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Our Team

Terra Southeast has years of experience in construction in other states and roots in Tennessee. We specialize in energy efficiency, particularly the Passive House energy standard. We also focus on the principles of universal design or aging in place, enabling you to live in your home for decades to come.

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Jason Gunderson
General Contractor/Partner

Jason was raised in North Dakota as the son of a builder, and has lived in Nashville since 1995. He has been a professional General Contractor for over 25 years and during that time, has built in eight states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Washington, Oregon, and Tennessee). His projects have included apartments, single-family homes, mixed-use buildings, commercial, and light medical facilities. After building code-built structures for his entire career, during the pandemic, Jason began to embrace high-performance building techniques with the goal to build to the absolute highest standards in the industry. He is proud to have made Terra Southeast the first Certified Passive House Builder in the state of Tennessee. A life-long learner, Jason is always studying new techniques and technologies. You will never hear him answer a question with the phrase, "Because that's the way we've always done it." Jason holds a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Concordia College and a Master's degree in Chemistry from Purdue University. In addition, he has a MBA from Vanderbilt University.

Teresa Cole
Associate AIA, Legacy LEED AP 

Creativity has been a constant in Teresa’s life, from the performing arts to set design, costuming, and garment making. Now she applies her education and creative passion to assisting clients in interior architecture decisions. Interior architecture is more than choosing a color to paint the walls or the material for a kitchen countertop. Choosing eco-conscious materials produced with environmentally responsible standards and working within budget is her goal. The places we inhabit have a tremendous impact on our quality of life. Listening to the client and discovering their personal aesthetic is only the beginning. Patient collaboration and open communication lead to design solutions that comfort the soul and imbue the home with a physical expression of personality. Teresa finds much joy in working through the process and changing client relationships into friendships. Teresa is a graduate of Southern Polytechnic State University (now Kennesaw State University) in Marietta, GA. with a Bachelor’s degree in architecture.

Sumeet Makhijani
Managing Partner

Sumeet was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee and attended high school at the McCallie School as a day student. With both parents working as residential real estate agents, Sumeet grew up in the world of open houses, listing appointments, and contract negotiations. This fostered an inherent love of real estate and working with clients to achieve their housing goals. His educational path led him to become a physician, and he worked full-time as a reconstructive plastic surgeon for over 10 years. However, his passion for real estate never faded, as he became an investor and developer of apartments, mobile home parks, single-family homes, and short-term rentals. One of the most significant events in his life was having his own personal residence in upstate New York built as a Passive House in 2019. Working closely with a local contractor allowed him to be involved in every aspect of the build process, from the design through the construction phase. In doing so, Sumeet gained an immense appreciation for Passive House principles, and wondered why all houses weren't built to this standard: one that focused on comfort, durability, and indoor health for the occupants while utilizing a small fraction of the energy of a comparable home. In 2023, Sumeet partnered with Jason Gunderson in their common vision to bring high-performance construction to the Southeast and give clients a generational home, one in which they could grow old or pass on to their children and grandchildren. Sumeet holds a Bachelor's degree in Biology from Creighton University and a Medical Degree from the University of Tennessee. He also received a Master's degree in Real Estate from Georgetown University.

Aaron Cole

Aaron Cole, the owner and principal architect of Open Architecture Practice, loves the outdoors. Hiking, biking, camping, and gardening score high on the list of things to do with his free time. Is it any wonder that the love of nature guides his standards for architecture? Considering the endless forms that architecture may take, having the guiding principle of minimizing environmental impact at every decision allows Open Architecture Practice to create built environments that enhance the occupants' quality of life. Aaron designs with the understanding that every building plays a role in the ecosystem, and the buildings we occupy influence our overall well-being. By incorporating comfort, beauty, and eco-sensitivity into each unique project, Aaron brings his clients’ dreams into reality. Aaron is a graduate of Southern Polytechnic State University (now Kennesaw State University) in Marietta, GA, with a Bachelor's degree in architecture. With more than 10 years of experience in the architecture profession, Aaron is licensed to practice in Tennessee and Georgia, and is a Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC).

Chattanooga  Crewmembers

Elijah Vincent

Eli was born and raised in Dutchess County, New York, near a family farm where he worked during school breaks and after graduation. Surrounded by family members in various trades, he pursued a career in masonry after college. Working for a family friend, Eli developed a passion for concrete work, including foundations, driveways, sidewalks, and retaining walls. After a few years of mentorship, Eli started his own masonry company, which he operated for four years until he and his fiancée, Carly, decided to leave New York for Florida. While there, Eli visited Chattanooga, TN, and quickly fell in love with the area. Within four months, he moved to Chattanooga from Florida and joined Terra Southeast High-Performance Builders. Eli has a passion for Passive Home building and is excited to bring his expertise of home building to the Chattanooga community. Eli and Carly also have a non-profit organization called Pawsitive Change that focuses on rescuing, fostering, and adopting homeless dogs. Their website can be found at

Tristan Green

Tristan was born and raised in middle Tennessee. While in high school, he developed an interest in electrical lighting by serving as a lighting technician for school plays and productions, along with Nashville events such as the Swan Ball, Live on the Green, amongst others.. After eight years, Tristan wanted a deeper understanding of how electricity worked and took an apprenticeship with a master electrician in Nashville. During those five years, he worked in all aspects of both residential and commercial electrical jobs, from new construction to remodeling and even full system upgrades. He has dipped his toes in a variety of different systems, whether removing nob and tube wiring or installing an N Light system. Every project is an opportunity to learn and to work with excellence. Tristan has a Limited Licensed Electrician (Journeyman equivalent) certification through the state of Tennessee and a Journeyman License through the City of Chattanooga, amongst other equivalent certifications throughout the state of Tennessee.

Corey Woodin
Lead Carpenter

Corey was born and raised in rural Dover Plains, NY, approximately two hours north of New York City. Spending much of his early years around his father, uncles and extended family, Corey was introduced to hands-on vocations at an early age, including construction projects around the family home. In addition, on dozens of occasions, Corey could be found in the garage learning the fundamentals of automotive maintenance; busted knuckles and dropped 10mm sockets included! After high school, Corey attended college in New York until he decided to pursue working for a local General Contractor. In doing so, Corey began to learn the foundational skills of framing, trim work, flooring installation, kitchen and bath remodeling, roofing, and decking. For an additional three years, Corey continued to dial in his craft as a tradesman by adding all aspects of modular home construction onto his resume while working for another local contractor. In 2020, Corey started his own residential remodeling/carpentry business in his hometown. In doing so, he continued to improve his skills as a tradesman, while learning the basics of residential electrical and plumbing as it pertained to the projects he completed. During this time, tile installation quickly became a passion for Corey, as his clients loved to give him artistic liberty to make their dreams come to life! If it were not for the three years of self-employment, Corey would not have “bet on himself” and uprooted everything he once knew to relocate to the Chattanooga, TN area. Since his arrival in August of 2023, Corey can confidently say that Eastern Tennessee is his home away from home!

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