By JIM PARKER

The Post and Courier

Citing how many houses that David Weekley Homes will frame at Carolina Park, Ben Harrison is bullish if not quite specific.

“As many as we can,” the company’s land acquisitions manager in the Charleston area says.

Bryan Booth, divisional president, was more direct in his forecast earlier this month. “We’ve tied up 120 (home lots),” he says. But he left the door open, too, noting that the company would “build until complete.”

The managers aren’t being evasive; they just realize the many opportunities available with the master-planned community near Wando High School in Mount Pleasant.

Simply put, the total Carolina Park build-out is slated to be 1,500-1,800 residences, and the Houston-based builder would like to secure its share.

Thus far, David Weekley Homes’ efforts in the neighborhood are progressing just fine, thank you.

The builder didn’t open its sales model until the weekend after Thanksgiving and already has sold nine homes, according to Harrison.

One reason for the fast sales pace is the builder is introducing brand new floor plans. Of eight designs at Carolina Park, a half dozen are straight from the drawing board.

“It’s such a significant community,” Booth explains. “We want to start out with a new product.”

The three-tofour-bedroom, two- to two-and-a-half-bath homes are1,872-3,045 square feet in size and priced from $340,000 to $470,000.

The company lists seven models on its website: The Ashburn, Helsley, Waltrip, Backstrom, Fontenot, Whitham and Hargrove — which is the sales model design at 1508 Anacostia Ave.

According to David Weekley, a big perk is the builder’s energy program, Environments for Living. Energy savings are guaranteed with each home, Booth says.

“Reduced energy consumption actually makes an EnergySaver Home less expensive to own,” the company says. “In fact, our homes are on average, 39 percent more energy-efficient than a home built in 2006.”

Each newly purchased house gets a certificate indicating the guaranteed average yearly maximum energy use for heating and air conditioning.

The builder follows the Home Energy Rating System index, a scoring formula established by the Residential Energy Services Network to measure home energy performance across a variety of styles and sizes. The lower the score, the better.

David Weekley says it has a 61 HERS rating in Charleston for the EnergySaver homes.

Examples of the builder’s environmental extras include:

• Conducting an energy audit during the home inspection process that employs a thermal bypass inspection, a duct blaster and blower door test.

• Installing carbon monoxide detectors in every home and sealed or vented combustion appliances in conditioned air space to help avoid buildup of the “odorless, colorless and deadly” gas.

• Designing radiant barrier decking under shingled roofs to keep attics cooler by deflecting heat from the sun.

• Using tankless water heaters, which heat water quickly and deliver an abundant supply so homeowners only pay for the water they use. They are up to 50 percent more energy efficient than a traditional natural gas water heater, up to 70 percent more efficient than an electric one.

• Fitting in pretreated framing lumber, which is friendlier to the environment and reduces the risk of termite damage.

• Venting cooking surfaces directly outside, thereby removing moisture and fumes.

• Employing advanced framing techniques such as stacked framing to increase the home’s strength and 2-by-6 exterior wall framing that allows for nearly 50 percent more insulation in the walls.

“We build six-inch exterior walls, most (builders) do 2-by-4s,” Booth says.

David Weekley and Ryland Homes are the first two builders in Carolina Park, which when all is said and done is likely to seeseveral constructors framing houses.

Carolina Park should benefit from a host of amenities inside the neighborhood or close by. Plans call for a town center with shops to be constructed eventually. Roper’s Mount Pleasant Hospital is adjacent to Carolina Park and is reachable via a connector road without going out onto U.S. Highway 17 North.

Also, developers recently broke ground on an amenities center, to include a swimming pool with dressing areas and a playground. Scheduled to open by July 1, the complex is close to David Weekley’s home grouping.

“We are really pleased with the success so far,” Harrison says.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.