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Peak body promoting living architecture since 2006

DECEMBER NEWSLETTER 2016 GRA is a member based, not-for-profit charity. Since 2006, GRA has been the peak body promoting green roofs; living walls and green facades in Australasia with close international ties to the World Green Infrstructure Network (WGIN). In 2013 GRA broadened promotional activities to include all green infrastructure yet retaining a significant focus on vegetated systems for the built form & urban development. GRA is supportive of all associations which advocate sustainable urban development. To date GRA has worked closely with Federal, State & Local Government; Capital City Councils; Australian Institute of Landscape Architects; the Nursery & Gardens Industry of Australia; the Green Building Council of Australia; Australasian Universities; Horticulture InnovationAustralia; the Green Cities Alliance & the World Green Infrastructure Network.

December 2016

POSITIVE LEADERSHIP ON POLICY IS THE NEXT STEP It was the address that Minister Greg Hunt gave to the Sydney Business Chamber on the 19/01/2016 that sent the dominoes cascading in waves of hope and anticipation about policy innovation. 'We will also look at building rooftops with green cover which improve both amenity and, as Singapore has shown, can improve value and quality of life as well as operational efficiency. Further opportunities exist in areas such as improving urban water systems, managing storm water, addressing ocean outfall and improving energy efficiency in our cities. We have an opportunity to make Australia’s cities strong and resilient and able to withstand economic changes, as well as changes in our climate, lifestyles, technologies and social fabric over time.' Hon Greg Hunt; Minister for Environment on 19/01/2016 'Building rooftops with green cover' in savvy industry speak would translate to GREEN ROOFS. GRA had regular correspondence with Minister Hunt during 2015 and had established a rapport over the potential for new fauna & flora habitats on green roofs. In January 2016, GRA President Matthew Dillon was invited to Canberra to brief the Dept of Environment policy advisors on the TBL benefits of green roofs & living walls. Soon after the briefing, AILA contacted GRA to become a founding member of the Green Cities Alliance. A meeting was held at Parliament House ACT and the Alliance was formed by 20 associations to advocate for green infrastructure policy inclusion and support at the federal level. GRA will continue to support AILA and work collaboratively with all members of the Alliance. As is the way of Australian politics Minister Hunt has now been replaced by Hon Josh Frydenberg. The role of Minister for Cities and the Built Environment has already been lost just six months after being created by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The new Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor. The role is essentially that of a parliamentary secretary, and moves the cities portfolio from the Department of the Environment to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Whether this is a good move or not remains to be seen however many argue that it was strategically well placed in the Environment portfolio. During 2016, GRA has contacted every State Minister for Environment; Ministers for Planning; all Capital City Mayors and held meetings with influential advisory bodies such as the VIC Planning Authority (VPA) the Chief Policy advisors for NSW Environment & Planning. As GRA has done since 2007 we will continue to advocate and promote the green roofs & living wall industry in Australasia over 2017 and beyond.

Federal Government Response to Stormwater Senate Inquiry Recommendations Earlier this month the Australian Government released its formal response to the Senate Inquiry’s Recommendations Into Stormwater Management in Australia.

POSITIVE LEADERSHIP ON POLICY IS THE NEXT STEP While we are still trying to source more detail in relation to the response, it looks like stormwater is going to stay squarely on the Federal Government’s agenda for some time to come. This is a great result as green roofs are a significant contributor to Integrated Water Management (IMW) at the 'source point of collection'. As rooftops represent approx 27% of urban areas green roofs have the potential to retain and enhance storm water quality prior to returning to waterways. GRA believes that IWM & mitigating the impacts of UHI effects are the primary drivers for the Green Roof Industry in Australasia. “The Federal Government agrees to provide national leadership in stormwater policy through the development of a national stormwater initiative in collaboration with the state and territory governments.”

San Francisco Walks the Talk with a Mandate on Green Roofs & Solar What is truly promising is that San Francisco will mandate Green Roofs & Solar on new developments. San Francisco has become the first city in the U.S. to approve such an obligation, which requires all new construction projects to have 30% of their roof space set aside for green roofs and/or solar panels. The new legislation, which was originally suggested at the CitiesAlive 2013 Green Roof Conference, was unanimously approved by the San Francisco Planning Commission last week. Provided that the legislation passes a final approval by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors later in the year, which it is expected to, it will be the first requirement of this kind in any U.S. city. In this case, the ordinance would come into effect on 1 January 2017, which would oblige all new construction projects to have at least 30% green and/or solar roofs. “Rooftops are one of the last untapped environmental resources in our growing city, and we need to be strategic about how we activate these spaces,” commented San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener. Cities Alive is an annual USA conference hosted by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) and since 2008 GRA has worked collaboratively with GRHC as founding members of the World Green Infrastructure Network (WGIN). The GRA president Matthew Dillon is vice president of WGIN and Steven Peck, president of GRHC is the Treasurer of WGIN. WGIN host an annual congress internationally and in 2016 it was held in Bogota, Columbia. Over 2017, GRA will continue to work with our loyal members, sponsors; with the Green Cities Alliance; with AILA; with Federal, State and Local Governments; with Capital Cities; Internationally with the WGIN and with our New Zealand partners as the peak body for the green roof & living wall industry in Australasia. GRA welcomes your opinions & support.

RECENT PROJECTS The GRA website provides members with a Project Gallery to promote and inspire other professionals to include green roofs & living walls into their projects.


WINNER at the Premier’s Sustainability Awards recently in October for 2016 ”Built Environment - Green Roof in the City” INTENSIVE GREEN ROOF FOR A PRIVATE RESIDENCE Westbury Street St Kilda East, Melbourne VIC

Fytogreen was contracted for the retrofitting of a green roof on a 1950’s apartment block in St Kilda East. The residents of the apartment block applied for a council grant to redesign their apartment complex roof top into a functional and enjoyable garden space. The design incorporated 50m2 grassed area & a lillydale topping pathway of 52m2. The total area is 646 sqm. Details of the full journey can be read at www.38westburystreet.com. au“ Life is good on the roof and the community is coming together to look after this gift. We now have tables and seats and plants that wave to us in the wind.” - Residents of Westbury St.

Darlinghurst Rooftop Secret Garden The intensive green roof retrofit on a pair of art & craft apartment blocks that delivered the clients a long held secret verdant retreat with city views.

Verdant Solutions Australia were engaged by the client to design a personal secret green roof off a newly designed living area. The landscape brief also incorporated a separate courtyard with planters; an atrium fern garden; verandah planters; a kitchen herb garden and a rear lane community garden. After 1.5 years the growth is abundant and lush with high biodiversity, birds, bees, butterflies and an ever changing array of scents, colours and textures. The rooms below the green roof benefit from the excellent insulation during winter & summer reducing energy costs and the abundence of vegetables and herbs have reduced food costs. The rooftop areas are versatile and used for entertaining, gardening, contemplation and relaxation with superb panoramic views to the city and harbour. For more information contact: verdantsolutionsaus@gmail.com

Bold Park Aquatic Centre, Perth WA

This indoor vertical garden is a focal point at the entry into Bold Park Aquatic Centre for the Town of Cambridge.

The 300sqm vertical garden was designed & installed by Atlantis-Aurora The Aquatic Centre is set in tranquil bushland in the heart of City Beach, Bold Park Aquatic’s heated pools are the ideal place for swimming, leisure and fitness, offering a range of programs for all ages and abilities.

Thanking all our 2016 Sponsors Diamond Sponsor: Fytogreen Australia



International Leak Detectors (ILD)

The Greenwall Company

www.greenwall.com.au/ www.ild-australia.com.au



green roofs living walls landscaping


Whangarei, the gateway city to New Zealand's beautiful Northland, has the opportunity to build the very last authentic green roofed Hundertwasser building in the world! $12,982,021 of the needed $16,250,000 NZ dollars has been raised so far by this community-led project. Whangarei District Council originally withdrew their support for the building in mid 2014, but later after reviewing other options for the site voted to take the final decision to a public binding referendum in March 2015. The Hundertwasser project received more than 50% of the total vote, money is being raised with a programmed construction start date of mid-2017. Visit Hundertwasser Art Centre, Whangarei, NZ: https://youtu.be/4PmONVJyVsI About the Art Centre The HUNDERTWASSER ART CENTRE with Wairau Maori Art Gallery will be an iconic landmark on a grand scale and the last authentic Hundertwasser building in the world. Like the artist’s work, this stunning building will be multi-faceted and multi-functional with features including a state-of-the-art main gallery of Hundertwasser’s work and a contemporary Māori Art Gallery in keeping with Hundertwasser’s wishes. This is our opportunity to help create something inspiring and enduring. The Whangarei HAC will be a unique gift to the people of New Zealand. • The last authentic Hundertwasser building in the world, right in the heart of Whangarei’s beautiful waterfront. • A stunning landmark which will be one of New Zea-land’s most iconic buildings, attracting visitors from throughout New Zealand and around the globe. • A unique opportunity to transform Whangarei into an international tourist destination. • A catalyst project for the total re-invigoration of the Whangarei Town Basin and culture, heritage and arts precinct. • A national treasure, a taonga, something for the people of New Zealand that we can all be proud of.

AUSTRALIA’S NEW EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON TO FEATURE SOLAR PANEL Details of Australia’s new embassy building in Washington D.C were announced on Tuesday by Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. Australian company Bates Smart has been selected to design the new Embassy; which will replace the existing building constructed in the mid-1960s. The decision to rebuild was based on the cost of renovating the existing structure; which would have been nearly equivalent to the cost of the new building. “The new Embassy design will promote an enduring vision of a contemporary and innovative Australia, paying tribute to the Australian landscape,” said Minister Bishop. “Innovative environmental design solutions will be used throughout the building which will have the highest global environmental design standards.” Among those solutions will be a ” green roof with solar panels” according to Architecture AU. The capacity of the solar power system to be integrated is unknown; but with a rooftop that size, it could be significant and make a major contribution towards reducing electricity costs associated with running the building. The building will also be clad in a thermally efficient facade.

Other features of the new Embassy are a huge glass atrium in the centre of the building, a large open public space that will look back towards the White House, an exhibition gallery and function rooms. Bates Smart is understandably quite chuffed with being selected as designer for the $237-million project and is promising the new Embassy will attract attention. “The project has a refined and rich materiality which will make it stand out in Washington,” said Kristen Whittle, director of the company. The company, which has a 160 year history, has studios in Melbourne and Sydney and a staff of more than 200. “We pay special attention to the environmental performance and long term durability of our buildings,” states the Bates Smart web site. ” Where possible, we harness the latest sustainable ideas and technologies in order to deliver the maximum achievable environmentally sound outcomes for our clients.” The new building won’t be the first Australian Embassy to harness the energy of the sun. In March this year, the country’s new Embassy in Jakarta was opened, which features a number of solar hot water systems. Original Article: www.energymatters.com.au


STOP PRESS #greenroofsaus; #burwood roof gardens BURWOOD GREEN ROOF MANDATE: A FIRST FOR AUSTRALASIA BURWOOD Council is leading the way and walking the talk by requiring all new residential towers to have rooftop gardens — effective immediately. Since 2008 some progressive Australian Capital Cities have provided Green Roof Guidelines to encourage the installation of green roofs however this has not caused a surge for the niche industry similar to what has been realised in Europe. Guidelines are a polite suggestion , however a mandate is a requirement - clear and simple. Burwood Council have followed the International trend of major cities in Europe, USA, Canada and the UK by requiring green roofs on 50% of all new development roof spaces.

IMAGE: Docklands, Melbourne (Installation by Fytogreen) For this initiative our association supports and applauds their decision, their commitment and their resolve to provide their constituents with a sustainable future.

The intention at this stage appears to be as a rooftop communal space for residents which will serve as an green amenity space. In time this will save council money because as urban density increases these green roofs will substitute for small neighbourhood parks which have always been a traditional component to Australian urban planning, initially originating in the UK. At the centre of growth in the inner west, Burwood has seen 14 towers approved over the last year. This trend is common throughout Sydney as the NSW Government supports re-development along major transport routes. This boom is set to continue, with the Greater Sydney Commission declaring this week that the area would see 2600 new dwellings over the next five years and 18,700 new residents by 2036. With each new development without a green roof there is an increase in the Urban Heat Island Effect which creates 'heat sink urban zones' plus there is a greater potential for urban flooding because green roofs retain stormwater 'like a sponge'. With high-density housing the way of the future, Burwood Council is determined to keep Burwood green, however it will require surrounding councils to follow suit and create a green tapestry or 'green precincts' through an amalgamation of policy changes. Effective immediately all new developments must have at least 50 per cent of the roof area filled with grass, shrubs or trees. If neighbouring councils also follow Burwood there is the opportunity for green corridors and a real reduction in Sydneys' summer temperature by 2.0+degC whilst reducing GHG emissions. Burwood Mayor John Faker said councillors understood the importance of housing and affordability but stressed it needed to ‘be done right’. International evidence supports an increase in realty prices due to the inclusion of green roofs.

iMAGE: MCentral Apartments, Pyrmont. Matt Dillon (GRA President) speaking with a resident about the benefits of having an exemplar green roof. (Designed by 360 degrees_landscape architects, Sydney)

“We understand there will be a greater cost to developers but if we have to wear these high rise development they have to get it right,” he said. As green roofs increase in number the price will also reduce as is the case internationally. The Mayor has a strong intention to avoid creating a concrete jungle of hard surface rooftops. Mr Faker said council wanted to create a community feel in these new developments. The Mayor has a green vision for future residents of new developments. “We will be strict on this, there will be a minimum of 50 per cent green space but if we can see the developer can fit more we will push for more. “Apartment living will be the norm in the next 20-30 years so we want to create a real community in these spaces,” he said.

IMAGE: Advanx East, Sydney. Green roofs and green facades have resulted in property prices increasing. Green Roofs Australasia president Matthew Dillon believes other councils should follow Burwood’s footsteps by changing policy. There needs to be a shift in the current twentieth century paradigm for urban planning which lacks any consideration towards climate variability which has increased the potential for urban flooding and higher city temperatures causing an increase in the UHI effects. "In Australia councils are still using the twentieth century policies which support 'grey infrastructure' rather than embracing new technology and supporting 'green infrastructure. Recently GRA was asked by the CEO for the Victorian Planning Authority who is responsible for advising the Victorian Minister for Planning to explain the barriers preventing green roof development in Australia. The answer is simple. Policy advisers. They are not informed on new green technology and if they are made aware then they lack the courage to implement it; policy advisers are fixed in the existing planning paradigm because everyone knows the process and it's easier to avoid any significant change; also major corporations have significant influence against any changes and at the end of a political 4 year term they ask 'Is it going to provide more votes towards reelection?'

“Other Sydney councils need to join Burwood in order to form ‘green precincts’ ... providing cleaner air, cooler urban environments, greater biodiversity and greater wellbeing for humans in touch with nature not concrete,”

IMAGE: One Central Park, Sydney. Raising the benchmark for green apartment living. Green roofs on apartment buildings are a form of decentralised mini parks, small neighbourhood parks have traditionally provided the same services that green roofs will into the future.” The challenge for Burwood Council planners will be to provide developers with sufficient technical support and encourage surrounding councils to do the same. Revolutions need a Champion. NOTE: (SOME QUOTES WERE EXTRACTED FROM AN ARTICLE by Jillian McKee, Inner West Courier, Sydney. GRA president Matt Dillon provided comment & images for the original article published in the Daily Telegraph)

IMAGE: PV Solar panels are approx 7-9% more efficient on a green roof due to the cooler ambient air temperatute

Profile for Verdant Solutions Aus

#GreenRoofsAus December Newsletter 2016  

Green Roof & Living Wall monthly newsletter promoting living architecture throughout Australasia

#GreenRoofsAus December Newsletter 2016  

Green Roof & Living Wall monthly newsletter promoting living architecture throughout Australasia