The Travis Audubon Baker Sanctuary is a 715-acre wildlife preserve, part of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve. After residing in an on-site trailer for six years, the steward and his family of four needed a comfortable home that would complement the natural habitat of the sanctuary. 

Only ashe juniper, persimmon and small shrubs were removed from the site to accommodate the house and maintenance barn. Passive solar orientation plus two-foot overhangs and covered porches protect against solar heat gain. A standing-seam metal roof, spray-foam insulation and low-E windows create an efficient thermal envelope. A  7.97 kW solar array reduces the demand for utility energy and a  31,078-gallon rainwater catchment system is the sole water source. This home has a HERS rating of 2 predicting near-net-zero consumption.

In addition to building the steward’s house, structural improvements were made to the Jackie Arnold Pavilion which is used for educational gatherings. A 6,082-gallon rainwater catchment system was installed to provide water for the pavilion’s toilets. The entire Baker Sanctuary was designed and built in a sustainable manner to align with Travis Audubon’s mission of conserving wildlife habitat and the ecological balance of healthy, sustainable and habitable communities. The Baker Sanctuary was founded in the 1960s as the first golden-cheeked warbler preserve in the world, thirty years before the bird was listed as endangered. 

Solluna Builders
Wayne Jeansonne

Select Home Design
Debra Blessman, AIBD, CPBD

Travis Audubon

Biotex Foam Insulation
Dan Amon

Simply Metal Structures
Maggie Nicol

Lighthouse Solar
Stan Pipkin

Innovative Water Solutions
Chris Maxwell-Gaines, P.E.

Austin Energy Program Participant
5-star Austin Energy Green Building rating