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!

October 12, 2011 No Comments

Urbandale Donating Home for Research Facility at Carleton University

I’ve been keeping this quiet for a couple of years because it was not official, but now that it’s been reported in the Ottawa Business Journal, and the Ottawa Citizen, I suppose the cat’s already out of the bag.  Urbandale will be building a house on the Carleton University campus to be used as a research facility for advanced energy saving technologies.

I’m really excited about this project, because it will support new research into home construction and it will keep Urbandale at the cutting edge of new technologies and design techniques.

The residential construction industry is notoriously conservative when it comes to implementing new technologies.  With a few exceptions (mainly related to the way we air seal and ventilate our homes) houses built today are not that different from the way they were built twenty years ago.  Construction companies don’t typically invest in research and development, and no one wants to take a chance by putting a risky new technology in someone’s home.  The research facility that we are building will help speed up the implementation of new technologies by allowing us to test and monitor them in a real house setting so we’ll know if they’re suitable for our purchaser’s homes.

I can’t say too much else about the project right now because we’re still at the design stage.  Carleton is currently deciding which model of home they want us to build and what technologies they want to incorporate in the home.  I’ll be sure to post more on this as the project develops.

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