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Howai Lai Associate

Howai's design approach is rooted in the belief that architecture should strike a balance between aesthetics, constructability and durability. He believes that great design on plans is the first step, and only with clear and responsive communication can the design be faithfully executed in the field. Clients appreciate this approach as well as his ability to listen to and understand their needs and constraints. Howai incorporates technical knowledge and code understanding into building designs that are efficient in design and durable in construction. Also, as a LEED AP, he believes that sustainable design strategies are good building practices that provide long-term return on investment and tangible benefits for both the owner and users.

Having Joined YHLA Architects in 2004, Howai is primarily responsible for project management as well as accessibility compliance of housing and mixed use typologies. In addition, he is responsible for sustainable design and certification processes of projects. A notable example is Garvey Court, a LEED-H Platinum, 68-unit affordable senior apartment project for which Howai oversaw construction administration and LEED certification, after shepherding it through an aggressive 5-month schedule for entitlement and permit issuance. Another recently completed sustainable project that he managed is La Valentina North, an 18-unit affordable family housing project. It was a case study with SMUD for "near net-zero" energy usage and is among the first of its kind in California.

University of California, Berkeley, 2003
Bachelor of Arts in Architecture