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GREEN SYSTEMS e Continued from p 84


Icynene. “We decided to use advanced


framing techniques, which results in a 17 percent reduction in lumber and substantially more insulation,” said Mortimer. The 24-inch stud bays are filled with thick batting insulation. On the outside of the walls, one-inch rigid insulation curbs any thermal bridging across the two-by-six studs. The ceiling rafter bays and gable ends were also filled with batting insulation, and sheets of half-inch rigid insulation were hung before the drywall was installed. The outside of the building is clad with Atlantic white cedar. Double-pane, low-E coated, argon-filled windows also limit energy transfer. “We calculated the home’s heat loss


at 17,442 Btu,” said Mortimer, “or 19.5 Btu per square foot. The blower door test yielded .04 ACH, the lowest score ever verified by our green-rater.” A four-by-eight foot Enerworks


86


The home aspires to become one of only seven certified LEED Platinum homes in Tennessee. To accomplish this rating, many factors come together, lending to the project’s resolved focus on sustainability.


to operate for one year, under the oversight of the UTK team, and data collected will be used to support making the temporary permits permanent.” The 768-square-foot home will


provide verifiable technical data to demonstrate the viability of residential rainwater collection and use. The project was initiated as an entry into the EPA’s People Prosperity and the Planet (P3) competition, a national competition that encourages students to propose


“solutions to real world challenges involving the overall sustainability of human society.” The first of four phases was a


research and design period, funded by a $10,000 grant from the EPA. Ultimately, UTK’s team was chosen as one of six winners from among 40 teams, and the EPA granted $75,000 to the project. In phase two, students began their


collaboration with Clayton Homes, manufacturer of modular homes. Together, they established goals, targeting a LEED for Homes Platinum rating. Some students collaborated with Clayton Homes during the design phase. Others prepared the physical site in Norris. Another team began work on various components of the building’s interior for later installation. During the fall 2010 semester, phase three


construction began. “The students always bring a fresh


perspective to things that we do every day,” said Andy Hutsell, Clayton Homes designer. “They’re passionate about their work, and they’ll be much better equipped when they go out into the world because of the Norris House experience.” Now, in the midst of the


“demonstration and evaluation” phase, the college’s chair of the Master of Landscape Architecture program and his wife will live in the home. Energy consumption, temperature, relative humidity, water use and water quality will be measured. At the end of the evaluation period, the home will be up for sale; proceeds will be used as seed money for the next project. From the standing seam alloy roof


to the reclaimed oak flooring, the home is a prime example of what LEED construction should be. With a super-tight, heavily insulated building envelope, the structure loses very little energy to the outside world. Every square inch that could be insulated, was insulated. Foundation block cores were filled with Perilite as the building footprint started to take shape. Inside the foundation walls, two inches of rigid insulation was used, and the foundation rim was sprayed with


solar-thermal panel on the roof supplies hot water to an 80-gallon tank in the home. A 1.5 gpm electric instantaneous water heater supplements the solar-heater water when necessary. Heating and cooling the home is


achieved through the use of a multiple-head mini split system. The building has one traditional bedroom as the first zone, a “swing space” that can be used as a second bedroom and a kitchen. Each of the three zones calls for a separate air handler; all are connected to a single, multi-zone condensing unit. As an addition to the HVAC system, the new Norris House has an energy recovery ventilation (ERV) system in the sealed crawlspace under the building. Depending on the season, the ERV either pre-cools or pre-warms incoming fresh air. Throughout the project, goals set


by the student team were consistently met. “UTK has never done anything like this before, especially on this scale” said Mortimer. “The Norris House project was


real-life work experience that’s invaluable to the students who’ve been involved,” said Mary French, a College of Engineering grad student.


“I’m really glad I had the opportunity to participate.” Watts also supplied a complete


reverse osmosis system for the New Norris House project. Only recently installed, treated water is still undergoing testing. Potable water from the rainwater harvesting system is the goal. l


phc december 2011 www.phcnews.com


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