The Post and Courier

The initial house built in The Village Place is not only designed to be attractive and liveable, it’s capable of spooning out energy for free.

Launched this summer, the close-to-3,000-square-foot house is on the far eastern edge of existing The Villages at St. John’s Woods neighborhood on Johns Island.

Charleston-based Amerisips is framing the two-story residence, called The Whilden. The builder has completed the exterior and is in the final stages on the porches and interior, which include high-end finishes.

Amerisips crafts homes with scores of eco-friendly features, enabling the dwellings to use zero net energy. The work includes custom homes that use its “free energy living” design.

The Village Place, however, would be the first time Amerisips has erected a whole neighborhood of homes. Amerisips Communities plan to raise up to 40 houses with 10 available floor plans sized 1,357-2,900 square feet.

Specific home prices haven’t been publicized but are expected to cost more than $400,000 to start with, since the first houses are among the larger ones. Prices should decrease from there as more moderate-sized models are released.

“It’s putting all the pieces together,” Steve Bostic, president of Amerisips, has said of the net zero energy residences. With everything pre-engineered, the result is “a good quality home.”

The Whilden includes a host of energy-saving features — structural insulated panels, rooftop solar strips, air-to-water HVAC system and energy recovery ventilator to name a few.

But the house was built a bit differently so that it could serve as the on-site sales model.

A second house is now in progress employing the 2,400-square-foot Brunswick floor plan. That house will be the first with an “eco-shell” that combines all the energy-saving technology in one frame. Each eco-shell takes 45 to 70 days to build. Once the shell is finished, buyers can customize the rest of the house, Bostic says.

Mount Pleasant-based American Vernacular architectural design firm drafted nine of the 10 floor plans, which are from 1,748 to 2,900 square feet. Others are the Charlotte, Beaufort, Somerset, Archdale, Craftsman, Edisto and Montrose. Artistic Design and Construction developed one floor plan, the 1,357-square-foot Ashley Cottage.

The Whilden home construction, and all of The Village Place, is a collaborative deal.

The Village Place is located within The Villages at St. John’s Woods, a Pearlstine Development neighborhood of traditional homes. Pearlstine is also the developer for The Village Place. Amerisips Communities is the builder. Carolina One New Homes is partnering with Amerisips to handle sales and marketing.

Carolina One will be representing Amerisips Communities throughout the metro Charleston area, according to the real estate company. It is now in The Village Place, which has 40 home sites and will be “sporting a wide range of amenities and aesthetic neighborhood touches.”

The Johns Island locale “offers easy access to the historic district, hospitals, beaches and public golf courses, according to Carolina One New Homes.

The Whilden is described on the Amerisips website as a Lowcountry home that “marries traditional charm and 21st century performance.”

Showcasing four bedrooms and three full baths, the residence displays 10 foot ceilings throughout the first floor and vaulted ceilings on the second level.

A great room is accentuated with a fireplace, and there are broad views outside double doors and windows, according to American Vernacular.

Distinguishing the eat-in kitchen is a large island with breakfast bar, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and a gas stove. The cooking area opens into a dining room.

Also on the first level is the master suite sporting a walk-in closet, tile shower and soaking tub in the bathroom.

There are wide porches front and back, which add to the living space.

Upstairs is a second master bedroom-nanny suite that touts a private bath and vaulted ceilings, according to the website.

The backyard is private and tree-lined with a tall live oak tree.

According to the website, the model is 1,673 square feet on the main floor and 1,216 square feet on the second level. The lot is large enough for a two-car garage with workshop.

Environmental features of home are:

• Amerisips’ Free Energy Living designed to cut the electricity bill 50-100 percent.

• Structural insulated panels that the company contends are two to three times stronger than using “stick-built” materials.

• Energy recovery ventilator that manages a continuous supply of fresh air while dehumidifying incoming air, reducing the possibility for mold growth.

• In-duct ultraviolet filtration system that filters out contaminants and allergens such as dust and bacteria.

• Extra quiet and super-efficient HVAC system, designed to reduce humidity as much as 30 percent over traditional systems.

• Low profile solar “shingles”, built into the roof, which can capture the sun’s energy and generate most or all of the electricity for the home during the day.

• If the roof makes more electricity than is used, the excess power flows back through the meter into the power grid.

For more information on touring The Whilden, contact Barry Cunningham, community manager with Carolina One at 843-530-0755 or via email at

The house is just off St. John’s Woods Parkway. Heading southwest, take Folly Road crossing the Wappoo Bridge and turn right on Maybank Highway. Follow Maybank onto Johns Island and cross River Road. Go about two miles and take a left on the parkway. Follow it to the end. Ahead is The Whilden.

For more information and photos, visit

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or


Agent: Steve Bostic, president

Office: Amerisips Homes

Phone: 404-558-3333