Green in the Desert
Southern Nevada has several energy-efficient, eco-conscious building projects under way.
State legislation passed in 2005 offers incentives through tax cuts and other financial benefits to sustainable developments that achieve LEED certification.
It has since inspired projects such as the $8.5-billion CityCenter development on the Las Vegas Strip to pursue gold certification and the $245-million Smith Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Las Vegas to go for silver. Other legislation encouraging renewable power use and development helped spur a $3.1-million addition to Nevada Solar One near Boulder City.
CityCenter, an 18-million-sq-ft complex of residential, hotel and entertainment space, sits on 67 acres between the Bellagio and Monte Carlo resorts.
“From the beginning we believed that intelligent design and sustainable practices would reinforce a sense of permanence for CityCenter and create a healthier, more appealing environment for guests, residents and our workforce,” Bobby Baldwin, CityCenter president and CEO, says in a statement.
Las Vegas-based MGM Mirage Inc. and Infinity World Development, a unit of Dubai World, is the joint developer. Two CityCenter hotels – Aria and Vdara – recently received LEED gold ahead of the development’s December debut. Perini Building Co., a unit of Tutor Perini Corp., Framingham, Mass., is the general contractor.
They�re the largest hotels to ever receive gold certification; together, they represent roughly 70% of CityCenter�s total square footage, say project officials.
�CityCenter�s pursuit of LEED is driving green economies of scale in multiple industry segments, paving the way for other entities to build and operate sustainably,� says Cindy Ortega, MGM Mirage�s senior vice president of energy and environmental services division.
Each hotel tower has energy-efficient exteriors that reduce sunlight heat transfer with air-brows, reflective rooftops, specially coated windows and high-performance glass. CityCenter also uses an 8.5-MW natural-gas co-generation plant that provides clean onsite electricity, while utilizing waste heat for warming water.