And the Winner Is
The 2,063-acre, first-of-its-kind, sustainable development Whisper Valley has just been crowned the Best Master-Planned Community by the Austin Business Journal.
What wowed the judges? The list is long, but at its top is the community's eco-friendly approach. It is the largest in the nation to use a new geothermal infrastructure to power 7,500 residences, along with future commercial buildings, schools, a fire station, and more.
"We're honored by the award and are grateful for the recognition," says Douglas Gilliland, president of Taurus of Texas, a division of Boston-based Taurus Investment Holdings. "Affordability and sustainability are two of the hardest nuts to crack in residential real estate, however Whisper Valley can accomplish both. First-time buyers and growing families will be able to afford a new home, while collectively reducing their carbon footprint and saving energy."
To accomplish this, Taurus created EcoSmart Solution, a green energy service provider that designs and delivers innovative geothermal infrastructure for zero-energy-capable communities. Combining geothermal heating cooling with a Solar PV System on every house, Whisper Valley is utilizing EcoSmart's energy management platform EcoNoc to create zero-energy-capable homes that exceed the local energy efficiency building codes in Austin and give homeowners much lower utility bills.
"Developer Taurus Investment Holdings was one of the starkest examples of a local business to immediately feel the 'Tesla effect,'" writes the Austin Business Journal. "The whole thing would make Elon Musk proud, given that homes use geothermal heating and cooling systems to reduce energy consumption by up to 65 percent — and every house comes with solar power and gadgets such as Nest thermostats, which can run on Google Fiber implanted in the area."
Whisper Valley also showcases 700 acres of greenspace, parks, and amenities including trails, a resort pool, fitness facility, a dog park, and lifestyle programming. A natural wooded area in the community has also been certified as a Wildlife Habitat by the Texas Conservation Alliance and National Wildlife Federation, preserving the native habitat of indigenous wildlife on the site.
On-site organic gardens are managed by the community farmer and provide free, community-grown produce to residents. Future amenities will also include a 600-acre public park and a planned transportation hub.
Whisper Valley was also recently named Project of the Year at the 2021 Austin Green Awards, as well as 2021 Master-Planned Community of the Year at the Greater Austin Homebuilders Association's MAX Awards.
The community is situated just east of the SH-130 Tollway and 25 minutes from downtown Austin. Homebuilders include Pacesetter Homes, GFO Home, Thurman Homes, AHA Dream Homes, CastleRock Communities, and Terrata Homes, with prices starting in the mid $300s to $600s.