The Rapid Central Station
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The Rapid Central Station aerial view; Photo Courtesy of LiveRoofProject Name: The Rapid Central Station
Year: 2008
Owner: Interurban Transit Partnership
Location: Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Building Type: Municipal/Government
Type: Extensive
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 16000 sq.ft.
Slope: 1%
Access: Inaccessible, Private
Submitted by: LiveRoof &

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:
Architect: Progressive AE
Landscape Architect: Progressive AE
Modular Greenroof System: LiveRoof
Waterproofing System: EPDM by Firestone
Slip Sheet Product: EPDM by Firestone
Installation: Katerberg Verhage Landscaping
Grower: Hortech / LiveRoof LLC
Construction Management: The Christman Company
Engineer: Wendel Duchscherer
The new rooftop; Photo Courtesy of LiveRoofThe Rapid Central Station; Photo The Rapid Central Station greenroof on May 2010 with LiveRoof X-Lite 2.5 inch system; Photo Courtesy of LiveRoof
The Rapid (Interurban Transit Partnership) is the authority that provides a variety of public transportation services for the Grand Rapids metro area and beyond. After extensive remediation, The Rapid Central Station opened to passengers in June, 2004 and expected 8,500 people to move in and out of the facility daily on the system's 15 routes and Greyhound lines. The Rapid Central Station is the first U.S. transportation facility to receive LEED® certification.

Located in downtown Grand Rapids near the VanAndel Arena, the $22.7 million Rapid Central Station was constructed on a reclaimed brownfield site. Inspired by the Grand River rapids, the 51,000 square foot station features an undulating roof structure over the bus platform containing bays for 17 buses. The wave-like 100' x 600' PTFE fiberglass canopied roof reflects solar light as well as shades passengers and the space provides a pleasant area for patrons who sit and wait for the buses.

The adjacent Surface Transportation Center building contains community rooms, ticket sales offices, restrooms, a police sub-station, security, Greyhound offices, concessions and seating areas, and a LiveRoof green roof, which is located on two separate sections of the roof.

"The station building, equipped with highly sophisticated electronic security, integrates many green, environmentally friendly features in its 51,000 square feet. Huge bands of low-E glass flood both levels with natural light, shaded from direct sunlight by deep, dramatic overhangs. In the lobby and waiting area, recycled glass aggregates form the terrazzo floors. The structure also incorporates recycled steel and concrete, plus state-of-the-art heating and ventilating systems...Landscape islands feature skeletal metal “trees” with living, twining vines of clematis, Boston ivy and morning glories to create greenery," (DCD, 2005).

The Rapid Central Station has won the following awards: 2005 Engineering Society of Detroit Construction and Design Award;
2005 AIA Michigan Honor Award; and the 2005 AIA Grand Valley Chapter Honor Award.
The Project in August, 2008; Photo Courtesy LiveRoofLiveRoof installation in August, 2008; Photo Courtesy of LiveRoof
This LiveRoof project was a replacement of an unsuccessful carpet type green roof installed on June 2, 2004, one of the first green roofs installed in the Grand Rapids area.

The replacement green roof on the LEED building was funded through federal and state funds. The lower roof features the LiveRoof Standard Modular Green Roof System (4" soil depth). Due to weight restrictions, the upper roof uses a modified lightweight system, the LiveRoof X-Lite, which is 2.5" deep. The plant mix is the same for both levels, and includes these Sedum varieties: Sedum album 'Athoum', S. ellacombianum, S. floriferum 'Weihenstephaner Gold', S. hybridum 'Immergrunchen', S. reflexum 'Green Spruce', S. rupestre 'Angelina', S. sexangulare, S. spurium 'Green Mantle', S. spurium 'Royal Pink', and S. spurium 'Voo Doo'.

The Rapid requires all new construction projects to incorporate sustainable practices and at least LEED certification. In early 2012, The Rapid opened its renovated and expanded Rapid Operations Center, which received a Gold LEED rating. See the profile in The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database here.

Additional thumbnail photos:

Installation in 2008; Photo Courtesy of LiveRoofRooftop after planting by LiveRoof in 2008; Photo Courtesy of LiveRoofThe Rapid Central Station in June, 2009; Photo Courtesy of LiveRoofThe Rapid Central Station greenroof in May 2010 using LiveRoof Standard 4.25 inch system; Photo Courtesy of LiveRoofThe Rapid Central Station aerial view; Photo Courtesy LiveRoof
The Rapid Central Station is located at 250 Grandville Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503; visit their website and their The Rapid & the Environment page. Watch the 2:11 video The Rapid Central Station - Project of the Week 3/24/14 from on the greenroofsTV channel on YouTube. See the greenroof on Google Maps and the project profiles from The Christman Company; U.S. Green Building Council West Michigan Chapter and LiveRoof. Read about the original project write up from the November/December 2005 Past, Present and Future Converge to Ride the Rapids at Transit Facility in DCD.

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