HUD Names Charleston Builder for Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing Concept Home in South Carolina

Low Country Demo to Set Standards in Sustainability, Disaster-Resistance

CHARLESTON, S.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) today announced that Greater Charleston, S.C., will be the site of the nation’s second Concept Home.

The project will take place at Poplar Grove, a 6,000-acre nature conservation community within Greater Charleston’s historic Ashley River Preservation District. Bennett Hofford Construction of Charleston has been selected to build Concept Home Charleston, which is expected to be completed by Fall 2008.

Concept Home Charleston will serve as a model of sustainability, disaster-resistance, flexibility and cost-effectiveness. Like the inaugural PATH Concept Home recently completed in Omaha, Neb., the project will incorporate the most advanced products and systems from leading manufacturers to demonstrate how design and technology innovations can create a sustainable, efficient and durable home that’s also cost-effective to build and high in quality.

“HUD’s longtime commitment to fostering innovation in housing in America will be showcased in Concept Home Charleston,” said Darlene Williams, HUD Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research. “We’re designing and building this house to demonstrate that sustainability and cost-effective building systems can be blended together in a lovely and durable home.”

Concept Home Charleston’s design and technical specifications will meet the nation’s most rigorous green building certification programs including Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes, ENERGY STAR™, EarthCraft House, and the new National Green Building Standard.

“We are excited to be working with HUD on this initiative to make home design more sustainable in a way that can be adopted by the mainstream housing industry,” said Hank Hofford of Bennett Hofford Construction. “With its commitment to set new standards in sustainable development and construction practices, Poplar Grove is the perfect place to create what we hope will become a laboratory for the housing industry to explore exciting new building processes and technologies.”

A design charrette for the Concept Home Charleston will be held at the site on Oct. 24, 2007, to develop the home’s design and floor plan. The final plans, which will include plan variations for different scenarios, will be made available in February 2008 and construction is scheduled to begin next spring.

“New technologies in housing are difficult to introduce. Through HUD’s PATH program, we work with partners to demonstrate the value of technologies in housing from affordable to market rate,” continued Assistant Secretary Williams. “This provides information so others can then make the decision to incorporate technologies into their housing products. We commend the builder, Bennett-Hofford and all the other PATH partners for providing the funding and materials to build the Concept Homes.”

About PATH

The Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing is a public-private partnership of leading-edge home builders, manufacturers, researchers, professional groups, and Federal agencies concerned with housing. By working together, PATH partners improve the quality and affordability of today’s new and existing homes, and help create the next generation of housing for America’s families.

For additional information on PATH, its Concept Home program, and the recently completed first Concept Home, built in Omaha, Neb., including narrated videos showing key technologies during construction, an interactive audio tour, photographs and plans, please visit www.pathnet.org/concepthome.

About Poplar Grove

Located in Hollywood, S.C., just minutes from the Charleston peninsula, Poplar Grove is a 6,000-acre development dedicated to the conservation of historical and natural resources. The property features more than 20 miles of trails bordering a network of inland canals created in the early 1700s to irrigate the plantation’s rice fields. Only 700 single-family homes and 53 town homes will be built at Poplar Grove, with some 3,000 acres having been placed in a conservation easement to protect the property’s open land and Atlantic tributaries that are home to a vast array of wildlife and waterfowl.

About Bennett Hofford

Bennett Hofford Construction has built high-quality homes and neighborhoods along the coast of South Carolina since 1983, including numerous award-winning homes on Kiawah, Seabrook, Edisto and Wadmalaw islands. The company is among a select group of builders offering charming, sustainability-oriented Lowcountry homes in Poplar Grove.

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