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cool house tour 2012

austin’s top homes featuring sustainable building and design

Sunday, June 3, 10am - 6pm Guidebook: $20. This book is your ticket. Valid for one person.

Produced by:

Sponsored by:

10,000 Homes Rated Still Leading Strong

Austin Energy Green Building proudly celebrates the milestone of rating 10,000 homes in Austin and the surrounding area. From our start in 1991 to present, we continue to offer the expertise you need to buy or build sustainably—from single or multifamily units, to commercial buildings. Architects, designers and building professionals can also take advantage of continuing education opportunities with Austin Energy Green Building.

Learn more about our educational services: » » » » »

Green By Design Workshops Free Professional Seminars Green Boots Education Series Annual Cool House Tour Continuing education credits

A City of Austin Program

Dear Cool House Tour Friends, Welcome to our 16th Annual Austin Cool House Tour. If tradition holds, it will be hot on June 3, so duck into all of these 10 cool homes. You’ll see the best of green building in a variety of styles and sizes, learn about passive solar design, thoughtful construction techniques and the latest technologies. Energy efficiency meets beauty and comfort. We urge you to talk to the homeowners and professionals who make this tour possible and to use their insight and information to create your own energy efficient projects. Every year we notice trends in design and construction. Large scale urban rainwater collection has been gaining momentum and the 2010-2011 drought brought attention to the value of collecting what little rain does fall. The physics of natural air flow and the simple fact that hot air rises is a factor in several of this year’s homes, highlighting the cooling power of cross and stack ventilation. The Texas Solar Energy Society is honored to once again partner with Austin Energy Green Building, the winner of the 2011 United Nations Scroll of Honour Award for promoting sustainable and energy efficient design and building techniques. Started in 1991, AEGB has just celebrated the completion of “The 10,000 Rated Home.” Enjoy the tour, use our first ever phone app, stay cool, and remember that ultimately there is money and resources to be saved by designing and building sustainably. Best regards, Natalie Marquis - TXSES Executive Director Lucy Stolzenburg-TXSES Outreach and Development

Guidelines • Each visitor must have a guidebook or a companion ticket to enter a home. Children 12 and under may attend for free. • The map is meant to be a general overview. Read specific directions carefully for the sites you choose

• • • • •

Photo Credits: Photography of homes by Kimberly Davis Photography Photography of home on page 20 and 21 provided by KB Home

and please note if there are special parking instructions. Please be careful to avoid blocking neighbors’ driveways. Be ready to take off your shoes or wear booties that we will provide at the homes. Please be respectful and refrain from taking photos. Bring a water bottle. It’s Texas; it’s June; you know it will be hot. Please respect the privacy of our generous homeowners and visit only during the public tour hours of 10:00am-6:00pm on Sunday, June 3. Have a good time and let us know what you learn.

Locator Map 9717 Peakridge Drive Austin, TX 78737

pg. 6

3115 Sacbe Cove Austin, TX 78745

pg. 8

7119 Valburn Drive Austin, TX 78731

pg. 10

2906 E. MLK Jr. Blvd. Austin, TX 78712

pg. 12

1901 EM Franklin Avenue Austin, TX 78723 pg. 14 4205 Camacho Street Austin, TX 78723

pg. 16

1901 Alegria Road Austin, TX 78757

pg. 18

7705 Mullen Drive Austin, TX 78757

pg. 20

913 Taulbee Lane Austin, TX 78757

pg. 22

14321 Lake Victor Drive Pflugerville, Texas 78660 pg. 24 Plan your own tour! You may visit the homes in any order you wish.

p. 6

p. 24

p. 10

p. 20 p. 22 p. 18

p. 16 p. 12

p. 8

p. 14

Hill Country EcoBuilders


Lloyd Lee | | 512-970-1401 9717 Peakridge Drive Austin, TX 78737 To reduce their dependence on fossil fuels, the owners pursued a plan emphasizing strong passive design. Proper home orientation on this rural lot creates cross ventilation, natural daylighting, and shading in summer and heat gain in winter. Despite having a public water tap available at the street, they opted for a whole house rainwater system. A geothermal heat pump provides efficient heating and cooling with supplemental hot water; a solar array provides energy from the sun. Directions- From the Y in Oak Hill (W290 and 71W), continue west on W 290 3.2 mi, (L) on Ledgestone Terrace for .5 mi., (R) on Peakridge

Green Features: • House thoughtfully designed for passive heating, cooling and daylighting • Dogtrot design captures prevailing breezes and separates the garage from the house to prevent hydrocarbon gassing • Large covered porch extends the living area • Appropriate overhangs minimize heat gain in summer and maximize heat gain in winter • Windows on the south and clerestory windows on the north ensure abundant daylighting • Geothermal HVAC • 3.3 kW solar system • Dedicated fresh air intake system, energy recovery ventilator dehumidifies incoming air • Energy efficient induction cooktop • 20,000 gallon rainwater system for interior and exterior use • Plumbed for future greywater irrigation system • Tree protection during construction and landscaped with native plantings

Sponsors krkohlhaas design kimberly r. kohlhaas 512-947-1007

Hill Country Ecopower Lloyd Lee 512-970-1401 mb / 512-271-9443 Geothermal Heat Pumps, Solar PV, & Rainwater Collection

Whitaker Water Tanks Corey Whitaker and Gary Whitaker 512-755-4553 and 325-247-6725

David Martin Homes


David Martin | | 512-633-8557 3115 Sacbe Cove Austin, TX 78745

Green Features:

We revisit Texas’ first true solar development that utilizes both active and passive solar design principles as standard features for each and every home. It is also the first urban community to accommodate rainwater for limited indoor use. As of spring 2012, this house is the highest rated 5-Star home in Austin and as a result, fulfills the owners’ determination to build a home that is comfortable, stylish, efficient, and meets their requirement to live with a light footprint. Directions- From William Cannon and Westgate Blvd, go south on Westgate Blvd. 1.5 mi, (R) on Siskin, (R) on Longview, (L) on Sacbe Cove

• Home orientation and appropriate overhangs utilize passive design, optimizes the prevailing breezes, and allow heat gain in winter while reducing heat gain in summer • Modular wall assembly designed and constructed at Las Casas Verdes onsite shop ensures a high quality product with less construction waste • Operable awning windows placed low around the home combined with a thermal chimney pull hot air up and away from living areas in the spring and recycle heated air in the winter • 2,000 gallon rainwater collection system is certified for limited indoor use • 3.2 kW solar pv • Solar thermal for hot water • Dedicated and accessible mechanical systems closet • Stones cleared from development reused in the storm water control systems and landscape features • Community garden is available for all residents • Las Casas Verdes is a community of homeowners devoted to solar and renewable energy and the wise use of all resources

Sponsors McCoy’s Building Supply Benton Reed 512-963-9983 or 512-395-6644

Stock Building Supply- Distributor of Andersen Windows Jim Marasco 512 -444-3172

James Hardie Building Products Thad Bergstrom 512-864-5877 James Hardie ColorPlus Technology – The Making of a Dream Home

Barley & Pfeiffer Architects


Alan Barley and Peter Pfeiffer | | 512-476-8580 7119 Valburn Drive Austin, TX 78731

Green Features:

This lot was so steep it was once deemed unbuildable. The design of this home takes full advantage of the prevailing breezes, spectacular views, and the owners’ desire to remain in the neighborhood they call home. The house hugs the rocky ridge and steep slope, providing a top floor to accommodate the owners’ plan to ‘age in place’, while the downstairs is a space for family visits. The best compliment to this home’s energy efficient design? In the teeth of the brutal 2011 summer, this house was the venue for a fundraiser that was cool and comfortable. The average monthly utility bill over one year was $127.

Directions - From Mopac, west on Far West 2.1 mi., (R) where Far West becomes Ladera Norte for .6 mi., (R) at Valburn

• The home takes advantage of the long walls facing north and south, while the short walls face east and west • Porches capture the prevailing southeast breezes while operable windows placed high on the north walls pull air out, creating a thermal chimney • Screened porch creates outdoor living room – comfort without air conditioning • South facing windows are overhung proportionally to shade in summer while allowing passive solar warmth in winter • Abundant natural daylighting from the south facing windows and north clerestory windows; little need for artificial light during day • Minimal landscape utilizes the natural slope and materials of the lot • High efficiency water fixtures; ENERGY STAR® appliances • Metal roof designed to accommodate both rainwater collection and solar pv system; pre-wiring in place • Synthetic/hybrid framing materials; high recycled content • Innovative detached carport meets HOA requirements while minimizing infusion of hydrocarbons & unhealthy gases into the house

Sponsors Oliver Custom Homes 11506 Pradera Drive | Austin, Texas 78759 512-250-5889 One of a kind. One at a time.

Air-Rite by Design Gilbert Rosipal 512-264-9990

Botanical Concerns, LLC Annie Gillespie 512-371-9774

Foundation Communities


Sunshine Mathon | | 512-447-2026 M Station 2906 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard Austin, TX 78712 This truly affordable multifamily project has it all; from the site of a former concrete manufacturing plant, a super star was born. Unusual for housing that accommodates residents earning 80% of the median family income, this 150-unit development pushes the envelope of green building with a 5-star Austin Energy Green Building rating and a LEED Platinum designation. Rainwater is collected in an underground cistern, solar hot water and solar pv systems power mechanical systems with a renewable resource and keep energy costs low. M Station serves its residents with an in-house adult learning center and a child care center run by Open Door Preschool. We are offering tours of M Station every hour on the hour from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Please park on the streets south of MLK Blvd. Directions- From I-35, east on E. MLK Blvd. 1.2 mi., cross MetroRail tracks. PLEASE PARK ON THE STREETS SOUTH OF MLK BLVD.

Green Features: • Reuse of an urban greyfield: 4 acres of concrete were removed; 65 million tons of concrete was crushed offsite and brought back as road base • 95% of framing materials sourced within 500 miles • Limited building space calls for doubling up on functions: an underground 65,000 gallon rainwater collection system is topped with Habiturf and also used as a fire lane • Metal roof with radiant barrier provides long term durability and ensures top floor units are comfortable in hot weather • 20 kW of solar pv powers the main building, education center and child care center • State of the art zoned central HVAC works as a whole while allowing individual units to control comfort • Vertically plumbed solar thermal hybrid system serves units on all three floors • 90% of units meet a level of ADA accessibility • ENERGY STAR® appliances and fresh air intakes in all units • 50% reduction of average indoor water use through high efficiency fixtures • Located in the richest public transportation neighborhood in Austin, including easy access to MetroRail

Sponsors Bailey Elliott Construction, Inc. Keith Pool – Vice President (512) 327-3951

AYS Engineering Ross Aleman, P.E. 512-961-6835

Lighthousesolar Stan Pipkin and Quentin Keith 512-476-5555

The Stanley Studio


Lauren and Lars Stanley | | 512-445-0444 1901 EM Franklin Avenue Austin, TX 78723 It’s hard to miss this project if you are driving on MLK Blvd. The farm silo is the first clue that something interesting is happening here. Sitting on the corner of a two-acre compound, the work/live Stanley Studio includes multiple elements of sustainability- a green roof, rainwater collection, solar pv, gardens and landscaping that incorporates permaculture techniques. The elements of this multi-use compound contribute to the owners’ vision to create resourceful, resilient, place-specific buildings that champion craftsmanship and generate a unique aesthetic character. Directions- Directions- From I-35, east on E. MLK Blvd. 2 mi., (L) on EM Franklin Ave.

Green Features: • Multiple uses for a previously developed 2-acre parcel - design lab, home, metal studio, informal educational facility, urban farm, preserved creek habitat • New structure on highly visible corner lot mitigates noise from MLK and protects the interior green space • Studio is currently a work space but is flexible as an accessory dwelling/multi-purpose space • East/west studio axis is appropriate on this site for passive interior heating and cooling • Low impact pin footing design is a creative solution to Austin’s tricky clay subsoil and treads lightly amongst existing trees • Modular building components offer economy and efficiency for the structure • Windows, hardware, and 75% exterior siding fabricated on site from recycled materials including steel and glass • Indirect light from the north facing windows is optimal for a design studio • Ductless mini-split is sized appropriately for this 768 sq ft. space • 3.2 kW solar pv system • Green roof planted with native grasses • 1,500 gallon rainwater tank collects from 90% of roof and air conditioning condensate for landscape and green roof irrigation

The Muskin Company


Alan Muskin | | 512-371-0037 4205 Camacho Street Austin, TX 78723 This craftsman style home in the recognized green community of Mueller, is a participant in the Pecan Street project, providing data on home energy use and onsite solar energy production. One of the 30% of homes in Mueller that boasts a solar array on its roof, it is also a part of a growing community of urban homeowners who collect rainwater on a large scale. With a secondary dwelling on the lot, the owners have maximized their footprint while creating rental income. Directions: From Airport Blvd., turn east onto Zach Scott, Camacho is first street on the left

Green Features: • Austin Energy’s Green by Design Workshop encouraged the owners to build a 5-star home • A deep front porch faces the park, encouraging community involvement and shades the west side of the home • A participant in the Pecan Street Project, a private/public partnership that collects crucial data on solar energy production as well home energy use • Locally built cabinets • Kitchen and bathroom countertops made from 100% recycled materials • 5.2 kW solar system • 2,000 gallon rainwater collection system for all irrigation • Secondary residence provides income and neighborhood diversity • Ultra-efficient inverter mini-split and point-of-use water heater in secondary residence is the appropriate technology for conditioning the air and water in a small space

Spring Builders, LLC


Alex Pettitt | | 512-791-0088 1901 Alegria Road Austin, TX 78757 The combination of simple, readily available products with smart design has created a comfortable home on an infill lot. The owners chose this Central Austin location to build a solid 5-star rated home. The structure embodies the green building principle of cross and stack ventilation, a cornerstone of passive design. Access to services, public transportation, schools and parks within easy walking distance are a huge part of this home’s appeal. Directions- From Koenig Lane and Burnet Rd, north on Burnet .2 mi., (R) on Romeria one block, (L) on Laird one block, (R) on Alegria

Green Features: • Previous structure deconstructed and material recycled and repurposed • This urban infill home has a high rating of 72 considered “very walkable” • Texas-sourced wood used for flooring and Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forestry Initiative certified lumber used for structural components • The home’s narrow shape, in combination with properly placed operable windows, and the third floor thermal chimney, promotes cross and stack ventilation • 18 SEER HVAC system • Home performance testing found less than 5% duct leakage • Custom fold-away bed creates flexible space in guest room • LED recessed lighting throughout • Zero and low-volatile organic compound paints and finishes • High efficiency water fixtures • Plug-in electric vehicle capability in carport

Another Great House


Dominique Levesque | | 451-9339 7705 Mullen Drive Austin, TX 78757 This home was designed with outdoor living in mind. Sized appropriately for the owners and their three dogs, the house fits nicely into an established neighborhood. The project was modeled on the basics of quality green building, cooperation between systems and beautiful design. The sealed envelope, high quality windows, metal roof and properly sized HVAC all work to achieve interior comfort at a minimum cost. Directions-From Burnet Rd and Anderson Lane, go east on Anderson Lane .3 mi., (R) on Mullen for .2 mi

Sponsor Quality Living Services, Air Conditioning K.C. Walters 512-928-4580

Green Features: • The original house was removed and the materials reused or recycled • Attention was given to scale to fit into neighborhood • Shaded front porch prevents summer heat gain, while linking owners to the neighborhood • Pier and beam foundation is more adaptable to tricky soils • Spacious outdoor living areas give the home additional space • 1892 sq.ft. house doubles as a work space - both owners work from home • 75% of the hardwood floors were reclaimed from the original house • Low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints and finishes • Permaculture techniques in the front yard create beauty while reducing landscape water needs • Carport separates hydrocarbon gases from the house

Ben Obregon, Architect

22 | 512-263-0177 913 Taulbee Lane Austin, TX 78757 Straw bale home lovers take note: after a long hiatus, we can once again offer a fine example of resourcefriendly, straw bale construction. This multi-generational family compound proves that earth friendly construction sits well in an urban environment. Learn how cross ventilation and thermal layering are two cornerstones of passive design. No standing on the ground while someone waves at the roof and says “the solar array is up there!” View this 5 kW solar system from the third floor party room. Directions- This is a little complicated as N Lamar is divided right where it meets Taulbee. From North Lamar going north, take the Anderson Lane W exit, do a u-turn so you have turned around are now going south on N Lamar. Taulbee is second right.

Green Features: • Urban infill; previous structure on lot deconstructed and recycled by Habitat for Humanity • Home was built around fruit trees and has a compound design to accommodate two generations • Mothers-in-law have separate living suites • Straw bale construction utilizes locally sourced materials • Reclaimed materials obtained for posts, doors and decking • Dogtrot design and thermal stacking promote natural ventilation • Inverter mini-split systems throughout provide zoned comfort control • Bamboo flooring • High efficiency water fixtures • 5 kW solar system • Walking distance to Crestiview MetroRail Station and adjacent a transit-oriented development

Sponsors Clay Sand Straw Kindra Welch and John Curry 512-663-3166 Natural Building Craftsmen – Strawbale, Cob, Earthen Plasters, Local Timber

Boling Roofs & Sheet Metal Company Bernard Boling 512-470-0056

KB Home


Roger Arriaga | | 512-721-3543 14321 Lake Victor Drive Pflugerville, Texas 78660 KB Homes has created the first of a kind house for an Austin-area production builder. The Zerohouse 2.0 is a model home for buyers interested in learning how to produce as much energy in their home as they use. The builder took one of their Energy-Star® qualified home designs and added high performance features - a highly efficient HVAC system, increased attic and wall insulation, solar pv, solar thermal and Low E vinyl windows. Recognizing the importance of water conservation, KB Home is the first homebuilder in Texas to develop an EPA WaterSense™ community. Directions- From I-35 and Hwy183, go north on I-35 5.5 mi., take exit 247, merge onto I-35 frontage road .2 mi., (R) at Howard Ln. .3 mi., (L) at Lakes Blvd .5 mi., (R) on Northtown Blvd. , (L) on Lake Victor Dr.

Sponsor Solar Community, LLC Ruben Cortez 512-904-9006 or 512-573-6305

Green Features: • ENERGY-STAR® 3.0+, a comprehensive energy rating covering electricity, water, thermal enclosure, heating, ventilation and air conditioning • Home Energy Rating System® (HERS), measuring energy efficiency, is a -2 out of a possible 100 (code); the lower the number, the less energy needed • Cutout in garage wall demonstrates wall assembly and high efficiency insulation • American Clay finishes improve indoor air quality • Countertops include recycled materials • Low-e, double-paned vinyl windows • Solar thermal system reduces hot water costs. In all electric homes, hot water heaters typically account for one quarter of the electric bill • 6.3 kW solar pv • Solar production and home energy use are displayed in real time on computer and TV screens in the home • WaterSense ™ landscaping and drip irrigation system reduces turf, encourages gardening and composting and promotes a more sustainable lifestyle

Home Tour Underwriters CG&S Design-Build Billy Guerrero/Stewart Davis AIA 512-444-1580

Schott Solar PV, Inc.


Gary Resnikoff (303) 954-9345

Stuart Sampley Architect 512-771-8856

Special Acknowledgements Margaret Andersen Graphic & Editorial Design 505-310-3932 Kimberly Davis Photography 214-335-6544 Mother Tucker, LLC Developer of apps for iOS devices Aus-Tex Printing and Mailing 512-476-7581

Acknowledgements As with all volunteer events, there are so many people to thank and the fear always lingers that someone will be forgotten. First and foremost, thank you to the homeowners who will graciously open their houses to literally hundreds of tour goers on June 3. Their professional guides, the architects, designers and builders who navigated the Austin Energy Green Building rating process, deserve our thanks for their commitment to sustainable building and design practices. The stalwart volunteer selection committee, fueled by Gary Citron’s baking expertise and transported in Nathan Doxey’s 1986 Vanagon, included Mary McLeod, Richard Burns, Joe Bennett and Yvonne Hansen (veteran of all 16 tours). The AEGB team keeping everyone honest was Jessica Galloway and Bryan Bomer. Brenda de la Garza and Jorge Alvarado were invaluable with their oversight of the guidebook, designed and executed by Margaret Andersen. And finally on tour day, there will be over 70 volunteers, most of whom are veterans of past tours, who will greet you, ask you to flash your guidebook/ticket, and once more remind you to take off your shoes or don those blue booties.


Founded in 1976, the Texas Solar Energy Society is a non-profit organization with a long history of solar and renewable energy outreach and education. Join us! We do cool stuff.

Cool House Tour 2012 Guidebook  

Please enjoy the online edition of Austin's 16th annual Cool House Tour. The guidebook features the city's top homes in energy efficient des...

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