Miami Green Homes


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.



Choosing The Right Next Home For Your Senior: Considering The Options Available

Seniors often have big decisions to make during their older years regarding housing. Many have been living in the same house for quite a while, but the loss of a spouse, financial challenges, or health issues make it necessary to make a change. There are a number of different types of living options available to older adults and they each come with different benefits. Miami Green Homes breaks them down for you.

Aging adults have many housing options to choose from

Once the decision is made to move into a new place, it is time to start the search. Some older adults will be able to continue living independently. However, Helpguide explains that it is essential that they consider not only their current needs, but how things may change over the next few years. Moving at this age is difficult, both physically and emotionally, so most do not want to have to do it again anytime soon.

Single-level living is often a good fit for aging adults so that they do not have to navigate stairs. While there are single-family homes that can work well for seniors, many people at this stage of life will focus more on downsizing to a townhouse or condominium so the exterior maintenance issues are taken care of by the association.

Retirement communities have plenty of perks

Many seniors focus on 55+ independent communities instead. These age-restricted communities typically organize a number of social activities for their residents and this makes it easy to connect with other seniors. Depending on the community, residents may have access to a golf course, swimming pool, gardening, clubs, tennis, art or woodworking shops, and regular social gatherings.

55+ retirement communities often have more security than a traditional residential neighborhood, which brings peace of mind. In addition, they are usually close to medical facilities and the homes are designed for accessibility. While family members, including grandchildren, can certainly visit, the overall feel of the neighborhood is typically peaceful and quiet, without loud parties or rambunctious kids.

A combination facility may be the best fit

Some families look for a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). These offer different levels of assistance in one place, explains AARP. They provide a tiered approach to senior living, typically including options for independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care all within one community. This means that as a senior’s needs increase, they can access additional assistance without a major relocation.

A CCRC will usually include access to health services, meals, housekeeping, transportation, and personal care assistance. This living situation provides comfort to families and their older loved ones since help is always nearby, and moves as one’s needs increase will be relatively simple. These senior living options can be expensive, but many have different levels of service available.

Evaluate the financial ramifications before selling the old home

Families should always consider the financial implications of a senior’s move. Some older adults will sell their home and put the equity toward their new place. In that case, you’ll want to research the area’s housing market to get an idea of the average sale price — which, in Miami, is $370K. In some situations, seniors simply want to transfer the ownership of their property to another family member.

In this type of scenario, a quitclaim deed may be the best approach. Realtor details that quitclaim deeds are used in transactions that do not involve any money, a title search, or title insurance. They often work well for seniors who want to transfer ownership of their home to their adult children as it is a fairly simple and inexpensive approach.

There are many types of living options available to seniors these days, including traditional neighborhoods, 55+ communities, and tiered assistance communities. During the decision process, families also need to decide whether to sell an existing property or perhaps use a quitclaim deed to transfer it to family. Once plans are made, seniors can feel confident that they are in a new home that suits their needs throughout the rest of their years.

Looking for tips on making your home greener? Check out Miami Green Homes.

[Image via Pixabay]



Green Art Store – digital downloads & prints

Green Art Store’s photography store – purchase framed prints and canvasses, or license stock images for editorial, commercial or advertising use.
— Read on greenartstore.picfair.com/



Time to Renovate or Time to Move On? Getting Your Home Ready for Your Small Business, guest post by Tina Martin of Ideaspired

Time to Renovate or Time to Move On? Getting Your Home Ready for Your Small Business

Photo by Pexels

Running a small business is often a very difficult job. As such, it’s very important that your space gives you the flexibility to get your work done and relax at the end of your day. If you aren’t getting the most out of your space, don’t despair; there are a few ways to make your home work for you and give your business room to continue to grow.

Renovate a less useful space

Most of us don’t have extra rooms that we can turn into a functional workspace. If you’re tight on space, consider renovating a space that wouldn’t be useful before, like an attic, basement, or garage. Instead of scrabbling for space, your business can flourish in a space that you designed just by making better use of the space at your disposal. Local contractors can help clarify your vision and make it a reality, like insulated and finished walls, new flooring for your office chair, and additional power outlets for your devices. And don’t forget eco-friendly features that promote energy efficiency and sustainability. For example, during renovation you could replace old windows and fixtures, or even install solar panels. Building up your dream office from scratch lets you orchestrate the flow of the space, as it is designed to serve you and your particular needs.

Design home office

Once you have space all to your own, it’s important to design that space in a way that is conducive to your work. Consider what would make your work easier to accomplish: wider tables, more computer monitors, shelves to get things off the floor, more efficient lighting. Painting the walls can change the feel of a room, a small and affordable change that makes a big effect. All of these details can add up to better headspace and workflows, an investment that well pays for itself. Spend time looking into the right furniture and tools for your space, and suddenly you won’t be able to wait to get to work. 

Time to move on

Sometimes, no matter what you do, there is no way to make your space work for you. If there is nothing to be done, it may be time to consider moving to a bigger or more conducive space. You deserve a place to work on your business in peace, and your business will only benefit from being given the extra space and attention. Buying a new home may sound stressful, but it is much, much better in the long run than trying to live in an untenable situation. There are plenty of resources to let you look at which homes are on the market. 

Now that you’ve made it official

Once you’re dedicated to changing your home and building up your workspace, it’s a good time to make sure your business is ready to go too. Consider starting an LLC, which comes with tax advantages and less paperwork along with liability for you. Even more, you can skip the lawyer fees entirely by filing yourself or using a formation service. Each state has different rules, so be sure to check your state before getting started.

No matter what kind of changes your space needs, there is a local professional ready to help make your office a reality. And, if you’re looking to make your space more sustainable, reach out to the experts at Sebastian Eilert Architecture.



ZOOM BACKGROUNDS BY SEBASTIAN EILERT ARCHITECTURE – EXTERIOR VIEWS

Free exterior design images for ZOOM backgrounds. Just click on the image and safe to download, then change your background when in active meetings in ZOOM. The images are sized to fit the ZOOM criteria.

All design by Sebastian Eilert, AIA of Sebastian Eilert Architecture, Inc.

Casa del Sol Coral Gables Old Spanish Style Home:BG-zoom-Casa-del-sol-01

Coconut Grove Modern Residence: BG-zoom-Mooring-01

Coconut Grove Limestone Backyard Patio: BG-zoom-Abbot-01

Check out the Interior Design images as well.



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.



Design after COVID 19 – How the virus may affect architectural design and the profession of architecture.

There is no doubt that the “after” will bring with it some changes and lasting adjustments. How would the practice of architecture be impacted by the pandemic? Let’s look at both the business and office culture of the architectural profession as well as some of the most common project types.

A Weekly Surveillance Summary of U.S. COVID-19 Activity

PART I – the architectural office:

Architects were generally known as one of the early adaptors of the “studio environment” which is the layout of a large open space without walls, cubicles and many shared and connected work stations. This concept was encouraged, so various design groups may openly communicate on any working projects and share the drafting plans they were working on more easily and without having to carry them between desks. The move to computer-based drafting, CAD, had little impact on the layout, only adding monitors to most working areas, but maintain a large surface to open and work on printed plans. The collaboration attitude was embraced by many other office types from creatives of all walks to government planners and realtors- in short, any profession that does not require absolute privacy or limited workspace. Individual officed, enclosed conference rooms and open break areas are also typically part of these office configurations completing the challenge to redesign these areas post COVID-19.

To start creating a safe work area, the spacing of everything will have to be adjusted to allow for proper social, or better physical, distancing. As such physical barriers are likely to be introduced. In an attempt to keep the open studio feel, these are likely to be transparent, presenting an opportunity for some newly adapted materials. The pattern of walking will be adjusted to minimize the opportunity to pass another person. Directional corridors and one way in – one way out are sure to become the norm as one is less likely to pick up viral load from a co-worker in line than passing and physical distancing is more easily accomplished.

Interior Architecture Office Best Design Cool Interiors Architect ...

Controls are sure to be impacted as well. Light and control switched will be eliminated to react to motion and voice activation, likely a technological connection of personal devices to start and control computers, task lighting, and other work station related equipment. Hands-free will be the norm. Already many systems have these features and most areas easily retrofitted.

Connectivity through cameras will only increase to avoid the concentration of conference room style meetings. This presents the challenge of acoustic control at individual work areas already an issue anyone can attest to wanting to have a private conversation in the open studio layout. Solution? Individual sound booth – a revival of the phone booth – less the phone, just a camera, touchless of course!

Sanitation will be key. To start, the HVAC system will need to be updated to work harder on filtering. Much like many casinos, we will see upgrades and retrofitting to include improved filtration. Add to this ultraviolet or a new kind of disinfecting system both stationary at most points of entry/exit as well as at the individual workstations. Hand sanitizer stations will be standard and available plenty, but there are likely portable disinfecting stations that allow for a more thorough touchless cleansing, reducing viral load thought the workday.

What cannot be avoided to be touched, will get finishes that naturally disinfect, such as silver and copper: door handles and knobs, elevator buttons – where voiceless commands or waved card readers are not practical or possible to retrofit.  Public bathrooms will present another challenge with the added importance of privacy. ADA has already provided standards to improve access and movement and with post COVID – 19, additional physical distancing guidelines are likely the solution to this challenge. Touchless faucets and motion-activated fixtures, spaced 6 feet apart, and fully individualized compartments that self sanitize after each use. Here, too the use of personal devices is likely to assist with the availability of the facilities, rather than waiting in line. Virtual queueing alarming the next user that the stall is empty and has been sanitized.

Copper & Chrome T Bar Door Pull Handles Copper Door Handles | Etsy

The common them to most of these solutions is more space to allow for more distance. Design for the architectural office, as for most others, will require a larger footprint per employee – for workstation, circulation and support spaces.

The temporary workspace, rented as needed, institutions like We Work and Büro are likely to disappear in the aftermath of this pandemic. The challenge of sanitation and encouraged close proximity of workstations will present a true challenge to maintain a safe and physically distant work environment.

 

The alternative? Work from home: Look for PART II – in the home.



WHO launches global megatrial of the four most promising coronavirus treatments | Science | AAAS

Simple design aims to let even overwhelmed physicians and hospitals participate
— Read on www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/03/who-launches-global-megatrial-four-most-promising-coronavirus-treatments