Ascend the steps at 117 Halona Lane and there’s a sense of having arrived at a special place. The house at that location seems as if it belongs there, almost as much as the marshes and grasses just beyond.

It’s the 2013 HGTV Dream Home, the first situated in the Lowcountry since 1998, when one was in Beaufort. This 17th Dream Home, designed by Charleston architect Christopher Rose, is found in a small Kiawah Island development.

The house’s design is influenced by traditional Lowcountry cottage architecture, and some materials used reflect an Asian-inspired simplicity that’s often associated with West Coast structures.

Hence, the style of the house, which can be toured digitally at, is described as Lowcountry Zen.

The house has a double-height great room, gourmet kitchen with butler’s pantry and laundry, dining area, multipurpose loft and three bedroom suites. It also has a front porch, rear deck and garage that connects to an outdoor activity space.

Most important to many is that it was designed, built and furnished with a commitment to environmental sustainability. It incorporates many of the latest in green materials and products.

Those who view the 3,000-square-foot home’s features can find an untold number of ideas for greener living. Public viewing on-site starts Feb. 14, when the house will be open for public tours, and money raised from admission fees will benefit a local charity.

Those who would like to own the fully furnished house can register to win the HGTV giveaway package that includes it beginning Dec. 28.

The house is situated in Indigo Park, a Dyal Compass development on Kiawah, where plans are to build 16 such homes.

“The parcel of land became available in 2009, and I basically jumped at it because it is the ‘Central Park’ of the island and overlooking the most gorgeous marsh,” says Candace Dyal, president of Dyal Compass, who set aside three of the development’s 15 acres for the park.

“I wanted to give away the best piece for a park, a platform for building relationships, so you can get to know your neighbors.”

The Dream Home has Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Dyal says the goal is to have all homes built in the development with the same certification.

Jack Thomasson, HGTV’s house planner, says meeting strict sustainability standards for the home required making choices that help keep energy and water usage low, curb greenhouse gas emissions, reduce levels of other toxins and avoid landfill disposals.

As a result, the house has bamboo floors, shingles made of recycled materials, windows made of high-energy-efficiency and impact-resistant glass, low-flow plumbing fixtures and aluminum roofing, Thomasson says. In addition, it boasts LED lighting, VOC-free paints and native plants that soon won’t require any watering.

Other features are a driveway that absorbs would-be runoff that can collect and disperse pollutants into area waterways and geothermal air conditioning that operates on earth-cooled water instead of cooling ambient air.

Linda Woodrum of TS Hudson Interiors, the home’s interior designer, says the house’s interior design features also contribute to making it as sustainable as possible.

Finding many attractive choices for furnishing the house was much simpler than it once was, she says. Consumers are expressing a clear desire to have such products and those who make them are responding. The range available made it possible to design an interior that appeals to those with traditional tastes and others who prefer an interior that’s a bit more edgy.

Woodrum chose white quartz counters for the kitchen and a white glass backsplash, colored by painting the back, that’s easier to clean than tile. The kitchen faucet is quickly turned on and off by tapping it to conserve water. Resin accessories are used instead of coral ones to help conserve that disappearing resource.

In addition, large decorative urns covered in oyster shells, sweetgrass baskets and a dog bed with a whimsical palmetto design were made of local materials by local artisans. Huge gates found at a local salvage store accessorize the two-story fireplace viewed from a second-floor multipurpose space.

Reach Wevonneda Minis at 937-5705.