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!

December 13, 2010 No Comments

Self Cooling Buildings

I found this interesting article in the New York Times archive on Self Cooling Buildings.  The concept is to use passive ventilation techniques, some of which have been used for centuries, to avoid the need for air conditioning.

One technique is the use of strategically placed vents that use temperature and pressure differences to create cross currents for a comfortable indoor environment.   Other examples include motorized skylights and automated blinds to control overheating from direct sunlight.  So far these building concepts have only been applied to commercial office space, but there’s no reason why the ideas can’t be applied to new home construction.  It’s a great idea, especially in a climate like Ottawa where air conditioners are really only needed for a few weeks throughout the year.  The main problem that I see is with consumer acceptance and expectations.  For most homeowners that want air conditioning, it might take a lot of convincing for them to accept a cool breeze and shade as a realistic alternative.

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