Before construction began the design/build team determined which trees (including 60-foot-tall live oaks) and vegetation (palmettos) would be saved from demolition.
To accommodate hurricane conditions and flooding, a foundation of Southern yellow pine supports elevate the home 10 feet above ground level.
In keeping with classic Low Country style, the home's gable ends feature long overhangs to provide shade. The undersides are clad in 1"x4" V-groove Southern yellow pine soffit material that is protected with a marine-grade finish.
Landscape architect Matt Wilson added palmetto trees in the front yard to give the property a sense of permanence. Evergreen shrubs such as yaupon holly, wax myrtle, dwarf palmetto and Walter's viburnum give texture to the landscape.
Among the most intriguing architectural elements, a powder-coated aluminum railing system, capped with sustainable mahogany, offers a subtle nod to nautical.
Support piers, with exposed steel hurricane strapping, lend visual interest.
Custom drainage swales help to capture runoff from the roof. Water-loving plants such as gregia, scouring and horsetail rushes, and southern wood fern will help absorb the water.
Using locally sourced building materials, including Southern yellow pine, contribute to HGTV Dream Home 2013's LEED certification.
PVC siding, designed to resemble century-old cedar shingles, contributes to the home's Low Country style and will prevent both water and insect intrusion.
Palmetto trees with full heads provide shade and lend a mature appearance to the landscape.
The front porch, an important Low Country architectural element, provides shade and prevents the sun from heating the home's interior and putting a strain on cooling systems.
Golden-hued garapa decking is naturally resistant to rot, decay and insect invasion.
Flowering drought-tolerant landscape elements attract Kiawah Island's vast array of butterflies.
The HGTV Dream Home 2013 plant palette reflects the natural surroundings; 90 percent of species are native to Kiawah and the South Carolina coastal region.