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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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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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: , ,

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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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

Insulation Detail For Exterior Walls

Brooklyn homes were originally built without insulation. We often come across a situation where we are doing a green renovation of a Brooklyn building but not gutting it completely. This creates an insulation problem. We want to add plenty of insulation but

Posted in All Posts, Insulation

Brooklyn Brownstone Extentions and the Stack Effect

This is the season of phone calls from clients needing Eco Brooklyn’s help with their brownstone extensions. The problem is always the same: they are cold. They call us up because we are Brooklyn brownstone insulation specialists. Here are my

Posted in All Posts, Design, Energy, Insulation

Brooklyn Green Brownstone Renovation Template

The way Brooklyn brownstones are currently renovated does not work. It does not work for the environment nor for the inhabitants’ comfort and utility bills. Eco Brooklyn is focused on redefining how a brownstone gets renovated. We use the Brooklyn

Posted in All Posts, Build It Forward, Gray Water, Green, Green Roof, Insulation

EPA discusses Spray Foam

A few weeks ago the EPA held a webinar on the safe use of spray foam insulations titled “What You Need to Know About the Safe Use of Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF)”. We at Eco Brooklyn are not crazy about

Posted in All Posts, Insulation, Review, Review - Products

Cellulose Insulation Installation

Here is a great powerpoint on how to blow in cellulose into a wall. There is a real trick to doing this. Your generic blower rented from Home Depot does not have the power needed to dense pack to 3.5

Posted in All Posts, Insulation

Types of Insulation

Here is a great diagram of all the possible types of insulation, their R value and their environmental impacts. As green builders in Brooklyn we have specific needs. Doing a green renovation in a Brooklyn brownstone requires sound proofing in

Posted in All Posts, Insulation

Insulate and Weatherize Book

The book Insulate and Weatherize is published by Taunton and is part of their Build Like a Pro Series – Expert Advice From Start to Finish. It is advanced weatherization and insulation techniques for a residential home in the North

Posted in All Posts, Energy, Insulation, Review, Review - Books

Spray Foam – Bad

Here is an email from a fellow green builder, Keith Winston, on the cons of spray foam. No matter how great they are for sealing, they have too many drawbacks IMO. The same sealing can be done with good tape,

Posted in All Posts, Energy, Insulation

Cancer and Fiberglass

In my ongoing awakening, this week it was all about fiberglass. It made me realize that I. who considers myself an advanced Brooklyn green builder, have a lot to learn (May I never forget). So here I am thinking that

Posted in All Posts, Insulation

Cost of Fiberglass, Cotton, Cellulose, Foam Insulation

All costs based on R30 for one square foot. Johns Manville Formaldehyde free fiberglass $0.60 Ultra Touch Cotton $1.57 Cocoon Cellulose $0.42 Spay Foam – $6.98 The spay foam is based on one inch thick costing $1.62 and having R7.

Posted in All Posts, Insulation

Is Fiberglass the new Asbestos?

I am having a hard time finding studies for or against the health impact of fiberglass, specifically the little glass fibers in peoples’ lungs. Here is a little conspiracy theory I am thinking up as I write: The big companies

Posted in All Posts, Ethics, Insulation

Embodied Energy Of Insulation

When buying insulation for those tired Brooklyn and NY brownstones one of the big considerations is the embodied energy the insulation has. The May/June issue of Home Energy Magazine has a great article where they discuss the various types of

Posted in All Posts, Insulation

Insulating a Brooklyn green brownstone

I went by a house renovation the other day. They were doing all sorts of fancy stuff – especially a super high end radiant floor heating installation. And then they were putting in 3 1/2 inch fiberglass insulation for the

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Soy Based Spray Foam

Spray foam insulation is good because it creates very good seals. You don’t have to worry about air leaks. The one thing it has against it is that it is petroleum based. There is a company that sells itself as

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Sound Proofing and Heat Transfer Subfloor

We have a floor with a high ceiling which means we can lay the pex tubing on top of the subfloor instead of hanging the tubing beneath. The pex tubing takes up valuable space and you can only lay it

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Applying Cellulose Insulation

I had an in depth talk with the lead technician who makes Cel Pac, one of the cellulose insulation manufacturers. I was discussing with him the topic of dense packing cellulose so that it does not settle and leave air

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Inserting the Insulation Into the Roof Ceiling

We are inserting the salvaged poly iso insulation board into the top floor ceiling of the house between the joists. All the joists have been sistered with “new” salvaged joists. You can see the bolts holding them together. We are

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Choosing Green Insulation – consider recycled foam board.

In the constant quest for a greener insulation I have considered many options. – Cellulose is good but messy and dusty. – Isonyne spray foam or Demilec spray foam is good but not that cheap and quite honestly not as

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Six Steps to a Greener Home

Here are six things anyone can do to their home to make it greener. A “green home” means a lot of things. But it always includes energy efficiency. These simple things increase the efficiency of the home by attacking the

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