Blog Archives

Renewable Energy Plan for New York

Let’s convert New York State’s energy infrastructure into something more sustainable. It’s a simple concept, with a multitude of benefits.  Converting to renewable energy will stabilize costs of energy and  produce jobs while reducing health and climate damage and overall

Posted in All Posts, Eco Brooklyn, Education, Energy, Finance, Green, Solar, Sustainability, Technology Tagged with: , , ,

DIY Rocket Mass Heater

The recent polar vortex has hit us all with some really harsh conditions and as a green contractor based in New York it has made work on our ecological construction sites difficult. Spending cold, winter days inside of an upcycled

Posted in All Posts, clay, Design, DIY, Energy, House, Sustainability Tagged with: , , , ,

Das Haus: First NYC Passive House in BK

For those of us who live in historic homes we know that our period dwellings bring us both joy and frustration. The frustration is largely attributed to the endless repairs that classic Brooklyn Brownstones require and their not so efficient envelope.

Posted in Brooklyn, Design, Eco Brooklyn, Passive House, 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: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Building For the Climate Apocalypse

First 2000, and now 2012: Years in which people think the world might possibly end. The world probably won’t end with a bang, but might just crumble beneath the accumulated consequences of our actions. Meanwhile, American politicians’ opinions of science,

Posted in All Posts, Build It Forward, Energy, Ethics, Politics Tagged with: , , , ,

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: , ,

New Green City: A key element to Green design and construction.

On a beautiful fall day in early October, Eco Brooklyn, a New York City green contractor, took to the South Plaza of Union Square in downtown Manhattan to check out New Green City, an event hosted by GrowNYC.  The event

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Building Integrated Prayer Wheels

You’ve got the efficiencies of building mounted wind turbines and then you’ve got the efficiencies of karma. In response to a recent Environmental Building News feature story about the inefficiencies of building-integrated wind turbines comes this subtly hilarious examination of

Posted in All Posts, Philosophy Tagged with:

Cell Phone Control

Here is something from Bau-Biologie that is interesting: Microwave Radiation – Cell phones, Wi-Fi Are they safe? As fast as possible, our society is becoming more and more technologically oriented. Homes, schools, offices, entire communities are making decisions to go

Posted in All Posts, Energy Tagged with:

Hot Water Home Run, Return and Mixing

Here is an image of the proposed plumbing setup for the green show house in Brooklyn. Chester Birchwood from New York Solar Systems is installing it. It has three interesting components. These apply to hot water only since we are

Posted in All Posts, Design, Energy Tagged with: , , ,

External Transparent Heat Transfer Wall

I’m experimenting with a transparent heat transfer wall. It would be a transparent wall attached to the outer south wall, leaving about one inch between them. The out wall would be painted a dark color. Ideally it would be black

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Adding Solar gain and recyclables to Facade

Above: Facade with planter and recycled joists. Originally the top facade of the building had a lot of rotted wood. And there was a great view. So in the heat of the summer I tore down the wall and planned

Posted in All Posts, Energy, Recycled, Salvaged, Solar Tagged with: , , , , ,

Zero Energy Houses

One technology I have my eyes on is developed by Isomax. They build homes that require basically no heating or cooling at all, regardless of where the house it. How do they do it? They use a series of air

Posted in All Posts, Energy Tagged with: , ,

Passiv Haus (Passive House)

A “new” construction style coming out of Germany creates houses that barely need energy to run. They don’t even have heating systems. In the dead of winter they might need a little space heater but that is is. What is

Posted in All Posts, Energy Tagged with: ,

Fanatic Insulation

I have a moto that I live by when building: Fanatic Insulation. I’m not sure if I coined the phrase but I think I did :). We use weather barrier, caulk, insulation, foam, flashing etc like there we’re building an

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Laying the foundation for the concrete slab

We have completely dug down the cellar by 3 and 1/2 feet. Then we put a vapour barrier and 3 inch insulation which we taped at the seams. Then we put down the salvaged fencing from the back yard to

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Inserting the Insulation Into the Roof Ceiling

We are inserting the salvaged poly iso insulation board into the top floor ceiling of the house between the joists. All the joists have been sistered with “new” salvaged joists. You can see the bolts holding them together. We are

Posted in All Posts, Energy, Insulation Tagged with: , , ,

About House Wrap and Tar Paper

Here is an interesting article. It describes all the kinds of house wraps and vapor barriers in detail. It also concludes that despite all the fancy new products the good old tar paper is still the preferred product for the

Posted in All Posts, Energy, House Tagged with: , ,

Insulation Has Arrived!

Green Building is like life: it is all about energy. How you control it, who has it, where it is flowing, and where it isn’t flowing. You control the energy and you have a great house (possibly a great life

Posted in All Posts, Energy, Ethics, Recycled, Resource Links Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Building Green Notes

I discovered a great web site today called Radiant Heat It is a godsend for a builder like me who likes to build cheap and green. He has loads of practical info. Very good site. Here is from his

Posted in All Posts, Energy Tagged with: , ,

Energy Efficiency Seminar

Last week I attended an Energy Efficiency Seminar hosted by Landmark West!, The Community Preservation Corporation and Steven Winter Associates, Inc. I covered the many ways to make a building more efficient. First we looked at where the energy goes,

Posted in All Posts, Energy Tagged with:

Three Types of Heat Transfer

When talking heat there are three ways heat or cold moves through space. Knowing these ways is important because it determines what kind of insulation you use or on the opposite end what kind of heating to use. Convective heat

Posted in All Posts, Energy, Radiant Heating Tagged with: ,

Choosing Green Insulation – consider recycled foam board.

In the constant quest for a greener insulation I have considered many options. – Cellulose is good but messy and dusty. – Isonyne spray foam or Demilec spray foam is good but not that cheap and quite honestly not as

Posted in All Posts, Energy, Insulation, Recycled Tagged with: , , , ,

Six Steps to a Greener Home

Here are six things anyone can do to their home to make it greener. A “green home” means a lot of things. But it always includes energy efficiency. These simple things increase the efficiency of the home by attacking the

Posted in All Posts, Energy, Insulation Tagged with: ,

Good News for Solar

We’re entering a new era of solar energy. Congress just passed historic solar legislation that will increase the use of solar energy all across US, and the President signed it into law. HR1424 extends the 30% solar tax credit for

Posted in All Posts, Energy, Solar Tagged with: , , ,

Living with radiation

Part of building a healthy environment is keeping track of the environmental stressors. A stressor is something that alters the body in some way. It could be heat, humidity, sound, or electromagnetic fields. Stressors are not necessarily bad. We need

Posted in All Posts, Energy Tagged with: , , ,

Some cool links for Mortgages and other stuff

# Residential Energy Services Network’s (RESNET) (For trained and certified home energy raters in your service are.) # Mortgage Industry National Home Energy Rating System Accreditation Standard (For operating home energy rating systems, by state.) # U.S. Department

Posted in All Posts, Energy, Resource Links Tagged with: ,

Why should you use my real estate services?

Here is my answer to “Why should I use your real estate services?” I am a real estate professional with additional EcoBroker training on the energy and environmental issues that affect real estate transactions. There are tremendous green resources available

Posted in All Posts, Energy Tagged with: , ,

Solar Panel Considerations

Solar Panels for creating home electricity have come a long way. They are cheaper and last longer than before. Photovoltaic systems now have expected lifetimes of 20 years and more, with manufacturers offering system and individual component warranties. Contractors are

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