GRP Accreditation

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Introduction

A Video Introduction to the GRP Accreditation from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities on Vimeo.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities’ members have been committed to the development of a Professional Accreditation Program since their first successful conference in Chicago in 2003 and the subsequent development and delivery of its first training course (Green Roof Design 101) in the spring of 2004.

Since our first course was completed, three subsequent courses, Green Roof Design and Implementation 201, Green Roof Waterproofing and Drainage 301, and Green Roof Plants and Growing Media 401 have been developed by multidisciplinary committees of green roof experts drawn from fields such as civil and structural engineering, architecture, horticulture, roofing and waterproofing, and landscape architecture. These four courses are currently being offered in cities across North America. Click here for course dates and locations.

The GRP training, especially when combined with a thorough review of the additional written materials, provided a fully rounded and in-depth understanding of why Green Roofs are needed, how they work, why they work, and industry best practices to ensure they work. Over the course of the training I observed that there were many trainee's who were experts in some area of "roofing" or of "plants", but few who had crossover expertise. The training - and the studying necessary to pass the GRP certification - provided a way to bridge that gap. The certification itself is becoming increasingly significant in that it is recognized by people involved with LEED and other new developments as ensuring some basic degree of knowledge about a system that still is not fully understood by most developers/owners.

Bob Jacoby
Housing Authority, City of Milwaukee
Housing Construction Specialist, Snr.

Accreditation Objectives

Successful green roofs require a combination of knowledge and expertise in the so-called ‘black arts’ and ‘green arts’. The ‘black arts’ focus on the critical, non-living elements of a green roof assembly such as water proofing, structural engineering and project management, while the ‘green arts’ deal with the living architectural components such as water management, growing media, plants and maintenance. Very few industry professionals currently have the knowledge and expertise that encompass all of these disciplines.

Green Roof Professionals (GRPs) will be well versed in both the ‘black’ and the ‘green’ arts in order to gain this new professional distinction of green building expertise. The Green Roof Professional (GRP) accreditation, and professional courses that support it, will however, provide a number of important benefits that are key to the long-term health and growth of the green roof industry. These include:

  • Enabling professionals to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.
  • Establishing a high-level of professionalism and improved multi-disciplinary collaboration.
  • Increasing customer confidence in green roof technology.
  • Resulting in better green roof design and installation practices.
  • Protecting the industry from the inevitable failures that result from inappropriate design, installation and maintenance practices.

 

Being a GRP has offered our company an added level of professionalism when dealing with building owners, contractors and architects. The multi-discipline approach to the training has given us a great base for project oversight and filled in gaps in our vegetative roof knowledge.

Roger L. Bertolini - Limited Systems, LLC
Independent Manufacturer's Representative
Duro-Last Roofing, Inc.

Occupational Analysis

The first step in the process of establishing a Green Roof Professional (GRP) accreditation was completed in January of 2007 when a group of 16 subject matter experts met in Toronto for a two-day workshop. Their discussions resulted in the development of a set of Occupational Standards for an accredited Green Roof Professional (GRP). These standards identify the specific skills and knowledge, across a number of professions, required to become a GRP. The Occupational Standards are used to inform all of our courses and will provide the basis for the exam. Participants in the occupational standards development include the following:

Charlie Miller, P.E., Principal, Roofscapes, Inc.
Chuck Friedrich, ASLA, Carolina Stalite, Co.
Dave Honza, Roofing Consultant, Honza Group, Inc.
Doug Fishburn, President, Fishburn Building Sciences Group
Jeffrey L. Bruce, FASLA, LEED, ASIC, President, Jeffrey L. Bruce & Company
Kelly Luckett, President, Green Roof Blocks
Kurt Horvath, President, Intrinsic Landscaping.
Michael Gibbons, FCI, President, Architectural Systems, Inc.
Monica Kuhn, OAA, Architect
Paul Kephart, Executive Director, Rana Creek
Robert Berghage, PhD, Associate Professor of Horticulture, Penn State University
Roger Schickedantz, AIA, Associate Partner, William McDonough + Partners
Stephen Teal, Flynn Canada
Steven Peck, President, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities
Steve Skinner, Garden Roof Project Manager, American Hydrotech
Tim Barrett, Barrett Company
Virginia Russell, FASLA, LEED, University of Cincinnati

 During the Occupational Analysis process, it was determined that Green Roof Professionals will come from any number of professional backgrounds, including architects, landscape architects, landscape designers, engineers, contractors, horticulturalists, manufacturers, and roofing consultants to name a few. Green Roof Professionals may:
  • Identify and pull the project team together.
  • Function as a team leader for the green roof portion of a project.
  • Understand the different options for green roof design and implementation.
  • Maximize the benefits of green roofs during the design process (e.g., by identifying multiple design and implementation opportunities).
  • Understand the major challenges and best practices associated with green roof design, installation and maintenance.

"The GRP accreditation program stands out as one of the most comprehensive and intelligently designed sustainability training courses I have taken. GRP accreditation gives my organization the knowledge and credibility to guide our clients through the benefits and proper implementation of a successful green roof."

Stefan Hansmire,
Co-owner, Ncompass Construction LLC

Examination Development

 The development and proctoring of the accreditation exam is being administered by Prometric, a leading consulting firm in the establishment of professional certification. The exam in based largely on information contained in the four core training manuals provided by GRHC.
 
After numerous meetings, members of the multi-disciplinary Exam Development Committee, led by award winning landscape architect Jeffrey Bruce, Jeffrey L. Bruce and Company completed the multiple choice, multi-disciplinary exam. Members of this committee include:


Jeffrey L.Bruce, FASLA, LEED AP, ASIC, Jeffrey L. Bruce & Co. (Chair)
Virginia Russell, FASLA, LEED AP, University of Cincinnati
Roger Schickedantz, Architect, McDonough + Partners
Robert Berghage, PhD, Associate Professor of Horticulture, Penn State University
Stephen Teal, Flynn
Monica Kuhn, OAA, Architect
Kirk Mettam, P.Eng., Robert Silman & Associates
Michael Gibbons, FCI, President, Architectural Systems, Inc.
Dave Honza, Roofing Consultant, Honza Group Inc.
Chuck Friedrich, ASLA, Carolina Stalite, Co.
Doug Fishburn, President, Fishburn Building Sciences Group
Kelly Luckett, President, Green Roof Blocks
Steven Peck, Honorary ASLA, President, GRHC
Jelle Vonk, Zinco Canada
Prometric (Exam Development Consultants)

 The exam was delivered for the first time at our Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 5th, 2009. Click here for a full list of courses and exams.
 
 To find out more about the intial exam and the successful participants, please see our exam press release.

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