At first glance it might not look like a luxury home. But this modern-barn design of connected buildings and wings is so much more. The 5,600-square-foot home called Tah.Mah.Lah in Portola Valley, Calif., was built to be the greenest home in America. And we’re talking green from the reclaimed wood and stone used in its construction to wastewater that feeds the native, drought-tolerant landscaping to energy-efficient windows.
It’s also a net-zero house, which means it produces all of its own energy via a geothermal (ground source) heating system and 120 solar panels, which is enough to power the house and charge five electric vehicles (EVs).
Just because this house is super-green doesn’t mean it isn’t also super high-tech and luxurious. In fact, it’s chock-full of home technologies.
There are 24 zones of audio and a Control4 home control system that governs the audio/video, ventilation, security and energy-saving LED lighting. There are TVs that rise out of the floor on motorized lifts, occupancy sensors that turn off lighting automatically, and apps galore for iPad-based operation of anything that’s tied to the control system.
The electronic systems in this house don’t detract from its green creed, though. In fact, it’s just the opposite: Technologies actually enable it to be even more eco-friendly and energy-efficient. Technology also helped it to achieve a Platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating, the highest possible for a home, and set a record score for California’s Build It Green program.