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Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

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

New LED Surface-Mounted Downlights Look Exactly Like Recessed Cans

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Jul 12, 2016 9:07:18 AM

At PCBC in June, I got my first look at Halo SLD Surface LED Downlights. The technology has been around a couple of years, but the products keep improving.

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Savage Irony: Alberta Wildfires in Tar Sands Town Tied to Global Warming

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

May 9, 2016 9:12:10 AM

The inferno roaring around the town of Fort McMurray, Alberta,has called attention to the dire impacts we can expect if fossil fuel projects proceed as planned.Photo: Wikimedia Commons

ENVIRONMENTALIST BILL MCKIBBEN, a vocal opponent of the proposed XL Pipeline—originating in the Tar Sands of Canada—has likened the extraction of those dirty fuels to a death blow for the planet, and he's not alone. The major concern is the release of buried methane in the extraction process, but that's just one straw on the climate change camel's back. There's also the burning of the extracted oil, the clearing and burning of forests and so on.

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It Turns Out Steve Jobs was a Supervillain After All

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Apr 14, 2016 1:39:27 PM

A new report from Oxfam shows that Apple hid BILLIONS of U.S. tax dollars in offshore accounts.

I remember, a few years back, having a conversation with a friend about whether any industries are really "clean." Sometimes the villains can be recognized quickly. The cigarette industry. The fossil fuel industry. But what about computers? They seem to have had a relatively benign effect on the planet, despite the obvious drawbacks of increased surveillance and loss of privacy.;

With the release of the Panama Papers, however, my original line of questioning, whether the negatives associated with multinational corporations inevitably outweigh their contribution to global well being, seems to have been on track. The bad behavior at the top of the corporate pyramid schemes is more or less universal. Some just hide the skeletons better.

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New Report: Fracking Does Indeed Trigger Earthquakes

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Mar 30, 2016 8:10:35 AM

Contrary to earlier reports denying a connection, the new USGS report says midwest cities are courting seismic disaster by allowing fracking to continue.

Remember back in 2011, when an earthquake centered in Virginia damaged the Washington monument? At the time, there were some anecdotal articles suggesting that fracking activities in the region may have triggered the quake. The reports, however, were mostly ignored, and the frackers went back to business as usual. This was also the period when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was leveraging U.S. fracking operations into other countries around the world. It's little wonder the fracking-earthquake connection was not pursued.

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

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Jan 20, 2016 9:30:00 AM

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


The building industry is notoriously slow to change, but when the global recession hit a few years ago, smart builders carved a green niche to save their companies. Eco-friendly construction tends to continue, even when times are relatively bad, motivated by the idea of saving money on energy, water, and so on.

What's really changed in the past couple of decades? Here's my short list of some of the best and brightest ideas, and why they matter:

LED Lighting. Finally, we can stop cursing our compact fluorescent lamps. Unlike fluorescent lamps, which rarely live up to their promised of 10,000 hour lifespans, contain enough mercury to classify as hazardous waste and make your complexion look like undead zombie flesh, LED bulbs do it all. They' use a fraction of the energy of a CFL, come in dimmable versions that change color warmly, last up to 50,000 hours, and don't contain mercury. Win, win, win. Another new entry into this category are LED replacement lamps for fluorescent fixtures. This is a major upgrade in terms of both performance and sustainability. The common 4-ft. lamps in fluorescent lamps contain hazardous mercury, and we all know they don't last as long as they should. A comparable LED replacement lamp uses half the power, comes on instantly, and could last 50,000 hours, compared to about 8,000 hours for CFLs.

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