A Decidedly Different Development
New Woodland Shores community acquires national “green” certification
By Charlie Morrison │ Community Editor
There is a rule best proven by exception, on James Island, that residential developments cannot be installed on James Island without an uproar from the preservation-minded public. New Leaf Builders hopes to be that exception, in building Fox Hollow. The development, currently under construction just off the Western end of Woodland Shores Road, will be the site of one of the Lowcountry’s few and James Island’s first “low impact developments” when completed. New Leaf Builders and the site received further commendation earlier this month, when the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) designated the development as a “Certified Wildlife Habitat.” Clearly, if New Leaf is going for the exception to the rule, they have started well.
The development will ultimately feature nine individual lots with semi-custom top quality home designs at varying prices beginning at $325,000. To acquire certification as a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the NWF, the developers were required to demonstrate the area has been “preserved and maintained for the effective cohabitation of wildlife.”
The certification requires developers consider the food, water and sheltering needs of native species when constructing or altering a home or development. Any development or home can acquire the certification should they choose to pursue it.
“One of the core values at New Leaf Builders is to maintain the natural integrity of any area where we build,” said Adam Baslow, co-owner, builder and developer for New Leaf Builders in a June 4 press release. “It was important to us to demonstrate that commitment through the National Wildlife Federation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat designation for our newest development, Fox Hollow.”
After studying the natural features unique to the Woodland Shores area, including the presence of wetlands and the existing flora and fauna. House plans were then put into place on the two-and-a-half-acre property to allow the native soil, trees and foliage to remain as natural as possible.
“The primary goal is to modify the land as little as possible, so that a natural, healthy ecosystem remains intact,” commented Josh Robinson of Robinson Design Engineers, New Leaf’s engineering partner on the project. “As a low impact development, Fox Hollow is designed to work with – not against – the land itself, and to go above and beyond the typical measures of sustainability.”
On top of their other measures, New Leaf Builders is installing “Bio-retention areas” on the property. In these areas, storm water is captured by a bio-retention swale and allowed to infiltrate into the soil through specially selected plants and grasses. The bio-swales and bio-retention area cleans the storm water prior to entering back into the natural ecosystem.
The bio-retention component of the project is set to reap benefits of its own as well, as earlier this year April, Clemson Extension Center installed a monitoring well within the Fox Hollow bio-retention area in order to monitor and measure ground water infiltration onsite, which will gauge how well it positively impacts the natural environment from a water quality perspective. The research will be utilized in designing future developments like Fox Hollow.
For more information on the Fox Hollow development, see http://www.foxhollowsc.com. For more information on New Leaf Builders see http://www.newleafsc.com. To learn about National Wildlife Foundation Certified Wildlife Habitats, visit http://www.nwf.org/certifiedwildlifehabitat.
© 2013 Wiser Time Publishing, Inc