We do design-based research.

This means operating at the centre of interdisciplinary teams from across the University of Calgary in the City Building Design Lab (CBDLab). Our innovative projects include integrative infrastructure for sustainable cities, healthy neighborhoods, high performance building envelopes, co-creation, green infrastructure, digital fabrication for the circular economy, outdoor playscapes in urban environments, affordable housing, walkable cities, aging in place, and many more…

Exploring new directions in city-building together

Located in the former downtown Calgary Central Library, the CBDLab brings together graduate students, academics, building industry professionals, municipal policy makers, and the public to explore new directions in city-building. This one-of-a-kind 24,000sf facility contains design studio space, the City Building Gallery, a digital fabrication lab, teaching and learning spaces, and a 400+ person event hall.

Our research projects address three grand challenge themes:

Designing Out Waste, Cities for All, and Metropolitan Growth and Change. The themes leverage the lab’s our central downtown location and unique collaboration of academia, industry, and policy makers toexplore the potential of circular city building to increase Calgary’s downtown and neighborhood vibrancy, reduce the city’s environmental footprint, provide advanced skill-building opportunities for current and future AEC professionals, expand the public conversation around design thinking for city-building, and help promote entrepreneurial job creation and economic diversification in the knowledge sector of Calgary’s building and construction industry.

We integrate these research activities into the learning experience of students in our professional degree programs, as well as our research-based degrees at the Masters and Doctoral levels. 

If you’re an innovator seeking to push the boundaries of city building design and want to start a research collaboration, connect with us by emailing innovation@sapl.ucalgary.ca.

Green Alley Project (GAP)

Building on the public opening of our lab in the spring, we’re going full tilt. Our first research partnership is with Calgary Downtown Association. Due to their generous support, the Green Alley Project is a three-year partnership investigating how to transform urban alleys from service corridors into places of beauty and value. 

Join us at the launch event on Friday, September 20.