A New Norris House: Phase IV

Live-In Evaluation and Monitoring of a design/build effort

  • Norris Dam State Park Spring Wildflowers

    By newnorrishouse
    Apr 7, '14 12:43 PM EST

    One of the best aspects of living in Norris is being so close to Norris Dam State Park -- it takes less than ten minutes to drive to the dam from the New Norris House. And although I haven’t tried it, you can walk from the community path on our property to the community center and get on the Norris Watershed Trail System which links to the state park’s trails. 

    Map from Outdoor Knoxville

    I’ve spent many evenings exploring the meadows along the Song Bird Trail below the dam and hiking around the historic mill on Clear Creek. The Andrews Ridge trail system has views of the lake and is ideal for trail running, but my favorite place to explore is the River Bluff Trail on the west side of the Clinch River just below the dam. In just 3.1 miles, the trail passes through several plant communities as it climbs and descends the ridge across north, east, and south facing slopes. The many microclimates found along the trail are home to an impressive variety of spring wildflowers. The park even hosts wildflower walks every year around this time. 

    Here are a few examples of the many wildflowers you can see along the River Bluff Trail this time of year:

    Cutleaf Toothwort, Dentaria laciniata

    Yellow Trillium, Trillium luteum

    Strange flowers of the Little Brown Jug plant, Hexastylis arifolia

    Fernleaf Phacelia, Phacelia bipinnatifida

    Trout Lily, Erythronium americanum

    Not sure the species of this fern as its fronds were just unfurling from their winter sleep!

    View full entry

  • Details of New Norris House Auction

    Samuel Mortimer
    Apr 4, '14 7:26 PM EST

    As mentioned last week, the New Norris House will be auction in the coming month.This process will be a sealed bid auction and is being overseen by the State of Tennessee Real Estate Asset Management (as a State owned property built by the University's College of Architecture and Design).The... View full entry

  • Handing off the New Norris House, Part I

    Samuel Mortimer
    Mar 28, '14 7:45 PM EST

    The New Norris HOUSE could be your New Norris HOME - WATCH FOR SALE DETAILS THIS SUNDAY IN THE KNOXVILLE NEWS SENTINEL!More to come afterwards!Photo by Robert Batey View full entry



  • Greywater and Rain Water Systems Tour for State and Local Officials

    By newnorrishouse
    Aug 18, '13 12:10 PM EST

    Last month a group of state and local environmental officials visited the New Norris House to learn about the results of our ongoing data collection. Members of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and the Norris Water Commission (NWC) attended the tour led by Profs... View full entry

  • One year in Norris

    By newnorrishouse
    Aug 12, '13 12:59 PM EST

    This month marks one year for me as a resident at the New Norris House. As a previous resident of various apartments near the center of Knoxville, one of the most interesting aspects of living in Norris has been the increase in time I’ve spent outdoors and the animals I’ve happily... View full entry

  • A New Norris House and Brooks/Scarpa

    Samuel Mortimer
    Jun 20, '13 12:40 PM EST

    The New Norris House team is in Denver this week to receive the Committee on the Environment's Top-10 Green Award. Saturday morning fellow Top-10 winners Brooks + Scarpa will sit down with the NNH team and representatives from the AIA to discuss their two winning residential projects. A part of... View full entry

  • AIA COTE Top-10 Green Projects Award

    Samuel Mortimer
    Apr 23, '13 1:00 PM EST

    We are very excited to share that the New Norris House Project has been named by the AIA's Committee on the Environment (COTE) as one of the Top-10 Green projects of 2013! This award is one of the most prestigious in architecture in the US, and recognizes “exemplary and innovative... View full entry

  • AIA COTE Top-10 Green Projects Award

    Samuel Mortimer
    Apr 23, '13 1:00 PM EST

    We are very excited to share that the New Norris House Project has been named by the AIA's Committee on the Environment (COTE) as one of the Top-10 Green projects of 2013! This award is one of the most prestigious in architecture in the US, and recognizes “exemplary and innovative... View full entry

  • Winter Passive Performance: The Experience

    By newnorrishouse
    Mar 18, '13 11:12 AM EST

    As mentioned in the previous post, the project team performed an experiment to observe the NNH's ability to resist winter temperature fluctuations with all heating and cooling systems turned off. Samuel recorded the data, and I recorded the experience of three winter days and nights with the heat... View full entry

  • Winter Passive Performance

    Samuel Mortimer
    Feb 20, '13 8:38 PM EST

    Earlier this week the project team began a seasonal experiment to test the passive performance of the envelope to resist exterior temperatures fluctuations over the course of 72 hours (3 days). To complete this study, the heating and cooling systems are completely disabled for the... View full entry

  • Hello snow!

    By newnorrishouse
    Jan 17, '13 9:16 PM EST

    A winter storm swept across much of the southeast today leaving a blanket of snow on the New Norris House. Here are a few photos from this beautiful, snowy afternoon: View full entry

  • Presentation at TN ASLA Conference

    By newnorrishouse
    Oct 24, '12 2:10 PM EST

    Last week, the New Norris House made an appearance at the TN Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects Annual Conference in Nashville, TN. The presentation was geared toward landscape architects, and focused on our landscape design and water harvesting and treatment systems. We... View full entry

  • DIY Network features the New Norris House!

    By newnorrishouse
    Oct 24, '12 1:55 PM EST

    The New Norris House is featured on the DIY Network as part of a series on space-saving, sustainable design! Check it out! Photo credit: Jason Kisner / View full entry

  • Residency Year Two

    By newnorrishouse
    Oct 24, '12 1:48 PM EST

    It's hard to believe but August 2012 marked our one year anniversary of occupancy at the New Norris House! The upcoming year of residency and evaluation has just begun, and I'm excited to serve as the 2012-2013 resident. My name is Valerie Friedmann, and I have been part of the New Norris House... View full entry

  • Reflections

    By newnorrishouse
    Sep 2, '12 4:03 PM EST

    It’s hard to believe that our year of living in the New Norris House is over. During our time there, it was a bit like living in a lab; our energy and water usage were monitored, and we tested the design and systems installed in the house. Although we’ve moved out, there are several... View full entry

  • AIA Housing Knowledge Community Webinar

    Samuel Mortimer
    Aug 28, '12 8:27 PM EST

    Hello friends, It is with pleasure and excitement that I invite anyone of interest to "attend" a webinar presented by the New Norris House team as part of the AIA Housing Knowledge Community.  Here is a link to the event, which will take place November 5th, 9-10am PT.  Registration is... View full entry



  • Greywater Monitoring Update

    Samuel Mortimer
    Jul 19, '12 2:48 PM EST

    As part of our water system evaluation, monitoring efforts have recently been expanded to include a greywater (water from the bathroom sink, shower, and clothes washer) component. Here we will not be monitoring quality (as we are with rainwater), but rather soil saturation of the greywater bed... View full entry

  • Heat wave

    By newnorrishouse
    Jul 1, '12 9:40 AM EST

    The past week in Norris has been sizzling hot, along with many areas of the country that have been experiencing excessive heat and drought-like conditions. We’ve had heat advisories almost every day for the past four days; temperatures have been in the low 100s, and humidity has hovered... View full entry

  • Turkeys and deer and snakes—oh my!

    By newnorrishouse
    May 27, '12 2:53 PM EST

    Not long after moving to Norris, we were driving around town and saw a rafter (or gang, if you prefer) of wild turkeys walking through a field. As a newcomer to the area, I did a double take—were we really seeing turkeys?? I’ve seen them again on several occasions and while it... View full entry

  • How does your garden grow?

    By newnorrishouse
    May 14, '12 12:00 PM EST

    The garden was planted a little over a month ago, and I’m amazed at how fast things have grown. Since this is the first garden I’ve ever had, I don’t have a point of reference for plant growth patterns; I suppose they’re growing at typical rates that just seem fast to me... View full entry

  • Meadow Planting Day and landscape photos

    By newnorrishouse
    May 8, '12 11:43 AM EST

    This weekend we planted the first half of our native grass meadow. The plan goes like this: 1) to suppress weeds, spread cardboard and staple to the ground with landscape staples 2) mark the plant locations on 2' centers 3) dig, dig, dig 4) plant, water and wait. This is a slightly experimental... View full entry

  • Water features

    By newnorrishouse
    Apr 19, '12 3:52 PM EST

    One of the rooms in the house that hasn’t been mentioned often—yet gets daily use—is the bathroom. With the bathroom being the top water user in the house, the water features installed here are helping conserve water in several ways. The New Norris House was built with a... View full entry

  • A Tour for the Kids

    By newnorrishouse
    Apr 15, '12 4:02 PM EST

    One of the goals of the New Norris House is to have a positive impact on the local community.  We recently hosted a second grade class from Norris Elementary.  The kids were really excited to see what they are learning in school being applied in the local neighborhood. After taking two... View full entry

  • Very Local Produce

    By newnorrishouse
    Apr 1, '12 11:40 PM EST

    Clearing the community path and separating seedlings Nothing feels more like Spring than planting a garden, and at the New Norris House that's exactly what happened this weekend. Mary, Eric, and I spent some time doing general yard maintenance, and we also planted the raised vegetable beds. The... View full entry

  • The Wall Assembly

    By newnorrishouse
    Mar 29, '12 5:59 PM EST

    The New Norris House wall assembly utilizes advanced framing techniques and a rainscreen wall construction.  Constructed of Atlantic White Cedar (AWC), the cladding of the house uses natural materials much like those found on the original Norris cottages of the 1930‘s.  Atlantic... View full entry

  • We won a Residential Architect Design Award!

    Samuel Mortimer
    Mar 21, '12 1:38 PM EST

    It is our pleasure to announce that the New Norris House project has been selected for a Residential Architect Design Award! We have been awarded a Merit Award in the Single Family Housing category. Of over 800 applicants, only 36 were chosen as winners. This is a tremendous honor which we are... View full entry

  • Springtime in Norris

    By newnorrishouse
    Mar 21, '12 11:15 AM EST

    One day after the first day of spring, flowering plants are already in bloom, grasses are growing, and insects are buzzing. It’s a beautiful time of year in this part of the country! The winter was the fourth warmest on record, and plants are coming out of dormancy sooner than usual. Most... View full entry

  • Phase IV Landscape

    By newnorrishouse
    Mar 13, '12 1:42 PM EST

    In East Tennessee, the last expected freeze date is April 15, but it already feels like spring! With the warmer weather approaching it's time to start making preparations for the installation of the Phase IV landscape - the native grass meadows. Be sure to look for an upcoming post outlining the... View full entry

  • In the kitchen

    By newnorrishouse
    Feb 24, '12 12:16 PM EST

    Out of all the rooms in the New Norris House, the kitchen gets the most use. The majority of our meals are eaten at home, so when it’s time for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack we head to the kitchen. Every day we use the cabinets, cooktop, counter, sink, and fridge—and have the... View full entry

  • New Photos Added

    By newnorrishouse
    Feb 23, '12 5:12 PM EST

      Check out some of the new photos just uploaded onto New finished exterior, interior and site photos have been added as well as some photos of the events that have taken place on site. As Spring is quickly approaching, we are beginning to set up more... View full entry

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About this Blog

The New Norris House is a design/build effort from the University of Tennessee's College of Architecture and Design. Began in 2009, the home was designed and built by UT students in collaboration with Clayton Homes. The built project is now complete and the final phase of the project has begun. A team of 4 people (2 living in the home, and 2 graduate researchers) will rigorously document the experience via qualitative assessments and quantitative measurements, posting results to this blog.

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