The Future of Homebuilding: Style With Sustainability

Tour a LEED Platinum house in a historic neighborhood that features energy-efficient technology, space-saving design and community-minded living.

Photo By: Jason Kisner 

Norris History

In 1933, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) built a community of homes for workers of a nearby dam project. At that time the homes were considered the prototype for modern and efficient living. Even though they were small in size, the houses were equipped with modern conveniences like electricity and indoor plumbing. The community’s design was also considered state-of-the-art because of its pedestrian-friendly layout and town square commons. The community still thrives nearly 80 years later and is being updated again with the future in mind.
Photo By: Jason Kisner 

The New Norris House

This 768-square-foot, award-winning home was designed and detailed by students at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville (UTK) College of Architecture and Design. Their goal was to build a LEED-certified home that incorporates all of today’s top-notch building practices but still embodies the Norris community’s original design.
Photo By: Jason Kisner 

Backyard View

The university partnered with a mobile home manufacturer to create the base structure of the home. The house is roughly the same size as a double-wide mobile home, but it has a cathedral ceiling on one side and a loft on the other.
Photo By: Jason Kisner 

Recycled Floors

The wood floors throughout the home are made from salvaged barn wood. The wood was cut and the tongue-and-groove milled into the boards by a local millwork. Using local sources helps keep the home’s carbon footprint low, but it still gets high marks in character and charm.
Photo By: Jason Kisner 

Nontoxic Finishes Throughout

Low- or no-VOC and formaldehyde-free finishes and paints were used throughout the home. Even the floor was done in a low-VOC finish, which is uncommon for hardwood flooring.

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