Crystals at CityCenter - Las Vegas, Nevada

CityCenter, the massive multi-use complex in Las Vegas, has added another LEED certification notch to its belt. Crystals, which will open later this year and serve as the retail and entertainment center, recently received LEED Gold Core & Shell (C&S) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

LEED Core & Shell is designed for building owners and goes along with LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI) certification. Now that the Crystals center is officially LEED certified future tenants could begin their own separate LEED-CI certification process.

There are several eco-conscious features built into the Crystals facility including the use of radiant floor cooling (a nice touch for this desert city), low flow plumbing, generous use of natural lighting, preferred parking for visitors with an alternative fuel vehicle, and the use of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood products in most of the building.

Although CityCenter has yet to completely open its doors, the complex is the proud owner of four different LEED certifications. Previous certifications include the ARIA Resort, the ARIA convention center, and the Vdara Hotel. The entire building complex was designed to achieve a minimum of LEED Silver certification so we are sure to hear more LEED certification news out of the Las Vegas CityCenter project.

PepsiCo Frito-Lay North America HQ – Plano, Texas

The PepsiCo Frito-Lay North America headquarters in Plano, Texas has been awarded LEED for Existing Buildings (EB) Gold Certification. This is the first LEED-EB building in the great state of Texas and one of only a handful of corporate headquarters in the nation to earn LEED certification.

The 25-year-old building received a bevy of green upgrades in order to not just meet the basic LEED certification guidelines but to earn enough points for LEED Gold certification.

In order to reduce the amount of energy used by the facility, a solar thermal water heating system was installed. This provides hot water to the kitchen and fitness center. Additionally, high efficiency chillers and a daylight harvesting system help the building reduce its energy use and ultimately its energy costs. The changes made during the renovation process have led to a more than one million KWH reduction of energy use on an annual basis.

In addition to securing a more energy efficient building, efforts were taken to reduce water use, to enhance the building’s recycling program, and to help educate its employees. Not only do these employees help the company meet its onsite recycling goals, they take their knowledge out into the community and put what they’ve learned to use in the neighborhoods.

Photo: Dan4th/Flickr