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When Green Roofs Go Wrong

Common Causes of Green Roof Concerns and Failure

Green roofs provide a myriad of benefits to a building, and community, ranging from stormwater management opportunities; to ecosystem services such and habitat creation and biodiversity enhancement; to on-site enhancements such as insulation and cooling enhancement. However, not all green roofs are created equally, and sometimes, due to a number of factors, a green roof can fail so completely that it needs to be replaced.

This course provides an overview of some of the ways green roofs fail, what to do when failures occur, and how to avoid these mistakes to ensure long term success and the maximization of benefits derived from a green roof.

Learning Objectives

  • How can design influence a green roof's success?
  • What design elements are critical to a green roof's success?
  • What are some common causes of green roof failure?
  • How can green roof failures be avoided?

Course Overview

  • Overview of key best practices in design and installation
  • Common causes of concerns and how to avoid them
  • Case Studies


Your Instructor


Liz Morris, CDT, GRP
Liz Morris, CDT, GRP

Elizabeth Hart Morris, CDT, GRP is the Director of Vegetated Roofing Assemblies at Henry Company. For more than 10 years Elizabeth has been changing the “nature” of commercial roofing through green roof design, project management, and recycling of tear-off waste. Elizabeth has overseen dozens of new green roofing projects, and specializes in restoration of green roofs with “issues.” She has trained thousands of designers and contractors on all aspects of on-structure vegetation. Elizabeth is a founding member and President of the Green Roof info Think-tank (GRiT), a nonprofit dedicated to creating urban resiliency in the Pacific Northwest through the use of on-structure vegetation. She is also the GRP Chair on the Board of Directors for Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.


Course Curriculum


  Introduction to the Living Architecture Academy & Green Roofs for Healthy Cities
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  When Green Roofs Go Wrong
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  Course Feedback
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Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

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