This blog explores changes in the energy industry from an insider’s perspective as it transitions from the old centralized utility model to the new paradigm of distributed generation.
This blog was previously called Inside the Housing Evolution and focused on energy efficient homes. Ultimately, it’s all linked. Soon, every building will have the potential to generate, store, and sell energy. Welcome to the era of the transactive grid – the greatest shift the electricity sector has seen in over 100 years!

January 7, 2015

My last post as Urbandale’s General Manager

My last post as Urbandale’s General Manager

This post is a little overdue, but I just couldn’t bring myself to write it earlier.  I have officially left for Vancouver and moved on from my position as General Manager of Urbandale Construction.  It’s been a wonderful experience and I am extremely grateful to all of the excellent and dedicated staff that have made […]

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January 7, 20152 Comments

Presentation at Carleton University: “The Business of Green Housing”

Presentation at Carleton University: “The Business of Green Housing”

On Nov. 18th I was invited to give a presentation as part of the Carleton Sustainable Energy Research Centre Lecture Series.  My presentation was on the Business of Green Housing. Numerous surveys indicate that consumers are willing to pay more for energy efficient homes, but sales statistics across the country and my own personal experience […]

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November 17, 20141 Comment

Would you pay for someone else’s clean energy?

Would you pay for someone else’s clean energy?

Cross posted from the Ottawa Citizen on Oct. 23, 2014. Canada has many examples of innovative green building projects, but without your financial support, most would never have succeeded. Some examples:   In the Drake Landing community in Okotoks, Alta., 52 homes are connected through underground pipes that deliver heating supplied by solar panels. A […]

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October 28, 20141 Comment

Groundbreaking Ceremony at the Urbandale Centre for Home Energy Innovation

Groundbreaking Ceremony at the Urbandale Centre for Home Energy Innovation

Construction has officially started at the Urbandale Centre for Home Energy Innovation which is being built on the Carleton University Campus.  The centre is being built to Urbandale’s home specifications and will be used to study future technologies designed to reduce the energy use in homes.  We’re really excited about this project because it has […]

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September 19, 20144 Comments

Why Ottawa Home Prices Will Continue to Rise

Why Ottawa Home Prices Will Continue to Rise

Cross posted from the Ottawa Citizen on Sept. 13th, 2014. It seems like home prices keep going higher. While this may be good news for investors, it reduces the quality of life for anyone who has to put more money toward mortgage payments and makes it difficult for first-time buyers to enter the market. Housing […]

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August 7, 20145 Comments

Designing Homes for Cleaner Air

Designing Homes for Cleaner Air

Designing Homes for Cleaner Air Cross posted from the Ottawa Citizen on July 30, 2014. The air in our homes can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That’s kind of scary when you think about how much time we spend indoors. Toxins in the air […]

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July 21, 2014

Why highrises are good for the environment

Why highrises are good for the environment

Cross posted from the Ottawa Citizen July 5th, 2014  What type of housing do you think has the smallest environmental impact? If you’re picturing a cabin in the woods, think again. Actually, high-density living, such as a downtown apartment building, is much more environmentally friendly than living in a rural community. It may surprise you […]

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July 21, 2014

“Modern Housing” column to debut in the Ottawa Citizen

“Modern Housing” column to debut in the Ottawa Citizen

I have a new column called “Modern Housing” which will be appearing monthly in the Ottawa Citizen. I hope to use this forum to bring attention to issues facing the housing industry, with a focus on energy efficiency and affordability. Thanks to the folks at the Citizen for giving me this great opportunity!

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April 9, 20142 Comments

Carleton University’s High Performance Housing Project

Carleton University’s High Performance Housing Project

On Friday I was a guest judge at the final presentations of Carleton University’s High Performance Housing group.  I’ve been involved with the High Performance Housing group for a number of years now, acting occasionally as a guest lecturer or mentor to some of the groups.  This year I wasn’t as involved in the project as […]

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February 3, 20141 Comment

3D Printing Houses – An innovative vision for the future of housing

3D Printing Houses – An innovative vision for the future of housing

Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis at the University of Southern California is developing a completely new way to build houses using a large-scale version of 3D printing technology.  This innovative approach, called Contour Crafting, works by using a large robotic arm with a nozzle that can spray fast drying concrete in layers according to a predetermined design.  […]

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Matthew Sachs

P. Eng. LEED AP

  • COO of Peak Power since July 2016
  • General Manager of Urbandale Construction (May 2008 – Oct 2014)
  • Vice-Chair R-2000 Renewal Committee
  • Member of Energy Star Technical Advisory Committee
  • Greater Ottawa Homebuilders Green Committee
  • Recipient of Canadian Homebuilder’s Association 2009 R-2000 Builder of the Year Award
  • Participant in Natural Resources Canada’s Technology Roadmap for Sustainable Housing
  • Energy Consultant with Marbek Resource Consultants (Feb 2002 – May 2006)

ABOUT PEAK POWER

Peak Power is a Microgrid project development company focused on delivering innovative solutions to offset the most expensive hours of electric demand. We specialize in optimizing the revenue streams from energy storage, advanced building automation, and renewable technologies for customer sited and utility scale projects. Please visit www.peakpowerenergy.com.