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 [...]
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 [...]
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 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 [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 of how [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 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 [...]
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, [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
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 [...]
You might have seen the recycled glass tiles in green magazines. You might have also seen the price…..for some reason they remain in the stranglehold of boutique green builders.
It is actually pretty easy to make glass tiles out of salvaged glass. You do need a kiln. But thats about it.
This page describes it [...]
A Used-Electronics Community Recycling Event in Park Slope- This July 18, from 9a.m. until 6p.m., join Park Slope in welcoming PerScholas to Brooklyn with a Community Used-Electronics Recycling Event. Operating under the highest standards of excellence, PerScholas, a non-profit organization, will save your electronics from landfills (where their toxins soak into the earth). [...]
An LED driver is a self-contained power supply that has outputs matched to the electrical characteristics of your LED or array of LEDs. There are currently no industry standards, so understanding the electrical characteristics of your LED or array is critical in selecting or designing a driver circuit. Drivers should be current-regulated (deliver a consistent [...]
As a Brooklyn green contractor we actually generate more garbage than a non-green contractor!
More garbage!? You ask.
The truth is yes. Bag for bag we cart off more garbage from our sites than non-green job sites.
But how could this be?!
The reason for this is that we BRING ON a lot more ‘garbage” [...]
So with the understanding that any experiment should be undertaken with the proper materials. I set out and found a large supply of computers and harvested anything I could use, before they were sent off to be melted down. (Or crushed) After 7 hours of unscrewing, unclipping and moderate finger jabbing I end up with [...]
I’ve gone a couple weeks without finding cull or used sheet rock. Not wanting to wait any longer I painfully, regretfully, and sadly went to Home Depot and bought new sheet rock.
It is rare that I buy new material like that. Now it is a strange feeling. It is so easy. Go to [...]