For release: February 10, 2009
For press information, contact Simone Notter Wilson (901) 678-4164
After more than three years of research, design, and planning, the TERRA (Technologically
+ Environmentally Responsive Residential Architecture) demonstration house is complete.
The ribbon cutting ceremony and formal opening of the house, which is located at the
northeast corner of North Main and Greenlaw, is on Friday, February 27 at 10 a.m.
Following the ceremony, the house will be open for tours February 27, 28, and March
1, as well as every weekend in March (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, and from
noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays). Tours are free and open to the public.
The project, which was initiated in 2005 by the Department of Architecture through
the U of M's Center for Sustainable Design (CSD), broke ground in Memphis' Uptown
neighborhood in June of 2007. One of the project's main objectives was to embody the
idea of "green" design while blending in with the other residences in the area. The
house brings a new understanding of sustainable architecture and design to Memphis.
The home features energy efficient and environmentally responsible techniques, materials,
appliances and fixtures. It adheres to Memphis Light Gas and Water Division's EcoBUILD
program and to the American Lung Association's Health House standards. The Department
of Architecture will apply for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
designation, and the two-story, 1,700 square-foot home will then be one of the first
in the region to conform to U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Green Building Rating
Designed entirely by Department of Architecture students under faculty supervision,
the house incorporates several features, such as insulated concrete forms, special
soy-based insulation, rainwater harvesting system, and a greywater recovery system,
among others, that are uncommon for the building industry in the Memphis area. Contractor
for the TERRA house was DPC Construction LLC of Memphis. In addition to serving as
a teaching tool for sustainable design, the TERRA house is an actual family residence.
The Department of Architecture plans to continue faculty and student research into
sustainable design through the design of prototype affordable and sustainable residences
in other neighborhoods within the Memphis area.
More than 40 businesses donated materials and time, and offered discounts. The project
has benefited from partnerships between the University of Memphis, AIA Memphis (American
Institute of Architects), the Memphis chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council,
and the Uptown Partnership, which includes the Henry Turley Company, Belz Enterprises
and the City of Memphis.
A video of the TERRA project can be viewed here.