised floor structure to allow access for modular electric power, data and voice communications cabling.
  5. Specific Energy Efficiency features include:
    1. Lighting occupancy sensors to shut down lighting in unoccupied areas.
    2. High efficiency heat pumps
    3. Variable speed pumping systems
    4. LED exit signs
    5. High efficiency window glazing
    6. High efficiency fluorescent lighting fixtures with T8 lamps, electronic ballasts, and pre-wire tandem pairs.
  6. The building also contains a full service kitchen facility with the capacity of serving approximately 350 persons.

Location:Albany, NY

Photo: Courtesy of WCGS Architects

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

Siena College, Sarazen Student Union

This project upgraded Siena College’s campus focal point, the Student Union building, to provide a fresh look to its food services and a menu driven by the expectations of students as well as a comfortable area to eat and socialize.  Quantum Engineering Co., PC provided all mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection designs for the renovation.

Location:  Loudonville, NY

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