First Zero Energy Home in Detroit Under Construction

First Zero Energy Home in Detroit Under Construction

Photos courtesy of Phoenix Haus LLC.

Detroit-based Phoenix Haus LLC, which designs and builds energy-efficient building systems, is creating its first home in Southeast Michigan to showcase its low-cost housing templates that can achieve zero emissions.

Construction will start in July and Phoenix Haus expects in late 2017 to complete the showpiece, an about 1,700-square -foot single-family residence, said founder and principle Bill McDonald.

Mcdonald told Craine's Detroit Business that the goal of the project is to create a system that allows people to access energy efficient building strategies at a competitive price point.

This specific predesigned home template, called the "H Haus," has three bedrooms and three bathrooms and will cost will cost about $328,000 to build, he said.

In the home's location at in North Corktown, single-family home sales have ranged from about $24,000 to $273,000 over the last 12 months, according to statistics fromFarmington Hills-based Realcomp Ltd. II.

Phoenix Haus will purchase the property, which is currently a vacant lot, from the Detroit Land Bank Authority. The purchase price was undisclosed.

The architecture firm and general contractor on the project is Grosse Pointe Park-based Christian Hurttienne Architects.

More from the Crain's report:

The energy-efficient systems are available as prebuilt home templates such as "H Haus," which other architects and builders can purchase and use, McDonald said. These homes, designed to cost less than a custom energy-efficient setup, are delivered to the property as a shell and completed on site.

Phoenix Haus advertises the system as saving owners 90 percent on utilities over the home's lifetime.

The inevitable question, though, is: How?

The system runs entirely on electricity, according to McDonald and a "template starter pack" available through the website. The home's design is 90 percent more efficient than a regularly constructed house. It comes with high-performance windows, a specialized ventilation system and lightweight timber, among other design features. And if solar or other renewable energy sources are used to power the house's electrical, it can achieve the advertised "zero-emissions" status.

"The home literally is making its own power for what it uses," McDonald said.

The Harrison Street residence will be Phoenix Haus' fourth completed home, after two in Colorado and one in Freeland. It'll be a showroom for "a period," and whether it will be sold down the line is "to be determined," McDonald said.


  • Construction Budget: $328,792
  • 1,550 TFA [Treated Floor Area]
  • Annual Heating Demand: 6.1 kBTU/ft2yr
  • 3 Bed, 3 Bath, 1,755 SF

Read more about pre-fab and systems built homes.




Topics: Building Green, Certification / LEED, Cost of Ownership, Geothermal Heating & Cooling, Going Green, Heating & Cooling, Home Design & Plans, Prefabricated Homes / Systems Built Homes / Modular Homes, Thermal Envelope

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