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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 space remodels.

Our feed features images from our Manhattan and Brooklyn ecological construction projects including [...]

Upcycled Shipping Container: Windows

Sustainable architecture and passive building designs are swiftly increasing in popularity and as a NY green contractor we have been busy developing creative and sustainable structures in Brooklyn, NY. Our current project is a two story studio and office space built from 5 recycled shipping containers. A more comprehensive post will be added regarding the [...]

Plastic

Most of us have probably come to recognize that plastic is an extremely difficult item to cut out of our lives. From tupperware to composite lumber, plastic has become so engrained in the modern way of life, most people do not even realize how strong their dependency is upon it. There are ways, however, to [...]

Salvaged Douglas Fir Deck

 

Eco Brooklyn’s latest project was developed for our client in Williamsburg. The client was looking to renovate their distressed backyard and create a beautiful space to sit and relax. We first develop a design and render it for the clients approval. This deck is perfect for small gatherings, allows access to the yard, [...]

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 commercial needs, ranging from single-window installation to entire buildings. Their windows are billed as eco-clad, [...]

Crown Heights Project – 100% Salvaged Material Fence

Eco Brooklyn has been working on an interesting sustainable project in the Crown Heights area. The challenge is to build a fence using only salvaged material.

How does this project work?

Our green building team collects extraneous wood from the local company, U.S. Fencing Systems, Inc. The staff there are extremely gracious and are happy [...]

Shipping Containers as Buildings

If you are interested in green building, environmentalism, or architecture, chances are that you have seen some of the chic structures coming out of the shipping container building movement. These structures range from the Redondo Beach container home, which won an award for innovative design from The American Institute of Architects in 2007, to the [...]

How long do things last?

As a green builder I am always looking for ways to reuse garbage. For example I have used Gaia Soil for green roof medium, which is crushed Styrofoam waste and compost. In this process of recycling I need to know how long the particular material will last. Here is an informational list of items and [...]

Phone Booth Aquarium

When was the last time you used a pay phone? For me, I think it was when I was in High School in the early 90s when I was stranded downtown. But since everyone, and I mean everyone, has a mobile phone now, pay phones are obsolete. In a way, I am saddened by the [...]

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 [...]

Riverside Park: Flushing Away the Porter Potties, Adding Composting Toilets

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 [...]

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, [...]

Natural Pools

We at EcoBrooklyn engage in a number of exciting green building projects and experiments throughout the year, but with the hot months ahead at the top of our list is the natural pool for the show house and with its completion so close we can almost feel the cool, energetic, life infused water on our [...]

Demolished Buildings Get a Second Life as Contemporary Furniture

12×12 is the maximum dimensions a shelter in North Carolina can be before it legally becomes a house, subject to property taxes. For this reason it is a hallowed number among the off-the-grid set, and the title of a popular book on one man’s foray into the world of tiny houses.

This stockbar by [...]

Native Plantings for an Ecological Landscape

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 [...]

Humble Homes, Simple Shacks, Cozy Cottages, Ramshackle Retreats, Funky Forts: And Whatever the Heck Else We Could Squeeze in Here

The book Humble Homes, Simple Shacks, Cozy Cottages, Ramshackle Retreats, Funky Forts: And Whatever the Heck Else We Could Squeeze in Here is a cross between Malcolm Wells and redneck literature.

The author, Derek “Deek” Diedricksen, is a scrappy young guy who took his love for kid forts and turned it into a deep study [...]

New York Contractor Builds Passive House out of Salvaged Materials

Here is a short video we threw together of the Passive House renovation in Harlem. The video mostly discusses the budgeting of the project.

Now that the construction is for the most part done I think that our initial budget of $175/sq.ft is not sustainable. Of course it is great for the client in the [...]

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 [...]

Composting Leaves – What are your options?

It seems like just in the past week the trees of New York have decided to shed most of their leaves. Around EcoBrooklyn, leaves are floating down onto our green roof and some of our projects in the yard. The smell of fallen leaves overpowers the smell of city, and it’s a welcome scent [...]

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 [...]

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 the seven principles that define universal design, according to North Carolina State University (check [...]

Zero Brownstone Technique and Salvaged Materials

EcoBrooklyn Director Gennaro Brooks-Church, talks about the importance of salvaged materials which are crucial in helping achieve the company’s goal of zero or negative waste created and zero or negative new materials used. This is one of the main things that separates Eco Brooklyn from an ordinary NY contractor – finding floor joists, wood flooring, [...]

Salvaged Crystal Stone

Eco Brooklyn’s business model is to salvage as much as possible. We believe this is the true definition of a NY green contractor in a city with such abundant and high quality trash. We recently salvaged what we thought was marble. We cut it down to make all the bathroom and kitchen counters for the [...]

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 [...]

Salvaged Wood Synergy

Here is a cool example of creative salvaging. They have taken planks from an old brownstone roof and flipped them upside down as a ceiling.

The one consideration is fire. This was done in a restaurant, which means it shares the ceiling with an apartment upstairs, which means the ceiling has to be 2 [...]

Green Counter Top Options

I realize concrete has huge embodied energy and creates tonnes of CO2 during it’s manufacture but I still can’t resist reading up on the uses of concrete for residential interior applications.

Eco Brooklyn is guilty of making some concrete counters too.

I just read Concrete at Home by the concrete fanatic Fu-Tung Chen. He has [...]

Habitat ReStores

Since we are in the salvage and reuse business for all our building we are always on the look out to get good salvaged stuff in the New York area. Here is a great place: the Habitat ReStores. It’s not exactly in the NY area but it is close. We’ve not had the opportunity to [...]

Demo Bags – Trash Bag Alternative

One of the most revolutionary things to happen to our company was the discovery of Demo Bags, a contractor garbage bag alternative. It is revolutionary because it is so simple yet so profound. We are a green construction company in Brooklyn. We salvage, reuse, and recycle like obsessed neurotic 1950′s house wives if they did [...]

Eco Bike

We just added another bike to our small fleet of Green Building Transportation. Unlike new construction (yuk!) where you can plan the process better, working in a Brooklyn Brownstone has a lot of surprises. So it is common to need a small thing to keep the job going – a certain size screw, some brackets, [...]

Salvaged Wood Seating

Here is a great idea for nice wood seating. Of course you could use new wood, but the use of smaller pieces means you have more chances of finding good salvaged wood for the job. We like salvaged wood from old Brooklyn brownstones because the wood is so much nicer and stronger. It is hard [...]