Last week we met the representative from Kawasaki Greenhouses to check out their new green roof product. It is a pregrown green roof mat that is light-weight and easy to handle. They grow the sedum on coconut jute, which is basically like a stringy organic fiber sponge. The end result is very similar to mats [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
As a green roof installer we have learned that it is crucial to keep in touch with the client for the first couple years to make sure the roof is cared for correctly.
There are some simple tasks that are important to do during the first two seasons so that the roof develops.
Green Roofs, [...]
MotherPlants is a nursery in Ithaca, NY that specializes in growing plants for green roofs. MotherPlants is a women-owned company, committed to environmental sustainability. They use renewable energy, healthy growing practices, and dedicate a large portion of their land for wildlife.
These woman do green roofs right. They focus on plants that are drought [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Reading through the March-April 2012 issue of Green Source Magazine I came across their products section, which featured some very interesting new green roof and living wall items and exciting companies.
By now most people are aware of and understand the benefits of living/ green walls and roofs;
-Health and wellness
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
Earth bags are sacks, usually made of burlap or polypropylene, stuffed with natural materials like clay, sand, or dirt. They can be used to construct buildings as well as retaining walls, ponds and raised gardens.
First used by the military to create durable structures that are quick and easy to erect, the technique has become [...]
Eco Brooklyn’s green roof garden has been flourishing since we installed it over two years ago. Check out the photos below!
This roof garden relies solely on rainwater so we never have to waste water!
Our bees act as natural pollinators, ensuring [...]
I was bidding on a green roof in lower Manhattan the other day and the architect threw out a price of $25-$35 per square foot as a typical price to install a green roof.
He is correct that a green roof can cost $25-35/sq.ft. I have even seen really large jobs cost less. There are [...]
Here is a great graphic showing how green roof construction mimics in a few inches what normal soil does in a couple feet. Plants want water, but not too much. They want something to dig their roots into that also provides nourishment.
Showing how the design of successful green-roof systems mimics earth’s natural soil [...]
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. [...]
Most New York green roof installers look towards Europe for green roof plant varieties. Europe has the largest green roof industry and has spent many years testing different plants.
Typically a New York green roof installer will specify a selection of sedum native to the high mountains and wild places across Europe, including the Balkan Mountains [...]
As a New York green roof installer we get asked the same questions by clients considering installing a green roof on their condo building or brownstone. So we decided to answer them here.
1. What does a green roof entail? Pricing? Plant types?
Go here for a great overview of general green roof installation facts, [...]
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 [...]
Interactive designer Marco Castro has recently developed an innovative idea about how to efficiently increase green space in overcrowded urban settings through an interesting new reinterpretation of the term “green vehicle”. The “Bus Roots” project is working to establish rooftop gardens atop buses in New York City and around the country so as to counteract [...]
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 and highly efficient – perfect for city living.
An example of one of GardenUp’s towers [...]
Being a New York green contractor we consider urban farming to be an important consideration for every project. Given every building has walls and a roof it is always worth asking wither they are well suited for vertical or roof farming.
Sub-Irrigation Planting Systems (SIPs) are a perfectly sustainable answer to urban farming, according to [...]
Here is a great local green builder from the Bronx. His name is Steve Ritz and he is a classic example of how green building is much more than the daily activity. He may grow vegetables but like he says, he is not a farmer.
Like so many green builders he is driven by love [...]
Here is an example of a roof repair we just did. New York City has mostly flat roofs but once in a while we come across shingle slanted roofs. It is important to do shingles right because otherwise the slightest wind will blow them off again. In this case the roof was only a couple years old [...]
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 stringent regulation of waste, recycling, and pollutant filtration, representing a step forward for green building.
This week we had CUNY students come by to the green show house. One of Eco Brooklyn’s interns Michele Fonzi, who has a degree in Landscape Architecture, showed the model of our green roof she built.
Above you see the side view of the green roof installation. First there is the roof [...]
As a New York green roof installer I have a special affection for my own green roof. Check it out after all these summer rains. It is bursting with life. I threw a couple handfuls of Native North East wildflower seeds a couple years ago and now the roof overflows with sunflowers both big and [...]
We just finished applying the EPDM roofing membrane to the Harlem Passive House renovation. The owners plan on growing vegetables on the roof. We like EPDM over all other roofing applications because it has a good combination of price and durability.
A recent study lists Styrene as a possible carcinogen. This is important news since one of Eco Brooklyn’s green roof medium providers, Gaia Soil, has polystyrene as one of its main ingredients. Our concern is that we are installing green roofs in New York with materials that may cause cancer.
Years ago when Eco Brooklyn [...]
The answer is no.
Here is what the Green Roof and Solar Department at the NYC DOB told me:
The building code does not explicitly provide a threshold for when a green roof installation would require a permit. The department is currently developing rules to provide guidance. In the meantime, a green roof installation is [...]