What if you could live in the future today? Whisper Valley is pioneering sustainable living using an innovative GeoGrid by EcoSmart Solution combined with smart home technology and solar photovoltaics (PV), in a community built around healthy living activities.

The developer for Whisper Valley is Taurus Investment Holdings, which takes an environmentally, socially and economically responsible approach to development. Taurus is a global real estate private equity firm established in 1976 with over 40 years of experience. In 2023, the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin recognized Whisper Valley as the master-planned community of the year and Taurus as the developer of the year.

Geothermal energy, lowered utility bills

Taurus Managing Director Douglas Gilliland said the 2000-acre community was created with the future in mind, which is why Whisper Valley homes are zero energy capable and powered by a geothermal system that reduces home energy consumption by up to 70% and solar PV which generates as much energy as residents need, based on good energy behavior.

“If you're going to buy a new home, why would you buy one that's going to be obsolete in the next couple of years,” Taurus CEO and Founding Partner Peter A. Merrigan said.

Whisper Valley is paving the way for a completely carbon-free community by reducing its carbon footprint, which means residents also see lower energy costs.

Geothermal energy works by using the earth's natural energy to heat and cool water in underground pipes to between 40 to 70 degrees. This energy is then conveyed into a ground-source heat pump in the home, replacing the conventional HVAC system.

Every home has solar panels to generate enough electricity to keep the homes at their desired temperature.. Whisper Valley is connected to Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative and Austin Energy, but the solar panels can offset the utility companies' bills. Residents can also get a 30% tax credit on the value of the solar panels and geothermal heat pump in their home.

“That's a great way to keep utility bills low,” Gilliland said. “Our homeowners love that. And some of our homeowners have taken it a step even further: They're using battery storage on their homes, and actually storing energy- making their homes resilient.”

Homeowners can choose the best time to use high-energy appliances like dishwashers or laundry machines with stored energy, and use the solar system's charging to keep utility bills low.

Whisper Valley boasts an extremely low Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score, which measures a home's energy efficiency. Today's high-performance homes earn scores around 60, making them 40% more efficient than standard homes. Each home in Whisper Valley targets a HERS rating of 25 or below, with an average HERS rating of 16, meaning they’re about 75-85% more energy-efficient.

Master-planned healthy living community

Whisper Valley is a master-planned community that offers more than houses—it offers a healthy lifestyle.

“People move there for more than just a house,” Gilliland said. “They want a special quality of life that they get from a master-planned community...We like to think about it in terms of creating community, not just building shelter, but offering a lifestyle where people can really feel like they're in a very special place.”

Whisper Valley has a full time lifestyle director who plans events such as cooking classes, yoga, holiday events and gardening programs. The community is built with open space, giving residents the freedom to explore the outdoors on hike and bike trails, walk their dogs, play with their children, swim in the resort pool or workout in the fitness center.

The community will also be home to a 600-acre park that is currently in the planning stage and funded by City of Austin bonds. Whisper Valley Park will include nature trails, 12-foot-wide trails, massive open space, and improvements such as fields, an amphitheater, restrooms, and more as it is developed in phases. It will connect to existing open space within Whisper Valley as well as Walter E. Long Park and East Metropolitan Park on either side of the community. It will also connect to the Travis County trail system, giving residents immediate access to open space and recreational opportunities.

Whisper Valley has large organic gardens throughout the community that are professionally managed and harvested weekly. Residents get free, organically grown produce.

Whisper Valley was selected by Del Valle school district for its new elementary, middle and high school. The second Del Valle ISD High School is under construction and opens in fall 2026. When finished, the school will sit on 75 acres, accommodate 2,400 students, and have activity fields, a football stadium, and a performing arts center. Taurus has also set aside 71 acres for the elementary and middle schools.

Pacesetter Homes, AHA Dream Homes, GFO Home, Thurman Homes and Terrata Homes are currently building these EcoSmart homes in phases three & four of Whisper Valley which offers zero energy capable duplexes and single-family homes priced from the low $300,000s to $600,000s.

Gilliland said people ultimately want a good investment, a high-quality lifestyle and to feel proud of where they live. Whisper Valley is ideally located for accessing work, school and entertainment, just 20 minutes from downtown Austin off of SH 130 at 9400 Petrichor Blvd., Manor. To learn more about the future-focused community, visit whispervalleyaustin.com.

The above story was produced by Senior Multi Platform Journalist Summer El-Shahawy with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of its "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team.