Miami Green Homes


Florida’s Place in Smart Design and Sustainable Architecture 

Sustainable “green” building and the integration of smart designs into architecture and homes have both gained momentum since the creation of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification in the early 1990s

Globally, there are more than 500,000 LEED-certified residential homes, including single-family, multifamily and affordable housing units. Out of these, 400,000 are located in the USA, showing the importance of the nation’s efforts to lead the world’s sustainable architecture with residential design and new builds. 

In 2020 alone, over 24,000 residential units and 4,700 commercial projects were given LEED certification globally, with over 1,100 of those buildings being constructed in the USA. This trend of combining smart design into new builds and homes also continues to grow in Miami, Orlando, Tampa and throughout North, Central and South Florida.

The LEED Rating System 

At its core, the LEED rating system encourages architects and builders to use sustainable building materials and smart designs in new builds that protect the environment while improving the lives of people who use these buildings. 

LEED-certified homes and buildings might focus on micro-living, use less water and electricity, have a lower carbon footprint, be made from sustainable materials and be designed for better accessibility for people with disabilities. The overarching goal of LEED certification is to create spaces that support health and wellbeing. 

Buildings awarded LEED certification are designed to: 

  • Reduce the amount of waste associated with the building.
  • Lower the building’s overall costs.
  • Conserve water and energy.
  • Reduce harmful emissions.

The Top States for LEED-Certified Buildings 

According to the USGBC (US Green Building Council), Florida has done well in supporting LEED construction projects all over the state, from North to South Florida. In 2018, Florida had the eighth-highest number of LEED-certified buildings based on square footage.

California took first place for that year with a total of 768,940,808 square feet, while Florida had 154,686,673 square feet. The following year, Florida fell off the LEED Top 10 list for square footage. However, by 2020, the state had stayed in the top 10 at number four for the total number of LEED credential holders, behind California, New York and Texas. These talented professionals of Florida include some of the best builders, designers and architects around. 

Having a large pool of industry professionals in the state who are maintaining their LEED certifications gives hope for the future of sustainable architecture, residential design and green new builds in Florida. It also puts the right professionals within arm’s reach of any local Floridians considering new residential builds or micro-living and who want to combine smart design and sustainable architecture into future homes and residential designs. 

LEED Projects in Florida 

Even though Florida has fallen off the USGBC Top 10 list in recent years, there are still some inspiring projects and homes with smart design in mind that have been constructed recently. The cities of TallahasseeOrlando and Tampa have each been awarded Gold LEED certification, as well as Miami Beach in South Florida in July 2021. This certification highlights each city’s focus on combining sustainability, resilience and inclusion into key aspects of city planning, housing, transportation and workforce development. 

Two of the great residential projects in South Florida include: 

•            Live Oak House in St. Augustine

This residential design in St. Augustine received Platinum LEED certification in 2017 thanks to its energy-efficient smart design principles. The architect of this house designed it for improved airflow in a North/South direction to naturally combat hot temperatures, while making it out of locally-sourced materials. The architect of this residential property also included passive solar lighting and low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, adhesives and sealants. Live Oak House has since been awarded the Florida Water Star Gold certificate for its conservative water consumption. 

•            GaiaMa Residence in Biscayne Park, Miami, South Florida

The GaiaMa Residence is one of the creations of South Florida architect Sebastian Eilert. This residential building in Miami has been awarded LEED Platinum certification, the highest of all LEED ratings. This is thanks to the incorporation of micro-living with smart design, which maximizes space and energy efficiency. Its ICF (Insulating Concrete Walls) and insuldeck roofing provide enhanced insulation, resulting in a -4 HERS rating, which proves this home is four percent more efficient than a net-zero home.

The Benefits of Green Building and Sustainable Architecture 

According to the Environment and Energy Study Institute (EESI), homes and other new builds account for around 40 percent of global energy-related CO2, highlighting the importance of integrating sustainable practices into the industry. 

Keeping this fact in mind, the USGBC has outlined some of the core benefits of green building that don’t only focus on reducing carbon footprints. They include: 

  • Constructing buildings that are profitable, cost-effective and good for the economy on a local and national level.
  • Prioritizing people’s health and wellbeing by improving indoor air and water quality and encouraging collaboration between residents and property owners to meet residents’ needs.
  • Providing an environmental solution that reduces carbon, water and energy waste while producing less waste during construction and through the life of the building.

As the world moves into the future, Florida continues to make strides in sustainable architecture and design that shape how entire cities in the state are planned. As a member of the USGBC, Sebastian Eilert Architecture is one of the industry-leading companies bringing about this sustainable change to South Florida’s architecture and design industry.  

To get one of South Florida’s most experienced sustainable architects working on your next project, click here to visit Eilert’s website and explore his previous projects in and around the Miami area and throughout the state.



World’s First 3D-Printed House Made Of Local Raw Earth – And it Closes the Roof With a Dome

A Bologna-based architecture firm has used clay and 3D printers to create sustainable domed housing with little waste.
— Read on www.goodnewsnetwork.org/tecla-sustainable-3d-printed-houses-from-cucinella-architects/



Wallpaper is Back: Here are the Top 7 Ways to Style this Bold Interior Trend in your Space

Wallpaper has a surprisingly long and storied history in interior design. Its invention is credited to the Chinese less than 100 years after paper itself was invented. The style came to Europe via the Silk Road and saw changes in production and design as advances in block printing and other technologies allowed for more widespread use.

Since then, wallpaper has seen popularity in waves and although it has fallen out of favor at times, one thing is for sure – every time wallpaper comes back into fashion, it comes full force. Most recently, wall coverings, in general, had seen dwindling sales as an obsession with minimalism gripped interior design and architecture towards the latter half of the 20th century. Now, however, wallpaper is all the rage again and advances in the field mean that we can do more with wallpaper than ever before. That means that current trends in wall coverings are all about making bold choices.

Here are seven trends for 2022 that are bringing back wallpaper in a big way.

Go Wild

More than ever, people are ready to bring a bit of the outside in. Whether it’s grand tropical foliage or a jungle scene, this trend is anything but meek. For 2022, it’s about deep greens, light neutrals, and moody, muted tones and with a focus on natural materials.

Designers are taking it to the next level with patterns and vintage-style illustrations that transport us back to a wilder time. Expect to see birds, tigers, and elephants with or without their lush jungle backdrop.

Texture

In this most recent iteration of the wallpaper trend, we’ve seen a much greater variety of designs than ever before. Another factor driving the variety in this trend is texture. Whether it’s grasscloth, cork wallpaper, silk, or flock, the right tactile texture can elevate a design and bring a room to life.

Graphic Prints

One of the bolder trends for 2022, graphic prints are being used in a variety of ways and in some spaces that might seem surprising. A wide range of imagery is being seen in graphic print wallpaper but major themes to follow include people, nature, art deco style, and illustration.

Geometric Patterns

Geometric patterns have been rising in popularity in the past few years, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. They add a touch of luxury wherever they are used. This year geometric patterns are being paired with light and airy blues, grays, and shades of white. Geometric patterns are so universal that they can lend themselves to a wide variety of decorating styles and they are a great way to bring a space together.

Florals

Floral might be considered the quintessential wallpaper pattern, and while the florals we’re seeing for 2022 harken back to traditional Chintz patterns from India and later Europe, they are anything but dated. Today’s florals command the room with colorful, intricate designs on bold, rich, sometimes even velvety backgrounds. The effects can feel playful, exotic, or downright mysterious. Designers are sticking with small, detailed blooms to open up tight spaces and larger blooms for more airy locations.

Gold

Gold is having a moment – and with good reason. Touches of gold can bring light into any space, adding an element of glamour and luxury like nothing else. This trend will only grow and expand in 2022 with a trove of luscious textures to play with. Expect to see it used as a delicate accent or an all-out theme and everything in between with brush strokes and paint splatters in the spotlight.

Bonus: Unexpected Places

There is one trend that can be seen alongside all of the others that will continue to define the most recent comeback of wallpaper. In 2022, we’re seeing wallpaper in all kinds of unexpected places.

Traditional wisdom dictated that busy decor wasn’t meant for small spaces, but interior designers have thrown that rule out the window. Wallpaper is being used to bring some brightness, color, and structure to intimate vanity areas, cozy reading nooks, and even attic spaces.

Another typical decorating faux pas being broken this year is the wallpapered ceiling. In the spirit of playful rulebreaking, designers are opting for dramatic styles and daring color palettes over safer choices.

Summary

Designers are using wallpaper in ways they never have before. Technological advances in printing are allowing us to experiment with a wide variety of patterns and materials and that is resulting in some suitably bold styles for the long-awaited comeback of wallpaper.

In 2022, watch for jungle scenes and lush foliage, subtle textures, bold graphic prints, and elegantly understated geometric designs. Also on offer are a range of dramatic florals and decorating schemes that are practically dripping in gold.

There has never been a better time to update the look of your home.

Ready to start your project? Contact Sebastian Eilert Architecture for your Architectural and Interior Design project needs. 



Largest Farm to Grow Crops Under Solar Panels Proves to Be a Bumper Crop for Agrivoltaic Land Use

Agrivoltaics, growing crops under solar panels, increases the production of both, and Jack’s Solar Garden farm is showing how it’s done.
— Read on www.goodnewsnetwork.org/agrivoltaics-of-solar-power-and-farming-are-a-big-success-on-this-boulder-farm/



Sea level rise: What US cities will look like with sea level rise, according to scientific projections

A series of dramatic photo renderings make the prospect of “sea level rise” hit startlingly close to home.
— Read on fox5sandiego.com/news/national-news/what-us-cities-will-look-like-with-sea-level-rise-according-to-scientific-projections/



5 Desired Home Features That Help Sell Homes FAST

When a potential buyer enters your house and sees many of features they want in their next home, you are on your way to making a sale.  Not only that, but buyers usually have some idea of what it would cost them to add these features to the home. So if your home already has these features, their offer will usually be made quickly and also be close to, or even over, the listed sales price.

Feature #1: Gourmet Kitchen

Today, the kitchen is the heart of the home. And you don’t have to be a master chef to appreciate a well-appointed kitchen, with top of the line appliances, open shelving, a large island with additional seating, and multiple sinks. Food preparation is no longer considered to be a kitchen’s only function. The kitchen has also become an entertaining space where friends can gather and converse while the meal is being prepared.  If a buyer doesn’t like the kitchen, he or she will probably pass on the house.

Feature #2: Home Theater/Media Room

Today’s tech-savvy buyers are interested in their next new home having a home theater/media room. This is a feature that becoming more and more common and more sough after. A home that includes a media room or home theater has a distinct edge on their competition and has a higher perceived value to potential buyers. A well-built media room should include an A/V receiver, a projector and theater screen, a speaker system, and a streaming media player.

Feature #3: Home Office

Because more and more people are working either full or part time from home these days, a dedicated home office has become increasingly sought after. This room should have natural lighting and doors that can be closed to stop interruptions caused by every day family life happening in the rest of the home. Besides a comfy office chair and desk, a home office should have additional seating that is comfortable and a high quality lamp or two to facilitate reading documents or looking at computer screens.

Feature #4: Smart Home Technology

Convenience is the name of the game. As the world becomes busier and busier, convenience grows in importance, especially to the tech-savvy homebuyer. These buyers are looking for everything from smart thermostats, to video doorbells, to smart kitchen appliances, to smart door locks, to even having window shades that can be controlled from their smartphones. It’s no longer “home sweet home”, it’s now “home smart home”.

Feature #5: Outdoor Living Space

Few things disappoint a homebuyer more than a lack of outdoor living space, some place where they can entertain family and friends. Whether this space is a deck (decks constructed with composite materials are preferred) or a patio doesn’t really matter. It’s just important that the space is there.

The whole idea here is to get your home listed for sale, get it sold and off the market quickly, while putting as much extra money as possible into your pocket. It’s important to understand what today’s homebuyers are seeking in their next new home.



Sebastian Eilert Architecture (S.E.A.) named among best Architects in Pinecrest, Florida

It is an honor to be among such a select group of colleagues and named as a best ARCHITECTS in Pinecrest, Florida by Home Builder Digest.

https://www.homebuilderdigest.com/the-15-best-residential-architects-in-pinecrest-florida/

Ready to start your new home? Contact Sebastian Eilert, AIA For Interior Design considerations, E2 (Square) will happily consider your project.



AIA Miami virtual townhall – How the Pandemic Will Affect Design: Focus on Residential, Retail & Hospitality.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020, Noon via ZOOM

Panelists:

Max Strang – Strang Design 

Sebastian Eilert – Sebastian Eilert Architecture 

Jorey Shoshanna Friedman – SB Architects

Registration link: click HERE

 

No photo description available.

 

 



Design after COVID 19. How the virus may affect architectural design for the home – Part II: work, friends, and family

There is no doubt that the “after” will bring with it some changes and lasting adjustments. After looking at how the home needs to adapt for our personal use, what changes may be needed for work from home and visiting friends and family?

In the home – Part II:

The first part of this question is relatively easy: “Remote work from home” now includes some area with a computer setup that has a reasonably clear background for video calls and conferences. Few homes are designed with an extra room or space with this function in mind, so there is another change that will be forthcoming for future design. A home office or home office nook will be a feature that will be standard in post COVID-19 residential design. Even for professions that do not need this setup for their basic livelihood, the feature is sure to become a standard, much like the entry foyer noted in the related post, in the home Part I. Beyond work, this area can be used for a new type of happy hour, remote classrooms and other social interactions. But what about multiple people working or learning from home in the same schedule? To create a home office space for each family member is not feasible, so creative partitions with sound isolation may be the answer.

Built-In Home Office Ideas by Paul Raff Studio

Integrated Home Office Design

Creating an office nook can present a solution to carve out space in an easy arrangement and configuration to shield from view and sound. Similar to an open studio setup, multiple stations may be created in this fashion. Designating an existing room, where possible, allows for more functional use and setup but may be especially challenging for renovations and existing homes that look to adapt. After all, most homes were not designed with a spare room for future use adaption in mind, a concept that will likely change in new design thinking – adaptability!

work nook
Front Entry to the Left, Office Nook to the Right

The challenge with creating a small space or using an existing room within the home however, lies with the psychological burnout, that is showing up in many workers already who are being “on” all the time. The kitchen becomes the breakroom to fill up on coffee, the living room reminds of the chores that are typically left for the end of the workday and the school books on the dining table remind of homework and classes that need attending to. The 8-hour workday stretched to 10 hours, to 12 hours, and blends with the home life. The workday itself is now part of the design challenge.

A better design solution is to revisit the home office space as a separate structure that allows for a mini commute, by taking a few steps into the office and when at lunch or at the end of the day returning to the home. Planning and zoning codes will need to change and adapt, to allow for this to happen. Auxiliary structures are already allowed under most zoning codes, but property size may restrict this function due to requirements for building separation, connectivity, and setbacks.

Let’s return to the design opportunity of the home office as a separate structure: Former site design program choices such as pool cabanas, covered BBQs, granny flats, or storage sheds now present the opportunity to create the at-home office studio instead. The design should be complete with a kitchenette to include the coffee maker, sink and a small refrigerator, etc. as well as a bathroom. This function can be accommodated within a fairly small footprint, 10’x 12’ to start. If more space is available, multiple stations for all members of the family, as well as a meeting area or miniature conference room may complete the layout.

Garden office ideas – garden office pods and garden office sheds ...

The work from home studio would likely be connected to the home with an open covered walkway and allow for independent direct access for clients and visitors from the outside. The home office transforms into a true work from home set up, and at the end of the day, the commute also reduces the carbon footprint!

Prefabricated design solutions provide a great opportunity for quick installation, rather than lengthy construction, as these spaces have urgent need. Design options are growing in this industry, including modern solutions, like the Coodo.

coodo

What about friends and family? The Home office studio ideally should not become the weekend hangout to maintain a dis-association form the work week. Instead, the transition into the home for visitors should start at the foyer, as noted for the personal use in Part I. Just like for our own use, this space will function as a transitional area that allows for an initial disinfecting and reduction of the viral load that comes into the home. Removing shoes should become standard as is already common practice in many cultures around the world. The focus now, however, is on minimizing the introduction of foreign particles. An integrated shoe storage compartment in the foyer will facilitate this process. Hand sanitizing stations and even a small sink may be items that are incorporated into the design. The latter will most certainly be part of the mudroom transitional space on larger homes that feature a garage. This access point, however, is unlikely to be used for friends and family.

Once the initial shedding has been completed more spacious furniture arrangements to allow for groups to maintain a small degree of physical distancing will influence future designs to create overall larger spaces. The need to fill these rooms with a lot of furniture should be balanced with the function and anticipation of people other than the immediate family. If the in-laws visit frequently or the home is the go-to spot for the crew to watch the game, keep it open and spacious.

powder room

Foyer with Powder Room

Already a popular design feature, the powder room will become an important post-COVIT element for families that have frequent visitors. The private bathrooms need to remain just that – private to avoid contamination. The solution is to provide a half-bathroom near the general living areas. Depending on the layout and adjacent functions, this room may expand to include a shower if connecting to the outside or other uses of the home and yard. The powder room should include a small changing area, think mini locker room, that double serves as guest storage and is large enough to comfortably allow for a change of clothes. Ideally, the location is in close proximity to the foyer as well.

Lastly, the space every party always ends up at. The kitchen! Already a focal point in the home for daily use, this is the spot that inevitably any group ends up at some point. To avoid close quarters, the center island, already a popular feature in larger homes will become the single most important post-COVIT-19 design feature. An accessible island without a cooktop or sink provides an excellent workstation during normal use, easily extends to include informal seating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and maintains good physical distance for gatherings – the larger the counter, the better.

SEA_SAKA-4664

Oversized Kitchen Island with Integrated lower seating counter – classic design style

Inspired to adapt your space or design your new homes yet?

www.SebastianEilert.com



Design after COVID 19. How the virus may affect architectural design for the home, Part I

There is no doubt that the “after” will bring with it some changes and lasting adjustments. After looking at how the office and office culture are likely affected, what do changes to the home may look like?

In the home – Part I:

“Shelter in place” and “remote work from home” are certainly familiar terms these days. But how does this cozy space need to change to continue to be the safe haven we all seek? The answer is linked to our daily use of familiar areas and activities.

Let’s start with the approach. Coming from the outside world; work, shopping, exercise, etc. into the home in South Florida its likely done by car. If you are lucky to have a garage, that will be the point of first contact. Otherwise, the front door will serve as this space. Technology is already widely available to assist with remote unlocking and opening, so the touchless entry is already safe and will likely expand into a standard feature. Materials used for hardware will also change to reflect easy cleaning and disinfecting. More apps are likely to make the transition from the approach into the house easy, sensor-based, and even remote.

The next space is the actual entrance. South Florida rarely features a true foyer as commonly found in northern regions. The main reason for this architecturally speaking is the lack of need to keep the cold out and shed all clothing relating to severe or unpleasant weather. This too will change by design. No longer concerned only with air condition leaking to the outside, the entrance vestibule or foyer will find its way into the updated post COVIT-19 designed home. This can be new or retrofit to create the buffer needed to bring items from the outside into the home and transition out of protective clothing as well as provide a first layer for viral shedding and reduced transmittal of possible contaminants. Doormats, filters, and UV cabinets for certain clothing may look futuristic but are likely to be integrated here with new materials and will take up some of this space.

mudroom

Mudroom transition from the garage into the house.

In more spacious homes this room may also be added as an interface between the garage and the house. Already a popular feature in new home design, the mud-room – a transitional space between garage and kitchen or pantry – no longer will be used for backpacks, school supplies, and large shopping trips only. It will now include a disinfection station and for front line workers, may include a disposable section, similar to a sharps or biohazard removal container setup.

Once inside the home, personal interactions will also be guided by hands-free decisions and upgrades. Appliances, light control, sound systems, faucets, showers, etc., are already integrating these features. More is sure to come, combing voice and motion activation. Think about your favorite Spaceship Enterprise stage setup…

Rain Shower Set System 20" x 14" with Touch Panel Smart Mixer and Remote Controlled LED - VAVALA Vavala FLUXURIE.COM

Free access – modern voice-command controlled shower

Lounging in the living area, working in the designated home station (look for part II B on more for this feature), or getting the well-deserved shut-eye are areas of personal use that should not change a great deal from current design preferences. The 2 most impacted areas are the bathroom and the kitchen. Following a typical daily routine, the first step once rolling out of bed, having told the alarm to stop ringing, would be the use of the toilet. Touch unavoidable by sitting down, but “clean-up” is changing. Besides the paranoia of purchasing toilet paper, there is no real need for this ancient relic in the post COVIT design. Paperless cleansing toilet seats do not just eliminate the need for paper, but will also reduce the need for touch; flushing voice active as well.

Touchless Toilet Seat Covers : Toilet Seat covers

The bathroom sink will also be touchless or voice-activated and will likely include some UV lighting to further incorporate disinfecting. This is more important upon the noted return to the home above, but will become a standard feature in the near future. Next is the shower, again simple already in place solutions for turning on/off, regulating temperature and pressure. Accessibility is likely to be the big winner not just though incorporating commands, but also by the increase in space to avoid tight areas more likely to touch someone or something, think shower curtains, versus a nice roll-in shower.

IMG_0628

Doorless shower access. Enlarged shower for easy access

On to the kitchen: The kitchen counter is already typically a biohazard, no matter how well it is maintained. We use it daily and materials will change to be both user friendly and sanitary. Microbial cutting surfaces and disinfectant under cabinet light are good choices. The fridge, appliances, and cooktops all will be retrofitted with voice commands and contribute to the touchless function of the kitchen space. Eating will hopefully still be manual !

10 Best Under Cabinet LED Lighting - (2020 Reviews & Guide)

With this increase in technology, reliable power and data will become paramount. An increased energy demand can be offset with photovoltaic systems and supported by other renewable energy resources. A designated server space will also find its way int the post COVID designed home, maybe with a pantry or otherwise near the kitchen for easy access.

With so many integrated features to make one s life better, how do we now interact with others inside the home? Look for part II about the family group, friends and family visiting, and the work at home environment.

Sebastian Eilert, AIA

PS: Side note about the daily routine. A great read I found is “A Million Years In A Day” by Greg Jenner, following the history of many of the daily routines and chores done in the home.