By Kristen Frisa
Ontario Construction News staff writer
At a time when climate change and building efficiency are top of mind for both governments and builders, Green Roof Professional (GRP) Training came toToronto to certify professionals on how to design and construct Green Roofs.
Training, which took place June 18 to20 at the Cooper Koo YMCA, included lessons on conducting cost-benefit analyses for creating a business case for a green roof, designing them to achieve tailored benefits, and integrating green roofs with other building systems. Digital reference manuals were included with registration fees.
GRP training is accessible online, too, so trainees can set their own pace, and training hours can be submitted as professional development hours.
Benefits of green roofs include beautification of the cityscape, improved insulation leading to decline in a building’s energy use, improved stormwater management, cleaner air, and better marketability of a building, among many other, less tangible benefits.
Toronto has one very famous example of a green roof in action, as its City Hall had a green roof installed in 2010. At approximately 3,250 sq. m. the living vegetation helps reduce the building’s environmental impact, and provides a space for residents and visitors to enjoy all year around.
Landscaped gardens, courtyards, terraces, furniture and walkways that are open to the public allow unique views of downtown from the heart of the city.
Training for the GRP certification is provided by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC), a Toronto-based non-profit professional industry association. GRHC works to advance awareness about the benefits of green roofs and green walls through education, advocacy, professional development, and awards.
GRP accreditation is given once a trainee has passed an exam, proving their specific knowledge level about green roof design, project management, installation, and maintenance. Once obtained, GRP accreditation is kept in good standing by obtaining 16 continuing education credits every two years, eight of which must be through participation in GHRC-related activities.