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In 2008, the City of Calgary mandated that all new civic builds achieve a LEED® Silver minimum standard. As the first jurisdiction in Canada with a policy directing City-owned and -funded buildings to achieve mandatory levels of sustainability certification, the City of Calgary not only demonstrated significant leadership, but provided a foundation for the rapidly-expanding green building sector in Alberta. The integrated design process started with a large 2-day SMART Charette which engaged users, architects, engineers, and project managers in setting the direction for the project, identifying success factors, the stakeholders, the deliverables and the mandate. From the start, the team established the need for this to be a world-class facility, showcasing innovation in the design of contemporary workplaces.


The first LEED®-Gold certified building in Alberta and, at the time of it's opening, the largest LEED®-rated office building in Alberta, the City of Calgary's Water Centre stands as an emblem of Calgary’s commitment to sustainable architecture and construction. Inspired by the City’s green building challenge, our team collaborated with Sturgess Architecture to go above and beyond. The Water Centre embodies the movement and beauty of water in its systems and aesthetics, resulting in a building that is both functionally efficient and visually-striking. 


The Water Centre challenges conventional wisdom and assumptions, allowing for energy modelling and simulation to guide the direction of the building elements and systems. Through an integrated design process, we arrived at a narrow floor plate to optimize daylight in all work spaces, creating a healthy and dynamic workplace and offering a beautiful gathering area in the large south-facing atrium. Sustainable design features include a reduction in energy and water consumption through high-efficiency fixtures. Usually, industrial builds tend not to be pedestrian-friendly, but the Water Centre is the exception. Celebrated within its community, the bold, vibrant form of the multi-award winning Centre can be seen from Calgary’s downtown core. The site is landscaped to be harmonious with the curving lines of the Water Centre, offering plenty of green space and a large garden of native plants, which is an amenity for both the city workers and the residents of nearby neighbourhoods.


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