Bringing the Concept of Sustainability to Life at the Lah House


Yangnar Studio used mostly salvaged materials when constructing this house based on its name from a Native American Ohlone word for mountain lion. Yangnar Studio made sure to incorporate local charm by using locally sourced materials and working closely with carpenters from their area.

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Lah House’s primary aim is to bring sustainability to life. It demonstrates that it’s possible to achieve greater comfort, durability, value, and convenience while simultaneously reducing property damage, energy usage, water use, pollution levels, and waste generation. This home reflects consumers’ growing desire to feel empowered while making an impactful statement about themselves and making an impactful statement of intent.

Finance experts Linda Yates and Paul Holland set themselves the task of designing the perfect sustainable family home. Their goal was to build something with global aesthetics, outside-inside living space, regenerative design features, and multigenerational family living options – something Tah Mah Lah in Portola Valley, California, has done beautifully. Their home boasts luxurious green features while meeting stringent conservationist standards.

The multigenerational, green home goes far beyond the LEED Platinum rating and aims to reach Net Zero Energy and Water consumption as well as to meet the Living Building Challenge. It uses renewable sources of power such as solar, geothermal, and wind to force it – creating more energy than it consumes while also rehabilitating native habitats while conserving and recycling both water and waste materials.

Furthermore, this project seeks to encourage individuals and design decision-makers alike to make sustainability an integral part of their lives and design choices. According to the couple behind this initiative, sustainability “should be part of every aspect of life. It involves making choices which reduce our environmental footprint while conserving natural resources.”

Quinnipiac University understands the complexity of sustainability is immense. Our campus community is committed to upholding and furthering these principles across academic, research, and service missions by taking an all-inclusive approach that considers ecological, economic, and social factors. Our comprehensive sustainability plan, OurCountyLA, supports this work.


Tah Mah Lah is the greenest house in America and was designed as such. Boasting an eco-regenerative design and exceeding LEED Platinum rating standards, the residence also achieves net zero energy and water consumption as well as meets the Living Building Challenge criteria. Yangnar Studio used architectural forms and proportions that generated intense sensory emotions within viewers for maximum effect, while localized elements were built into its structure by employing locally sourced materials and working alongside carpenters from Southeast Asia.


Tah Mah Lah, which takes its name from the Ohlone word for mountain lion, is one of America’s greenest houses and an ideal model for multigenerational living. Designed by Yangnar Studio and certified as net zero energy and net zero water consumption homes by Living Building Challenge criteria – yet beauty wasn’t sacrificed in pursuit of sustainability; natural materials from local sources were combined with local art and furnishings to elevate its modern barn aesthetic and create an interior space which effortlessly marries casual elegance and indoor-outdoor verve while environmental stewardship – even its cathedral-reminiscent interior has been used as filming locations!