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KNOXVILLE—The New Norris House, an award-winning home developed by students and faculty of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes Platinum Certification from the US Green Building Council.

New Norris House
The New Norris House

LEED-platinum certification is the highest standard buildings can earn as a measure of their sustainability.

The achievement makes the New Norris House only the tenth LEED-platinum home in Tennessee and the first LEED-platinum project for the UT system.

“The Norris House is a prime example of the role the university has to play in providing leadership within the community,” said Glenn Richters, chairman of the board of directors of the East Tennessee chapter of the US Green Building Council. “The achievement indicates that the students went through a rigorous process, verified by an independent third-party entity. We greatly appreciate UT’s role in helping to set a new standard for building in East Tennessee.”

The LEED program rates a structure’s energy and environmental design performance in several principal areas. For example, the house must demonstrate efficiency in its building site, water, energy, atmosphere, and materials use. It also must have good environmental indoor air quality, a connection to its local environment and community, and be innovative in its design.

Receiving the LEED-platinum certification means the Green Building Certification Institute has approved the project.

The New Norris House features a rainwater collection system, an extensive native landscape, efficient heating and cooling equipment, and an abundance of environmentally friendly materials. The project is a technologically advanced reinterpretation of the historic homes built by the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1933 as part of the New Deal Norris Dam project.

The 768-square-foot house, a collaboration of more than fifty students and faculty, took more than three years to complete.

The construction of the home was supported by many partners, including Clayton Homes, which worked with the team to design and manufacture the pre-fabricated shell of the house. Other partners included the Environmental Protection Agency, the UT Alliance for Women Philanthropists, UT Science Alliance, Johnson & Gaylon Inc. Contractors, General Shale Brick, TVA, Home Energy Basics, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The project was led by the UT College of Architecture and Design in partnership with the UT Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment, the College of Engineering, and the Department of Environmental Studies. It was the vision of UT architecture professors Tricia Stuth and Robert French.

“For a house of incredibly modest size and scope, the individuals, organizations, corporations and communities that have been impacted are extraordinary,” said Scott Wall, UT director of the School of Architecture. “In the process, our students have come to understand the fundamental interrelationships between people and place, between the idea of building and the importance of understanding the very real consequences of the building. We are enormously proud of this work and humbled by the recognition and conversation that it continues to generate.”

Since the project’s beginning, the New Norris House has received multiple recognitions, including a 2012 Residential Architect Merit Award for Single-Family Housing, a 2011 Honor Citation from the East Tennessee Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the 2011 Prize for Creative Integration of Practice and Education from the National Council of Architectural Registration Board, and the winning of the 2009 Environmental Protection Agency Prosperity and the Planet Competition.

To learn more about the New Norris House, visit the website.

C O N T A C T S:

Kiki Roeder (865-974-6713,

Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,