At a Glance

The Calgary Zoo Master Plan inspires change by incorporating holistic solutions for water supply, reuse and stormwater management.

Project Description

The Calgary Zoo, which is visited by nearly 1.5 million people each year, is known as a conservation leader in Canada. The Zoo’s commitment to conservation and sustainability is not only evident in its exhibits, research, and outreach programs, but also in the way it plans for the future.

Initiating a master planning effort labeled “Inspiring Change,” the Calgary Zoological Society sought to create a new standard for exhibit design, one which renews facilities and programs while optimizing conservation education, enriching life for visitors and animals, and inspiring action to protect species and habitat. As a key member of the architectural planning team led by Studio Hanson Roberts, Biohabitats provided water-centric master planning services for the Zoo’s 92-acre site.

After analyzing existing information and surveying the Zoo’s primary water and stormwater systems, water use, and water supplies, Biohabitats participated in a visioning and planning process to establish water guidelines. Guided by this vision, Biohabitats contributed to the development of a Master Plan that embraces long term sustainability and water stewardship, including strategies to reduce the volumes and clean stormwater runoff into the adjacent Bow River and measure and conserve water for domestic and operational use. The final Master Plan, which was completed in 2013 provides 20 years of guidance toward a sustainable future that aligns with the Zoo’s conservation mission.




Physiographic Province

Inferior Plains


Bow River

Expertise Areas

Infrastructure, Water


Calgary Zoological Society


Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Project Team
  • Studio Hanson Roberts