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Osprey Lake Plantation Achieves First LEED Certification in County

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12/21/2009 - Osprey Lake Plantation is Jasper County's first all-LEED housing development to be registered in the LEED for Homes certification program. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is the internationally recognized standard for high-performance, low-water and energy use buildings awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The lakefront community is located less than 10 minutes from Savannah and 15 minutes from downtown Bluffton, S.C., and contains 62 home sites around an 18-acre lake with a neighborhood dock, according to Jerry Reeves IV of Celia Dunn Sotheby's International Realty, which handling marketing and sales. Lakefront home sites can also opt to have a private dock. Homes start in the low $200,000 price range.

"People are looking for value right now, both short-term value and value for the long term, and LEED houses do that," said Reeves. "Energy and water costs are dramatically reduced because of Energy Star and LEED features." An open house will be held in the fall.

The homes will be 25 to 30 percent more energy efficient than the standard home being built today, according to Tommy Linstroth of Melaver Sustainability Consulting, which will be providing LEED for Homes certification for the 62 homes at Osprey Lake Plantation.

The homes will be third-party tested and verified as part of the LEED certification process, which lets  future owners know their homes are truly "green" and energy efficient.

According to Linstroth, some of the home’s energy features include:

• Energy Star windows

• Spray-foam insulation

• Energy-efficient lighting

• Low-VOC paint, adhesives and sealants. VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds, some of which may have long- or short-term adverse health effects, including autism, asthma, allergies and bronchitis.

• Low-flow water fixtures and dual-flush toilets

• Drought-tolerant plants

• Drywall that is a by-product of coal burning

• Green space for Osprey Lake set aside by the developers

• Tree preservation plan

Each home at Osprey Lake Plantation will be analyzed for sustainable construction practices, the materials used, and then tested for energy and water efficiency.  LEED for Homes providers offer third-party project certification and guide project teams through the overall certification process. All projects that wish to participate in the LEED for Homes program through the U.S. Green Building Council must do so through a LEED for Homes Provider.

The location is as much of a draw as the energy efficiency, Reeves added. "It's a great location to live, with easy access to the Talmadge Bridge.”

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