Constructed in 1910 and set in Washington, DC’s storied Sheridan-Kalorama neighborhood, the French Ambassador’s Residence is an elegant Tudor Revival manor house listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 23,000-square-foot mansion’s HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems had seen a substantial update in more than 50 years, with faulty plumbing and roof failure causing extensive water infiltration and damage. Through a comprehensive renovation, the Republic of France sought to modernize the majority of the building’s MEP systems while fully restoring historic finishes and fixtures.
An energy-efficient HVAC system was installed with flexible temperature control accomplished through the use of variable refrigerant systems. Mueller Associates’ design was carefully coordinated with the architectural features to decrease the amount of cutting and patching of interior finishes. A variety of indoor unit configurations also reduced disturbances to the building’s historical elements, with the majority of the units located in the basement and the attic. The project also included an assessment of all plumbing elements with selective replacement to control costs. The restored home is now used for entertaining and as a showcase for the embassy’s collection of French art and antiquities, including period antiques, fabrics, portraits, and artwork from Versailles and the Louvre.