Green Walls & Rooftop Gardens Project

Menu: Click across the green arrows to view active and completed project stages. Consultation takes place at every stage of the project.

Case for change

Population growth in Australian cities is influencing government policies around sustainable living and urban greening within high-density living areas. The growing interest has been encouraged by increasing availability of technologies that make their construction easier and more economical. As such, there is an increasing demand for skills in developing rooftop gardens and green walls.

Industry consultation has identified the need for skills standards and training in the design, construction, installation and maintenance of green walls and rooftop gardens in Australia.

The Australian Industry Skills Committee (AISC) approved this project, out of the 2019-2022 IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work.

Skills Impact and the Amenity Horticulture, Landscaping and Conservation & Land Management Industry Reference Committee (IRC) will manage this project, consistent with the 2012 Standards for Training Package Development.

Download Project Proposal

Project Plan

Green walls and rooftops help to cool our cities, manage storm water and improve air quality. These ‘living’ roofs and walls are growing with popularity, as they offer city residents healthy, environmentally responsible buildings. The growing interest is encouraged by government policy, as well as increased availability of technology that makes their construction and maintenance easier and more economical. This is opening up job opportunities in industry, with skills and knowledge adapting to respond to the needs of this specialised sector.

Landscapers are familiar with building constructions, such as garden beds and tree landscapes at ground level. However, the skills and knowledge required to design, construct, install and maintain these sorts of infrastructure on walls and roofs is specialised. Consideration needs to be given to drainage and filtration systems, soil/media and plant selection, waterproof barrier selection, nutrient requirements, working at heights on elevated work platforms, and local government legislation. Knowledge of environmental factors and microclimates is also important, as well as how much weight a structure can bare. The unique skills requirements of workers in this sub-sector will be identified as part of this project and reflected in the national skills standards, to support the skills development and career opportunities in this growing occupation.

Australian city dwellers will be all too familiar with the fierce heat that can be experienced on a hot summer’s day, when surrounded by closely constructed buildings, concrete and other solid surfaces. Green walls and roof tops can offer respite from these ‘urban heat islands’, where space for traditional parks is limited.

In recent years, Australian city councils have pledged to increase green walls and rooftop gardens to reduce the urban heat island effect. Melbourne has a Green Our City Strategic Action Plan, Sydney has the Green Roofs and Walls Policy, and Brisbane has introduced a non-statutory New World City Design Guide – Buildings that Breathe.

Project Scope

Units of competency will be reviewed and revised if necessary to address the additional skills and knowledge required for the design, construction, installation and maintenance of green walls and rooftop gardens in Australia.

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation & Land Management’ as your industry of interest.

 

Relevant Occupations

Green walls and rooftop gardens designers, and those involved in construction, installation and ongoing maintenance.

 

Timeline

Aug 2019
Initial scoping

Sept 2019
Development of drafts

Nov 2019
Drafts available for broad consultation

Feb 2020
Validation of final drafts

Mar – Apr 2020
Finalisation of Training Package components

June 2020
Submission for endorsement

 

Project Team
Lucinda O’BrienIndustry Skills Standards Specialist, Skills Impact lucinda@skillsimpact.com.au
Kate VansonIndustry Engagement Manager, Skills Impact kate@skillsimpact.com.au
Maree ThorneIndustry Skills Standards Contractor

Opportunities for stakeholder input

Stakeholder input is appreciated throughout the duration of this project. The documents will be drafted in consultation with Subject Matter Experts and their networks. Opportunities to provide targeted feedback will occur when the draft materials are made available in November 2019, and again for validation of final drafts in early February 2020. However, your feedback is welcomed at any time, and will help us in drafting the training package materials. It is important that training provides a skilled and flexible workforce for the future. The qualifications, skill sets and units need to reflect real work experience. So, if you work in the sector, Skills Impact encourages your input and help. Please feel free to register your interest for project updates and consultation opportunities by following the newsletter subscription link below. Alternatively, please feel free to contact the project manager, Lucinda O’Brien on 03 9321 3526 or lucinda@skillsimpact.com.au.

 

Stakeholder Consultation Process

A list of key stakeholder organisations has been identified for this project. Skills Impact will ensure contact is made with each of these organisations during the development of this project to seek their involvement and their views on the draft qualifications, skill sets and units.

If you are aware of an organisation that you think should be involved, please contact the project team to ensure they are contacted by us.

Of course, all and any interested industry participants are encouraged to engage in the consultation of this project, when the draft qualifications, skill sets and units are available for feedback via this webpage and workshops that take place around Australia. Consultation is not limited to the organisations on this list. This list simply helps us to identify those organisations that, because of their industry role, size or specialty, are likely to have a key interest in the development and outcomes of this project.

 

Development

Green walls and rooftops are increasing in popularity for their capacity to cool our cities, manage storm water and improve air quality. Thanks to the encouragement of government policy and improved availability of the technology to construct and maintain green walls and rooftop gardens, job opportunities are opening up.

Specialised skills and knowledge are required to design, construct, install and maintain these sorts of infrastructure. As part of this project, work is now underway to review skill sets and units of competency to address these skills needs.

In September, a workshop was held with stakeholders and subject matter experts who work directly in this field. At this meeting the required functions, roles and tasks involved to create and maintain green walls and rooftop gardens were discussed. It was identified that the skills required for design vary to those needed for construction. Education for the maintenance of green walls and rooftop gardens was also identified as an important area.

Consultation Workshops – Registrations Open!

Thank you to those stakeholders that have been involved and provided feedback and advice so far. The draft skill sets and units of competency will be made available on this webpage for public consideration and feedback early November 2019 (under the ‘Drafts Available’ menu above). Face-to-face consultation workshops will also take place across states, with a webinar planned for those unable to attend in person. Registrations for these workshops are now open. Register for a workshop near you by clicking the corresponding link.

Face-to-face consultation workshops

Wed 13 Nov 19, 9:30am to 11:30am ACST – Adelaide – register here

Thurs 14 Nov 19, 9:30am to 11:30am AWST – Perth – register here

Tues 19 Nov 19, 9:30am to 11:30am AEST – Brisbane – register here

Wed 20 Nov 19, 9:30am to 11:30am AEDST – Sydney – register here

Tues 26 Nov 19, 10am to 12pm AEDST – Melbourne – register here

Consultation webinar

Tues 26 Nov 19, 2pm to 3pm AEDST – register here

 

Proposed skill set and units of competency for development

Following input during workshops with subject matter experts, the following skill sets and units of competency are proposed for development. Drafts of these documents will be made available early November 2019.

Please note titles are to be confirmed

Proposed new skill sets

  • Plan and Design Green Walls and Rooftop Gardens Skill Set
  • Build or Install Green Walls and Rooftop Gardens Skill Set
  • Maintain Green Walls and Rooftop Gardens Skill Set

Proposed new units of competency

  • Develop and apply knowledge of green infrastructure to the designing of rooftop gardens and green walls
  • Build or install rooftop gardens and or green walls
  • Maintain rooftop gardens and or green walls

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation & Land Management’ as your industry of interest.

 

Drafts Available

Green walls and rooftop gardens offer city residents healthy, environmentally responsible buildings, helping to cool our cities, manage storm water and improve air quality. With city councils encouraging this trend through policy and the increased availability of technology, these features are becoming more common, opening up job opportunities in the sector. As industry adapts its skills and knowledge to the unique requirements of green walls and rooftop gardens, it’s important to ensure this is captured in the skills standards for the sector.

Three new skill sets and three new units of competency have been developed as part of this project, covering the skills and knowledge required for individuals to design, construct and maintain rooftop gardens, green walls and green facades.

Thank you to those who provided feedback on the draft units of competency and skill sets that were made available on this webpage for feedback from 30 October – 1 December 2019. 

During this time, feedback was collected via the online feedback hub, five face-to-face consultation workshops, a webinar, and email. The drafts, including any comments made on the feedback hub, are still available for viewing below.

Feedback will inform the work on the final drafts which are expected to be available for industry validation in February 2020. A summary of the feedback and how it was addressed in the final drafts will also be available.

Skill Set code and nameRationaleLink
AHCSSXXXX1 Plan and Design Rooftop Gardens, Green Walls and Green Facades Skill SetCaptures skills standards for ensuring designs are compliant with building codes and structural principles, that they meet client requirements, and are costed appropriately. This takes into account ongoing maintenance and sustainability of green walls and rooftop gardens through selection of appropriate infrastructure, plants, growing media, irrigation and drainage systems and provision of access for maintenance.View draft skill set
AHCSSXXXX2 Build or Install Rooftop Gardens, Green Walls and Green Facades Skill SetCaptures skills standards for the building or installation of green walls and rooftop gardens from plans and specifications to meet building codes, select suitable plants, systems and materials (including fixings and tools), work safely at height and install growing media and plants.View draft skill set
AHCSSXXXX3 Maintain Rooftop Gardens, Green Walls and Green Facades Skill SetCaptures skills standards for working safely at heights, maintaining the sustainability of green walls and rooftop gardens, keeping maintenance records, and monitoring climatic conditions, irrigation and drainage systems, and other horticultural factors.View draft skill set

The draft documents can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

 

Unit code and nameExplanationLink
AHCGRIXX1 Design rooftop gardens, green walls and green facadesCaptures the skills and knowledge required for the construction of green walls and rooftop gardens, including compliance to building codes, weight loading, site features and access, impacts of environmental considerations, and planning and designing sustainable infrastructure to meet client requirements.View draft unit 
AHCGRIXX2 Build or install rooftop gardens, green walls and green facadesCaptures the skills and knowledge required to comply with building regulations, standards and codes and meet design plans and specifications. Includes calculating costs and material quantities, sequencing building or installation tasks, identifying and controlling site hazards, undertaking building or installation work at heights, and installing waterproofing, irrigation and drainage systems.View draft unit 
AHCGRIXX3 Maintain rooftop gardens, green walls and green facadesCaptures the skills and knowledge to carry out maintenance work on rooftop gardens, green walls and green facades, including working safely, using personal proactive equipment, monitoring plant health, pest management, keeping maintenance records, and monitoring drainage and irrigation system performance.View draft unit

The draft documents can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Feedback is also being sought on the placement of new units within qualifications existing in the AHC Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package. The new units are proposed to be included as electives in the qualifications as shown in the table below.

AHCGRIXX1 Design rooftop gardens, green walls and green facadesAHCGRIXX2 Build or install rooftop gardens, green walls and green facadesAHCGRIXX3 Maintain rooftop gardens, green walls and green facades
AHC30716 Certificate III in Horticulture

 

Yes
AHC30916 Certificate III in Landscape Construction

 

Yes
AHC40416 Certificate IV in Horticulture

 

YesYes
AHC42016 Certificate IV in Landscape

 

YesYes
AHC50416 Diploma of Horticulture

 

YesYes
AHC50616 Diploma of Landscape Design

 

YesYes

Summary of consultation to date

The draft skill sets and units have been drafted in consultation with Subject Matter Experts through a workshop in September, emails and phone calls. People working directly with rooftop gardens, green walls and green facades participated and provided information on the skills and knowledge required for individuals to design, construct and maintain these types of infrastructure. Site visits were undertaken to observe the benefits and features and to better understand the importance of ongoing maintenance for these spaces.

Thank you to those who provided feedback during these activities.

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation & Land Management’ as your industry of interest.

 

Validation

Roof gardens, vertical gardens, and green facades offer many benefits for city residents, helping to cool our cities, manage storm water and improve air quality. Such infrastructure is becoming more common, as technology and council policies make it easier to build. This is opening up job opportunities in the sector, requiring industry to adapt its skills and knowledge to the unique context of the work. Capturing the skills standards required to design, construct, install and maintain such infrastructure is essential to supporting job roles in this field.

Thank you to those who provided feedback on the final draft skill set and units that were made available on this webpage for feedback from 7 February – 1 March 2020.

They have been revised to include terminology consistent with that used within industry, which is reflected in the updated proposed titles and throughout the documents. Concern was raised during consultation that the scope of the proposed unit AHCGRIXX1 Design rooftop gardens, green walls and green facades was too large as it contains 36 Performance Criteria (PC) and a learner would have to design for three different situations. Consultation with Subject Matter Experts confirms that the unit needs to be kept as one unit as it is common for workers to use a range of building styles and techniques across one project.

Subject Matter Experts also considered the issue of prerequisites for the individual units as well as entry requirements for the skill sets. The units are proposed to be added as elective units to a number of existing qualifications, none of which currently have entry requirements, meaning a person could undertake the units (and RTOs could package the individual units into a short course) from existing qualifications without entry requirements. As an alternative to entry requirements or prerequisites, wording has been incorporated into the units and skill sets to indicate a level of experience may be necessary, and RTOs can and should determine individual learner capabilities for enrolment. This will keep the units and skill sets accessible to a wider range of potential learners.

The final drafts will shortly progress through to the Finalisation stage of the project which includes quality assurance of the documents and review and feedback from the State/Territory Training Authorities. They will then be forwarded to the Amenity Horticulture, Landscaping and Conservation & Land Management Industry Reference Committee (IRC) for consideration and sign off, before being submitted to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) to consider and approve for publication on training.gov.au.

Summary of consultation to date

Thank you to those stakeholders who provided feedback on the drafts that were made available from 30 October – 1 December 2019, under the ‘Drafts Available’ stage. During this time, feedback was collected via the online feedback hub, national face-to-face consultation workshops and webinars, and via phone call and email. The components were drafted with guidance from Subject Matter Experts, made up of workplace experts and industry.

A description of how feedback has been considered and applied in these final drafts can be downloaded below. Please click the ‘Download Summary of Feedback, Responses and Actions’ button.

 Click here to download a zipped folder of all skill sets in this group.

Skill Set code and nameProposed changes Link
AHCSSXXXX1 Plan and Design Roof Gardens, Vertical Gardens and Green Facades Skill SetWording has been included in the Skill Set Description and Target Group to clarify that design of green infrastructure is required to be undertaken in association with specialists and building professions.Download final draft skill set
AHCSSXXXX2 Construct Roof Gardens, Vertical Gardens and Green Facades Skill SetWording regarding the requirement of a ‘White Card’ as a requirement to undertake construction work has been included in the Licencing/Regulatory Information of the Skill Set.Download final draft skill set
AHCSSXXXX3 Maintain Roof Gardens, Vertical Gardens and Green Facades Skill SetRemoved unit AHCIRG339 Monitor soils under irrigation

Replaced unit AHCPMG202 Treat plant pests, diseases and disorders with AHCPMG302 Control plant pests, diseases and disorders

Download final draft skill set

Minor edits to Application, Performance Criterias, Performance Evidence, Knowledge Evidence and Assessment Conditions to reflect industry requirements. Titles and content updated with consistent terminology used by industry.

 Click here to download a zipped folder of all skill sets in this group.

Unit code and name Link
AHCGRIXX1 Design roof gardens, vertical gardens and green facadesDownload final draft unit
AHCGRIXX2 Construct roof gardens, vertical gardens and green facadesDownload final draft unit
AHCGRIXX3 Maintain roof gardens, vertical gardens and green facadesDownload final draft unit

Feedback was sought on the placement of new units within qualifications existing in the AHC Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package. The new units are proposed to be included as electives in the qualifications as shown in the table below.

Proposed qualificationsAHCGRIXX1 Design roof gardens, vertical walls and green facadesAHCGRIXX2 Construct roof gardens, vertical walls and green facadesAHCGRIXX3 Maintain roof gardens, vertical walls and green facades
AHC30716 Certificate III in Horticulture

 

Yes
AHC30916 Certificate III in Landscape Construction

 

Yes
AHC31016 Certificate III in Parks and Gardens

 

Yes
AHC40416 Certificate IV in Horticulture

 

YesYes
AHC42016 Certificate IV in Landscape

 

YesYes
AHC50416 Diploma of Horticulture

 

YesYes
AHC50616 Diploma of Landscape Design

 

YesYes

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation & Land Management’ as your industry of interest.

 

Finalisation

Roof gardens, vertical gardens and green facades offer a range of benefits to urban populations, helping to cool city environments, manage storm water and improve air quality. Australian city councils have acknowledged the advantages of this infrastructure in places where there is not space for traditional parks, supporting the construction of roof gardens, vertical gardens and green facades in their planning and policies. At the same time, the technology for construction is becoming easier to access, bolstering the popularity of green infrastructure and opening up job opportunities. While these roles are suited to people with existing skills and knowledge in horticulture and landscaping, specialist skills and knowledge are required to construct and maintain green infrastructure. Thanks to the contributions of those who participated in this project, the unique skills required for work with green infrastructure have been identified and incorporated in draft skills standards.

The Amenity Horticulture, Landscaping and Conservation and Land Management IRC have reviewed draft recommendations from the project, considering issues about the nature of the occupation and job roles, RTO delivery, and the volume of learning in the units as designed. After further consultation with industry experts, the IRC decided more work was needed to describe the skills being trained, facilitate the ease of delivery, and ensure learners have adequate opportunity to gain the required competencies.

As a result, updated drafts were made available for feedback on this webpage from 6 – 19 July. Your comments have been used to inform updates to the draft skill sets and units, which are now available for industry validation. Please find the documents listed below.

Feedback has determined the need for separate units for skills in design and construction of roof gardens, vertical gardens and green facades. Industry consultation has determined that this will aid in delivery of the units. Terminology has been clarified throughout the drafts to be consistent. References to ‘sensor’ equipment in the draft design and construction units was removed as feedback indicated this equipment is not used for design or construction. These references were retained in the maintenance units, as the equipment is relevant to this task.

Further industry input is needed to validate the drafts, which means checking and confirming that the documents are logical, factual and accurate. The draft documents will be available on this webpage for validation and feedback until 12 August 2020. 

 

Summary of consultation

The skill sets and units have already undergone two broad consultation periods over the past eight months. A summary of the feedback received during these stages and how it was considered and applied can be downloaded below. Feedback at these two key stages (‘Drafts Available’ and ‘Validation’) was collected through consultation workshops, site visits, the online feedback hub, email, telephone and online surveys.

 

The additional two rounds of feedback taking place now follow the discussion and feedback from IRC members as outlined at the top if this webpage. The first of these rounds took place between 6 – 19 July. Feedback was sought on key updates to the draft units AHCGRI501 Design Roof Gardens, Vertical Gardens and Green Walls and AHCGRI401 Construct Roof Gardens, Vertical Gardens and Green Walls, and the development of two additional units. These changes occurred so that the different knowledge and skills required for design and construction of roof gardens compared to green walls and facades could adequately be covered. A summary of feedback collected during this time is available for download below.

 

 

Companion Volume Implementation Guide is also being produced to assist industry and registered training providers (RTOs) deliver the units and skill sets. It will contain key information to help trainers adapt to any new changes, as well as additional information about the impacts of regulation and licensing implications and workplace health and safety on their training. 

How to participate in the validation process

Please click on the expandable menus below. After reading the final draft, click the ‘provide validation and/or further comment’ button and select the specific unit, skill set or qualification you would like to validate and/or provide further comment on. Note: once you complete one unit in the group you will be asked if you would like to provide feedback on another unit in that group. There is also the option to provide feedback via email to Lucinda O’Brien lucinda@skillsimpact.com.au if you prefer. 

Click here to download a zipped folder of all skill sets in this group.

Skill Set code and nameExplanationLink
AHCSS00114 Design Roof Gardens, Vertical Gardens and Green Facades Skill SetThis skill set is designed to cover the knowledge and skills required to design roof gardens, vertical gardens and green facades for commercial and or residential projects, in consultation with building, landscape and horticultural professionals.View final raft skill set
AHCSS00115 Construct Roof Gardens, Vertical Gardens and Green Facades Skill SetThis skill set is designed to cover the knowledge and skills required to safely construct roof gardens, vertical gardens and green facades for commercial and or residential projects.View final draft skill set
AHCSS00116 Maintain Roof Gardens, Vertical Gardens and Green Facades Skill SetThis skill set is designed to cover the knowledge and skills required to maintain green infrastructure specific to commercial and or residential roof gardens, vertical gardens and green facadesView final draft skill set

 

 

Alternatively, you can provide validation by emailing Lucinda O’Brien lucinda@skillsimpact.com.au.

Click here to download a zipped folder of all units in this group.

Unit code and nameExplanationLink
AHCGRI501 Design roof gardensThe unit applies to individuals with existing horticultural, landscaping, landscape design and/or construction experience, who research information about roof garden principles and guidelines and consult with green infrastructure and/or building and landscape design specialists to design roof gardens for existing and/or new buildings.View final draft unit
AHCGRI502 Design vertical gardens and green facadesThe unit applies to individuals who build or install vertical gardens and green facades on new or existing residential or commercial buildings in consultation with architects, engineers and other building and/or landscape and horticultural professionals.View final draft unit
AHCGRI401 Construct roof gardensThe unit applies to individuals who build or install roof gardens on new or existing residential or commercial buildings in consultation with architects, engineers and other building and/or landscape and horticultural professionals.View final draft unit
AHCGRI402 Construct vertical gardens and green facadesThe unit applies to individuals who build or install vertical gardens and green facades on new or existing residential or commercial buildings in consultation with architects, engineers and other building and/or landscape and horticultural professionals.View final draft unit
AHCGRI301 Maintain roof gardens, vertical gardens and green facadesThe skills and knowledge to carry out maintenance work on roof gardens, vertical gardens and green facades, including working safely, using personal proactive equipment, monitoring plant health, drainage and irrigation system performance, pest management, and maintaining maintenance records.View final draft unit

 

 

Alternatively, you can provide validation by emailing Lucinda O’Brien lucinda@skillsimpact.com.au.

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation & Land Management’ as your industry of interest.