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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.


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Recent Posts

Study Analyzes Skylight Ventilation

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Feb 10, 2020 9:39:44 AM

In colder zones, use of automatic, sensor-equipped skylights provides the highest efficiency gains.

The introduction of smart sensors to motorized skylights offers a new method for ventilating homes during seasons where a cooling load is required. This report, "A Study of Venting Skylights in Homes in Boston, Massachusetts," prepared for Velux, suggests that significant gains could be made in cooling efficiency with th addition of smart skylight ventilation.

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Trane’s “Tranquility” IAQ Package for Building Pros Offers an Easy Upsell

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Jan 3, 2020 4:25:44 AM

Aware of the fast-growing interest in indoor air quality, Trane has developed an upsell program that demystifies HVAC for many budgets, including exacting high-end clients.

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Research: Closing Your Bedroom Door at Night Can Make Your Sick

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Dec 31, 2017 9:25:33 AM

If you’re having trouble sleeping, the cause may be right under your nose: trapped C02 in your bedroom.

Some fascinating research from Brian Just, reported in the Fall Issue of BuildingEnergy, found that among a test group of 22 homes, almost every home had elevated CO2 levels, when bedroom doors were closed at night. Perhaps most importantly, even in older “leaky” homes, CO2 levels spiked to unhealthy levels with doors closed.

Myth Buster. The chart shows that leaky and tight homes both have similar CO2 pollution levels. Surprisingly, the "leaky" house can actually have even higher levels than the newer home, presumably because the new home has better mechanical ventilation overall.

As Just points out, elevated CO2 when sleeping has been linked to “reduced cognitive function…headaches, fatigue, and a sense of “stuffiness,” to name just a few. And the rooms were not even checked for other invisible pollutants such as VOCs. Those could be even more detrimental to health.

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Indoor Air Quality: Talk Is Cheap

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Jul 20, 2017 10:07:33 AM

Mothers, in particular, express concern about asthma and other air pollution effects—but few seem willing to adjust their cooking habits in response.

It’s not like the tools don’t exist. It’s the lack of behavior change that is making kids sick indoors. As I’ve reported in the past, most people rarely use their range hoods by choice. In fact, one major study found that “Only 8 percent of the participants used their ventilation system whenever they cooked,” while 8 percent used ventilation “almost never,” and 15 percent used ventilation only “once in a while.”

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Irish Indoor Air Study Deserves a Second Look As Cities Become More Polluted

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Mar 31, 2017 9:34:58 AM

The report compared indoor and outdoor air pollution levels in 12 commercial buildings, with results that offer insight for HVAC pros today.

Among the findings published by Building and Environment back in 2014 was the unpleasant surprise that indoor pollutants remain high overnight, while street-level pollutants dissipate. The obvious downside to this scenario is that during the day, new outdoor pollutants might be brought into the building, adding to the already present particulates. However, the data, (see below), show that this doesn't seem to be the case.

The researchers looked at levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), two pollutants known to be harmful to human health. Another finding that could be interpreted as good news for ventilation advocates: pollutants inside buildings leveled out at about the same:

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