design-build - project profile
Hamptons Beach House
a team of first-rate design-build partners come together for the first time to create a stunning vacation home.
BY Paul Consiglio and Alan Shupack
All beach house photos courtesy of Paul Domzal, Edge Media Digital Photography.
AN INCREDIBLE NEW-BUILD PROJECT was recently completed in the Hamptons, involving an array of best-in-class design-build partners who came together to create something truly special. The resilient-sustainable practices and contemporary design from renowned architects Barnes Coy, the lighting design across interior and exterior spaces provided by Patdo Lighting Studio, the energy management solutions designed and integrated by Green Logic Energy, and countless other trades involved in the project speaks to the level of craftsmanship that went into this incredible beachfront property.
the builder and the technology designer
Two of the main players involved with unifying the myriad of technologies embedded in the design and build-out were Paul Consiglio of Consiglio Builders and Alan Shupack of Audio Video Systems.
Consiglio Builders was established four decades ago and is a luxury residential construction company in the Hamptons. They have grown over the years based on the strength of their reputation, quality of work, and client satisfaction. They combine small-firm responsiveness and motivation with large-firm capabilities.
Audio Video Systems is a Long Island-based technology design and systems integration firm. With over four decades of experience and proficiencies in all facets of residential and commercial technologies, their talented team of more than seventy professionals has experience delivering the highest quality smart home system solutions.
Coincidentally, this was the first time that Consiglio Builders and AVS – two of the Hamptons premier design-build companies – have actually worked on a project together. Bringing the wide array of technologies embedded in the project together in order to deliver a seamless experience for the homeowner fell mainly on these companies – the builder and the technology designer. Here’s their story.
PAUL CONSIGLIO We were brought into the project early and have worked with the architects, Barnes Coy, on four or five previous projects. We like partnering with Christopher Coy and his team because once they outline their vision and the expectations of the homeowner, everything is pretty cut and dried as far as how we move forward on the project.
In this case, the design was contemporary, and the homeowners wanted the house to be a technological marvel, but at the same time, living in the space had to be effortless. So streamlined, clean and easy-to-use were our buzzwords.
ALAN SHUPACK We had presented a full specification to the homeowners based on their initial expectations and as the project progressed, we relied on Paul’s team to coordinate between ourselves and the client as changes to the scope of work were discussed. The homeowner was interested in having the latest technology, and that’s what we presented – but at the same time, they didn’t want to struggle with deploying the technology. And that’s where I think we ended up focusing on the day-to-day interaction with the house, and why we all agreed that Savant would make an excellent choice for the automation and control system.
PAUL Yeah, that’s a good place to start as far as the technology. There are a lot of good choices for home automation systems, but the homeowners had experience with Savant and were familiar with using the system on their mobile devices and iPads. And they really liked how logical AVS’s design was in placing touch screens and iPads and remotes around the house.
ALAN That’s a good point. Considering the contemporary design of the build and the interior design, we didn’t want to clutter up the space. When we look at any space similar to this particular project, we would typically recommend two centrally located, wall-mounted touch screens. One in the kitchen and one in the master bedroom. This would be where, in addition to accessing control over the space, you would also have the global ability to monitor and control all integrated systems throughout the entire house from that one location.
Then we would recommend placing a few dedicated iPads around the space so the homeowner has a portable control device. As we get more granular, you might want to incorporate some hand-held remotes for TV viewing. And, of course, we give the homeowner access on their mobile devices.
PAUL I think it was the combination of all of these options that captured the homeowner’s attention. Since they are used to iPads and iPhones, they had no problem controlling any of the variables in the house. And since so much is automated, homeowners today don’t have to do that much. It’s become more of a world of preset scenes that change throughout the day.
Another good example of how we worked together to meet client expectations was with the architectural speakers that we deployed. I remember you showing me some pictures on how they would look and we agreed that they would be perfect for this project.
ALAN Right. Those were the architectural speakers from Sonance. That came about because we realized that traditional in-wall or in-ceiling speakers have visible bezels around them and don’t perfectly seam into a contemporary décor. They aren’t perfectly flush-mounted. The Sonance speakers, on the other hand, flush mount directly into the wall, without any surround material or bezel interference. It’s a really clean look that fit perfectly into this project.
PAUL One of the really critical features throughout the house was Patdo’s lighting design. And I think that one of the biggest assets AVS brought to the project was your Lutron HomeWorks experience.
ALAN Thanks, Paul. Yeah, we have been one of the premier Lutron dealers for decades and this project is a perfect example of why Lutron is such a great integration and automation partner. It’s not only about controlling the lights and setting scenes. It’s about the wide variety of lighting fixtures HomeWorks interfaces with. It’s also about a control system that works reliably and intuitively with other audio, video and HVAC systems in the home. You have to be able to control the lighting scenes from a variety of devices and interfaces, and at the same time automate the other components of any scene-based design – tune the lights and at the same time bring in the music, alter the thermal properties, lower the shades, etc.
And all of this has to be done automatically so you create the right aesthetics and ambiance in the space. Not to mention that lighting also impacts safety and security – so again, that’s bringing the lighting and shading technology into the overall automation and control scheme.
PAUL And all of that is only accomplished in the pre-planning and design phase. It’s what we refer to as The Considered Approach. At Consiglio Builders, we developed a unique approach to residential building, where meticulous planning and transparency throughout the process brings value to the deliverables.
I know we wanted to talk about energy management, but before we do, let’s cover one other technology that really captured the attention of the homeowner – that huge outdoor TV on the roof deck!
Alan Yeah, that really is a show stopper isn’t it? When we saw the plans and the vision behind a roof deck that looks out on the Atlantic Ocean, we proposed an outdoor entertainment scene. And since we’re dealing with Mother Nature, we specified the incredible 86-inch Séura Outdoor TV that can stand up to inclement weather, along with a pair of Coastal Source outdoor speakers. It’s an amazing system.
PAUL You also spec’d in Coastal Source speakers for the rest of the property, right?
Alan Correct. The homeowner was blown away with the look and sound so we ended up installing another pair on the first floor balcony and a total of eight more in the sand dunes that separate the house from the beach. So there’s great sound in all of the outdoor spaces.
But keep in mind that all of this amazing technology takes energy to power and manage. And that’s where the entire team had to collaborate to meet the building codes in the Hamptons. I’ll let you tell the energy management story, because that’s really the part of the project that you managed and it’s pretty cool stuff.
PAUL Thanks. Yes, the codes in the Hamptons are very strict when it comes to energy management. First of all, you have to incorporate geothermal energy, which is a standard you have to meet. The HERS (Home Energy Rating System) Index is a home energy rating and analysis of a home’s energy efficiency. The HERS Index Score is analogous to a miles-per-gallon sticker that gives prospective homeowners an indication as to how the home ranks in terms of energy efficiency.
So in addition to geothermal energy capture, we also pay strict attention to insulation and the type of glass and windows that are installed, as well as leakage from HVAC distribution ducts and any potential combustion safety issues. We want to capture as much energy as possible, not waste it, and at the same time deliver clean, fresh air and purified water so the indoor environment is healthy.
And so we have to look at how much energy we believe the house will need to function properly – which includes energy for the technology, lighting, shading, etc. – and then how we can create a housing envelope that maximizes and conserves energy usage.
ALAN Not to mention that you also incorporated solar capture and integrated an energy back-up system. That’s additional components that need to be monitored as part of the overall networking capabilities on the project.
PAUL Yes, and that’s a good point. We installed solar panels on the roof opposite the outdoor entertainment area, as well as a diesel-powered back-up generator that resides next to the house. Being right on the beach means this house has to withstand the elements, both structurally, as well as if the house were to go off the grid in emergencies.
And so that also means that systems throughout the house need to be monitored when possible from afar, so alerts can be sent in case of outages or IoT devices go off-line. That technology has become standardized and is really a function of the network’s capabilities.
ALAN And that’s why our go-to networking gear is from Ruckus. Our IT department is Ruckus-certified and it’s standard practice for advanced networks to be set up so any networking issues can alert our staff at the earliest indication of a problem, and our techs then have the ability to connect to the network to troubleshoot outages before we have to schedule an on-site visit.
PAUL It’s really the comprehensive way that your team approached this project that made it a great partnership. We’ve worked with other technology firms over the years and while we were aware that AVS represented best-in-class out in the Hamptons, our paths just never crossed.
As I mentioned before, all of the important issues need to be addressed in the design phase of the project. But inevitably, no matter how great we all are at what we do, there’s always a bug or two that needs to fleshed out. And you guys really demonstrated why you are considered in the top tier of technology designers when the homeowner called me and said they were having a problem getting a TV to work properly.
Now it was probably user error, but at this level of project work, you have to respond instantly. And so on the Sunday of the Memorial Day weekend, I called you and said the client was having an issue and by noon a tech was on site and ran through the issue with the homeowner. Problem solved. Immediately. Which speaks volumes.
ALAN Thanks for that plug, Paul! I knew the minute we met that the project was in capable hands and we’re already working on another project together.
PAUL Well, in my book, the technology design firm is one of the most crucial sub-contractors on any project. And besides providing after-build service, I was also impressed that you never said “no” to any of the ideas that were thrown out in the discovery and build phases. You always came back with a “let’s see what we can do” and then followed up so the lines of communication were always adhered to.
ALAN And with that said, we’re looking forward to working on the next job together!