Indigo Park in Kiawah Island sets the standard for building a greener future
Building for sustainability and resilience has quickly gone from being a perk to becoming the standard. Amid the global pandemic, prospective homebuyers are not only in search of homes that have a small footprint on the environment, they’re also looking for a home that they know contributes to their well-being.
But it’s not enough just for builders and developers to simply say their homes are healthy, buyers want that assurance via a third party certification such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
When green building visionary Candace Dyal started real estate development company Dyal Compass in 2008,
the first project she worked on renovating was a home on 109 Flyway Drive on Kiawah Island in South Carolina. This project was the first LEED certified home on the island, which is just 25 miles southwest of Charleston, S.C.
With her desire to build more LEED certified homes, Dyal discovered a 13-acre lot in the middle of Kiawah Island. This led to the development of Indigo Park, an exclusive enclave that includes 16 single-family, LEED certified homes. The sea island community combines sustainability, beauty and functionality, while also redefining luxury by building homes with the most innovative and sophisticated materials.
“The homes are truly ‘luxury lock and leave’ in their construction,” Dyal said. “The sustainable building materials used (including paint, lighting, insulation, roofing, shingles, etc.) promote healthier, low maintenance living.” Development of the neighborhood began in 2011 and will be completely built out with 15 units in 2022. Currently, 5 homes are sold and 8 are being used for rent.
Additionally, Indigo Park was a 2018 finalist for USGBC’s Sustainable Business Award (Community Champion Project category). One of the homes of Indigo Park (119 Halona Lane) was a result of the 2013 edition of HGTV’s Dream Home. According to Dyal, Indigo Park’s target buyers are described as those who “appreciate the long-lasting materials used in constructing the homes, the consequent low maintenance (including the landscaping) these materials provide and the numerous environmental benefit.”
Sustainability by the Sea
Each dwelling at Indigo Park has either a LEED Gold or Platinum certification, the two highest certifications that require at least a score of 60 points and 80 points respectively. The green highlight of these homes shine through the construction technology and materials used.
The typical home is commonly framed with two-by-four studs. For Indigo Park, the homes implement two-by-six wood studs to enhance insulation, lessen noise transmission and beef up the overall construction.
The roofing is interlocking metal and requires minimal maintenance. This roofing system is designed to withstand strong winds, while the heat-reflecting paint is low VOC and cuts back on energy load.
Each home implements great wall insulation, deploying the Spider insulation system, which fills framing cavities completely. This results in superior thermal performance and sound control. Additionally, the fiberglass system, which is 25% derived from recycled content, comes ready with an Environmental Protection Agency-registered mold and mildew inhibitor to fight mold growth.
NuCedar shingles are used for exterior siding and have high solar reflectivity while being impervious to insects. The PVC exterior trim resists rot and lasts four times longer than wood.
Even the lighting contributes to sustainability, as the LED-light emitting diodes produce high-quality light with minimal energy. These lights last much longer than standard light bulbs and help produce melatonin, according to Indigo Park’s website.
The list goes on and on for sustainable features for Indigo Park homes, with each and every aspect well thought out by the project team to lessen the carbon footprint and contribute to health and wellness of the homes’ inhabitants.
Finding the Right Fit
The Indigo Park team consisted of: Dyal Compass as the developer, Royal Indigo Construction as the builder, and Cumulus Architects and Christopher Rose Architects as the architects.
One of the challenges with development on this project was finding the best manufacturers of specific building materials, while also deploying the right workers for the job.
“Some LEED building products are not readily available and the workmanship required is sometimes difficult to source,” Dyal said. “Royal Indigo was a perfect partner in locating both materials and craftsmen needed as we both understand and appreciate the philosophy of environmentally sensitive building.”
Dyal described the Indigo Park team as a “well-oiled machine,” while the relationships built have been created by trust, open mindedness and problem solving.
Design and Location
Aside from the green, eco-friendly features, Indigo Park’s homes are situated on each lot to catch the crosswinds and the light of Kiawah Island.
“(The homes’) open floor plans and large windows enable the crosswinds to circulate healthier air and bring light into the homes,” Dyal said. “The homes are uniquely decorated with nature in mind, complimenting each floor plan.”
The four home models of Indigo Park range from three- to six-bedrooms and vary in size from 2,700 square feet to 3,600 square feet. The designs capitalize on the scenic landscape of the surrounding area.
“Indigo Park homes also include spectacular marsh views as well as views of the Kiawah River,” Dyal said.
The community encourages a year-round active lifestyle with biking, walking, hiking, swimming and boating, conveniently located right in the backyard of the homes.
Indigo Park is located in the “Central Park” of Kiawah Island and is in proximity to a number of attractions such as Kiawah Island Club’s Tom Fazio-designed River Course, River Room restaurant, Clodagh-designed Sasanqua Spa and the five-star Sanctuary Hotel just to name a few.
As green building and sustainability become a main focus of today’s world, it’s developers like Dyal Compass that are leading the way toward a brighter and more resilient future.
Now that the world has had to navigate through the pandemic, health and wellness are at a forefront and what our actions are today having a huge impact on our future.
“Trust that where you are today matters who you’ll be tomorrow,” Dyal said.
Brian Alvarado is the editor of Green Home Builder Magazine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.