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!
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 I have been in previous years, but I was happy to have the opportunity to sit in on the student’s presentations of what they have been working on all year.
This year, all of the groups worked on projects related to the theme of arctic housing. Housing in the arctic is challenging because of the extreme cold and winds, higher cost of materials and labour, and permafrost, which makes it impossible to build houses with conventional foundations. Many of the building techniques that we take for granted here are not possible up North.
Overall I was quite impressed with the student’s presentations. While some of them seemed nervous to be presenting to a packed class of peers and judges, the amount of time and effort they put into their research was clearly evident. One group was even considering applying for a patent for their novel approach to designing a heat recovery ventilator optimized for cold climates. The students in the High Performance Housing group embraced the idea that proper engineering analysis and designs can lead to a better quality of life and reduced environmental impacts for the future.
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