Green Roofs and Walls

Green Roofs and Walls

Green Roofs and Walls

Green roofs and walls are increasingly being built to provide ecosystem services and multiple social and economic benefits. This is a rapidly growing industry with increasing levels of government policy, investment and guidelines providing incentives for green roof and wall construction.

Whilst there are University programs offered in the northern hemisphere (USA, Canada and Europe) to date there has been no equivalent formal training offered in Australasia.

As a world leader in green roof research, and with the construction of the new Green Roofs Centre at the Burnley Campus in 2013, the University of Melbourne is ideally positioned to offer a unique, inter-disciplinary study program in Green Roofs and Walls.

The Specialist Certificate in Green Roofs and Walls has been developed in response to industry demand, and is a postgraduate coursework program that provides a research-educated, industry driven curriculum delivered by academics and industry experts. It has been designed to provide a thorough understanding and knowledge of green roofs and walls through analysis and evaluation of current research and advances in:

  • Policy and planning
  • Design and specification
  • Implementation and construction
  • Monitoring and management

Course Description

The Specialist Certificate in Green Roofs and Walls requires successful completion of two x 12.5 point subjects:

Managing Green Roofs and Walls - HORT50002 — 12.5 points — This subject explores the management and maintenance of green roofs and walls. The content includes guidelines and policies supporting green roofs and walls, maintenance requirements, the development of management plans, and local and international case studies. A thorough understanding of the importance of maintenance will be gained through lectures from expert practitioners and visits to local project sites.

Each subject is formally assessed to meet the requirements of University accreditation. Assessment is designed to be practical and relevant to industry professionals.

  • 1 x 500 word practical report due during the workshop, 10%
  • 1 x 2000 word assignment due 3 weeks after the workshop, 30%
  • 1 x Case study equivalent to 2500 words due 6 weeks after the workshop, 60%

Academic and Teaching Team

The Specialist Certificate in Green Roofs and Walls is delivered by staff from Melbourne School of Land and Environment and external experts. The team includes:

Dr Claire Farrell - Claire is a lecturer in green infrastructure and based at the Burnley Campus of The University of Melbourne. Her primary research focus is on using plants to make cities more liveable. Since 2010 Claire’s research has used substrate design and plant selection to maximise the benefits of green roofs, particularly for reducing stormwater runoff. As green roofs are difficult places for plant to survive, much of her research has focused on plant drought tolerance and how to design green roof substrates to improve water and nutrient retention for stormwater management and plant performance.

Mr John Rayner - John is a senior lecturer in urban horticulture at Burnley Campus, University of Melbourne. John’s teaching and research interests are in the design and management of urban landscape plantings, including green roofs, vertical greening, climbing plants, ground covers, children’s and therapeutic landscapes. His design work has been brought into the public domain through exhibition with five award winning displays at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. Together with Nick Williams, John established a research program to develop green roofs suitable for Australian conditions as a climate change adaptation strategy. John is actively involved in contracted research projects and consulting, particularly in relation to green roof substrates and plant selection for green walls.

Dr Nick Williams - Nick is an ecologist who works predominantly in urban areas because he believes that while cities cause of many of the world’s environmental problems they offer one of humanity’s best hopes for a sustainable future. In 2007 together with John Rayner, he established a research program to develop and evaluate the benefits of green infrastructure, particularly green roofs, as a climate change adaptation strategy for Australian cities. This has evolved into one of the world’s largest green roof research programs, making significant progress developing substrates, identifying suitable plant species and evaluating the hydrological, energy and social benefits of green roofs.

Mr Edmund Snodgrass - Ed is president and founder of Emory Knoll Farms Inc. and Green Roof Plants, North America’s first nursery specializing in green roof plants and horticultural consulting. Since its inception, Emory Knoll Farms has supplied plants for over 1000 green roof projects throughout the United States and Canada. Edmund collaborates on green roof research with academic institutions worldwide and advises botanic gardens, including the Singapore Botanic Garden and the U.S. Botanic Garden, on green roof installations. Edmund is the co-author of Green Roof Plants: A Resource and Planting Guide (Timber Press, 2006), The Green Roof Manual: A Professional Guide To Design, Installation and Maintenance. (Timber Press 2010) and Small Green Roofs: Low-Tech Options for Greener Living (Timber Press 2011).

Entry Requirements

The Selection Committee will evaluate the applicant’s ability to complete the course successfully using the following criteria:

Completion of a bachelor’s degree OR

Completion of a relevant TAFE or Higher Education Advanced Diploma or equivalent and 3 years full-time, documented work experience or equivalent OR

Completion of a relevant TAFE Diploma and 4.5 years full-time, documented work experience, or equivalent OR

Completion of 6 years relevant full-time, documented work experience, including at least 3 years in a supervisory role

International applicants must meet the University’s English language entry requirements, which require either recent previous postgraduate study completed entirely in English, or an IELTS overall score of 6.5 (with no band less than 6.0) or equivalent.

The Selection Committee may conduct interviews and tests and may call for referee reports or employer references for evidence of criteria fulfilment.


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