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Cool Homes

Cool House Tour 2017

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On Sunday, June 11, Barfield Home Inspection’s owner and founder Randy Barfield had his home featured as part of the 21st Annual Cool House Tour, a collaboration of Austin Energy Green Building (AEGB) and the Texas Solar Energy Society (TXSES).

A home inspector like Randy Barfield sees thousands of houses each year and since 2003, Randy has seen it all. When it comes to homes, he knows what to look for. It’s only natural that he decided to build his own home with his wife Keri a few years ago. It has been a lifelong dream to build an eco-friendly home with sustainable materials on land where he can relax and watch the sunset after a long day of home inspecting. Randy and Keri have spent years perfecting the floor plans and layout for their eco-friendly, modern home at 1100 Rutherford Drive in Driftwood.

The design of this home captures the wide open space of the Texas Hill Country in the midst of a rural subdivision. Each detail was planned and thought out using Randy’s knowledge of what makes a home durable and long-lasting. The street facing side of the house has a double stone wall with minimal penetrations for privacy. The rear elevation features northwest oriented glass facing a 500-acre greenbelt that provides protected views and additional sanctuary. The northwest windows and sliding doors offer natural daylighting as well as indoor/outdoor living space with minimal heat gain. The southwest facing 16.5” thick stone wall blocks summer sun exposure, keeping the interior temperature stable, providing both comfort and lower energy bills. A carport/workshop/courtyard on the west side also protects the house from heat gain and provides future live/work flex space. A 10kW solar array complements the energy saving passive design and provides for most of the home’s energy needs. A standing seam galvalume shed roof was designed to collect water efficiently and supply a 24,000 gallon rainwater harvesting tank for potable water and irrigation.

See photos and videos from the Cool House Tour on our Facebook page here: facebook.com/barfieldhomeinspection.

 

 

Le Casa Desnuda: A Home Inspector’s Dream Home Come True

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By Randy Barfield

I have had a dream for many years to build not only a dream home but a home that was built around energy efficiency with solar and rainwater collection, while at the same time being low maintenance. My wife Keri and I also wanted to build a home that would be a retreat—a welcoming place for everyone who came to visit. That is when “La Casa Desnuda,” The Naked House, was born. The name, for us, meant leave all your worries and troubles at the front door—come in, relax and enjoy.

(left to right: Native Builders, Keri and Randy Barfield, Lévy Kohlhaas Architecture)

I have inspected more than 10,000 homes in my 14-year career as a Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) professional home inspector and owner of Barfield Home Inspection. I have also worked on many homes as a builder and remodeler. I was also trained under the Austin Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure (ECAD) program, Austin Energy and the Building Performance Institute. With this experience and knowledge acquired, it was the perfect next step to build the home of our dreams.

We knew we wanted a unique house, one that was not only energy efficient but was also an expression of what we valued in a home, a bright open space with friends and family, an oasis of birdsong and beauty. In order to achieve this, the first step was to find the right place to settle down and then the right people to make our dream a reality.

We purchased a beautiful piece of property in Driftwood, Texas five years ago. Located in the heart of the Texas hill country, we had the views, the sunsets and the wildlife. It was the perfect location.

Kimberly Kohlhaas was a friend and architect of two mutual friends who also had homes on the Cool House Tour. We knew she had to be the one to design our house. Kimberly discussed with us all of our dreams and ideas for the house and began the design with her partner Francois Lévy in the architecture firm Lévy Kohlhaas Architecture. We then had to find a builder that could take our ideas and dreams and designs and make them a reality.