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by Maureen Ciaccio
Ask a Sustainable Builder

John Deans – Embodied Carbon, the Issue of Concrete and Foam, Prioritizing for Cost


John Deans

For almost a decade John Deans was an organizer and campaigner for environmental and progressive causes, including a long stint at Greenpeace USA.  He loved fighting the good fight, but found himself increasingly chained to a laptop and cell phone. Yearning to breathe fresh air again and work with his hands, he joined Emerald Builders located in Bowdoinham, Maine in 2017.

At Emerald, John works as a Carpenter and as their Marketing Director promoting their business and ideas about sustainability. What he likes about his job: “There is magic in the process of joining material together to make something functional and beautiful, and I love getting to be a wizard-in-training every day.”

Outside of Emerald Builders, John hangs with his favorite person and wife Liia, playing board games, going on outdoor adventures, and working on their little old farmhouse in Bowdoinham. They also serve the sweetest dog in the world, Odin, and most talkative cat, Gambit.


  • A triple bottom line company: People, Planet, Profit
  • What does the word sustainable really mean?
  • High performance building and building science
  • Life cycle approach — energy efficiency is only part of the equation
  • What is embodied carbon?
  • The issue of concrete and foam
  • Alternative to foam
  • How to think about the cost of a sustainably built home



Instagram https://www.instagram.com/emeraldbuilders/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/emeraldbuildersllc


Episode 2

Season 1

by Maureen Ciaccio