Monday, September 14, 2009

Las Vegas CITYCENTER Updates

Las Vegas is no stranger to architectural superlatives, and it is now crystal clear that the new CITYCENTER project will exceed even Las Vegas' remarkable sky scraping standards in terms of lavish buildings, amenities, and green building standards. Although it seems very ironic to associate "green" and "Las Vegas" in the same sentence, large budgets are making Las Vegas one of the most very fertile grounds for innovative green building designs and implementations. See the press release below for the detail on how CITYCENTER has met some very stringent standards in this regard:

From the CITYCENTER Press room:


CityCenter Emerges as Leader of Sustainable Urban Development, Driving Green Economies of Scale in Multiple Industry Segments

LAS VEGAS - August 6, 2009 - /PRNewswire/ — Created with a vision to bring a new level of environmental consciousness to the world-famous Strip, CityCenter will be one of the world's largest sustainable developments, from design and construction to operations and guest amenities. An extraordinary urban resort destination brought to life by eight world-renowned architects, the 18-million-square-foot development is set to achieve a combination of gold and silver LEED® ratings by the U.S. Green Building Council throughout its distinctive hotels; residences; dining, retail and public spaces. Using cutting-edge solutions, CityCenter has been able to grow responsibly without sacrificing the quality of materials or guest experience.

Due to its size and purchasing power, CityCenter is driving green economies of scale in multiple industry segments, paving the way for other entities to build and operate sustainably. CityCenter has moved beyond existing green practices to empower industry-wide innovations.

Key Sustainable Highlights

  • First energy-generation on The Strip through its 8.5 megawatt natural-gas co-generation plant, providing efficient electricity on site, reducing emissions and using "waste heat" to provide domestic hot water

  • Water conservation technology and programs that will save between 30% and 43% of water within the buildings and 60% in outdoor landscaping

  • First-ever fleet of stretch limos powered by clean-burning compressed natural gas (CNG)

  • Nation's most technologically advanced hotel rooms with exclusive features allowing guests to "green their stay"

  • Development of slot machine bases that serve as floor air-conditioning units, efficiently cooling guests from the ground up, rather than wasting energy on empty space by cooling from the ceiling

  • Energy efficiency initiatives providing a savings equivalent to powering 8,800 households annually

  • Creation of a large-scale recycling operation that enabled the recycling or reuse of more than 260,000 tons of construction waste, including 97% of the imploded Boardwalk Hotel

Most significantly, collaborating with the foremost sustainability and LEED® consultants from throughout the nation, CityCenter has introduced more than 10,000 construction trade and craftsmen to green building techniques that can be implemented at other developments throughout Las Vegas and beyond.

"CityCenter captures the energy and diversity of Las Vegas in one of the world's largest green urban developments," said Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM MIRAGE. "Designing CityCenter with sustainable elements and practices reinforces its permanence and creates a healthier environment for our guests and residents, as well as for the 12,000 people who ultimately will work at CityCenter."


Construction and Recycling

  • The Boardwalk Hotel was imploded to make way for CityCenter. 80% of the previous structure has been recycled into the building materials or sent elsewhere for reuse. Crushed blocks and mortar were used in dust abatement on the construction site and as aggregate in concrete and asphalt; recycled whole and broken glass, and bathroom fixtures were shipped to other countries for reuse after being wrapped in Boardwalk curtains and carpets as recycled packing materials

  • 95% of all construction waste that would have ended up in landfills has been recycled

  • Ventilation systems have been completely sealed until installed, which protects them from the dust, smoke and harmful particles that are present on a construction site. No smoking is allowed on the site once the ventilation is sealed, which will give the buildings vastly higher indoor air quality when the facility opens

  • CityCenter uses Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) wood, which ensures wood only is taken from forests with responsible management practices. Low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints are used, along with enough sustainable certified carpet to cover 140 American football fields

  • Reclaimed water from Monte Carlo is used for dust control in place of precious drinking water, which has contributed to savings of 2.4 million gallons of potable water

  • A concrete batch plant allowed concrete to be generated on site saving gas and energy

  • Each room is carefully sealed to prevent migration of tobacco smoke ensuring freshness and comfort for each guest


  • An 8.5 megawatt natural gas co-generation plant will provide efficient electricity on site (10% of overall CityCenter use), reduce emissions and utilize the waste heat from the power generation to provide all the domestic hot water necessary at CityCenter, including within its numerous pools

  • Each tower has energy-efficient exterior features to help reduce the heat transfer from the sun onto the buildings, including air-brows, reflective rooftops, specially coated windows and high-performance glass

  • CityCenter worked with manufacturers to invent designer water fixtures that deliver incredibly satisfying, pressurized showers while using a third less water

  • Outdoor landscaping was carefully selected to provide a beautiful array of native desert plant life which is watered through a highly efficient irrigation system. The system is equipped with moisture controls to ensure watering is only done when necessary

  • Marquees, signs and slot machines will be energy efficient


  • CityCenter will offer sustainable options for meetings, conventions and events by incorporating environmentally responsible practices and services including sales kits constructed from recycled paper; ARIA's banquet server uniforms will be made from recycled polyester

  • CityCenter employees will undergo LEED® training as part of orientation, educating them about CityCenter's green initiatives and how to do their jobs in line with the development's green focus

  • Many restaurants will focus on farm-to-table ingredients, buying produce, meat and dairy direct from responsible local growers

  • Spas will be committed to using organic or wild-crafted paraben-free products; the implementation of a recycling program and use of recycled paper for spa materials

  • CityCenter will implement green cleaning practices within the hotels, using products that minimize concerns to human health and the environment. Additionally, the areas where chemical use occurs are negatively pressurized with separate outside exhaust and no recirculation of air

  • All of CityCenter's facilities will have integrated recycling programs

Guest Experience

  • For the highest quality, environmentally sustainable travel, CityCenter has commissioned the world's first-ever fleet of CNG stretch limos. The 26 silver, 24-foot Lincoln Town Cars are 100% dedicated to utilizing CNG. In addition to abundant U.S. natural gas reserves, CNG is one of the cleanest-burning alternative fuels available

  • Natural gas used by the CNG limo fleet produces significantly lower amounts of harmful emissions such as nitrogen oxides (35-60 percent less), particulate matter (90-97 percent less), carcinogenic and toxic pollutants such as carbon monoxide (90-97 percent less) as well as the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (25 percent less). Source: U.S. Department of Energy

  • Guests arriving at CityCenter via carpool or in alternative-fuel vehicles will have access to preferred parking spaces; bicycle valet services also will be provided

  • The urban community offers numerous amenities within walking distance of the hotels, including restaurants, stores and entertainment. CityCenter's people mover will offer convenient transportation between Monte Carlo, Crystals and Bellagio

  • CityCenter's hotels will feature the most technologically advanced guestrooms in the country, with exclusive technology that allows guests to "green their stay." With a simple setting, guests can indicate their preferred light level and room temperature, and the properties can automatically put a room into unoccupied status upon checkout, turning off the heating/cooling system, televisions, lights and any appliances

  • Extensive natural light will be utilized through skylights and expansive windows at CityCenter to reduce energy use

  • Many of the artists participating in CityCenter's public Fine Art Collection will use reclaimed material in their works of art. For instance, Maya Lin's silver cast of the Colorado River will incorporate the use of reclaimed silver; CityCenter's sustainability initiatives inspired her first work of art in Las Vegas. Richard Long's mud wall drawings will incorporate natural products, Nancy Rubins' will construct a gravity-defying display that includes recycled river and ocean vessels, and Isa Genzken's steel and aluminum rose will contain 75% recycled materials

When it opens in December, CityCenter will not only redefine the Las Vegas skyline, but also transform the destination into a global showcase of urban design and sustainability.

About CityCenter

CityCenter is an unprecedented urban metropolis that will open in late 2009 on 67 acres between Bellagio and Monte Carlo resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. CityCenter is a joint venture between MGM MIRAGE (NYSE: MGM) and Infinity World Development Corps, a subsidiary of Dubai World. CityCenter will feature ARIA, a 61-story, 4,004-room gaming resort; luxury non-gaming hotels including Las Vegas' first Mandarin Oriental and Vdara Hotel; Veer Towers, the development's only strictly residential buildings; and Crystals, a 500,000-square-foot retail and entertainment district. Vdara, Mandarin Oriental and Veer Towers will include approximately 2,400 residences total. Additionally, The Harmon, a 400-room luxury boutique hotel, is slated to open at CityCenter in late 2010. CityCenter also will feature a resident Cirque du Soleil production celebrating the timeless musical legacy of Elvis Presley; and an unparalleled Fine Art Collection with works by acclaimed artists including Maya Lin, Jenny Holzer, Nancy Rubins, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, among others. CityCenter is a design collaboration between MGM MIRAGE and eight internationally acclaimed architectural firms including Pelli Clarke Pelli, Kohn Pedersen Fox, Helmut Jahn, RV Architecture LLC led by Rafael Viñoly, Foster + Partners*, Studio Daniel Libeskind*, Rockwell Group and Gensler. Charting a new course for responsible growth in Las Vegas, MGM MIRAGE is pursuing the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification at CityCenter. As planned, the 18-million-square-foot, multi-use project will become one of the world's largest environmentally sustainable urban communities. For more information about CityCenter, please visit

* As a consultant to AAI Architects, Inc.

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For More Information:

Natalie Mounier, Kirvin Doak Communications