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Las Vegas' $7B LEED CityCenter Project (S2)

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MGM Mirage is developing a 76 acre site between the Bellagio and Monte Carlo called CityCenter.  With about 18 million square feet of new construction (residential, hotel, resort, casino, etc.), CityCenter is being dubbed a "city-within-a-city."  If the project is completed according to LEED standards as planned, City Center will be the largest LEED project in the world.  MGM has lined up some of the world’s best architects for the project, including Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (61-story resort-casino), Studio Daniel Libeskind (retail + entertainment district), Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects (The Residences at Mandarin Oriental), RV Architecture LLC (Vdara Condo Hotel), Foster and Partners (The Harmon), and Helmut Jahn (The Veers).  Generally speaking, some of the sustainable design benefits include eliminating 48,000 tons of GHG per year, diverting over 80% of construction waste through re-use and recycling, and having improved indoor air quality by using low-VOC and non-toxic materials.   

In 2005, the Nevada Legislature created a statewide tax abatement program that allows LEED building owners to cut property taxes 35-50%.  But that’s not the only reason MGM’s going green on this project.  For most companies, their most expensive asset is people.  Green buildings boost productivity among occupants and providing healthy, well-designed buildings is one way to create value for employees.  CityCenter is slated for completion in November 2009.  Via SunHerald

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::"S2" is short for "Skyscraper Sunday," a weekly article on green skyscrapers posted every Sunday::

Corgan Christens New LEED Silver Headquarters

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Today, Corgan Associates Inc. opened the doors to its brand new LEED Silver headquarters.  Corgan is a Dallas-based architectural + design firm and designed the three-story, 60,000 square-foot looker.  Being a tenant in the West End area of downtown since 1986, Corgan is a long-time downtown stalwart–it’s great to keep them there with a brand new building.  I drive by it on the way home from work, so I’ve been watching construction for the past year or so.  It looks great.  I really dig the copper facade on the north + west walls.

From what I understand, Corgan’s HQ was built by Turner Construction, well-known for pretty much every green building in the area, including Pat Lobb Toyota, SMU’s Embrey Engineering Building, and the energy-efficient Wal-Mart.  According to Corgan, "The architectural style and features of the West End will be reflected in the new building.  In a contemporary way, Corgan’s heavily rusticated masonry building will draw from area warehouse vocabulary.  The interior will feature a heavy timber structural frame, typical of historic structures in the West End.  The three floors of interior design studio spaces will also feature large expanses of glass."  Looks amazing.  Corgan’s HQ: 401 N. Houston Street.  Via DBJ

Skyscraper Sunday: Chicago's 340 on the Park Pursuing LEED

340_on_the_park_rendering_2Calm, clear, and cool, very cool, 340 on the Park is the logical choice for city living.  It’s rather timely that I picked a Chicago building for today’s Skyscraper Sunday column, because it just so happens that the USGBC is switching locations for Greenbuild 2007 from LA to Chicago.  Chicago is making big-time strides in all things green–they’re vying for the position as the greenest city in America.  With that in mind, 340 on the Park is going to be the first residential high-rise in Chicago designed to meet LEED standards.  It’s huge, too.  Designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz, 340 is a 64 story tower with a 2+ floor winter garden starting on floor 25.  It will have all the amenities a luxury resident could ask for, including sauna, steam rooms, hot tub, wi-fi, yoga + aerobics room, fitness center, 25-yard lap pool, and men’s + women’s locker rooms. 

As far as its green features, I haven’t found many specifics, but 340 will use high-tech, energy efficient heating and cooling; fully-insulated windows; an advanced, air-quality management system; rainwater collection system for landscaping; and environmentally friendly construction materials.  Pretty general, I know.  With a two-bedroom (roughly 1,650 square feet) residence starting at nearly $681,000, you’re certain to get a nice view to go along with that green home.  Construction is set for completion in 2007. 

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Skyscraper Sunday: LEED Candidate MintoSkyy (Toronto)

Mintoskyy_northeast Going green isn’t all that difficult when sustainability is woven into the fiber and fabric of your company’s existence.  There are a few companies in the business world that survive on a green business strategy.  Right now, it might be a niche play, but things change as everyone else comes around.  Minto is a Canadian real estate company with a history of quality, green developments.  Green is in the company’s fabric.  In 2006, Minto received the Canadian LEED Silver for MintoGardens (Toronto), a 34-story condominium complex.  Now, they’re going after another LEED certification with MintoSkyy.  Minto builds to LEED standards to "promote healthier living, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save residents money, and contribute to a healthier planet." 

MintoSkyy is all about living in a modern, sophisticated environment with expansive windows and breathtaking views.  In addition, suites will have individual meters for water and electricity (you pay for what you use); energy efficient thermal windows; an "all-off" switch at the front door that lets you leave knowing all the lights are off; and energy efficient appliances.  Minto also has a rigid common area management system that minimizes consumption of light and energy resources.  Also, the building will rely heavily on recycled materials, environmentally friendly paints, and a green roof (which reduces heating + cooling costs).  Located at Broadview + Pottery Road in Toronto, this 23-story condo tower looks pretty good to me.  :: Minto ::

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View from MintoSkyy (on the right)

Owens Corning Headquarters Receives Silver LEED-EB Certification

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The Energy Star-rated Owens Corning (NYSE: OC) world headquarters building in Toledo, Ohio, has added another badge of honor with Silver LEED-EB certification.  Designed by Cesar Pelli (listed by the AIA as one of the 10 Most Influential American Architects) and built in 1996, Pelli spoke approvingly of the certification, "I am pleased this facility provided the solid foundation needed to earn the recognition that the LEED Existing Building certification provides."  For a couple other examples of LEED-EB buildings, feel free to click over to read about Adobe + Union Bank of California Center.  Owens Corning also runs The Pink Panther Energy Blog, which informs customers on insulation + energy conservation best practices. 

Green Features:
Here are just a few of the green features mentioned in the certification: under-floor ventilation for energy-efficient air delivery and specific control of thermal comfort; low maintenance, indigenous landscaping; easterly facing building allowing for natural lighting control via adjustable shading; and reusable, removable, non-adhesive carpet squares throughout almost the entire building.  See also CO + PRNewswire

Skyscraper Sunday: LEED Silver One Victory Park

One Victory Park

Taking a page from local developer Harwood, it looks like Hillwood decided to throw its hat into the green development ring with One Victory Park.  1VP is a 20-story, 450,000 square-foot, LEED-Silver office building slated for completion in 2008.  I’ve read a few conflicting reports on the actual details of the building, so we’ll have to watch and really determine the true specs.  Hines + Hillwood will be co-developing the project, which includes a Two Victory Park that seems identical to 1VP.  Boka Powell is the lead architect with Austin Commercial as the general contractor.   

1VP already has a tenant for six floors of the building.  Haynes and Boone recently announced that it would relocate from the Bank of America tower (tenant of 22 years), retaining Gensler as the interior design architect.  A recent news article pointed to suggestions that all the offices would be the same size, meaning senior and junior attorneys would be indistinguishable according to office size.  Why?  Efficiency and money savings.  Use your imagination on this one.  Image via



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