News

Paul Kephart speaking at the AIA Los Angeles

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 from 6.30 p.m. – 8.00 p.m.

Integrating Ecological Function into San Francisco’s Transbay Transit Center

The Committee on the Environment (COTE) welcomes Paul Kephart from Rana Creek to kick – off the 2017 lecture series! Paul will present LEED design principles for the Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco. This project centralizes the region’s transportation network through the use of vertical gardens; breathing walls; storm-water catchment and grey water filtration.

More information here

 

 

Paul Kepart Featured in Green Roofs for Healthy Cities Publication Living Architecture Monitor

Paul Kephart featured in Green Roofs for Healthy Cities Publication Living Architecture Monitor on valued added green infrastructure for green roof engineering. How do you insure that green infrastructure from green roofs to living walls are not valued engineered out of a project? Paul Kephart, GRP,ASLA CPESP Landscape Ecologist and CEO of Rana Creek advises  1.  Present green roof and living architecture as opportunities to your client which are designed to fulfill a specific need from stormwater retention -thermal performance - habitat creation and carbon sequestration. 2. Present the co-benefits such as public space to food production and gardens. 3. Present the financial return on such projects from compliance requirements such as stormwater management and green space.

Paul Nominated for Green Design by BUILD

Paul Kephart of Rana Creek Living Architecture nominated for awarding winning Green Design for Interiors by BUILD Magazine a monthly periodical that brings the trade the latest “need-to-know content and updates from across the global construction and property industries.” The Build Awards are dedicated to uncovering and rewarding the very best in technical innovation, design and service from across the worldwide construction and property industries. 

Innovate x Water

Rana Creek joined Innovate x Water at the progressive LA Cleantech Incubator in Los Angeles. Leaders in water sustainability and resiliency addressed challenges and solutions facing California from stormwater catchment systems to incentives for water conservation. Representatives from core organizations such as Treepople to Sustainability of North America – The Coca-Cola Company leaned into progressive technology with 41st Mayor of Los Angeles advocating for technology as the shiftchanger. 

 Innovate x Water

January 2016 Newsletter

Wishing you a Happy New Year!


Out with the old, in with the new... new plants of course. Stop by the nursery and pick up some native perennials for your garden and landscape so this year your home can sparkle all year long! 

For nursery availability check out our link on the nursery page under Monthly Plant List

December Newsletter

Happy Holidays


It's that time of year again when we are busy shopping for presents and preparing for holiday parties. Rana Creek wants to wish you all a very happy holiday this year! 

Our nursery has a lot to offer for holiday gifts! Stop by and pick out a pretty plant that can brighten up a friends yard this winter, or call us to get a gift card for someone special.
 

To purchase plant material please contact:

Karen Gervais-Weston at 209.256.2311
karen@ranacreeknursery.com
or
Ivy Hunt at 831.659.3820 x113
ihunt@ranacreeknursery.com

October 1st Newsletter

Grasses are wafting softly in the cool autumn breeze.  Fall leaves are colorful against evergreens and a blue-sky backdrop.  Views of landscapes out of your window, from a deck or patio, whether a great expanse or small yard, can be uplifting and bring a sense of peace.  Rana Creek Wholesale Nursery and Habitat Restoration takes great pride providing the plants and designs to help make the world a beautiful place.


Also check out the live video of the progress at San Clemente Dam. 
http://www.sanclementedamremoval.org/?page_id=91

 

To purchase plant material please contact:

Karen Gervais-Weston at 209.256.2311
Karen@ranacreeknursery.com
or
Ivy Hunt at 831.659.3820 x113
ihunt@ranacreeknursery.com

September Newsletter

Monardella villosa

Monardella villosa

Happy September!  Now that the hot summer days are over it is a perfect time to plant and take advantage of the cooler temperatures and upcoming winter rains. 

To purchase plant material please contact:

Karen Gervais-Weston at 209.256.2311
or
Ivy Hunt at 831.659.2830

Sign up for our Newsletter and Availability List


Also check out our living wall design featured on greenroofs.com that made project of the week! http://www.greenroofs.com/projects/pview.php?id=1406

Greening Sunset Boulevard

Rana Creek worked with Rios Clementi Hale Studio on this facade renovation for the media and internet company IAC's West Coast headquarters that "brings the inside out and the outside in." A striking, curvelinear grid extends from the building as a vibrant, sculptural living web, bringing the native grasses and wildflowers of the Hollywood Hills to a bustling stretch of Sunset Boulevard.  This living façade enlivens a dense urban matrix, provides a unique shade canopy for the buildings' outdoor café, and uses only non-potable water that was previously being discharged to the storm drain from de-watering the basement levels.  The wall hosts native species from chapparal and oak woodland ecosystems, with plenty of nectary plants or hummingbirds and butterflies. Photographs by Tom Bonner.

 

New Interview with Paul Kephart

Check out Julia Ingall's Archinet interview with Paul Kephart on the Cal Academy roof!!!

http://archinect.com/features/article/135268204/greening-piano-s-roof-a-conversation-with-ecologist-paul-kephart

 

 

 

Drew School Living Wall in the News

http://www.greenroofs.com/projects/pview.php?id=1406

The Drew School Living Wall in San Francisco is project of the week on GreenRoofs.com - check it out!!!

San Clemente dam demolition begins!

Rana Creek is in the news! Check out Caitlin's account of the San Clemente dam demolition that is currently underway! Rana Creek is excited to begin restoration of the entire 62-acre project site starting this fall. This has been a fantastic design+build project for Rana Creek. Credit to John Wandke, who leads our Environmental Planning Department and has been bringing his high standard of excellence to managing this important project the last few years, working with our designers and the engineers on the Granite team to coordinate restoration design plans, and executing seed collection and plant propagation, as we gear up to begin implementation in just a few months!

Rana Creek Nursery – Gift Certificate Giveaway

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Last month we had a lot of fun holding our first contest, so we’re doing it again!  At our native plant nursery we grow millions of plants each to be used in our various design projects and also to sell to other contractors, landscapers, and homeowners.  We recently moved nursery to a fantastic new location in Carmel Valley next to Earthbound Farms where we are now growing awide variety of native plants and trees.  We are excited to continue to grow our operations, and to be a supplier of California-native plants!

We are thrilled with the interest and enthusiasm for our work that we receive from people around the world, and are also delighted by the fantastic local support that we have received throughout our many years in business.  For the month of May, to thank everyone in Carmel and the surrounding area for their business over the past 17 years, all new likes on our Facebook Page will be entered into a draw for a $100.00 gift certificate that can be redeemed in-person at our nursery.  The Winner will be announced on our Facebook page on June 1st.

Not local?  Don’t worry we’ll be holding another contest soon!

Happy Gardening!

Rana Creek Featured in ARCHITECT Magazine

Rana Creek’s work has been mentioned in an educational piece on water use and design.  The article was published in the January 2014 issue of ARCHITECT Magazine.

Click the link below to view/download the article.

The Future of Designing (with) Water.

Rana Creek Featured in ARCHITECT Magazine

Rana Creek on Stormwater Management Systems

Designing with best stormwater practices in mind, Rana Creek has implemented many stormwater plans that have conserved millions of gallons annually and have reduced the strain on municipal systems, globally.  Whether combined with or separate from graywater / sewer systems, we are creating solutions to a huge variety of site constraints.

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Fees and reoccurring annual fines have been avoided by simply reducing the quantity of water headed to the storm drains on site.  Living roofs prevent most of the water run-off from roofs from ever even hitting their downspouts.  Integrative solutions such as rain gardens and bioswales utilize the natural abilities of landscapes to retain stormwater thus providing a beautiful cost-free solution on the ground plane as well.  Systems can also be designed to hold this clean water source in tanks for re-use in irrigation, indoor plumbing, drinking water and other creative site needs.

RANA CREEK 17TH ANNIVERSARY

Barry Diller’s IAC Begins Renovations on West Hollywood Headquarters

Rios Clementi Hale Studios have been selected to oversee the eco-friendly renovations, which is scheduled to be completed in December 2014.

Barry Diller’s media and Internet company, IAC, has committed to an environmentally friendly renovation of its West Hollywood headquarters at 8800 Sunset Boulevard. Design firm Rios Clementi Hale Studios is overseeing the transformation of the building, which has been home to IAC since 1998. The studio’s past work includes The California Endowment Headquarters in downtown L.A., Hollywood & Vine Metro Plaza, The Resort at Playa Vista and the Mark Taper Forum renovation.

Construction has already started on the project, which includes plans for a street-facing, six-story-high sculptural lattice that will appear to be peeling off the building’s facade. Roof-planting expert Paul Kephart of ecological design firm Rana Creek has been tapped to landscape the structure, which will be planted with a living garden of plants native to Southern California. An existing underground flow of recaptured water will be pumped to the plants using a built-in irrigation system, while a digital monitoring system will ensure the plants receive the appropriate water flow and maintain the correct pH balance. The landscaped lattice will also be visible at night, through strategically placed backlighting.

Scheduled to be completed in December 2014, the project also calls for the addition of an open public space in the office building’s entry plaza, complete with custom-designed seating and bike racks. The lattice structure also flattens out in one area to create a green roof for a new restaurant, which will occupy an existing ground-floor space in the building that has sat vacant for a decade. Chef Dakota Weiss, formerly of Nine Thirty at the W Westwood, has been selected to helm the kitchens at the Alan Nathan-owned restaurant, and Studio Design Collective (whose most recent work includes Giada De Laurentiis’ new Vegas restaurant) will overhaul the space.

By Lesley McKenzie – The Hollywood Reporter – 6/12/14 – Click here to view the article on The Hollywood Reporter webpage.

IT’S OUR 17th ANNIVERSARY, SO WE’RE HOLDING A CONTEST!

One of the exciting things that has happened over the past year for us at Rana Creek is having our Founder and President, Paul Kephart, profiled in The Rise of Living Architecture Commemorative Edition book.  We are thrilled to be included in this fantastic tribute to the evolution of the Living Architecture movement!

In our 17 years of business we have had the opportunity to design a lot of green roofs!  To celebrate our anniversary, we have a copy of The Rise of Living Architecture to give away to the person who comes closest to guessing how many square feet of already-built green roof Rana Creek has designed to-date. Submissions can be emailed to contests@ranacreekdesign.com. One submission per e-mail address. Submission deadline is 11:59pm, April 30.  The winner will be notified via e-mail after the contest has closed.  We will also e-mail the correct answer to all contest participants.  Good luck!

IT’S OUR 17th ANNIVERSARY, SO WE’RE HOLDING A CONTEST!

Rana Creek: The Design Firm Bringing Architecture to Life

ARTICLE WRITTEN BY THOMAS TRAVAGLI FOR DWELL MAGAZINE (PUBLISHED JANUARY 7/2013)

In a nursery off the coast of Monterey, California, Rana Creek raises millions of plants each year. From there, many will be raised again, off their grids of soil and up onto roofs and walls, providing the living skins for architectural projects dotting the West, and now New York, Canada, and China. The team’s commitment to intelligent ecological design and restoration has produced a lineup of big projects by big names, from William McDonough to Renzo Piano to César Pelli. Look for the people who engineered and vegetated the Mediterranean roof atop the Gap headquarters, or the undulating shoulders caught mid-shrug above the California Academy of Sciences, or the 5.4-acre park planned for San Francisco’s Transbay Transit Center. You’ll find Rana Creek.

The Abalone House by David Bryan.

The Abalone House by David Bryan.

The firm practices a sense of design challenging the conception of architecture as ecologically unrestorative, stamping out the ground it sits on. Rana Creek surveys sites extensively so that systems put in place are both efficient and intimately connected to the terrain. Grasses, wildflowers, and succulents are chosen to be adaptive in a site’s microclimate and to provide safe havens for endangered species. Most stormwater falling on the lot is caught and can be routed down into living walls. Greywater can be filtered and reused on the ground or elsewhere. The green membrane also muffles sound and cools the building to push down energy costs.

The California Academy of Sciences by David Bryan.

The California Academy of Sciences by David Bryan.

Rana Creek’s larger projects certainly help increase visibility of green architecture, but the company remains devoted to smaller and more personal ones, as well. The firm has supplied living roofs for sequestered residences, low income housing in San Jose, and infrasructure projects all while maintaining focus on habitat restoration in California. Rana Creek recently finished a roof for Mickey Muennig, an architect based in Big Sur. Muennig’s work inspired Rana Creek founder Paul Kephart, who lived nearby as a painter on the coast, to build his first living roof. Rana Creek came full circle. Paul took a moment to speak with me about design, visionaries, and the upshot of it all. Our conversation follows.

“Clementina Cares” living wall by Jessica Neafsey.

“Clementina Cares” living wall by Jessica Neafsey.

CAN YOU SPEAK A LITTLE ABOUT THE ORIGINS OF RANA CREEK AND WHAT IT MEANT TO YOU IN ITS INFANCY?

I got started working for Dave and Lucile Packard at their Elkhorn Slough property and at the time there were 650,000 metric tons of DDT-laden soil entering the slough. I’d worked for Dave and Lucile personally for about fifteen years and it was a project that Dave started to restore that portion of the slough. That’s what got me started in this design-build-grow ecological restoration pursuit and we were primarily focused on nursery production and agronomic production of native grass seeds for revegetation and restoration of wildlands and agricultural lands. Concurrent with that, there was a growing interest and need to apply those types of plants and methods and techniques and ecology to urban landscapes. Over the last fifteen years that’s evolved to living architecture in which case we apply ecological principles to the built environment and actually take part in the structure as part of the mechanical heating and plumbing and energy and water systems of structures.

Croton Water Treatment Plant by Grimshaw Architects.

Croton Water Treatment Plant by Grimshaw Architects.

HOW HAS YOUR NURSERY GROWN SINCE THEN?

The nursery has evolved. It started out with Packard and we helped others get started in the nursery business here locally and then I moved and worked for Mike Markkula, one of the founders of Apple, out on his ranch and helped him get this business started. About five years ago I bought the business from him and now we’ve moved the nursery to Earthbound Farm. Clint Eastwood owns that property and we grow all our native plants there. I have an interest in those things that are tangible even though I’m involved in large-scale design and living architecture throughout North America and beyond. I still have an affinity to grow things and an affliction to see them built.

Croton Water Treatment Plant by Grimshaw Architects.

Croton Water Treatment Plant by Grimshaw Architects.

YOUR WORK OFTEN FINDS A PLACE IN RATHER DARING MODERN ARCHITECTURE. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT’S THE CASE?

It’s those iconic structures and large-scale applications that allow people to dream and to reach beyond what convention implies and what convention means in terms of design. From an evolution of an industry I think we’re seeing that’s changed and these applications of living architecture and sustainable measures are kind of mainstream now in regard to water and energy and carbon footprint and what have you. I think it started with Bill McDonough and the Gap. That’s twenty years old now. And that was the first large-scale living roof in a Mediterranean climate in North America. So I think there was just a desire by those that we worked with to think a little differently and apply ecology to their architecture and to their place. I started a trend, that’s for sure. I started a new vernacular. Now we speak speak differently about site and structure. I rarely have a discussion about architecture without speaking about ecological context or applications.

Pacific Grove Dune Restoration by John Wandke.

Pacific Grove Dune Restoration by John Wandke.

WOULD THESE ARCHITECTS SEEK YOU OUT SPECIFICALLY? I’M WONDERING HOW YOU ENTER THE MIX ON THESE PROJECTS.

I have an art and horticultural background and a technical background so a lot of the things they’ve asked me to do haven’t been done before. They need somebody to think how to make these things work from a design standpoint. I think that’s how I entered the conversation. The people associated with Rana Creek have the capacity to do this kind of work and a desire and a passion for it. That’s added up to meeting a demand over the last five years. A rise in interest in trends and requirements—the Water Quality Act and LEED and these other policy and regulatory shifts—created more awareness and more opportunity.

Palomar West Hospital by Marie Goulet.

Palomar West Hospital by Marie Goulet.

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT SOME INTERESTING PROJECTS YOU HAVE IN THE HOPPER RIGHT NOW?

One in particular that’s been very gratifying is working with William McDonough + Partners and the Annenberg Foundation in Southern California in which a navy base in San Pedro was closed in 1990 and they left military housing behind unoccupied. Through the Volunteers of America, who have a focus on homelessness and returning veterans, we’re turning this into a refuge and restoration site for one of the most endangered butterflies in North America, the Palos Verdes blue. And at the same time, we’re integrating ecological design principles for water reuse and sustainable landscapes and vocational opportunity for the returning veterans that are at risk. So that’s a great opportunity to combine our ecological design principles, landscape architecture, and some social opportunity for those that are in need.

Rana Creek Nursery by David Bryan.

Rana Creek Nursery by David Bryan.

MUCH OF YOUR WORK OCCURS AS PART OF VARIEGATED PROJECTS WITH A LOT OF MOVING PARTS. WHAT KIND OF COLLABORATION AND TOLERANCE IS NEEDED TO COMPLETE A PROJECT IN A WAY SUCH THAT IT PLEASES THE HIGHER-UPS WHILE REMAINING ECOLOGICALLY RESPONSIBLE?

There’s a team of people, a coordinated delivery process, and the key is to keep us all in vision and that takes strong leadership either through a team or a visionary architect to maintain the vision all the way through the project. You have to be consistent in your messaging and consistent in your approach and you have to have the complete analysis of the benefits, including financial, not just ecological. You have to have a well-organized presentation and delivery process in order to maintain that vision or it can slip. We also have the opportunity—and we do this—to work with some people that are practiced in such coordinated, integrated design: engineers, landscape architects, and clients and their stakeholders. When all that works it’s a beautiful thing and you get Vancouver Convention Centers, California Academy of Sciences, and Croton projects. Certainly it’s gratifying that ecology has such a strong presence and level of importance in terms of how the sites perform and how the buildings function. I think that’s been the differentiation in the last three years.

San Diego Convention Center Expansion by Fentress Civitas.

San Diego Convention Center Expansion by Fentress Civitas.

I WOULD IMAGINE MALCOLM WELLS IS A LARGE INSPIRATION ON YOUR MISSION AND YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY. THIS IS A GUY WHO WAS WRITING ABOUT EARTH-SHELTERED STRUCTURES IN THE 60S AND 70S AND YET HIS IDEAS STILL SEEM A BIT LEFT-FIELD. BUT NOW IT SEEMS WE’RE AT A PHASE SHIFT WHERE PROJECTS SUCH AS YOURS—ONES THAT BRING THE LAND TO THE FOREFRONT—ARE GAINING FOOTING.

There are a lot of people who have practiced one form or another of organic, sustainable architecture or ecological design but those disciplines have matriculated and they’re far from what their origins were and they were somewhat idealistic and somewhat naive. I say that conservatively. They were altruistic in many ways but I think in terms of the matriculation, or how things have evolved, these are highly specialized disciplines and there are site structure analyses and engineering and a different suite of materials, a greater body of knowledge and information and case histories to draw on. A lot more knowledgeable people in terms of clients and of course we have much greater interests from our peers in the population of people around us. We rely on the vision of those visionaries and pioneers and their spirit but the practice and the industry has changed quite a bit.

San Diego Convention Center Expansion by Fentress Civitas.

San Diego Convention Center Expansion by Fentress Civitas.

HAVE THESE VISIONARIES SHAPED WHERE YOU SEE THE DESIGN OF LIVING SPACES HEADED IN THE FUTURE?

Well they certainly informed the process. I don’t think it’s an end game and I think we’re still providing that hope and promise for a better place to live and we’re doing our best to look within to that quality and consistency about what it is we really, truly want to achieve. If we truly want to make buildings that are habitable for all creatures, that don’t consume a great amount of energy, and that contribute to the environment rather than detract from it, then that’s a process. Material and innovation, all that evolves and we just get more efficient and better at what we’re doing. There’s a lot of this going on on main street and there’s a lot of this in residential applications. Energy efficiency and site productivity can be done for your own home. It’s the right thing to do and it can demonstrate to others it’s possible.

Happy Holidays

From all of us at Rana Creek – Happy Holidays, and best wishes for a wonderfully-sustainable New Year!

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