NextGen Homes

"These homes represent the next generation of residential development in Chattanooga and the southeast. They generate as much energy as they consume, use water and materials efficiently, and protect and promote the health of the occupants."

View of NextGen Homes from North Market

Upper Floor (Entrance)

Lower Floor


Sponsored by: 









Lowe's of Hixon

Lowe's of Hixon


Design and construction team:





WM Whitaker & associates Landscape architects: matt whitaker & Thomas brown


View of Entrance to NextGen Homes

NextGen Homes Interior

green|spaces is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that works to advance the sustainability of living, working, and building in Chattanooga and the surrounding region. We hosted a design competition for the development of a series of next-generation houses that are environmentally and economically regenerative. To achieve this, the houses will produce as much energy as they consume, protect and promote the health of their occupants, and maximize water, material, and cost efficiency. This competition was intended as much as a teaching tool for regional design professionals and builders as it is a means to arrive at the best possible design solution for a challenging site with high performance goals for energy, water, materials, and health. 

For more inspiration see the other design entries and net zero energy case studies.




The site is located at 631 Hamilton Ave. between Hamilton Ave. and North Market St. A bus stop for the #2 CARTA Bus is across North Market. Publix is a one block walk. Frazier Ave. is a three block walk. The Tennessee Aquarium is a 20 minute walk across the Market St. or Walnut St. bridges. Stringer's Ridge trails are easily accessed by bike or foot in minutes and can be accessed off of Chambliss or Spears. Incredible views of downtown and Stringer's Ridge are afforded from the home positioned on the high side of the site off of Hamilton. 

677-703 Hamilton Ave. Chattanooga, TN 37405

677-703 Hamilton Ave. Chattanooga, TN 37405

Program Requirements

4 Single-family Detached Houses

3 Bedrooms, 2.5 Bathrooms Each

2225 GSF Each

Four single-family detached houses shall be located on the site. Each unit has a master bedroom, two additional bedrooms, two full baths, one half bath and an openly arranged dining room, kitchen, and living room.



The design of the NextGen Homes is a contemporary expression of the Charleston Single, a historical southern home typology designed to maximize access to natural light and ventilation with private outdoor space perfect for a dense residential development. The adaptation of this typology to a smart home on the steep slopes found in Chattanooga's North Shore Neighborhood maintains the functional attributes of the precedent with a fresh contemporary aesthetic. The angles in the floor plan respond to the views of Chattanooga's downtown and Stringer's Ridge. 


Performance Requirements


Energy: Produce as much energy as you consume.  Each home will be designed to achieve net zero energy (energy consumed on site over the course of a year is less than or equal to energy generated on site over the course of the same year).  In order to achieve net zero energy, the design team had to maximize energy efficiency and passive strategies and then consider the integration of active on-site generation of renewable energy in the form of a 9 kW solar photovoltaic array mounted to the roof. Homeowners will keep track of energy use and report back to green|spaces to achieve Net Zero Energy Certification.


Health: Protect and promote health. The location of the NextGen Homes, the integration of bicycle infrastructure, the careful selection of building materials and interior finishes, and the introduction of a whole-house fresh air ventilation system all help protect and promote the health of the occupants. 


Water: Reduce and reuse potable water and rainwater. Low flow toilets, lavatories, sinks, and equipment help reduce the need for potable water. Pervious pavers are used at the driveway and on patios to prevent runoff. All stormwater that falls on impervious surfaces is retained and infiltrated on site with a bio-swale. The project will follow the city's new Rain Smart program that helps incentivize responsible and affordable green infrastructure.


Materials: Cradle to cradle, assemble and disassemble. High quality materials have been selected that are healthy, local, reused, recycled, or bio-based. Integrated storage for recycling and composting both in the kitchen and for the curbside bin help the occupants reduce their waste.


Technology: Wired for the future. The houses will incorporate next-generation communications to provide telecommuting and telepresence potential to the occupants and allow smart appliances to communicate with the occupants, each other, and the smart grid. The home will pursue EPB's Smart Build Certification to provide testing for energy efficiency, air infiltration, duct tightness, as well as inspections to ensure that the home is pre-wired to maximize EPB's gigabit fiberoptic network. 



Project Timeline

Phase I–Design Competition Completed September 16, 2014


Phase II–Construction Documents (summer 2015)



Phase III–Construction (fall-winter 2015)