Mother Earth Living

Green Grows in Brooklyn: Part XI

The Natural Home Show House in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, starts to look like…a house!
By Elizabeth Kuster
The Natural Home Show House in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, starts to look like…a house!
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The terrace on the second floor of the Nevins Street residence is ready for pavers.

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Over the summer, builders made huge strides in the construction of the Natural Home Show House in Brooklyn’s Boerum Hill neighborhood. Here’s what’s been happening:

■ All 16-gauge metal studs and tracks that will support the interior walls are in. As a result, it’s now possible to picture the various rooms for the first time.
■ Most of the Andersen KML windows have been installed and sealed with caulk.
■ The rest of the windows have been ordered and will be installed soon.
■ Much of the plumbing—including drains and hot- and cold-water systems—is in place. Once the bathtub, faucet and appliance choices have been finalized, the plumbing can be completed.
■ Most of the ventilation and air conditioning ducts have been installed.
■ All metal stairs and railings have been ordered; once they arrive and the mock-ups are completed and approved, they’ll be installed.

Pretty on the Outside

Meanwhile, the site’s exterior has undergone an amazing transformation in the past several weeks. Among the accomplishments:

■ The structure’s original brick shell has been completely rebuilt and repointed using a combination of used bricks and new bricks that match the originals.
■ The second- and third-floor terraces are ready for pavers. (Roofers used a Barrett Company roofing membrane as the final layer.)
■ Tapered insulation has been laid on the roof.
■ The building’s façade was covered with a layer of Styrofoam panels, which will effectively seal the building and improve energy efficiency by preventing heat from escaping.
■ The exterior was wrapped with a waterproofing layer of Grace Construction Products’ Perm-A-Barrier Wall Flashing, which is designed to collect water that enters the wall cavities and direct it outside through the wall’s weep system.
■ Masons have begun laying the limestone blocks from Indiana limestone that will cover the structure’s exterior. (They’ll be using 2,100 square feet of them!)

Good Neighbors

Because being sensitive to the environment is what this project is all about, Show House work crews are going above the call of duty to reduce debris and noise pollution. A few examples:

■ Once a piece of wood or metal has fulfilled its original use, it’s put to a new use whenever possible. Crews break it up and use it as a subfloor, a spacer or as part of a “new” temporary fence or staircase.
■ Construction supervisor David Moreno has exchanged phone numbers with all of the tenants and/or owners of the adjoining buildings. He knows everyone’s schedules and calls to warn them whenever loud work is on tap. 

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