April 23, 2019

Solluna Builders selected for 2019 Cool House Tour for Fifth Year

The Cool House Tour, sponsored by Texas Solar Energy Society and Austin Energy Green Building, is always popular. This year, there are eight very cool, sustainable homes to visit. The Solluna Home makes a particularly good story. It stands out for a couple of reasons.

First, the home was built for Travis Audubon on their 715-acre Baker Sanctuary. This beautiful Sanctuary is a refuge for the endangered golden-cheeked warbler and is part of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve. The home is a residence for Sanctuary land manager/educator Chris Murray and his family. He’s a biologist charged with caring for the land. He monitors the presence of the golden-cheeked warbler and other animals and plants. In the face of central Texas’ burgeoning growth, protected spaces like this Sanctuary will become more precious and important to our community. What’s more, there’s a surge of interest these days in hiking, birding, and other outdoor activities. On the day of the Cool House Tour, visitors will be invited to hike the Baker Sanctuary trails (normally open only to Travis Audubon members) and learn about birding with Travis Audubon.

Here’s the other thing that makes this home stand out. While every home on the Cool House Tour is designed to be energy efficient and sustainable, the Solluna Home is the only one that features a 32,000-gallon rainwater collection system that provides all the water the home needs. And, with an 8-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system, the home will produce almost as much electricity as it uses over a year – a net-zero home. These are extraordinary features sure to generate interest among curious readers and visitors.

The project also included improvements and a new rainwater collection system at the Jackie Arnold Education Center, an open-air pavilion that provides space for classes and meetings.

Building on conservancy land is a specialty of Solluna. They’ve been building green, energy efficient homes for twenty years in both urban and rural settings. Many are five-star homes rated by Austin Energy Green Building. The Baker Sanctuary home was purposefully planned and designed to meet goals and values set forth by Travis Audubon: Respect for the land, the habitat, and environment. A clear, simple aesthetic that suits the property’s location and interesting history. Careful planning and construction. A healthy and sustainable home. Long-lasting value and low-operating cost.

www.sollunabuilders.com

www.sollunabuilders.com/baker-sanctuary-story

www.sollunabuilders.com/baker-sanctuary  (photos)

www.coolhousetour.com/2019-tour-1

www.travisaudubon.org

www.travisaudubon.org/sanctuaries/baker-sanctuary

www.greenbuilding.austinenergy.com/aegb/

For more information about Travis Audubon and the Baker Sanctuary, contact Nicole Netherton, executive director at Travis Audubon. 512-300-2473, ed@travisaudubon.org.