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NFTA Bus Shelter Gets A Living Green Roof

When I first saw a photo of this living green roof in Downtown Buffalo, I thought that someone had done a good job in Photoshopping. I assumed that the project was a proposal rather than a finished product. I’m happy to say that I was wrong. Earlier this morning I paid a visit to the NFTA bus shelter to see what if I could find any signs of the living roof, and there it was… a functioning green roof on top of the shelter at Ellicott and Division. When I got home I checked out eco_logic STUDIO’s Facebook page and found some photos of the roof-in-progress (seen here).
“A demonstration project for NFTA utilizing an existing bus shelter. In the last year NFTA has installed about 100 PV (photovoltaics) systems on bus shelters. This is the first green (living) roof!” – eco_logic STUDIO
I IMd Kevin Connors moments ago to learn more about the project and he wrote, “It was something Mike Jackson, sustainability officer at Milkbone proposed to ED Minkel at NFTA. He then proposed it to Dave Lanfear (Green Top) and me, and we put together a presentation for a group at NFTA. We then worked a long while on how to go about doing it, initially as a design-build entity, Natural Building Systems.”
The benefits of the living roof at the bus shelter range from oxygenation to pollution absorption to cooling measures to rain retention… though the size of this particular roof is “largely symbolic” says Connors. “NFTA has done some very extreme green things at the airport, with glycol treatment.  They also covered the root of the Frontier Bus Garage with PVs. We wanted to promote green infrastructure, but we also really liked the challenge of covering one of these. We worked very collaboratively to do the design, but Dave has done a lot of research into soil mixes, especially using recycled materials. We had to do a load test on the polycarbonate, because the literature didnt go that high. Just got everything together on Friday.”
^Hybrid bus next to the living green roof…
Photos: Mix of Buffalo Rising and eco_logic STUDIO

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is ‘queenseyes’ – Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world’s largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette, and the Madd Tiki Winter Luau. Other projects: Navigetter.

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  • hamp

    Looks great. Now if they would only bring back the nice contemporary bus shelters from a few years ago, instead of the garish blue ones, we’d really be looking good.

  • Lego1981

    What ever happend to the NFTA brining in retail and restaurants to the Bus Station and a new exterior? This was announced a few years ago and all we see is a new paint job and signs put up inside.

  • hamp

    Some nice bus shelters installed by Cemusa in NYC.

  • Lego1981

    But, hamp, we aint NYC (or least, that’s the only excuse I ever hear from the locals here when ever comparing the two cities).

  • Cam33r4

    I’d rather see some development/a new facade to the downtown bus station rather than new metro bus shelters personally.

  • Captain Picard

    Probably because nobody would ever go there to eat, and any improvements would swiftly be vandalized and neglected.

  • Captain Picard

    Probably because the NFTA is broke, and they realize that contemporary bus shelters won’t do squat for a city with much more pressing issues.

  • Captain Picard

    Hey Lego, did you know this isn’t New York City?

  • grad94

    adorable! i suggest planters, raised beds, and/or other greenery for parking garages. drivers really dislike parking on the top floors, as indicated by the pristine concrete free of oil stains at nearly all of them.

  • Slu

    I’d be happy if they installed any bus shelter at the stops I use at Elmwood and Lexington and Elmwood and Ferry.

  • BuffaloQPublic

    What happened to the intermodal plan?

  • gtscout716

    I’d be happy if people would stop throwing their butts and garbage on the ground in front of the bus station, when there’s trash cans and butt stops 10 feet away.

  • davvid

    Every city in history has had “more pressing issues”. Buffalo should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. This is why we have different departments and authorities.
    Also, bus shelters are not luxury items. Even a tight budget should include money for building and maintaining bus shelters. If we must have them, why not do the job right?

  • Rand503

    Lovely. It’s plays a small but positive role in attacking climate change by with carbon sequestration and pumping out oxygen. If all our buildings could have green roofs, it would do a lot towards that, reducing energy consumption and also reducing water runoffs.
    It would be nicer if they plants produced a flower. Or maybe a vegetable. It would be fun to help yourself to a fresh carrot while waiting for a bus.

  • hamp

    I think the company installs the shelter and then gets the proceeds from selling ads.
    So NFTA doesn’t pay for them or own them. You know one of those “win – win” situations people like to talk about.

  • buffloonitick

    if that roof could grow donuts or cheesburgers a lot more people would take the bus.
    maybe the NFTA should use that as a marketing gimmick…

  • DeanerPPX

    The only way to grow cheezburgers is to plant sesame seeds!


    This was exactly my thought. That is the tackiest blue and these shelters are dumpy looking.

  • bernicebuffalove

    Great project!
    I would like to see swings installed instead of benches. So cool.

  • buffloonitick

    i was told at an early age that cheerios were baby donuts.
    i still believe that today.