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Entries in Sustainable Design (3)


UT Architecture Professors' Housing Project Featured in Dwell Magazine

KNOXVILLE—The design of two homes and the preservation of another in Old North Knoxville by two University of Tennessee professors have drawn the attention of an international architecture and design publication.

The houses are featured in "Spirt of the South" found in the March edition of Dwell, which hit newsstands February 1. They are the work of Ted Shelton and Tricia Stuth, assistant professor and associate professor, respectively, in the UT College of Architecture and Design.

The husband-wife team took an inexpensive approach to crafting contemporary, sleek interiors with exteriors that complement the character of the early twentieth century neighborhood where they live.

The project began in 2006 when Shelton and Stuth purchased a home in the historic neighborhood two miles outside of downtown. After researching the property, they discovered it had once contained three nearly identical houses. It inspired them to begin a design project to unite the architectural heritage of Knoxville with contemporary design, as well as re-establish the historic street pattern and density of the area.

The two new houses were built in the spirit of the original, 100-year-old structure that the couple initially purchased, preserved, and in which they presently live. The entire project, called “Ghost Houses” because they are reminiscent of houses that once stood in their place, meets Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation.

“The Ghost Houses provide a valuable lesson for us all,” said Scott Wall, UT director of architecture. “They resurrect the essential qualities of a sustainable community in three moves: subdivide, conserve, and build simply.”

Shelton and Stuth also used inexpensive materials like coated plywood, laminated oak intended for the beds of tractor trailers, white drywall, and polished concrete floors for the interior spaces. Reflecting and glowing with light, the homes’ interiors have an open floor plan, where rooms and levels flow together.

The Ghost Houses have won numerous awards throughout the project’s development, including the 2010 East Tennessee American Institute of Architects Honor Citation and the 2009 Award of Excellence by AIA Tennessee. Articles on the project also have been published in Forward, a national journal of the American Institute of Architects, and the Journal of Architectural Education.

Shelton and Stuth are co-founders of Knoxville-based architecture firm, curb, http://www.curb.cc. More information about the Ghost Houses and other projects by the faculty team can be found on the firm’s website.

C O N T A C T S:

Kiki Roeder (865-974-6713, kroeder@utk.edu)


University of Tennessee solar-powered house, Living Light, featured on ESPNU Academic Special

This past week, Living Light was featured on ESPNU as a part of their SEC Academic Special.

Living Light was the sole project chosen to represent the University of Tennessee in this feature. We should are so proud of the students and faculty who helped make this possible!

The segment will re-air on January 21, but we have been given access to the video content for use and viewing. Check out the video:

Living Light is a functioning energy-efficient, solar-powered house that competed in the 2011 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon on the Mall in Washington, D.C. 

The house placed eighth overall in the competition, and earned commendable, high-standing marks in the fields of architecture, energy-efficient appliances, and engineering.It also tied for first place in the Energy Balance Contest, garnering perfect marks for achieving a net-zero energy balance throughout the competition. 

Living Light since its return from the Solar Decathlon has transformed into a traveling educational exhibition called the Tennessee Tour. The mobile classroom seeks to inform people about the values and technologies of sustainable building and design.


Research of UT Associate Professor Expands Net-Zero Energy and Sustainable Design Scholarship

Mark DeKay, an associate professor in architecture, is committed to advancing research on climatic and net-zero energy design issues and theoretical sustainable design thinking.  Recently, the work of the UT faculty member has been documented through two research achievements, the recent publication of his book, Integral Sustainable Design, Transformative Perspectives, and this month’s winning of the prestigious American Institute of Architects (AIA) Upjohn Research Grant.

The AIA Upjohn Grant, a joint-effort with University of Oregon Professor G.Z. Brown, will develop a knowledge structure intended for bioclimatic design. A central principle of sustainable design, DeKay's bioclimatic design research is specifically targeted to help designers create better net-zero energy structures.

DeKay’s work is integrated into architecture and sustainable design curriculums at UT and beyond. His earlier book, Sun, Wind & Light has been used in over 60 schools across North America. The research for the Upjohn Grant will be tested by UT College of Architecture and Design students and developed for future applications for practitioners and scholars alike.  

The associate professor’s recent book, Integral Sustainable Design, Transformative Perspectives, explains practical and theoretical tools for more effective sustainable design solutions. “The ISD book takes the sustainable design subject, which has historically been all about technology and breaks open the field by laying out a framework with 16 different ways to look at sustainable design,” says DeKay.  “It honors the performance-based approach, but helps designers think about the sustainable design problem in new ways.”

To learn more about Mark DeKay, visit his research page.

DeKay’s book, Integral Sustainable Design, Transformative Perspectives is available through Earthscan here


C O N T A C T:

Kiki Roeder, kroeder@utk.edu