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!

September 12, 2010 No Comments

Urbandale Takes Home Some Sammy’s

Last Wednesday Urbandale took home 3 awards at the Greater Ottawa Homebuilders Association Sales and Marketing Awards (the Sammy’s).  We got the Sammy for Best Builder Website, Best Environmental Model Home, and Most Innovative Marketing Display. 

The Best Environmental Model award felt good because the model was built to the same standards as all of our homes (R-2000), so it shows that the effort that we’ve put into our homes is paying off and getting recognition.  This model also features a Control4 Home Automation System, which allows homeowners to control the lights, security, thermostat and home theatre all through one portal that can be accessed online.

We won the award for Most Innovative Marketing Display for our Energy Education Centre, which is an interactive display designed to teach homeowners about housing energy issues.  The display is similar to an exhibit you would see in a children’s science museum.  You can see the energy saved by using CFL bulbs on an energy monitor, you can feel the difference in heat loss through our Energy Star windows versus a standard window, and there’s a variable speed fan set up where you can feel the difference in air leakage from a standard home versus an airtight R-2000 home.  The display is fun and informative and it takes the abstract concept of energy and makes it into something you can see and feel.

I don’t usually get too excited about industry awards, but when the award helps to raise awareness for green building, then I’m proud to be a part of it.  Urbandale is going to keep doing what it’s doing, and the occasional industry award reminds us that we’re on the right path.

Posted by Matthew


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Matthew Sachs


  • 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)


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