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Coming Home: Chronicling the (re)creation of the JP Green House

In This Series

  • How to talk to your friends about climate change

    I may soon end up walking the streets of Boston with a sandwich board and a tinfoil hat. I know you’ll all remember me fondly when that day comes, and stop to say hello and maybe buy me a sandwich. But in the meantime, with my wits still somewhat collected, I’m going to tell you […]

  • JP Green House intern dines with construction crew

    Five construction workers and I crowd around a covered picnic table outside a run-down little house on the outskirts of Boston. Formerly a 100-year-old neighborhood store called "Jack's Corner Store," the place was abandoned for five years before current owners Ken Ward and Andrée Zaleska purchased it in 2008.

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    Take a walk through the JP Green House [video]

    JP Green House walk-through from Ken Ward on Vimeo. Walk through of JP Green House, by Ken Ward, co-founder, and Simon Hare & Declan Keefe of Placetailor, showing materials, design and construction techiques being used, aiming to meet passivhaus standards and meet negative, net carbon impact objective.

  • Climate deniers, hold your fire!

    I went through a tough half-hour of disbelief this week, when I encountered a very ordinary story in the Boston Globe.  It was about the revised estimates of sea-level rise for the next thirty years and how they will affect our city (guess what?–more of it will be underwater!) The article was short, unremarkable, grim […]

  • Home Economics of the JP Green House, Part 1

    More work than anyone imagined — watch a slideshow of the project unfolding.Leise JonesIt is worth noting that the original JP Green House budget for the first year of the project was $25k. In retrospect, this was woefully inadequate, but by no means out of line with the four previous rehabs I had completed. We […]

  • Reinventing the JP Green House

    For the last year and a half, Ken Ward and Andrée Zaleska have been rehabbing a 100-year-old former neighborhood store in the Boston neighborhood of Jamaica Plain. They’re converting it into a home for their combined family, a community gathering place, and a zero-carbon demonstration home to inspire others — and sharing their journey in […]

  • Simple people

    I don’t dislike No Impact Man. He is more intentionally political than his detractors portray him to be, and I think his yearlong stunt of living without toilet paper in NYC has been eye-opening for a lot of people, and amusing for many others. I admit that the “happy green” genre of books that are […]

  • Eve of Destruction (New Millennium)

    Ken rewrote this song — one of our favorites in the “music for the apocalypse” category — as a rallying cry for the Day of Climate Action this Saturday, October 24, everywhere. He had to smoke a whole pack of cigarettes beforehand to get his voice that gritty. We’ll be at the Boston Under Water […]

  • The best part about climate change

    On a recent work day at the JP Green House, volunteers came out of the woodwork.Leise JonesOne of the early effects of climate change was the demise of my marriage. I was living a comfortable, middle-class life that was all wrong for my politics, and my essential devotion to simplicity. At some point in my […]