Denmark: A Worldwide Leader in Sustainable Living Practices

Although New York City is my home and there is no place I would rather be, I am proud of the sustainable living practices that come out of my home country.  Denmark has a long history of using design to improve solutions and society. Sustainability and environmental responsibility are a priority for an increasing number of Danish designers, making Denmark the epicenter of the growing trend in sustainable design. Here are some designers who work to create aesthetically pleasing, high-end, and sustainable pieces: Troels Grum-Schwensen Furniture Designer Troels Grum-Schwensen established […]

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NYC Passive House Projects

It’s great to see how much the Passive House movement is picking up momentum throughout NYC and the world. As New York City looks to reduce 80% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and affordable housing in the city becomes increasingly scarce, more developers are turning to Passive House building methods in order to tackle these problems. Developed by the Passive House Institute (PHI) in Germany, the Passive House is a building standard that minimizes the need for heating and cooling through cost-effective measures such as insulation and heat recovery – also known […]

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New York City’s Sustainable Furniture Makers

When buying furniture, it’s easy to consider the look, feel, and function of a piece. For the environmentally-conscious, however, sustainability is an equally important factor.  When I am not purchasing second hand or antique furniture because of their higher quality and sustainability factors, I always ensure that the businesses I purchase from maintain sustainable building and trade practices.  It should be no surprise that New York City has some of the most innovative furniture designers whose practices are good from an economic, ethical, and environmental standpoint.  Here’s a look at some […]

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The Table That Could Replace Your Air Conditioner, from ZeroEnergyFurniture

Design team Raphaël Ménard and Jean-Sébastien Lagrange have taken on the task of addressing energy efficiency and climate control issues through furniture, with a program they call ZeroEnergyFurniture. Ménard, an architect and engineer who founded Elioth, and Lagrange, a designer and graduate of the Ecole Boulle as well as ENSCI / Les Ateliers, have designed a table made from materials which could cut air conditioning bills by 30% and heating costs by 60%. The Climactic Table is made with a wax-like substance which absorbs heat when the room temperature reaches […]

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COSMO, The Winning Design for the 2015 Young Architects Program

Every year, the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 host the Young Architects Program, an annual competition that gives emerging architects the opportunity to build projects conceived for MoMA PS1’s courtyard. The 2015 winner, Andrés Jaque/Office for Political Innovation, has designed a movable structure which will purify 3,000 gallons of water, causing its stretched-out plastic mesh to glow. The project, titled COSMO, opens later this month and will serve as a backdrop for MoMA PS1’s popular music concert series, Warm Up. Established in 2000, the YAP was designed to solidify […]

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Hamburg, Germany Bunker to Convert Roof to Greenspace

Image of hilldegarden on Bo Poulsen Blog

An exciting project in Hamburg, Germany is slated to provide much-needed greenspace and stormwater drainage for the city later this year, converting nearly 60,000 square feet of roof into greenspace. The Hilldegarden project will completely remodel a former bunker in the St. Pauli neighborhood of Hamburg, creating an event space with a capacity of 1000 seats along with artist hotels, studios, and rehearsal spaces for musicians. The event space will be available for musical performances, film screenings, plays, district meetings, and a variety of other uses. Of the 8000 square […]

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The World’s First 100% Bioplastics Chair, from Basque Furniture Cooperative, Alki

The Basque furniture cooperative Alki has brought us the first chair to be manufactured entirely of bioplastic, which is 100% biodegradable. The Kuskoa Bi, designed by Jean Louis Iratzoki, is molded to envelop the sitter for maximum comfort and support, and is made from a material known as “bioplastic,” which comes from plant-based renewable resources like beets, corn, and sugarcane. Unlike polluting, petroleum-based plastics, bioplastic can be recycled or composted and its production creates comparatively less greenhouse gas emissions. The wooden base is made from oak that is sourced from […]

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NYCxDESIGN 2015: What to Look Out For

NYCxDESIGN, New York City’s official citywide celebration of design, is returning for its third year from May 8 – 19. The multifaceted programming comprises installations, talks, trade shows and open studios staged across all five boroughs. Last year’s celebration featured over 200 events by 162 organizers at 181 venues and included topics from graphic design to architecture, technology and urban design to fashion and product design, interiors to landscape, furniture to design thinking, and more. Most events are free and open to the public, with some ticketed events managed by […]

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Prefabricated Homes – The Way of the Future, Even for Skyscrapers

Prefabricated homes have been popular in the United States since the early 1900s. A new generation of homes are now coming online in the past decade. They’re architecturally well designed, they’re sexy and they’re green. They’re NOT your double wide trailers of years past! With modules made in a factory and assembled onsite, prefab homes are cost efficient and can be built much faster than standard site-built homes.  They are not exposed to the elements and skilled craftsman have much more oversight and quality control options. They can take on any […]

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Tesla Unveils Powerwall Home Battery

I have been watching Elon Musk and Tesla for years and I feel truly optimistic about how Tesla and Solar City will change the world of energy as we know it.  Yesterday was the long awaited unveiling of the Tesla Powerwall in an event powered completely by solar-charged batteries. I just ordered mine for my Ditmas Park Passive house. Costs for the Powerwall came in much lower than experts predicted: prices range between $3000 (7 kWh) – $3500 (10 kWh).  The home battery can either be connected to solar panels or connected to the grid.  If connected […]

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Q&A with Oisín Clancy, CEO of SMART ROOF, A NYC-based Renewable Energy & Sustainable Living Company

Oisin Clancy interview with Bo Poulsen Sustainable Living

Oisín Clancy is the CEO of SMART ROOF LLC, a company comprised of leading engineers, designers, and fabricators whose mission is to create sustainable, profitable, and beautiful NYC rooftops through the integration of sun, wind, and water elements with landscape, environment, and wired technologies. I caught up with Oisín for drinks at Felix to learn more about his background, his company, and his vision for the future (hint: he wants NYC to be known as the Big Green Apple). BP: Please tell us a little bit about yourself and how you […]

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Green Roofs, a Growing NYC Trend

Shortly after Con Edison installed its first green roof atop its training center in Long Island City in 2008, New York State’s tax abatement program was started to encourage New Yorkers to follow suit. With an estimated 1.6 billion square feet of rooftops, New York City has plenty of available space for these rooftop gardens. The city just announce a $3m green roof initiative for Brooklyn. Urban farming in New York is really starting to take off and it won’t be long before many of us will be able to get […]

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Industry City, One of my Favorite Brooklyn Projects, Releases its Redevelopment Plan

One of my favorite new projects is Brooklyn’s Industry City.  The redevelopment plan has finally been released and it includes the creation of 5,800 jobs (in addition to the 7,500 jobs created in recent years), partnerships with academic and research institutions, and improvements to transportation infrastructure within and surrounding the development. The run-down manufacturing site will be transformed into a space that combines industry with retail space, academic partnerships, innovative startups, and a hotel. Plans also include a food concourse with on-site producers, and an event program promoting NYC-area artists, businesses, and organizations. […]

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Zaha Hadid’s First Residential Project in New York City / 520 West 28th Street

Zaha Hadid’s first residential project in New York City, 520 West 28th Street, has been long awaited by fans of Hadid’s work, including myself. The Iraqi-British architect was the first woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004, and has designed neo-futuristic buildings around the world such as the MAXXI in Italy and the Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Center in the United Arab Emirates. She has also designed one of the five stadiums that will host the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Her artistic yet functional design will be […]

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Houseboats in New York City and Beyond

Growing up in places like Amsterdam, The Hague, Paris and Hamburg, I’ve always had a fascination for Houseboats. Not only can they be incredibly designed homes, but the nomadic side of me appeals to the possibility of easily untethering and floating away to parts unknown.   New York City has one of the highest costs of living in the world.  However, for the approximately 50 households calling a houseboat moored at the 79th Street Boat Basin “home,” the price of a slip costs only $500 per month on average. Just like […]

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