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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. Matt is a founding member of the Tiny House Industry Association, and sits on the board of The Resilience Hub, an educational organization focused on permaculture and hands-on reskilling.

http://www.greenbuildermedia.com

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Recent Posts

Retractable Screens-A View-Friendly Way to Reduce Energy Waste in Homes with Expansive Glass

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Mar 2, 2020 10:01:42 AM

When used wisely, attractive door screens may reduce HVAC loads and improve indoor air quality.

When we spoke to window makers at last year’s Design & Construction Week in Las Vegas about the latest trends, the response at first seemed surprising: More grand, folding and sliding glass doors in the back yard; more large expanses of glass.

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Non-Toxic Fire Retardant Could Have Far Reaching Impacts for Housing

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Feb 20, 2020 9:36:26 AM

Made with food-safe, plant-based compounds, GreenFire’s product has applications for both fire prevention and fire suppression.

Imagine you own a home on the edge of a wildfire-prone hillside in California. You’re away on a business trip when a flash fire threatens your neighborhood. But you have a secret weapon, or should we say--a hidden line of defense: You’ve installed outdoor sprinklers, tied to a reservoir of GreenFire in a tank in your garage. You activate the sprinklers, and the GreenFire compound mixes with water, laying down a film of fire suppressant around your yard and structure. Nothing ignites. Even burning embers snuff out when they come into contact.

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Field Test: Ventilating an ADU for Optimal Air Quality

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Dec 11, 2019 9:28:50 AM

By combining an “always on” ERV and quiet bath fan this installation achieved above-and-beyond air quality.

One of the challenges with small “mother-in-law” apartments and accessory dwelling units (ADUs) is that they’re often built without adequate ventilation, or unbalanced systems that create drafts or fail to clear the air, or worse, haul other pollutants back into the building.

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Six Ways Construction is Changing

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Sep 4, 2019 9:40:32 AM

Green Builder's Annual Building Science Ebook is free to view online or as a pdf download.

From the editors of Green Builder magazine comes a concise look at the latest, greatest innovations changing how homes and multifamily projects are built. From weather barriers to SIPs, utility programs to whole-house air purification that can address urban smog, we look at the how and why of building today.

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Can Whole House Air Filters Damage HVAC Equipment?

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Jul 22, 2019 8:38:29 PM

This question came up in our recent webinar on Building Science, from listeners concerned about the impacts of various filter media on airflow through ducted systems.

Q: Ive heard that certain air filters cause airflow restriction and damage to HVAC equipment.  I read that if the face area of a filter medium is larger, and an ECM motor is used, the flow reduction is less significant.

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Tool Test: The Solar Jobsite

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Dec 18, 2018 3:36:35 PM

New tools and battery systems bring the off-grid solar jobsite a step closer. 

When Ryobi unveiled its new 18V One+ 10-Inch Miter Saw, the time seemed right to test the viability of an all-solar-powered jobsite. I already owned a number of the Ryobi tools that use the same battery, along with a Ryobi P131 in-vehicle charger (a must), so I had them round out the suite for me with the miter saw, a P5231 orbital jig saw, a five-inch random orbit sander P411—and a plug-in, six-port battery supercharger.

My friend Oscar van Loveren is a well-informed solar dabbler and airline pilot. He walked me through the basic mathematics of watts, amps and capacity when it comes to solar charging. He agreed that 200 watts of photovoltaic should be enough to bring a 100-amp, 12-volt battery up to charge over the course of a sunny day.

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Video: Builder Plans To Test Airborne Sealing System on 100 Net-Zero Homes

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Jul 20, 2017 10:01:47 AM

At the heart of Mandalay Homes' "disruptive" innovation is a new product that seals the smallest leaks, greatly reducing air infiltration.

 

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These Antique Tools Made Framing a House Without Power Tools a Breeze

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Jul 14, 2017 10:04:33 AM

At a popular living history center in Southern England, historians have put together a collection of the typical tool collection used by a home framer in the 17th to 19th Centuries.

If you're a builder, most these tools are probably familiar. Researchers at the Weald and Downland living history museum in Chichester, UK, collected these tools to illustrate how traditional rural homes were built. No circular saws, no chop saws, no table saws or power drills.

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Study: Shading or Screening Outdoor Compressors Can Hurt Performance and Shorten Equipment Life

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

May 22, 2017 10:51:12 AM


Field tests show that the unrestricted airflow is more important than shade.

YOU CAN'T BLAME PEOPLE for thinking it might be a good idea to shield outdoor air conditioner compressors from the blazing heat of the sun. It's an important consideration, because more than ever, compressors for electrical mini-splits are being installed on the roof, where they are exposed to full sun all day long, often sitting just above a black, roasting EPDM roof covering.

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Dry Basements Depend on Durable Vapor Barriers That Isolate Slabs

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Mar 27, 2017 10:25:53 AM

To prevent cracks, and head off mold and rot in finished basements, a sturdy vapor barrier is still the most important detail.

Creating the “perfect” slab has always been a challenge for homebuilders. Even when built to code, slabs sometimes crack and fail. What went wrong? Often, sloppy installation is the issue. Seams in the underlayment are not sealed and overlapped properly, or workers punch holes in the plastic--or it simply doesn’t extend fully underneath the slab and vertically up the edge of the buried part of the slab perimeter.

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