INTERVIEW: Paul Kephart of Rana Creek

by , 07/05/11

green roof, rana creek, living wall, CABoom, paul kephart, freya bardell, sustainable design, green design, sustainable architecture, green architecture, living roof, green building, natural roofs, sustainable roofs

Another project I’m working on is the LEAF standards. You’ve heard of LEED…now this exercise is to develop “Leadership in Ecological Applications and Functions,” where we really start to look at ecology and natural process and psychological functions in urban ecology as a part of the built environment and reward people for having an understanding of their particular site capacity to support biodiversity. What a concept! It’s called LEAF, and you don’t get a silver or gold or platinum award, you get an oak leaf, maple leaf, sycamore leaf and willow leaf award.

LEED is sometimes inadequate to really address particular species of rare plants or animals; so this would provide incentives for those kinds of developments within the built area. I keep throwing the idea out there and most people kind of look at me like I’m a little bit deranged; but that’s probably a good thing! I must be on the right track.

It’s time to get real. It’s too late to continue protesting and saying the word “saving.” That era is over. We need to be proactive and incorporate this in our design with a clear understanding that the population is going to nearly double in California in the next 40 years. That’s going to put pressure on the natural resources. And since we are going to do so much redevelopment and we’re going to create such a broad-based economic revival based on ecology, let’s celebrate it. I’m very optimistic!

+ Rana Creek

*You’ll find Part II of this interview here.

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  1. Becky Bryan March 29, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    WOW. I am impressed with this guy. No woonder my mother always liked him best.

  2. Inhabitat » INTER... March 23, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    […] which combines the expertise of John Todd’s wetland-based system well as Rana Creek’s rainwater collection and wastewater remediation strategies. The project is truly a feat of not just […]

  3. Michael G. Richard July 28, 2006 at 5:37 am

    Green roofs are definitely up there (no pun intended), IMHO.

    Excellent interview, can’t wait for the rest.

  4. Inhabitat » Blog ... July 25, 2006 at 5:34 am

    […] Last week we published the first half of an interview with Paul Kephart of Rana Creek Habitat Restoration and Living Architecture. Paul has brought his ecological brilliance to the design tables of some of the world’s leading architects. But it’s not just the celeb-scale projects that excite him. In fact, Paul’s enthusiasm is clearest when he speaks of Rana Creek’s public projects, and of introducing principles of sustainability into urban communities where nature is scarce. […]

  5. Owen Schoppe July 24, 2006 at 11:37 pm

    What is troubling is the lack of attention to material. While he talks about going beyond adornment, the building itself is not fundamentally different from those without green roofs; it is still built of steel and concrete and roofed with rubber. Further, the geoweb that can be seen in the installation photos it designed to last 100 years and possibly much longer. What happened to the concept of design for deconstruction? What happens when the building is demolished in 50 years and the soil is filled with petroleum textiles? Sure, green roofs are a great idea, but don’t stop there; the whole building needs to be energy conscious and RECYCLABLE.

  6. Matt Fiori July 20, 2006 at 3:20 am

    I like what you had to say about the “closed-loop” grey water systems; now all we need is to be designing closed-loop energy systems for buildings, where the energy needs of a structure, or group of structures are met through the incorporation of renewable power units and energy efficient design. Decentralized power. Probably not a new concept, but is it going to be done during the upcoming redevelopment of California?

  7. Dick Smith July 18, 2006 at 3:57 pm

    Very impressive!!!! And all I thought he was good at was catching big fish! Shows what I know.

    Can hardly wait for Part II..


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