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TERRA House Will Shine for Ribbon Cutting on February 27 University News
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 System.

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.

More About TERRA

Video: learn more about the TERRA project

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