Green Walls and Roofs

100 hour course -Learn to create green walls and roofs. For planners, landscapers, gardeners, developers, planners, architects

Course Code: BHT256
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn to develop roof and vertical gardens for residential, commercial and public landscapes.

There are lots of different reasons for creating a vertical garden or roof garden, and the way you develop the garden may be affected by the reason you create it.


Common reasons might be:

  • Lack of space for a more extensive garden
  • Improve aesthetics of an ugly place (wall or roof)
  • Improve physical environment (eg. Reduce glare, modify temperature, filter air pollutants, reduce water run off and mitigate flood problems)
  • Urban farming –growing crops in an urban area

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Scope and Nature of Roof and Vertical Gardens
    • Introduction to vertical gardens and roof gardens in horticulture today
    • Reasons for Green Walls and Roof Gardens
    • Accessibility and Safety
    • What Is A Roof Garden?
    • Terminology
    • What Is A Vertical Garden?
    • Pruning Prevents Problems
    • Decorative Plant Supports
    • Temporary Props
    • Types of Installations for Roof Gardens
    • Types of Vertical Gardens
    • Proprietory Products
    • Plant Selection
    • Retrofitting a Building
  2. Construction of Functional and Appropriate Vertical and Roof Gardens
    • Engineering considerations involved with the building of vertical and roof gardens
    • Selecting appropriate materials and planning the way in which the non-living components of the garden are created
    • Building a Green Roof
    • Building a Green Wall
    • Dealing with Weight
    • Construction Materials
    • Durability of Materials
    • Dealing with Water
    • Plants Which Cause Damage
    • Components of a Green Roof
    • Roof Membranes
    • Protection Material Components
  3. Climbing Plants and Structures for Climbing
    • Learn how to select appropriate climbing plants for creating vertical or roof gardens
    • Determine strategies to cultivate climbing plants in a variety of different situations
    • Climbing adaptations found in plants
    • Possible Climbers for Vertical Green Walls and Some Types of Green Roofs
    • What Structural Requirements Do Climbers Require?
    • Plants on Fences
    • Using Trellis in Roof Gardens and on Greenwalls
  4. Plants Suited to Roof and Vertical Gardens
    • Selecting appropriate plants which are tolerant of the adverse growing conditions and have natural adaptations to growing under conditions that are encountered in these gardens
    • Possible Plants Suitable for Roof Gardens and Some Types of Vertical Walls
    • Epiphytes
    • Succulents
    • Plants
    • Hardy Groundcovers
  5. Adaptations for Other Plants in Roof and Vertical Gardens
    • Select and plan the cultivation of plants that lack natural adaptations to growing on roofs or vertical gardens
    • Espaliers
    • Growing Standards
    • Dwarfing Rootstocks
    • NFT Systems
    • Trees and Shrubs
    • Low-Growing Australian Native Shrubs
    • Other Low-Growing Shrubs
    • Vegetables and Fruits
    • Herbs
    • Annuals
    • Bulbs
  6. Container Growing
    • Container Growing Techniques
    • Containers
    • Raised Beds for Flat Roofs
    • Window Boxes
    • Epiphyte Plaques
    • Baskets
    • The Growing Media
    • Choosing Plants
    • Longevity of Container Plants
  7. Maintenance – watering, pest control
    • Out of Site/Out of Mind
    • Humidity
    • Light And Shade
    • Mulch
    • Pot Surfaces
    • Water Savers
    • Irrigation Requirements
    • Maintaining Appropriate Water Levels
  8. Landscaping – Roof Gardens
    • The different types of roof gardens
    • Characteristics advantageous in roof garden plants
    • Tips for Functional Roof Gardens
    • How to Minimize Damage to Your Plants When You Move them
    • Thoughts on Balcony Gardens
    • Irrigation
  9. Landscaping – Vertical Gardens
    • Types of Green Walls
    • Types of Walls
    • Design Considerations
    • Aesthetics
    • Functionality

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Discuss the nature and scope of vertical gardens and roof gardens in horticulture today.
  • Explain engineering considerations involved with the building of vertical and roof gardens, both on small and large scale projects.
  • Select appropriate materials and plan the way in which the non living components of the garden is created, in order to achieve an appropriate and sustainable installation.
  • Select appropriate climbing plants for creating vertical or roof gardens, and determine appropriate strategies to cultivate those plants, in a variety if different situations.
  • Select appropriate plants for use in vertical or roof gardens, which are tolerant of the adverse growing conditions, having natural adaptations to growing under conditions that are encountered in these gardens.
  • Select and plan the cultivation of plants that lack natural adaptations to growing on roofs or vertical gardens; but which are none the less required to grow in these adverse conditions;
  • Explain a range of container growing techniques, in a range of different roof and vertical gardens, that may be used with a selection of different types of plants.
  • Identify and evaluate problems with vertical and roof gardens, and compare options for solving those problems
  • Plan the development of roof gardens for both small and large scale applications.
  • Plan the development of vertical gardens for both small and large scale applications.

 

Gardens can Help the Environment


As more and more people live in cities, and high rise living in particular has become commonplace, the impetus to grow gardens in confined and difficult places has increased.

International studies and reports have however also shown that buildings offer the largest single opportunity for reducing greenhouse gases’ and the use of green walls and roofs can be a significant contributor to that end.

Solutions to this challenge of modern living have spawned a wide variety of ideas for roof and vertical gardens.

Covering the walls or roofs of building is a significant horticultural challenge, but also an opportunity that brings with it many benefits beyond what may at first seem obvious.

Using the vertical space effectively can give much more growing room for a wide range of plants, opportunities to grow food crops, opportunities to screen, hide an existing wall or a view behind.

Creating this type of garden poses aesthetic, horticultural structural challenges


How to Build a Green Wall or Roof Garden -which is Structurally Sound

Construction materials need to be strong – particularly on large scale installations. A very high wall needs to support the cumulative weight of everything that is above it. Whilst a 1 or 2 metre tall green wall may be acceptable if made from wood or relatively lightweight materials; a 10 or 15 metre tall wall will need to be far more solid and will require good engineering practice. Most commercial scale modular systems have frameworks made from high tensile steel.

Roofs for roof gardens need to be strong and well-structured so they can support the weight of the garden. There will be the weight of the plants (which will vary considerably with species, numbers, and sizes), the weight of additional paving or hard landscaping materials, the weight of any decorative supporting structures such as pergolas, and most importantly the weight of the growing medium and surfacing materials supplied to grow the plants in. Not only is their initial weight important (they should be as lightweight as possible but still functional to supply water, nutrients, and support for the plants), but the amount of water the growing medium will hold when wet and especially after extensive heavy rain and/or snow is a major consideration for the safety of the roof structure.

On a standard roof on a building, without a roof garden there is usually a waterproofing material on the roof and adequate provision to take away excess runoff in periods of heavy rain. With the plants and their growing medium added to a roof and the other components of the design, the load-bearing components of the roof must not be compromised or there will be safety issues. Excess load can possibly damage not only the roof, but the walls and internal structures of the building through leakages, breakdown of construction components, and cracking of plaster and paintwork. Roofs are designed to distribute the load from the roof evenly onto the load-bearing walls. Changes in this distribution can cause walls to bow outwards and potentially cause them to collapse.

The materials that are used in the construction and support of green roofs and walls must resist deterioration such as rot or corrosion.  They need to be able to take the extra pressure of heavy rain which will wet and add weight to the growing medium. They will need to be able to withstand long periods of moisture contact or be protected adequately against long periods of moisture contact which can break down and rot components.

There will often be high fluctuations in temperatures throughout the year from exposure to strong sunshine over summer and strong winds (often stronger than at the ground level), which can add to the vertical and horizontal loads on roofs and walls which are supporting growing plants.  Vertical walls are often built with stainless steel, metal rods, and meshes that are not compromised by water. Waterproofing membranes are often incorporated into structures to house plants in.

 
Principal of ACS Distance Education, John Mason, is fellow of the CIH.

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association.

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

ACS is a Member of the Permaculture Association (membership number 14088).


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

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We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).


What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email acs@oamps.com.au.


Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.


How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.


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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

John Mason (Horticulturist)

Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant.
Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK.
He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world.

Adriana Fraser (Horticulturist)

Over 30 years working in horticulture, as a gardener, propagator, landscape designer
, teacher and consultant. Adriana has spent much of her life living on large properties, developing and maintaining her own gardens, and living a semi self sufficient li

Jacinda Cole (Horticulturist)

B.Sc., Cert.Garden Design. Landscape Designer, Operations Manager, Consultant, Garden Writer.
She was operations manager for a highly reputable British Landscape firm (The Chelsea Gardener) before starting up her own landscaping firm. She spent three ye





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Yvonne Sharpe

RHS Cert.Hort, Dip.Hort, M.Hort, Cert.Ed., Dip.Mgt.

Over 30 years of experience in horticulture, education and management, Yvonne has travelled widely within and beyond Europe and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.

Timothy Walker

B.A.(Botany), RHS.M. Hort., Post.Grad.Dip.Ed.

Timothy is a Botanist, Horticulturist and Gardener. He is an Author, and also a lecturer at Somerville College, Oxford. After training at a number of gardens including Windsor Great Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Timothy commenced work at Oxford Botanic Gardens in 1986. Appointed as "Horti Praefectus" (Superintendent/Director) there in 1988, he held that position until 2014. Under Timothy's watch, the garden won four gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show, and developed 67 acres of MG5 wild flower meadow at the Harcourt Arboretum; a UK threatened habitat. Timothy remains an active practical gardener as well as a highly respected international academic in the fields of horticulture and plant botany.

Jan Kelly

Dip Hort (Burnley); Cert IV Assessment & Training

Jan has around 50 years of experience in horticulture, including over 20 years as owner/manager of a wholesale/retail nursery. She has worked in both Australia and New Guinea, in many different capacities, including as a horticultural consultant and landscape designer for domestic and development projects, with considerable experience in Conservation & Land Management. Jan has been a trainer of Amenity Horticulture and Landscape Design for 10 years.

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