What is the best wall construction for Passive House?

A recent article in the Home Energy Magazine analyzes the embodied energy of different wall structures for Passive House construction in cold climates. Basically, it’s great to have super insulated homes, but home much extra energy does it take to build them? Said another way, how many years will it take before the embodied energy […]

Building Passive House with Hempcrete

One of the challenges we face when doing High Energy retrofits of NY masonry brownstones, by the Passive House standard for example, is how to install insulation that will both be effective and maintain the historical integrity of the building. Most existing insulation materials have limited usefulness when installed on the interior of the envelope, […]

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 space remodels.

Our feed features images from our Manhattan and Brooklyn ecological construction projects including […]

Praise for Siga high-performance tape

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. […]

Klearwall PH Windows

As New York passive house builders, Eco Brooklyn gets approached by many distributors offering Passive House products. Recently Klearwall, a PH window company located in Ireland, informed us of their intended expansion in New York City. Klearwater offers thermal bridging calculations, which shows how much energy will be conserved by the instillation of their […]

Subterranean Living

Inhabitat recently posted an article exemplifying innovative underground houses around the globe. As a green contractor Eco Brooklyn is continually using cutting-edge ideas to improve upon Passive House designs. Underground housing can provide New York State with low energy housing at reasonable prices without sacrificing the aesthetic appeal of living above ground.

Living Passively


Earthship Project in New York

We are earthship enthusiasts here at Eco Brooklyn, and are currently speaking with a client who wants to build an earthship in New York State. Here are some ideas being thrown around between Michael Reynolds, Eco Brooklyn, and the client, that we may be able to help turn into reality. The schematic of this global […]

DIY Indoor Vermiculture Composting

Happy Plants in Vermiculture Soil

If you are a fan of living sustainably you have most likely felt the urge to reduce your waste and begin composting. But living in New York City often leaves residents without much outdoor space. A large part of Green Building in Brooklyn involves meshing innovative techniques with salvaged materials, which is why do-it-yourself composting […]

Eco Brooklyn Interview

BBox radio did a cool interview of Eco Brooklyn Director, Gennaro Brooks-Church. We discussed all sorts of things in the field of radical green building – Net Zero, Passive House, Guerrilla Green Building, Build It Forward and much more.

Check it out here!



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.

Eco Brooklyn has renovated many brownstones and knows first hand how challenging it can […]

Das Haus New York

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 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 not already begun. A change in the way we think about new buildings and construction, […]

Radical Sustainability and Passive House

Eco Brooklyn’s director, Gennaro Brooks-Church will be giving a presentation at New York’s 2012 Passive House Symposium. The topic of his presentation is “Radical Sustainability and Passive House.” The all day event is filled with interesting speakers and is a must for anyone interested in the worlds most cutting edge energy efficient building technique.

NEW […]

New York Passive House Windows

New York Passive House builders are all scrambling to find high quality windows that meed the strict PH air tightness and insulation standards. With the exception of a few Canadian windows there just aren’t any US windows that meet these standards.

Almost all good windows come from Europe and the challenge for New York green […]

NJ Contractor Builds Passive House and Creates an Educational Video

Ed from NJ Renewable Energy made a great video about the construction of his passive house that you can view below. It discusses the many benefits of building a Passive House, the amazing energy savings that are possible and the details behind how they built this specific one in New Jersey.

As a NY Passive […]

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 of $175/sq.ft is not sustainable. Of course it is great for the client in the […]

Bringing Passivhaus to Harlem

Check out this great article about our Eco Brooklyn’s Passive House in Harlem., 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 of all the techniques we used to seal our passive house!


Eco Brooklyn’s Clay Wall Application

Eco Brooklyn’s Gennaro Brooks-Church discusses our clay wall application. Creating a better seal on bricks and more insulation, Eco Brooklyn applies clay to walls all over New York City. Most recently we applied clay in our Harlem Passive House and in the downstairs apartment in our Brooklyn Show House.

Check out this great video!


Passive House Blower Door Test

This Friday at 2pm we will be doing a blower door test at the harlem Passive House. If you are interested in attending please let us know.

Eco Brooklyn, NY Passive House Contractor


New Energy Efficient Products

Here is a cool article from As a New York green contractor we are always looking for local green building materials, especially anything that relates to the super high efficient Passive House construction tools. These windows from Maine look really promising.

New Green Building Products High-performance windows, doors, and tapes for your next superinsulated […]

Triple Pane Windows Arrive to EcoBrooklyn Passive House, Harlem

We just received our triple pane windows from Europe to our Passive House site in Harlem. The windows will help the brownstone achieve its necessary air tight specs and save up to 90% in energy costs compared to an ordinary building of the same size. If you enjoy the video, please give us a “Like” […]

Triple Pane Windows arrive to Harlem Passive House Site

The windows we ordered finally arrived to our Harlem Passive House. They’re not your typical windows though by any means, and unfortunately we couldn’t get them USA made. These are triple pane windows. They’re pretty heavy compared to a typical window of the same size, and a heck of a lot more expensive. As a […]

Passive House Web Site

Here is a cool web site about all things Passive House, aptly called, International Passive House Magazine, or IPHM. It is run by Tamas Banki. Based in Hungary he is doing a great job pulling together all the PH info from around the world.

As a Passive House builder in New York I found the […]

ERV – New York Passive House Discussion

Here is a discussion between myself and other Passive House people regarding what ventilation system to use in the New York Passive house Eco Brooklyn is building. I originally got a bid for an ERV from Barry Stephens at Zehnder, which I thought was expensive. That prompted me to ask around for other options. The […]

Passive House Principles, Insulation and Airtightness

Here are two useful videos on Passive House principles, insulation and air tightness. Eco Brooklyn is a New York Passive House builder and we are committed to spreading Passive House information. It is good stuff, especially when combined with green building strategies of recycling and salvage.

In the video you well see Tomas O’leary, our […]

Great Passive House Info

Here is an excellent pdf on Passive House. It shows the construction methods and results of a group of Passive House buildings in Hannover, Germany, giving a great insight into how Passive House works.


As Passive House builders in New York this information is invaluable to us. In NY we are definitely experimenting with […]

Harlem Passive House Update

We have been working on the first slated Passive House in Harlem, Manhattan, for a couple months now. It was a complete burnt out shell when we started. Since then we have cleaned it out, put in floors, stairs and a roof. Check out the pics below.


In this Passive House project we are […]

Energy Efficient Front Doors

It is striking that despite the many green building going on in the US that there still remains some blaring gaps in our knowledge and available products.

I encountered another of these gaps recently in my search for a good front door for a Brooklyn Passive House style brownstone. I was looking for something super […]

HRV / ERV Efficiency

With our new Passive House building standard a key component of our green brownstone renovations are the ERV or HRV, or Energy Recovery Ventilator and Heat Recovery Ventilator.

Both units perform the same task of clearing the house of stale air and providing it with fresh air from the outside. In a “normal” brownstone this […]

CEPHEUS – Living Comfort Without Heating

The book CEPHEUS – Living Comfort Without Heating is actually the compilation of Passive House (PH) results for buildings in Central Europe. They turned their findings into a book to give a great overview of different houses with the one common element of being Passive House.

As a Brooklyn Passive House contractor I found it […]