The HGTV Green Home Teaches Water Conservation

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The HGTV Green Home is a shining example of how to build a beautiful eco-friendly home.

If you weren’t already aware, the 2008 Green Home was built just outside of Hilton Head Island (HHI), SC  where developers and builders are creating an environmentally responsible community called Tradition Hilton Head.


We’ve vacationed on HHI quite a few times over the years and this year was no different. We were there just a couple of weeks ago to bask in the sunshine and swim in the surf. The weather was almost perfect the entire time and the bugs weren’t in full force yet so the timing was right on.

I had planned all along on making my way to Tradition to visit the Green Home at some point during our stay, even though I knew the tours had ended already. I was hopeful that I would somehow be allowed to see the home one way or another. Was I successful?

The answer is a resounding NO!

When I arrived at Tradition a nice security guard blocked my path to inform me that the tours had ended (knew that) and that I would need to turn around and exit the property. I asked if there was a way that I could just drive back to see it, without touring, just to snap a few photos from the outside. She replied, “I’m afraid not.” “They (real estate agents) would have to escort you to the property and they don’t arrive for a couple more hours.” With no time to wait around I decided that it was not going to happen this time. C’est la vie!


When You Are Given Lemons…Make Lemonade

That’s pretty much how it ended and I was bummed out about the whole thing because I had looked forward to seeing it for at least the last couple of months. The only photo I managed to take was the one you see here at the top of this post. Which leads me to why I’m posting this article.

If you look closely in the photo at the top you’ll notice that there is a sprinkler system in use to irrigate the front entrance. Interestingly enough the water for the irrigation system throughout the entire community is supplied via treated reclaimed water from the retention ponds located on the Tradition property and also from the local water and sewer authority. That is one of the highlights of water conservation in this eco-friendly community.


Water Conservation is Key

Water conservation was a key factor in earning the Green Home the LEED Gold-level certification amongst the myriad of products, construction methods, materials and ideas that indeed makes this an excellent example of how to build a green home. Qouting from the HGTV Green Home website, here are the highlights of the smart uses of water throughout the property and community.


2008 HGTV Green Home includes design features that will reduce the overall water consumption by 40% over a conventional home. This not only reduces the utility bill, but reduces the community’s total demand for clean water.

Water Reuse – Tradition as a community collects stormwater from streets and stores it in a network of retention ponds. This water is then reused for irrigating of lawns throughout the community.

Water efficient fixtures – Using low-flow toilets reduce water usage while maintaining water pressure. Aerators on sinks and showers are added reduce water flow.

Water efficient irrigation – Using drought-tolerant and native plants reduces the need for irrigation and fertilization. The irrigation system features a rain sensor that automatically restricts the system during wet weather. The system also uses high efficiency heads that direct the proper volume of water exactly where it’s needed.

Rainwater Harvesting – 2008 HGTV Green Home collects rainwater from the roof into an underground cistern. The rain water is filtered and use in the toilets to convey sewage.


The amazing thing about the information provided above is that it’s not that difficult of a task to accomplish for practically any home building site. HGTV has certainly done a great job of doing their part to spread the word about how significant water conservation can be accomplished by the informed consumer and builder alike.

Consumers… demand it.!

Builders… get with the program!

Everyone will benefit short and long term.



Tradition Hilton Head And LEED
All About LEED By The USGBC
HGTV Green Home Videos – See How They Built It
See The 90-Second HGTV Green Home Tour Video