Blog Archives

Hempcrete for Brooklyn Brownstone Extensions

We at Eco Brooklyn have been in love with Hempcrete – a mix of lime and hemp for walls – for years. A hempcrete wall provides strength, protection and insulation all in one. Compared to stick and frame building it

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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: , , , , , , ,

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: , , , , , , ,

Air Sealing in Brooklyn

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

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Toxic Paint in Brooklyn

Biodegradable Paint Stripper

Brooklyn is full of beautiful and historic houses, and Eco Brooklyn is doing their part to preserve these wonders through sustainable lead-based paint removal. People have been fascinated with lead since the Roman Empire, when tonnes of lead were produced

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Alternative solutions to lead contamination

Brooklyn prides itself in its historic buildings, but these same sites pose an often unknown toxicity risk to inhabitants. Although the use of lead products was outlawed decades ago – lead-based paints were taken off the market in 1978 and

Posted in Brooklyn, Eco Brooklyn, Education, Garden, Green, Health, House, Lead, Projects, salvage, Salvaged, 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Honeybees Drinking Water

I built a natural pond and stream in my Brooklyn front yard, inspired by the images from the book Mannahatta of New York in the 1600’s. On my roof I have a bee hive. My friends from the roof come

Posted in All Posts, Bees, Brooklyn, Garden, House, water Tagged with:

Handmade Houses, A Century of Earth-Friendly Home Design

The book Handmade Houses, A Century of Earth-Friendly Home Design, by Richard Olsen is inspiration for any green builder. With a clear focus on Big Sur homes Olsen highlights homes that were built along the same style as the Slow Food

Posted in All Posts, Brooklyn, Design, Green, House, Review, Review - Books Tagged with: ,

NJ Contractor Builds Passive House and Creates an Educational Video

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

Posted in Education, Energy, House, Insulation, Passive House Tagged with: , ,

Two Rammed Earth Walls

Part of being a green contractor means studying emerging technologies offering more eco-benefits than conventional construction.  In this case we’re looking at old technologies: the rammed earth wall, one of humanity’s oldest building techniques. When it comes to walls, a couple

Posted in All Posts, clay, House, Passive House Tagged with: , , , ,

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.

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Your Walls Could Be Filled With Mushrooms

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

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New Lives for Old Wood

Most green contractors advertise their use of “sustainably sourced” wood, meaning the trees are harvested in a less destructive way.  What “sustainably sourced” really means, though, can be a slippery slope.  Maybe they cut down old-growth forest and plant a

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Composting Toilets Demystified

When you flush a toilet in America you have every expectation that whatever just went in there is going away forever, no questions asked. So why would anyone want a toilet that takes your dirty business, stores it right where

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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: , , ,

Dual flush toilets in American homes

New York green contractors and homeowners are applying a modern innovation to an age-old technology. The body creates two types of waste, so the logical approach is a toilet capable of two types of flush: a gentle gurgle for liquid

Posted in All Posts, Green, House, Plumbing, water Tagged with: , , ,

Hi-Performance Tape

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

Posted in All Posts, Energy, Insulation, Passive House, Resource Links

Green Contracting and Universal Design – What’s the connection?

Green design is a broad term. In an attempt to narrow it down, we are looking at how green design and “universal design” or lifespan design are linked. First of all, you’re probably wondering what universal design means. Here are

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Is Citrus Solvent Natural?

We use Citrus Solvent mixed into Tung oil to make a really great wood sealer. It works great on wood floors. Citrus solvent is a “natural” substitute for the more toxic turpentine. Citrus solvent dilutes the Tung oil and allows

Posted in All Posts, paint Tagged with: , ,

Tadelakt – An Old Moroccan Plaster Technique Newly Discovered – Book

For me the green builder’s tedium is the boring non-VOC paint and I’m forever looking for more natural and interesting wall applications. The book Tadelakt – An Old Moroccan Plaster Technique Newly Discovered, by Michael Johannes Ochs and published by

Posted in All Posts, paint, Review, Review - Books Tagged with: ,

DIY Milk Paint

Here is a great recipe for making milk paint from locally bought materials (as in your local supermarket and hardware store). Milk Paint is an amazing alternative to store bought paint. It is much lower in energy since the ingredients

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Good Cheap House Book

The book Good House Cheap House: Adventures in Creating an Extraordinary Home at an Everyday Price doesn’t set out to be about green building. It aims to show nicely designed and affordable homes. But it ends up showing good green

Posted in All Posts, Build It Forward, Design, Finance, House, Review, Review - Books Tagged with: ,

DIY Laundry Detergent

Eco Brooklyn’s clients usually get a gray water system. And our clients tend to be natural minded anyway, with a healthy dose of liking to save money. Thus comes the interest in making your own laundry detergent. Store bought laundry detergents are full

Posted in All Posts, Health, House Tagged with:

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