Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market


Extensive Industrial/Commercial

Project: Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market, 16,000 square foot green roof
Architect: Lydon Lynch Architects (Award Winner)
Landscape Architect: Vollick McKee Petersmann & Associates Ltd.
Structural Engineer: Campbell Comeau Engineering
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: M&R Engineering Energy Consultant: Archineers
Growing Medium & Drainage System: Soprema

"Our design intent was to create a public deck with a spectacular planted roof to increase interest in green roofsand to create a new grand public space on the edge of Halifax Harbour. We are extremely pleased with the result of our efforts, as well as the widespread acclaim from the local community and beyond."

- Keith Tufts, Principal, Lydon Lynch Architects Ltd.

Locally grown organic produce from farmers’ markets is key to a healthy lifestyle and reduced environmental impact worldwide. The Seaport Market’s LEED® Platinum design expanded upon this premise, creating an ecological showcase on the Halifax waterfront that employs sustainable principles to minimize materials, energy and water use. The result is one of the most environmentally sustainable buildings in North America and a world-class example of healthy, sustainable living. The full-length, 300 foot long deck affords unparalleled views of Halifax Harbour, as well as direct public consumption of the sustainable practices that lie at the heart of the Market including the green roof, micro turbines, and solar energy.

The building’s 16,000 square foot green roof has become one of the community's favorite public spaces, as it allows market customers to view and appreciate the beauty of both the Atlantic Ocean and aesthetic value of green roofs, up close. It fills up quickly during weekend markets. To motivate public interest, the planting strategy ensures that the roof continually changes and blooms throughout the growing months. The green roof and deck space are regularly rented out for events, weddings and photo shoots, extending the reach of the roof's visual appeal.

The plants on the green roof are locally-supplied sedums. Irrigation has not occurred since the establishment year, and the little water that runs off the roof is managed by eaves and a 50,000-litre cistern before being diverted for interior greywater, irrigation and hose bibs. Weeding is the only maintenance required, and that only occurs once a year. Through the green roofs and other stormwater management principles enacted by the building, water requirements have been reduced by 80%. The green roof and high efficiency glass used in the building resulted in the elimination of the need for air conditioning, saving substantial operating and capital costs.

The rooftop deck features integrated planters for growing vegetables in soil generated from vermiculture using the food waste from the market below. Local community groups rent out space to grow vegetables for sale in the market.


The design team is extremely pleased with the popularity of the roof, as a design goal was to spread acceptance of green roofs in the Halifax region. The combination of rooftop renewable energy infrastructure (including rooftop micro turbines, solar thermal and geothermal power generation) with the green roof have proved effective in generating attention to and building appreciation of green roofs.

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