Cliveden is the revolutionary period house of Benjamin Chew, the chief justice of Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court. Constructed between 1763 and 1767, the National Historic Lankmark served as a British stronghold in the Battle of Germantown. In addition to its historic significance, Cliveden is one of the best preserved Georgian Colonial style mansions of the period and houses a collection of fine art, furniture, china, and manuscripts.
BBA provided engineering for an environmental systems upgrade project, which required balancing preservation needs versus the building envelope’s ability to withstand temperature and humidity fluctuations; achievement of uniform heating and cooling conditions throughout with minimal intrusion of mechanical systems; and weighing budget constraints against the preservation and interpretive needs of this historic site and its collections.
The installed systems reflect these balances. Extremes of temperature and humidity are mitigated. Chimneys are used as conduits for return air ductwork and the central hallway serves as a conditioned air source for the rooms on the upper floors. An electronic temperature control system optimizes energy costs while maintaining environmental conditions that will preserve Cliveden and its collections for future generations to study and enjoy.