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Passive House Conference

Passive House Architecture and Building Conference in New York Will Present Critical Blueprints for Mitigating Climate Change by Increasing Building Efficiency Passive House, an international building standard, is the only proven architectural and building method that can enable the dramatic carbon reductions called for by the international scientific community.

New York City (PRWEB) May 19, [...]

Is Green Building Ethical?

Most people would agree that green building is a desirable thing. But sometimes it isn’t so clear. Ethics, even with something as virtuous as green building, can get murky fast. Join us this Tuesday May 13, 2014 for a USGBC Urban Green talk by Gennaro Brooks-Church where he will discuss these topics.

More info here

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Hemp Lime Hempcrete in New York

Hemp mixed with lime, aka hempcrete, is not concrete and thus needs structural support. It’s main use is insulation and air sealing. In this photo it is stick frame. In the future we suspect somebody will find a way to make it structural. A skilled green builder could use this for NY extensions as [...]

Let Children Play With Fire

I once heard a study of two groups of animals, one group were in barren cages, the other group were in the wild. Guess which group had more developed brains: the wild animals. Guess which group lived longer: the caged animals.

This confirms the old saying, if it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger. [...]

ALTERNATIVES TO THE “GREAT” AMERICAN LAWN

Here is a great article by the folks at Sasaki, a design company that does mostly large projects, about cool alternatives to the dead zone some people call a lawn.

The article offers great resources and info on where to get and how to make a more ecological lawn. We all love an open green [...]

Vote For Green Roof

Windsor Terrace Library is seeking city funding to install a green roof and you can help get them the money. You just need to vote for them to get the money. It’s that simple. Scroll down for details of where and when to vote.

Their hope is to use the green [...]

Photovoltaic Doubles as Sun Shade

Installing Solar Photovoltaic (Solar PV) in New York is a great way to put your money into something that gives a steady return year after year. You install it and immediately start saving on your electric bill. After a couple years you have paid off the cost of the installation and you get your electricity [...]

Building Passive House with Hempcrete

One of the challenges we face when doing High Energy retrofits of NY masonry brownstones, by the Passive House standard for example, is how to install insulation that will both be effective and maintain the historical integrity of the building. Most existing insulation materials have limited usefulness when installed on the interior of the envelope, [...]

What is the tax rebate for solar panels in NYC?

As a solar panel installer I have to admit that even Eco Brooklyn sometimes gets confused. The rebates expire, then get reinstated and expire again.

Here is the current tax rebate agreement. Check out the text in red. This is in effect until January 1st 2015.

 

http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=printbill&bn=A10620&term=2011[2/7/2013 11:51:36 AM] S T A T E [...]

Green Building Basics

If you are new to green building and wondering where to get started here is a simple primer on the basic elements of what makes a building green, and what you can do to help. Check it out here.

Check out the web site to see how these elements can be green.

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Composting Toilets in NYC

As a NYC composting toilet installer we are interested in the composting toilet regulations, or lack of, in Gotham City. Currently we install toilets without seeking permission from the department of buildings. Read pm for an update on the current situation of composting toilets in New York City buildings.

Or don’t read on and know [...]

Renewable Energy Plan for New York

Let’s convert New York State’s energy infrastructure into something more sustainable. It’s a simple concept, with a multitude of benefits. Converting to renewable energy will stabilize costs of energy and produce jobs while reducing health and climate damage and overall improving the quality of life.

A recent study by Mark Z. Jacobson et al. finds [...]

DIY Rocket Mass Heater

The recent polar vortex has hit us all with some really harsh conditions and as a green contractor based in New York it has made work on our ecological construction sites difficult. Spending cold, winter days inside of an upcycled shipping container can leave you freezing for hours. Space heaters require electricity that you may [...]

Best Urban Space Remodels: Our Instagram Claim to Fame

In the spirit of awards season, we’re pleased to announce that our green building Instagram account has been awarded an Instagrammy! Improvement Center evaluated the top ten home contractors to follow and we’ve been recognized for having the best urban space remodels.

Our feed features images from our Manhattan and Brooklyn ecological construction projects including [...]

Natural Mosquito Control

Summer might not be just around the corner, but once gardens are in full bloom safe insect and pest control will become a necessity. As a NY green contractor that specializes in green roofs and gardens it’s part of our job to ensure that the spaces we create can be enjoyed to their fullest potential.

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Net-Zero

At the Das Haus Net-Zero House Symposium in White Plains on July 17th, 2012, Guy Slicker, Director for Renewable Energy Resources and Technology of the New York Power Authority gave the keynote address. The speech focused on energy efficiency measures that the New York Power Authority was taking to retrofit tax payer support facilities such [...]

Video Tour of the EcoBrooklyn Show House

By now you’ve probably heard extensive details about the EcoBrooklyn show house including our rooftop garden, bee colony, and the natural pool. Visitors are always welcome to come and check it out, but if you can’t make it to the neighborhood, check out this mini-documentary we made about the house. It has information and clips [...]

Testimonials for Eco Brooklyn and the Woes of Yelp

Yelp can be a helpful website to find reviews of local businesses from real people. The site goes to considerable lengths to ensure that the reviews posted are from actual people who have built a sincere relationship with the company they are reviewing. The only problem is that their “review filter” algorithm has mistakenly filtered [...]

Removing Lead From New York Gardens

Here are two articles relevant to lead remediation in New York garden soil. Eco Brooklyn gets a lot of calls from clients with a child on the way and a recently purchased house. They intelligently tested the soil in the garden to be sure it is safe for toddlers and to their dismay they often [...]

Salvaged Douglas Fir Deck

 

Eco Brooklyn’s latest project was developed for our client in Williamsburg. The client was looking to renovate their distressed backyard and create a beautiful space to sit and relax. We first develop a design and render it for the clients approval. This deck is perfect for small gatherings, allows access to the yard, [...]

Most Recent Praise For EcoBrooklyn

“If you’re looking to have your garden landscaped I would highly recommend Eco Brooklyn. We’ve been renovating our brownstone working with general contractors and subcontractors over the period of about 2 years, Gennaro Brooks-Church and his team have by far been the most reliable and efficient we have worked with so far. Thanks to Gennaro [...]

Globalization, Not for a Green Nation

Eco Brooklyn recently attended and donated money to a fundraiser helping the Paititi Institute raise money to buy 2000 acres of endangered forest in Peru. Being a New York contractor, we understand a lot of the impact we have is not actually local but often thousands of miles away. When we refuse to build a [...]

NYC Updated Flood Zone Maps

FEMA reveiled updated flood zone maps two weeks ago, which doubles the previous estimated number of at risk New Yorkers to 400,000 residents and 70,000 buildings. These numbers are still proposed, and will take up to two years of reviews to become official, after which building regulations will be affected.

 

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Living Walls, Green Roofs, and the Heat Island Effect

Installing Living Walls and Green Roofs not only provide a refreshing natural aesthetic in a concrete jungle, they also reduce electrical costs and help combat the heat island effect. The heat island effect is an urban phenomenon in which a bubble of heat surrounds a city. The bubble is caused by the development of urban [...]

Praise for Siga high-performance tape

As a Green Builder we are always looking at the newest developments in green design. Today the folks from Siga were kind enough to come by and show us their energy efficient air sealing products.

We recently finished a Passive House renovation of a Harlem brownstone and worked closely with the air sealing supplier 475. [...]

“The Fracking Truth” Event

New York’s Largest Anti-Fracking Rally is just around the corner. Join us at the event to help limit the hold of fossil fuels and save New York from a dangerous practice. Details at the bottom of the post.

Fracking is a corrosive practice of sequestering more carbon deposits from the earth’s surface in the [...]

Apartment Complex in Flood-Prone Toxic Site

An Eco Brooklyn blog reader recently brought up the June 1st deadline for comments on the Brownfield Cleanup Program application submitted by Lightstone Group for their proposed 12-story, 700-unit development at 363-365 Bond Street, right on the edge of the Gowanus Canal. This reader shared with us that they are very much against building such [...]

Klearwall PH Windows

As New York passive house builders, Eco Brooklyn gets approached by many distributors offering Passive House products. Recently Klearwall, a PH window company located in Ireland, informed us of their intended expansion in New York City. Klearwater offers thermal bridging calculations, which shows how much energy will be conserved by the instillation of their [...]

Subterranean Living

Inhabitat recently posted an article exemplifying innovative underground houses around the globe. As a green contractor Eco Brooklyn is continually using cutting-edge ideas to improve upon Passive House designs. Underground housing can provide New York State with low energy housing at reasonable prices without sacrificing the aesthetic appeal of living above ground.

Living Passively

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Everydaytrash.com features Eco Brooklyn

Here is a cool little site that highlights everyday trash, that stuff we throw away without thinking much about it. They gave Eco Brooklyn a mention the other day. We build all sorts of things from garbage, from garden patios out of salvaged bricks to entire brownstones. Nice to be recognized for our green contracting [...]