By Shermakaye Bass
Green Right Now
Las Vegas, that city of celebrated excess, is going green?
In a word, yes – at least, in one concentrated area.
The soon-to-debut CityCenter, a seven-building luxury development created by MGM Mirage and Infinity World Development Corps, a subsidiary of Dubai World is slated to open in stages from early December 2009 into 2010. Each building – four hotel/residences, a two-tower residential-only project, and a retail/restaurant/entertainment complex will be LEED Silver or Gold certified; each has been designed by top architects from around the planet.
“CityCenter represents what we feel is a significant new direction for our city and our company,” MGM Mirage CEO Jim Murren said in a press statement Thursday. “…Las Vegas is on the fast track to becoming a major urban center in the western United States.”
Dubbed variously “one of the world’s largest sustainable developments,” “a city within a city” and “a Strip within the Strip,” the water-and-energy-conserving playground is located between the Bellagio and Monte Carlo resorts, encompassing 67 acres and 18 million square feet of construction.
According to media representatives, the colossal campus will include more than 5,000 “green your stay” guest rooms, as well as 2,400 residences, plus showrooms, casinos, exhibit halls, restaurants and watering holes – all catering to our greener nature. Casino slot machines, for instance, will double as floor air-conditioning units, cooling guests from the ground up, saving money and energy.
In fact, developers claim that CityCenter’s sustainable initiatives will save the energy necessary to power 7,700 households yearly, over…um, what it might otherwise cost to produce a similarly sized conventional, giant glitzy entertainment complex. In addition, the new urban center is purposely densely developed, so visitors can walk or ride a tram between venues.
The “campus” also will include a substantial recycling operation, capable of recycling or reusing more than 230,000 tons of construction waste – including 80 percent from the imploded Boardwalk Hotel, which was formerly located on the site.
Having shown gamblers the green for decades, Vegas apparently yearns to explore its other green side — combining show-stopping architecture with the latest eco-conservation methods.
Below are highlights of what the development will include, LEED-wise. So greenies, get ready to hit Sin City with a slightly less guilty conscience.
- Ninety-five percent of the Center’s construction waste has been recycled, including bathroom fixtures which have been shipped to other countries – wrapped in former Boardwalk curtains and carpets – for reuse.
- Use of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) wood, taken only from forests with responsible, sustainable management practices.
- Low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints used, as well as enough sustainable certified carpet “to cover 140 American football fields.”
- Reclaimed water from the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino, used for dust control – which, developers say, has “contributed to savings of 2.4 million gallons of potable water.”
- Concrete generated on site, saving gas (and carbon output) for trucking the materials.
- An 8.5 megawatt natural gas co-generation plant will provide for at least 10 percent of CityCenter’s overall energy needs. It reduces emissions and puts waste-heat to work, heating ALL the domestic hot water necessary for the development, including its numerous swimming pools and spas.
- CityCenter employees – 10,000 builders and tradespeople, including – will undergo LEED training, so that they can apply their skills elsewhere in the future.
- Hotels and residences feature low-flow water fixtures and pressurized showers – using a third less water than traditional plumbing
- Spas will use organic or wild-crafted paraben-free products, as well as intensive recycling programs for paper and water.
- Each hotel allows guests to “green their stay” by indicating their preferred light levels and room temperatures (many will include extensive natural lighting and skylights).
- Guestrooms will automatically go into “unoccupied status” when visitors check out, cutting off lights/AC-heating/appliances until the next guest checks in.
- Much of the art and design work incorporate recycled, reclaimed and organic/natural materials.
Copyright © 2009 Green Right Now | Distributed by Noofangle Media