InstaBuilt will build 150 of its Cherry Millenials AsterDomo line of homes, which offer four floor plans, in East Austin's Whisper Valley. INSTABUILT LLC

Austin Business Journal reports, "The latest homebuilder to get involved in East Austin’s Whisper Valley neighborhood — a Central Texas epicenter for innovation in sustainable housing — is pushing the limits of how quickly a home can be built.

Kosovo-based InstaBuilt LLC will build its first U.S. homes in Whisper Valley and also is establishing its North American headquarters in East Austin, according to a July 1 announcement.

The company's homes, which will take advantage of Whisper Valley’s geothermal and solar capabilities, are manufactured off-site and then assembled on-site in eight to 12 hours. Because of the technologies it uses, it's able to construct in an energy-efficient manner at a lower price than the average in Austin, InstaBuilt CEO Mentor Pllana said.

“Whisper Valley is one of the leading communities on sustainability, including geothermal,” Pllana said. “We have actually been looking all over the states … for communities where not just construction is sustainable but also the infrastructure that supports it is sustainable.”

The two key technologies InstaBuilt employs are panelized systems with volumetric bath pods and complete volumetric housing solutions, according to the announcement, which are advanced prefabrication techniques. It yields minimal environmental impact, speedier build times, lower costs and significantly reduced waste, the company said.

InstaBuilt will bring three separate products to Whisper Valley. It also intends to expand its U.S. presence, including to Colorado and the Midwest.

The first line of homes Instabuilt will construct is 28 Cherry Traditionals, which range from 2,000 square feet to 2,900 square feet, with three- to four-bedroom floor plans. InstaBuilt will also build 150 homes from its Cherry Millennials line, which features one- to four-bedroom floor plans ranging from 665 square feet to 1,307 square feet. Finally, InstaBuilt will construct a 100-unit multifamily project in Whisper Valley starting in 2026.

The starting price of InstaBuilt’s homes, which are already for sale, will range from the $200,000 to the $400,000 range, Pllana said. Those price points are lower than the median sales price of a home in the metro, which reached $459,450 in May, according to the Austin Board of Realtors and Unlock MLS. In the same period, the median sales price of a home within Austin's city limits reached $608,438.

“Whisper Valley is the ideal location for InstaBuilt’s U.S. debut,” stated Douglas Gilliland, managing director of Taurus Investment Holdings, the developer behind Whisper Valley. “This partnership underscores a shared commitment to sustainable living and innovative construction methods. Together, we are addressing the housing crisis and setting a new standard for the future of residential development.”

What makes Whisper Valley so advanced?

Whisper Valley is a zero-energy capable neighborhood, meaning homes there come close to producing as much energy through renewables as they consume. Whisper Valley accomplishes this through the use of geothermal technology and solar energy systems, both of which InstaBuilt will use.

While Whisper Valley is connected to the state electric grid, each home comes equipped with solar panels and the option to install more, in addition to an energy storage system.

It also uses geothermal heating and cooling systems, another standard feature of each home. While air temperature can swing wildly from extreme hots and colds, the temperature of the Earth is relatively constant, so the underground geothermal systems are more efficient at cooling during the hot Texas summers and heating during the winter.

How is Whisper Valley coming along?

Whisper Valley encompasses about 2,000 acres, and development will take some time.

There are over 500 families living in Whisper Valley now, Gilliland said, with about 800 lots being entitled. About 370 multifamily units are under construction.

There also are new schools coming to the neighborhood. In January 2023, the Del Valle Independent School District paid more than $25 million for 149 acres in Whisper Valley to build an elementary, middle and high school, and Gilliland said the high school will open in September 2026."


Source: Austin Business Journal 

Written by: Cody Baird

Published: July 1, 2024

Posted by Grossman & Jones Group on


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