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.
Tom Kolnowski is the Chief Content Officer & Founder of Digitized House Media, LLC, the publisher of Digitized House | Guide to the Connected Home. When he isn’t writing about smart home technology, sustainability, and high-performance architecture, you’ll find him exploring faraway destinations with his family.