Miami Green Homes

Wind Turbines Are Using Cameras and AI to See Birds –And Shut Down When They Approach

IdentiFlight, AI-based cameras, can recognize eagles and hawks as they approach in enough time to pause turbines in their flight path.
— Read on

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

Towering Over the City, This ‘Farmscraper’ Will Produce 270 tons of Food from Hydroponics on 51-Stories

A new 51-story ‘farmscraper’ in China, designed by an Italian architecture firm Carlo Ratti, will have food growing for Schenzen city.
— Read on

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.

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

Cultivate These Keystone Plants in Your Yard to Help Bees and Butterflies Thrive and Pollinate

Keystone plant species in North America are important for helping pollinators and insects like bees, butterflies, and caterpillars.

Source: Cultivate These Keystone Plants in Your Yard to Help Bees and Butterflies Thrive and Pollinate

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!


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. 305.253.5786



Brick and Earth Ovens – DIY
October 5, 2012, 12:53 am
Filed under: Hot Topic, Landscaping, Resources, Sustainable Living

Brick ovens provide an exterior option for baking and cooking. The oven originated in Italy, where brick oven pizza is to this day made as it was in the past. Traditionally these ovens were wood-fired, although coal-fired, electrically powered, and gas-fired options are also available. This form of oven is not confined to Italy. It is also seen in France, India – in the form of clay ovens, and the other parts of Europe.

Brick ovens provide two options: build it yourself, or buy one and have it installed professionally. Should money be an issue, building you own is a simple and inexpensive task. They are made of fireproof brick, concrete, stone, clay or cob. The main materials for a DIY project are brick and mortar, both fireproof. This project is not very time consuming. First you must decide what shape and size you want. They can have rounded tops or flat tops. Many restaurants use the round top that is gas-fired. This gives it a more rustic Italian look. Once decided, the following two websites have information and step-by-step instructions on how to build one. They are low cost and aesthetically pleasing.

A few notes on Sustainable Gardening
July 24, 2012, 12:51 am
Filed under: Hot Topic, Landscaping, Sustainable Living, Water Efficiency

The term sustainable can be defined as “requiring no outside inputs.” A sustainable garden, although needing to be pruned and groomed as to not become a forest, has many benefits over the tradition flower garden. Sustainable gardens require no fertilizer, less watering, are low maintenance and they improve soil quality tremendously. Due to a concern with the environment all over the world, sustainable garden is coming forward.

Fertilizer is the main concern. In Wisconsin, for example, fertilizer runoff into the smaller lakes has caused many problems. First: water pollution. The water now has chemicals in it that are harmful and cannot be consumed. The fertilizer is also creating rapid underwater plant growth. Lakes that were once blue and clear to the bottom are now grey green with zero visibility. This pollution does not just affect the plants but the fish as well. Many species of fish are dying off and others are mutating over time. Another downside to fertilizer is that the process in which it is created requires fossil fuels. We want to conserve fuels, not waste them on plant steroids.

Water scarcity around the world because of drought and lack of new sources of fresh water is addressed with sustainable gardening. By using native or drought resistant plants in a sustainable garden, less watering is needed. It is also recommended that plant watering happens directly at the root. This keeps the plant happy, well-fed and means less watering of unnecessary dirt patches. Using less water also minimizes a water utility bill.

The basic components of a sustainable garden are the organic methods and inputs, water quality and conservation and plant selection.

1. The first step is to set up the garden space. Reducing storm water runoff and using less impervious surfaces helps in creating a healthy, non-flooding environment. This can be done using rain barrels or rain gardens.

2. Select your plants. Drought resistant and native plants are the safest option, however perennials, larger grasses, and tough shrubs are also very successful for this type of garden. The plants should be grouped together with other that have similar watering needs, so as to not waste. It is also important to consider the health of the plants. Make sure to choose those that are the most pest-resistant and disease-resistant. If planting trees, deciduous trees should be to the south of the home to maximize shading on your structure for example. On the north, plant evergreens for winter wind protection.
3. Remember to conserve. Be water smart and instead of using a sprinkler with lots of evaporation and waste, water the plants directly at the roots; this is also sometimes called xeriscaping. A little side note, reuse that plastic milk jug. Poke holes in it to make a great watering can or use perforated hose pipe with water coming out at a trickle for more direct root watering.
4. Enjoy! Every once in a while the garden will need to be tamed because left alone it can become a forest. Weeding can be done by hand or even with a 10% vinegar solution!

Sustainable gardening has both financial and environmental benefits and creating this unique garden space adds to appeal of your home.

(SE, EB, edit JLD)

5 Quick Tips to Spring New Life into a Dreary Facade

Want to improve the curb appeal of your home without splurging on a new paint job or a remodel? Here are five easy ways to spruce up your home, without breaking the bank!

1. Paint your mailbox, or simply get a new one! The mailbox, in suburbia at least, is the first thing people see when they go by your house. A metal one that looks like teenagers tried to destroy it in a drive-by baseball bat adventure doesn’t help your curb appeal. So spruce it up! Add a coat of paint, put stickers on it with your street number, and if you’re feeling creative and kitschy, add some seashells from the seashore.

2. Lay out some pavers. One way to avoid going to that Orange Box Retailer for them is to find a home in your area that is set for demolition. My mom went and asked the builder if she could take the pavers. They said yes! Construction debris is what they would have become and filled even more precious space in our landfills, but instead, they now make a beautiful path from the sidewalk to the front of the house. Keep in mind though that not all builders are this nice! Laying pavers might seem difficult, but there are many tutorials out there for the beginner. : This link shows how to install a paver patio, but a simply path works the same way.

3. Landscaping. It IS easy to be green. Planting colorful flowers or leafy bushes in your yard (in a tamed manner that is) makes your home look well-manicured and taken care of. Planting along the driveway, along the sidewalk, and along the house give more life to your property. Plant pricing typically begins at $5 for a flowering plant that will cover around 1 square foot of space and then the prices go up from there. If you feel inclined, buying a small tree (investing around $20) will  turn into a beautiful source of shade and privacy. Another planting tip is to add window boxes. These handy inexpensive planters add color to the façade of your home without the responsibility of maintaining a massive garden. (It also hides an exterior that might need a little bit of paint.)

4. Replace hardware. Getting new doorknobs, door knockers, house numbers, and more all make your home look fresh and well-kept. A rusty doorknob just looks sloppy and it makes people want to wash their hands right after touching it!

5. Outdoor Lighting. Lighting your front path or your front porch makes the house feeling more  welcoming, and now you can even buy solar powered lamps that simply stab into the grass, soak up the sun and provide a little bit of outdoor lighting for a very reasonable price. This type of lighting is low maintenance and it is possible to find these types of lights home improvement stores for roughly  $4.00/each.  Nicer ones tend to start around $10.00/each.