There are a number of ‘green’ product listings and databases on the web; Greenspec at BuildingGreen.com and Pharos, for example, but most (if not all) of them require a paid annual membership. One good source of free information on green products is Oikos.com. More than 2,500 companies are listed in a searchable database.
Because there are few examples of good green building in Brooklyn, Eco Brooklyn is constantly doing things where we don’t have any previous examples to draw from. This involves a lot of preliminary research. I believe a good green building company is part contractor and part researcher due to the need for constant investigation into the best way of building green.
In Brooklyn green builders are doing a two step process. The first is one of looking back at how building was done a hundred years ago before we became obsessed with speed and proffit. Then we look forward at the future of green building and ascertain which systems are good and which are merely fads.
Armed with this perspective we do our best to green brownstones using the best of old building techniques combined with the best of new green building. This is the Build It Forward Method. This process takes a lot of study and constant personal education.
I just renewed my BuildingGreen.com subscription with doubts. It is one of the best but I don’t know if I used it that much last year….it was mildly helpful. But to be honest I use Google a lot more.
I have to admit I have also gone the other extreme as well, though. I now buy green building books like an addict. While the googles satisfy my immediate needs I truly enjoy a well thought out and researched train of thought, something you can only get in a book. This is coming from somebody who didn’t own one book for his first 38 years.
I’ve got a huge library of everything from “Brooklyn Native Birds” to “Green Roof Maintenance”.