A New Norris House

Norris, Tennessee

The New Norris House is a collaborative research project by the University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Architecture and Design. From 2009-2013, PA members Levi and Samuel helped lead the design, execution, and post-occupancy evaluation of the award winning, sustainable home.

The project is located in Norris, Tennessee and is a contemporary reinterpretation of the original “Norris Homes” built around the construction of the 1933 Tennessee Valley Authority Norris Dam. As with the original Norris designs, the New Norris House uses state of the art technologies and techniques. The house incorporates green materials, leverages energy conscious design strategies, and utilizes off-site construction methods. Yet the challenge goes beyond the creation of a model home design. The house design responds and is reforming community and legal constraints that currently deter sustainable home construction. To accomplish this, the project team consulted with community residents, researched local codes and worked with local and state government. The project also addresses affordability and “fit” in light of median home prices and the town’s status on the National Register Historic District. The project thus confronts and resolves not only technological challenges; but also legal, social, and aesthetic issues that currently restrict green construction. The New Norris House is registered with the US Green Building Council and is certified LEED for Home Platinum.

The project was realized with the help of numerous other faculty members, students, and administrators along with community and industry partners — notably Tricia Stuth, Robert French, Richard Kelso, Katharine Dike, Daniel Luster, Matthew Lyle, Valerie Friedman, and Joan Monaco.