New Green House Has Deep Tennessee Roots

Many are the green schools that have brought LEED certified dorms and campus buildings designed by architects to completion in recent years – but the New Norris House opened recently at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is unique in that it was designed in the classroom.

Modern green building design methods were part of the coursework, but so was local history. Tennessee‘s original Norris Houses, first built in 1933, once formed the centerpiece of a progressive, planned community. The affordable and efficient design of these homes was revolutionary for the time, and is one of the innovations that stemmed from the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Norris Dam project.

image via University of Tennessee, Knoxville

A University of Tennesssee student team, led by Tricia Stuth, associate professor of architecture and project manager, worked for more than three years to bring their updated version of the Norris House to life, resulting in a “modern and appealing” 750-square-foot structure.

“The New Norris House is a prototype for green living and a twenty-first century take on the original homes,” Stuth said in a statement. She went on to note that the project gave her team the opportunity to make use of new materials, as well as the latest developments in building systems, ventilation, electric and solar energy, plumbing and lighting.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.