I am pleased to announce that I will be helping to develop modular Passive House designs for Phoenix Home Performance of Saginaw, Michigan. The Phoenix Haus concept of super-insulated, factory built homes meeting the rigorous Passive House energy standard is the brainchild of the company’s visionary founder, Bill McDonald.
The goal is to make passive house available to the market at competitive cost, with the extraordinarily high level of quality that can be produced in a factory based process. Phoenix is working with production facilities with access to all parts of continental USA.
I recently visited a nearby plant, and after 37 years of field experience, I was blown away by their capability. The crews are able to achieve precision in all phases of construction, from framing through trim work. The factory setting will go a long way toward overcoming the greatest challenge to building a passive house: the rigorous air-tightness standard, which can only be accomplished with meticulous care.
We also have a surprising ability to customize the design of these homes. Modular construction does impose some limits–after all, an individual module arrives on a flatbed truck. But it is often that limitation inspires transcendent design. So stay tuned–hopefully we will be launching our first modular Phoenix Haus this summer.