Green Grows in Brooklyn: Part VI

The Natural Home Show House is becoming reality, and its Boerum Hill neighbors are taking notice


Artistic Rendering of the Natural Home Show Hose in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.

Illustration By Aeric Meredith-Goujon

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A year ago, we began chronicling construction of the Natural Home Show House, a former pharmacy and Laundromat in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, that will be transformed into two super-green townhomes. The project—also set to be the first American Lung Association Health House in New York—is progressing nicely.  

Ready to roof: The structure is framed and mostly closed, awaiting attention from the roofer, the HVAC installer, the plumber and the electrician.

Collaborative growth: Designers Erika Doering and Erika Hanson, who recently joined the team, are using their creative expertise to make the homes more efficient and functional. In addition, architect Tony Daniels and engineer Imtiaz Mulla are working to make the house comply fully with the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards.

To maximize the homes’ conformity to LEED, the team upgraded the mechanical design to operate more efficiently and bring in more filtered fresh air. The homes are on track to be the first LEED-H single-family townhouses in New York and the first LEED-H homes in Brooklyn.

Welcoming change: “One of the nice things about this building process is that we’ve remained open to evolution of the building practice and material choices,” says developer Rolf Grimsted of R&E Brooklyn. “From a management point of view, this has proved complicated, but it’s essential to maintaining the pioneering spirit with which we started. Our goal all along has been to establish a new, sustainable building practice.”

Catching the buzz: “Community support of this project has been tremendous, and our neighbors are happy with the progress,” Grimsted says. “We’re constantly getting calls and being stopped on the street as more people get interested in both the progress and the green aspect of the construction. There’s a groundswell of interest in this type of building.