Downtown Summerlin lands silver level LEED certification

It’s Earth Day. Do you know where your closest ecofriendly shopping center is?

Days ahead of Friday’s celebration of all things environmentally conscious, Nevada’s green-building landscape made big strides.

The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded Downtown Summerlin’s 1.4 million-square-foot shopping, dining and entertainment district certification through its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.

Downtown Summerlin earned a silver level, the third-best ranking the council grants.

Summerlin officials say the district is the largest center of its kind in the nation to land LEED status, though the project isn’t even close to ranking as Nevada’s largest certified building. That honor goes to CityCenter, a gold-status megaresort with 18 million square feet under roof.

But Downtown Summerlin is big enough to move Nevada into the top five states for LEED-certified square feet per capita. The U.S. Green Building Council counted 2.42 square feet of completed LEED projects per Nevadan in 2015, for a No. 6 rank. Downtown Summerlin pushes the figure to 2.83 square feet, good enough for No. 4. The only states with higher shares of square footage per resident are Massachusetts at 3.03 square feet, Maryland at 3.06 square feet and Illinois at 3.43 square feet.

Downtown Summerlin’s accomplishment is an important image boost for a city with an unfair rap for environmental insensitivity, green building experts said. That’s a key reputation to turn around: It can affect economic diversification, as businesses and new residents think twice about moving to a place that they believe might endure environmentally.

“It shows that we’re a leader in sustainability, which is not a logical conclusion that most people make,” said Rick Van Diepen, principal in Las Vegas consulting firm Greenview Global. “There’s this misperception that Las Vegas is just a wasteland that’s all about consumption and avarice, and we don’t build responsibly or use water responsibly. Green buildings help open people’s eyes.”

Downtown Summerlin’s new status could also boost a green-building sector that surged from 2006 to 2009, but has languished in the city’s economic recovery, Van Diepen said.

“The recession set things back,” he said. “As the industry is just now getting back on its feet, some builders are tentative about spending extra dollars on green building. We’re fighting that attitude in the near term.”

At Downtown Summerlin, the goal was always to spend extra on green building.

When then-owner General Growth Properties drew up plans for the center in 2007, LEED status was on the list of demands, said Tom Warden, vice president of community and government relations for current owner The Howard Hughes Corp.

“Stewardship has been an important part of our brand from the beginning,” said Warden, pointing to Summerlin’s 1988 land deal to swap 5,000 acres at Red Rock Canyon’s border for other land to the master plan’s south. “We’ve always been a conscientious developer.”

LEED certification will also help Downtown Summerlin’s bottom line: Standards require measures that cut power consumption by 24.5 percent compared with traditional construction methods, plus landscaping that slashes water use by 40 percent over what’s typical.

“If you’re going to operate a building, you’re going to see significant savings in a LEED building,” Warden said. “It saves on energy costs, and it creates very comfortable environments.”

Then there’s the intangible benefit of spreading the word about ecofriendly building. The Howard Hughes Corp. plans to add explanatory plaques highlighting some of Downtown Summerlin’s green practices.

“Environmental issues resonate with families so much more now than they used to,” Warden said. “We think it’s a great teaching tool.”

Contact Jennifer Robison at Find @_JRobison on Twitter.

Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Tech Park innovation building breaks ground
Construction on the first innovation building at the UNLV Tech Park is underway. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars Forum Meeting Center
Caesars broke ground Monday on its $375 million Caesars Forum Meeting Center (convention center) just east of the High Roller observation wheel. (Caesars Entertainment)
Technology reshapes the pawn shop industry
Devin Battersby attaches a black-colored device to the back of her iPhone and snaps several of the inside and outside of a Louis Vuitton wallet. The device, installed with artificial intelligence capabilities, analyzes the images using a patented microscopic technology. Within a few minutes, Battersby receives an answer on her app. The designer item is authentic.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada for one year
Exhale Nevada CEO Pete Findley talks about the one year anniversary of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Young adults aren't saving for retirement
Financial advisors talk about saving trends among young adults. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
President Trump’s tariffs could raise costs for real estate developers, analysts say
President Donald Trump made his fortune in real estate, but by slapping tariffs on imports from close allies, developers in Las Vegas and other cities could get hit hard.
Las Vegas business and tariffs
Barry Yost, co-owner of Precision Tube Laser, LLC, places a metal pipe into the TruLaser Tube 5000 laser cutting machine on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like