Every day, 44,000 West Calgary residents enjoy a fast, efficient, safe and environmentally friendly commute on the new, award-winning Calgary West Light Rail Transit extension.
We were hired by the City of Calgary to design and build an eight-kilometre light rail train extension that included six stations. Our mandate included overseeing system design and integration, quality management, environmental management, traffic management and public communications management. This new line will help the city prepare for its projected growth of 120,000 residents over the next 20 years.
Previously, the city’s Southwest district was served by city buses, but steep grades made wintertime bus travel challenging. Now that the new train line is in place and connected to the city’s local C-train system, 44,000 commuters have switched to the LRT, cutting journey times and greenhouse gas emissions in the process.
Sustainable design and LEED certification
We designed the Calgary West stations using simple but effective sustainable design principles. Thanks to the east-west alignment of all but one station, passengers are sheltered from wind and direct summer sunshine. Meanwhile, the shades on the stations’ south-facing windows will help regulate indoor temperatures by blocking high-angle summer sun rays, but letting in the lower-angle winter sun.
A four-storey LEED-certified office building is located above one of the stations. It crowns the project and showcases the sustainable approach to building design that was applied across the board. The building’s proximity to public transit, along with its bicycle storage and changing facilities, as well as water-use reduction and optimized energy performance design features, all contributed to its LEED designation.
Fast-track project delivery
With our partners, we faced an aggressive delivery schedule of 38 months to complete the entire project. To make it happen, the project team employed a variety of innovations, including the use of a fast-track delivery approach that saw some sections being designed while others were being built. Enhanced coordination between the design-build contractors, the owner, the owner’s engineer and the ultimate LRT operator also played a major role in the project’s success.
Thanks to innovation and excellent teamwork, the Calgary West LRT opened on time on December 10, 2012. We’re proud to have delivered on all of the client’s objectives, including the successful opening of the project on the exact day approved by City Council more than five years earlier!
- We aligned the train stations east-west to maximize energy efficiency.
- A four-storey LEED-certified office building crowns the project.
- Some 44,000 locals now use the light rail train, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.