Blog Archives

Natural Pools

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

Posted in Brooklyn, Design, Eco Brooklyn, Garden, Gray Water, Green, Natural Pool, Projects, Recycled, salvage, Sustainability, water Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

The Maple Floor Fiasco

We found about 500sq.ft. of 5 inch wide maple plank flooring in a dumpster. It had a very slight warp to it due to it not being installed correctly. But with a little sanding we could get rid of that.

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Sound Proofing and Heat Transfer Subfloor

We have a floor with a high ceiling which means we can lay the pex tubing on top of the subfloor instead of hanging the tubing beneath. The pex tubing takes up valuable space and you can only lay it

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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

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Installing the concrete slab

We have a cellar half of the ceiling on the south side being open so that large amounts of light stream in and make a very nice living area. First we dug out the cellar 3 1/2 feet: While digging

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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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Wood Flooring courtesy of Corcoran

Only in USA are dumpsters so full of wonderful stuff. And you can’t get fancier than a Corcoran dumpster. There is one in front of the Corcoran condos on President St in Carroll Gardens. I had the good luck to

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Soundproofing between floors

After some research we noticed that one of the most effective ways to reduce impact noise between floors was to put a recycled tyre product between the floor and sub floor. It creates a vibrating cushion that absorbs the impact,

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Fiberglass Windows

I paid a lot of money for fiberglass windows for the Brooklyn Green Show House. Despite the cost, the fiberglass frame part I LOVE. I think this is the way to go. I really love them and once they are

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Lowering the Cellar Three Feet

In order to maximize the living space we decided to turn the cellar into a useable space. To do this we cut a 10×10 foot hole into the floor of the basement, which is only technically called the basement since

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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

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Ordering Radiant Heat Materials

There are a lot of radiant heat companies out there. The abundance can be confusing. We have found that certain stores offer the best of certain products. Here is an example for an order form from one of our vendors:

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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: , , , , , ,

DOB Retards – the sidewalk fiasco

The Department of Buildings wants me to show the state of the sidewalk before and after the job so that they can determine if I have to redo it. To do this I had to get an architect’s survey which

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Salvaged Wood

At the beginning of this job I had to buy my salvaged wood from Fine Lumber in Williamsburg. But now that the local job sites know about my project I get most of my wood from them. Here you see

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Recycled Wood Floor

I have relationships with the contractors in the neighborhood. These oak floors were perfectly fine but the owner wanted to replace them with cherry wood floors. Instead of put them in the dump I got them. The lower floors of

Posted in All Posts, Ethics, Recycled, Solar Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Recycled Steel Studs

These studs were on their way to the dump until I intercepted the contractor and he let me take them.. I’m using them in the cellar where they will be in touch with the ground and where in the past

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Fly Ash isn’t flying

On the 2nd street project we are doing a lot of underpinning and laying a concrete slab in the cellar. This requires a lot of concrete. Cement uses up a lot of energy to produce and creates a lot of

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We are working again!

Because my architect and I did not see eye to eye we had to part ways, which meant he had to pull his application with the DOB. That would have been fine if my new architect kept to his schedule.

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Department of Building Nightmare

If you ever want to get that nice chaotic third world feeling then go hang out at the Department of Buildings. The Brooklyn one is good but the Manhattan one is even more insane. It goes a little like this.

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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

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I got the stupid bricks

I love old bricks. They have great character. I got these from a job site. The contractor couldn’t believe I wanted to take them. He was actually insulted and called the whole thing “stupid”. It took me ten minutes to

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The Hammer Test

I had a big argument with my architect because I wanted to use salvaged wood for part of the house and his mantra was: “If it is fixing something old you can use it but if you are building something

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Salvaged Wood Floors

I got some wood floors from a contractor friend. He is working for a customer who wants to get rid of perfectly good oak floors and replace them with cherry. God what a total waste! Waste of money, resources, forest

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Got some steel joists

I found a building company that was throwing out some perfectly good steel studs. The studs were just sitting behind a building so I asked if I could take them. They were like, “Why?” I was like, “Uh, to reuse

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New Shipment of Salvaged wood

I have become friends with a contractor who is remodeling a house down the block. The owner is totally gutting the place. Unfortunately I didn’t hook up with them until they were half way done so didn’t get to salvage

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EcoBrooklyn is Listed on the most popular RE blog in the world.

I am happy that my 22 2nd street building is the 1st highlighted green project on Brownstoner.com! As far as I know Brownstoner.com is the most popular real estate blog in the world, but my non-NY friend quickly pointed out,

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Fiberglass Windows

Fiberglass as a building product has been around for years but there were some hindrances to using it in window frames. I don’t know the specifics of why but the hurdle has been overcome and more companies are making fiberglass

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22 2nd Street

I am currently working on 22 2nd street. It is a gut job. It is also being featured on Brownstoner.com as a Green Project of note, although I have not had a chance to check it out. Feel free to

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