Las Vegas Strip resorts vie to be the hottest place in town, but Vdara, a recently opened hotel, literally can scorch those visiting the pool deck during certain times of the day. The 57-story, 1,495-room hotel is one of six towers at the $8.5-billion, 67-acre CityCenter complex, which opened last December.
On Sept. 16, Vdara condominium owner and personal injury lawyer William G. Pintas complained to local media that the hotel�s south facade concentrated noon sunlight into a �death ray� onto the 40,000-sq-ft pool deck at the tower�s base. The 578-ft-tall crescent-shaped building�s concave surface acts a parabola resulting in solar convergence, Pintas says, transforming daylight into a hot ray across a 10-ft to 15-ft area.
Pintas, a principal with Chicago-based Pintas & Mullins Ltd., claims the intense heat burned his scalp within 30 seconds and melted a plastic shopping bag. The phenomenon can occur for roughly 1.5 hours a day, depending upon the season.
Vdara owner MGM Mirage Inc., Las Vegas, knew of the issue in 2008 and hired Alameda, Calif.-based consultant Loisos + Ubbelohde to study the problem. The firm�s recommendations led to the application of a thin, high-tech glazing film meant to dissipate reflection by 70%.
MGM plans to continually monitor pool-deck temperatures until a better remedy can be found. �We are working with designers on several new options at the pool, which may include shade structure, greenery and foliage to provide additional shade, and more umbrellas,� says Alan M. Feldman, an MGM spokesman.
Design architect RV Architecture LLC, New York City, did not respond to requests for comment. Leo A Daly, Omaha, Neb., is architect-of-record and San Francisco-based Gensler is executive architect. Benson Industries Inc., Portland, was the curtain-wall installer.
The 1.5-million-sq-ft building on the northwest edge of CityCenter consists of three curved vertical volumes, offset from each other like slender books not aligned on a shelf. The building is sheathed in 3,000 double-pane acid-etched spandrel glass panels for energy-efficient heating and cooling. Viracon is the supplier of the glazing system, which has 44% exterior visible light reflectance and 46% solar energy reflectance.
Las Vegas has on average 336 hours of sunlight a month, with ambient temperatures that can reach 113� F in September, Clark County reports. The �ray� area can add 20� F, says one hotel employee.