Whisper Valley and EcoSmart Solution Win Green Builder Sustainability Awards
February 18, 2019
(Austin, TX – Feb. 18, 2019) – Whisper Valley, the $2B sustainable master-planned community in East Austin developed by Taurus Investment Holdings, and EcoSmart Solution LLC, a subsidiary of Taurus that designs, builds and operates Whisper Valley’s innovative energy supply system, were both Grand Award winners at the 2019 Green Builder Media Sustainability Awards on Sunday, Feb. 17. The ceremony took place in Las Vegas during the Sustainability Awards Dinner at the exclusive Mr. Chow in Caesars Palace.
EcoSmart was chosen as the Innovation of the Year Grand Award winner of Green Builder Media’s first annual Sustainable Innovation Awards program. An award-winning staff judged several categories for this award and selected EcoSmart as the principal winner over all entries.
Whisper Valley won Sustainable Community of the Year. The eco-conscious community, which is the first of its kind in the country, was selected as the Grand Award winner above green projects and communities across the nation.
“This community doesn’t just look to the technical side of sustainability. The team took the concept of health and wellness to a higher level,” judges for the Green Builder Media Innovation Awards wrote about Whisper Valley. “They presented health and wellness as an amenity. Highly marketable.”
EcoSmart and Whisper Valley’s awards were detailed in the January-February edition of Green Builder Magazine. Finalists in the Green Builder Media Innovation Awards were based on several green building criteria, including durability, resource efficiency in manufacture, energy efficiency, use of recycled/renewable materials, water conservation, renewable energy, low impact solution to a problem. Each entry had outstanding strengths in one or more of these criteria.
“Product innovations like this show that manufacturers are rising to face environmental challenges, both on the small and global scale. They know there’s no time to waste, and their products reflect that urgency,” said Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief of Green Builder Magazine.
Whisper Valley’s EcoSmart homes are connected by an innovative GeoGrid to maximize efficiency and allow homeowners to purchase zero energy capable homes starting from the mid $200s. The EcoSmart Solution utilizes a geothermal loop system combined with ground source heat pumps to save up to 65 percent on typical monthly energy consumption, combined with Solar PV to generate electricity. Other elements of the EcoSmart Solution program include Nest Smart Home technology, high energy-efficient Bosch appliances and each house is pre-wired for a garage-mounted electric-vehicle (EV) charging station. Additionally, Whisper Valley homes include super-fast Google Fiber internet service and receive complimentary 5 mbps download internet service with the option to upgrade to ultra-fast 1GB internet service.
Each home qualifies for an average Federal Tax Credit of $7,000-10,000, which makes the investment for the home owner even more affordable. Moreover, Whisper Valley homes also exceed the carbon-neutral standard promoted by the City of Austin for all new construction homes.
“What makes the EcoSmart Solution so ground-breaking is that for the first time a real estate developer installed a geothermal infrastructure upfront, and that makes zero-energy capable homes affordable to the average home buyer,” said Lorenz Reibling, Taurus Chairman. “Whisper Valley is a model for the rest of the nation and internationally. A lot of time, planning and research has gone into this revolutionary approach to development and the result is this sustainable, zero-energy capable community.”
Zero-energy capable living is just one component of the sustainable lifestyle offered in Whisper Valley. The state-of-the-art Discovery and Amenity Center features a Bosch Show Kitchen, fitness center, resort-style geothermal-heated pool, event room and a Tesla Destination Charging connector. As part of the community’s holistic approach to healthy living, on-site organic gardens are managed by Lettuce Networks to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables or full meal kits to homes every week or whenever homeowners request it. A full-time lifestyle director also hosts a wide variety of community events, cooking and nutrition classes, fitness programs and holiday celebrations to connect families with their neighbors.
Located just east of SH-130 at FM 973 and Braker Lane within Austin’s Desired Development Zone, Whisper Valley is 20 minutes from downtown Austin, 10-20 minutes from Google, Dell and Samsung corporate campuses, and 10 minutes from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.