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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 a cornerstone of environmental design since the ancient Greeks and Romans (check out this article [...]

InsideClimate News – Brooklyn

Eco Brooklyn would like to recognize the efforts and accomplishments of a fellow green advocate located in Brooklyn.

InsideClimate News is a rising nonprofit news website that focuses chiefly on environmental issues. Their objectives include providing scientific and objective investigations and news stories to inform the public and our officials living in these times of [...]

A World Without Life as We Know It – Which isn’t necessarily bad

This New York Times article (posted below) on the disappearing coral reefs voices my opinion on the planet’s direction, not only for corral but for most other major ecosystems too. The Anthropocene era, a time where human activity has significantly changed the planet’s ecosystems, has entered it’s full and irreversible swing.

All that I have [...]

Green Building is not a product

A reporter just interviewed me on green building. I thought I’d share it here since the reporter has a pretty common viewpoint, one I believe is not correct.

What aspects home remodeling/room design are the most popular โ€œgreenโ€ solutions? Most clients know they want to renovate green but usually don’t know exactly what the details [...]

How to become a green builder (aka aware human)

As a New York green builder I get a lot of interns eager to learn about building a better world. They are young, eager and often impatient. After six months on a job site they think they should become manager. This is a big mistake.

It is not that they are not capable of moving [...]

The Overview Effect

Here is a short video discussing something called the “Overview Effect”, which is what happens when astronauts first see the planet earth from outer space – a deep sense of awe and connection with the planet. The Overview Effect is not only for astronauts, though. It is for anyone who travels beyond their immediate surroundings [...]

Eco Brooklyn Interview

BBox radio did a cool interview of Eco Brooklyn Director, Gennaro Brooks-Church. We discussed all sorts of things in the field of radical green building – Net Zero, Passive House, Guerrilla Green Building, Build It Forward and much more.

Check it out here!

 

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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.

Michael Pawlyn, formerly with Grimshaw Architects, London, spoke about biomimicry and sustainable design and [...]

Fun Built with Salvaged Material

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 [...]

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 program, the organization facilitates the exchange of information, supports research, and promotes the establishment of [...]

I am A Weed (part 2)

NY green build-design

This blog post is in response to my post last week, โ€œI Am a Weed.โ€

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 [...]

Abundance, The Book and it’s myopic viewpoint

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 [...]

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 of art. They wanted to get people out of museums and back into nature. [...]

Biophilia in Brooklyn

ny green builder

As I was walking to the subway after work today, I passed a man who was leaving a few belongings on the sidewalk in front of his house. He is moving to DC tomorrow and, instead of just throwing the stuff away he couldn’t bring with him, he was leaving it out for passerbys to [...]

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 not already begun. A change in the way we think about new buildings and construction, [...]

Can Buying Stuff Help Make a Green America?

If you believe in voting with your dollar, then Green America wants to be your ballot box. The organization is like Consumer Reportsโ€™ older brother that joined the Peace Corps and goes to protests on the weekends. It evaluates businesses that aspire to sustainable and ethical perfection with their Green Certification system, posting those they [...]

New York Contractor builds to create nature

Check out this dude. A real druid. A magical builder. Sunray Kelly

[Building] is all about the human consciousness to me. Its about our evolution more than the buildings themselves.

Sitting in NY city watching this fellow green builder in the woods of Washington, I can’t help but long for those sounds of birds and [...]

Material Reuse with the NYCMEDP

Eco Brooklyn has partnered up with the NYC Materials Exchange Development Program, a great non-profit that keeps reusable materials out of the trash by connecting people with unwanted materials to others who can reuse them.

The NYCMEDP runs a number of ongoing service, outreach, and research programs. The NYC Waste Match, for example, is a [...]

The Weather Underground Movie

Since the Occupy Wall Street events this fall I have immersed myself in information that questions existing paradigms and searches for solutions to current problems. I’ve always done this, and as a green builder I do it on a daily basis, but the recent Occupy Wall Street events has given my ongoing education a focus [...]

Occupy Wall Street

On 10/11/11 Eco Brooklyn, a green builder and supporter of a better America and world, went down to the Financial district to check out Occupy Wall Street. Nearly 30 days ago, a diverse group of citizens took to the street in NYC, and marched down to Zuccotti Park, formerly “Liberty Plaza Park”, placed in between [...]

Earth Video and NY consumption

As a New York green contractor the truth is that our work is very much about things not in NY. Each time we salvage wood from a dumpster we aren’t saving a NY tree. We are saving a Canadian of Brazilian tree. As a company we may be acting locally but our vision is very [...]

It Should Be a Crime!

A typical thing happened today in the life of Eco Brooklyn. One of our workers noticed a dumpster full of wood and called it in to the office. I dispatched our “Rescue Truck”, Eco Brooklyn’s veggie oil pickup, to go salvage the wood before it was carted off to the dump.

This wood has sat [...]

Green Building Perspective

I was speaking with a green building intern today about how green building has a different set of priorities than say a normal corporation.

In fact from a green building perspective the priorities of a normal corporation are criminal, suicidal and simply bad business in the long run.

I see it as a perspective thing. [...]

Embrace the Trash?

The concept that us humans screwed up the world is pretty well accepted and most ecologists are hell bent on undoing the damage and restoring nature. However I came across an interesting idea today that throws this on its head: there is no such thing as a pure nature and we need to redefine nature [...]

Natural System House Design Book

I just read the book “A Natural System of House Design, An Architect’s Way” by Charles Woods. I was interested in it from Wood’s involvement with Malcolm Wells, a great natural architect and the pioneer of earth covered building.

Before I start my review I need to make clear that I see Woods as a [...]

Green Contractor Defined

A couple years ago I was looking into the cold blue eyes of a lying, money grubbing man. He also happened to be a neighborhood contractor. And he said to my face in all seriousness, “I am a green contractor.”

Having seen the future of contracting he had started to use low VOC paints and [...]

Brooklyn Farmers’ Market and Twinkies

I see the Brooklyn Farmers’ Market as the antithesis of a Twinkie.

The Twinkie is always the same. It lasts forever, is full of chemicals and is made on some distant planet. And never does it create a healthy sense of community.

The Brooklyn Farmers’ Market on the other hand is possibly the most powerful [...]

Eco Brooklyn Green Building Terms

On the Eco Brooklyn job sites we have certain green building concepts that we use. They are mostly coined by me to help the crew and clients understand what Eco Brooklyn’s core goals are. They are easy rallying points to help us all stay on track.

These terms can be searched on this site for [...]

Building Integrated Prayer Wheels

You’ve got the efficiencies of building mounted wind turbines and then you’ve got the efficiencies of karma.

In response to a recent Environmental Building News feature story about the inefficiencies of building-integrated wind turbines comes this subtly hilarious examination of the efficiencies of building-integrated prayer wheels.

Now of course if you are a Tibetan Buddhist, [...]

Turning Work Down

I had an interesting call just now. A developer called me wanting me to go check out a brownstone he had just bought and wanted to renovate. He buys a lot of properties, renovates and sells. He didn’t know about Eco Brooklyn but somebody had given him my number and said we did good work.

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