Proving that cool homes need not loom large, this stop on the June 9 Austin Cool House Tour gets the job done in only 1,000 square feet of interior living space. Built by Newcastle Homes, the home was designed to evoke the modern, compact aesthetics similar to that found in many European city centers.
From the tour guide book: “An abundance of natural light and ventilation from ample windows and the creation of three outdoor living areas produce the effect of a much larger space than this home’s 1,000 sq. ft. interior. Built-in and transformable furniture with storage along with floor-to-ceiling kitchen cabinets promote clutter-free living. A central AV closet keeps equipment cool and out of the way. Overhangs, low UV glass and operable shading both inside and out protect the interior from the sun’s heat and glare. An energy efficient ducted mini-split system is the appropriate size for this small structure.”
Rainwater Collection and Rooftop Solar
The home keeps municipal water system usage for irrigation to a minimum with its 500-gallon rainwater catchment tank. On the rooftop, a 5.4 kW solar array produces much of the energy needed to operate the home.
Smart and voice-controlled features also set this home apart, with security, audio, video, lighting, and window treatments getting fully programmable and automated controls for energy efficiency and convenience.
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.