Welcome to The Studio for High-Performance Design + Construction

Buildings like our homes, offices, and schools are responsible for over 40% of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. However, we see an enormous opportunity for change in our built environment through the use of sustainable design & construction practices that can drastically reduce the energy demand of our buildings and help create a carbon neutral world

Housed in a state-of-the-art Passive House facility, StudioHPDC is a classroom and educational center for sustainable design & construction. We develop and host training courses for consumers, students, architects, and trades people in all experience levels ranging from introductory sessions and overviews to hands-on workshops and certification programs. In addition to training courses, we host regular networking and discussion group events and provide resources for all those interested in sustainable construction.

Who We Are


Nick Falkoff

Principal of Auburndale Builders Inc, Nick has worked in residential and commercial construction for 17 years, with his company responsible for some of the first Passive House and net-zero homes in the state, including the renovation of their own office and the StudioHPDC classroom. Nick is a three-year Board Member at Builders & Remodelers Association of Greater Boston, a CAPS Certified Aging in Place Specialist, active NESEA member, and current Board Vice-President of Passive House of Massachusetts



Kate is a partner in HELM Construction Solutions, which works with owners, designers and builders to create high performance and sustainable buildings and businesses. She is an experienced leader in the fields of green building, professional education, sustainability, and business management. She’s worked with established and emerging businesses and non-profits to achieve triple bottom line metrics, develop business systems, and plan for a dynamic and resilient future. She has deep experience in post-secondary education, and led the Yestermorrow Design/Build School for over thirteen years. Kate helped to develop and is a facilitator for NESEA’s BuildingEnergy Bottom Lines program, a peer network for builders and architects. Kate manages the Vermont Farm Fund, a revolving loan fund providing low interest loans to farmers. Kate is the Chair of the Montpelier Energy Advisory Committee and serves on the Board of the Vermont Council on Rural Development. She holds a MS in Management from Antioch University New England and a BA in Anthropology and Environmental Science from Haverford College.


Aaron Gunderson

Aaron is a sustainability and green building consultant and Executive Director of Passive House Massachusetts. He has over a decade of experience in environmental organizing for non-profits, advocacy groups, clean-tech companies, and solar power installers. He holds a Master's in Sustainability from Harvard University where he focused on sustainable building design, embodied energy analysis, greenhouse gas reporting, and community-level climate adaptation. Prior to this, Aaron earned a LEED Green Associate accreditation, a graduate certificate in Green Building, and a BA in Political Science and Social Psychology. He lives with his wife in an old (and not yet passive) house in Dorchester and can frequently be found hiking, biking, or cross-country skiing across New England.

New TRAINING CENTER in Northeast
The Studio for High-Performance Design and Construction // A new training center for Passive House and high-performance building education recently opened in Newton, Massachusetts, conceived and constructed by Auburndale Builders. The Studio for High-Performance Design and Construction occupies one end of the newly renovated Auburndale Builders office. The existing building was a one-story concrete garage 70 feet long and 20 feet wide, with concrete floors, walls, and ceilings.