National Park Service, Hampton Mansion

Henry Adams was involved in the design of the HVAC system in order to preserve the ornate, historic, 18th century mansion and the artifacts within it. Tasks included the design of HVAC air handlers, humidifiers, filters, ductwork, piping, insulation, controls and electrical distribution for the visitor facilities, museum storage areas, exhibit spaces, period rooms, offices and gift shop. The design of both the HVAC and fire suppression systems was predicated on preserving the artifacts without damaging the historic fabric of the over 200-year-old structure. The facility uses a geothermal heat pump system. Water to water heat pump units provide chilled water to zoned air handling units to provide more precise temperature and humidity control as compared with a 100 percent compressarized heating and cooling system. A sophisticated control system was installed to ensure winter humidification and summer humidification will not cause freezing and thawing and drying out of the structure. The design included the design of a fire pump to boost the marginal water supply pressure allowing us to greatly decrease piping size, allowing more flexibility to weave the sprinkler system through the historic fabric. A highly sensitive fire detection system, called a VESDA system, was also designed, which can provide up to a 20-minute advanced notice of a fire event over a conventional fire detection system.

Hampton Mansion serves as an elegant reminder of an era when gentrified living took on magnificent proportions. To this day, it is praised as one of the country’s finest examples of Georgian architecture. The mansion was constructed between 1783 and 1790 as the centerpiece of a 24,000-acre empire of agriculture, industry and commerce, amassed by the Ridgely family in Baltimore County.

Since 1948 the site has been managed by the National Park Service.

Additional Information:

LocationTowson, MD
Completion Date
Construction Value $1,700,000
OwnerNational Park Service
ArchitectGWWO, Inc./Architects
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