Victoria

Draft guidelines on green roofs, walls and facades released for public comment

AUSTRALIA'S first comprehensive guide to creating green roofs, walls and facades to help manage the impacts of a changing climate on urbanised areas was last week released for public comment.

The Growing Green Guide, which was produced through a partnership of four inner Melbourne councils, the University of Melbourne and the Victorian Government, aims to equip planners, designers, developers and homeowners with the know-how to incorporate green infrastructure into their projects.

City of Melbourne Environment Councillor Arron Wood said population growth and the urbanisation are transforming the natural environment into a largely engineered environment. He said the guide responds to this trend and the urban heat island effect by encouraging building owners to green their roofs, walls and facades.

"These guidelines offer innovative means of cooling buildings and the environment, while also increasing liveability, so that our city can blossom with green infrastructure into the future," Cr Wood said.

The guide seeks to encourage property developers to understand and be able to effectively use green infrastructure to their advantage and provide increased marketability and appeal to both existing and new properties.

John Rayner, Senior Lecturer in Urban Horticulture at the University of Melbourne, said well-designed green roofs, walls and facades can help to reduce urban stormwater runoff, increase biodiversity or provide more greenery in the city.

The community is encouraged to review the guide and provide feedback on whether it is easy to understand and use, and what information is most helpful. Anyone with a case study to include that would demonstrate an important practical experience or lesson is also encouraged to contribute.

The Growing Green Guide for Melbourne project has also explored a range of policy options that can encourage green roofs, walls and facades, increase community understanding about them and demonstrate government leadership in this area.

More information is available from the Growing Green Guide website at <http://www.growinggreenguide.org/>. The feedback period is open until 18 November and the final guide is expected to be available in early 2014.

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