Blog Archives

Department of Buildings Offsite Folder Request

Everyone in the NYC building industry has their personal horror story of dealing with the Department of Buildings. My favorite: I was looking for some information and I was sent to seven different offices, eventually ending up at the first

Posted in Brooklyn, City Planning Tagged with:

What is the best wall construction for Passive House?

A recent article in the Home Energy Magazine analyzes the embodied energy of different wall structures for Passive House construction in cold climates. Basically, it’s great to have super insulated homes, but home much extra energy does it take to build

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Shipping Containers as New York Buildings

If you are interested in green building, environmentalism, or architecture, chances are that you have seen some of the chic structures coming out of the shipping container building movement. These structures range from the Redondo Beach container home, which won

Posted in All Posts, Brooklyn, Shipping Container Tagged with: , , ,

Dumpster Diving Goldmine

Eco Brooklyn does a lot of dumpster diving. Most of the materials we use for jobs – floors, decks, pergolas, paving, stairs – comes from dumpsters in the New York area. One reporter called it “guerrilla green building.”   Our

Posted in All Posts, Brooklyn, Recycled, salvage, Salvaged Tagged with: , , ,

Preservation or Conservation: Building for the Past or the Future?

One could argue that the greenest buildings are the ones that last the longest- not only because of the material, but also design. As with all things – buildings erode. From the 16th century half-timbered houses in Norway to the

Posted in All Posts, Brooklyn, Design Tagged with: , ,

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

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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

Posted in All Posts, Brooklyn, Design, Eco Brooklyn, Garden, Green Roof, House, Passive House, Recycled, Salvaged, Shipping Container, Sustainability Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

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

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Exterior Shades – The Anti-Heat Wave of the Future

Temperature has assuredly become a hot topic in offices throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan during the recent heat wave. Eco Brooklyn’s office is no exception to the heat. However, we have a unique approach to the problem. Passive housing has been

Posted in Brooklyn, Build It Forward, City Planning, Design, Eco Brooklyn, Energy, Finance, Green, House, News, Passive House, Philosophy, Radiant Heating, Solar, Sustainability, Technology Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

InsideClimate News – Brooklyn

Eco Brooklyn would like to recognize the efforts and accomplishments of a fellow green advocate located in Brooklyn. InsideClimate News is a rising nonprofit news website that focuses chiefly on environmental issues. Their objectives include providing scientific and objective investigations and news

Posted in Brooklyn, Education, Energy, Ethics, Green, Health, Philosophy, Politics, Press, Review, Review - Books, Review - Websites, Sustainability

Klearwall Windows and Doors

Eco Brooklyn was visited today by Klearwall Industries. Klearwall is a certified Passive House windows company. Originally based in Ireland, Klearwall is looking to make its mark in the US market. They offer triple-paned windows and doors for domestic and

Posted in Brooklyn, Build It Forward, City Planning, Energy, Finance, Green, House, Insulation, Passive House, Recycled, Review - Products, Salvaged, Sustainability Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

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

Posted in All Posts, Brooklyn, City Planning, Eco Brooklyn, Health, News Tagged with: , , , ,

Crown Heights Project – 100% Salvaged Material Fence

Eco Brooklyn has been working on an interesting sustainable project in the Crown Heights area. The challenge is to build a fence using only salvaged material. How does this project work? Our green building team collects extraneous wood from the

Posted in Brooklyn, Build It Forward, Design, Eco Brooklyn, Green, Projects, Recycled, salvage, Salvaged, Sustainability Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

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

Posted in All Posts, Brooklyn, City Planning, Eco Brooklyn, Gowanus Canal, Real Estate Tagged with: , , , ,

Snake Propagation Brooklyn Style

We are building a native habitat at the Eco Brooklyn show house, inspired by the Mannahatta Project – what NY was like in the 1600’s before white settlers. The ecosystems on the property are full of native plants, animals and layouts.

Posted in All Posts, Brooklyn, City Planning, Garden Tagged with: ,

Adverse Effects on Children’s Health From Soil Lead Contamination

An article about the adverse effects of soil lead contamination on children’s health was recently published on WNYC. As a green builder involved in garden soil lead remediation this was very interesting to us. Perhaps it is the spring weather

Posted in All Posts, Brooklyn, Eco Brooklyn, Garden, Health, Lead, Soil Remediation Tagged with: , , , , , ,

New York Green Contractor is Childish

As I continue to grow as a green builder I become more and more childish. Adults might make it sound fancy by calling it my “inner child” but for me it just feels childish. And I love it. Part of

Posted in All Posts, Brooklyn, Design, Garden Tagged with: ,

Permaculture Tour this Sunday 03/10/13 @ 11:30 am

Eco Brooklyn will be hosting a Permaculture tour of at least 30 people this Sunday. It is open to all who are interested in touring the Eco Brooklyn Show House and learning about permaculture. Location: 22 2nd Street Brooklyn, NY

Posted in All Posts, Brooklyn, DIY, Garden, News, Permaculture, Sustainability Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Alternative solutions to lead contamination

Brooklyn prides itself in its historic buildings, but these same sites pose an often unknown toxicity risk to inhabitants. Although the use of lead products was outlawed decades ago – lead-based paints were taken off the market in 1978 and

Posted in Brooklyn, Eco Brooklyn, Education, Garden, Green, Health, House, Lead, Projects, salvage, Salvaged, Sustainability Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How Can We Clean Up the Gowanus?

Before New York City as we know it today existed, the Gowanus was a tidal wetlands and stream ecosystem. In the 1860s, the area was dredged to become the Gowanus Canal, a major route for oil refineries, tanneries, chemical plants, manufactured-gas plants and

Posted in All Posts, Brooklyn, City Planning, Eco Brooklyn, Gowanus Canal, water Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Das Haus: First NYC Passive House in BK

For those of us who live in historic homes we know that our period dwellings bring us both joy and frustration. The frustration is largely attributed to the endless repairs that classic Brooklyn Brownstones require and their not so efficient envelope.

Posted in Brooklyn, Design, Eco Brooklyn, Passive House, Sustainability Tagged with: , , , , ,

Natural Fungus Gnat treatments

As a green builder, EcoBrooklyn is a green wall installer. Recently we designed and installed two green walls in the Area Yoga studio on Montague St. in Brooklyn, one in the entry office and one in the studio itself. The

Posted in Brooklyn, DIY, Eco Brooklyn, Garden, Gray Water, Green, Green Roof, Health Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Sustainable Wood

Last Tuesday the EcoBrooklyn interns attended the dasHAUS symposium and tour in White Plains, New York. The touring exhibition features the mobile dasHAUS pavilion, constructed of fully functioning sustainable energy technologies. The pavilion’s design is inspired by the Technical University

Posted in Brooklyn, Build It Forward, Design, Eco Brooklyn, House, LEED, Passive House, salvage, Salvaged, Sustainability Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Green Roof Professional certification

The Green Roof Professional (GRP) certification system was developed by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, a not-for-profit industry association working to promote and develop the market for the green roofs throughout North America. In addition to providing a professional accreditation

Posted in All Posts, Brooklyn, Build It Forward, City Planning, Design, Eco Brooklyn, Education, Green, Green Roof, House, LEED, Philosophy, Sustainability, Technology Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I am A Weed (part 2)

NY green build-design

This blog post is in response to my post last week, “I Am a Weed.” Since a lot of Eco Brooklyn’s work involves creating ecological plant-scapes, the issue of weeds and native species arrises a lot. As an ecological landscaper

Posted in All Posts, Brooklyn, Green Roof, Philosophy, Sustainability Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I Am A Weed

ny green garden

How does the nature we find in and around our city reflect who we are? There are two approaches, generally speaking, one can take when dealing with habitat conservation in urban areas. The first and most common is an attempt to

Posted in All Posts, Brooklyn, City Planning, Ethics, Sustainability Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Natural Mosquito Repellent

Brooklyn’s beautiful summer days coax us outdoors to converse and lounge in our parks, backyards, and porches. In the heat of the summer, water features are a welcome cooling sight and draw the abundance of people looking to maximize their

Posted in Brooklyn, Build It Forward, Design, DIY, Eco Brooklyn, Garden, Gowanus Canal, Green, Health, House, Natural Pool, Projects, Sustainability, water Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Riverside Park: Flushing Away the Porter Potties, Adding Composting Toilets

In 1875, Fredrick Law Olmsted designed Riverside Park, in 1935 Robert Moses built a highway right thought, but somehow the park has prevailed and it now going to be home to one of the greenest structures in the city –

Posted in Brooklyn, City Planning, Design, Eco Brooklyn, Green Roof, Recycled, Solar, Sustainability, water Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

The Art of Shipping Containers

Recently a group approached Eco Brooklyn to help build a cool project involving shipping containers. The project is ambitious: three walls of containers arranged around a central triangular courtyard. The walls are six levels of shipping containers high totaling 84 shipping containers overall.

Posted in Brooklyn, Design, Energy, Green, Sustainability Tagged with: , , , , ,

Biophilia in Brooklyn

ny green builder

As I was walking to the subway after work today, I passed a man who was leaving a few belongings on the sidewalk in front of his house. He is moving to DC tomorrow and, instead of just throwing the

Posted in Brooklyn, Garden, Green, Philosophy Tagged with: , , , , , ,