The William Collins Whitney Estate, often referred to as “The Manse,” was built in 1904 and has since become a part of Long Island history. The property has undergone many changes over the years, but most recently, in 2000, it became the home to a nonprofit organization. While the historic aspects of the building were still intact, its old HVAC system began to present many issues. It became extremely expensive to operate and the individual rooms were impossible to make comfortable for guests. Since the rooms were being rented out for UN meetings, teacher gatherings, and more, this was a reoccurring issue that had to be dealt with. When approached about how to update the estate while still maintaining its historic integrity, Ray Victory, Lead Project Coordinator from Victory Skaggs HVAC in College Point, NY, knew that a Carrier multi-zone ductless system from CE was the solution.
About the William Collins Whitney Estate
In 1904 the Whitney family purchased five farms that they turned into the now famous and historic, 600-acre William Collins Whitney Estate landmark in Long Island. In 1980, the family decided to give some of the land away to the fire department and a hospital. In 2000, they turned the remaining 400 acres into a meeting place for organizations. Today, it is home to the Greentree Foundation who rents out the space to groups that are looking for a location to hold important business meetings and events.
The Goal: Improve Efficiency, Decrease Noise, and Maintain Architectural Integrity
The William Collins Whitney Estate is beautiful, but its HVAC system was anything but. It had broken pipes, was extremely inefficient, and it was very noisy. Ray explained, “the building contains multiple floors with rooms facing all directions, so it was nearly impossible to keep all of the rooms comfortable using a traditional system. The old system was also very loud and made it challenging for visitors to hear what was being said.” As such, Ray designed an upgraded HVAC system with equipment from Carrier that would improve efficiency, minimize noise in the building, and make it easy to control the temperature in each individual meeting space. Additionally, the design ensured that the historic elements of the building would be kept intact while eliminating the old, overbearing AC units and replacing them with something less obvious.
The Solution: A Multi-Zone Ductless System
When upgrading the HVAC system, Ray was able to minimize the aesthetic impact while improving the efficiency and controllability of the room temperature dramatically. So far, eight rooms within the estate have received ductless mini splits, with the majority of the equipment being stored out-of-sight in the attic. Ray is especially proud that his team was able to strategically place two of the condensers below the road in front of the estate, so they are completely hidden.
As expected, a couple challenges did arise during the installation process. For example, there was condensation on the grills of the units and the thermostats were not reading the correct temperatures of the rooms. Metal ceiling diffusers and the static pressure also had to be corrected once water droplets began appearing. But, with the help of the CE technical services team, they were able to quickly make the adjustments. By adding interior insolation to the ceiling boxes and changing the metal diffusers on the supply grills to plastic ones, everything was running smoothly, and all issues were resolved.
The Results: Less Noise, Independent Controls, Improved Efficiency, and Beautiful Aesthetics
“The William Collins Whitney Estate owners are extremely pleased with the results the ductless system has provided,” Ray stated. Each room can be controlled independently, which is especially important because some of the rooms in the building receive a lot more sun than the others, so those rooms often require much more cooling power. What’s more, the people using the space for their meetings cannot even hear the units operating, and the efficiency of the system has improved dramatically—which greatly cuts down costs for the nonprofit. Finally, the aesthetics of the building were not only maintained, they were improved upon. All historic architectural accents are still standing, and the less-than-appealing old AC units are no longer in the picture.
This building was just the first one within the estate to receive an upgrade, and with the impressive results, we are sure it will not be the last.