Blog Archives

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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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

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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

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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

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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

Posted in All Posts, clay, Design, DIY, Energy, House, Sustainability Tagged with: , , , ,

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: , , , , , , ,

Upcycled Shipping Container: Windows

Sustainable architecture and passive building designs are swiftly increasing in popularity and as a NY green contractor we have been busy developing creative and sustainable structures in Brooklyn, NY. Our current project is a two story studio and office space

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

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: , , , , , , , , ,

Earthship Project in New York

We are earthship enthusiasts here at Eco Brooklyn, and are currently speaking with a client who wants to build an earthship in New York State. Here are some ideas being thrown around between Michael Reynolds, Eco Brooklyn, and the client,

Posted in All Posts, Design, Earthship, Eco Brooklyn, Green, Greenhouse, Passive House, Projects, Sustainability Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Planned Obsolescence – Capitalism’s Ignorant Core

Here is a great film on planned obsolescence – the business model where a company deliberately makes products that don’t last, causing people to consume more. Clearly this is not sustainable. We’ve been doing it for just over 100 years

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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

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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

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Building for Children

Eco Brooklyn recently completed a number of jobs in a building where there were children living. We renovated  three children’s bedrooms, two bathrooms where they bathe, and two play areas. Doing this increased our focus on using non-toxic materials and

Posted in All Posts, clay, Design, Education, Ethics, Health, Politics, salvage, triple bottom line Tagged with: ,

Biomimicry and the Eden Project

The eden project biomimicry

As a New York green builder, Eco Brooklyn is always interested in learning about what other sustainable design ideas are out there.  Last night, I listened to an amazing TED talk that took green building to a whole new level.

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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: , , , , ,

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

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

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 Earth Art Movement

ecological builder

The Earth Art, or Land Art, Movement was born in the late 1960’s in the United States in response to the over-commercialization of art and the rising trend towards environmentalism. Founders of the movement were disgruntled by the plasticity and artificiality

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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: , , , , ,

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

Posted in Brooklyn, Build It Forward, Design, DIY, Eco Brooklyn, Garden, Gray Water, Green, Green Roof, salvage, Salvaged 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Natural Pools

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

Posted in Brooklyn, Design, Eco Brooklyn, Garden, Gray Water, Green, Natural Pool, Projects, Recycled, salvage, Sustainability, water Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

International Center of Photography Pics

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. Our Favorite:    Eco Brooklyn NY green roof service is doing well

Posted in All Posts, Bees, Brooklyn, Design, Eco Brooklyn, Garden, Green Roof, Natural Pool Tagged with: ,

Demolished Buildings Get a Second Life as Contemporary Furniture

12×12 is the maximum dimensions a shelter in North Carolina can be before it legally becomes a house, subject to property taxes. For this reason it is a hallowed number among the off-the-grid set, and the title of a popular

Posted in All Posts, Design, Green, Recycled, Salvaged, Sustainability 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: , , , , , , ,

Salvaged Floor Tung Oil Application

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

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

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