Central Library is closed for the day (June 22) due to a facility issue.


Calgary's Central Library celebrates two years of operation and a LEED Gold Certification

Calgary's Central Library celebrates two years of operation and a LEED Gold Certification

For immediate release

(CALGARY, AB)  As Central Library gets ready to commemorate the second anniversary of its new location in the East Village, there is even more reason to celebrate as the building was recently awarded LEED® Gold certification for the design and construction of the 240,000 square foot downtown location.

Since opening on November 1, 2018, Central Library has welcomed 2.3 million visitors and received several awards for architectural design and programming. 

“Central Library represents the evolution of libraries as vibrant and inclusive community hubs, and I think Calgarians have embraced the building because it also speaks to the future of Calgary and all the potential our city has,” says Mark Asberg, CEO for Calgary Public Library. “Being recognized as a LEED Gold project reflects the hard work of the project team and Calgary’s commitment to thoughtful city planning.” 

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. The certification is measured through an extensive set of requirements, some of which include electricity cost savings, lower carbon emissions, and healthier environments for visitors and employees who use the facility to work, learn, and play. 

Designed by Snøhetta and DIALOG, Central Library includes sustainably sourced red cedar wood from nearby British Columbia, a 30% reduction in indoor water use, climate control, and energy efficient upgrades which contribute to more than 26% in energy cost savings. Outside of the building, storm water is stored to irrigate the drought-tolerant plants surrounding the entry plaza and outdoor amphitheatre. 

“When we first started this project, our aspiration was to design a building that reflected the importance of sustainability both in its design and operations for years to come,” recalls Kate Thompson, President & CEO of Calgary Municipal Land Corporation. “This certification reinforces the hard work of the project team to meet this goal and a reflection of the importance of investing in public spaces that continue to hold significance as the environment changes around us.” 

All Library locations were closed on March 16 due to COVID-19, and some locations began reopening in late June, with all locations reopening at regular hours by July 20. The building’s air filtration and (more)ventilation system is one of the sustainable features that proved significant in the effort to reopen Central Library.

“We knew our community needed our locations to reopen, and we’re proud that we reopened quickly and safely to provide much-needed public service. Central Library gave us a special opportunity to utilize its size and ventilation system to provide an optimal location to respond to COVID-19 and safely welcome back Calgarians,” says Asberg.

While there will be no physical event to celebrate Central Library’s second birthday, the Library will be launching a week of digital celebrations, including special interviews, retrospectives on the project, and daily giveaways, culminating in hourly giveaways on the Library’s social media platforms from noon to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 1 and Monday, November 2. For details, follow @calgarylibrary on your favourite social media channel.

The LEED Gold Certification marks a multi-level commitment between the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, The City of Calgary, and Calgary Public Library.

To learn more about the Central Library’s building features, LEED certification, and how you can visit it and the other 20 locations across Calgary, visit calgarylibrary.ca.  

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Central Library Sustainable Features

  • The use of energy efficient building upgrades contributes to over 26% energy cost savings.
  • During construction, over 79% of construction waste materials were diverted from landfill.
  • Improved indoor environmental quality with increased outdoor air volume, over and above code minimum.
  • Exceptional connection to public transit network reduces the need for parking and greenhouse gas emissions associated with vehicle use.
  • Reduced water use by storing stormwater for irrigation and using low demanding fixtures and flush valves.
  • 100% of wood in the project is Forest Stewardship Council certified to indicate best practices in sustainable forestry.
  • Solar shades are positioned in the Oculus skylight to reflect the sun’s heat and mitigate glare.
  • Thousands of small reflective ceramic dots on the exterior windows prevents the sun's glare from heating the building.
  • Secure bicycle storage and commuter facilities are provided to encourage healthy transportation.

Fast Facts on Central Library Since Opening

  • 2,391,104 visits
  • 100,840 new members
  • 32,675 room bookings
  • 313,830 computer sessions
  • 6,516 programs delivered
  • 135,757 program attendees 

Calgary Public Library

Calgary Public Library, with 740,000 members and 21 locations, has been inspiring the life stories of Calgarians for more than 100 years. It is one of North America’s largest municipal library systems, with Calgarians borrowing more than 15 million physical and digital items and over 7 million in-person visits last year. To learn more, visit calgarylibrary.ca.

Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC)

CMLC strives to strengthen connections between people and the places they share. Created and owned by the City of Calgary, CMLC works to achieve the City's objectives for urban densification, community renewal, infrastructure investment and placemaking.

Media Contacts

Nina Rehill
Account Executive

Amy Castle
Senior Manager, Communications
Calgary Municipal Land Corporation

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