A New Norris House: Phase IV

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

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    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 of the country had a mild winter and is seeing warm temperatures already (see this map showing historic heat in North America). 

    buds on the dogwood tree in the front yard

    Temperatures in the past week have reached the high 70s and even into the 80s. The average temperature for March is in the low 50s, so the heat is rather early this year; 80 degree temps don’t usually hit until May.

    buds on the plants on the side of the driveway

    Along with the blooms and warmer air come allergies, the sound of lawn mowers, and longer daylight hours. The bees and wasps are out and often hit the windows as they fly around, looking for places to make nests. Crickets are already chirping at night.

    wasp on the kitchen window

    Although it’s been warm during the day, the house is staying comfortable inside. The windows and ceiling fans keep the air circulating. Nighttime temperatures are still in the 50s, which helps the house stay cooler during the daytime. 

    many redbuds are in bloom throughout norris

    The leaves on the trees haven’t filled in yet, so we’ll have a view of the sunrise for a little while longer. Next week the forecast calls for rain and temperatures in the 70s--hopefully bringing a reprieve from the heat for a while longer yet.

    sunrise through the trees

    Learn more about our project at

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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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