Eco Brooklyn was recently commissioned to insulate a new development in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant. As a specialist in insulation and air sealing we have seen an increase in business from the many new multi unit apartment buildings that have shot up – not during construction, but AFTER construction. As housing demand has continued [...]
In 2012 Eco Brooklyn Inc. made a conscious choice to NOT grow. As a for profit corporation this may seem a bad business choice. But ironically we see this as thinking BIG. Peoples’ obsession with growth is such a massive part of us and it is illogical and suicidal.
Especially in speed crazed NY is [...]
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 [...]
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 that functions completely off the grid. The conference was held at the White [...]
I recently heard about a book called “Abundance” by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler, so I checked out Diamandis’ TED Talk available below. He has some good points, namely that technology will continue to create abundance for humans…..but his view is so incredibly human centered I am skeptical. It reminds me of when humans thought [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
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 ONE co-founder and Planetary ONE partner Mitchell Joachim, and NYC Department of Design and Construction [...]
One of the things we have realized is that if you build a green home but the inhabitants are not green you have lost half the benefit. As a New York green contractor we learned that educating ourselves and our clients in green lifestyle habits is an important part of the green building process.
One of the [...]
This weekend we get a special treat: we’ll be taking delivery of over 250 tropical plants and installing two indoor living walls. It’s the culminating step in a complete renovation of Area Yoga Studio in Downtown Brooklyn and promises to transform the character of the space.
Arranging and installing the plants presents lots [...]
Ed from NJ Renewable Energy made a great video about the construction of his passive house that you can view below. It discusses the many benefits of building a Passive House, the amazing energy savings that are possible and the details behind how they built this specific one in New Jersey.
As a NY Passive [...]
Eco Brooklyn obsesses over energy. Our projects are built to minimize heat loss and optimize gain, while providing individual homeowners ways to generate their own energy through solar panels. We want to minimize homes’ reliance on energy generated through fossil fuels and nuclear power.
Three Mile Island. Chernobyl. Fukushima Daiichi.
These names instantly bring up [...]
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 watch, if [...]
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 [...]
As New York green contractors, we’re always interested in emerging innovations, but take special interest in locally-developed technologies because we believe that green solutions should have a local focus. An effective way to build green is to ensure that each building make the best use of the environment in which it’s located.
In New York [...]
We’re Brooklyn-based green builders dedicated to turning our local neighborhood green, but we’re always following the latest developments in global standards for more sustainable living.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) met in Durban over the past two months in order to hammer out a plan for extending the Kyoto Protocol. The [...]
At Eco Brooklyn, we do energy-efficiency retrofits that involve huge amounts of air sealing, air barriers, vapor barriers and insulation. We aim for the super stringent Passive House building envelope standard and net-zero energy consumption. This is as radical it gets in energy conservation. Sealing the home in an airtight shell requires a bit [...]
If you live in New York city you know the summers can be hot and muggy, with humidity levels shooting through the roof. As a New York green contractor we are faced with the challenge of creating healthy and happy indoor air environments while keeping energy consumption low.
So how do you remove humidity from [...]
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 [...]
On a beautiful fall day in early October, Eco Brooklyn, a New York City green contractor, took to the South Plaza of Union Square in downtown Manhattan to check out New Green City, an event hosted by GrowNYC. The event hosted many contributors, ranging from non-profits and schools to entrepreneurs, government agencies, and corporate sponsors. [...]
Director of Eco Brooklyn, Gennaro Brooks-Church discusses how the Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) will work once it is completely installed in the Passive House building. The NY green contractor is currently renovating this entire Harlem brownstone, and the addition of an ERV is a vital part of the standards that need to be met. Essentially, [...]
We just received our triple pane windows from Europe to our Passive House site in Harlem. The windows will help the brownstone achieve its necessary air tight specs and save up to 90% in energy costs compared to an ordinary building of the same size. If you enjoy the video, please give us a “Like” [...]
Last week a judge dismissed Henry Giffords law suit against USGBC. Gifford had pointed out that energy audits of LEED buildings showed no greater energy savings than normal buildings of the same class, and in fact LEED buildings showed WORSE energy savings in many cases. Green Source Magazine speaks about it here.
USGBC countered his [...]
The web site CleanAirNY.org has an email list worth subscribing to. Sponsored by the NY Dept of Transportation, the alerts tell you whenever NY is at risk of smog. You’ll get an email the day before saying, “Hey tomorrow is a clean air day!” with advice on what to do: drive less etc.
It is [...]
Hemp is actually one of societies oldest cultivated plants and has only in the past century gotten a bad name mostly due to political and financial interests wanting to dissuade its use. But recently it is becoming more popular again as a building material.
Check out these videos on the topic. They show how hemp is a [...]
Here is an interesting article from OilPrice.com. It outlines the best way to live in a world without oil, something most people foresee in the next 30 years or so (we are all really guessing but that is one number).
Preparing for a world without oil is a little like preparing for the end of [...]
Good design is probably the most effective green building technique there is, more than how much you salvage, what chemicals are not used or what technology you put into the house.
Good design is what makes a house green or not green.
With this green builders perspectivein mind, reading the classic book The Design of Everyday Things [...]
Sheet rock isn’t very green. It requires a lot of heat to make it and the ingredients are not great. I’ve had little luck finding sheet rock alternatives. Plaster and lath is one but the labor costs make it hard to compete with sheet rock. The best I do so far is use salvaged sheet rock.
One of the things Eco Brooklyn is focused on is eliminating the use of concrete. Concrete is normally used in the following areas of the brownstone:
the foundation footings, the cellar floor, front sidewalk.
Concrete and its ingredient of cement is not green. It produces massive amounts of CO2. So we are eager to find [...]
It is striking that despite the many green building going on in the US that there still remains some blaring gaps in our knowledge and available products.
I encountered another of these gaps recently in my search for a good front door for a Brooklyn Passive House style brownstone. I was looking for something super [...]