Miami Green Homes


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.

 

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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

 

 

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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 Dining Room:

The dining room is becoming an increasingly extinct animal, the formal dining room, that is. In recent years very few projects in our practice, new homes or renovations, included this once mandatory space. While the dining table is certainly a key feature of any home, the formal space to host it, is not.

The first question to answer when thinking about the dining room, is to identify the need and want of the user. Large families, extended families and those seeking to maintain traditional schedules may want to consider keeping this designated space. Most however, see the formal dining room as a space used 2-3 times a year, usually for Thanksgiving and during the holidays with the rest of the year serving as glorified storage.

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For the latter, the dining room has evolved into an open concept space planning that is hosting the table, much more integrated into the other living areas. It is not an isolated space, but rather part of the overall daily use of space. Here the dining table serves many functions over the actual room. Homework, breakfast, dinner, family meetings… all gather around this space before moving over to the couch next to it.

As a further evolution, we have done projects that incorporated a table height seating area into a kitchen island. This is a great alternative for areas with limited space. See our post on kitchens, for more.

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If you decide to keep the formal dining room space, there are a few considerations to address. First, what is the size of the table for maximum use. Typically a table is in daily use for a small number of people, but when gatherings occur, this number can easily double or triple: Plan for the maximum “extended” table to ensure that everyone can move around the chairs comfortably. A chair position should be around 18” to the back with at least another 24” when someone is sitting in it and another wants to pass behind. A 10 person dining table should be 3’- 4’ wide and about 10’ long. Plus seating at each end, makes the preferred minimum size for a dining room 18’ long. The more people are anticipated, this can easily grow to 24’. A ratio of 2 to 3, length to width provides a good balance.

Next consider the butler or other form of commode to be located at either the head end or the side, depending on layout. Will this be used for fine china storage? Serving for events? Other storage? Enough space must be allocated for furniture and access accordingly.

Finally, consider lighting. A great dining room wants a great chandelier. In addition to the center piece, I also like to include recessed lighting at the perimeter, roughly over the chairs. This should be on a separate, dimmable switch to provide additional or ambient lighting for the space.

 



The Benefits Of Going Solar At Home – Guest post by Ryan McNeill

It’s official: Renewable energy is now the average American’s preferred energy solution, regardless of which side of the political spectrum they are on — and few renewable energy options are more accessible to the homeowner than installing solar panels.

The popularity of solar is skyrocketing, accounting for nearly four in 10 new electricity generation capacity additions in the U.S. last year. While utility solar accounts for a large portion of this new infrastructure, residential solar is also showing strong growth as more homeowners are realizing the many benefits of solar energy.

Why are so many homeowners going solar? Let’s take a look.

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Economic Benefits of Installing Solar Panels

Once cost-prohibitive, solar energy is now more affordable than ever. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Economy of scale. Due to increased demand, the cost of solar panels is now half what it was in 2008, and experts believe it still has room to drop.
  • Low maintenance. A high-quality residential solar installation can be expected to last 30 years or more. Very little maintenance is required, which keeps costs low throughout the life of the system.
  • Energy savings. Solar pays back big over time. The average solar customer saves $67,000 over the lifetime of the system — and that’s at today’s energy rates. Who knows what the savings will be as aging conventional energy infrastructure drives energy rates up in years to come?
  • Financing. Solar is an investment, but it doesn’t have to be a painful one. In addition to the energy-saving ROI of the panels themselves, there are many options available these days that make solar panels affordable to the average homeowner. Some of these include rebates, leases and low-interest financing options. Don’t forget that homeowners can still take advantage of the full 30 percent federal solar tax credit through the end of 2019.

Solar Performance Means Peace of Mind

Besides the obvious financial benefits, solar will set your mind at ease. Solar panels are remarkably reliable, cranking out electricity as regularly as the rising and setting sun. They are safe, too, producing no noise pollution or harmful emissions. And, many solar homeowners rave about the sense of liberation they feel when realizing they are no longer subject to the whim of “Big Power.” Those who own battery systems are even secure from interruptions to the power grid.

Global Benefits of Residential Solar

Choosing solar is simply the responsible thing to do, both for the planet and for the communities in which we live.

First, consider the environmental benefits. We all know the impact global warming is having on the planet, and that solar panels are a huge step in the right direction when it comes to reducing our carbon footprint. However, you might not be aware that solar panels are also water-friendly. Per kWh of electricity, solar panels consume 16-20 times less of this increasingly precious natural resource than the most common conventional forms of electricity generation.

Solar is good for people, too. Dollar for dollar, an investment in solar results in twice the job creation as conventional energy sources. And, solar is an important factor in homeland security. Solar panels reduce dependence on foreign energy, reduce the electrical grid’s vulnerability to attack or failure, and provide an excellent source of power in emergency situations.

Is Solar Right for Your Home?

While not every home is suitable for solar, the benefits are clear for those that are. It’s no wonder so many more people than ever are choosing to install solar panels on their homes.

Author bio: Ryan McNeill is the president of Renewable Energy Corporation, one of the largest residential solar energy companies in the mid-Atlantic region. It is committed to providing homeowners with high-quality, American-made solar panels and solar energy products.



Sarah Wilson | 8 bits of plastic you can quit right now – Sarah Wilson
February 23, 2017, 11:43 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

http://www.sarahwilson.com/2016/09/8-bits-of-plastic-you-can-quit-right-now/