Green Style: John Berg's Springs House

Green Style: John Berg's Springs House

Maxwell Ryan
Apr 27, 2009

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]

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