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Mississippi Queen

When architect Brett Nave and his partner, architect Kelley Bishiop, began developing the Heron Park neighborhood in the coastal town of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, they managed to lay 1,200 feet of road through a forest and pecan orchard while only removing six trees. And when he set out the floor plan for A3, the home he and his wife, Kelley, and two kids now live in, instead of following the common practice of clearing the lot, completing the structure and landscaping after completing construction, he sited A3 to fit snugly into the lot in order to remove only three additional trees. Nave even pre-designed each of his 21 lots in the same way to minimize tree loss and maximize shading and breezes. These sustainability minded decisions to conserve trees and use narrower roads cost more money and take more time, but the added expense is worth it, Nave says.

Nave recalls potential buyers remarking on how most homes for sale in Ocean Springs are either historic homes—often damaged by hurricanes—or are standard tract models that lack character. Rather than a straight line of cookie-cutter homes, Nave's Heron Park is set amidst woods and three and a half acres of open park.

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