The Burnley Living Roofs, at the University of Melbourne, is Australia's first green roof research, education and demonstration facility.

Designed by HASSELL, in close collaboration with the University, the facility comprises three separate roofs, retrofitted to the Burnley Campus administrative building.

As well as providing a day-to-day teaching space for urban horticulture students, the roofs are used to support the pioneering work of the Green Infrastructure Research Group, contributing to Australia's national guidelines for green roof implementation.

They also demonstrate and promote the possibilities for green roof technology to designers, developers and public policy makers.

The Research Roof is dedicated to quantifying environmental benefits. It facilitates horticulture, water quality and thermal insulation experiments.

The Biodiversity Roof provides a discrete rooftop habitat that encourages colonisation.

Finally, the Demonstration Roof is the integral education and advocacy space, exhibiting 14 different green roof types. The intent is a dynamic design that engages viewers and leaves a lasting impression.


  • It supports the full spectrum of activities undertaken by the University of Melbourne's Green Infrastructure Research Group.
  • The facility's Demonstration Roof was established through an innovative layering of solutions to the client's multiple objectives. It incorporates the concept-driven aesthetics, the practical requirements of the multidimensional green roof technologies on display, and the multifunctional demands of an open-air teaching and exhibition environment - creating a truly habitable and interactive green roof.
  • The design was realised through a close collaboration between HASSELL, The University of Melbourne's and the specialist green roof contractors, Junglefy. It combines pioneering research with leading design and construction expertise to produce a benchmark to aspire to, and to build upon.
  • The Demonstration Roof was almost entirely prefabricated and test-assembled off-site and then reassembled on the rooftop, representing innovation in the retro-installation of green roofs in Australia.
  • The research at Burnley has contributed to the development of Australia's first guidelines for the future design and implementation of green roofs, 'The Growing Green Guidelines'; advocating this key urban sustainability initiative.