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:

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

Posted in All Posts, City Planning, Passive House

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: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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: , , , ,

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: ,

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

Posted in All Posts, Build It Forward, City Planning, Education, Ethics, Gowanus Canal, 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 New York

Last week, the interns from Eco Brooklyn went to the Net Zero Symposium sponsored by Das Haus in White Plains, New York to hear lectures and view a model of Das Haus, a passivhaus model made from two shipping containers

Posted in City Planning, Design, Education, Energy, House, Passive House, Solar Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

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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

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

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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 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

Posted in Build It Forward, City Planning, Design, Eco Brooklyn, Education, Energy, Ethics, Finance, Gray Water, Green, House, LEED, Passive House, Philosophy, Politics, Press, Projects, Real Estate, Recycled, Solar, Sustainability, Technology, triple bottom line, water Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Recap of Panel Discussion on Green Design as (Un)usual

NYC sustainable design

On June 7th, Van Alen Books hosted a panel discussion on architect David Bergman’s book Sustainable Design: A Critical Guide. Susan Szenasy, Editor-in-chief of Metropolitan Magazine, moderated the panel, which was made up of architect and professor David Bergman, Terreform

Posted in All Posts, City Planning, Design, Education, Energy, Ethics, Green, Review, Review - Books, Sustainability Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Urban Decay of the Past, A Model for Future Design? A Look into Kowloon’s Walled City

The now extinct Kowloon Walled City, also known as the City of Darkness may be a perverse prototype for green, sustainable living. Eco Brooklyn is constantly searching for green building alternatives applicable to New York City living, so when we

Posted in City Planning Tagged with: , , , , ,

Design Revolution Book and a New York Living Machine

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: Education Enterprise Water Energy Mobility

Posted in All Posts, Brooklyn, City Planning, Design, Gowanus Canal, Gray Water, Review, Review - Books Tagged with:

Wal-Mart Lies to NY Green Contractor

Eco Brooklyn does not want Wal-Mart in New York because we feel Walmart’s business model is not conducive to the small neighborhood shopping experience that makes New York and Brooklyn so special. We posted our opinion in this blog post on our

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

Get Your “Passport to Green NY” and Celebrate Earth Day Early!

As NY Green Contractors, we work hard to turn NYC green and we love any opportunity to share our labors with the public because it spreads awareness of green building.  The Earth Day New York organization has created a great

Posted in City Planning, DIY, Education, Garden, Green, Press, Resource Links, Sustainability Tagged with: , ,

(In Historic Districts) All Signs Lead to the Landmark Preservation Commission

We are renovating a Yoga studio in Brooklyn Heights, one of New York’s many historic and wonderfully preserved landmark neighborhoods. This beauty is preserved thanks to the diligent work of the Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC). You could almost say the

Posted in Brooklyn, City Planning, Eco Brooklyn, Green, Projects, Resource Links, Sustainability Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Posted in Brooklyn, Build It Forward, City Planning, Education, Ethics, Health, Politics, Press, Resource Links Tagged with: , , , ,

Gardening, Done Vertically

The folks from GardenUp just stopped by the EcoBrooklyn Green Show House to tell us more about their great new products for gardening.  They’ve created a simple vertical system based on hydroponic technology that is great for small spaces, easy-to-use

Posted in City Planning, Garden, Green, Green Roof, Sustainability, water Tagged with: , ,

Get More Green From Your Building – Another Recommended Educational Event

As a NY Green Contractor we think this event from the Pratt Center for Community Development ( is great, it really helps increase public awareness around green building issues in NYC and educates people about ways they can get themselves

Posted in City Planning, Education, Resource Links

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.

Posted in All Posts, Build It Forward, City Planning, Health, House, Politics Tagged with:

Recycling the abandoned Rockaway Beach Branch

Check out this petition on  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

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Breaking news: NY City Council enacts proposals from Urban Green Task Force

As New York green contractors we follow the latest developments in NY building codes very closely.  Yesterday, the New York City Council enacted three proposals from the Urban Green Task Force.  The new codes, effective July 1, 2012, mandate more

Posted in All Posts, City Planning, Ethics, Green, Green Roof, House, Politics Tagged with: , , ,

Film Biz Recycling Rocks

Here is a shout out to Film Biz Recycling. They do great work and help reduce the waste of the film industry, which quite possibly is one of the most wasteful industries out there because film builds real world environments

Posted in All Posts, City Planning Tagged with:

Composting Leaves – What are your options?

It seems like just in the past week the trees of New York have decided to shed most of their leaves. Around EcoBrooklyn, leaves are floating down onto our green roof and some of our projects in the yard. The

Posted in All Posts, City Planning, Recycled Tagged with:

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

Posted in All Posts, Build It Forward, City Planning, Ethics, Politics