Calgary municipal hall

Location: City of Calgary Municipal Hall
Client: The City of Calgary
Completion: 2014
Size: 2 roofs of 3,600 sq. ft.; one vegetated; the other a reference roof
Consultants: IBI GroupWilliams EngineeringION irrigation, Read Jones Christoffersen, Westoff Engineering Resources, BCIT Centre for Architectural Ecology.
Services: Ideation, Design, Planting, Research and Stewardship

By creating a better understanding of green roofs, This project is meant to lead the development of policies that will encourage green roof implementation in Calgary.    

As part of the City of Calgary’s plan to retrofit the many roofs of the Municipal Hall Complex, our team used the opportunity to create a green roof research and demonstration project. Compared against a “control roof”, this would demonstrate the benefits of an urban green roof: reduction of stormwater runoff, improvements to water quality, temperature regulation, as well as the creation of urban wildlife habitat and increased biodiversity. In addition, due to the challenging climate of Calgary, we also wanted to identify the viability of native plants and cost-effective maintenance practices. 

Completed in 2014, this project continues to bring together a multidisciplinary team consisting of green roof specialists, municipal staff, students and volunteers — all of whom participate in the ongoing research and maintenance efforts. 

Through an education and outreach program, we are raising awareness of the problems that green roofs help mitigate in urban areas by installing on-site interpretive signage and running seasonal tours led by specialists. In addition, this project contributes to the development of supportive policies for green roof implementation. 

Emerging research tells us to anticipate improvements to occupant health and wellbeing, leading to higher levels of productivity and reduced absenteeism. Surrounded by offices, the view of the green roof is enjoyed by municipal staff and authorized visitors. In a subsequent phase of the design, our team is looking to transform the roof into a barrier-free, outdoor amenity space within the building. 

2017 Mayor's Urban Design Award Honorable Mention for Green City Category.