Green Style: John Berg's Springs House

This house conserves energy, sequesters solar heat, pumps groundwater up to both heat and cool, is made of structural insulated panels (not convention framing), has a saline pool, sleeps a half dozen, entertains more and ain't frumpy. Head below for more info...

Designer: John Berg
Design: Single Family Residence with Environmentally Low Impact Building Technology
Location: East Hampton, NY
Program: New single family residence
Lot/Building Size: 1 acre/2200 sq. ft.

Inspired by a barn on Long Island around which the client spent many summers and the clients desire to build Green, the Old Stone Highway house was conceived as a modern interpretation of the Long Island agricultural vernacular.

The buildings form stretches out along a spine of interior and exterior spaces separated by glass walls which fold open during warm weather. A subtle topography of stepped walls, volumes and roof planes anchors the house comfortably to the relatively flat site and satisfies the clients need for dramatic spaces within a quiet envelope.

Rough exterior materials, primarily western cedar siding and concrete block, both left to weather, offer a strong counterpoint to the crisp geometry of the building and are also introduced within the house, creating tension with the smooth more finished surfaces.

Environmentally low impact building systems include:

Elements that make John's latest project 'green':
• Structural: SIPS-insulated panels that create a highly energy efficient building envelope;
• Air System: radiant concrete floors that run on a 98% efficient boiler, supplemented by a geo-thermal cooling system;
• Windows/Glazing: low-e argon gas filled, dual paned;
• Roof: Kynar--a non-heat absorbing finish;
• Solar orientation: calculated to minimize solar gain in summer;

• Paints: Low voc;
• Toilets: dual-flush;
• Exterior: red cedar siding sustainable wood
• Appliances: energy star;
• Pool: saline solution (precluding chemicals)
• Furnishings: many of the elements are vintage


Founded in 2001 by John Berg, Berg Design Architects is a multi-faceted design firm whose work includes furniture design, architectural design competitions, residential architecture, interior design, planning, and multi-unit residential housing. A strong firm history of close working relationships with clients and focused design, combined with an acute understanding of place, continues to lead us to unique architectural solutions. [more]