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ENMAX Conservatory - Calgary Zoo


Designed by Gibbs Gage Architects
Photo by Kelly Sereda

The ENMAX Conservatory at the Calgary Zoo is a showcase for innovative and environmentally-friendly energy technology. The facility shows visitors the benefits of lifestyle and energy provision choices that will reduce their personal ecological footprint. The exhibit also features interactive displays that illustrate alternative and emerging sources of sustainable energy and promote development practices for the City of Calgary that exemplify responsible environment management. The conservatory also includes indoor and outdoor gardens, a banquet space, a classroom, an outdoor patio, and a seasonal butterfly garden.

This project has achieved LEED Gold Certification.

S + A Services Included:


Mechanical components in this building include high efficiency condensing boilers, evacuated tube solar panels for domestic water heating, a wind turbine, an open loop ground source heat pump system and operable windows that are controlled by outdoor and indoor air temperature. Cooling for the building is achieved via heat pumps using ground water as a cooling medium. Water is pumped from an underground aquifer up to a heat exchanger where it is used to circulate cold water through the building to the associated heat pumps for cooling. Using this technology eliminates the need for chillers and air conditioning units. In order to achieve maximum energy efficiency, the ENMAX Conservatory utilizes a variety of energy efficient technologies and six alternative sources of energy including: wind energy, co-generation sterling engine, photo voltaic, solar thermal, geo thermal and fuel cell. This new building complex is expected to consume considerably less fossil fuels than the existing structure and will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emission.


Calgary, Alberta

Gross Floor Area

  • 31,000 sq ft

Total Construction Cost

$ 20,000,000

Completion Year