Asia’s First Green Roof Bus

This innovation represents Asia’s first public bus with a live green mat on top. The Green Roof Bus was developed for:

1. Awareness: To remind people of the flora and fauna that are sacrificed for dozens of new building. By using public transport, the outreach was wider and also serves to remind the public that public transport greatly reduces your carbon footprint versus owning a car.

2. Bus temperature reduction: both internal and external and in turn, reduction of fuel consumption.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

GWS Living Art took the opportunity to take part in the Temasek Ecosperity challenge with our ‘Green on the move’ concept. GWS Living Art has a long-standing track record in green roofs but we felt that more could be done. We wanted to further test the green roof to benefit the larger community through public buses. We were inspired by billboards on buses and wondered if we could design a system for mobile green akin to a billboard. After going through many rounds of discussions and involving different stakeholders, these green-roofed buses finally came alive in May 2019. Other partners supporting this initiative include Singapore’s SBS Bus Transit, MooveMedia, National Parks Board (NParks), and Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC).

Asia’s First Green Roof bus is a mobile green roof installed on a public bus. The green roof, a green building product certified by the Singapore Green Building Council’s Singapore Green Building Product certification scheme, is made up of Sphagneticola trilobata and other hardy plants adapted to the local climate, chosen for their resistance to windy and dry conditions. Instead of conventional soil, the plants are secured using GWS’ proprietary Gaiamat, a lightweight mat used for skyrise greenery that is cleaner, easier to maintain and more economical than other conventional green roof systems which are primarily soil-based. The mat is also easy to install and easy to maintain, so that it can be easily extended to more buses.

In total, we had 8 single deck green roof buses going around various routes in Singapore and 2 control buses. In total, these 10 buses formed part of a research study, also supported by Temasek Foundation, to explore the link between green roofs and the interior temperatures of the buses, focusing on quantifying the reduction in heat transmission on vehicular roofs due to the addition of rooftop greenery. The aim of our three-month study was to test if and how much the green roof will lead to a drop in temperature within the interior of the buses, and assess a reduction in the fuel consumption used for air-conditioning. A significant drop can have a huge impact on Singapore’s bus fuel consumption and with that, public transport just became even more carbon footprint friendly. Our nation has an extensive public transport network and the benefits would be to more than just one segment of people.

Our vision is for all buses to have a green roof and perhaps even seeing bio-diversity on our roofs. Our mat system is patented and we have also developed the method statement for easy installation. As many countries has a similar single deck bus, we believe this is scalable. We also plan to refine the installation method such as that it will weigh lesser and we will be able to enhance the size of the green roof on the bus roof. We are grateful for the support we have received from our stakeholders in Singapore and we believe their endorsement would help to scale this innovation as well.

Innovation Description

Innovation Development

Innovation Reflections

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Year: 2019
Level of government: Other


  • Implementation - making the innovation happen
  • Evaluation - understanding whether the innovative initiative has delivered what was needed

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