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Matt Power

As a veteran reporter, Matt Power has covered virtually every aspect of design and construction. His award-winning articles often tackle tough environmental challenges in a way that makes them relevant to both professionals and end users. An expert on both building science and green building, he has a long history of asking hard questions--and adding depth and context as he unfolds complex issues.

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Recent Posts

Green is Not a Movement

Posted by Matt Power

Oct 19, 2014 7:08:27 PM

An article going around this week suggests that green building is a “social movement” that, like other social movements (prohibition, civil rights, etc.) stands at the precipice of success or failure. The writer argues that green building could easily be “co-opted, repressed, subject to failure, or succeed.” In other words, he’s arguing that the mainstream acceptance of the need to build energy-efficient, low-impact buildings is a matter of social choice—not something that “must” happen. I disagree.

Why? Because treating green building as a social movement is like calling eating a lifestyle choice.
To illustrate: If the suffragette movement or the civil rights movement of the last century had failed or been repressed (realizing that some believe they have), the end result would likely not have been the death and displacement of millions or even billions of human beings. There would be suffering, to be sure, but arguably not on the biblical scale.

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The Five Best Green Building Ideas This Century (So Far)

Posted by Matt Power

Oct 15, 2014 9:56:00 PM

A lot of the really groundbreaking stuff going on in green building happens behind the walls, so of course you might never notice it.

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Attic Caps: Fixing a Hole

Posted by Matt Power

Oct 9, 2014 3:24:00 PM

It seemed like everywhere I turned at this year’s International Builder Show, I cam across a new variation on an old idea—closing up the space above attic access stairs. While no one seems to have exact figures, third party testing suggests that some brands cut attic air infiltration by 70 percent.

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Horton Hears a Gurgling Sound

Posted by Matt Power

Oct 8, 2014 3:37:00 PM

AS I BEGAN WRITING this month’s chapter on water conservation, I wondered if I’d have much to say. In the world of green building, things seem to be moving in the right direction. Toilets, faucets, dishwashers, clothes washers—virtually every point-of-use gadget now uses a fraction of the water it did in years past. Even irrigation, the elephant in the front yard (and the farmer’s field) is finally getting the attention it deserves. Drip systems, rain sensors and other technologies have begun to whittle away at that oft-ignored source of water waste.
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This Interactive Sustainable College Illustration Is Rich With Ideas

Posted by Matt Power

Sep 21, 2014 9:25:00 AM

Our friend Pete Gorski created this great infographic of an idealized sustainable college campus for the Portland Press Herald, To build it, he borrowed green buildings from college campuses all over Maine and pulled out their best eco-friendly buildings and amenities. It's too bad the Press Herald didn't include some actual information on the infographic instead of using every hot button to try to drive you back to their website, but it looks like they are new to interactive etiquette. If you'd like to see a more full-featured use for this kind of interactive feedback, check out our city of the future illustration, part of our ongoing Celestia Project.--Editor

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