Stretch HERS 42/45 Series

The Northeast HERS Alliance, in partnership with Auburndale Builders/Studio HPDC, Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod, and Home Energy Raters, is pleased to announce the upcoming webinar series, entitled "Building to Meet the New MA State Stretch Code Changes (HERS 42/45): What Builders Need to Know."

This four-part series will run for four consecutive weeks on Thursdays at 4:00 PM Eastern time and may evolve into an ongoing monthly series to make deeper dives into specific case studies.

  • November 30th: Session I - Overview of Home Performance Summary
  • December 7th: Session II - Site Orientation, Windows and Doors, and Photovoltaics (PV)
  • December 14th: Session III - Mechanicals, Ventilation, Envelope and Appliances
  • December 21st: Session IV - Review/Summary, Recipes for Success, and Questions


  • NEHERS Members: This series will be free to NEHERS members. Please note the email address that your NEHERS membership is under will be required to register at no charge. 
  • Non-Members: This series will be $25 per session for non-members, with a bundle of all four available for $75. The proceeds from this event will go to support three non-profit organizations: NEHERS (membership info can be found here), Studio HPDC, and Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod


  • AIA Credits: Pending
  • CSL Credits: Pending
  • RESNET Credits: Pending


  • Session I: This is the first of a four-part series. We will provide a high-level overview of what to expect in this series, including what the HERS index is, consideration of client expectations, and how to set and verify goals. We will review and discuss which "levers" are available to pull at each of the different design phases so that you can be sure that you are setting up your project to meet these code changes. We will also give a high-level overview of the subsequent components in the series, including: site orientation, windows and doors, HVAC/mechanicals and envelope. And we will look at serveral models to see how changes in the design can affect the overall HERS score. 
  • Session II: This is the second of a four-part series. In this session, we will take a closer look at the importance of optimizing site orientation for passive solar gain and also for photovoltaics (PV). We will also review and discuss the strategy around selection and placement of windows and doors, as it relates to improving a project's HERS score. And we will cover what you need to know about photovoltaics in terms of sizing, costs, and impact on the HERS score.
  • Session III: This is the third of a four-part series. We will take a closer look at the strategy for mechanicals and ventilation as it relates to the impact on the HERS score. We will also review and discuss the different options available in relation to the envelope and appliances for improvement on the HERS score. 
  • Session IV: This is the fourth of a four-part series. We will provide a summary of the previous components and revisit the models first described in session one, in order to pull everything together. There will be time for in depth questions. The key take-away should be that you have the best chance for success if you get your HERS rater involved early! 

We will take questions from the audience in advance (via the registration form) and also during/at the end of each presentation. Our goal is to ensure that you have all the information you need in order to successfully meet the Stretch HERS 42/45 code changes. 


Nick Falkoff
Auburndale Builders

Nick is general manager of Auburndale Builders; a General Contractor focused on building high-performance, net zero and passive homes. He has worked in residential and commercial construction for over 20 years and started Auburndale Builders in 2005. The Auburndale Builders team built the first certified passive house in Wayland and the first PHIUS Source Zero retrofit in Newton which houses the Studio for High-Performance Design and Construction (StudioHPDC). Nick is co-founder of StudioHPDC, a non-profit organization focused on providing education and training resources for the construction industry, including classes, workshops, and reference materials. He is an active member of the NESEA Building Energy Bottom Lines program.

Andrew Popielarski
Senior Home Energy Rater
Home Energy Raters

Andrew did Indoor Air Quality a testing in Philadelphia for 7 years as a LEED Green Associate. He then moved to Massachusetts and been a HERs Rater for 10 years.

Bob Ryley
Director of Construction
Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod

Bob lives with his wife Maura in Brewster where they raised their two now adult children. A native New Englander, Bob was born and raised in Dorchester and Canton, Massachusetts with summers spent with his siblings at a lakeside cottage, in the woods of New Hampshire.

Born into an extended family of builders, it is only natural that following High School graduation, and four years active duty in the USAF, Bob would enter the building trade as a framing & interior trim contractor. Over time, Bob branched out into remodeling and custom home building on Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard.

As Bob's reputation grew, he was sought out by Bob Vila of "This Old House" fame to build his Oyster Harbors homes.  And then when Vila launched his show, "Home Again," Bob "Ryley" became the show's master carpenter.  Ryley appeared in 13 seasons of "Home Again".  During that time Ryley also built Vila's 3-home compound and deep-water dock in Chilmark, and custom homes for other clients on Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and Cape Cod.

In 1998 Bob was selected by "Design Associates" of Cambridge to build a unique, special house for a chemically sensitive individual. As he was preparing to build that house Bob heard Ray Anderson speak at the Green Builders Conference in Austin Texas, and the ideals of "Healthy House" and "Environmental Stewardship" took hold.

A short time after that event, Bob became a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod, later joining its Board of Directors. In November of 2011 he took on the role of Director of Construction where he continues to serve. For nearly 12 years, he has overseen the permitting, budgeting, scheduling, design, and construction of 10-12 houses per year, throughout Cape Cod.

Bob has an immense appreciation for building Healthy Homes, starting with "Indoor Air Quality", the elimination of a home's fossil fuel energy combustion systems, and onto the elimination of VOCs or off gassing materials. With Bob's oversight, Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod has evolved to a point where healthy, Net Zero homes are the standard, and, most importantly, affordable.