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

Posted in All Posts, Brooklyn, Recycled, salvage, Salvaged Tagged with: , , ,

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

Posted in Design, Energy, Green, Recycled, Salvaged Tagged with: , , ,

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: , , , , , , , , ,

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 “green” solutions? Most

Posted in All Posts, Philosophy, Politics, Press, Salvaged, triple bottom line Tagged with: ,

Alternative solutions to lead contamination

Brooklyn prides itself in its historic buildings, but these same sites pose an often unknown toxicity risk to inhabitants. Although the use of lead products was outlawed decades ago – lead-based paints were taken off the market in 1978 and

Posted in Brooklyn, Eco Brooklyn, Education, Garden, Green, Health, House, Lead, Projects, salvage, Salvaged, Sustainability Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sustainable Wood

Last Tuesday the EcoBrooklyn interns attended the dasHAUS symposium and tour in White Plains, New York. The touring exhibition features the mobile dasHAUS pavilion, constructed of fully functioning sustainable energy technologies. The pavilion’s design is inspired by the Technical University

Posted in Brooklyn, Build It Forward, Design, Eco Brooklyn, House, LEED, Passive House, salvage, Salvaged, Sustainability Tagged with: , , , , , ,

DIY Vertical Gardens

Vertical gardens or living walls are a beautiful and efficient way to maximize green space within an urban context. Aesthetically, vertical gardens can be used to improve the façade of buildings while providing other ecosystem services such as enhanced air

Posted in Brooklyn, Build It Forward, Design, DIY, Eco Brooklyn, Garden, Gray Water, Green, Green Roof, salvage, Salvaged 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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Salvaged Floor Tung Oil Application

For the past several jobs we have used salvaged mahogany flooring. We salvaged 15,000 square feet of it a while back. It is very pretty stuff. Here we are applying the tung oil to it. We are applying two types

Posted in All Posts, Brooklyn, Design, Salvaged Tagged with: , ,

CORK IS STILL GREEN

In the last year or so cork has attracted more media attention than in the last 2,500 years of use. Beginning with the Egyptians, cork has been used as a stopper for vessels containing perishables like wine, water, and olive

Posted in All Posts, Cork, Design, portugal, Salvaged Tagged with: , ,

Reverse Environmental Building Footprint Via Salvage

Here are some interesting numbers from the Binational Softwood Lumber Council (BSLC) on the environmental footprint of building three similar homes from three three different materials – wood, metal and concrete. I’m sure you can guess what their numbers show: that wood

Posted in All Posts, Build It Forward, Salvaged Tagged with: ,

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: , , ,

Salvaging Materials at EcoBrooklyn

Gennaro Brooks-Church, Director of EcoBrooklyn Inc, discusses the significant element of salvaging materials for use in the company’s green renovations. Currently we are wrapping up a full-renovation of a brownstone in Manhattan where we’ve been working hard to attain its

Posted in All Posts, Passive House, Salvaged Tagged with: ,

Bringing Passivhaus to Harlem

Check out this great article about our Eco Brooklyn’s Passive House in Harlem.  GreenBuildingAdvisor.com, a great online source for building, designing, and remolding green homes, sent Richard Defendorf to our Harlem site to check out our work. Read his write-up

Posted in All Posts, Passive House, Review, Salvaged Tagged with: , , , ,

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

Posted in All Posts, Design, Recycled, Review, Salvaged Tagged with: , ,

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:

New York Salvaged Flooring

Here is a photo essay of how we salvaged some flooring and reused it. We bought 15,000 square feet of herring bone style mahogany flooring from an office building. The flooring didn’t look too fancy laying in a big pile:

Posted in All Posts, Salvaged Tagged with:

New York Eco Deck Installation

We went by to check on a deck we built in Manhattan last year. It looks good! It was raining which made the deck glisten more. We made it out of salvaged Douglass fir joists from an old building. We sanded them

Posted in All Posts, Green, Salvaged Tagged with:

New York Green Roof Installation

We just wrapped up a green roof job in East New York. Here is a photo essay from start to finish. We planted late in the year and the nights were already freezing. But we trusted the hardiness of sedum

Posted in All Posts, Green Roof, Salvaged Tagged with: ,

Green From The Ground Up – Book

The book Green from the Ground Up, Sustainable, Healthy, and Energy-Efficient Home Construction, offers everything its title promises, and yet that very same title shows how wrong the authors are. It is 330 pages full of intelligent “green” building techniques

Posted in All Posts, Build It Forward, Review, Salvaged

Brooklyn Wood Floor Revival

We did two jobs over the past week on wood floors. They started out really ugly. And they ended up amazing. We finished them with 100% pure tung oil so they are really natural. The first job was to remove

Posted in All Posts, Build It Forward, Design, Salvaged, triple bottom line 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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Rebuildersource.coop

I just go a call from Joel Frank, one of the three members of the Rebuilder Source cooperative in the Bronx. They accept donations of building materials and resell them at good prices. The drive behind them is mostly idealistic:

Posted in All Posts, Review, Salvaged

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