Bedford Green House Construction Update

Bedford Green House construction endured an unusually cold winter and a very hot summer, but the Hollister Construction team kept moving. Excavation is finished, and we are happily out of the ground! Provided by Hollister on behalf of the OxBlue Corporation, the image below shows the fifth floor concrete plank in place, with eight more floors to follow.

Bedford_Greenhouse-20180918-111343

IMG_20180815_095636881In the photo at right, note the large concrete box at the bottom of the pit. It isn’t a toy trunk or a sarcophagus, but rather a detention tank for stormwater, as required by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection.

The project is being designed to meet, if not exceed, LEED Gold standards. It includes a living green facade and a green wall in the lobby, but its crowning jewel and reason for its namesake is the rooftop greenhouse. For a full project description and more images, visit our website.

“The building contributes to the neighborhood, making it greener, healthier, and more connected,” Partner Andrew Knox told CityRealty.com.

Be sure to keep visiting our blog for more construction updates—or if you’re eager to follow the ongoing construction day to day, check out the contractor’s live cam here.

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ESKW/A Composts with the Bokashi Method

Promoting sustainability and specifying green products in buildings have become second nature to architects today. Every project is an opportunity to consider our impact on the environment, including our very own office operations.

Looking at how much food waste our sixteen-person firm generates, and looking to divert food waste away from a landfill, we sought an office-friendly way to compost our food waste. That’s when small-business owner Vandra Thorburn of the Vokashi Company came to us with the solution: fermentation NOT putrefaction, via the “bokashi method.”

Developed in Japan, the bokashi method uses a select group of microorganisms applied on a carrier such as wheat bran to quickly break down organic matter, including meat and cheese – typically “no-nos” in conventional composting. Composed of yeast-like bacteria, molasses and water, the bran ferments the food scraps anaerobically and so produces virtually no smells or mess. Vandra made an in-house visit to instruct the office on the process. (We initiated the Vokashi bucket with some banana and grapefruit peels.) Based on our office size, Vokashi provides us with two buckets for food scraps and the inoculated bran to sprinkle over each layer deposited. Here, we added the flowers to the bucket, alternating each layer with bran.

When we lift the lid off the bucket, we have the sweet smell of fermentation to contend with, instead of the smell of decay! A few here at the office have even started bringing in food scraps from home to contribute to the bright green compost buckets. For a small monthly fee, we are able to compost daily, including leftovers from Lunch-and-Learn presentations.

Once a month, a Vokashi representative comes to pick-up the buckets, either taking our organic matter to urban community gardens in New York City, or adding to their soil-amendment experiment at Marine Park Golf Course in Brooklyn. We’re very excited about this experiment, as Vokashi is mixing the bokashi-fermented matter together with sandy soil, and sawdust from local woodworking shops, thereby diverting more waste from the landfills and creating enriched soil. Vokashi sees a future in using their methods in larger bioremediation of urban sites, and ESKW/A is proud to contribute to such an innovative company.

If you’re interested in better disposing of your food waste, too, visit Vokashi here for more information.