Guide to Green Building Elements

ClientBrisbane City Council

LocationCity of Brisbane, QLD


Award2021 Australian Institute of Landscape Architects National - Landscape Architecture Award for Research, Policy and Communications • 2021 Australian Institute of Landscape Architects Queensland - Landscape Architecture Award for Research, Policy and Communications

Brisbane's Future Blueprint was released in June 2018 following an overwhelming response from the community. More than 100,000 people had their say and put forward more than 15,000 ideas to improve our city. The document provided a plan with eight principles and 40 clear actions to guide decisions and make sure our friendly and liveable city thrives.

The Green Building Guide forms a key part of the actions required to encourage new developments to include rooftop gardens and green open space in urban environments as response to the broader Principle: Protect and create greenspace.

The role of the guidelines, as a BCC internal document, was to support the successful design, assessment, delivery, performance and maintenance of green building elements or living greenery elements as typologies of structure or systems for the integration of vegetation on built form including; green roofs, green façades (trellis systems), terrace edge planters and green walls.

The report consisted of:

  1. a summary of key components and influences of successful green building element systems
  2. a review of current relative; portions of the Building Code of Australia (BCA), Australian Standards, International Standards and technical guides
  3. an gap assessment and recommended amendments of applicable Codes and Planning Scheme Policies (PSP) within City Plan (current at time of report) as these guide application of green building elements

The project ultimately resulted ‘Major amendment package G’ amendment of City Plan which included changes across a range of citywide provisions.

The Guide was awarded a National Landscape Architecture Award for Research, Policy and Communications at the 2021 AILA National Landscape Architecture Awards, held in October 2021:

"This comprehensive report responds to the rising incorporation of green building elements – green walls, green roofs and terrace planters – in new developments and forms a valuable design and advocacy resource for the profession and councils alike. By providing thinking around the design, technical and regulatory aspects of these elements, as well as metrics for evaluating their benefits and risks, the document offers an invaluable tool for designers who wish to develop and promote better approaches to vertical, rooftop and podium landscapes. For local councils, these materials enable more effective assessment of green building elements and identify opportunities to support more extensive and successful incorporation into cities. Overall, the document enables a richer and more productive discussion between the profession and our clients around a typology of growing importance."

- JUDGES' Citation, 2021 AILA NAtional awards