I’m fascinated with the idea of renovating ‘green’ in an urban environment. I’ve been frustrated on many projects where perfectly good millwork, materials, and appliances was sent with the trash and debris after the demolition stage of a renovation. Fortunately, businesses and organizations such as Build It Green NYC and Green Demolitions now exist to salvage perfectly good building materials out of the waste stream and offer them for reuse in budget renovation and remodeling projects along with surplus goods. Everything from panel doors to high end refrigerators, window shutters to reclaimed lumber, kitchen cabinet sets to salvaged flooring can be found and used in high-quality home renovation projects. If you’re preparing for your own renovation project, it’s worth having a conversation with your design or construction professional about the possibility of salvaging items for reuse or resale.
Eco Brooklyn Inc. is an innovative green building company focused on turning New York green through low resource material usage and energy efficient construction. They offer a full range of services from design to construction and specialize in what they call the “green aesthetic” or Wabi-Sabi design, which incorporates the use of natural materials, like wood and clay, and provides a home that is soothing and invigorating. In addition to completing townhouse renovations for clients, Eco Brooklyn also invests in houses and “greens” them. These houses are used as New York community outreach platforms to help train local workers and educate the community in good green building techniques.
Dwell Magazine put together a great video series on a green townhouse renovation project in Harlem. “In this video series, Dwell follows a New York couple with a passion for building green through the challenges—and triumphs—of renovation, from finding the design-build team to finalizing the design”