Miami Green Homes


Florida’s Place in Smart Design and Sustainable Architecture 

Sustainable “green” building and the integration of smart designs into architecture and homes have both gained momentum since the creation of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification in the early 1990s

Globally, there are more than 500,000 LEED-certified residential homes, including single-family, multifamily and affordable housing units. Out of these, 400,000 are located in the USA, showing the importance of the nation’s efforts to lead the world’s sustainable architecture with residential design and new builds. 

In 2020 alone, over 24,000 residential units and 4,700 commercial projects were given LEED certification globally, with over 1,100 of those buildings being constructed in the USA. This trend of combining smart design into new builds and homes also continues to grow in Miami, Orlando, Tampa and throughout North, Central and South Florida.

The LEED Rating System 

At its core, the LEED rating system encourages architects and builders to use sustainable building materials and smart designs in new builds that protect the environment while improving the lives of people who use these buildings. 

LEED-certified homes and buildings might focus on micro-living, use less water and electricity, have a lower carbon footprint, be made from sustainable materials and be designed for better accessibility for people with disabilities. The overarching goal of LEED certification is to create spaces that support health and wellbeing. 

Buildings awarded LEED certification are designed to: 

  • Reduce the amount of waste associated with the building.
  • Lower the building’s overall costs.
  • Conserve water and energy.
  • Reduce harmful emissions.

The Top States for LEED-Certified Buildings 

According to the USGBC (US Green Building Council), Florida has done well in supporting LEED construction projects all over the state, from North to South Florida. In 2018, Florida had the eighth-highest number of LEED-certified buildings based on square footage.

California took first place for that year with a total of 768,940,808 square feet, while Florida had 154,686,673 square feet. The following year, Florida fell off the LEED Top 10 list for square footage. However, by 2020, the state had stayed in the top 10 at number four for the total number of LEED credential holders, behind California, New York and Texas. These talented professionals of Florida include some of the best builders, designers and architects around. 

Having a large pool of industry professionals in the state who are maintaining their LEED certifications gives hope for the future of sustainable architecture, residential design and green new builds in Florida. It also puts the right professionals within arm’s reach of any local Floridians considering new residential builds or micro-living and who want to combine smart design and sustainable architecture into future homes and residential designs. 

LEED Projects in Florida 

Even though Florida has fallen off the USGBC Top 10 list in recent years, there are still some inspiring projects and homes with smart design in mind that have been constructed recently. The cities of TallahasseeOrlando and Tampa have each been awarded Gold LEED certification, as well as Miami Beach in South Florida in July 2021. This certification highlights each city’s focus on combining sustainability, resilience and inclusion into key aspects of city planning, housing, transportation and workforce development. 

Two of the great residential projects in South Florida include: 

•            Live Oak House in St. Augustine

This residential design in St. Augustine received Platinum LEED certification in 2017 thanks to its energy-efficient smart design principles. The architect of this house designed it for improved airflow in a North/South direction to naturally combat hot temperatures, while making it out of locally-sourced materials. The architect of this residential property also included passive solar lighting and low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, adhesives and sealants. Live Oak House has since been awarded the Florida Water Star Gold certificate for its conservative water consumption. 

•            GaiaMa Residence in Biscayne Park, Miami, South Florida

The GaiaMa Residence is one of the creations of South Florida architect Sebastian Eilert. This residential building in Miami has been awarded LEED Platinum certification, the highest of all LEED ratings. This is thanks to the incorporation of micro-living with smart design, which maximizes space and energy efficiency. Its ICF (Insulating Concrete Walls) and insuldeck roofing provide enhanced insulation, resulting in a -4 HERS rating, which proves this home is four percent more efficient than a net-zero home.

The Benefits of Green Building and Sustainable Architecture 

According to the Environment and Energy Study Institute (EESI), homes and other new builds account for around 40 percent of global energy-related CO2, highlighting the importance of integrating sustainable practices into the industry. 

Keeping this fact in mind, the USGBC has outlined some of the core benefits of green building that don’t only focus on reducing carbon footprints. They include: 

  • Constructing buildings that are profitable, cost-effective and good for the economy on a local and national level.
  • Prioritizing people’s health and wellbeing by improving indoor air and water quality and encouraging collaboration between residents and property owners to meet residents’ needs.
  • Providing an environmental solution that reduces carbon, water and energy waste while producing less waste during construction and through the life of the building.

As the world moves into the future, Florida continues to make strides in sustainable architecture and design that shape how entire cities in the state are planned. As a member of the USGBC, Sebastian Eilert Architecture is one of the industry-leading companies bringing about this sustainable change to South Florida’s architecture and design industry.  

To get one of South Florida’s most experienced sustainable architects working on your next project, click here to visit Eilert’s website and explore his previous projects in and around the Miami area and throughout the state.



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/



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.



4 Ways You Can Upgrade Your Living Room, guest post by Karl Kennedy

Your living room gets a lot of use. It’s the place where everyone gathers and goes to relax. You want to have a space where family and friends are comfortable. You love spending time in your living room. The only downside, the room is in desperate need of an upgrade.

When the furniture is comfortably worn, and the artwork is noticeably sun-faded, it’s time to start thinking about an upgrade.

Furnishings

How a room is furnished says a lot about your tastes and personality. Do the furnishings in your living room reflect yours?

It might be a table that doesn’t fit your style or a couch that looks outdated. When you’re redoing the furnishings in the room, it doesn’t mean everything must go. Instead, there will be pieces you want to keep and others you don’t want to see again.

Replace an old couch or chair with a new piece. Don’t be afraid to go for bold colors or patterns. One statement piece will completely change the room. It can even be a coffee table. Consider a mix of antique and contemporary.

Lighting

It’s amazing what the right lighting can do for a room. It sets the mood, adds ambiance, and it’s practical. As necessary as lighting is, it can also be used as a form of art.

Art deco lamps are elegant, unique, and fun. They’re also functional. Put a floor lamp by a favorite reading chair or set one on a side table to complete a design. Lamps with carnival glass shades set off rainbows every time the sun hits it. There are also interesting industrial lamps with Edison light bulbs.

Track lighting is another option, and it’s dramatically improved. The tracks are hidden so all you get is a brightly lit room. Sometimes, all you need is to update the lights to give your living room a fresh, new look.

Window Treatments

Plastic blinds are in the past, and you have other options than the dated window treatments. Indoor plantation shutters are elegant and classic, along with wood or vinyl blinds. You can even have roll-up blinds installed.

It’s amazing what getting rid of heavy drapes and plastic blinds will do for a room. It brightens up the room, making it look new. It also makes it easier to control ambient lighting when you’re settling in to watch a movie on your laser projector.

Incorporate Art and Textiles

Changing a floor rug adds color, and it’s an easy way to start upgrading an old space. Bright, bold colors are in style. Consider blues and yellows, along with other brilliant hues.

Art is often the focal point of a room or a decorative arraignment. Unique crystal and glass globes, along with colored and patterned vases easily make the statement you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to go for a piece outside your comfort zone. It may be the one piece that pulls the whole room together.

Conclusion

You spend a lot of time in your living room, so shouldn’t you love the way it looks? It may only take replacing a lamp or adding a piece of art to update your space. Others may find that the furnishings need replacing or the window treatments. Whatever changes you make, it’s worth it when you have a space you’re comfortable in and proud to show off.

Karl Kennedy
Author of ProjectorTop.com



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
— Read on architizer.com/blog/practice/details/architectural-diagrams-storage-solutions-for-tiny-apartments/



Best Miami Residential Architects list, March 2018 – ELA Studio/SEA @ #5

Excellent reference list by Miami Architects for their best residential architects list.

Thank you for the recognition. This is a great list with many esteemed colleagues. I am blessed and proud to be among them. Our quality and team approach really make every project great!

http://www.miamiarchitect.org/the-best-residential-architects-in-miami/

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Ready to start your own project journey with ELA Studio?



Design highlights. The Master Suite:

The Master Suite is a renovation and addition favorite. Next to the kitchen, this is probably the second most requested item when considering work to an existing structure. Indeed the improvements to this area are not just good for the immediate living situation, but also are key features for future value of the project. Frequently a master suite involves an addition to the house, rather than only a remodeling, thus increasing the square footage of the overall property.

A master suite, as opposed to a master bedroom, involves a grand bathroom and en-suite closets. The design typically begins with a small entry area into the suite. If space and budget allow, a small seating are is the ideal connecting point to the rest of the house. This area then serves as the connector as well as a buffer from the other spaces.

bedroom

The bedroom itself is generally larger as compared to the other bedrooms in the house. It is important to maintain an overall sense of scale in relation to the overall home. A good size master bedroom should be no smaller than 14’ x 18” and may be as large as 20’x 20’. Very large homes could go over bigger however, I generally advise to keep the bedroom function as a true bedroom and consider adding a seating area or small den to the suite in lieu of an oversized bedroom.

Once the living components are settled, the bathroom and closet relationship must be laid out next. Options include fully separate spaces, resulting in a large number of doors, a closet to bathroom connection in a corridor style or finally an open connection between them. The latter requires a good amount of area as well as excellent air control to avoid any moisture form the bathroom seeping into the closets.

closet-to-bath

The bathroom itself should have a separate toilet room as well as a large feature shower. Here again, the scale of the shower should be larger than those in the rest of the home. Bathtubs are a vanishing commodity and are often forfeited in lieu or a larger shower, possibly used as a steam room. If a tub is desired, it can be integrated with the shower in a single enclose or be freestanding as a feature.

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A spin of off the Master Suite is the guest suite. Similar in approach, these spaces are sometimes referred to as a second master suite and follow the same composition of spaces as above, at a smaller scale. Guest suits are frequently designed in multistory homes and located on the ground floor rather than upper floor to prioritize access over views. They serve as an alternate master suite to allow for aging in place.