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 [...]
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. This week we went upstate and collected two Garter snakes. We hope the trauma of [...]
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 this awakening is that I have a four year old son through whose eyes I [...]
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 11231
Time: 03/10/2013 @ 11:30
No RSVP required, just show up.
Permaculture is a [...]
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 leaded gasoline was banned in 1989 – lead’s legacy continues to taint Brooklyn’ s soils. [...]
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 other heavy industries who settled along the canal’s banks. These factories dumped wastes and leached [...]
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.
Eco Brooklyn has renovated many brownstones and knows first hand how challenging it can be [...]
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 luscious plants beautifully enhance the serene and calming vibe of the space and allow for [...]
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 of Darmstadt’s winning Solar Decathlon entries in 2007 and 2009. The tour, organized by the [...]
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 program, the organization facilitates the exchange of information, supports research, and promotes the establishment of [...]
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 we’ve learned that the only difference between a weed and a plant [...]
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 return to the historical habitats that were found in the city long before it had [...]
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 free time. However, these same water features are also home to pesky mosquitoes, diminishing the [...]
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 – a composting toilet.
Riverside Park is home to the cities only clay tennis courts, this [...]
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. This is a second attempt to get such a project going. Their first attempt – an eight [...]
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 stuff away he couldn’t bring with him, he was leaving it out for passerbys to [...]
Vertical gardens or living walls are a beautiful and efficient way to maximize green space within an urban context. Aesthetically, vertical gardens can be used to improve the façade of buildings while providing other ecosystem services such as enhanced air quality.
Perhaps first employed by the Mesopotamians to create the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the [...]
We at EcoBrooklyn engage in a number of exciting green building projects and experiments throughout the year, but with the hot months ahead at the top of our list is the natural pool for the show house and with its completion so close we can almost feel the cool, energetic, life infused water on our [...]
Last week students from the International Center of Photography came by to photograph the show house green roof and back garden. Here is what they came up with.
As green roof installers we are particularly in love with the green roof on the show house. It is where we do a lot [...]
I built a natural pond and stream in my Brooklyn front yard, inspired by the images from the book Mannahatta of New York in the 1600′s. On my roof I have a bee hive. My friends from the roof come to the border of the pond to drink off a patch of moss. Check the [...]
For the past several jobs we have used salvaged mahogany flooring. We salvaged 15,000 square feet of it a while back. It is very pretty stuff. Here we are applying the tung oil to it.
We are applying two types of oil, simply because that is what we have left over from the previous [...]
A group of students from the International Center of Photography visited Eco Brooklyn’s show house the other day as part of their class on Urban Utopias. Some pics here and more to come.
The Eco Brooklyn green roof is a good example of a successful NYC installation
Here is an email I got from a company called Educational Housing Services that offers housing for students coming to NY. Eco Brooklyn gets a lot of interns from out of town and we usually send them to Craigslist.org for their housing needs. I’ve never used Educational Housing Services but I thought I’d pass the info on in [...]
Spring gardening is upon us and as a New York soil remediation company we are getting a lot of calls from clients wanting to remove lead contaminated soil from their back yards. We just finished a job last week.
The clients had a beautiful garden in the back yard of their brownstone in Bedford Stuyvesant. [...]
I read the book Design Revolution, 100 Products That Empower People by Emily Pilloton to see if any of the designs could apply to a New York green contractor.
The book is organized into eight sections:
There were plenty of great ideas that could be applied to a [...]
Here are some spring photos from the Eco Brooklyn Green Show House roof. It is two years old now. We don’t water it. We just let it do its own thing. The soil has thinned out and is only about 2.5″ thick. But we have bushes and plants along with a thick canopy of sedum. [...]
We have a guest staying in the lower apartment of the Brooklyn Green Show House. She said I should check out her friend Jerome Osentowski, which I did, who turns out to be one of North Americas foremost Permaculture experts.
Here is a great video of his garden. It is worth looking at from the [...]
As an New York Ecological Landscaper and Contractor, we understand there are ways to plant a garden “smarter” and “greener.” While looking for new evergreen species for the green show house garden at Home Depot, we came across a long list of possibilities, only some of which met our criteria of being native North American [...]
The book Handmade Houses, A Century of Earth-Friendly Home Design, by Richard Olsen is inspiration for any green builder.
With a clear focus on Big Sur homes Olsen highlights homes that were built along the same style as the Slow Food Movement, where meaning, lifestyle and experience are just as important as the finished “product”, that [...]