Daily Commercial News — Green Roofs for Healthy Cities offers courses on green roof construction

Daily Commercial News - Green Roofs for Healthy Cities offers courses on green roof construction

by Saul Chernos Nov 2, 2007

How do you get trees to grow on top of a building? If youre thinking about planning, designing or installing green roofs, some courses might be in order. Green Roofs for Healthy Cities runs half and full-day sessions, covering everything from planning and bidding to waterproofing and drainage.

How do you get trees to grow on top of a building? If youre thinking about planning, designing or installing green roofs, some courses might be in order. Green Roofs for Healthy Cities runs half and full-day sessions, covering everything from planning and bidding to waterproofing and drainage.

The design, installation, implementation, and maintenance of green roofs require specialized knowledge and skills, says the industry associations executive director Stephen Peck. This knowledge provides valuable opportunities to maximize client benefits such as integrated building and site design and cost reduction.

Launched in 2004 and recently updated, Design 101 teaches about different types of green roofs and looks at benefits and design issues. Design and Installation 201, introduced last year, goes in-depth about installation, contracting and bid evaluation.

It even looks at how you get the growing medium up on the roof successfully, Peck says. There are different methodologies and technologies for doing that.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities plans to launch a third course, Waterproofing and Drainage 301. It will introduce people to various types of waterproofing methods and their strengths and weaknesses. It will talk about best practices associated with waterproofing and drainage to ensure the integrity of a green roof. And, it will cover testing and quality assurance procedures in a lot more detail.

The association also offers half-day courses.

One, on ecological design, looks at ecological and habitat restoration how to create opportunities for migratory birds and other life forms. Another, designed for stakeholders, addresses policy issues.

Its aimed at policymakers, planners and NGOs interested in sustainable community development, energy efficiency and air quality anyone who wants to see more green space in their community and work with municipal and provincial governments to come out with policies that support the green roof industry.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities engages industry associations and specialists to help design the courses.

We developed 301 with input from the National Roofing Contractors Association and the Canadian Roofing Contractors Association, Peck said. Its been a long process.

Daily Commercial News - Green Roofs for Healthy Cities offers courses on green roof construction

While exams are not currently part of the curriculum, testing as part of a full accreditation program is in the works, with a view to launching in 2009.

The plan is to add a fourth main course, tentatively titled Plants and Growing Media 401, and then offer a test that incorporates material from all four full-day offerings.

We took a multi-disciplinary approach, pulled together 16 experts from across North America and spent two days in a Toronto hotel room in January hammering out occupational standards which would define very clearly what you need to know to be a green roof professional.

Creating a test will take several years because it needs to be legally defensible.

As an industry association, we have to make sure the test is extremely well crafted and reflects what the industry feels is important. Wed be accrediting green roof professionals, so we need to look at all our courses to make sure theyre in line with the occupational standards weve set.

The goal, Peck says, is to accredit professionals who demonstrate a solid general understanding of the various fields relating to green roofs.

Well identify the critical information and best-practices that determine whether a green roof will ultimately survive or fail, and well train people from different professional backgrounds in the building industry so they learn how to speak the language of and understand the issues associated with green roof design and assembly.


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