Glenbow Museum Reimagined

In 2021, an assessment was conducted for the City of Calgary’s Glenbow Museum to evaluate the facility’s resilience to future climate impacts such as extreme heat, storms, wildfire, drought, and flooding. Glenbow Museum, located on Treaty 7 territories, is undergoing a multi-year revitalization project to improve user experience, protect a key cultural landmark, and build low-carbon resilience. To assess resilience, the Public Infrastructure Engineering Vulnerability Committee (PIEVC) protocol was used. The risk profile of 39 individual museum components were assessed against 8 climate hazard categories using RCP 8.5 climate projections for the 2050s and 2080s. Of the 197 climate-infrastructure interactions assessed, a significant number were deemed medium, high, or very high risk by the 2050s or 2080s. Resilience measures were discussed during stakeholder and Indigenous knowledge holder workshops and 94 resilience measure recommendations were provided. The museum is continuing to incorporate resilience measures into the museum’s low-carbon design and renovations are currently underway, to be completed in 2024.

Understanding and Assessing Impacts

Alberta will experience climate change impacts including increased temperatures, heatwaves, drought, wildfires, and flooding. To assess the vulnerability of the Glenbow Museum to these impacts, the PIEVC protocol was used. Eight climate hazards were included in the assessment: increasing air temperatures, heat waves, drought, wildfire, short-duration high intensity storms, river flooding, winter storms, and severe storms. Present conditions for each climate hazard were compared to projections for the 2050s (2041-2070) and the 2080s (2071-2100) for RCP 8.5 that were developed with the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC). The assessment team also met with Indigenous knowledge holders to consider observed changes related to climate, urbanization, and shifts in natural systems around the museum.

Thirty-nine individual museum components were assessed against the climate hazards, and only relevant climate-infrastructure interactions were included in the assessment. A risk classification was assigned to each interaction based on the likelihood of the museum component being negatively impacted if the climate hazard were to occur in the present, 2050s, and 2080s.

Out of the 197 climate-infrastructure interactions assessed, 55 were identified as high risk by the 2050s, and 84 were high risk and 8 were very high risk by the 2080s. The museum components facing high risk from four or more climate hazards by the 2050s include stormwater drainage, maintenance activities, and construction personnel. Short duration, high intensity storms were projected to cause the most significant impacts to the museum, posing a high risk to over 18 museum components by the 2050s. By the 2080s, major river flooding, extreme heat, severe storms, and wildfire smoke are expected to pose a high risk to many museum components.

For additional climate information, look at the Resources section of this example (below). 

Identifying Actions

The Glenbow Museum was constructed in 1976 and is a key cultural landmark in Calgary. Revitalization of the museum is not only culturally important but presents an opportunity to incorporate climate change into future planning. Low-carbon resilience is a core component of this revitalization, applying sustainability measures to lower greenhouse gas emissions and water use while creating a space that is adaptable and resilient to a changing climate. This project addresses Infrastructure Canada’s required Climate Lens Assessment, specifically the resilience component where climate change impacts are incorporated into the planning and design process of the project.

A pre-assessment workshop with Indigenous knowledge holder Dr. Little Bear and opportunities to work with local Nations to better reflect Indigenous culture in the museum, provide space for local ceremonies, and incorporate nature-based design were identified. A stakeholder workshop was held to inform resilience measures, which reflected industry best practices and ensured all medium, high, and very high risks were addressed. Resilience measures were further categorized based on a benefit cost ratio approach and other co-benefits provided. Due to the significant risk climate change poses to the museum, 94 unique resilience measures were identified, with 88 determined to be base measures that should be implemented on day 1.


A development permit for the Glenbow Revitalization project was submitted to the City of Calgary in 2022. Of the 94 unique resilience measures proposed in the PIEVC assessment, 65 were included in the development permit to be addressed by the revitalization project. Examples of resilience measures include a building envelope designed with materials that can withstand high temperatures, adjusted operation and maintenance plans after a storm and during wildfire season, and adding additional design capacity to the cooling system to support 2050 conditions.

Outcomes and Monitoring Progress

Glenbow Museum has considered the highest risks and hazards associated with climate change and will continue to integrate resilience measures into the revitalization project, among other priorities such as accessibility, energy efficiency, emissions reductions, decolonization, and reconciliation.

Next Steps

Renovations for the Glenbow Museum Revitalization project are currently underway and will be completed by the end of 2024.


Link to Full Case Study

Additional Resources:

Additional Climate Information: 

Using climate change projections enables better adaptation decisions, as it allows you to better understand how the climate may change.  To learn how to choose, access, and understand climate data, visit’s Learning Zone 

For more information on variables that may be useful in work related to infrastructure, visit and click “Explore by Variable”. Here you will find pertinent future climate projections related to temperature, drought and extreme weather.