JP Green House is an urban homestead in Jamaica Plain (Boston). Conceived in 2008 by Andrée Zaleska and Ken Ward, and built by the green building firms Placetailor and Structure Design and Build, this unique house runs entirely on sunlight! Using a combination of passive and active solar, the house provides all its own heat and electricity.

In 2019, Curt Newton and Jennie Evans became the new owners of JP Green House. They continue its tradition as an inspiring demonstration and ongoing experiment in sustainable urban living.

When Andrée and Ken bought JP Green House in 2008, out of foreclosure, it looked like this:

A local eyesore, it was 100 years old, had been a corner store and family home for 75 years, and then was lost to a bank. They were looking to create a fully sustainable urban homestead, and the location–with a large parcel of land–was ideal.

Over the next few years, the building and land were transformed into one of the most unique homes in Boston.

The most unique feature of the house is that it is a Passive House. This means it uses a combination of thick insulation, a tight seal, and southern-facing windows to capture and retain heat directly from the sun. The house has no gas or oil for heat, and only a minimum of electric heating on the coldest days. And the solar panel array on the roof generates far more electricity than the house uses, including EV charging. The net result is that the house is “energy positive”–it makes more energy than it uses!

The original garden was entirely overgrown with grass and a noxious invasive weed called Pale Swallowwort. It took eight years of intensive diligent labor, but there's now 2000 square feet of vegetable beds, 5 fruit trees, a bank of raspberry bushes, and a large play structure. 

JP Green House was also the original home of the JP Green School, a self-directed learning center where children learned gardening, building, nature studies and sustainability. 

VISIT THE JP GREENHOUSE!  We welcome individuals, groups and classes to visit the house and have a tour. We host discussions about green building, urban homesteading, re-localization, and climate change.

We are also available for speaking engagements.

Contact Curt and Jennie at


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