The grass is greener up above – New drone video shows bird’s eye view of green roof on Kipling Transit Hub’s bus terminal

By the time summer rolls around, flowers, gardens and city landscapes are in full bloom. For the Kipling Transit Hub Project, summer ushered in a major milestone – and for those that have green thumbs, they will give it two thumbs up.

When it comes to building transit projects, it’s not always about concrete and steel.

Although those traditional building projects are vitally important, sometimes it takes Mother Nature to bring things up to the next level.

Construction on the new Kipling bus terminal building is progressing nicely and part of that work involves installing a green roof system.

The green roof system consists of a waterproof membrane and vegetated modules that arrive pre-grown on pallets.

Modules are a mix of drought-resistant grass and soil that require little watering and minimal maintenance. Two types of grass are used to create the dark and light green pattern – lemon zest and heather mix. The vegetated modules are fitted atop 4-inch risers that provide a gap between the module and rooftop membrane.

Infographic

Click here to see enlarged infographic.

During rainfalls, water is absorbed by the system and any runoff that collects below is sloped towards a drain on the roof. The system allows for vegetated modules to be adequately watered, while excess stormwater is slowly diverted from the sewer system.

Kipling GO Station is being transformed into a transit hub to create a seamless journey for customers. When complete, Kipling Transit Hub will connect to GO Transit (rail and bus), MiWay and TTC subway and buses all in one convenient place.

“This green roof is part of the project’s overall plan to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification and has been built with renewable and low-emission construction material,” said Metrolinx project manager, Payman Khezri.

LEED is a green building certification program used worldwide and Gold is one of four levels of certification.

Before photo

Before Photo: Previous conditions on the roof of the new Kipling bus terminal building. (Metrolinx photo)

“The green roof was incorporated into the project design to create a more natural landscape within the transit environment.”

Installation of the roof required a coordinated effort between EllisDon Infrastructure Transit (EDIT), the project contractor, and the green roof company specialists. First, the roof membranes are installed. Then, the vegetated modules were crane-lifted and lined up in rows.

Workers connected the modules through an interlocking system and installed aluminum edges to secure the modules in place and direct water runoff towards the drains.

After Photo: Completed installation of the green roof from the second floor view showing grass

After Photo: Completed installation of the green roof from the second floor view. (Metrolinx photo)

Over the course of 5 weeks, a small crew installed a total surface area of 4,500 square metres (more than half the size of a football field) of green roof across the bus terminal building. While the space has been transformed from a typical roof membrane surface into a horticultural landscape, it is a closed area and not intended for public use.

Additional benefits of the green roof include roof protection, improved energy performance of the building and diverting thousands of gallons of stormwater from the sewer system annually.

“Metrolinx worked collaboratively with EDIT to help build a more sustainable bus terminal for the future,” said James Schick, Metrolinx manager.

“The Kipling Transit Hub Project is a great example of incorporating green benefits and executing a welcoming design for an improved customer experience.”

Aerial photo from a drone showing the green roof of the bus terminal

Aerial view of the Kipling Transit Hub with the new green rooftop. Customers will be able to enjoy the view when they pass over the roof using the pedestrian bridge. (Metrolinx photo)

For more information or sign up for e-newsletter updates by emailing TorontoWest@metrolinx.com.

Story by Teresa Ko, Metrolinx communications senior advisor