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Meet Sebastian Eilert

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sebastian Eilert.

Sebastian, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Born in Hamburg, German, I came to the USA to study at the School of Architecture at the University of Miami in 1996. After graduating with a five year Bachelor of Architecture, I have completed my license and have been working in the South Florida market since. With over 20 years of experience in the construction industry in both the private as well as the government sectors, I have worked on a variety of projects and with a broad spectrum of stakeholders. The project experience stretches from residential, commercial and industrial projects to multi-million dollar public facilities as well as LEED consulting for the NC, EB and H rating systems of the USGBC.

As a professional, I dedicated my own firm to the advancement of sustainable principles and have applied green concepts in my architectural practice as well as numerous consulting projects. Some of these projects are LEED NC for the first GSA Miami Dade County project, LEED EB for public and private clients, LEED H for multiple homes, including the University of Miami’s Presidents’ residence and Energy Star evaluations. As part of a local government, I have ensured compliance with local, state and federal codes, enforced and interpreted Building Code, reviewed plans and programs and inspected a variety of building types. I have also interacted and advanced intergovernmental and interagency collaboration and managed and supervised a staff of over 14 people.

Experience with public agency bodies includes the lead of over $150 million in educational facility construction as a project manager and Design Criteria Professional (DCP). I fully understand the process as well as the roles of different stakeholders relating to this field and the success of any project. Experience also includes plan review and building inspections under the Florida Building Code for Municipalities as well as higher education facilities requiring extensive knowledge and continuing education for current building codes.

I am a co-founder of the South Florida Chapter of the US Green Building Council, now the Florida Chapter, and past chair of the AIA Miami COTE and served on the board of a local Historic Preservation Organization. My knowledge in sustainable design has contributed to transforming the South Florida marketplace. I received the AIA Miami Historic Preservation (2005), Sustainable Design Architect (20011 & 2009) and Young Architect of the Year (2010) Awards for my efforts. Under my leadership, the firm was recognized as a top 25 sustainable design firm and projects have received sustainable design and historic preservation awards.

Beyond my involvement in the green building industry, I educated as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami, School of Architecture, where I created a new lecture course, Contemporary sustainable design, taught from 2009 to 2014. I hold Florida state licenses as Architect, Interior Designer, Real Estate Associate, Plans Examiner and Commercial Building Inspector in addition to the LEED AP+ BD&C accreditation and NIMS certification. I am also pursuing my FEMA Floodplain Manager certification. I am a member of NCARB and Mensa.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road has been very challenging. Owning a business is never easy, especially a small firm. As an architect the primary challenge has been to balance the business – marketing, finding projects and clients, and the creative side – executing high-level designs, permitting, consultant coordinating and project management. Marketing takes a great deal of time and effort and often minimizes the opportunity to spend quality time on design. The many hats of small business have not been easy – managing office and staff in balance with cash flow has been the greatest challenge. In addition to the operational challenges, many small architecture firms and sole practitioners under-bid projects in order to stay open. This low fee competition makes it very hard to focus well on executing the work without over-worrying about the next payroll and rent.

In addition to two major economic crises since its founding in 2006, I am adapting the firm now to challenge #3 = COVID 19. In the past, I had to focus on further broadening my experience by teaching – at the University of Miami and many professional lectures – as well as growing in the field of building code enforcement as the Chief Building Inspector for a local municipality. Despite all these challenges, I have maintained a high level of design and a long record of satisfied clients and successful projects. Having been blessed with clients seeking sustainable excellence, I look forward to continuing to push the construction boundaries with tiny homes, thoughtful design, sustainable focused projects and durable projects as well as my design for aging in place and creating projects that delight my clients for years to come.

We’d love to hear more about your practice.
I focus on a holistic design approach. Providing an engaging design experience for the clients, orchestrating projects from programming through construction completion.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
A satisfied client, especially one that after the project is done, is happily in the work that I imagined.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Sebastian Eilert
Michael Stavaridis
Brian Sokolowski

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