Net Zero Homes Headed Way Down South

South Carolina is not a state we hear a whole lot from on the green building front. But we’ve recently gotten word that there’s a net zero housing development coming to the Low Country, with ground-breaking slated for September 20. The Sundial at River Birch in Summerville and Sunchaser at Bridlewood Farms in Ridgeville will feature both solar power (as their names imply) and geothermal heating and cooling, offering homeowners an opportunity to save both cash and carbon.

The two “GeoSolar” communities are under development by Nexus EnergyHomes, the company behind North Pointe, a net-zero development in Frederick, Md., which was completed in partnership with that state’s Housing Authority, and the Maryland Clean Energy Center. The Nexus’s new South Carolina developments lack such local partners, but the company reports that its tagline for these two deep-green projects —  ‘mak[ing] America energy independent one home at a time’ — has been met with enthusiasm by local South Carolina officials, developers and realtors.

NexusEnergy Homes North Pointe, Maryland

image via NexusEnergy Homes

Both of the communities under development will feature geothermal ground source heat pumps, photovoltaic solar panels, super insulated building shells, and state of the art electronic and web-based controls and monitoring systems. These home energy management systems will help to put info regarding each home’s energy usage and generation directly in the hands of the homeowner, and Energy-Star rated appliances will help to keep energy demands to a minimum.

The Sundial GeoSolar Community at River Birch will include three- to five-bedroom home plan designs, as will Phase One of Sunchaser at Bridlewood Farms. Sundial homes will range in size from 2,500 to 3,450 square feet, with homes starting in the mid $300’s. (Quite a bit more, we imagine, if you opt for a site on the Ashley River.) Homes in the Sunchaser community at Bridlewood Farms will range in size from 1,900 to 3,100 square feet, with prices starting in the mid-250’s.

More information is available online.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.