Blog Archives

Dumpster Diving Goldmine

Eco Brooklyn does a lot of dumpster diving. Most of the materials we use for jobs – floors, decks, pergolas, paving, stairs – comes from dumpsters in the New York area. One reporter called it “guerrilla green building.”   Our

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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

Posted in All Posts, Brooklyn, Design, Eco Brooklyn, Garden, Green Roof, House, Passive House, Recycled, Salvaged, Shipping Container, Sustainability Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

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

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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

Posted in Build It Forward, Eco Brooklyn, Energy, Ethics, Green, Health, Recycled, salvage

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

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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: , , , , , , ,

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

Posted in Brooklyn, Build It Forward, Design, Eco Brooklyn, Green, Projects, Recycled, salvage, Salvaged, Sustainability Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

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

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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

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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

Posted in DIY, Green, Projects, Recycled, salvage, Salvaged, Sustainability Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Posted in All Posts, Build It Forward, DIY, Eco Brooklyn, Education, Energy, Ethics, Philosophy, Politics, Recycled, salvage, Salvaged Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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 –

Posted in Brooklyn, City Planning, Design, Eco Brooklyn, Green Roof, Recycled, Solar, 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Posted in Brooklyn, Design, Eco Brooklyn, Garden, Gray Water, Green, Natural Pool, Projects, Recycled, salvage, Sustainability, water Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

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

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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

Posted in Brooklyn, Design, DIY, Garden, Green Roof, Recycled Tagged with: , , , ,

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

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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

Posted in All Posts, Build It Forward, Ethics, Finance, Green, Passive House, Recycled, Salvaged, Sustainability, Technology, triple bottom line Tagged with:

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

Posted in All Posts, Philosophy, Press, Recycled, Salvaged Tagged with: , , ,

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

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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

Posted in All Posts, Ethics, Finance, Philosophy, Politics, Press, Recycled Tagged with: , ,

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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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

Posted in All Posts, Recycled, Salvaged, triple bottom line Tagged with: , , ,

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

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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

Posted in All Posts, Green, Philosophy, Politics, Recycled, Salvaged Tagged with:

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

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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

Posted in All Posts, Energy, Recycled, Review, Review - Products

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

Posted in All Posts, Recycled, Review, Salvaged

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

Posted in All Posts, Finance, Green, Recycled, Review

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

Posted in All Posts, Energy, Recycled

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