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The Brooklyn Bowl takes on sustainability and green building in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, where it was possibly the first “green” bowling alley in the world. Inside a renovated 19th-century ironworks foundry, the North Brooklyn site has 23,000 square feet of space specifically designed for events, live music, film screenings, video performances, and - you guessed it - bowling. Located around the corner from the Brooklyn Brewery, the facility offers 16 bowling lanes, a stage for live performances, a café, two bars, and a green room. For energy efficiency, Brooklyn Bowl uses 100 percent wind-powered electricity and LED stage lights. Even their pinsetters for recoiling pins is a machine that has reduced energy use by 75 percent compared to traditional pinsetters. The Bowl has also eliminated the use of bottles and/or cans, as all drinks are on tap. Plus, the bars serve only local Brooklyn-brewed beers.
The open-plan space showcases a range of industrial pieces, and features sustainable materials: recycled tires cover the floor of the stage, glass from the Brooklyn Navy Yard is integrated into design accents, reclaimed floorboards are used in both bars, reclaimed cork tops the floors in the bowlers lounge, and FSC-certified chain-of-custody controlled wood is used throughout. Water usage will be minimal with urinals in the men’s room that use only a pint of water when flushed rather than a gallon.
Outside, there is ample space for bicycle parking and the Bowl has planted more than 15 trees in the vicinity.
For owners and founders Charley Ryan and Peter Shapiro environmental activism is nothing new. Together they operated the Wetlands jam band venue in Manhattan, which closed in 2001. Both have histories of environmental activism behind them. In the early ‘70s Ryan campaigned to save a pygmy forest in northern California from development — and won. Then in the ‘80s he lobbied against incinerators, and in the ’90s he swam around Manhattan to raise environmental awareness. In 2000, Shapiro founded, with his brother, GreenOrder, a consulting firm specializing in sustainable business. He also founded the Green Apple Music Festival, a musical celebration of Earth Day, a few years ago in Manhattan.
Brooklyn Bowl’s green efforts include:
• 100% Wind-powered electricity
• Forest Stewardship Counsel (FSC) Chain of Custody controlled wood
• Pin-spotters use 75 percent less energy than a typical pinsetter
• No bottles, no cans. All soft drinks and beers are on tap.
• Ten draught beers are all brewed locally in Brooklyn, New York.
• LED stage lights use 90 percent less energy than the typical draw
• Energy Star Certification wherever possible
• HVAC Johnson Controls are the most efficient units available
• HVAC also features CO2 sensors, variable frequency drive motors, air-side economizers.
• Four “Big Ass Fans” brand ten-foot fans to augment HVAC system
• 100 percent reclaimed cork floors in Bowler’s Lounge
• Stage floor is 100 percent recycled truck tires
• 30+ capacity bike racks
• 16 trees planted in and around property
• LEED-certified building