Tour the Hibiscus Island Contemporary Designed to Combat Sea-Level Rise

When it comes to designing for the future in Miami, architects and developers must take steps to protect against the elements, storms, etc. which can cause rigors to the property. Progressive architects like Miami-based Choeff Levy Fischman are using climate change and sea-level rise as an opportunity to make a statement and create a solution for the future.

One of the globally-acclaimed architect’s newly completed luxury waterfront homes on Miami Beach’s Hibiscus Island addresses two of the area’s major issues; sea-level rise and low, regularly flooded streets. They did this by incorporating elaborate grade changes to create a significantly steeper driveway and dramatic front entryway stairs all while making the residence accessible from the street and exceeding base flood elevation requirements. They also designed a system to filter stormwater on-site, and retained additional site fill required to raise the residence to 10’ NGVD – the FEMA required base flood elevation.

Choeff Levy Fischman also designed the home to include several green features to help protect the home against Miami’s various natural elements including a full, onsite rainwater retention system. The architects designed a combination of swales, subsoil, and underground exfiltration trenches where water is cleaned, filtered and maintained on the property. The stormwater is then naturally filtered and redirected to the City storm sewer. They also incorporated insulated glazing utilizing low-e film to minimize solar heat gain and glare. This green method also reduces energy impact costs, and a high Albedo roof membrane was installed to minimize heat and cooling loads. Choeff Levy Fischman also designed the south facing waterfront home to withstand hurricane winds, storm surges, and ongoing rising sea levels. The residence’s seawall stands at 7.26 NGVD – the code requirement at the time of the design was 4.8 NGVD. The home also sits 22′ to 26′ away from the seawall, allowing for additional storm barriers. Choeff Levy Fischman anticipates forecasted sea-level rise, and believes being proactive while practicing what they so often preach are just some ways these homes can sustain the test of time.

The home itself is a two-story, five-bedroom, five and a half bath residence that spans just short of 6,000 SF. They incorporated limestone flooring and accenting Cumaru wood throughout different areas of the home. The kitchen boasts carefully crafted Italian millwork and a designated bar area made of stained Italian Oak that comes with two Sub-zero wine coolers, one for reds, one for whites. Calacatta marble was integrated into the kitchen’s backsplash and countertops, and the kitchen island to brighten up the area. One of the signature features of the home is the pocketing sliding glass doors which blend indoor and outdoor living. They open to reveal a shaded limestone patio and pool area perfect for avoiding South Florida’s heat.

Upstairs was uniquely designed with a floating master bedroom suite offering bay views, Brazilian Oak wood floors, and walls of white stucco and warm Cumaru. The master bath includes a large soaking tub that sits across from the balcony facing the water and a large gray marble shower with glass swivel door.

Outside is an entertainment paradise complete with a bayside pool situated beneath the floating master bedroom suite and includes a cascading water feature. The grounds offer a lush tropical ambiance with foliage including a Bamboo garden.