Mechanical Systems and Utilities
“When you pay too much, you lose a little money - that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought is incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.”
Utilities on the Coval Estate include natural gas, city water, a 40 gallon per minute well with irrigation and domestic use water rights, and a 600 amp, 3-phase commercial electrical service for both home and shop.
The well provides all domestic water and estate irrigation. Domestic water is further treated for softening, purification, and filtered through a charcoal filter. The system was designed and fabricated by Glen Karn of Northwest Water Treatment. Water quality is outstanding. The well pump is 20 horsepower and delivers 40-50 gpm. In the rare event of well failure, city water is available in less than 60 seconds. There are also two additional wells on the site. One is the original brick-lined hand dug well used by David Alexander over 100 years ago. Both still produce water from shallower aquafirs.
Power is 3-phase commercial service, providing increased power to mechanical systems and the shop, and is less costly than typical single-phase residential power. A 300kw Cummins diesel generator is positioned in an underground concrete vault for emergency use. It utilizes an automatic transfer switch and is fed by a 500 gallon fuel tank. Transfer is instantaneous and barely noticeable.
Natural gas provides heat for the home, pool and spa. A commercial one million BTU Aerco boiler provides 126 degree water for all needs. Set points are adjustable if different temperatures are desired. Hydronic floor heat, pool and spa heat, and domestic hot water needs are all accomplished by heat exchangers located in the mechanical rooms. All hot water pipes are fully insulated with high-density commercial fiberglass insulation, assuring maximum energy efficiency.
A central computer uses Signal Software to manage and control all HVAC events and setpoints. A graphic interface allows monitoring of systems, adjusting setpoints for heat, humidity and setting schedules for lighting and irrigation. The central computing system is the Global Control Module (GCM) manufactured by Barber Coleman which gathers and sends data to microzones located throughout the home. Each microzone contains imput and output functions to control devices in each particular location. The system was designed by Earl Gray, currently with Honeywell Inc.
The phone system in the house is a commercial Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system by Toshiba. The system manages up to 24 phones on three incoming lines, allowing multiple private conversations and intercom between rooms. The entry gate system is also integrated into the phone system.