Moving the needle: toward a more holistic and ethical fashion industry

October 19, 2018 by  
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A Q&A with Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator founder, Debera Johnson, on accelerating sustainable and digital technology in apparel production.

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Moving the needle: toward a more holistic and ethical fashion industry

3 takeaways from Google’s search for ‘carbon-free’ energy

October 19, 2018 by  
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There’s incidentally some irony in corporate renewable energy procurement.

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3 takeaways from Google’s search for ‘carbon-free’ energy

Organic farming with gene editing: an oxymoron or a tool for sustainable agriculture?

October 19, 2018 by  
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Many farmers cultivating organic crops believe that genetically modified crops pose threats to human health. It’s not that simple.

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Organic farming with gene editing: an oxymoron or a tool for sustainable agriculture?

Old Victorian home in Brooklyn gets incredible Passive House retrofit

August 1, 2018 by  
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Retrofitting an old house into a Passive House is a challenging feat to say the least, but when done right, it can be amazing. When Bo and Itzy decided to turn their old Victorian home in Brooklyn into a passive home, they took on the ambitious project with help from NYC-based firm  ZH Architects . The result is  powerhouse of energy-efficiency, redesigned and revamped for healthy living. Although the number of new passive home projects continues to grow, retrofitting old structures to fit Passive House requirements is still a massive undertaking rife with complications. In an interview with the architects, Bo explained that one of the biggest hurdles of their home renovation was making the space airtight. Related: The United States’ first Passive Plus House generates nearly all the energy it needs “Most passive houses have been either newly built or brownstone/townhouse conversions,” Bo said. “It’s a lot easier to get this right when dealing with a rectangular box or only two exposed walls with a flat roof. With an old Victorian home like ours, there are nooks and crannies everywhere. The hardest part is really getting the house airtight, so you need to work both from the inside and the out taking great care that you don’t have any air infiltration or gaps. We used an Intello vapor barrier on the inside of the attic and a Zip System on the exterior.” The home currently has an air tightness of about 0.29 ACH (air changes per hour) which, according to the architects, is a world record for a retro-fit building. Insulation was a big factor in creating an energy-efficient living space. The architects wrapped the home in extra layers of thick, eco-friendly insulation and installed high-performance windows to create a sealed envelope. Despite New York’s bitterly cold winters and severe summer heat, the interior will sustain a comfortable temperature throughout the year. To complement this level of comfort, the interior design is light and airy, with white walls and hardwood flooring to create an inviting space. For Bo and Itzy, having a passive home was not only about monetary and energy savings , but also to focus on creating a healthy living atmosphere. Along with the home’s many efficient features, the renovation avoided all VOC paints and harmful chemicals. Instead of using polyurethane for the flooring, they went with a natural Scandinavian lye treatment which includes using a natural mixture of oil and soap. The home was also installed with Energy Star-rated appliances, solar roof tiles  and LED lighting . Of course, the process did mean making quite a few tough decisions about the home’s original features. For Itzy, the idea of getting rid of the large chimney was daunting, but by doing so, they were able to create an extra room in the attic. As another perk, they were able to install a wine cellar in the basement that uses an innovative concept for cooling. The heat pump water heater in the basement, which draws in warm air and blows out cool air, was redesigned to blow that cooler air into the wine cellar to keep the bottles cool. With this Passive House project complete, the residents and the architects hope to inspire others to take the time to retrofit old buildings for energy efficiency. + ZH Architects Images via ZH Architects

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Old Victorian home in Brooklyn gets incredible Passive House retrofit

Big corporate and civic fleet buyers push for more EV choices

July 12, 2018 by  
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An airy, brick-walled space, next to a Formula E race track, set the scene for a campaign kickoff Tuesday in Brooklyn, New York, intended to promote zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) as a way to fight climate change at a time when the federal government wants to relax rules to limit tailpipe emissions.

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Big corporate and civic fleet buyers push for more EV choices

Giant "Lily Pads" will capture stormwater at Brooklyn’s largest public-housing complex

March 29, 2017 by  
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When Hurricane Sandy made landfall in October 2012, the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook didn’t stand a chance. Surrounded by the waters of the  Gowanus Canal , Upper New York Bay, and Buttermilk Channel, the coastal community was ripped apart by the tidal surge. More than four years on, Red Hook is slowly but surely returning to form. New development is under way, and Red Hook Houses , Brooklyn’s largest public housing complex, is getting a new, more resilient makeover complete with giant, green-roofed “Lily Pads” that will capture stormwater and keep it from overflowing the city’s sewage system. To help it weather the brunt of Mother Nature’s wrath, if and when she decided to call again, the New York City Housing Authority commissioned Kohn Pedersen Fox and landscape architecture firm OLIN to devise a “resiliency and renewal program.” Related: New renderings reveal resilient and revitalizing Red Hook waterfront creative complex After extensive research, including community surveys and workshops, KPF is proposing to build 14 “utility pods”—all above ground—to not only deliver heat and electricity to each of the 28 buildings but also to provide a space where residents can convene. There will also be a “Lily Pad” scheme: permanent flood barriers in the form of raised earth in the middle of internal courtyards. For extra security, Red Hook Houses will get an active flood wall bolstered with passive barriers. “These elements transform the experience of residents and guests by providing vibrant, social spaces in conjunction with the area’s infrastructural needs,” KPF wrote in a press release . Related: Red Hook Housing Project’s new urban farm grows fresh produce and jobs for the community And KPF and OLIN’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. The New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects has named NYCHA Red Hook Houses one of its 2017 Design Awards winners . You’ll be able to view the project, and the other winning designs, at an exhibition at the Center for Architecture in Manhattan from April 21 through June 20. + Kohn Pedersen Fox Via the Architect’s Newspaper

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Giant "Lily Pads" will capture stormwater at Brooklyn’s largest public-housing complex

Getting Schooled In Recycling

February 9, 2016 by  
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There’s no such thing as recycling school, but one recycling center in Brooklyn, N.Y., comes pretty close. Situated on a pier in the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, Sims Municipal Recycling’s 11-acre Sunset Park materials recovery facility…

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Getting Schooled In Recycling

VIDEO: 3D Brooklyn transforms recycled potato chip bags into 3D printer filament

December 30, 2015 by  
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Have you ever wondered what happens when you recycle a potato chip bag? That bag could be turned into the next 3D-printed trinket. New York-based 3D Brooklyn has teamed up with TerraCycle to transform recycled potato chip bags into 3D printer filament —an excellent step in the right direction to slowing the world’s massive waste issue. The innovative company has also begun selling their mix of 80% recycled polypropylene / 20% recycled polyethylene online. Video produced by Mark Andrew Boyle for Mashable . + 3D Brooklyn

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VIDEO: 3D Brooklyn transforms recycled potato chip bags into 3D printer filament

Win this limited edition Positive Impact Awards scarf and help advance sustainability in the fashion industry

November 7, 2015 by  
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The Pratt Institute’s Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator is hosting its inaugural Positive Impact Awards as a part of the institute’s first anniversary celebration. Our own Jasmin Malik Chua is nominated for helping to advance sustainability in the fashion industry and you are invited to stop by and celebrate. Yu can also win a gorgeous limited-edition alpaca-and-merino-wool scarf that will be created on-site. READ MORE >

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Win this limited edition Positive Impact Awards scarf and help advance sustainability in the fashion industry

Couple uses ladders to navigate their Tokyo ‘Ninja’ house

November 7, 2015 by  
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Couple uses ladders to navigate their Tokyo ‘Ninja’ house

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