Although BKLYN Designs is primarily a furniture-and-accessories kind of affair, it was cool to see Garrison Architects, an architecture firm that’s recently been working wonders with green modular design, among this year’s exhibitors. It was especially intriguing to me since a major project in the pipeline (due to be completed late this summer) for GA is ‘Red Hook Green.’ The location of this sustainable, modular manse? Only a couple blocks away from where I live in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn.


This is the second time in a matter of weeks that I’ve caught wind of interesting, eco-minded building/remodeling projects coming to life in my ‘hood, the first being Conover Cottages, a Small House Movement-inspired design contest/restoration project. The 4,000-square foot Red Hook Green live/work space is remarkable in the fact that it will be New York’s very first zero-energy building (ZEB), defined by the US Department of Energy as being “a residential or commercial building with greatly reduced energy needs through efficiency gains such that the balance of energy needs can be supplied by renewable technologies.”


Cool stuff. Among the notable features of Red Hook Green will be plenty of outdoor green space, a ground level allocated for garages/studios/workshops, solar-powered vehicle charging stations, and bifacial solar panels that are able to capture ambient and scattered sunlight unlike single-sided panels. The rooftop solar panels will provide the building with all of its energy needs making it grid neutral. The structure itself, with the stacked prefab modules and warehouse-y brick base, is meant to blend seamlessly into “residustrial” Red Hook, a waterfront neighborhood long defined by stacked shipping containers and brick, Civil War-era warehouses. Okay, maybe it's not the prettiest thing but in terms of aesthetics, Red Hook Green certainly isn't disruptive. 

Here's what developer Jay Amato has to say about the project in a press release:  


I’m thrilled that Red Hook Green will become a very visible symbol of the continuing reinvention of one of New York City’s oldest neighborhoods. But I’m even more excited that I could practically illustrate the movement towards zero-energy building to the world’s greatest city. Bringing to bear exciting new building materials, improved wind and solar technologies and more energy-efficient HVAC and home appliances, as well as state of the art sustainability strategies, Redhook Green will be a powerful answer to the question of what urban centers can do to reduce our dependency on foreign oil via renewable resources and to significantly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.


I'll keep you posted as things (hopefully) move along with Red Hook Green. And welcome to the 'hood! 




Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

A big green zero comes to Brooklyn
Red Hook Green, New York's first sustainable zero-energy building (ZEB), is under construction just blocks away from this eco-blogger's own home.