Environmental and Green Design

Home Forums Environmental and Green Design

Forum: Environmental and Green Design

Start a Topic

You must be logged in to start a new topic. or

This forum contains 14 topics and 66 replies, and was last updated by  nf85 2 weeks ago.

Brownstoner March 14, 2015 at 6:51 pm

Community Management 101

Thanks for visiting the Brownstoner Forum.

If you are a service provider (contractor, plumber, electrician, etc) or a person with knowledge and experience on a topic, we appreciate your participation greatly. This forum is a place for consumers to get information they need and for people like you, people with helpful information, to provide it!

If you’d like to promote your business, we ask that you don’t do it here. Instead, please sign up to become a Brownstoner Local Home Pro so we can help get you in front of the customers you are looking for!

If you are a person looking for information, we appreciate you coming here to engage the Brownstoner community! If you have information to share, like prideful before and after photos of your project, however large or small, feel free to do that too. Unfortunately, we can not accept negative, angry, or disgruntled reviews here. Though we feel for you, please use Yelp or another review and recommendation site for that!

Environmental and Green Design January 14, 2016 at 10:08 am

How to assess proposed renovation's heating/cooling impact?

Hi all,
We are planning further renovations to our home, including some things like reinstating a skylight in a small room on the top floor as well as replacing the main skylight over the stairs. We will have AC, but all the same I would like to better understand the heating/cooling impact of our design decisions and, where possible, make choices that require less heating and cooling (or at least don’t add to it). I’m wondering whether a whole-house fan, for instance, or a venting skylight or a shade would help us get away with using the AC less, and how to weigh those choices. We do have an architect and an HVAC engineer but I’m looking specifically for someone to help me make informed choices about the best way to passively heat or cool our house within our existing design and Edwardian shell, or to at least understand in advance where I’m courting trouble. I just don’t want to end up with a beautiful space that requires a ton of AC or heating. Thanks so much for any advice on what kind of person I need or names.

Environmental and Green Design October 27, 2015 at 11:04 am

Possible Buried Oil Tank in Rowhome

Looking at a rowhouse in Brooklyn. Inspector found an old fill pipe at the front of the house and said it’s possible there’s an underground tank there. Spoke to another professional, however, and was told it is highly unlikely there was ever a buried tank there due to the way homes in the city were built. They were almost always built with above ground tanks in the cellar. Can anyone confirm either theory?

Environmental and Green Design May 19, 2015 at 11:35 am

Fragrant plants for the vestibule

Sometimes the vestibule that I share with my tenants gets a bit stale-smelling. Can anyone recommend plants that can survive with just a little light, that may help with this situation?! I’m open to considering other remedies as well.

Environmental and Green Design March 26, 2015 at 8:42 pm

Solar Panels

Hi– I am looking into solar panels for my home. I am wondering if anyone out there has experience with 1) solar panel and DOB approval; 2) How it has impacted your Con Ed bill; 3) are you happy with your decision to install the panels?


Environmental and Green Design April 23, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Toilet Recycling?

There was a whole push around an announcement last year that, starting in 2013, NYC would be offering a $125 rebate for upgrading to low-flow toilets, and would recycle your old commode (annoucnement here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/press_releases/12-19pr.shtml). Any idea what the status of that is? Or where else I can recycle a toilet?

Environmental and Green Design April 12, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Joint solar / green roof installation?

Our coop is considering installing solar panels in conjunction with a green roof, and figure it might be easiest to design and install the two systems in conjunction with one another.  Does anyone have any experience with solar installers who worked in concert with green roof experts?  Any advice on this would be appreciated.

Environmental and Green Design February 21, 2013 at 7:04 pm

General Contractor + Landmarks & Eco Consultant Combo?

Hi all,
My reno project started out small. But it’s not looking so small anymore. …heard that story before? The plan’s not firm, but the project could potentially eventually include: replacing 90-yr old electic system throughout the house, replacing the ancient boiler, retrofitting radiant in the main floor, insulating like crazy, adding A/C of some sort, redoing one bathroom and adding another, replacing windows, rebuilding the front porch before it collapses, and other things that my brain is mercifully repressing. Okay, maybe it only started out small in a delusional part of my brain. 
We have a contractor we like, who comes with great references and a lot of experience working on old buildings. But he’s never dealt with a landmark commission and he’s not got a big background in eco-renovation (the former is mandatory, the latter is a *huge* priority for us). 
So is it crazy to imagine a team with a contractor, a deep green consultant, a landmarks consultant…and an architect thrown in there if/when need be? Am I signing myself up for months of coordinating and researching, in which case I should just keep searching for Mr. Contractor Right? Or is it reasonable to work with this plan?
Also, oddly, we had no problem locating a landmarks consultant, but I cannot seem to find a super-green consultant. Recommendations MUCH appreciated!!!

Environmental and Green Design July 20, 2012 at 4:53 pm

What is this strange device?

It was just installed outside a friend’s window.  I thought it might be for environmental quality monitoring, but it looks like something from the “X Files.”

Environmental and Green Design April 10, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Looking for budget friendly designer or architect

We have a 15 ft wide apartment on the bottom 2 floors of our house.  We need someone who can coordinate and design the renovation, which is mostly going to be taking down a few walls, adding a bathroom and closets and redoing the lighting.  Not sure if we need an architect, and have a budget of around 60k.  Would consider a design/build firm or a recommendation for a good designer who can work with a contractor (we already have a few recommendations but would love some more!).  Anyone who specializes in green/sustainable construction a plus. Thanks!

Environmental and Green Design February 8, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Looking for a possible buried oil tank

hi all, I am interested in a buying a house and upon inspection it was determined that there was a possibility of a buried oil tank.  The owner has no knowledge of this but has agreed to allow testing to determine whether any large metal structures are buried in the lawn.  Has anyone had experience with this?  Any recommendations of companies that would do this type of testing?

Environmental and Green Design January 12, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Heat Pump versus High Efficiency Boiler

I am evaluating HVAC options for a renovation of a 3 story plus basement frame house – looking at heat pump (air or geothermal) and high efficiency (energy star) boilers and also heat pump for hot water heater.  Can anyone share experience on heat pump technology?  Does it need to be supplemented with another heating source in coldest weather?  Can it cool effectively in summer or does it need to be supplemented with AC? 

Environmental and Green Design September 13, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Asbestos Inspector Needed

Can someone recommend an asbestos inspector to come to a buiding to certify there is no friable asbestos in the basement? Also wondering what the cost of this inspection should be? Thanks.

Environmental and Green Design July 29, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Kitchen Counters you love (not polished granite)?

We need to choose kitchen countertops for townhouse we are renovating. Budget is modest but we also want something durable/relatively easy to maintain. Aesthetically, we don’t really like speckled/shiny/super-veiny look (hence no polished granite), and we prefer a matte (honed) finish.  We like Pietra de Cordoza but are worried it might stain. Soapstone is another surface we’re considering. Caesarstone may be beyond our budget. Honed granite looks very pretty and I know granite is durable but online reviews I found for honed (not polished) granite were very negative. We are using Carrera marble in rental unit (since it’s relatively affordable/durable) but don’t love it for owners kitchen.  Hope someone out there has something they love that the can recommend (or warnings for things to definitely avoid!). Thanks!

Environmental and Green Design July 29, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Anyone know what is going on with the Gowanus Canal?

I am in contract on a home in the Gowanus and I really love the nabe. It’s got great bars, coffee shops and restaurants and I’ve spotted a few art galleries. The neighbors are friendly and the park is nearby. So far, so good.

I have been hearing that the city is planning on cleaning up the Gowanus Canal (presently the dirtiest body of water in the U.S) but I don’t know any details about it.

If anyone has the inside scoop, please keep me informed.



Viewing 15 topics - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)