Systems Integration

By this means the mansion is freed of not only the noise and vibration of equipment, but also the potential hazards which may arise from malfunctions. Twenty-one deep wells were driven adjacent to the vault as a long-term energy conservation measure to provide a geothermal source for heating and cooling the mansion by means of heat pumps. From air handling units, placed in the vault, conditioned air is conducted to the mansion via two large, buried conduits which then are threaded under the cellar floor. From these, the air is distributed vertically to the upper floors. Great care was taken to avoid disturbing surviving Madison era construction in routing the air throughout the mansion. Two of the largest vertical risers, conducting supply air for the second floor, pass upwards through a series of DuPont period doorways (one above the other on all three levels) which needed to be infilled to restore original conditions. In the attic the air is distributed horizontally then directed down through the ceilings of the second floor rooms. Return air is drawn from the fireplace in each room and rises vertically in the original chimney flues to the attic where it is collected and redirected down through a reconstructed chimney stack to another buried conduit leading back to the utility vault.


Similar care was exercised in the installation of the misting system for fire suppression, the VESDA system for fire detection, and the electrical and security systems. To achieve all this required the utmost coordination in both design and execution among architects, engineering consultants, masons, carpenters, and several systems contractors.