"A New Norris House": Making Criteria for Sustainable Landscapes Visible

Mar 27, 2013

A New Norris House is an award-winning, university-led design|build|evaluate project located in Norris, Tennessee. Norris is a model community constructed in 1933 by the Tennessee Valley Authority as part of the Norris Dam construction project. A key component of this New Deal village was the Norris House, a series of homes built for modern, efficient living. A New Norris House commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Norris Project and seizes the opportunity to reconsider the shape of landscapes, communities and homes today. A LEED for Homes Platinum project, the New Norris House pursues complimentary performance and design intentions where water systems provide greater independence from the central grid. This paper focuses on the project as a case study for sustainable water systems and the designed landscapes of which they are a part. Design goals include: collecting, treating and reusing rainwater; infiltrating greywater on site; and managing 100% of runoff and stormwater on the project site. An evaluation and residency program is ongoing. One year of collected water quality and quantity data prove we are able to collect, treat, and provide water that 01) is safe for human contact by EPA human health criteria, 02) meets drinking water standards, and 03) is sufficient in quantity to meet 30% of a twoperson household’s needs. Preliminary data indicates safe and effective greywater infiltration. This paper describes these and other results of the water monitoring program. Underlying the town of Norris' picturesque vernacular landscape is a history of progressive planning and design. A New Norris House provides a unique case study for once again making visible the powerful union of environmental, technological and social forces.

Tricia Stuth (University of Tennessee)
Samuel Mortimer (University of Tennessee)
Valerie Friedmann (University of Tennessee)
John Buchanan (University of Tennessee)
Proceedings of the 2013 ARCC Spring Research Conference
Presented at: 
The Visibility of Research
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Architectural Research Centers Consortium

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