Sag Harbor Bay Front – In Process

By Melissa Delihas on July 24th, 2013


“Sag Harbor Bay Front” is the first entry in a series of blog posts that will detail what is happening at Modern Green Home, both in and out of the office.  In the past year, we’ve grown from 2 to 10 fulltime employees, moved to Main St. Bridgehampton, and expanded our realm of design + build capability and experience.  With our roads and sidewalks filled full throttle with the Hamptons summer season, this feels like a good time to share.

This project is a custom home being built on protected Sag Harbor Cove for a city-based client.  The home was designed to strengthen the natural assets of the property.  Long spare walls on the east and west create privacy from neighboring properties, and ample floor-to-ceiling windows capture the views of the cove to the north and grassy meadow to the south.

The home will feature a full basement with east and west wings situated around a central entry. The east wing will hold master bedroom, kitchen, and dining on the first floor. Clerestory windows will bring extra light into the kitchen, and the long east wall will extend into the landscape.  The west wing will have two stories, with a living room and private guest suite on the first floor.  The upstairs offers a media room and a second guest suite on split levels.

Exterior finishes will balance the clean and delicate lines of hand-made custom steel windows in an industrial style, with a subtly complex background of charcoaled and oiled cedar siding.  This rich and rough exterior palette will be balanced by a bright white interior.  The analogy of a bay oyster, such as those found on the site, has been a consistent guide to development of the design.  The main floor of the house will feature a sequence of light filled rooms with a finish floor of white terrazzo. Dramatic cantilevers on the north and south add to the sense of enclosure and refuge.

The home will include energy efficient and green features. Continuous insulation will cover the outside of double-framed walls on the exterior. Closed cell spray foam and fiberglass batts will create high levels of insulation throughout. A rainscreen siding will shield the building from summer sun. Geo-thermal wells will heat and cool the floors throughout the year.  

Here are some in-process photos:

_DSC4736Readying for the first flow of concrete for integral retaining walls on the north side of the house.

_DSC4738Concrete being poured and spread in braced forms.

_DSC4745Troweled top of concrete retaining walls after the pour.  String lines ensure that the walls are straight and true over their entire length.

_DSC4754Retaining walls after the forms are removed.

_DSC4757Framed plywood deck over full basement, and retaining wall waiting for backfill. String lines and wooden ‘batter boards’ at each corner are used by the MGH crew to finalize the layout and dimensions of the steel frame.

IMG_0386Cast iron pipe exits the main house, and awaits connection to the septic system

IMG_0389Septic tank being carefully picked up.


IMG_0401Final position and measuring of septic system. Tank in foreground, and collection of leach pits in background.

IMG_0454 Steel beams prefabricated with cantilever outriggers being maneuvered into place.

Most connections in the structural steel frame are bolted together by the assembly crew. Significant pre-planning is required to ensure beam elevations and column connections are to plan.

IMG_0508East wing with steel frame complete, and wood framing begun.

Sag8West wing of main house, with first level of steel mostly complete.  The structure interweaves heavy steel with standard and engineered wood framing. Steel is essential to create cantilevers, and large glazed openings. Mixing in wood framing reduces total cost.

Sag5East wall of the east wing of the main house. The long side walls of the structure are framed with 2×6 and 2×4 walls offfset to each other. The final assembly will have R-6 continuous insulation on the exterior, and R-30 between studs.

Sag7Northwest corner of the main house. Steel is shown at full heigh on the east wing (left). West wing has steel structure up to first floor only. Second floor to follow.

Garage/gym framing under way. Large openings to the north will bring in ample natural light.

IMG_0304Walls complete and roof joists begun. Engineered i-joists easily handle the 20′ clear span.

Sag22Interior. Large north facing windows and a polished concrete floor will provide an industrial loft-like feel to the interior.

Sag11South exterior of the garage/gym building. Waterproof roof plywood and insulated waterproof wall sheathing is used throughout the project.

Sag31North exterior of the garage/gym Building. Center and lefthand openings will receive windows and doors. The lower righthand opening will have a garage door. 1″ thick polyiso insulation covers the exterior walls, and 2″ of extruded styrene insulation extends several feet below grade.

Sag9Northwest corner of garage/gym with sheathing complete.

Way Cool Reno Project in Berlin

By Peter Sabbeth on October 3rd, 2011

Check out what 30 creative minds can do together.  Amazing!  Thanks Inhabitat for finding this one.

House is a State of Mind, Mind is a State of House

By Peter Sabbeth on October 3rd, 2011

If you are at all like me, you receive at least 4 or 5 emails each week, with instructions on how to live a meaningful life. Most of these have been forwarded on from both old and new friends, partly because they want to share the thoughts with you, and partly because at the end of the email, there was a threat that all the good things discussed in the email, wouldn’t come true for the reader unless they forwarded it on to a specified number of people. The threat of the spiritual void, always good at inducing action.

Last month, my wife and I were in the middle of one of our countless house moves, and if you know us at all, you know that I am actually understating how much we move when I say countless, when I received one of these emails that was entirely appropriate to our situation, and actually crystallized a bunch of thoughts that had been swirling around my head lately. The email discussed how the home is actually a mirror image of your life.  Messy home, messy life.  Organized home, organized life.  Peaceful home, peaceful life.

As always happens during a move, when you are forced to confront the enormity of the material possessions that you have accumulated throughout your life, you begin to edit, to give away, to de-clutter, by donating old clothes and getting rid of any extras that have been unused for sometime. My wife and I have a lot of random items from previous moves that we’ve been unable to shake – mainly sentiment that has spared numerous boxes of trinkets from our childhood or souvenirs from our travels. But we honestly have no use for any of this stuff. They’re space-takers – they’re extras. In an effort to simplify our life and create peace within a time of chaos, we often turn to our material possessions by de-cluttering.

It occurred to me that while on the surface I was attempting to clean up my home and de-clutter my basement and attic, what I was actually doing was giving my mind a cleanse as well. The burden of too much stuff, the burden of items purchased for temporary happiness, the burden of items purchased on credit, was weighing down every footstep and every move I made in my daily life. The collection of materialism can have a nagging tendency to feel overwhelming at times. Being forced to confront the remains of our uncomfortable materialism is like salt in an open wound.

So after processing how the clutter in my basement, storage unit, and attic were affecting my daily life like a sack of coconuts I was being forced to drag around 24/7, I began to delve further into the de-cluttering process by looking at some of the other things I carry around that despite me recognizing as burdensome, I couldn’t seem to shake. Things such as thoughts and processes that were stuffed in the corners of my mental attic.  The constant rushing through errands, conversations, and stop lights in order to get to the next moment, the replaying of my busy, all-consuming to-do list throughout the day, the long-winded lecture that accompanied the scolding of my 5 year old for not listening, the split attention of back-and-forth text messaging, while playing with my kids, the checking of emails sporadically throughout the day, the saying yes to a commitment, event, project, happy hour, when my schedule is already overbooked, and the worst being,  the all-consuming plan for the future that robs me of what I am doing now

So while I was sorting through my collection of accumulated “stuff” mid move, it occurred to me that I was cluttering my life and mind each day with extras like incessant worrying, attention-comprising multi-tasking, and unnecessary busyness. All of these things were equally as guilty to the crime of compromising my inner peace as the junk in my basement.  They were one in the same, and both vital to the peace I was seeking.

The de-cluttering of a home may appear easier to navigate than the inner-world of mental and emotional clutter, but the two are not so different.  What I discovered this past move was that my house was a mirror for my mind, and my mind actually pretty similar to my basement. Cleaning up and organizing both helped set my world to rights.

Winter Blues Can Be Green

By Peter Sabbeth on February 22nd, 2010

It’s February in the Hampton’s. The warm fuzzy feelings of Christmas are mere flickering fairy lights in the dusty corners of our memories. New Year’s resolutions have all been broken, most meeting an ugly fate by mid January.  The Super Bowl is over, giving Sunday’s back to families once again. And summer is stretching its long finger’s towards us, teasing us in a skimpy bikini that is just out of reach.

February in the Hampton’s, either you hate it, or you tolerate it. I have learned to do both. It’s a time many of us find ourselves wishing we were somewhere else.  Somewhere warm perhaps. Or perhaps somewhere where all the shops remain open year round. While I haven’t learned to love February and March any more than when I first settled on the east end, I have learned to use the time better by turning my gaze and attention inwards. Inwards towards myself, inwards towards my family, and inwards towards our community.

The seasonal pace of life on the east end can be quite disjointing, especially to business owners who are trying to capture a year’s worth of income in 3 short months.  We spend 9 months every year getting ready for a three-month onslaught in which we need to make our fortunes. Inevitably we are never happy with what the summer produces, expectations being dashed by too many rainy weekends or a faltering stock market. In reality, the Hampton’s has two seasons:  Apprehension and Mayhem.

What I have learned to do, to combat those nine months of preparation and apprehension, is to take the greyest, dreariest two of those, February and March, and to make them mine. I focus on my house, I focus on my family, I focus on my friends, and I focus on myself.  Without earmarking special time for concentration on what’s important in our lives, we risk losing ourselves to the resort rat race.

Focusing time on ourselves, and our immediate circles, also helps make a better community.  It strengthens our families; it helps keep our schools rich and vibrant for our children, and makes the Hamptons a more colorful and sound place to live.  Good and strong communities start with good strong individuals.  Strong individuals are those that take time out for themselves.

So this month, treat yourself to a huge bowl of peppermint ice cream at the Candy Kitchen. Go to that 3-hour yoga class that you have always wanted to attend at Yoga Shanti.  Pick up that dusty copy of Moby Dick that you have been postponing finishing and pull up the easy chair.  Pull out the boxes of photographs and start organizing them into albums.  Make an appointment at Naturopathica for a massage.  Go to morning program at your children’s school. While you might question how all these things are strengthening our community, it’s really simple.  They make you happier, which makes your friends and family happier, which makes those around you happier… its obvious.

I make a special effort during February and March to shop only at local stores.  It is a notoriously hard task for business owners to weather the off-season out here, but with a little help from all of us, we can get them through the winter.  It is not something big to ask, not something that should be difficult, but a little step that can mean a tremendous amount to all of us. It will make you feel better as well, just watch.  Get to know all the shop owner’s names, see how it makes you feel when they greet you by name the following week.  That is what makes life rich and what we need to nurture during February and March.

So watching the Super Bowl, I was struck by something outside of Drew Brees unbelievable performance: The unconquerable spirit and determination New Orleans. How a community so devastated by a natural disaster a few years back, could rally behind a team that should never have gotten as far as they did, led by a quarterback who many had written off to injuries, and conquer perhaps the best quarterback in football, perhaps in history.  It was indominatrable spirit that won the Super bowl.  It was determination and spirit that helped David conquer Goliath.  Without New Orleans, the Saints were just another football team. Drew Brees was the first to acknowledge this.  Similarly, without all of us, the East End is just another summer resort.  Sure the Beaches are magnificent, but it is also the local community, which attracts the hordes of people every summer.  As a community, we need to stay in shape, and these few cold months are for our personal training.  Stay Warm.


Nicuesa Lodge: Amazing Costa Rican Eco-Resort

By Peter Sabbeth on February 22nd, 2010

Michael and Donna who created and run  this piece of paradise have done a tremendous job and stayed true to their ideals.  Their passion for the cause is infectious.



2408 Montauk Highway #2A
Bridgehampton, NY 11932