PHOTOS: 1st PHIUS Passive House in Michigan Proves Industry Shift

PHOTOS: 1st PHIUS Passive House in Michigan Proves Industry Shift


A passive house is an example of an industry shift toward healthier homes that garner appeal without breaking the bank.

Detroit-based Phoenix Haus is a certified passive house builder and manufacturer with a focus on improved thermal performance, energy conservation and indoor air quality (IAQ). In fact, the company is so innovative that it built the first ever certified Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) residence in Michigan.

The team hopes the home—called the Cech House—will serve as an example to other builders about the benefits of energy efficient building and how it increases homebuyer demand.

“We’ve found that a lot of folks simply aren’t aware that this type of building methodology exists. Their first question is always, ‘Why haven’t we always done it like this?’” says Kate McDonald, project manager at Phoenix Haus. 

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[tps_title] Passive House Building [/tps_title]

A passive house encourages efficiency with superior airtightness and insulation standards.
A passive house encourages efficiency with superior airtightness and insulation standards.

What is a Passive House?

Passive house principles require that the home’s design combine superior insulation, airtightness, a balanced heat and moisture recovery system and solar gain orientation.

“This growing standard of building translates into a home that maintains a comfortable indoor temperature of 68-degrees, 365 days a year, with minimal energy use,” says McDonald.

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About The Author

Michael Black is a staff writer and content coordinator at TecHome Builder. He has a particular interest in new solar developments and smart energy systems and is always looking for the next smart home trend to cover. As the youngest member of the TecHome team, Michael brings a passion that keeps the team energized. He also is instrumental in leading our social media efforts.

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  1. Christina Snyder, CPHC

    Phoenix House may be the first PHIUS certified Passive House in Michigan, but the first certified Passive House in Michigan, the Junghaus, was completed a couple of years before Phoenix and certified by the original Passivhaus Institut in Germany, of which PHIUS is a divergent offshoot that has created its own certification standard. Here is its website, documenting the construction timeline: It received the 2014 Best Home Award from the Fine Home-building magazine: I have been following junghaus since I was minimally involved with it in the conceptual stage, thus I knew its timeline. I applaud all certified Passive Houses whether built to PHI’s standard or PHIUS’, but would hope that your publication will give credit where it is due, and re-name the article so that you aren’t misleading your readers. Phoenix House is certainly a Pioneering Passive House in Michigan, but it is not the first, that was Junghaus.


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