Cool House Tour Featuring Travis Audubon’s Baker Sanctuary Residence

Travis Audubon’s Baker Sanctuary Residence, built by Solluna Builders, will be on this year’s Cool House Tour on June 9 (10 AM – 6 PM).

You must register for this event to secure a spot. Note: This tour is not coordinated through Travis Audubon. Please contact Austin Energy if you have any questions regarding the tour.

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 at Baker Sanctuary makes a particularly good story.

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 and learn about birding with Travis Audubon.

While every home on the Cool House Tour is designed to be energy efficient and sustainable, the Solluna Home at Baker is the only one that features a 32,000-gallon rainwater cachement 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 cachement system at the Jackie Arnold Education Center, an open-air pavilion that provides space for classes and meetings.

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.  (photos)