Campsite at Shield Ranch in Austin, Texas

March 11, 2022

Construction is well underway at Shield Ranch in Austin, Texas. Expected to be completed in summer 2022, this project is a new, 8.5-acre campground within Shield Ranch’s 6,800-acre ranch that serves children from low-income families. The scope includes a 4,900 sf open-air pavilion for community gathering, a commercial kitchen, 11 sleeping shelters totaling 5,900 sf, four outhouses, one shower building, a mile of asphalt roadway, and just under a mile of decomposed granite trails.

This campsite is set to make waves of progress for sustainability, aiming to achieve Gold Certification from SITES. It will be off-the-grid and completely self-sustainable with all privately owned on-site utilities.

Rainwater will be collected by three, 63,400-gallon cisterns and then filtered and treated to provide potable water, per TCEQ’s potable water system requirements. All on-site wastewater will be processed through separate septic fields and the outhouses will utilize evaporative Environmental Loo toilets, which require no plumbing. There will be 198 solar panels that will provide 100% off-grid power through a Battery Energy Storage System.

Before construction began, SITES required our project team to put in place over five miles of orange fencing to protect natural areas outside of our limits of construction. We maintain this fencing daily and are currently working on the trail system’s grading that will eventually be paved with a unique natural paving material called Stalok.

Hill & Wilkinson superintendent Spencer Cook says our subcontractor partnerships have been instrumental in the great progress of this job so far.

“For a tough project as remote and far from town as this one is, we have been fortunate to have an exceptional group of subcontractors that work well together and are always willing to help others.”

This project has been an atypical endeavor with many unique features and one-of-a-kind architectural and engineering challenges. These elements have required many hours of planning and coordinating with the design team and subcontractors, and we are thrilled to be a part of it. The Campsite at Shield Ranch is truly unlike any in the country and will be a model for sustainable design and construction.

You can learn more about the mission of Shield Ranch at