Subscription

Categories

Plastic

Most of us have probably come to recognize that plastic is an extremely difficult item to cut out of our lives. From tupperware to composite lumber, plastic has become so engrained in the modern way of life, most people do not even realize how strong their dependency is upon it. There are ways, however, to [...]

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 a cornerstone of environmental design since the ancient Greeks and Romans (check out this article [...]

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 commercial needs, ranging from single-window installation to entire buildings. Their windows are billed as eco-clad, [...]

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 local company, U.S. Fencing Systems, Inc. The staff there are extremely gracious and are happy [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Factory-Built Homes Are the Future?

I got an email from Jetson Green today with the title “Factory-Built Homes Are the Future”. This is quite the statement. With few exceptions throughout history homes have been built on site by hand. The idea that a home is built in a factory with high tech machines and then plopped down on the site [...]

Leave Your Surroundings Cleaner Than When You Arrived

When I first started mentoring interns one of the first things I told them was that they always had to leave their work area cleaner than when they came to it. Over time this metaphor became the most powerful thing I think I can teach them.

Leave your surroundings cleaner than when you arrived…..

If [...]

Fun Built with Salvaged Material

The growth in sustainable and green living has given rise to a movement of eco-tourism in a variety of forms across the country. Specifically the use of salvaged materials is making a breakthrough in the realm of practical and/ or novel green construction.

Across the country salvaged building trends and communities are blossoming and their [...]

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 of Darmstadt’s winning Solar Decathlon entries in 2007 and 2009. The tour, organized by the [...]

Is New York the Next Venice?

Sea level rise on the East Coast is accelerating at a rate much faster compared to the rest of the world. After analyzing tide levels data from North America, scientists have unexpectedly found that there is a 1,000 km-long sea-level rise (SLR) hotspot on the highly populated Eastern coast of North America.

 

The hot [...]

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 program, the organization facilitates the exchange of information, supports research, and promotes the establishment of [...]

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 free time. However, these same water features are also home to pesky mosquitoes, diminishing the [...]

DIY Vertical Gardens

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 [...]

The Living Building Challenge- Winner of the 2012 Buckminster-Fuller Challenge

Green building and eco-sensitive design is currently at the forefront of our modern ethos. What this means for the green builders, contractors and architects of NY, and the world, is a period of dramatic change and challenge is ahead if not already begun. A change in the way we think about new buildings and construction, [...]

Reverse Environmental Building Footprint Via Salvage

Here are some interesting numbers from the Binational Softwood Lumber Council (BSLC) on the environmental footprint of building three similar homes from three three different materials – wood, metal and concrete. I’m sure you can guess what their numbers show: that wood is the greenest option.

I don’t know whether their numbers are based in [...]

Benefit Corporations law signed and active in New York State!

Finally, a way to pursue the “triple bottom line” (people, planet and profits) with legal backing! It is called the Benefit Corporation (as opposed to a normal C or S Corporation for example). Signed into NY legislation by Governor Cuomo the new law allows businesses to be recognized and filed a for more than their [...]

New York Contractor Builds Passive House out of Salvaged Materials

Here is a short video we threw together of the Passive House renovation in Harlem. The video mostly discusses the budgeting of the project.

Now that the construction is for the most part done I think that our initial budget of $175/sq.ft is not sustainable. Of course it is great for the client in the [...]

A Future of Free Energy

Being a green builder is a constant search for more ecological ways of doing things.

That’s why we listened when Justin Hall-Tipping told us that in the future, all energy could be sustainable, green, and free.

Justin Hall-Tipping, CEO of Nanoholdings, gives a TED talk about the energy applications of carbon nanomaterials. It’s worth a [...]

Seven Generations – Forever Young

The Native American concept that all our actions today will effect seven generations to come is profound.

Green builders understand this naturally. We build homes that may last hundreds of years, protecting families for many generations. Each nail, each brick is a respectful nod to our ancestors who taught us the wisdom of sustainable building [...]

True Green Building

Unable to sleep at 4am in New York I came accross this video of an abandoned town renovated by a small group of utopians. It is one of the most inspirational green building stories I have seen in a long time. So often green building is housed withing the capitalistic context where it is just [...]

Thank You Jesus

Here’s to every immigrant worker in the world. Did you ever think that countries were created to create cheap immigrant workers?

Here at Eco Brooklyn we love immigrant workers. Not because they are cheap labor. Eco Brooklyn pays based on talent alone, not nationality, race or sex. And if you have a family to [...]

Building For the Climate Apocalypse

First 2000, and now 2012: Years in which people think the world might possibly end.

The world probably won’t end with a bang, but might just crumble beneath the accumulated consequences of our actions.

Meanwhile, American politicians’ opinions of science, especially climate science, are at an alarming low. Sometimes TV makes me wonder if there [...]

Recycling the abandoned Rockaway Beach Branch

Check out this petition on change.org. We think their proposal to turn an abandoned tract of land into green space will benefit many New Yorkers.

The Rockaway Beach Branch Committee is petitioning the New York City Council to turn an abandoned 3.5 mile stretch of the old Rockaway Beach Branch railroad into a green space.

[...]

Earthship and Passive House

The two best building systems I know of right now are the Earthship and Passive House methods. Right now Eco Brooklyn is lucky enough to be involved in two jobs that involve both systems, one a NY earthship and the other a NY Passive House.

Earthship building is best for non-urban parts of the world. [...]

Mayor Bloomberg, Green Mayor but Tone Deaf

I have tolerated Mayor Bloomberg because he has done some good things for New York’s ecology. He isn’t the mayor of Copenhagen, Denmark. Now that is a city worth looking at in terms of ecology and social planning.

But Bloomberg could have been a lot worse. His plan NYC is an acceptable plan, the bare [...]

Mushrooms Can Save Us

As a New York green contractor you learn very quickly that “natural” does not mean “good”, nor does it mean “bad”. Case in point: the mushroom.

Mushrooms are some of the most beneficial human foods available. But you eat the wrong one and you will die.

Not good, not bad. Powerful, yes.

So the next [...]

NYC Sprays Toxic Chemicals over City

This NYC government web page lists the times, zip codes and dates that helicopters will spray pesticides over the city. They call it the “Aerial Larviciding Schedule”, and define Aerial Larviciding as:

Dropping natural bacterial granules by helicopter to marshes and other large natural areas to kill mosquito larvae before they grow into adult mosquitoes. [...]

Green Building Perspective

I was speaking with a green building intern today about how green building has a different set of priorities than say a normal corporation.

In fact from a green building perspective the priorities of a normal corporation are criminal, suicidal and simply bad business in the long run.

I see it as a perspective thing. [...]

Great Passive House Info

Here is an excellent pdf on Passive House. It shows the construction methods and results of a group of Passive House buildings in Hannover, Germany, giving a great insight into how Passive House works.

PEP-Info1_Passive_Houses_Kronsberg

As Passive House builders in New York this information is invaluable to us. In NY we are definitely experimenting with [...]