Miami Green Homes

Moorgins Residence Renovation/Addition – Sebastian Eilert Architecture
Moorings front elevation

The Moorings Residence is a wonderful remodel of a 1960’s gem settled in the Moorings community within the neighborhood of Coconut Grove. The original single-story residence boasted with wood details and featured a structural roof made from 2x’s. Supported by only a few bearing walls, the house literally invites the outside in with removed floors and enclosed patios.

Storefront entrance with enlarged concert step and protective overhang.

The renovation focused on bringing more light into the spaces and on controlling the border between inside and out while connecting the building to its site. Clean and clearly defined lines as well as the Florida Modern architectural style were the guiding direction from the owner.

Architectural Floor Plan

S.E.A. incorporated many sustainable features, such as LED lighting, non-toxic cabinetry and finishes, a terrazzo floor, and updated energy efficiency for the entire building envelope (doors, windows, walls, and roof).

With a strong focus on durability, there is no drywall in this project. All interior walls are constructed with 4” masonry units and stucco finish, and the ceiling is finished with fiberglass board. The kitchen features a solid poured-in-place concrete counter and waterfall edge with stainless steel cabinetry and glass shelves.

Poured in place concrete counter and island. Stainless steel appliances and cabinets

Concrete counters were also utilized in the bathrooms. The master features a sunken shower as well as a soaking tub. All fixtures are dual flush water sense rated.

The house has improved energy coating in all glazing, a reflective exterior paint, and increased rigid insulation in the roof. Air conditioning equipment was selected with increased SEER to further improve the energy performance. The house is PV-ready with installed piping and mounting brackets for a future system.

Primary Suite recessed shower and concrete counter with stainless steel vanity

Sebastian Eilert Architecture is a sustainable architecture and Interior Design firm with its main office in Miami, Florida.  The boutique firm specializes in the quality design and delivery of for custom new residential homes and light hospitality projects. Sebastian Eilert Architecture has significant experience in the design of Miami-Dade County criteria compliance, design for aging in place, durable and minimal maintenance design, as well as waterfront and off-grid projects.

Project highlights include the first USGBC LEED certified project for Miami Dade County, the Lower Garden Building in Pinecrest Gardens for the Village of Pinecrest, a durable focused residence in the Moorings neighborhood in Coconut Grove (no drywall or wood used in the project), a Contemporary style Coral Gables waterfront home with an original canal access boat house, and a major renovation and addition of a 1912 Coconut Grove Mansion (received a Sustainable Design Award from DHT).

German born principal, Sebastian Eilert AIA, LEED AP+ has been awarded, among others, the Historic Preservation, Sustainable Design Architect of the Year, and Young Architect of the Year award from the AIA Miami and honorary Emerging Green Builder from the University of Miami. Mr. Eilert was adjunct professor at the University of Miami and a frequent team member of the AIA National SDAT program.

Precision, quality, and dedication to timely completion distinguish Sebastian Eilert Architecture from its competitors… the German Way. Find more projects, and contact Sebastian Eilert Architecture to start your own project, on

Outdoor shower and pool. Beveled window edge for natural light transition.


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.

S.E.A. awarded “Green Historic Preservation Award” by DHT for the Abbott Residence renovation & addition in Coconut Grove.

It is official:
S.E.A. was awarded the “Green Historic Preservation Award” by Dade Heritage Trust for the Abbott Residence renovation and addition in Coconut Grove.
Congratulations to the owner and the team. Thank you for this great honor!


Project Description:

The Abbott Residence is wonderful remodel and addition of a 1916 Grove house located in Coconut Grove. The original estate consisted of a two story residence with extension to kitchen, converted garage and maid’s quarter above, as well as a free standing guest house across the yard. The main building was erected with structural oolitc limestone. The building has a full basement with a concrete cistern that seemed to have been used for the adjacent grove.

The project addition includes a connecting covered breezeway to the guest house. The guest house was enlarged by converting a late addition to match the original roof line and finish. An outdoor BBQ area was also added to the guest house. Since the original garage was converted, a new 2 car trellis carport was added as well as an enlarged and improved entry to the main house. Finally a new outdoor eating area was added outside of the existing kitchen featuring a trellis cover.

The renovation included a full upgrade to the kitchen, new second floor layout including a master suite and 2 additional bedrooms with a jack and Jill bathroom and overall upgrade of the remaining spaces. The project received a full upgrade to the electrical system, improved efficiency HVAC systems and new gas lines.

The project combined a number of my key principles and passions. The historic building and its character were well recognized and maintained throughout design. The addition blends with the original structure to improve the overall feel of the house and site. The traditional building style and proportions are typical for that area in the Grove and South Florida. Coral rock, lots of natural features, including large windows for cross ventilation mark the direction for design.

Project Challenges:

A key challenge to this project was the integration of materials to comply with current code. Items included specifically were the upgrade of the doors and windows. The structure consists of 16” limestone without additional reinforcing and boasts oversized windows and openings to allow for natural light and cross ventilation. Finding a Miami Dade approved window to fit the required size was achieved only in combination with a minor reduction on the opening at the ground level. Further, the anchor into the limerock structure to allow for required anchoring was achieved only with the use of 12” anchor bolts.

As with many historic preservation project, matching the existing style and character of the house requires certain decisions that bring with them an increased price tag. Keeping the overall project in budget while also staying true to the original design and construction of the house was a major challenge.

During renovation, it was discovered that the roof had some damage. As a result, the entire roof was replaced with matching tiles to the original installation. Finding tiles that were compatible and within budget proved to be another challenge. The original chimney at the kitchen wing was structurally supported by the floor and as part of the redesign of the kitchen not feasible to be saved. A smaller version of the chimney was reinstalled to blend into the overall design.

The final challenge of the project was the site layout, landscaping and driveway. Being a rather large and very natural site, it was decided that the landscaping should blend as much as possible and that the driveway should be porous one rather than a solid material. The City of Miami did not initially approve a gravel driveway.


Green Features:

Beyond the green feature inherit by the project being a renovation and thus recycling the original building, there are a number of sustainable features that have been incorporated. The largest component and impact for energy savings was the replacement of all windows and doors. The original windows showed wear and leakage and were replaced with an impact energy savings option. Keeping the original size and location of the windows allow for maximum natural light as well as cross ventilation. This feature was especially welcome during the construction, before the installation of the new energy efficient HVAC units. Insulation was increased in the roof addict to improve the energy performance of the envelope. The interior features non toxic paint and adhesives. The existing wood floors were restored and refinished in the main house.

The site was predominately left undisturbed and native landscaping was installed to further enhance the beauty of the natural Coconut Grove site. The Driveway was lined with reclaimed brick pavers from a portion of the original driveway. Numerous outdoor living areas were added as part of the project scope, to include a new outside dining area at the main house and separate BBQ cover by the guest house. Car storage was designed as a trellis, rather than a garage to provide protection while reducing the amount of new material used as well as to integrate the new structure into the overall design and feel of the site.