Singapore green-roofed bus initiative

Public transport saves on road wear and tear, petrol consumption, car production/consumption and more – now, to showcase horticultural excellence, Singapore has added green roofs to the list, rolled out on 10 transit buses.

Photography by: Singapore Green Building Council
The Singapore green-roofed 10-bus initiative  is called "Gardens advertising, architecture, bus, car, commercial vehicle, mode of transport, motor vehicle, tour bus service, tourism, transport, tree, vehicle, gray, black, white
The Singapore green-roofed 10-bus initiative  is called "Gardens on the move".

Designed by GWS Living Art

From the Singapore Green Building Council:

Asia’s first green-roofed bus initiative has been launched to showcase horticulture excellence and innovation of the local landscape industry.

The ‘Garden on the Move’ initiative will see 10 SBS Transit buses ply Singapore’s roads for at least three months. 

Outfitted with an innovative, locally developed and soil-less roof system, these ‘green roof’ public buses will be deployed on the roads to study possible energy and cost savings for bus operators.

Supported by Temasek Foundation and designed by GWS Living Art, these green-roofed buses seek to tap on the creativity of young innovators to further extend greenery to improve public places and our quality of life. 

Other partners supporting this initiative include Moove Media, National Parks Board (NParks), and Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC).


Outfitted with an innovative, locally developed and soil-less asphalt, grass, green, plant, road, shrub, transport, tree, vehicle
Outfitted with an innovative, locally developed and soil-less roof system, the ‘green roof’ public buses will be deployed on the roads to study possible energy and cost savings for bus operators.

The initiative also seeks to raise awareness on the possibilities of green innovation that is mobile and help reduce vehicles’ carbon emission by lowering fuel consumption needed for the air-conditioning. 

Members of the public can ride these buses along several routes including one through the Central Business District and another through Orchard Road. 

Fares for these buses cost the same as for regular buses. 

The mobile 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.

The 10 buses will be 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 the three-month study is 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. 

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

Findings from the study will be shared with interested parties. Please refer to Factsheet C for more information on the research methodology.

The buses also seek to build on SGBC’s earlier Live.Work.Play.Green campaign that also involved public buses, to raise awareness on the sustainability benefits of green innovation for buildings, and other green features.

Mr Zac Toh, Founder of GWS Living Art, said: “We are excited to apply our unique patented green building product to public buses to raise awareness especially as there are increasingly more urban greenery in Singapore. Our team has put together a design to keep the mat system safely on the roof and worked with various parties for months.”

May 22, 2019
We know the specialists