A little while ago we visited a green pavilion with “sustainable” oak floors. We were intrigued by the concept of sustainable oak since oak trees are protected by law and the meaning of sustainable is often skewed by marketers.
After some research we found that there are more than 50 certification systems worldwide, the two [...]
As a Green Builder we are always looking at the newest developments in green design. Today the folks from Siga were kind enough to come by and show us their energy efficient air sealing products.
We recently finished a Passive House renovation of a Harlem brownstone and worked closely with the air sealing supplier 475. [...]
Over the past few years biking has become an increasingly popular mode of transportation in New York City. More than 200,000 people bike everyday in New York City. There was a 26% increase in the number of cyclers between 2008 and 2009. Here at Eco Brooklyn, a number of our employees ride to work and [...]
As a New York green builder, Eco Brooklyn is always interested in learning about what other sustainable design ideas are out there. Last night, I listened to an amazing TED talk that took green building to a whole new level.
Michael Pawlyn, formerly with Grimshaw Architects, London, spoke about biomimicry and sustainable design 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 [...]
Last week, the interns from Eco Brooklyn went to the Net Zero Symposium sponsored by Das Haus in White Plains, New York to hear lectures and view a model of Das Haus, a passivhaus model made from two shipping containers that functions completely off the grid. The conference was held at the White [...]
The Green Roof Professional (GRP) certification system was developed by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, a not-for-profit industry association working to promote and develop the market for the green roofs throughout North America.
In addition to providing a professional accreditation program, the organization facilitates the exchange of information, supports research, and promotes the establishment of [...]
A significant aspect of green building and living sustainably is using vernacular materials and buying locally. Being green also means being a locavaore, eating and buying foods grown locally. But what about the vegetation we choose to plant in our gardens? We may choose a particular plant because of aesthetics, how well it will grow [...]
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, [...]
A Brooklyn backyard before soil remediation.
Many Brooklyn homeowners have inherited a common problem: contaminated backyards. This is a result of over 100 years of garbage incineration, car fumes and toxic paint. In New York, soil is deemed contaminated if there are more than 400 ppm of lead present in the soil (in Euro [...]
After receiving a generous amount of funding, Brooklyn has commissioned a pedestrian walkway to connect Squibb Park and the Brooklyn Bridge Park. The 4.9 million dollar bridge will be designed by Ted Zoli, a MacArther Genius Award-winning structural engineer, he is not only one of the nation’s “it” engineers but also among the nation’s foremost [...]
Since the Occupy Wall Street events this fall I have immersed myself in information that questions existing paradigms and searches for solutions to current problems. I’ve always done this, and as a green builder I do it on a daily basis, but the recent Occupy Wall Street events has given my ongoing education a focus [...]
I just read the book “A Natural System of House Design, An Architect’s Way” by Charles Woods. I was interested in it from Wood’s involvement with Malcolm Wells, a great natural architect and the pioneer of earth covered building.
Before I start my review I need to make clear that I see Woods as a [...]
A couple years ago I was looking into the cold blue eyes of a lying, money grubbing man. He also happened to be a neighborhood contractor. And he said to my face in all seriousness, “I am a green contractor.”
Having seen the future of contracting he had started to use low VOC paints and [...]
Quote of the day:
The optimist thinks, “The glass is half full.” The pessimist thinks, “The glass is half empty.” The green builder thinks, “That glass is twice as big as it needs to be.”
Word on the street is that the Gowanus Canal is going to be designated a Superfund site. The canal is two blocks from the Brooklyn green show house so it is dear to our heart and very clearly part of our ecosystem.
The Gowanus is definitely a good candidate for a superfund designation. It [...]
The green show house is an experiment in building. Sometimes we really get it right, sometimes we totally don’t. This kind of experimentation can’t be done on a clients house. But since this is a show house we want to show the process, both good and bad.
The hope is that we find better ways [...]