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!

August 27, 2010 No Comments

Why Are R-2000 Homes Healthier to Live In?

Health Canada has been studying the health of people before and after moving into new R-2000 homes and non-R2000 homes.  Their results clearly indicate “that people who moved into R-2000 houses found that their health improved more than those who moved into conventional houses.”

Urbandale R-2000 homes are healthier than conventional houses because they have improved indoor air quality.  We do this in three ways:  1) by reducing sources of indoor air pollutants, 2) by bringing in fresh outdoor air, and 3) by filtering the indoor air, through the use of an electronic air cleaner.

Reducing Sources of Indoor Air Pollutants

Indoor air pollutants known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are emitted from a wide variety of traditional building materials and are known to have negative health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are often up to 10 times higher in traditionally built houses than outdoors!  You know that “new house smell” you find in most new construction?  That smell is actually toxins in the air from all the chemicals used during the house construction process.

Urbandale R-2000 homes reduce the sources of these toxins by specifying materials that have fewer VOCs.  Our paints, carpets, adhesives and cabinets are all third-party certified to be low-toxicity.  Did you know that conventional cabinetry is made with formaldehyde- the same chemical they use to embalm corpses?!!  Our cabinetry is formaldehyde free.  By reducing the sources of indoor air pollutants in all of these important building materials, we reduce the amount of toxins in the air.

Bringing in Fresh Outdoor Air

Urbandale R-2000 homes use a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) to draw in fresh air from outside while recovering heat generated from inside. These units allow for controlled intake of fresh outdoor air, so that the stale indoor air is constantly being replenished with fresh outdoor air without sacrificing energy efficiency.

Filtering the Indoor Air with an Electronic Air Cleaner

An Electronic Air Cleaner will remove up to 98% of bacteria, dust, pollen, and other microbial indoor air pollutants from the air you breathe.  This technology is especially important for families with pets, or for people with allergies.  Electronic air cleaners are more efficient than standard filters because they don’t become “loaded” with dirt, which can cause the heating and cooling system to work harder.

As a builder, the health of our customers that live in our homes is our greatest responsibility.  By removing the sources of pollutants, bringing in fresh outdoor air, and filtering your indoor air through an electronic air cleaner, R-2000 homes have been proven to improve the health of families living in them.

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