Students at the University of British Columbia are looking to build the first prototype of a so-called Tree Canopy Bus Shelter, on the Point Grey campus.
The bus shelter will be built out of a wooden structure, with an overhead canopy that doubles as a green roof. Flood and drought-resistant plants on the canopy will act like a sponge to absorb the rain, and excess water will be filtered through three levels of soil.
Overflow water on the roof will drain into a ground-level rain garden built adjacent to the bus shelter before percolating into the ground.
Such a concept is inspired by how rainwater reaches the forest floor, as the layered canopies of forests “delay” stormwater from reaching the ground.
A wider application of green roofs could help urban areas address stormwater management problems, especially during periods of heavy rainfall resulting in high drainage outfalls.
A team comprised of 25 students, faculty, and university operational staff are involved in the project, which has an aim of building the first bus shelter structure on Wesbrook Mall.
“Although currently envisioned to be a pilot program, the shelters could be in place longer to satisfy other pick-up and drop-off needs such as ride hailing like Lyft and Uber when the bus stops get moved into the new transit exchange in 2019,” said Krista Falkner, a transportation engineer at UBC Campus and Community Planning.
A recently-launched crowdfunding campaign for the first bus shelter aims to raise $25,000 to help support the cost of construction. Other sources of funding will help fill the $110,000 needed to reach the “construction milestone” of the project.
To achieve the ultimate goal of building three shelters, a total of $180,000 would be required.
Upon completion, the performance of the bus shelter structure will be monitored for research purposes.