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Sustainable Building Policy

Sustainable Building Policy

The Sustainable Building Policy ensures facilities are developed:

  • in a sustainable manner,
  • to consider all triple bottom line (social, economic, and environmental) impacts,
  • to enhance The City’s reputation as a fiscally responsible municipal government;
  • to address the health and well-being of the people who occupy the buildings.

It applies to new construction or major renovations where The City is contributing over $1 million or 33 per cent of the project funding. This includes design, construction, management, retrofits, operations, and demolition.

Policy and supporting resources

Calgary's Sustainable Building Policy, adopted in 2004, has been updated to reflect the latest green building trends and The City's strategic goals. The latest version of the Policy and supporting documents include updated project requirements to align with the Calgary Climate Strategy.

Guidance Document

Sustainable Building Guidance Document

  • How the Sustainable Building Policy is applied to projects.
  • Who is involved and when decisions need to be made.
  • Details on specific sustainability targets and requirements.
  • Alignment with Council’s Strategic Direction, City Policies and City Strategies


Sustainable Building Policy

This Policy ensures that The City plans, delivers, and maintains infrastructure. This shows smart investment beyond the initial construction cost by addressing the lifecycle impacts on buildings in a way that considers:

  • operating cost,
  • the effects of climate change,
  • the environment, and
  • the people who use the infrastructure.

The Policy defines roles, responsibilities, governance, and reporting requirements and provides the Sustainability Principles that should be considered on all projects for which The Policy applies.


Other Resources

Sustainable Building Scopes of Work

The following documents help define the work that project teams will undertake to deliver buildings that align with The City's Sustainable Building Policy.

Future climate information

To help buildings and facilities be more resilient to future climate changes, The City of Calgary has created design tools based on projected climate conditions.

Other resources

The following related resources have been developed by various groups to help project teams with the design, construction, and operations of sustainable buildings.


Our progress

Calgary is a leader in developing green buildings, both its own and in partnership with others. Learn more about our progress in making our city more sustainable by exploring these pages.

Frequently asked questions

Q: How does The City define sustainability objectives for a specific building project?

Answer: The City’s Sustainable Infrastructure engineers work together with project sponsors, project planners, project managers, and project teams to define sustainability objectives that align with The City’s priorities and reflect the unique challenges and opportunities of each building project.

Q: How is The City of Calgary addressing Climate Adaptation (creating buildings that are better adapted to current and future climate hazards) in the Policy?

Answer: The City has adopted requirements for all projects to assess climate risk. The City has also adopted new minimum design requirements for all buildings to address key climate hazards including extreme heat, severe storms, wildfire smoke, and river flooding.

Q: How is The City of Calgary addressing Climate Mitigation (creating buildings with reduced greenhouse gas emissions associated with their construction and operation) in the Policy?

Answer: At minimum, The City of Calgary funded buildings must be designed to achieve a 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to a typical building. The City is developing several low-carbon and net-zero pilot projects to demonstrate opportunities for further emissions reductions in the building sector.

Q: Does the Sustainable Building Policy apply to private development?

Answer: The Policy applies to all new buildings that are City-owned and/or City-financed, not to private development. That said, we hope that the information outlined in the Sustainable Building Guidance Document can serve as a helpful point of reference for others in the Calgary community looking to explore opportunities to enhance their project’s sustainability!

Q: Who can I contact if I’m looking for more information on The City’s Sustainable Building Policy and green buildings?

Answer: The City’s Sustainable Infrastructure Team (the stewards of the Sustainable Building Policy) would be happy to answer your questions and can be reached at

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