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HGTV Dream Home 2013

By Damir Beciri
18 January 2013

hgtv-dream-home-2013-1Located in a beautiful setting Kiawah Island, South Carolina, the luxury HGTV Dream Home 2013 radiates with a positive vibe. The distinctive look of this luxury home was inspired by the region’s centuries-old humble farmhouse building traditions of tidewater South Carolina with a modern twist from Asian-inspired motifs common in the Pacific Northwest. Aside its aesthetics, the HGTV Dream Home 2013 is also built to meet LEED Platinum Certification.

Designed by Christopher Rose Architects, the 278 square-meter (3,000 square-foot) HGTV Dream Home 2013 nestles into the environment as well as it fits the architectural heritage of the Charleston area. In coastal areas, the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued that homes must be elevated to protect the structure and interiors from floods. Another benefit of building 3 meters (nearly 10 feet) above the ground on Kiawah Island is the additional ventilation from the prevailing onshore breezes, as well as additional space for under-building parking and storage.

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HGTV Dream Home 2013 is designed to protect its inhabitants from the hot local climate – porches face east and west to shade the sun, thereby lowering indoor temperatures and costs for temperature regulation. The home exterior is rather simple instead being ornamented, but it exhibits exposed 12-by-12 timbers, fashioned from Southern yellow pine felled less than 200 miles from the home, have a Northern California feel and are a point of green-building pride for Project Contractor Craig Gentilin.

NuCedar shingles resemble cedar shakes but are made from extruded polyvinyl chloride and come with a lifetime warranty that they’ll never rot, separate, absorb moisture, warp or host insects. The walls and roof are filled with JM Spider Custom Insulation, a spray-in fiberglass product that delivers more than twice the R-value (a measure of insulation effectiveness) that’s required by code, contains no formaldehyde (a noxious chemical common in insulation products) and is mold- and mildew-resistant.

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The home features a twist on the meaning of “great room” by making it function as home’s main communal activity areas – kitchen, dining and family rooms – which are connected to a 55 square-meter (600-square-foot) rear deck that flows from and lives like part of the great room thanks to a wall of glass with integral French doors. The sleek modern fireplace and Seattle loft-inspired kitchen leave no mistake that this take on the region’s quaint architectural past has been thoroughly updated.

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Baseboards are simply grooved and crown molding is eliminated. In the kitchen, flat slabs comprise kitchen cabinet doors and giant sheets of glass laid over walls stand in place of an intricately tiled backsplash. Beautiful, durable and easy-maintenance materials contribute to the home’s sense of serenity. Products include tougher-than-oak bamboo flooring, hardwearing granite counters, weather-tough cellular PVC siding and garapa decking – a naturally rot-resistant tropical hardwood that’s certified by the Forest Stewardship Council to have been harvested following ecologically safe logging practices.

The PAC-CLAD aluminum roof is extremely durable and made from recycled metal that can be recycled again. The factory-applied gray and copper finishes will reflect far more sunshine than standard dark roofing and may thereby cut the home’s cooling costs by 15 to 20 percent. The house features long gable overhangs to provide cooling shadow, plus large windows to flood the interiors with sunlight. Drainage swales on the ground are used to capture rain runoff from the metal roof and lined with native plants such as gregia, scouring and horsetail rushes, and southern wood fern.

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Hurricane-proof Gayko windows feature dual glass panes filled with insulating argon gas and an invisible low-emissivity (low-e) coating that blocks solar heat from passing into the home. Aside the great room, glass dominates the master bathroom which has its own walk-in shower with transparent walls and frosted glass encapsulating the water closet. The gas fireplace provides the best example of uncomplicated design: The sleek horizontal, picture frame-like opening, devoid of mantel and surround, houses a linear yellow flame that rises from a pebble floor.

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To cool air inside the house, HGTV Dream Home 2013 relies on five loops of water-filled piping run from the blower unit in the attic to 100 meter (300-foot-deep) wells, where they are chilled to the constant soil temperature of 17.7°C (64°F). Water travels to the water furnace, a heat exchanger that creates refrigerant from cooled water and pipes it to an air handler that ultimately cools the home. LED light fixtures and installed Energy Star-rated appliances are used in order to lower energy consumption.

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A design element that contributes to HGTV Dream Home’s green-building credits also contributes to the home’s simple, stripped-down aesthetic. The custom boot bench by the main entrance encourages people to remove their shoes before advancing further into the home, which helps to keep the house clean and protect the floor’s finish.

The infinity pool on the rear deck is visible from the great room as well as the master bedroom and broadcasts rippling light throughout the house. Overall lower water consumption is achieved with low-flow shower heads and a drip irrigation system for landscaping plants.


Property lines were drawn to preserve the biggest local flora such as old oak trees, and fencing was used to to prevent project debris from impacting wetlands and protect the shallow root systems from construction vehicles. Small palm trees and ornamental grasses were removed from the areas where soil would be excavated for concrete footings, and they were transplanted around the home, along with a mix of other naturally occurring landscape elements.

Despite the facts it is the first HGTV Dream Home which achieved LEED Platinum certification, it does have green features and it is compact compared to other McMansions out there, and the vibe it radiates is great, I have to add that it is still a bit too large to be considered as sustainable as other projects whose self-sufficiency and humbleness make them serve as beacons to new generations of architects. I guess we’re still finding our way there.

If you like the images, make sure to check the rest of them at the HGTV Dream Home 2013 gallery page.

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