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Retirement Home on the Marsh

Exterior of SC coastal home with porch

Designing a retirement home on one of Charleston’s islands to maximize the amount of living space located at the back of the house facing the long marsh views and the west setting sun while meeting the zoning criteria, demanded some creative thinking.  But we were up to the challenge and created a 1½-story house with all of the living spaces on the main floor and the guest bedrooms upstairs. To satisfy the zoning restrictions that required a certain percentage of the living area be at the front of the house, we added a wing along the street front that allowed the main living areas to be located at the back of the house facing the gorgeous marsh views and taking advantage of the natural breezes.

The interior boosts lots of space for the owners to display their art collections.  Outdoor living space is a must in this beautiful setting so we added a large porch across the back of the house which also screens the windows from the sun, featuring a fireplace to encourage year round living in this magnificent space.

Sustainable design practices were employed throughout the project and include the design of the building’s exterior where sun shading is provided through the use of large overhangs to block the summer sun and the large porch encourages outdoor living without additional cost.  As a result of the location of the openings in every room, cross ventilation is a plus in helping to cool the inside of the house.  In keeping with the sustainable design of this home, a more efficient HVAC system was installed and an enclosure was built to house the HVAC units in a side building to increase their life span.  A high level of wall and roof insulation was also incorporated into the construction to help lower the costs of heating and cooling.  To help save energy and reduce the environmental footprint of the building, a recycling chute was added from the kitchen to the garage.  Durable products such as copper roofing and flashing, Ipe decks and HardiPlank siding were used on the exterior of the building to increase the longevity of the home.

Project Architect: Rachel Burton AIA, OAA, NCARB, LEED AP, BD & C
Architect: Herlong and Associates