Miami Green Homes


Voyage MIA article – meet Sebastian Eilert

Thank you to Voyage MIA for the feature of the day! Nice to meet you, too. 

http://voyagemia.com/interview/meet-sebastian-eilert-sebastian-eilert-architecture-south-dade-county/

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Green Roofing #1
October 2, 2017, 10:08 pm
Filed under: Building knowledge, Hot Topic, Landscaping

Green Roofing provides many benefits to the built and natural environment, as well as its inhabitants. The roof, a simple extension of the existing one, diverts waste from landfills by prolonging the life of all systems in the building as well as filters pollutants from storm water and the air.

With a larger startup cost, many are discouraged from converting. Yet over the past ten years, green roofs have spread to cities such as New York, Chicago, and Miami. Some remain private, only for service access, while there are others that are used as herb gardens, restaurant terraces, and public garden spaces. The larger corporate buildings as well as civic buildings are creating roof gardens, lending the space to employees as well as the public in some instances. But the green roof is also beneficial in residential and smaller scale applications. Not only is it a matter of energy efficiency, but it is also very pleasing to look at!

(EB)

Typical built-up Green Roof detail



What to do with a damaged wood fence from a Hurricane in Miami or South Florida.

A hurricane can leave much destruction in its wake, but even a small wind event may knock over some vegetation and fences.

Under the Florida Building code a permit is required to repair fences, so where to start? The good news is that after a strong wind event, such as Hurricane Irma, the governor has the ability to declare a state of emergency, as he did for Hurricane Irma. Besides federal aid, this status also allows municipalities to provide expedited permits for homeowners to get back to a normal stats of living.

Many municipalities accept a simplified permit application for simple items such as fences. Miami Dade has a standard detail that most municipalities will provide to homeowners to pull an “owner-builder” permit for minor repairs and replace missing sections of their standard wood fence.

 

wood fence

This detail is in compliance with the Florida building code and most contractors are familiar with this type of installation. In addition to the detail, you need a footprint of the home and boundary of the site, like an old survey. Mark or highlight the area of the fence to be replaced and provide the actual linear feet either as a side note or on a separate sheet. Make sure to reference the current building (as of this writing it the FBC 5th Edition) as the applicable reference code, again a simple note to be added to the plan.

Lastly some municipalities request an estimate of the cost of work. Get this from the contractor that is going to install the fence.

 

More damage than a wood fence? A permit will be required. Contact Sebastian Eilert Architecture to see how we can help. www.SebastianEilert.com 305.253.5786

 

 



Renovation and addition to the Siqueira residence in Olympia Heights.
September 26, 2017, 2:27 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

kitchen with center island and breakfat area

This 2000+ square foot home was recently completed. The original house had a main entrance that was underused and some overall small areas, a very dark kitchen and some bathrooms in dire need of an upgrade. The renovation and addition focused on upgrading the feel of the house and the overall flow of all spaces while integrating as many sustainable features as possible. Green building was an important aspect for the owner and sustainable choices were implemented in almost all facets of the project.

To start we evaluated the layout and enclosed the former front entrance. The old side entrance, primarily used to enter the home, was enlarged with a new foyer and entry focal feature. A free standing entry wall now invites into the home and sets the tone for a clean and light experience.

On the inside the kitchen was removed entirely and replaced with a light and open alternative complete with Center Island. The open layout now invites and connects the dining room area and the breakfast feature that is integrated into the island.  Appliances were selected to fit the need of the owner and reduce operating cost.

Next, the HVAC system was upgraded as well to further optimize energy use for the project. The entire ceiling was insulated with spray insulation ensuring a very tight seal and practically eliminate leakage; a great weatherization package.

The study, located slightly off to the side received a change in opening increasing the usable wall surface while illuminating the area naturally. We were also able to provide air conditioning to this Florida room, not previously serviced by AC.

With the renovation already under construction, it was decided to upgrade the roof to a metal roof option, yet another feature to help cool the house by design. Large existing trees remained on the site and new native and Xeriscaping landscaping was added by the owner. Water reduction is not just limited to the irrigation system and plant selection but also carried to the inside with dual flush toilets and low flow faucets.

Some of the original terrazzo flooring was salved and a new hard surface flooring was added. This easy to clean option is also a perfect choice for South Florida as it retains the cool air longer than most other flooring options.

Another highlight feature of the house is a 12’ sliding pocket door by PGT that brings the outside in. Aligned with an operable picture window combination to catch the natural breeze as it approaches the house, cross ventilation works perfectly in this project.

To start on your own sustainable renovation contact Sebastian Eilert Architecture.

www.SebastianEilert.com

786.556.3118

Sebastian@SebastianEilert.com

 

 

 



In Case of Irma…
September 6, 2017, 2:07 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Irma is currently a category 5 hurricane with the potential for catastrophic consequences.  It is critical to take precautions early on.  Preparation is key when it comes to weathering such a storm.  Have all emergency supplies ready.

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Quick Preparation Tips:

·         Stock up on water and non perishable food.

·         Refill any prescriptions and stock any necessary medical supplies.

·         Check / Test any emergency supplies you already have (batteries, flashlights, etc…), restock or purchase as necessary.

·         If you have a generator, check it is operational and you have all necessary components (gas, battery, cables, oil, etc…)

·         Stock up on pet supplies (food, water, kitty litter, medications, etc…)

·         Gas up vehicles.

·         Bring in outdoor furnishings, plants and decorations and any other items that can be picked up by the wind.

·         Take photos / scan important documents.

·         Prepare small evacuation kit if necessary ( change of clothes, cash, important documents, phone numbers, insurance records, etc…)

·         Get cash.

·         Share your emergency plan with family and friends.   

Additional Resources:

FEMA has a good simple list and tools to help:

www.Ready.gov

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Get a Plan! www.FLGetAPlan.com

We are here if you need us, don’t hesitate to contact us with questions regarding your home our business.  We can be reached at: www.SebastianEilert.com .

***Stay Safe***



Residential Energy Savings pyramid

Not sure where to start with energy updated for the home? Ready to install PV panels to get off-grid? …or anywhere in-between. This is a great tool to help make sense of where to start and how to prioritize energy related updates to the house. Look also for other posts on this site for solar panels, insulation and design considerations.

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Design highlights. The Bathroom:

Bathrooms. European design trends tell us that this space is more important than the kitchen when allocating space. The spa-life within one’s own four walls has an increased importance in home remodeling as well as new construction.

Basic function remains a budget favorite. Starting on the small or standard end of the spectrum, my personal preference is a 6×8 bathroom over a standard 5×8, which is also fine. This dimension results from a standard low tub of 60” x 30”. These tubs present the most cost efficient way to do a bathroom, with the tub starting at $250. These tubs are great for families with small children or to bathe small to mid size pets…but pretty much useless otherwise.

shower

On to the question then of tub versus shower. In lieu of the above mentioned builder special tub, most projects will opt for a nice size shower. Indeed a 30” by 60” shower is very generous, though a little deep. I like to go a little wider to at least 42” with a minimum depth of 48”. Access to the shower is another item to be considered. Building code requires that water from the shower remains within the shower boundary. To achieve this, most projects require a basic lip at the edge of the shower, typically 4” tall to step over. This lip will then also serve as the base for a glass enclosure, if chosen. The sleeker alternative to the lip edge is a recessed edge or sloped approach. The latter is a favorite for age in place solutions, as it allows easy access for a wheelchair, if necessary. Either of these 2 options must be considered during planning stages and do depend on the possibility of lowering the floor in the shower area.

tub

Back to the tub. In our practice the tub is a vanishing commodity, both in new construction and certainly in renovations. If a tub is requested and enough space can be allocated, free standing soaking tubs, over jetted or drop-in Jacuzzi tubs are preferred. These tubs can create a wonderful feature for any project and provide a sanctuary within the home. One last word on tubs: it remains a good idea to have at least one tub in the home for the above noted uses.

After selection of tub versus shower, the next item to consider is the toilet. In the standard size space, I prefer to locate it next to the tub or shower for the added feel of space. If space allows, a separate toilet room is a great feature for obvious sound and smell separation. The code required spacing for a toilet is 15” on center to each side and under ADA (Americans with Disability Act – while not required for residential projects, a good guideline for accessible living) requires 48” clear space in front. I prefer a 18” by 60” layout, which is a lot more comfortable.

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Finally, the sink and counter must be considered. The following items should be addressed: counter material (traditional marble or granite, quartz, composite, etc.), sink type (drop in, under mount, vessel or integrated), faucet location (on counter or out of wall), vanity design (floating, standard full height or counter only) and of course number of sinks. In a standard bathroom a single sink with a wall mount faucet on a standard cabinet is my preference; it optimizes use of the counter and storage under the sink. When space allows, 2 sinks facing each other create a great “his and hers” layout and the incorporated toilet room noted above likely gives more space to one side, creating a good amount of space to use as a make-up station or simple extra counter space.

I do like integrated sink designs for ease of maintenance, but any of the above selections will do – be mindful when selecting a vessel sink to lower the counter to accommodate proper height of the sink edge. Also be considerate of faucet selection; nothing worse than a faucet that is too short or too low to get your hands under.

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Two items are frequently missed when designing a bathroom. 1. A medicine cabinet for additional storage – preferred off to the side as not to become the main mirror, and 2. Lighting. While overhead lighting is great to illuminate the space, a light source from the front is preferred for make-up, shaving and other uses involving your face; a combination of both is my favorite.