Miami Green Homes


Residential Insulation Options for South Florida

There’s a reason why an increasing number of people choose to call Florida home. The beautiful weather and gorgeous landscapes can’t be beaten. However, as with any warm climate, special considerations need to be taken to ensure that a house, whether new construction or an existing home, is as comfortable and cost-efficient as possible, all year-round.

The importance of residential insulation

It may seem like a house in a temperate area like Miami wouldn’t need much insulation, but the opposite is true. While houses in colder regions of the country require insulation to keep the heat in, homes in southern Florida must be insulated to hold the heat at bay and minimize the amount of work the A/C has to do. 

The history of insulation use

People have been using some form of insulation for millennia. From fur-covered hides stretched over wooden frames in prehistorical times to the advent of fiberglass insulation in the 1930s and modern blown-in foam, insulation has played a significant part in making homes more comfortable and hospitable. Luckily, there is no longer a need for hair-on hides, but the modern options are greater than ever.

The best types of insulation for South Florida homes

Choosing insulation that matches the architecture of a home is important. For instance, a house with a vaulted ceiling will require a different type of insulation that will work with the home’s interior design, as opposed to a single-level ranch where it will not be obvious. The most crucial factor is the R-value of insulation. R-value indicates how well insulation will perform in keeping heat from either entering or leaving your home. The higher the number, the more efficient it will be. 

Batt Insulation

Batt insulation is sold in rolls or strips. It is appropriate for walls, ceilings, and floors. It is made from fiberglass or rock wool and, while one of the older forms of insulation, it is still popular.

Blown-in Fiberglass or Cellulose Insulation

Both blown-in fiberglass and cellulose insulation gained popularity between the 1950s and 1990s. They are a particularly popular option for attics and walls. Cellulose has been shown to have a higher R-value than fiberglass. The downside to these insulations is that they can be messy if attics or other areas must be accessed regularly.

Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation has become a popular choice for many homes. It is easily applied (by qualified contractors) to walls and roofs and is shown to be watertight while having a high R-value. 

Rigid Insulation

Also known as foam board insulation, rigid insulation can be used in any part of the home. It can be cut to size and is easily removed if need be. It is advantageous in areas where blown-in or foam insulation may not be practical. 

 

Foil Insulation

Foil insulation is an excellent option in hot climates in that it reflects heat away from the foil surface. Its thin composition makes it ideal for pairing with other insulations, such as batt insulation. Therefore, installing the foil side facing out will keep heat from moving through the walls and roof into the living areas. 

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

http://www.SebastianEilert.com

[email protected]

786.556.3118

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Can Architecture Bring Us Joy? – Architizer Journal

It can, and it should!

As communities navigate ongoing health and environmental crises, the ability for architecture to raise spirits has never been more vital.
— Read on architizer.com/blog/inspiration/industry/architecture-plus-joy/



Amazon Opens Cashierless Supermarket in Latest Push to Sell Food – WSJ
February 26, 2020, 6:09 pm
Filed under: Hot Topic, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The e-commerce giant rolled out its checkout-free “Go” technology in a large grocery store and plans to license the cashierless system to other retailers.
— Read on www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-opens-cashierless-supermarket-in-latest-push-to-sell-food-11582617660



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.

— Read on and Register:

www.eventbrite.com/e/ev-infrastructure-sustainable-building-practices-tickets-70508267125



Concrete foundation pour – in progress time lapse

Concrete pour for a large foundation/footing. Steel has been placed and inspected. 

Construction workers actually working! Jokes aside, you can see the setup to pour, the harmony between concrete truck driver and the workers, the vibrator machine to ensure that concrete is packed properly and the general smoothing and leveling of the top. Pretty good work! Pretty large footing. 



Permits and board approvals! Miami overview and nuances…

Often referred to as the “necessary evil”, getting a building permit is a crucial part of any project. While the process may pose a considerable time impact, it is important to remember that the primary objective of a building permit is to ensure that safe structures are provided. Beyond the building code approvals, zoning codes also guide the local flair and style of many neighborhoods and cities. The check and balance of this process should instead be looked at as a safety net for the owner, to ensure that the hired license professionals are indeed doing their job – beyond just design.

SEA has been blessed with a plethora of approvals in the last weeks and we are celebrating alongside our clients;

The building permit process and requirements in the respective municipality are typically common knowledge, however some of the nuances that are required may not be completely known and can add substantial time commitment to the permitting process. Some of the more common approvals we help to obtain are the Coral Gables Board of Architects approval – a process that requires a preliminary and a full approval to present to a panel of volunteer architects, Historic board approval (typically in Coral Gables, Miami Beach and City of Miami) – and special Planning and Zoning approvals, such as the recent success in Miami Shores.

building-permit_Page_1

(Miami Dade County Building Permit Application)

Following are some typical permit applications available online in Miami Dade County; these must be singed and notarized by the respective parties:

County: http://www.miamidade.gov/permits/library/building-permit.pdf

Miami: http://www.miamigov.com/nets/docs/permits/buildingpermitapplication.pdf

Miami Beach: http://web.miamibeachfl.gov/building/scroll.aspx?id=37842

Coral Gables: http://coralgables.com/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=741



Paint. non VOC… why do we still have toxic paint?

Something so simple and still so important. There is no excuse anymore not use VOC free paint. All manufacturers and places have it and the quality is as good as the previous blends or even better.

Sherwin Williams “Harmony”, Benjamin Moore “Aura” or “Freshaire” at the Home Depot. Pick your (non-)poison and breathe in clean air… so why is there still toxic paint on the market? I do not have the answer, but as conscious consumers, we can eliminate them all together.

Paying attention to paint is important not just for the applicator, but also during the first few weeks of occupation, when toxins continue to float in the air. Try to apply a non-VOC paint and notice the difference. The usual odors are missing and what may be in your mind as the” fresh paint” smell, is significantly diminished (you still got a new paintjob, believe it).

I have used paints 1 and 2 noted above in my office and applied them myself. The difference in air quality is noticeable and was noted by most of my initial visitors. The quality of the paint, as is the color selection, is excellent.

My favorite example is that of expecting parents preparing the room for the new arrival. New paint is a staple and will set the tone for the rest of the décor. When painting with toxic paint, you are adding to the overall bad air quality, likely will not air out the room enough for toxins to off gas long enough (we are in South Florida, open windows mean wastes AC dollars…) and voila, your key contributor for the gas chamber for the newborn is set. New furniture with Urea Formaldehyde content (such as most of the shiny new furniture that is affordable) will contribute to the overall un-healthy room.

 Instead use the good paint, pay attention to the furniture (do not be afraid to ask for the Material Safety Data Sheets!) or rescue that solid wood crib from your grandma and create a fresh welcoming room.

I use the newborn scenario only as an example, all of the above holds true for any room that you work on.

 

Ready to renovate your new arrivals space? Contact SEA for design ideas.

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