Remodeling buildings has been practiced for a long time, and there has been much debate about the benefits and environmental impacts of reusing old structures versus demolishing them and building new. Some 80 percent of what’s been built in the United States was constructed during the last 50 years; reuse seems like the inevitable wave of the future.

The team of construction managers and lead carpenters at Auburndale Builders decided to take on the challenge of retrofitting an old building but took it a significant step forward.

Before we get into the details, this is probably a good spot to provide a brief set of information on high-performance to passive construction.  Most people have never heard of a high-performance energy efficient structure, never mind understanding what a net-zero or passive house means. The term "high-performance construction" means a structure that integrates and optimizes all the key building attributes, including energy efficiency, durability, comfort, health, safety, life-cycle performance, and occupant productivity.

So, here's how it goes.  Everything is a matter of degree, moving from a high-performance structure to a net-zero structure to a passive structure.  Here is a simple way to understand it.

·      A high-performance building reduces energy consumption costs by at least 50%.

·      A passive building reduces energy consumption costs by 80-90%

·      A net-zero building reduces energy consumption costs by 100% and offsets any energy use with renewable energy such as solar power.

·      An energy-positive building generates more energy that it uses, and therefore the electric company can pay you back for the additional power you generate.

Auburndale Builders retrofitted a 100-year-old concrete building in Newton, MA to accommodate its new office facility and building education center. This building was retrofitted to be entirely passive with solar panels to make it an energy-positive building. The highest level of high-performance construction.

Auburndale Builders are experts at building high-performance to passive structures.  They built the first certified passive house in Wayland, MA; the first Net-Zero house in Newton, MA; and the first Passive Office Building in Newton, MA.

As we learn more about high-performance construction, it becomes apparent that we need a platform from which to educate and consult with architects, builders, and homeowners who have never constructed one of these buildings.  The lessons learned when building a high-performance to passive structure are enormous.



Auburndale Builders Passive Office building will house the “Studio for High-Performance Design and Construction.”  This facility will provide training to architects, builders, and homeowners.  Classes will be scheduled monthly and will give the people of Newton, MA and its environs a place to learn and appreciate the value of high-performance to passive construction.

Auburndale Builders will focus their high-performance business in three areas:

·      High-Performance Remodeling, Retrofitting, and Additions

·      High-Performance New Construction

·      High-Performance Education and Consulting

Auburndale Builders is a leader in high-performance to passive construction. Going forward, Auburndale Builders will be leaders in high-performance education and consulting, to architects, builders, and homeowners in Newton, MA and beyond.  Sharing lessons learned will help architects, builders, and homeowners better understand as they enter the world of high-performance construction.