Carl Welty

Special guest

Carl Welty has over 35 years of experience in the field of architecture.

Carl is committed to creating an architecture that connects human beings to nature–not as outside observers but as full partners in the complex web of nature’s closed-loop systems. Designing in partnership with nature means more than just building efficient buildings that consume fewer resources. Wasting less is good, but we can do better than simply wasting less. Carl is a proponent of Regenerative Design, the idea that we can create buildings and communities that generate more resources (energy, water, and building materials, to name a few), and at the same time restore native habitat.

Carl's work focuses on affordable, energy-efficient design and durable, resilient building systems. Carl advocates leveraging natural systems including solar orientation and climate appropriate principles to create cost-effective solutions for energy efficiency of structures with little or no increase in construction costs, and building durable, low maintenance, and resilient structures (increased fire, mold, and termite resistance) by incorporating well-tested alternative construction materials. Moreover, designing with natural systems can inspire beautiful, meaningful architecture as well. Maximizing natural daylight not only reduces energy consumption; it fills architecture with natural beauty, enhances our spirit, and brings architecture to life. Tracking the movement of the sun, both seasonally and throughout the day, heightens our awareness of nature’s cycles. Great architecture connects us to nature by increasing our awareness of the local and regional landscape and of our primary source of energy, the sun.

Carl's experience includes projects with difficult sites and complex structural requirements; multi-family buildings; highly-refined, well-crafted interiors; a passive solar house that is Certified LEED Platinum; and a Water Education campus that embodies important and timely water issues. He consistently creates buildings that are twice as energy efficient as typical green buildings by incorporating simple, time-tested, climate-appropriate design principles.

He received his Bachelor of Architecture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1984, and a Master of Architecture from Yale University in 1988. At Yale, he studied the impact of early 20th-century European painting on the way nature is represented and analyzed and how we create architectural space.

Carl spent part of his childhood in Turkey, and that early experience of Turkey’s rich, multi-cultural history helped to shape his understanding of our world today. Ancient history and the lessons of how great cities were built without our modern energy grid inspire Carl to design and build a more resilient future. Climbing around fields of vine-covered rubble that were once cities taught him that civilizations can collapse. What our civilization needs now is regenerative design. Carl is committed to creating an architecture that embodies our time, ideals, and best technologies—an architecture that will survive us and represent us to future generations.

Carl’s master-planning design work for the Banning Ranch Park and Preserve includes regenerative architectural design, coordination of habitat and wetland restoration, and commitment to telling the story of the Native Americans who lived in harmony with nature on this site for 12,000 years until they were relocated by the Spanish in the 1770s. This project combines his passion for affordable, equitable, regenerative, energy-efficient design with advocacy for both environmental justice and Native Americans’ rights to their ancestral lands.

Carl lives in Pomona and is married to Ruth Charloff, a conductor. They have a daughter, Eliza.

Carl Welty has been a guest on 1 episode.