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University of Tennessee-Knoxville

November 17, 2011

UT Solar-Powered House Begins Tour Across Tennessee as Educational Exhibition

Knoxville -- Living Light, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s state-of-the-art, zero-energy house, will open its doors to the public this week, marking the beginning of the Tennessee Tour, an educational exhibition that will travel across the state.

Living Light will be open from noon to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays in November and December at the UT Gardens, 2431 Joe Johnson Drive, Knoxville.

Living Light is a functioning energy-efficient, solar-powered house that competed in late September at the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon on the Mall in Washington, DC. 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. 

With the house’s return from Washington, DC, the Tennessee Tour launches as a teaching tool for children, industry professionals, and homeowners to learn about cutting-edge sustainable science, technology, and design.

Starting in Knoxville and continuing to cities in Tennessee, including Nashville, Memphis, Oak Ridge, and Chattanooga, the home will be open for public tours and learning events throughout the year.

“The house incorporates the historical design of the cantilever barn of Appalachia, while showcasing modern home technologies,” said Diane Bossart, research associate and project manager of the Tennessee Tour. “We are very excited to share this home with people in Tennessee, so they may consider implementing energy-saving techniques and more sustainable materials in their homes and businesses.”

The Tennessee Tour is a joint effort of the UT College of Architecture and Design and the UT Institute of Agriculture Office of Extension. It showcases the work of more than 200 students and nine academic programs from the University, as well as the sponsorship and involvement of alumni, business and industry partners of the Living Light project.

For more information about the Tennessee Tour and Living Light visit

C O N T A C T S :

Kiki Roeder (865-974-6713,

Diane Bossart  (865-974-5211,

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