Project profile: A New Norris House

Apr 30, 2013

In 1933 the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) constructed a model community, Norris, Tennessee, as part of the Norris Dam construction project. A key feature of this New Deal village was the Norris House, a series of homes built as models for modern, affordable and efficient living. Original designs took advantage of new technologies: municipal electricity, water, and sanitary systems; the TVA tested new materials and building techniques. A New Norris House is conceived and created by its design team to mark the 75th anniversary of the Norris Project and to revisit themes on the use and scale of public and private resources.

Norris is one of the first planned communities in the US, and the Plan of Norris provided the team with a series of lessons—compact houses connected by footpaths and roads to schools, services, and a central common. The town is bounded by a greenbelt that exists to this day and serves as an aesthetic and natural preserve. The project entails an integrated team approach to the design, construction, evaluation and demonstration of a model dwelling. The process required that the team confront and resolve not only technological or scientific challenges; but also legal, social, and aesthetic issues.
(2013 AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects recipient)

AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE)
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
The American Institute of Architects

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