Bosch has partnered with Taurus Investment Holdings, a Boston-based real estate development company backed by private investors, to equip a new 7,500 home master-planned community outside Austin, Texas, with efficient geothermal heat pumps, hot water systems and quiet, premium design appliances. Company executives announced the partnership at the International Builders’ Show (IBS) during Design & Construction Week 2015, taking place January 20-22, 2015 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The new community, appropriately called Whisper Valley, will eventually include some 7,500 net zero ready single and multi-family homes and apartments, plus 2+ million square feet of retail and office space across 2,062 acres (900 hectares). All structures will be geothermal and solar equipped, capable of achieving the Net Zero energy (or carbon neutral) standard adopted by the City of Austin’s Municipal Building Code for all new construction homes. The project is one of the ten biggest developments of its kind in the U.S.
“Whisper Valley is a very significant project for Bosch in North America and we are delighted to partner with Taurus,” said Mike Mansuetti, president, Robert Bosch LLC. “It’s a perfect blueprint for new energy-smart communities with a keen focus on conserving resources. Families who live in the Whisper Valley community will save energy and have a reduced carbon footprint. The children who grow up in these homes will inherently help promote a more sustainable future. Bosch has long been committed to sustainability. With our portfolio of smart and efficient products and solutions, we fulfill our company imperative, ‘Invented for Life.’”
“The alliance with Bosch is essential to delivering affordable, reliable and sustainable technologies to homeowners across the U.S.,” said Lorenz Reibling, Chairman and Founding Partner of Taurus Investment Holdings LLC. “EcoSmart, in conjunction with Bosch, is providing a complete one stop solution package to meet Zero-Energy Standards. Homeowners will benefit from increased value for each home. The program is an insurance against rising energy costs.”
Unique EcoSmart Solution
Bosch, along with other manufacturing partners BASF, Rehau, Lighting Science Group Corp. and Aten Solar, are part of Taurus’ EcoSmart Solution LP (ESS) subsidiary, which develops and implements alternative energy structure programs in large-scale real estate projects. The ESS network includes technology, construction, communications and finance companies, among others.
The ESS solution is being applied to Whisper Valley to meet a growing demand by energy-conscious homebuyers who seek to lock in lower costs for energy by employing ground-source geothermal technology for heating and cooling the home together with solar energy generation. Combining geothermal with solar is the most effective way to achieve Net Zero energy use.
Whisper Valley homeowners will incur no upfront costs for the geothermal system, as the ground loop infrastructure is pre-installed throughout the community. Homeowners will enjoy peace of mind with an extended warranty and no maintenance costs for the first three years. Their energy costs will be fixed at approximately $175 a month, which covers the costs of the geothermal infrastructure equipment, a solar PV system, LED-Lighting package, appliances and other technologies, and includes a maintenance service. With a combined geothermal-solar system, many buildings can achieve Zero Net Energy status, and a homeowner’s utility-supplied energy use will be minimal to none as they return excess solar-generated energy to the grid. The savings in utility electricity costs will be equal to or greater than the monthly ESS energy fee. The EcoSmart program delivers the value of energy efficient technologies without requiring upfront costs for the homeowner or builder.
Helping Austin become Net Zero
Located in Austin’s “Preferred Development Zone” east of downtown and adjacent to State Highway 130, homes in Whisper Valley will initially be priced between $175,000 and $300,000 including the EcoSmart Program.
Austin was selected for the development of this smart energy community because of a number of characteristics, including cost of land, housing demand within the nation’s fastest growing city, a vibrant economy led by IT and technology companies and a mandate to meet a Net Zero Standard with all new construction. Austin has established a 2050 target to reduce carbon emissions to zero.
Smart, Sustainable Suite of Solutions
Bosch geothermal heat pumps will be connected from each home to an underground heat-exchange-loop infrastructure system, consisting of geothermal boreholes that utilize the earth’s stored energy from the sun. As ground and water temperatures several feet below the earth’s surface remain constant throughout the year, geothermal energy is one of the most effective and cost-efficient renewable forms of energy. Whisper Valley homes will also utilize Bosch heat-pump hot water heaters to supply whole house hot water, further leveraging the benefits of a geothermal solution.
Community homes will also include an array of ENERGY STAR® rated kitchen appliances from Bosch. Known as the definitive European kitchen design brand, the award-winning Bosch portfolio uses sleek, European design and the latest in green technology to meet the needs of every lifestyle, including those interested in efficient appliances in a well designed package. With a product lineup that includes ENERGY STAR rated dishwashers, washers and refrigerators and ventilation, Bosch is the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for Appliances in 2009 and 2010 and is proud to be recognized with the Sustained Excellence Award on 2001, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Bosch’s partnership with Taurus Investment Holdings in the Whisper Valley project supports the company’s strategy to bundle a range of its sustainable, smart, secure products and services for the developer, builder and homeowner. Bosch thermo-technology, appliances, security systems, automotive service solutions and power tools divisions together offer a relevant solutions suite for the eco-conscious developer/builder. Engineered and efficient solutions from one trusted source can yield synergies that deliver greater customer satisfaction and cost savings, while reducing the impact on the environment.
At the International Builders’ Show (IBS), Bosch heating/cooling/hot water solutions, security systems, power tools and appliances will be shown in the Central Hall, booth number C9331. In addition, Bosch, Thermador and Gaggenau appliances will be exhibited in the Central Hall, booth number C3837.