Tag: Green Building

Portland City Repair

While in Portland, I was eager to check out some of the projects spearheaded by a local organization called City Repair (“an organized group action that educates and inspires communities and individuals to creatively transform the places where they live”). One of their traffic calming […]

Water Conservation forum this Wednesday

I attended this seminar two years ago, and it completely changed my thinking about water use. Hint: if you think you know how much water a leaky toilet wastes, think again! Water Conservation: Quench Your Thirst for Information What better way to jumpstart a sustainable […]

Sustainable Home Design Seminars coming to Brooklyn!

Greening Your Home: Living Sustainably in Brooklyn

Four free seminars conducted by Ellen Honigstock, a Registered Architect and LEED Accredited Professional.

A green home uses less energy, water and natural resources; creates less waste; and is healthier and more comfortable for the occupants.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007 7pm
Lonelyville Cafe
154 Prospect Park Southwest, Windsor Terrace

Friday, July 27, 2007 7pm
Vox Pop
1022 Cortelyou Road, Ditmas Park (around here we call it Flatbush!)

Monday, August 6th, 2007 7pm
Perch Cafe
365 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope

Thursday, August 16th,, 2007 7pm
West Elm
45 Main Street, DUMBO


Solar Summit 2007 Report

As promised, a report from Solar Summit 2007, by guest blogger Mike Adams of NY Wind. About Mike: • Mike Adams considers himself a citizen of the earth. He currently splits his time between working with Community Energy to spread the word about wind power […]

Got Bottles?


A request came in this morning from Solar One, the wonderful sustainability education center located on the East River in Manhattan. Their Green Renter lecture series is a fantastic resource for learning about all sorts of environmental topics, and their outdoor festivals in the summer, which feature films, music, dance, and “green” vendors, are lots of fun.

This looks like a cool and creative way to keep plastic bottles out of the landfill (at least until the Bigger Better Bottle Bill is passed):

For Solar One’s Citysol festival this summer to take place July 12-15, artist Jasmine Zimmerman will be constructing habit-able castles of recycled plastic bottles. We’ve estimated needing up to 8,000 used plastic bottles for this project and are hoping to collect them from the homes and offices of New Yorkers. We will deconstruct the structures after the festival is over and recycle them properly. We will be collecting bottles at Solar 1 (located at 23rd Street & the East River) we are generally here Monday-Friday, 9-5pm. We can also arrange for pickup if you’re unable to come to our site. 16-20oz. bottles will be easiest to use, but anything you have would be great!

Please e-mail jenn@solar1.org for more information.

Additionally, this will be a community building project, so please stay tuned on how you can participate — we’ll be adding to the structures throughout the festival so they will be constantly changing in form and scale with the voice of visitors.

Take a look at http://www.citysol.org for a brief overview of this year’s events and check back as information is updated in the coming weeks.

Energy Efficiency in Multi-Family Buildings… becoming reality?

Yesterday I attended an orientation seminar for building professionals seeking to become partners in NYSERDA’s Multi-Family Building Program. I felt somewhat like a spy since my actual goal is to enroll my co-op building in this program, making me a customer rather than a vendor; […]

Community Traffic Calming Coming to Brooklyn

Streetsblog reports that a community-driven traffic calming project, similar to that profiled in a previous post on Portland, Oregon’s Village Building Convergence, will happen here in Brooklyn this summer. It is unfortunate that the choice of location, Third Avenue and Baltic Street, is motivated by […]

Building Science for non-architects.

Last week I attended a two-day course on Building Science Fundamentals. Why, you may ask, would a non-architect opt to use their spare time (and money) in such a way? Well… aside from having been interested in architecture since childhood, I was encouraged to attend by several (also non-architect) friends in the name of learning more about Green Building. This particular course came highly recommended by Chris Benedict, a NYC-based architect who is known for designing extremely energy-efficient buildings at a LOWER than average cost (and what could be more “Green” than that?). The two lecturers, Dr. Joseph Lstiburek and Dr. John Straube, are considered gurus in their field; I am happy to report that they are also quite entertaining, which is how I was able to avoid being knocked unconscious by the wealth of highly technical information as it flew right over my head. Mixed in with architectural and scientific terms were statements I could easily understand and contextualize, such as the notion that constructing a poorly-insulated building that guzzles energy but cannot breathe and thus provides a breeding ground for mold is… STUPID.

What I walked away from this course with is the idea that a truly “Green” building is one built to consume as little energy as possible, and to last for generations while providing its occupants a comfortable home free of contaminants. The key to all this, according to Joe and John, is the building enclosure – the outside and inside walls and everything in between. Unfortunately, despite all the hooplah around LEED standards and bamboo floors and recycled glass countertops and solar panels, not to mention the hypocrisy of calling a 12,000 square foot single-family home “Green” (!!), very little attention is being focused on this simple solution of creating intelligently-designed, appropriately-sized, well-insulated buildings. Why? Well, I guess to some people it’s not very sexy. But, really… what could be sexier than NOT being STUPID??

Portland Oregon’s Village Building Convergence

My friend Clarence (from Streetfilms) has just returned from the 7th Annual Village Building Convergence in Portland, Oregon. This is a 10-day-long event where “neighborhoods activate to build shared public places that they have envisioned, designed, funded, and will maintain for themselves”. One of my […]