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Building a Passive House in Ann Arbor

When Eric and Jo Ann decided to build a new home, they set their sights on building a “passive” house.

“My wife and I feel very passionately about the environment. And we had been looking into building an energy-efficient house because I’m an engineer,” said Eric. “Passive house is an analytically-designed home that has proven performance before you even lift a hammer.”

After working on a design for the two-story, single-family home with architect Michael Klement, AIA, NCARB, AIBD, CPHC from Architectural Resources, Mitsubishi Electric Zoned Comfort Solutions® was selected for the equipment’s small footprint and ability to maximize energy efficiency.

A Passive House is one that meets building standards for advanced health, comfort, and efficiency levels. In this case, the development of the home was done by a team of architects and engineers who worked together to select proper insulation, windows, and doors that all met high-performance criteria.

Cold-Climate Performance with Help from CMR Mechanical

Choosing efficient mechanical systems is critical when building a Passive House, especially in a Midwestern climate that has cold winters averaging over 50 inches of snow per year. To make sure the house was comfortable for the family all year, the project team chose Mitsubishi Electric’s Hyper-Heating INVERTER® (H2i®) technology.

“Hyper-heating technology allows the unit to extract heat at lower temperatures than most units can go to,” said the installing contractor Andy Bobo, owner, CMR Mechanical. “This allows us to use the units as a sole source of heat for the home. H2i units can withstand Michigan winters, which can get quite cold.” Ultimately, CMR Mechanical installed a mix of ducted and ductless equipment with two MSZ Wall-Mounted Indoor Units and two SEZ Horizontal-Ducted Indoor Units which accommodate each zone. 

While the energy benefits are nice, Eric and Jo Ann are proud to showcase their home as an example of good environmental stewardship. 

“We are very, very pleased with how the house turned out,” said Eric. “This home is an opportunity to lead by example and it’s already exceeding our expectations.”

Project Information

Project Name: Ann Arbor Passive House
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Project Completion Date: February 2019

Mitsubishi Electric Equipment: 

  • (1) MXZ-4C36NAHZ M-Series H2i® Outdoor Heat Pump
  • (2) MSZ-FHNA Wall-Mounted Indoor Units
  • (2) SEZ-KD12NA Horizontal-Ducted Indoor Units

The Team:

  • Architect: Architectural Resources, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Builder: Adaptive Building Solutions, LLC, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Mechanical Contractor: CMR Mechanical, Dexter, Michigan
  • HVAC Engineer: Comfort engineering Solutions, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Energy Rater: Building Efficiency Resources (BER), Chicago, Illinois

Challenge: Selecting a highly-efficient HVAC system for a passive house that could withstand cold winter temperatures.

Solution: Zoned Comfort Solutions® from Mitsubishi Electric

Result: A comfortable, healthy and energy-efficient home that provides optimal conditioning year-round and low utility bills.

Want to Upgrade Your Home? Save Money on Heating Your Ann Arbor Home This Year

Want to save money this year on your heating bill? Make sure your system is running at peak performance. Our technicians will perform a clean and check inspection on your system. If you’re still having doubts about the efficiency of your furnace after your evaluation, you can call and ask your energy provider why your bill is sky high.

Knowledgeable Contractors Heating Ann Arbor Homes: Schedule Your Tune-Up Today!

At CMR Mechanical, we provide ongoing training for our service technicians. Our techs are factory trained and qualified on virtually all brands of heating and cooling equipment and indoor air quality. We’ll never try to sell you a system or upgrade that you don’t need. We’ll explain the problem if one exists, and help you understand how it should be repaired.

In addition, if your furnace doesn’t need to be repaired but you want to upgrade, we can make those recommendations as well. If you’re looking for ways to increase your energy efficiency, reduce fuel consumption, or help your home stay comfortable all year round, we can help!

Customer Center: 3611 Central Street Dexter, MI 48130

(Please do not send payment to our warehouse; Customers, please visit our main office on Central Street)

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