Austin Cool House Tour 2018 a study in smart design

The Austin Cool House Tour features this smart and colorful residence by Carter Design Associates. Image: Leonid Furmansky.
Carter Design Associates and Tensegrity, LLC, exterior shading. Image: Leonid Furmansky.

For residents of Austin, Texas, the 22nd annual Cool House Tour is an opportunity to take in the latest in high-performance residential architecture, encompassing both new construction and remodels across single- and multi-family configurations. These are, well, cool houses that incorporate smart design from the ground up and and respond appropriately to their deep-in-the-heart-of-Texas locale and a climate that can be oppressively hot. This year’s tour runs on Sunday, June 10, a day when the temperature is expected to reach 95° Fahrenheit.

According to the co-producers—Austin Energy Green Building and the Texas Solar Energy Society—the self-guided tour “showcases homes that are designed and built to high standards of energy efficiency, comfort, and regional design. This signature event is a resource for learning how to live comfortably in the hot Central Texas climate. Homeowners and building professionals will be available to share their experience with you on bringing these sustainable homes to fruition.”

So, one can learn from not only the actual residents of these properties, but the architects, designers, and builders behind them. Many of the properties have rooftop or community solar arrays to offset their monthly utility costs, and several are fitted with smart-home features.

Tickets are $25 and available here. For those unable to attend the tour in person, below are slideshow previews of 3 of the 8 properties that will be open for viewing.

All images by Austin architectural photographer Leonid Furmansky unless otherwise noted.


2009 East 13th Street | Austin, Texas

Strong Roots Development: Eddie Thomas and Jonathan Clow

  • New construction
  • 1,900 SF + 300 SF accessory dwelling unit
  • 10 kW solar photovoltaic array
  • Austin Energy Green Building 5-star rated.

2207 East 9th Street | Austin, Texas

Carter Design Associates: Donna Carter, FAIA
Tensegrity, LLC: Wilson Owen

  • New construction
  • Rainwater catchment system with 2,500-gallon underground tank
  • 7.4 kW solar photovoltaic array
  • Austin Energy Green Building 5-star rated.

1713 Wethersfield Road | Austin, Texas

Barley|Pfeiffer Architecture: Alan Barley, AIA and Peter Pfeiffer, FAIA
Hudson Custom Homes: Tommy Hudson

  • Remodel and expansion of home in National Register of Historic Places
  • Proprietary shading umbrella roof system by Barley|Pfeiffer Architecture
  • Energy bills reduced by 50% following remodel
  • Austin Energy Green Building 4-star rated

More about this topic:

Cool House Tour website
Digitized House Magazine

Tom Kolnowski
About Tom Kolnowski 152 Articles
Tom Kolnowski is the Chief Content Officer & Founder of Digitized House Media, LLC and Digitized House Magazine, and has enjoyed a career in hi-tech, publishing, marketing, and creative roles—including 10 years as head of global content publishing at a leading hi-tech firm. He lives and works in Austin, Texas.