Calgary's new Water Centre is expected to help pay for itself in 15 years, says the city. ((CBC) )

The City of Calgary opened the doors to its largest green building Wednesday, boasting that the glass structure with a curved steel roof will pay for itself in 15 years.

The Water Centre, near the Stampede grounds at 625-25th Ave. S.E., is almost completely lit by daylight and saves taxpayers 40 per cent in operating costs compared to a standard building, said the city.

Water Centre efficiencies

  • 95 per cent daylit.
  • 95 per cent recycling rate of excess construction material.
  • 72 per cent reduction in waste water.
  • 59 per cent reduction in water.
  • 58 per cent savings in annual energy consumption.

Source: City of Calgary

It also pointed out the $43-million project is expected to help pay for itself in 15 years and operate for another 35 years with minimal maintenance.

With its energy and water conservation, the 183,000-square-foot building meets the standards for a gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) designation by the Green Building Council of Canada.

The city said the Water Centre is the first gold LEED certified building in Alberta.


The City of Calgary’s largest green building, the Water Centre, officially opened its doors to the public Wednesday. ((CBC) )

In 2003, Calgary announced a policy that all new city building projects must meet or exceed the silver LEED requirements, which set standards for sustainability, water efficiency, energy, materials and indoor environmental quality.

Built on a former site that housed a furrier and then a depot for Calgary's streetcars, the Water Centre is now houses 800 employees of the water resources and services department.

The building boasts adjustable air diffusers in the floor, and a fitness facility.