Miami Green Homes

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.
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Architectural Diagrams: 10 Clever Storage Solutions for Tiny Apartments – Architizer Journal

Great article with some nice ideas for intelligent storage.

Architectural Diagrams: 10 Clever Storage Solutions for Tiny Apartments – Architizer Journal
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AIA Miami, USGBS and Blink present – EV Infrastructure & Sustainable Building Practices Tickets, Thu, Feb 20, 2020 at 6:00 PM | Eventbrite

Eventbrite – Blink Charging presents EV Infrastructure & Sustainable Building Practices – Thursday, February 20, 2020 at The Miami Center for Architecture & Design, Miami, FL. Find event and ticket information.

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Climate Gentrification – study applied to Miami – Interesting podcast. There Goes the Neighborhood: Miami—Part 1 (from The Stakes) | WLRN

First of 3 parts looking at the concept of climate gentrification in Miami. Does seawater change where future developments will happen? Taking over high ground LIttle Haiti and Liberty City for future developments may suggest that it is a real consideration.

Listen to the podcast through WLRN.

The sea level is rising–and so is the rent.  WLRN and WYNC studios present the first episode of a three part series on climate gentrification.
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These Sustainable Hotels Are Doing Good for Their Communities–and the World | AFAR

6 ways that hotels across the globe are investing in sustainable practices and making the world better, one step at a time.
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Sustainable architecture on the list! An important element for any “place”

Architectural Services – Types of Services… What does an Architect do?

An architect offers a level of professional service and expertise which no other building professional can provide. An Architects are professionally qualified, legally registered to practice and bound by a code of ethics.

An architect works as a team leader as well as an individual. In many building projects the role of the architect is to coordinate a team of specialist consultants such as landscape architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, interior designers, builders and subcontractors.

The fees charged by an architect for design and documentation vary by project type and location, but rarely exceed 5% of the total cost of constructing. Including operating of the building throughout its useful life the cost is typically less than 1%.. By investing in the services of an architect, you ensure an exploration of various options for the design of your building. Through good design, an architect can enhance the value of your building and may produce significant savings, especially when it comes to operating, staffing and/or tenanting the building.

You and your architect will identify the service to be provided in your agreement and their fee will depend on the scope of their appointment. Services provided by architects include:



Building Design The primary training of an architect is in the design of buildings in terms of function, form and regulatory compliance

Program Development A good program is the first step to delivering a successful project. Often clients require help from an expert in formulating the program for their project and the architect is normally best-placed to assist.

Applying for Construction Permits Advising if your project requires planning permission and producing the relevant information for making an application to the local municipality. You may also engage an architect to provide services in connection with planning appeals. Your architect may communicate on your behalf with planning authorities.

Project Supervisor Design Process (PSDP) Your architect may act as PSDP or an alternative person  may be appointed to the role.

Administrating the Building Contract Dealing on your behalf with the building contractor and administrating the project to ensure that it is delivered in accordance with the design and planning permission.

Coordinating other Consultants Your project may require the input of specialist consultants such as a Structural Engineer or Quantity Surveyor, and your architect will coordinate their involvement.

Measurement Survey & Drawings Measure existing buildings for the purpose of making drawings to assist in design proposals for alterations or additions.

Condition Survey and Zoning Analysis Inspect and establish the condition of a property and prepare a report. Analyze the zoning requirements for a specific property.

Interior Design You may engage your architect to provide an interior design service, advising on loose furniture, artworks and finishes.

Sustainability Advice and Design Your architect can advise you how to optimize orientation, microclimate, building fabric, lifecycle costing, energy and water consumption and ensure compliance with Building Regulations. Additionally, if you require options for future proofing your building against future costs, or creating a zero carbon building the implications can be established by a specific studies at an early stage.

Conservation and Preservation skills If the building you own is ‘historic’, a ‘Protected Structure’ or in an ‘Architectural Conservation Area’ you will need the advice of an architect with skills in conservation and preservation. Even if your building is not listed as a historic property it can still be worthy of conservation and you will want to make sure that its character is not damaged in the process of any alterations or extensions you plan to carry out.

Project-management The architect normally is best positioned to act as the project-manager coordinating the other inputs to deliver a project successfully.

Urban Design & Master-Planning Architects are at the forefront of the design of urban spaces in existing and proposed sections of our towns and cities.

Dispute Resolution Services Architects offer dispute resolution services such as mediation and conciliation.


Architectural Style guide – South Florida: Transitional Style

A recent project in Coral Gables, Florida encouraged me to define a style currently growing in the South Florida markets. It is often referred to as Florida Modern or Key West Modern but more accurately called Transitional Style. It can be defined as follows:

Transitional Style (also known as “updated classic”, “classic with a contemporary twist”, “new takes on old classics”) in design refers to a blend of traditional and contemporary styles, midway between old world traditional and the world of chrome and glass contemporary; incorporating lines that are less ornate than traditional designs, but not as severely basic as contemporary lines. As a result transitional designs are classic, timeless, and clean.

Curves combine with straight lines in a transitional style to deliver a look that balances both masculine and feminine attributes for a comfortable, contemporary design. The scales of the pieces are ample but not overwhelming. A lack of ornamentation and decoration keeps the focus on the simplicity and sophistication of the design.[1]

Unlike contemporary style, transitional style focuses on comfort and practicality to meet the lifestyle of an active household. it looks somewhat traditional on the outside (not a contemporary style home) but on the inside, it most likely has the very open floorplan as well as possibly 2 story volume ceilings, etc, not the traditional well defined rooms with doors and four walls.

3D View 36

Rendered view of Coral Gables design home.

Look for more style definitions and examples in future posts

New Florida Building Code in Effect March 15, 2012

Check out the recording called “2010 Building Code Questions and Answer Webinar held March 13, 2012 at:

Slide the audio progress bar over to minute 33:47 to hear the answer on the retrofit provision that affects windows. Ann Stanton, the energy technical adviser at the Florida Building Commission, explains the 30% rule. She said “energy code is not applicable” unless there is a major renovation that exceeds 30% of the assessed value of the structure.

Another question on the same topic came up at 42:15 in the call.

Important Information on the New Florida Building Codes

The new FBC energy codes go into March 15, 2012 for permits pulled on March 15 or after. Although the energy codes continue to get stronger, they are not as bad as some would want you to believe. Aluminum impact windows and doors meet the energy code and in most retrofit situations are not even subject to the new energy code.

New construction is a different matter.

The code has two formal paths for compliance, the Prescriptive path and the Performance path.

  1. Prescriptive Path– Section 402.1 – is the “EZ 1040” way of complying. This path requires a .30 SHGC and a .75 U Factor (for impact products). However, given a renovation carve out in the Florida Statutes (see below) we believe the Prescriptive Path won’t be used frequently. If used it will be mostly used for retrofit and required insulated glass with high performance Lo E coatings.
  2. Performance Path – Section 405 “the 1040 Long Form” way of complying. Today represents +/- 95% of new energy permits and is not expected to change. This is used mostly for new construction and requires the engineer to use Energy Gauge Software to calculate glass values, AC ratings, and other thermal properties of building materials. New provision in the code – SHGC coefficient now a maximum of 0.50 (gray monolithic glass in most applications will meet this, depending on trade-offs in the software).

Important footnote for window replacements on existing structures: Table 101.4.1 footnote “d” says that if the cost of renovations to an existing building is less than 30% of the assessed value of the structure, it is not subject to the code. So, for example if you are retrofitting a home that is worth $300,000, as long as the renovations do not exceed $90,000, the renovations are not subject to the FBC energy code. We have confirmed this with the staff of the Florida Building Commission, and it also came up in the FBC Webinar that was held yesterday. If you want to confirm any of this information, feel free to contact the staff at the Florida Building Commission at 850-488-0964.

Some Manufacturers are Trying to Mislead Building Departments and Customers Regarding the Renovation Provisions of the New FBC Energy Codes. 

One Major Florida Manufacturer Dealer Letter Says This (highlights added): 

“There also exists a Florida Statute that defines a renovation as construction that exceeds 30% of the assessed value of the property, meaning projects with a scope of work less than this value may not need to comply with the code.  (This may seem like a loop hole to some, but try to convince the local building department that you do not have to follow code on a window replacement and see where that gets you).  We offer a wide range of products that meet the requirements in table 402.1.1, however, before you order, we strongly recommend that you talk with your local building official about his/her plans for enforcement of this code.”

Fact: Renovations for most trades including window and doors that do not exceed 30% of the assessed value of the structure are not subject to the energy codes. This is Florida law and the Florida Building Code (Energy Code included) does not supersede Florida law.  The 553.906 Florida Statute provisions (where this 30% provision is located) were passed in 1979 by the Florida Legislature and are clear on this point.  The only way to amend this is to go back to the Florida Legislature.

(text by Laura Hernandez of The Companies of R&S)