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UT students turn home into living experiment in sustainability

University of Tennessee students and faculty from multiple departments and disciplines have worked since 2008 to design and build a model home to showcase cutting edge sustainable building practices.

Now, thanks to their work -- along with multiple grants from local, state and federal partners -- and partnership with Clayton Homes, the test home is complete. The project was estimated to cost $300,000 to $400,000, said Matt Lyle, a former research assistant on the project, although future homes would cost less than the prototype.

The home's first occupants, Mary Leverance, a UT graduate student, and her husband, Ken McCown, chair of the landscape architecture department, moved into the 750-square-foot house in July, reports Megan Boehnke in the Knoxville News Sentinel. A team of students will monitor their energy and water use to evaluate the effectiveness of green technology used in the home. Tours of the home will be available next month.

Features include:
floors made of sustainable materials,
efficient appliances,
solar panels to heat water
a rain water collection system

The team is also seeking LEED Platinum status on the home.

Once the project is complete, the home will be sold and funds from the sale will go to fund other similar projects.

For more information about the project as well as a blog from the residents, visit A New Norris House.

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