We are excited to offer a virtual tour of the Net Zero Jones Beach Energy and Nature Center (JBENC). The JBENC, located at Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh, NY is the first interactive education center within the New York State Parks system. This unique environmental education center specifically addresses the role of human energy consumption in shaping the natural landscape.
The fun thing about sustainability is that it is real, and it is evident throughout NYC, sometimes right under your very nose! It is more obvious in recycling and composting centers, and centers of innovative manufacturing… and less so in subtle design elements like rain gardens, white painted roofs, and the architectural and engineering details that go into green building design. Though it is hard work to achieve requiring multidisciplinary collaboration, eventually you can see it in action.
The GreenHomeNYC Green Building Tours program is focused on bringing attention to the many examples of sustainability and sustainable design throughout our home city. Our team would love to meet everyone who shares this passion!
Interested in getting involved with demonstrating how sustainable design is used in practice throughout NYC? Come learn how!
Have location ideas for tours, or ideas on how to better serve the GreenHomeNYC community? Come share them with us!
Already a member of the team? Let’s catch up!
Can’t make it, but have ideas, thoughts, comments? Email us at tours[at]greenhomenyc.org.
Join us on February 26th at the Bright Power Lounge at 6:30, and get to know all the (truly) amazing people on the GreenHomeNYC Green Building Tours team!
Once you’ve gotten use out of an item and decide to recycle it, you might conclude that it has become worthless. In fact, the opposite is true; when you recycle an item in NYC, it will participate in a vast economy of disposal and repurposing. The NYC Department of Sanitation brings most of it to the SIMS recycling center, a facility operating under a private-public partnership between the SIMS corporation and NYC. The partnership involves a pricing scheme in which the city pays SIMS a nominal recycling fee for every bale absorbed by the facility, but this price drops or may even reverse into a payment to the city based on the revenue SIMS gets, converting the recyclables into useful raw materials.
By Jonathan Oriondo
On August 15th, GreenHomeNYC hosted a tour of the East River Compost Yard in Manhattan, where participants learned what it takes to compost on a community-wide scale. Lia Lucero, the outreach coordinator for NYC Compost Project, personally guided us throughout the site.
At first glance it was not obvious that this facility’s main goal was community education. Right on the river, in the middle of a park, this place was huge! There were piles of compost at various stages of the digestion process. Most of the facility was outdoors with a small administrative building towards the road, and it was all surrounded by a formidable fence. It was very impressive—even the smell. (more…)
Join GreenHomeNYC as we tour one of New York City’s oldest community composting sites. The Lower East Side Ecology Center, in partnership with the NYC Compost Project, diverts over 450 tons of food scraps from landfills annually. Get a first hand look at how your banana peels and other food scraps are turned into nutrient-rich compost and how compost helps to rebuild NYC’s soil health.
The tour will be at the East River Park Compost Yard, a one-acre compost facility located within the beautiful 57-acre East River Park. In 1998 the Lower Ecology Center moved its composting operation from a community garden space in the Lower East Side and made a home in East River Park. As one of Manhattan’s largest composting facilities, the site takes in nearly one million pounds of organic waste each year with materials coming from local food scrap drop-off sites, woodshops, and chipped park waste. As part of the NYC Compost Project, this site plays an important role in helping NYC reach its zero-waste goals.
Want to learn more about recycling? Join us at our next Forums event on August 21. Recycling Today: How It Works and What You Can Do to Improve It. Meet two of our best urban recycling leaders so you can become a better leader of the NYC and world recycling community.
Join us on Thursday, April 25th for special tour of Pvilion – A solar products manufacturing company.
Continue to celebrate Earth Day activities with GreenHomeNYC by learning how Pvilion’s innovative designs are transforming the solar industry via the intersection of fabric and renewable energy.
Be part of a unique opportunity to visit Pvilion’s offices and manufacturing facilities right here in the heart of DUMBO, Brooklyn. This company prides itself on taking into account the entire production process from invention to fabrication to installation in efforts to minimize waste while producing a sustainable end-product
Pvilion’s innovative solar powered fabric designs are at the forefront of lightweight, sustainable architecture. Because their products provide more than just solar electricity – they serve as a landmark beacon for design-oriented companies and institutions – Pvilion often works with forward-thinking and environmentally-conscious groups who are trying to extend their sustainability initiatives into the realm of celebrated public spaces and products.
Learn about how Pvilion, integrates solar cells with flexible materials, building facades, canopies and consumer products that produce energy. Their technology works to generate electricity with fabrics, plastics, composites, and metals.
As the region observes the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, GreenHomeNYC’s November tour will explore the topic of building resilience. The tour will feature two buildings on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, 334 East 8th Street and 327 East 8th Street, both of which were severely damaged by the storm. The tour will be led by Henry Gifford of Chris Benedict, R.A., whose work on resilient design has been featured in the New York Times, and who was directly involved in salvaging the buildings.
Gifford will speak about the specific steps he took to rehabilitate the sites as well as discuss the greater implications for resilient building design. At 334 East 8th Street, guests will be able to visit the boiler room that was moved from the basement to the roof, learn about the change from direct electrical metering to master/submetering, and view the improvements in sewage management. At 327 East 8th Street, Gifford will discuss the process of moving the direct electric meters upstairs.
Don’t miss this great opportunity to get a firsthand look at the nuts and bolts of building resilience!
Join GreenHomeNYC for a insider tour of Capsys‘ modular construction factory here in NYC on Thursday, February 11th at 12:45pm!
Capsys is a premier modular manufacturer specializing in non-combustible buildings. Capsys modular units are an efficient and cost effective way to construct almost any kind of residence including student housing, hotels, townhouses, apartment buildings, affordable housing, supportive housing, and assisted living facilities. Capsys has a strong focus on sustainability with features to reduce the heat island effect and water use, to optimize energy consumption, and much more.
Join GreenHomeNYC for a special tour of the green roof of New York City’s Jacob Javits Center on Friday, October 23rd at 2pm
The Jacob Javits Convention Center is home to the second largest green roof on a single, free-standing building in the U.S. and the largest in NYC! The green roof was completed in October 2014 and is 297,000 sqft. It prevents approximately 6.8 million gallons of stormwater run-off annually. The roof features 14 different varieties of Sedum plants grown on a regional production farm in upstate New York. Read more about the roof from the designers.
By Brigitta Berze
There was much excitement buzzing in Prospect Park, Brooklyn on the eve of August 5th, 2015 as Brooklyn’s Deputy Borough President, Diana Reyna, presented citations to the teams involved in the completion of the first certified net zero capable passive house in NYC. Paul Castrucci , the architect for this building, along with developer Further, Inc., and Aeon Solar were honored for their achievement.
R-951 Residence is made up of three duplex 1,500 square feet condominiums that which have unique outdoor spaces and beautiful interior design, as well as, sustainable function. The building does not require fossil fuel, and natural gas to heat, cool, or light the space. The living units have their own supply of 4kW Solar Photovoltaic systems on the rooftop that acts as shading for the roof accessible areas. This feature makes it possible for the on-site panels to generate enough energy to power each unit ‘over the course of a year’, as promoted per design.
The high performance building envelope is the most important feature of this and any passive house. The walls are insulated to R-40, the windows and doors are ‘tilt and turn’ R-9 triple glazed. The envelope is sealed to 0.6 air changes per hour at 50 pascals pressure, which also creates a soundproof effect for a quiet indoor environment. Passive design includes large south-facing windows to maximize winter solar heat gain, and the metal accordion style screens provide shade during the summer season.
Sample of wall construction. Insulated concrete form (ICF) with additional exterior rigid board insulation for R-40 value.
Some of the most impressive features of the house are the mechanical systems, where the magic truly happens. Ventilation is provided by an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) that recovers 94% of energy from air exiting the building. The Zehnder ERV filters indoor air for pollen and particulates, providing fresh air while minimize energy loss and reducing the need for heating and cooling equipment. Each unit is heated and cooled by electric heat pumps with a SEER rating of 16.5. Electric heat pumps are also used for domestic hot water production and also can cool indoor air. The ground unit has a spacious, green backyard, which has a 1,200 gallon irrigation rainwater harvesting system.
We would like to thank Paul Castrucci, Further, Inc. and Aeon Solar for allowing us to see R-951 Residence firsthand, and thank you to everyone who came out to support the progress of green buildings in NYC.