Sustainability Action Agenda: 17th Annual Cool House tours spotlight some of Austin’s most sustainable homes

Sep 9, 2013 - 12:52 pm

Austin summers are hot; but that doesn’t mean your home has to be.  This past June, and just in time for the summer heat, Austinites had a chance to take part in the Cool House Tour, co-produced by the Texas Solar Energy Society (TXSES) and Austin Energy Green Building program. 
Tour participants learned first-hand about energy efficiency strategies and environmentally-friendly design, construction and landscaping for residential structures.Photo of solar panels being installed on a roof

Many of the homes featured in the Cool House tour are 4 and 5-star rated homes through the Austin Energy Green Building (AEGB) program.  Created in 1990, AEGB is the oldest green building program in the nation and continues to provide leadership in the sustainable design and building industry.  The AEGB rating system provides guidance for single family, multi-family and commercial structures in areas such as HVAC efficiency, indoor air quality, landscaping, electrical efficiency, building materials, and construction waste.

This year’s Cool House Tour showcased 8 single family homes, 1 duplex, and 1 multi-family residence with environmentally-friendly elements to inspire people to design and build more sustainable structures for themselves.  More than half of the Cool Homes featured solar photovoltaic systems installations.  At each location, tour participants got to meet with the homeowners, architects, builders, and Austin Energy Green Building staff members to ask questions about green design and building features.  A guidebook was also provided that included green feature highlights for each home.

The AEGB Cool House Tour demonstrates how green design and construction can make it economical for homeowners to maintain and operate their homes through enhanced energy, water, and material efficiency, as well as be healthier and safer for both residents and the community.  To find out more about Austin Energy Green Building and the Cool House Tour program, go to:

Find out more about the sustainability initiatives being tracked as part of the Sustainability Action Agenda and decide how you will take action to secure a bright, green future for Austin.