SBS Transit buses to have rooftop gardens as part of green initiative

·Editorial Team
One of the 10 SBS Transit buses with rooftop gardens, as part of the "Garden on the Move" initiative to study possible energy and cost savings for bus operators. (PHOTO: Facebook/Singapore Green Building Council)
One of the 10 SBS Transit buses with rooftop gardens. (PHOTO: Facebook/Singapore Green Building Council)

SINGAPORE — Ten SBS Transit buses will have mini gardens on their rooftops for at least the next three months, as part of an initiative to study possible energy and cost savings for bus operators.

The “Gardens on the Move” initiative, launched on Sunday (5 May) at the inaugural Singapore Gardens Festival Horticultural Show at the newly-opened Lakeside Garden, will see the buses outfitted with a soil-less roof system.

This means that, instead of conventional soil, plants are secured onto the buses’ roofs via a lightweight mat used for skyrise greenery.

The 10 buses will be part of a research study to confirm that the green roof will lead to a drop in temperature within the interior of the buses, and a reduction in the fuel consumption used for air-conditioning, leading to possible cost savings.

Several routes through city area

The buses will plying several routes that include one through the Central Business District and another through Orchard Road. Fares for these buses are the same as for regular buses.

This initiative is supported by the Temasek Foundation and designed by GWS Living Art. Other partners include Moove Media, National Parks Board and Singapore Green Building Council.

The rooftop garden on top of an SBA Transit bus, part of the "Garden on the Move" initiative to study possible energy and cost savings for bus operators. (PHOTO: Facebook/Singapore Green Building Council)
The rooftop garden on top of an SBA Transit bus, part of the "Garden on the Move" initiative to study possible energy and cost savings for bus operators. (PHOTO: Facebook/Singapore Green Building Council)

Dr Tan Chun Liang from the National University of Singapore’s School of Design and Environment will be advising on the design of the study and evaluating its effectiveness.

Providing hard figures for mobile gardens

He said in a joint media release by the initiative’s agencies, “While the impact of greenery on buildings has been well documented, much less is known about the effects of greenery on moving vehicles.

“To increase green coverage on our roads in this manner is an exciting prospect and we certainly hope that our study can provide the hard figures for mobile gardens as well as other innovations to improve our built environment.”

Lim Hock Chuan, chief executive of Temasek Foundation Ecosperity, added, “Green roofs are not just for buildings or even buses. With some imagination and effort, they can be applied to almost any urban infrastructure, and we can maximise tangible benefits as well as quality of life improvements out of them.”

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