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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

Old + New

Posted by Matt Power

Apr 30, 2014 2:15:00 PM

The Adirondack-style shingled home, complete with a pond and running stream, holds its own along the estate-studded back roads of New Canaan, Conn. But it is a beauty that’s simply the veneer on a highly engineered and efficient home. 

“The couple’s goals were to build the greenest, most energy efficient house possible,” says architect Jim Edgcomb. “This site had attributes they were looking for: natural water features and open areas for photovoltaics, along with beautiful views.”

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Topics: graywater, LEED, solar, solar hot water, 2010 Green Home of the Year Awards, FSC Certified Lumber, rainwater harvesting, Recycled Products

New Florida

Posted by Matt Power

Apr 15, 2014 4:57:00 PM

Florida, one of the fastest growing states, is not known for its green housing. But this LEED Gold home in Winter Park, not far from Orlando, breaks that pattern. Its contemporary design contains many elements familiar in what you might call the “snowbird vernacular” of modern Florida architecture: large expanses of glass, an open floorplan, a back yard lanai, and an open interior with little trim. But unlike so many Florida homes--built to code but no better--nearly every aspect of this home has an energy- or water-saving purpose.  
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Topics: Green Landscaping, LEED, Energy Recovery Ventilation, HERS, 2600 to 3400 square feet, natural daylighting, green roof, 2010 Green Home of the Year Awards, LED Lighting, rainwater harvesting, salvaged materials, Florida, Recycled Products

Five Easy Pieces

Posted by Matt Power

Apr 15, 2014 3:05:00 PM

Photos by Jack Parsons Photography; Mary Estes contributed to this article.
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Topics: graywater, California, SIPs, 1500 square feet or less, green roof, cool roof

The Annunciation Home

Posted by Matt Power

Apr 8, 2014 1:36:00 PM

When it comes to remodeling 100-plus-year-old homes in New Orleans, Southern Homes’ Chris Kornman notes that deconstruction has been the critical first step of every project. “A lot of these homes are former rentals, and often they haven’t been renovated in decades and have a lot of problems,” he says.

Rather than band-aid these issues, Kornman and his team strip the interior of the home, leaving only the exterior walls. What can’t be reincorporated into the home is then donated to either Habitat for Humanity or Green Project, a local entity with a similar mission for use in current projects.

In the case of Annunciation, a 1,400-square-foot house built in the late 1860s, the homeowner of was at a crossroads; she needed more room but loved her neighborhood and didn’t want to move. She also wanted her  home to be far more energy efficient as she was spending $300 month to air condition it during the summer but could never cool it below 80 F.
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Topics: 1500 square feet or less, energy efficient windows, Residential Retrofit, Louisiana, Recycled Products, Paint

The Callaway House

Posted by Matt Power

Apr 8, 2014 1:08:00 PM

When Catherine Callaway, a LEED AP certified architect with BNIM Architects, and her accountant husband first purchased their 1,000-square-foot home in an historic neighborhood in Houston, they embraced it for its legacy and the fact that it was something of a blank slate.  

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Topics: 1500 square feet or less, water saving, Residential Retrofit, Texas, Paint


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